Tag Archives: crochet

crochet garland

Christmas Advent 2015 – Day 9 Crochet Peppermint Garland

I have to apologize for yesterday. I did not manage to get a project posted. Turns out working on 4 different ones at the same time causes some difficulty in getting even one finished.

My project for Wednesday, December 9, is a crochet garland with ribbon woven into it.

Materials:

  • Yarn
  • Ribbon
  • Crochet hook (I used an “H” size)
  • Darning Needle

crochet garland

I used two different yarns, one a very light red with some satiny effect and the other a nice off-white cotton. I crocheted 22′ (yes, really, that does say 22 feet) of double crochet foundation stitch.  The link goes to a really good and detailed demonstration for how to do this stitch. I just did one row of this and then tied off my yarn. Next I measured out 24 feet of narrow ribbon in red and white. I then threaded this onto my darning needle and wove the red ribbon in between my crochet stitches. Once this was done, I wove the white ribbon through, this time in the opposite pattern, as you can see below. I tied off my ribbons and I was done!

crochet garland

With the red and white colors, I got a really great peppermint/candy cane effect and I am really happy with it.

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

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A White Scarf and a Cold

So, I have finally caught the cough/cold that has run rather rampant through my family. I think I was getting a little cocky when I didn’t get it over Christmas (when they all had it) and thought I was home free. So, other than an empty box of tissues, I haven’t made anything today. I thought I would take a couple of photos of my current project though.

It is an inside scarf. I have a VERY cold office and decided that I needed a scarf that I could wrap around myself. It is about 7″ wide and I haven’t yet decided how long it will be (I have 5 skeins, so who knows). The yarn is 100% alpaca and is just amazing. I mentioned the yarn in a previous post and at the time, I had planned to make a lace shrug out of it. A little ambitious for me, but a lace scarf is right on track. I haven’t done any real complicated crochet stitches, so this is a first for me.

WhiteScarf WhiteScarf2

The scarf is started with a double crochet foundation stitch and is then the Arch 11 pattern from a wonderful crochet pattern book I picked up at Half Price Books, Super Stitches Crochet by Jennifer Campbell and Ann-Marie Bakewell. I really like their book, the patterns are very easy to understand and for once, I understand the crochet symbols.

So, I have at least made progress on a project, and now back to bed.

Happy Creating and Stay Well!

Kristin

Winter Scarf and Earmuffs

I will probably ruminate on creativity a bit here when I have the time and the thoughts behind it. It may get a little rambly and may not always make sense, as it is a sort of stream of consciousness to rediscover and define my creativity.

For me, creativity can mean so much. It can be the act of making – whether it be new invention, remake, improvement, it doesn’t matter. It can be doing, I imagine before the year is out, I will figure out how it is a state of being. I have also discovered over the years that frequent small creative successes can be so much better for my psyche than one or two large successes, at least as far as crafting goes. So for today, I finished a scarf and earmuff set. I have had the earmuffs completed for over a year now, but the scarf started as a infinity scarf that was a pretty good failure. I ripped it apart and have recreated it for today. I am much happier with the second attempt and I hope you enjoy the result.

It wraps around me twice and ties in a single knot.
It wraps around me twice and ties in a single knot.

I made the scarf in single crochet in the back loop, crocheted in the long. This gives a false ribbed appearance.  I think it is approximately 210-250 stitches long and is nine rows, not counting the bouclé row. The scarf could be made with however many stitches and rows you prefer. I wanted a fairly chunky scarf, so this is two worsted weight wool yarns crocheted together. There is a blue yarn and a green yarn of the same type.

Here you can see the front of the boucle stitch that I used for the fringe.
Here you can see the front of the bouclé stitch that I used for the fringe.

The last row is a bouclé stitch that creates a nice fringe that runs the length of the scarf.

Here is the backside of the bouclestitch.
Here is the backside of the bouclé stitch.

You can read about how I made the earmuffs in a previous post here.

Matching set of earmuffs and scarf.
Matching set of earmuffs and scarf.

With the seriously cold weather that is imminent here in Indiana, I think that I will truly appreciate the scarf and earmuffs. I finished them just in time.

Happy Creating!

Kristin

Completed hotpad made from a washcloth and crochet

World’s Best Hot Pads – Made from Washcloths

Completed hotpad made from a washcloth and crochet

This is a very photo heavy how-to to make the best hot pads ever. I learned how to make these from my Aunt Harriet. She wasn’t really my Aunt, she was a friend of my Grandmother’s who the family adopted. Harriet Saine was a wonderful woman and is greatly missed.

Her hot pads are famous in our family. Every year at Christmas she would pull out this gigantic stack of hot pads and every woman (with a house or apartment) would get to pick two. Sometimes Harriet brought so many we would get to chose a third one. When Harriet passed away, I got her supplies for making these hot pads. In her supplies were her crochet hooks. There is one that is completely eroded down to a nub. I had no idea you could even do that to a metal crochet hook. I cannot even begin to create as many of these as Harriet was able to. I am amazed every year I am able to make these for the family that she was able to do this every year for as long as I can remember. This is my homage to Aunt Harriet.

Supplies for the hotpads

The supplies for these hot pads are very few:

Cheap washcloth (this means no embroidered stripes or thick edges)

Crochet thread

1″ plastic rings

Crochet hooks (size 4/2.00mm and size 8/1.50mm)

Pins (optional, though recommended)

Scissors

You really do need to use cheaper washcloths for this project. Cheaper washcloths do not have a high thread count and make it much easier to get the crochet hook through the fabric for the first round of stitching. You also are much better off using plain washcloths, the ones with no embroidered stripes or thick edges. The stripes are very difficult to get a crochet hook through. That is not to say impossible, but it will hurt your hands if you have to force the hook through these stripes very often. I have somehow managed to collect around 50 washcloths to make into hot pads. Eventually, I will have to stop buying them.

The crochet thread can be any sort. I now have a huge collection of thread from variegated, solid, metallic, to threads with differing thickness. I personally prefer the variegated for my hot pads. I really like the effect it makes. I currently have 2 Rubbermaid tubs of crochet thread, and like the washcloths, I may eventually have to stop buying new colors. (I have a bad habit of buying every new variegated skein I find.)

For the plastic rings, you can use any size you prefer, but I tend to buy 3/4″, 1″ or 1 1/4″. I just have to make sure that I grab two of the same size for the set of hot pads (I always make sets of 2).

I use a size 8/1.50mm crochet hook for the first round of stitching and a size 4/2.00mm crochet hook for the decorative round of stitching. The size 8 goes through the fabric of the washcloth much easier and I like a slightly larger hook to make the edging, this is just personal preference though.

To make:

You fold the washcloth in half  and pin it to hold it in place. As you stitch, it tends to drift and you will end up with a lopsided fold. Holding it with the fold closer to you, begin the first single crochet in the upper left hand corner, at the midpoint of the corner.

First single crochet stitches

Continue your single crochet stitching around the corner, the first short side, next full corner, and to the folded edge. Keep stitching along the fold, next full corner, and up the second short side of the washcloth. You stop your stitching at the midpoint of the upper right corner. At this point, you have single crocheted around three sides of the washcloth (1/4 of the way finished).

Single crochet around three sides.

Now you need to open up the washcloth and put the two midpoints together (be sure to remove your pins). This makes what in the origami world is called a balloon fold. You connect all four corners of the washcloth at the top of the hot pad and this creates 4 triangle shaped wings. The photo below shows this fold in a flattened view from the top. You can see the four corners of the washcloth stitched together, although in the photo, the edges are not yet completely stitched. Putting a couple of pins into the wings will again help keep your folds straight and prevent you from having a lopsided hot pad.

Start of second round of single crochet stitches

You stick your crochet hook through the two pieces of fabric at the midpoints of the corners and start single crocheting down the short side (from here on, all the sides are short sides). Continue around the washcloth (you will stitch over your first round of crochet as you go) until you are again back at the top. This should have closed all the sides and created the 4 wings and top and bottom points (1/2 way finished). You are now ready to start the decorative edging. You can also remove all the pins now.

Here the single crochet is finished and you are ready to start the decorative edging.

I switch hooks to the larger size 4/2.00mm hook and double crochet at this point. When I started making these hot pads, I used to make different types of edgings. You can experiment until you find one you like. I like this one and it is very easy and pretty. Single crochet twice and insert the hook under the first single crochet on the opposite wing of the hot pad. You will use this stitch as the post to stitch 3 more double crochet stitches around. Finish off with one single crochet. This completes one scallop. You will make one of these scallops in every other single crochet stitch from the first round.

dc in first sc, *dc around first dc 3 times, sc, skip single crochet and dc in next sc, continue from *

Double Crochet post stitch

First of the three DC stitches

Second of three DC stitches

Third of DC stitches

Decorative Edge Finished

Add Ring

When you finish the edging and are back at the top of the hot pad you will add your plastic ring. You don’t have to add a plastic ring, but so many people like to hang their hot pads from hooks. You can skip this part entirely if you don’t want to hang your hot pads. You single crochet around the ring making sure to completely cover the plastic ring. I finish the ring with one final single crochet back into the hot pad. I tie off the threads and pull the ends inside the hot pad with the crochet hook.

Finished Ring

You have now finished your first hot pad! As I said above, I always make these in pairs and would now start my second one. I can make one hot pad in about an hour (1 and 1/2  if I am interrupted a lot).

Pile of finished hot pads

I have tried to photo the whole process, but if you have any questions, or want another photo, just let me know. I hope you enjoy these hot pads as much as I and my family do!

Happy Crafting,

Kristin

Finished hot pad

Crocheted earmuffs in cream and black wool yarn.

Crafty Challenge 12: Headwarmer – Earmuffs


Crocheted earmuffs in cream and black wool yarn.

Our most recent crafty challenge was to make a headwarmer. This could be in any color, material, style or shape. Cheri was ahead of us all and posted her adorable recycled sweater hat here. We gave ourselves 3 weeks to make this particular challenge as we were all still recovering from the holidays. I had mine done in less than a week and then had to try very had not to talk about it or brag about it. Of course, this early birdness of me is now completely offset by my late posting.

I love earmuffs, but have never been able to find a satisfactory pair. The never stay on my head or they don’t cover my ears very well. I also hate hats as I have very static prone hair. I knew as soon as we started talking about a headwarmer challenge that earmuffs were my challenge.

I bought a cheap set of fleece wrap-around earmuffs for less than $2. I then cut the fleece off the wire and used the wire for the base of my earmuffs. I have some lovely wool yarn, one skein in cream and another in black. I also received this gigantic spool of very fine black alpaca yarn on year for Christmas. I took all three yarns and crocheted my earmuffs with this lovely and warm combination.

Crocheted earmuffs made on wire frame.

I crocheted 4 circles in double crochet, all the same size and just big enough to cover my ears. I then held two of these circles on either side of the ear part of the wire frame and using half-double crochet, I stitched the circles together. I really wanted the double thickness which provides amazing protection from cold and wind. You could also put some stuffing or quilting in between the two circles if you wanted poofy earmuffs (this would be very cute for a child).

After stitching both circles on the frame, I then single crocheted around the length of wire between the ear pieces. To keep from having to weave-in ends, I folded the ends from the ear pieces under the single crochet. This made the back wire a little thicker and made it so I only had the ends from this last stretch to weave-in.

Crocheted earmuffs in black and cream wool yarn.

This completed my earmuffs. This project took me all of about 2 hours and most of that was just figuring out what stitch I wanted to use to make the circles. I have been wearing these for weeks now and just love them. They are comfortable, very warm, and I haven’t had cold ears at all this year!

Happy Crafting!

Kristin

Christmas Ornament Countdown: It’s the Final Countdown

So we have arrived at Christmas! I hope everyone is having at wonderful holiday. For those of you who have been following along with our ornament countdown adventure, you know that Cheri and I have been showcasing our ornament creations this year. We have been alternating days which is about all we had time for with our preparations for Christmas as well. We have gathered them all together here in one post for easy viewing.

First Day: Lucky Stars

Glass ball full of origami lucky stars.
Made by Kristin

Second Day: Scrapbook Paper Balls

Spiral ornaments made from scrapbook paper.
Made by Cheri

Third Day: Beaded Glass Ball

Glass ball covered in beaded mesh.
Made by Kristin

Fourth Day: Cardboard Tube Snowflakes

Snowflakes made from paper tubes.
Made by Cheri

Fifth Day: Sequins and Pins

Stryofoam egg decorated with pins, beads and sequins.
Made by Kristin

Sixth Day: Wire-wrapped Spider

Wire wrapped spider
Made by Kristin

Seventh Day: Teeny Tiny Places

Winter scenes inside tiny toy bubbles.
Made by Cheri

Eighth Day: Buttons, Buttons Everywhere!

Styrofoam ball covered in small white buttons.
Made by Cheri

Ninth Day: Crochet Wreath

Small wreath crocheted of cotton yarn.
Made by Kristin

Tenth Day: Scrapbook Paper Origami Stars

Scrapbook paper 3D origami stars.
Made by Kristin

Eleventh Day: Chinese Fortune

Glass ball full of Chinese fortunes and glitter.
Made by Cheri

Twelfth Day: Wire-wrapped Ice Fairy

Wire-wrapped snow fairy holding a snowflake.
Made by Kristin

Thirteenth Day: Steam Punk Felt Bird

Felt bird with wire-wrapped crown, wings and tail in steam punk fashion.
Made by Cheri

Fourteenth Day: Wire Wrapped Joy

Word "Joy" wire-wrapped inside wire circle.
Made by Cheri

It has been a wonderful craft experience to work in so many mediums. Cheri and I had a great time creating all of these amazing ornaments and look forward to another showcase for next year (which will include all the Crafty Sisters, not just us two).

Happy Holidays from Kristin!

Christmas Ornament Countdown: Crochet Wreath

Eight days til Christmas and we are now more than half way done with our Christmas Ornament Countdown. Cheri’s Teeny Tiny Places was just awesome!

My ornament for today is based on some crochet work I am doing for another Christmas present and just sort of made itself up last week. It is a simple wreath made of green cotton yarn.

Crochet wreath ornament.

I used a 3″ in diameter metal ring for the base, making a single crochet stitch around for the first row. The next row is half double crochet and the last row is half double crochet as well, but is stitched into the front leg of the first half double crochet row. This gives the wreath a nice thickness and also makes what I call a pie crust edging.

Close up of crochet stitches in wreath ornament.

The bow is made with red cotton yarn. I pulled the yarn through the stitching at the bottom of the wreath and made a standard shoe tie bow and then used the ends of the thread to make two more bows. Nice and easy!

Close up of bow in wreath ornament.

Happy Holidays from Kristin!