Archive | August 2012

Summer Hat #8: Pacific Sunset Cap

This past weekend, I finished my eighth and final hat for the summer! This is my Pacific Sunset Cap and it’s based off of the Pacific Beach Cap from the July/August 2012 issue of Crochet Today! I used Lily Sugar’n Cream in Orange, Tangerine, and Watermelon (yum!).

Doesn’t it look incredible?

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I already made this hat once before (you can see it on my blog here as summer hat #3 or on my Ravelry here) in the blue/green/beachy scheme shown in the magazine. I absolutely loved it the first time, and I love it even more now! The hat is so classic and fits so well. The extended single crochet makes an amazing slouch that isn’t stiff at all. This is by far one of the best patterns I’ve ever used. Probably for the first time ever, I’ve made absolutely no modifications to this pattern. (The pattern even tells you to use an adjustable ring. It makes me feel like this pattern was just for me!!)

Since it was my second time making the hat, it went very quickly. I made it in only two days! The first time using this pattern, I recall having some trouble with the turning chains. It mentions that the three chains at the beginning of the extended single crochet rounds count as the stitch and a chain, but the single crochet rounds just say “sc in next st throughout” after the first chain. The word “next” really threw me, but it didn’t take more than a round (or two) of missing a stitch to realize I shouldn’t take “next” so literally to to be sure to single crochet in the first stitch I just slipped into to complete the round. Also, I had some issues knowing exactly how to stitch into the extended single crochet. It’s sort of funny looking. But after paying careful attention to the stitch I was making as I was making it, I knew exactly where to put my hook in the next round.

This time, I worked it up without issues and totally bonded with this pattern as well as the yarn. I totally will be making this again for gifts and such in other colors of Lily Sugar’n Cream. It goes so quickly, fits so well, and looks so amazing. I can’t say enough how pleased I am with this hat! It is, hands down, my favorite summer hat!

I’m still working on my back to school top (just started the armholes last night!). Since school starts on Monday, I won’t be finishing in time to wear it on my first day, but I’ll definitely finish it in September and with plenty of photos to share. Then, I’ll finally be ready to purchase the September/October 2012 issue of Crochet Today! and can finally get started on the Homecoming Queen Shrug and Coco Goes to London for my pig, Lulu.

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Lulu’s Dutch Outfit!

Today, I finished Lulu’s Dutch Outfit! I’m so so proud of it! Here she is!

Isn’t she great?! I’m so pleased with how she turned out, especially considering I had put off this pattern for quite a while (curse you, summer hats!). I think she’s absolutely precious.

Lulu keeps all her yarn ends in her bag : )

Now that I’ve bragged about her enough, I’ll get down to business. The pattern was wonderful. I had no complaints whatsoever, other than it required quite a bit of embroidery and absolutely no instructions on how to do so. I made a few of the pieces before embroidering anything, but I knew I couldn’t procrastinate much longer. The pattern mentioned a “five petal lazy daisy”, so I searched for it and found this great little tutorial on making the Lazy Daisy and French Knot and it helped me so much. I was able to make the flowers and leaves after reading how to on this easy to understand tutorial. I’m not sure I’m doing the french knots correctly, as I often have trouble with them, but I did my best! Here is my first ever embroidery!

Once again, I was pleased that the Coco the Cat outfit pattern required a new technique that I had to learn. In addition to making pom poms  for the Coco the Cat Paris outfit, I now know basic embroidery techniques. I love learning new tricks!

Of course, I made my own modifications to the pattern. I added a few extra rows to the bloomer for a better fit, I didn’t add the edging to the hat (I simply forgot, and I sewed the brim up to prevent it from getting disheveled, so it was too late, but I don’t mind at all!), I didn’t add the balls to the bottom of the clogs (I am terrible at crocheting small balls, and I didn’t see the purpose anyway), I didn’t add the… berries? to the bag (I made a blue lazy daisy instead), and I didn’t put the cross stitches along the strap of the bag (I did on the apron straps, and the wrong side of the work looks awful. It is much easier to disguise behind her back that on the strap of her bag).

I’m so pleased with the way her new outfit turned out, I can’t wait to make her London attire next. But first, I have to finish my final summer hat and my back to school top. Wish me good speed!!

Summer Hat #7: Green Granny Square Hat

Last night, I stayed up late finishing my much anticipated Granny Square Hat. Here it is!

 

 

 

I was very excited about this hat because these are my very first granny squares ever!! Below is my first of all time!

I know it seems silly that someone who has been crocheting for about a year and a half hasn’t made a single granny square, the symbolical staple of crocheting. But I have my reasons! It always seemed boring to me to make a million of the same thing, sew (which is not my forte) them all together, and make a massive blanket, which is a typical granny square thing. But when I got Crochet Celebrity Slouchy Beanies and saw the Granny Square hat pattern, I knew I had found my granny square niche. I whipped it up in no time in Sugar’n Cream mod green (the lighter color in the center) and a mysterious dark green my mother has had for years and years (I’m speculating Red Heart Super Saver by the skein size).

So here are my thoughts on the pattern. It’s so simple to understand, and can EASILY be modified for other granny squares (which I find so so exciting and limitless). It’s just four squares, sewn together to make a circle, with a modified version (its a circle, not a square) of a fifth square as the crown. Then a band is crocheted on for fluidity and fit. Very easy and quick, I can’t wait to make this hat for other granny squares.

My only concern is how much I’d have to modify it to my liking. This pattern gives two sizes, a small and a large. The different sizes are created by using different sized hooks. An H hook, which I used, is said to produce the small size by creating a 5 and half inch square. An I hook produces the larger size by making a 6 inch square. Unfortunately for me, I used the small size hook and wound up with a seven inch square!! I’m normally very spot on with using the specified hook to make the specified gauge (when it comes to crochet. I am a VERY loose knitter), but this time, I was way way off. I know I should have measured my square and switched to a smaller hook, but I got so caught up in whipping up those bad boys I made three before deciding to measure one. When I saw it was 7″, I was only one square away from complete and went for it, like the adventurer I am. Needless to say… I made the circle of my hat with only three squares and left off the final round of the crown and it’s still very very large. When making this hat again, I will not forget to measure my first square!

So in summary, I’m pretty disappointed in this hat. It’s not too attractive because it turned out so large. But I’m SO excited with the possibilities it presents! I cant make so many different hats with this granny square technique and I will never run into a granny square and be disappointed that I have no use for it. This project didn’t produce the best product, but it certainly wasn’t lacking in potential.

 

Next, I still have to finish my Lulu Dutch Outfit (all I have left is her bag because I’m skipping the goose. Who needs a goose?) and my last summer hat (It’s the Pacific Beach Cap, mentioned here, in sunset colors).  Then I want to make a top to wear back to school (Sophia in a nice soft teal yarn I bought today), which probably won’t be finished by the first day of school on August 27th. But I’ll try!! Then it’s on to the September/October issue of Crochet Today! for Lulu gone British and a homecoming shawl! Wish me luck!

 

Summer Hat #6: Chocolate Cupcake Knit Hat

Yesterday, I finished my sixth hat I’ve made this summer! This one was knit, and was only the second one made that way. It’s a tad ironic to call it a summer hat, because it’s definitely not as summer weather friendly as my crocheted hats (they’re more of a beret style).

I call it the chocolate cupcake hat because that’s the name of color of yarn I used. It’s Loops & Threads Charisma, and, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I really like it. It’s weight category five, 100% acrylic, and very very surprisingly soft. I’m not so sure how I like the striping patterns in my hats, though (however, I like it much better in this one that my Black Raspberry Hat) so I’ll be purchasing a solid color next time!

This pattern is from the Camelot Hat free pattern. I really liked this pattern as it is very very simple and can be easily adjusted for a larger or slouchier hat. Nice and basic for me. However, my only concern is with the crown. It seems a tad pointy. This is probably because it is worked in the pattern of decrease one round, knit one round, decrease one, knit one, etc. If I were to knit this hat again, I would definitely decrease more quickly and skip some of the knit rounds to try to avoid a point at the top.

Also, I would use bigger needles. This is, of course, not the patterns fault. I believe it calls for a size ten. But, because the largest Boye Aluminum double pointed needles available at Michael’s are size eight, that is what I used. I do not own any bamboo needles and don’t want to. I know every knitter I’ve ever met complains about using aluminum needles and raves about bamboo, but I LOVE aluminum needles. I’m pretty sure this is because I’m way more of a crocheter, and to crochet with bamboo would be totally laughable. Regardless, the hat is a little tighter than desired and a bit stiff because of the smaller needles. Maybe I’d use a thinner yarn to avoid using wooden needles.. or get some size ten aluminum ones off of Amazon. Another day, my friend!

So what’s next, you ask? Well, after finishing this hat, my only current WIP is Lulu’s Dutch outfit (my rendition of Coco Goes to Holland for my pig, Lulu). I’d really like to finish that one before diving into the next issue of Crochet Today! or before I start another hat (I have two more on my list to make, but I most certainly will not finish them before the summer ends! Perhaps I will have to start a fall hat collection!). I worked on her outfit a little today, and boy am I excited to share with you guys! It’s coming along REALLY well and I’ve learned some cool new stuff. Expect a very long excited post when the Dutch outfit is complete!