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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I sat in a coffee shop with yarn, a hook and some time


Babies LIKE the Octopus!


THE OCTOPUS PATTERN:

To make this pattern you will

ch - chain (to make a foundation or starting row - hook through stitch, yarn over, pull through)

sc - single crochet (hook through stitch, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through two loops on hook)

hdc - half double crochet (yarn over, hook through stitch, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook)

whip stitch - (thread yarn needle and sew two pieces together by passing needle through both pieces near the top, lifting it up and over and back through the same side until the pieces are joined)

This is what I used:

I Love This Yarn *Pistache

‘f’ hook (3.75mm)

Start with a Magic loop

(OR ch3, 6sc in 2nd chain from hook then proceed to round 1)

Sc 6

ROUND 1 2sc in each (12)

ROUND 2 *Sc, 2sc *repeat (18)

ROUND 3 *Sc in 2, 2sc *repeat (24)

ROUND 4 *sc in 3, 2sc *repeat (30)

ROUND 5 *sc in each (30)

ROUND 6-11 *sc in each (30)

*I embroider small black eyes around round 8, big or small, far apart or close it’s entirely up to you. You can attach safety eyes or beads, depending on who the octopus is for. This one is for a small baby so I’m going with small embroidered eyes this time.

ROUND 12 *sc in 3, sc DEC * repeat (24)

ROUND 13 *sc in 2, sc DEC *repeat (18)

ROUND 14 *sc, sc DEC *repeat (12)

STUFF it with fiberfill, cotton, or whatever you feel like stuffing it with.

ROUND 15 *sc DEC *repeat (6)

Cut yarn, pull through loop. Thread yarn needle and whip stitch in back loop only of each of 6 stitches, pull tightly and weave in.

LEGS (MAKE 8)

PLUS SEVEN

CH 25

Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch (24)

2hdc in last chain, ch1

Cut yarn and pull through loop

Whip stitch each leg evenly around the 3rd row from the bottom and voila! It’s an octopus!!!


Feel free to make it, make a million of them, make them all sizes and make a whole ocean but just don't make them to get rich without at least giving me some pattern credit or some other form of kudo or love and affection :)



Sunday, April 25, 2010

That girl needs a HAT!

A larger hat, DC with big bulky yarn

I held my first online webcam class today, it was a great success. I didn't yell and my student/victim didn't weep!! This is the pattern that evolved out of the conversation, the futzing, the trial and error... it's a pretty classic pattern with a classic amigurumi increase but it worked beautifully.

I am HOPING that dear Suz will model her had for me *OK wish granted and if she wasn't 1,958 miles away from me she'd be my number one hat model*

"
BEAUTIFUL! just keep adding rows to get the supercool uber funky slouchy look.

Ok, here we go;

Giant, bulky, fuzzy yummy yarn! “J” hook!!
This cloche is crocheted in the round, no turning, just go and go and go and voila! It’s a hat!

The number at the end of the row in brackets is the total number of stitches you should have.

THE HAT

Ch 3
6 DC in first stitch (second from hook)
Place marker at hook
*(2 DC in the hole/space of each DC) around to a total of 12 stitches (12)
Move marker up to this row
*(1 dc in first stitch, 2 dc in next stitch) all the way around (18)
Move marker up to this row
*(1dc in first stitch, 1dc in second stitch, 2dc in third stitch) all the way around (24)
Move marker
*(dc in each around) (24)
Move marker
*(1dc in first, 1dc in second, 1dc in third, 2dc in fourth) all the way around (30)
Also written (dc,dc,dc,2dc)
Move marker
*(1dc in frst, 1dc in second, 1dc in third, 1dc in fifth, 2dc in fifth) (36)
Move marker
*(dc in 5, 2dc in next) all the way around! (42)
Move marker
*(dc in each around) (42)

Take a moment and try it on your head…depending on how loose you crochet, how bulky and stretchy the yarn is, all this will determine the size of your beautiful creation! It will grow in width without increasing. It’s all about the yarn and the hook at this point, remember, it will stretch! 42 seams to work for an adult.

If it’s too small, do another round of increase, (DC in 6, dc in next)

Continue to DC in the hole/space in each DC until the hat is the size you like.

When you’re happy with the length, do a SC in each stitch around, when you end, skip one stitch and do a sc, cut your yarn, pull it through the loop and sew/weave it in. Voila! It’s a hat!

FLOWER
coordinating worsted weight harn

Ch 3
6SC in first stitch (second from hook)
2SC in each stitch (12)
5DC in each SC (60)
SC in each SC (60)
Skip stitch, sc in next, ch1, cut yarn, pull through loop, weave in ends
(add another round, 3DC in each SC to get a larger, fuller flower)

Sew onto hat by using a beautiful large button in the middle.

You can also make a smaller flower and lay it inside the first and stitching them together. To make a smaller flower, start the same, CH3, 6SC in first stitch, then 4DC in each SC (24), sc in each around (24) skip stitch, sc in next, ch1, cut yarn, pull through loop, weave in ends and attach to center of larger flower.

ANOTHER cool way to make a flower

CH4

*2sc in each st to end, ch1, turn

Repeat until it’s big and floppy (at least 9 rows), spiral and middle to twist into a flower and stitch to secure

(again, I will get pics added!)







Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SO YOU WANT TO MAKE A HAT?




The Loopers! (invitational) class wants patterns so patterns they shall have. "E" asked for a hat and since I made one yesterday, the "pattern" is still in my head. The mp3 bag, egg, basket and other practice stitches will be up shortly.

THE HAT!
(You can do this in ANY stitch you want, just check size/gage over and over and it'll be fantastic, here's some guidelines and a reminder or two)

HDC which is “half double crochet”. Wrap yarn over your hook (like the beginnings of a double crochet!) Push your hook through your stitch to the back and wrap yarn over the hook. Pull the yarn through the stitch to the front. Look! There are THREE loops on the hook, yarn over and pull through all three loops on hook. BRAVO, it’s a HDC!

SC is “single crochet”. Push your hook through your stitch, yarn over and pull through, LOOK! There are TWO loops on the hook, yarn over hook and pull through the two loops. BRAVO! It’s a SC!

Here we go, work slow and steady

Ch 3

Sc 6times in first loop

2x hdc in each stich (12 stitches total now) – place a marker so you know where you are. Remember to move your marker up each row !

Hdc in first stich, 2x hdc in next stitch – repeat this pattern to marker (18 stitches now)

Hdc in first stitch, hdc in next stitch, 2xhdc in third stitch – repeat to marker (24 stitches now)

Do one round without increasing (24 stitches)

*This is a classic amugurumi increase, you add one hdc (or sc or dc or whatever stitch you are doing) each time before you increase by doing two in one stitch. We are up to 3 hdc then increase by doing 2 hdc in one stitch, then it will be 4 hdc then increase, then 5 and increase then 6...see the pattern? OK, back to the pattern


Hdc, hdc, hdc, 2xhdc – repeat to marker; (30stitches now!)

Hdc, hdc, hdc, hdc, 2xhdc – repeat to marker (36 stitches now)

Do one round without increasing (36)

Hdc, hdc, hdc, hdc, hdc, 2xhdc – repeat to marker (42)

Measure your head, measure the diameter of the round so far, if you are crocheting “loosey goosey” this will be big enough. IF you are crocheting crazy wild tight, do another two rows of increase! I think 42 stitches is a good size for a kid but gage it to how you are working your yarn! If it’s too big, give it to your mom, your dad, your nearest friend or relative with a really giant head. If it’s too small, a younger sibling is a fine gift recipient!

Do as many rounds as you like WITHOUT increasing, count count count each round to be sure you are not increasing by accident which will make it a giant hat. Try it on alot and make it longer or shorter depending your current fashion sense.

IF it starts to get ridiculously wide, you can simply reduce the width by doing a decrease (DEC) remember those? Insert hook through stitch and yarn over, pull yarn through, insert hook into next stitch, yarn over and pull through, there'll be THREE loops on the hook, yarn over and pull through all three stitches and bingo, presto, you have decreased!!

When you are happy with the length do one more step.

SK (skip) a stitch and sc in the 2nd stitch from hook... this will flatten out the end and make it even, do it, you'll see what I mean. Cut the yarn and pull it through the loop and weave in your end. Presto, bingo, it's a hat!

Your final step? Put the hat on your head and take a picture of it and send it to me! NOW you’re done!

You can add ribbon, flowers, logos or wacky weaving to your hat to make it yours and yours alone. Oh and by the way, good job!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CH 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook…

Crochet 101 (January 2010 session) was a rip roaring success! Boys, girls, hooks everywhere, the yarn was flying and they’re all in possession of the world’s longest, well, longest crocheted things!

I was worried that the boys wouldn't ‘get it’ as quickly, there’s a real disparity in dexterity between the boys and the girls, but they were all brilliant and there was no one slowing down the train so we chugged happily along. There have been a couple of wonderful side stories with the Loopers! classes that I’ve been told over the years that I’ve been doing it and I just have to share some of them;

There was a student who had some emotional problems who is blossoming and (I was told) actually made eye contact with an authority figure, something they’d not done before, and it was during a conversation about the student’s crochet project. WOW.

One of the math teachers at the elementary school that homes Loopers! said there’d been a marked improvement in the math scores of the students who took the knitting class and that teacher gave total credit to the knitting and cited a number of studies to that end. WOW.

A mom emailed me to say the art of knitting/crochet helped her kiddie with stress release and helped ease some medical issues they were dealing with. She went on to tell me the ‘relaxation’ aspect was helping calm the child. WOW.

I wanted some kids to get some ‘old school’ exposure to an “old lady” art and these are some most wonderful side effects. I don’t necessarily want to take Loopers! in that direction, I’m not a medical or mathematical professional and I’d hate to make any claims to that end. But, I love that these side effects happen and love hearing (and sharing) the stories and the fact that perhaps, just perhaps, I AM making a difference. BIG WOW.

I had the kids chaining in lesson 1 and they returned the following week with the longest chains I’d ever seen… there were prizes for longest, most improved, most impressive and just plain coolness – yeah, I reward the cool!

We moved quickly onto rectangles and squares and they made mini pillow covers and baby patchworks without having to experience the actual granny square**. I’m so crazy proud of these kids, they’re amazing and love what they’re doing which makes me grin like the Cheshire with puffy pride and excitement. I love doing this.

**OK, confession time: No offense to the granny square or to those who love and have perfected them. I have nightmares of making the gigantic granny square afghan back in the day, of the bright yellow and orange combo with the nasty scratchy yarn and the daunting pile of finished squares screaming to be seamed. I shudder at the memory of making square after square – for weeks. The pile seemed never growing until one day I realized I’d succeeded in making the final “square” (I have to use the term loosely)

I’m haunted by the memory of the seaming seaming seaming for days days days to only to realize I’d wasted my youth on an enormous project that I’d never ever ever use, cover myself or anything else with.

It was ugly, itchy, rough, fake, plastic yarn. The squares were different sizes, gages, shapes. Some were tightly crocheted, some loose and loopy. I did seam the great thing, I finished it but I didn’t weave in the ends. I couldn’t face it, I knew it’s time was done.

I gathered up the great monstrosity and wrestled it into a black garbage bag and placed it heartlessly at the curb. I did not shed a tear or even look back, it was my singular hateful dispassionate act and I vowed never to make another granny “square” – and I haven’t – and I won’t. I’ll admit, I’m a far superior fibre artist now, sure, I could swing the square, it’d even BE square but I can’t do it, I won’t do it and should Loopers! ever find the need to instruct the children (or adults) on how to make the perfect granny square, I’ll simply have to hire someone to do it.