Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Photos from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love!

Now that the book has been printed and the advance copies are coming soon, Ellen Gormley and I have been given the green light to show actual photos from the book! It has been hard to keep the details of such an exiting project a secret for so long! I didn't know what to show you first! I decided to reveal the Rochelle Hat today, because I especially like how they styled it to be suitable for different ages. It looks very sweet on a little girl and stylish and cool on an older girl. The hat is designed to fit a 20-21" (51-53cm) head, but it is very forgiving in size as it stretches well (the same hat sample is being worn by the two models). This is important to know if you are making the hat for a gift, since you don't always know the exact head size you are crocheting for.

A scarf can be woven through or a very wide ribbon. The size of the hat is easily customizable for any size. It would also be a nice style for adults! If you add or subtract stitches from the first round, you can change the size. All of the other instructions remain the same. Each stitch added or subtracted, alters the finished measurement of the hat by about 1 1/4” (3cm).  I used Universal Yarn's, lovely Uptown DK. It has a nice sheen, is non pilling, soft, and machine washable. The actual amount of yarn used is approximately 120 yds (110m). This is great news, because that means you could make two hats out of one skein. Two hats for $6.00!   

I knew I wanted to accessorize the hat with a scarf, and it was quite an adventure to find just the right print! In Kuwait we have a marvelous fabric market with rows and rows of fabric and trim shops. You are sure to find what you want there, but it takes some time. I wanted to find a silk print that was suitable for a child. It was hard for the salesmen to grasp that I wanted silk for a child. I wanted something more interesting than just regular polka dots or flowers, and something that didn’t look too adult. I peaked too early... after going in 20 shops I bought the first one I liked, then 2 shops later I found the perfect fabric for 1/2 the price! It was all part of the amazing process of writing a book! I hope you like the first real look at one of the projects in the book, and I look forward to showing you more and more!

The Actual Fabric I used for the Scarf
The First Fabric I Chose

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Gift Ideas!

The creative marketing department at Craftsy contacted me to ask if I would like them to put together a special page for me for the holiday season. A page that would include my patterns, as well as yarn and class suggestions. I jumped at the offer, how fun to have my own special page!

The gift giving season is approaching fast, and crocheted gifts are especially thoughtful. On Craftsy, you can buy patterns, supplies, and classes. You can buy these in preparation for making gifts or to give to someone else. Wouldn't it be great to be gifted a class! No need to fight the crowds in the shopping malls either. Shop online at your convenience!

Here is the link to the actual page if you would like to see what I suggest for the holiday crocheting season. Happy crocheting!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Saving the Day with Crochet: How to Make Crochet Headphone Covers

More and more every day I am convinced that you can crochet practically anything! I often find that being able to crochet, saves me shopping trips as well. Many times I have whipped up a birthday card decorated with crochet, which can be more special and meaningful to the recipient than buying one. 

Recently we were getting ready to go on a weekend trip, and when packing my daughter's headphones, we noticed that the foam covering on the ear pieces was falling apart. We bought these great Sony children's headphones in America. I haven't seen any like it in Kuwait, so I knew it was pointless to go searching for replacement foam covers or even a new pair of headphones. Then it occurred to me, that crocheted covers would be quick and easy to make. My daughter had fun going through my yarn stash to choose a lovely pink variegated yarn. In 20 minutes, the headphones had been fixed and upcycled into something unique and stylish. Problem solved and time saved, crochet to the rescue!

I am not sure if the size of the earpieces on headphones are standard, but these measure 1 15/16" (48mm) in diameter.
Sony Children's Headphones

Headphone Covers 

Yarn: DK weight, preferably a soft yarn that will be comfortable to wear on the ears.

Hook: Size E (3.50mm)

yo= wrap the yarn around the hook
ch= chain
dc= double crochet
sl st= slip stitch
st/ sts= stitch/ stitches
sc= single crochet
blo= back loop only of the stitch
flo= front loop only of the stitch

Stitch Guide

Invisible Fasten Off: Cut yarn leaving a 3" (8cm) tail. Insert the hook into the blo of the first st in the rnd, yo, and pull the yarn all the way through the loop on the hook, as if to fasten off in the usual way. Insert the hook in both loops of next st, yo with tail end and pull through st. Finally, insert the hook in the flo of last st in rnd, yo, pull yarn down through.

(make 2)

Rnd 1: Wrap the yarn twice around your finger to form a magic loop. Insert hook into loop, yo and pull up a loop, ch 3. Then, make 12 dc into ring. Sl st in first dc to end the rnd. Pull on the tail end of the yarn to tighten the magic loop and close the hole in the center. 

Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in the same st, then 2 dc in each of the remaining sts around. Sl st in first dc to end the rnd. 

Rnd 3: Ch 3, dc in the same st, then dc in each of the remaining sts around. Sl st in first dc to end the rnd.

Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in the same st, then sc in each of the remaining sts around. Invisible Fasten Off.

Weave in all loose ends with a yarn needle.

Now, simply slip the covers on and enjoy listening!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Make a Necklace with the Tinker's ToolBelt Pattern

Sometimes designs that are submitted to publications are accepted with modifications. The Tinker's ToolBelt was originally submitted as a necklace, and the editor decided that it would fit into their publication as a belt to go along with their Steampunk theme. Fortunately, it didn't require any changes to the pattern, it just needed more motifs to make it longer. That shows how versatile this design is! Fewer motifs tied together make an eye-catching statement necklace, and 2 motifs can make a wristlet. To make jewelry, you will need to use a little finer thread than what was used in the magazine. The belt motifs measure 3" in diameter, and the necklace motifs measure 2 1/4". I didn't change the pattern, only the thread. For the necklace I used DMC Petra No.5 and I went down a hook size to B/1 (2.25mm).

If you prefer fewer motifs, you can make the two ties on each side longer, join them together at the ends, and include a bobble on one side and a chain loop on the other for fastening.