Archive | July 2012

Summer Hat #5: Lacy Black Raspberry

Today, I finished my Black Raspberry Hat, which is based off the Lacy pattern from Crochet Celebrity Slouchy Beanies. I used Loops & Threads Charisma in a color called Black Raspberry, hence the name.

This pattern was very easy to follow. Double crochet made up the majority of the hat and single crochet made up the band. The method of joining each round was simple and didn’t cause any confusion. They gave sc2tog and sc3tog funny names (decrease and double decrease) and I didn’t really see anywhere that defined these words. Maybe they wanted you to decrease however you choose? I’m not sure. A new crocheter would easily get confused by such a vague “stitch”. I used a totally different yarn and hook, so I modified the pattern to fit the slouchiness I wanted (by excluding many of the repeat rounds). I made the small size, which is the perfect fit for me.

 

(Edit: I found where they define decrease and double decrease. It’s right at the front of the pattern. D’oh!)

The yarn is my FAVORITE part of this hat. It’s so soft! It’s weight five and 100% acrylic (which means its machine washable and dryable). This also means that it shouldn’t be so darn soft, but it is. I’ve never worked with such a soft acrylic yarn. You can bet I’ll be picking up more skeins of this yarn when it goes on sale again! I also loved the color scheme in this self striping yarn. The only thing I didn’t like about the yarn I chose was how it went with the pattern. As you can see, the pink is sort of all to one side of the hat and the gray is sort of all to the other side. Of course this isn’t the yarn’s fault (it would be unjust to blame yarn for anything!), but maybe the hat would look a bit more polished in a solid color or working the rows with seperate yarns. But it’s really simple and cute and fun, and I’m very pleased with the yarn I chose.

Surfer Girl Tank is finished!

Yesterday morning,  I finished the Surfer Girl Tank (From the July/August 2012 issue of Crochet Today!) I’ve been working on. It looks great! I’m very proud of how it turned out.

 

As for my thoughts on the pattern, I thought it wasn’t difficult at all. It only used single crochet and half double crochet, changing colors every round. The problem with changing colors every round is that there are a LOT of ends. I followed the tip suggested by the pattern and crocheted over them to avoid some of the weaving in at the end. The problem with this is that, after stretching the garment out (such as to put it on) the ends create some ripples when it goes to its natural shape. It’s not bad, I’m just a little picky about it (knit picky hahaa). Also, I don’t quite like the seam created by changing colors. I didn’t change them as suggested (I slip stitched with the knew color, as opposed to fastening off and rejoining) which probably gave me a more pronounced seam than if I had followed directions exactly, so I can’t complain. The seam is also along the side, under the arm, so it’s not super obvious or anything.

I made the medium size, which fits me well. I really wasn’t sure what size to make, so I sort of guessed. I guess I got lucky! I also guessed on how much yarn to buy. I used Red Heart Lustersheen and not what was suggested by the pattern, so I had to try to convert the number of balls. I guess I did it wrong! I bought three skeins of turquoise and two each of both vanilla and white. I used exactly one skein of the turquoise for the ENTIRE garment. Which means I could make two more of the EXACT same tanktop. Oh well! Better to have too much yarn than too little! I wonder what I’ll be making with the left overs…

It took me a month and a day to make the whole thing, start to finish, with a few side projects in between (which you can read about in previous posts!) I’d say that’s pretty speedy! I absolutely love how it turned out, and the racerback is very stylish!

For now, I’m still in the process of making my Lacy Slouchy Beanie from my new book (Crochet Celebrity Slouchy Beanies) and I’ve just begun on Lulu’s Dutch Outfit (which is my rendition of the Coco Goes to Holland outfit from the July/August 2012 issue of Crochet Today! for my pig, Lulu) today. I anticipate both of these to go relatively quickly, so expect to hear from me again soon!

My stash

Sorry for not posting in a while! I went on vacation for a bit and have been so busy with family, my surfer tank hasn’t seen much action. The fact that it’s damn hot outside doesn’t help either.
I promise to post again when I finish my surfer girl tank or my lacy slouchy hat (I’m using Loops and Threads Charisma and am LOVING it. More about it soon!), whichever comes first.

But for now!

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I just organized nearly my entire stash into a transparent shoe organizer I’ve hung on my wall. It’s practical and beautiful! First, I have all my weight category 4 yarns (predominately Red Heart Super Saver and Caron Simply Soft, with a few Sugar’n Cream balls and other yarns) by color in the first 16 spaces. Then I have a space each for category 1, 2, 3 and 5 respectively. The last four I use for miscellaneous, such as for projects I am waiting to do. I only have a bit of scraps (mostly useless) left in my crochet drawer. I’m so proud! And it’s so beautiful. I absolutely love looking at each yarn and knowing what I made with it or bought it for.

Celebrity Slouchy Beanies

When running some errands, I stopped into the Michael’s in the next town over from mine. AND IT’S WAY BETTER. The yarn section is twice, maybe three times, as big as the one I usually go to. The hooks/notions sections has way more stuff (I absolutely hate it when I go to Michael’s for a specific hook and it’s out! grrrr!). And they have little pattern booklets, which I never get at my Michael’s! I am most definitely going to travel the extra distance (it’s only a mile or two extra..) for way cooler stuff!

Sorry, I just got so excited about my new find. Back to business.

While at this incredible version of the mediocre store I’ve been going to, I found a booklet that I’ve wanted for quite some time! It’s the Crochet Celebrity Slouchy Beanies book I’d been aching for on Amazon, but couldn’t find it in me to spend just as much on a booklet as on shipping. Not only does it have some classic beanies that seem just my style and perfect for gifts, but I’ve been oggling the Granny Square beanie. Oh the potential! I can’t wait to make that one, because, if I get it right and like the way it looks, I could modify for other granny squares (in theory). I don’t think I’ve ever even made a granny square, which I find sort of shameful of an amateur crocheter. I just never have had anything to do with them! The idea of making a BAJILLION of the same square to create an afghan sounds absolutely painful, and I’ve never been interested in making discloths or pot holders or other cutesy house stuff. But a hat! It would only require a few squares and would be something I could use, love, and gift. I hope the pattern turns out well and I’ll be able to modify it to my liking after making the first one.

First, I’ll be making another beanie titled Lacy (shown on the cover of the book) with yarn I bought while at the bigger, better Michael’s. I bought Charisma at two 3.5oz skeins for $5 (I love sales! It was nearly impossible for me to not buy every single delicious color of Sugar’n Cream at four skeins for $5!!). They are both self striping and one is pink/brown and the other is pink/black (I guess I was feeling pink?). Now I’ve got another project to look forward to! Time to buckle down for the summer!

 

On a side note, Happy Bastille Day to everyone 🙂 I’m wearing my cluster beret for the occasion (you can see it here) and a lovely Eiffel Tower necklace. I feel so cute and festive!

Summer Hat #4: Cluster Beret

Sorry for not posting in so long! I’ve been really hacking away at my Surfer Girl Tank (mentioned here and here). I’m almost to the straps!  At this point, it just looks like a mini skirt, so I’m really looking forward to starting them. The tank is coming along very well and I’m currently very pleased with it.

The reason I’m posting is to inform you that I’ve made yet another side project (I made a baby elephant as well) while working on the tank. And, surprise, it’s a hat! It’s my fourth one this summer! (You can see my three other hats here)

Beret Style
How French!

Slouchy Style

Simple and cute!

I made it in honor of Bastille Day (the equivalent of the Fourth of July in France and it’s tomorrow July 14th) so it’s red, white, and blue. But I was clever! I decided to only use red and white for the hat and simply tie on a blue bow so that when another holiday rolls around, I can take it off and add something green for Christmas or add a little red heart for Valentines. I didn’t want to be stuck with a hat I could only wear in the month of July so I made a general, versatile Holiday Hat. How smart of me 🙂

I made it using this Cluster Beret Slouchy Hat Pattern which was an absolutely breeze. The hat doesn’t even suggest a gauge or a yarn weight because it’s mostly just a basic idea. It’s great for someone who can handle a little creative control and doesn’t need to obey a pattern like it’s law. I used Red Heart Soft in red and white and an F hook. The pattern has a tiny error (rows 7-12 should have 36 stitches, not 30) but because I added another increase row (bringing my stitch count to 42) it didn’t matter to me at all.

All in all, it’s a great, easy pattern, a really nice, inexpensive and soft yarn, and a really festive hat! I can’t wait to wear it for other holidays!

Baby elephant!

If you’ve read my last couple of recent posts, you’ll know I’ve been trudging away slowly at a larger project, the Surfer Girl Tank (from Crochet Today! July/August 2012). Whenever I commit to such a time consuming project (especially when I’ve got lots of great ideas and plans on what to make next), I just have to make a little side project!

Does anyone else do that? I personally think it keeps me from getting bored with the larger project, especailly if it’s repetative, like an afghan.

So, since I haven’t made anything from my Crochet Pattern A Day Calendar, when this adorable pattern for a baby elephant popped up, I thought it’d be a perfect time to take a little break from my tank top. So here she is!

 

No surprise, I altered the pattern a bit. I decided to make her legs a bit longer and I used the magic ring method for all my pieces (instead of chain 2, slip stitch into beginning chain, etc, etc). I also put a bent paper clip in her trunk so that I can bend it! How clever of me. The pattern salso had a crocheted mouth, but I couldn’t get it to look just right, so I just stiched one on. She’s got a cute little bow on originally, but, since this was just a little side project, I wasn’t about to go out and buy one!

I think she’s adorable, but I’ve found my works tend to look a lot more like the photo when they’re on a larger scale. At least she was cute and fun to make! Now back to the hard work!

Surfer girl tank update

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I’m definitely no longer concerned with the laciness of this garment. As you can see, I’ve gotten through four white stripes and have done only a little shaping on the waist. The top doesn’t look holy at all anymore!

Honesty, I think it was the ribbing that scared me. Because of the nature of ribbing, it’s quite spacey. After continuing on with the rest of the tank, I can tell that the yarn creates a nice, light fabric but nothing lacy!

The gauge is perfect and it’s the size specified. I even tried on the little bit that I have (like a giant, obnoxious belt) and it fits as it should. Hooray!