Stitches SoCal and The Playground, All Things Fiber Related

With less than 1 week to Stitches SoCal, I am getting yarn, crochet hooks, and patterns ready. Why? You ask, because I will be teaching How To Crochet in The Playground. Along with another quick demonstration on how to crochet my cup cozy.

Stitches SoCal is a 4 day event being held Thursday November 1st to Sunday November 4, in Pasadena at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 Green Street. 4 days of classes, shopping, demonstrations, how to’s and more.

Stitches SoCal is making their first appearance in Los Angeles area because of the overwhelming desire from knitters, crocheters, weavers, quilters to have a large conference in one of the largest cities in the US. Here is your chance, if you live in Los Angeles, to take a class or 2, shop at the many vendors in the marketplace, see a fashion show, or even buy a pattern book from an author and have it signed.

Gizmo kitty here: “Did you say yarn?” “I need more toys”

 

Did you know Stitches is celebrating 27 years in the consumer fiber events? Stitches continues to have their annual west coast conference in Santa Clara, in February each year. It has even added Salt Lake City for 2019.

The Playground is where people can see demonstrations of knitting, crocheting, weaving, quilting, spinning techniques. On Saturday, Nov 3, I will be showing people how to crochet: chain, single crochet, double crochet, even treble crochet. You are welcome to see me in action.

Saturday AM 10:30 HOW TO CROCHET, Kathy Bartholomew, El Segundo Slipt Stitchers

 

 

SUNDAY, 11:00 CROCHET CUP COZY, Kathy Bartholomew, El Segundo Slipt Stitchers

 

On Sunday Nov 4, I will be demonstrating my cup cozy. A fun, quick project any crocheter can make. These make great stocking stuffers, gifts for co-workers for the coffee enthusiast; even a bridal shower gift. For those that see me in The Playground, not only will you get to see the demonstration, you will get the pattern, and some may even get a cozy too.

Here’s your chance to see me in action, “Let’s make a cup cozy”

 

Be sure to stop by Booth #432 for El Segundo Slipt Stitchers, the knitting group I belong to. The guild is part of the stitch marker swap. Stop by and swap one of your stitch markers with one of ours. We are having  a fun Vegas Style knitting and crochet scarf project for you to try out, along with learning about our guild, what we do, our charities that we donate to and possibly join our guild.

This is sure to be a fun event, with plenty of shopping to do. Who doesn’t need more yarn, stitch markers, knitting needles, crochet hooks, patterns, books… you get it. Hope to see you there.

Live life to the fullest, get out and enjoy the weather.

Baggy cat: “what, you are not going to be home          taking care of me?                                                                                    
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Scarf that is Light and Lacy, the knit pattern is a breeze to make

 

A scarf is a great accessory to add to your outfits. The Light and Lacey knit scarf is one you will want to try. This pattern will get you started on many projects for the cooler months ahead. The scarf is knit with larger than recommended needles to create open, airy stitches.  With a 1 row repeat, you will be knitting it in no time. Just pick your yarn, grab needles at least 1 or 2 sizes larger and get ready to knit.

 

Choosing the right yarn really makes a difference. I chose a light weight yarn, Lion Brand Shawl in a Cake, 5.3 oz, 150g, 518 yds. Why? Because of the long gradient color changes that happen. When you pull from the center of the cake, and cast on the stitches and begin to knit the pattern, you can see the color changes slowly. With gradient yarn, I like to match the colors, so they are uniform, as you can see from the photos..

You will only knit half of the yarn. The pattern is adjustable, cast on more stitches for a wider scarf, even more for a wrap and knit up the entire cake of yarn. The sample shown was knit with size US10 straight needles, or use circular needles, 24 inches in length.

close up of the lacey pattern

 

The scarf measures 6 ½ inches wide by 90 inches long, because of the light and airy feel to the scarf, I wanted it to be long. It is your discretion to knit as long as you like. Weigh the yarn with a kitchen scale before you begin, and then weigh the cake again to get to the 2.65 ounces remaining.

With the remainder of the cake, you can always knit another scarf, give as a gift to a best friend, make one for a child (mommy & me matching), or give to a charity to the less fortunate. Either way, 2 scarves for 1 price not bad. So here we go for the instructions.

MATERIALS

Yarn, 250 yards worsted, light worsted, #3 or #4 size yarn, Sample used Lion Brand Shawl in a Cake

US10 Knitting needles, straight or circular

Removable Stitch Marker, or small piece of contrast yarn

Darning Needle

Tape Measure

TERMINOLOGY

CO – Cast On

K – Knit

YO – Yarn Over

K2Tog – Knit 2 Together

BO – Bind Off

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Using Long Tail, Cast on 24 stitches ( or use Knitted Cast on if you prefer)

Knit 2 rows

Now for the lacey element:

Knit 3, *YO, K2Tog, repeat until you have 3 stitches left, K3, turn

Repeat the last row until almost out of yarn. Knit 2 rows, then bind of loosely. Weave in ends

One way to wear the scarf

 

There you go, a nice and easy scarf pattern that is light and lacey. You will be making these in no time. Take your time to get comfortable with the yo, k2tog.

As a reminder, you will have 3 (K) stitches on both edges and 9 (yo, k2tog) clusters in between the knit stitches.

Feel free to post photos to your social media with hashtag #yarnkat as the originator of this pattern. Please do not share this pattern or copy the photos from pattern. You may post the link to the pattern back to me.

Written pattern copyright Kathy Bartholomew © 2018. Please do not reprint or repost this pattern. You may sell items made from the pattern. Photos are property of YarnKat and Kathy Bartholomew.

Month Long Project Finished and Delivered

Drum roll please… the month long project is finished!  The project started when my brother alerted us that they evacuated from their home due to the Carr Fire in Redding, CA. What should I do to help out my brother and sister in law?

My first thought was to buy them gift cards so they can shop for what they need. Our sister instead started a gofundme page, which raised $3500 for them in 2 weeks. I decided the best way to help them was to use my crochet skills and make them a blanket. Something they can curl up to at night when it feels like the sky is falling and they need to escape from reality.

Off to the local shops to see if anything color scheme comes to mind. I knew it was going to be a big project, but also it would help them get through having to start all over. Out popped this chocolate brown yarn. Big skeins of yarn… on clearance… I had to have all that I could find. 4 skeins, 14 ounces each skein. And so it begins. Red Heart Super Saver was the yarn of choice. With numerous colors to choose from, my stash was ready to be used.

But how do I add color? I want the chocolate brown throughout the blanket, but I also want color. After talking to a fellow crocheter, we both came up with double the strands of color, 1 brown, and 1 accent color. That way, the blanket is thick for cold winter nights, and the accents of color will show through.

Gizmo “supervising” the project

 

Now to begin the task of crochet several rows to gauge sizing. I know my brother has a queen size bed, and the size is 60 x 80 inches. I have a queen size bed, so using my bed for gauging, I chained 150 stitches. One row of half double crochet should give me draping. I lay it on the bed, looks too big, it drapes too far down the sides, frog back 10 stitches, and looks good, so I start there.

Time to grab remnant skeins of yarn from my stash. Holding 2 strands together, my project begins. I decide to only do 3 rows of 1 color, change the accent color, and continue changing colors every 3 rows keeping the brown as the main color.

It’s moving along quite nicely. Might I remind you that we were having a heatwave, with lots of humidity added for more discomfort. The blanket is growing daily, but I cannot keep working on it when I have crochet animals to make for my consignor. She sold 10 animals in 5 days, which is incredibly fast for her shop, so during most days, I crochet animals, take a break and work on the blanket at night.

After a week, the blanket grows, right Gizmo?

 

After a couple weeks, the blanket is big, not big enough yet… keep working on animals and blanket, animals and blanket. Ship the animals, work on blanket. More animals, more blanket. When almost finished, I decided the blanket needed accent pillows.

Have to fold blanket, heavy on my legs now.

 

Text brother, ask their favorite colors. Great, I have 1 pillow form already, need to buy another pillow form, running out of brown yarn, need more yarn. Off to yarn shop again. Get home, wrong size pillow form, use it anyway.

side 1 of accent pillows

 

side 2, corner to corner makes great diagonal pattern for pillows

 

Corner To Corner technique was used for the accent pillows. Crochet 2 panels bigger than the pillow form size,  single crochet the sides together, slipp the pillow inside, and stitch it closed. An additional row of single crochet, chain 1 in every other stitch of previous row.

Blanket and 1 accent pillow finished right before my knitting guild meeting. I wanted to get blanket done so I can show and share it, telling them the story of my brother losing home. The ladies LOVED it, even several ladies asked for the pattern, it’s a good way to use up scraps of yarn.

MY TIP:  Use 1 color as the main color, and take scraps of leftover yarn as accent colors and crochet an afghan or blanket. Change out the accent color after a few rows, always weave in the color changes while crocheting next row.

My brother and sister in law love the blanket and pillows. The weather is too hot to be used on their bed, it’s on the back of the sofa for now. As she said, “its big enough for both of us to curl up on the sofa and both of us will be warm”.

Until next time, may your fiber dreams be filled with splashes of color.

 

 

  

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As Good As Gold Knit Hat with Tassle, A FREE Pattern

As the Winter Olympics have come to a close and the cauldron is now extinguished, I can say I enjoyed these Olympics. I watched many hours of programming, recording some events, watching others live, or was it really live. Chloe Kim winning Snowboard Half Pipe had everyone talking. You may not be talking about her, but it was her knit hat that had everyone talking.

Where did she get that hat? Where can I get one? Wait a minute, I can knit that hat. I may not have that exact yarn that was used for the hat, or the USA emblem on it, but a hat can be knitted up. Time to check out my stash of yarn and let’s figure out a pattern for it.

I found some yarn to knit with: Lion Brand Hometown yarn, in the colorway Los Angeles Tan; Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick, in the colorway Natural Cream. The knitting needles used: US15 – 10mm, 16 inch circular needles. Make sure to have double pointed needles, or another US15 circular needles for decrease section. These can be purchased at your local yarn shops, but if you like more options, Love Knitting has a great selection of super bulky, super chunky yarns like Blue Sky Fibers Bulky, Cascade Lana Grande, Plymouth Yarn Encore Mega, just to name a few.

Now for the pattern. From all the photos of Chloe Kim, it looks like the pattern is be quite easy. Knit 1, Purl 1, repeat until desired size. Its figuring out how many stitches to cast on. With several attempts of, I decided to use 40. So here is the pattern:

Cast On 41 stitches. Normally you would just attach first stitch to last stitch and knit. But for this pattern, and all of my patterns when knitting in the round, cast on 1 additional stitch, Knit 1, Pass the last stitch that was cast on over the Knit Stitch. That is your first stitch, your next stitch will be Purl 1. Then continue with the pattern.

*K1, P1, repeat all the way around. Place a stitch marker after the last stitch of the round.

Continue until the hat measures between 10 inches from edge to needles. Fold up the edge, try on the hat. You can knit it longer if you want the ribbing taller. Time to decrease, then bind off. You will be decreasing in knit stitches only, as it is easier than trying to figure out which stitch

Decrease for top of Hat

Next Rnd: * Slip next 2 sts as if to knit, one at a time, to right hand needle; insert left hand needle into fronts of these 2 sts and knit them together, purl the next 2 sts together; repeat from * around – you’ll have 20 sts at the end of this rnd.

Next Rnd: *Knit 1, purl 1; repeat from * around.

Next Rnd: * Slip next 2 sts as if to knit, one at a time, to right hand needle; insert left hand needle into fronts of these 2 sts and knit them together; repeat from * around – you’ll have 10 sts.

Cut yarn, leaving a long yarn tail. Thread yarn tail into blunt needle and then weave through the sts of the last rnd. Pull to close top of Hat and knot yarn. Your hat is finished, wear until you get the tassles cut.

To cut tassles, cut a piece of yarn, about 8 inches long and set aside. With the remainder of the skein of yarn, wrap yarn around a small container like the tools box shown , or you can wrap around your hand. Count about 4o wraps. Take the piece of yarn, thread it with large eye needle, insert into one edge of box, and tie it tight. Take your scissors and cut through the yarn on the opposite side to create strips. Now sew to top of hat on the inside, making sure you weave the yarn tails around the top of the hat. Knot and cut.

The hat is done, and you will be the envy of all those that want the hat. Be sure to post to your social media site with the hash tag #YarnKat. I would love to see what your hat looks like, send me photos and I will add them to my social media pages.

Copyright 2018 Kathy Bartholomew Designs. Please to do copy this pattern and claim it as yours. You may link back to me here @YarnKat as the originator of the pattern. Feel free to sell items made from the pattern.

P.S. Baggy cat has recovered from his surgical procedure, as you can see in his photo. He now has a “cauliflower” ear.  It will never be straight, but he is happier since the drain is removed. He’s back to his old self, playing with Gizmo and, each chasing each other throughout the apartment.

 

 

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The Year of WIPs continues, Valentine’s Day Crafting Suggestions

As the year of WIPs continues, I have completed 3 projects that were started last year. Take a look at the lovely Tunisian Crochet scarf that I made with 2 hanks of hand dyed yarn. It is from Expression Fiber Arts, and it’s their Dewy DK yarn. As their website states: a mix of superwash merino wool (70%), nylon (20%) and silk (10%). It is super soft, lots of bounce and with the majority of it wool, it will definitely keep you warm. Thanks goes out to fellow knitting guild member, Merilyn Burnside, for teaching this class.

The other WIPs is the South Bay Shawlette, a Lion Brand pattern. As you can see, it is a nice size for cooler days and nights. When I picked up the cake, the first thing that came to my mind was sunsets.

   

And finally the Knit Shawl, Take Cover! By Katarzyna Baranska, a paid pattern on Ravelry. I used 1 hank of Malabrigo Mechita. I just need to block it as the top edge does curl and I want all the beautiful lace work to show through.

Now on to some fun projects for Valentine’s Day

Cute Little Hearts are the perfect start on projects. This heart can be crocheted quickly and added to all sorts of items. It takes just some scraps of yarn and a H – 5mm crochet hook. In just a few minutes you can crochet a little heart. Here is the instructions for the little heart:

Scraps of Yarn: red, pink, lilac, purple, white

H (5mm) Crochet Hook

Darning Needle and Scissors

Stitches Used: CH-chain; DC-double crochet; Treble Crochet; SS-slip stitch

Leave a long Tail, with the Magic Loop, do the following in the loop:

Chain 3

                                                                                                         Treble Crochet 3 times, Chain 1

                                                                                                       Double Crochet 3 times, Chain 1

                                                                 Treble Crochet 1 time, Chain 1; Double Crochet 3 times, Chain 1

                                                                                  Treble Crochet 3 times, Chain 3; Slipt Stitch into loop

                                                                                                        Pull loop tight and your heart is done

With this little heart, you can make all kinds of fun items. Just take a look at these gems:

 

                                                                                      Sew them to hair clips; Attach them to hoop earrings

 

                                                                                                                         Make a necklace

For the necklace, the sample shown just make a chain of at least 140 stitches, slip stitch each chain, add a 2nd color, slip stitch those stitches, cut yarn, take another color or use first color, and slip stitch across. Sew both ends to back of hearts, and you have a cute necklace.

How about coffee cup cozies, 2 versions, one to wrap around your coffee mug and 1 to take with you for your favorite brew from the local coffee house.

For the coffee cup cozy with handle, chain between 30 and 40 stitches. The length of the chain should wrap around the cup, but meet up to both sides of the handle, without touching.

Half double crochet in 2nd chain from hook, hdc in each remaining chain.

Turn, hdc in each stitch for 8 rows. Chain 1, single crochet along side of cozy, until you get half way up, about 3-5 stitches, chain 16, slip stitch into same space as the chain stitch, single crochet to the end and bind off. Add a cute button, I got this heart shaped button at JoAnn’s.

For paper cup cozy, chain 30, slip stitch to first chain to form a circle, being careful not to twist chains. *Chain 1, hdc in each chain around, ending with a slip stitch in top of beginning chain 1. Repeat from *, for a total of 10 rounds. Bind off, weave in ends on inside. Attach heart and you are ready to go.

A couple more ideas (sorry no, photos) you can do with the little heart:

  1. Stitch 2 hearts together from the top, leaving the bottom point open and, add a little fiberfill stuffing, and place on top of a Valentine pencil and either glue it shut or tie it closed so the eraser can be used.
  2. Seam 2 hearts together, add some catnip, and it becomes a kitty toy
  3. Attach 2 hearts together, add crushed lavender and herbs and it becomes a sachet.
  4. Add hearts to handmade or store bought headband
  5. Sew hearts together to create a cute bracelet.

One Little Valentine Heart, many ways to accessorize just for Valentines Day. What will you come up with? See you soon, when I will have a review on a new product I found at my local JoAnn’s store.

 

 

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Giving Thanks to You, Part 2, With a Free Pattern

 

The past 2 weeks have been quite busy for me here at casa YarnKat. My consignee at Buy Hand – Laguna Beach placed an order for extra animals for 2 events the shop will be having, so my work stopped and the animals have been crocheted and delivered. Then our newest YarnKitten, Gizmo, got, um, neutered. Uncle Baggy is taking good care of him while he recuperates.

Thanksgiving just a week away now and the next FREE PATTERN is my QUICK KNIT FINGERLESS MITTS. They are knit with super bulky #5 or #6 yarn like Lion Brand Hometown USA, Bernat Softee Chunky, Premiere Yarns Deborah Norville Everyday Chunky, Plymouth Yarn Encore Mega or Malabrigo Rasta. One skein/hank of at least 75 yards will make the mitts.

 

For 1 week only, the pattern will be free, after that it will be $4.00 in my pattern shop.

If you prefer to have just the written pattern, without all of the dialog, please go to the patterns section and grab it HERE.

The sample shown is made with Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn, in Cincinnati Red color, #6 Super Bulky, 5oz (142 gm), 81yds (74m), US 10½, (6.5mm) straight knitting needles.

Lion Brand Hometown USA Bernat Softee Chunky

 

Materials

1 skein/hank Chunky yarn

US 10½ (6.5mm) straight knitting needles

Large darning needle

Scissors

Removable Stitch Marker

 

Terminology

K-knit               P-purl              BO-bind off                RS-right side

 

Notes:

Since I do not have 9inch circular needles, these mitts are knit flat, leaving a long tail to stitch the side seams together.

 

Instructions

Row 1: With a long tail, using Long Tail Cast On, cast on 20 stitches

Row 2: *Knit 2 (K2), Purl 2 (P2), *repeat across to end of row, turn

Row 3-6: Repeat row 2, turn (5 rows of ribbing) measures about 2 inches

Row 7: Knit across (place removable stitch marker at beginning of row), this will be RS

Row 8: Knit 2, Purl to last 2 stitches, K2.

Rows 9-23 Repeat Rows 7 & 8 until piece measures 5 inches long from cast on edge to needle, (approximately 15 rows)

Rows 21-25: Repeat Row 2 (k2, p2) for 5 rows.

Bind off in k2, p2, leave a long tail.

Assembly

Starting at bind off edge, fold right side together (place removable stitch marker told in place) and whipstitch down the 5 rows of ribbing, making sure you stitch tight to close the seam. Leave tail for now and go to opposite edge of mitt, whipstitch from bottom up the ribbing, place mitt on hand and continue to stitch closed until you feel comfortable with the thumb opening.

My Little Helper

 

If you did not leave a long tail on one end, you can weave in thru the stitches to get to opposite side and finish stitching seam closed. Repeat for other mitt, turn inside out, and you are ready to wear. When finished I had 2 ounces of the original 5 ounces remaining. If the ribbing had been shortened, there would have been enough to make a second pair. Something to consider if you do not want to have any leftover yarn.

These mitts make great gifts, you can wear them while knitting or crocheting, walking the dog in the morning, or driving.

Feel free to leave comment on this free pattern. I would love to see your mitts, so be sure to post your pictures on Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and hash tag #yarnkat #quickmitts

 

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Giving Thanks To YOU with a Free Pattern

The holidays are fast approaching, Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away, and YarnKat is 1 year old. I am thankful for your support of my blog and website. In order to show my thanks I am giving you a FREE CROCHET PATTERN that can be made in 1 day or 2 days. This pattern is a crochet scarf. For 1 week only, the pattern will be free, after that it will be $4.00 in my pattern shop.

You using this yarn? It’s fits my head perfectly.

 

I call this my Rolling Along Infinity Scarf.  The  scarf is an easy pattern for the novice crocheter, the more experienced will find it can be crocheted it in a short time. The sample shown is in Premier Yarns Sweet Roll Cake, in colorway Pink Swirl. It is an acrylic yarn, worsted weight #4, with 245 yards. It is machine washable, and the recommended hook size is US I-9 (5.5mm).

Other yarn choices: Vanna’s Choice (2 skeins), Red Heart Unforgettable (1 skein), Bernat Pop Cake Yarn (1 skein), Plymouth Yarn Company’s Encore (1 to 2 skeins), even Red Heart Super Saver Soft or With Love and Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn. These are all economical choices, each being less than $8 per skein

The crochet hook we will be using is US J-10 (6mm). In choosing this hook, there will be more loft, more flow to the scarf. It will not look so stiff because the larger hook eases the tension of the yarn.

If you prefer to have just the written pattern, without all of the dialog, please go to the patterns section and grab it here: https://yarnkat.com//?product=rolling-along-infinity-scarf

Materials

1 Sweet Roll Cake, or 245 yds of worsted weight, like Vanna’s Choice, Crochet Hook J-10, darning needle, tape measure, scissors and piece of cardboard (to make fringe/tassles)

Sweet Roll Cake yarn

 

Terminology

Ch-chain, SC-single crochet, DC-double crochet, V-stitch

Chain 3 counts as double crochet

Sample scarf measures 72 inches

Pull yarn from center pull.

 

Pull yarn out from center of cake, Chain 24; sc in 2nd ch from hook; sc in each remaining chain; Turn

Chain 3, skip next stitch, V stitch in next stitch; skip 2 sts, V stitch in next stitich, repeat across to last 2 sts, skip next stitch, double crochet in last stitch. Turn

Chain 3, V stitch in each chain 1 stitch from previous row’s V stitch. Double crochet in top of chain 3 st.

Close up of the V Stitch. Do you see “V’s”?

 

Repeat last row until you are almost out of yarn. Or if you do not want to make infinity scarf, you can crochet scarf at least 60 inches and bind off and take remaining yarn and add fringe/tassles to ends.

Spread the word, I would love to see your scarf. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Ravelry.

Stayed tuned for my next post. I will be offering a  Knitting item. I would love to hear what you have to say about YarnKat. Feel free to share your scarf with me. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, Ravelry, Pinterest with the hastag #YarnKat  #RollingAlong.

Baggy here: a FREE pattern? My human is so generous.
Spooky Halloween Kitty

Stitch Markers, Notepads, Lifelines, WIPs, Tool Bags

About a month ago, I happened to be at Downtown Disney, in Anaheim, Ca, for a knitting event. A group of about 40 ladies and a few gents, joined our illustrious hostess, Laura Wilson-Martos of Dizzy Blonde Studios for knitting in public. We sat at the Hearthstone Lounge inside of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, chatted to friends we know, met some new friendly knitters and had fun.

While we were knitting and socializing, we played a fun game: Knitting/Crochet version of Bingo. You had to fill in the squares with knitting & crochet quests like: someone crocheting amigurumi, knitting on dpns (double pointed needles), frogging an item and someone using a “Lifeline” plus more.

lifeline, red yarn

 

A Lifeline you ask? I had no idea what a lifeline was. I had to ask a fellow knitter. It is piece of waste yarn that it threaded onto a row to hold the stitches.  If for any reason you need to undo your work, you can always go back to your last lifeline, pick up the stitches and continue your work from that point on.

That has to be one of the best pieces of advice I have ever learned. When knitting a project that has lots of lace work; i.e., YOs (yarn overs), SSKs (slip slip knits), K2TOGs (knit 2 together), a lifeline will help you from having to deal with a mistake that was made rows ago. As you can see, I have placed a lifeline. Now if there is a mistake, I know I can unravel it to the lifeline and not worry about losing anymore stitches.

stitch markers

 

Stitch Markers are nice to have when working with a pattern that has many repeat sections. When you look at the shawl, the stitch markers are placed every 13 stitches, as the pattern states. The repeats are usually inside the brackets or parentheses of the pattern. One can never have too many stitch markers!

knitter tools bag

 

A Tool Bag is the accessory that a knitter carries with them when doing projects. It can include: scissors, several sizes of darning needles, stitch markers (removable or not), tape measure, stitch counter, lifeline yarn or dental floss, crochet hook, pen and notepad, portable light, magnifier, hand lotion, post its, nail file. All of this including the yarn, pattern, page protector for pattern and needles (or crochet hooks). I have several tool bags to go with my current projects.

Gizmo – a WIP

 

WIPs, Works in Progress How many projects do you start, thinking that it’s a project you can come back to and then forget about it. You go into your yarn stash, find that WIP, and realize you did not remember what you were making. Pattern? Is the pattern printed, in a magazine, online, saved to a folder on computer, on tablet, on Ravelry? So many questions, so few answers.

One of the ways I keep WIPs from being just a WIP is to make a project bag for that project. Items needed for the bag: clear plastic storage bag- gallon size or larger, yarn, needles/hook, pad of paper, pen, Post Its.

With pad of paper, I write down pattern name, location of pattern; i.e. Ravelry, Craftsy, Lion Brand website, and keep a notation of what row/round I have worked on. For me, this works and keeps my projects safe until I am ready to finish them.

post it with pattern

 

If I have a printed pattern, I use a post it, with a notation as to where I need to continue with the pattern, next to the row or section to be completed.

I download a lot of patterns, about 90% of those patterns are saved on my laptop. I do not print the pattern, to save paper and printer ink, and I use my laptop for pattern storage, until I am ready to finish that project. When I leave home with a project bag, I move the pattern to my small tablet for portability to take along.

Currently I have 8 works in progress, with only 1 to be frogged- ripped out- if I cannot find the pattern. Not bad, if I say so myself. My goal is to get most of those projects finished in the next 3 months. All but 2 are knit shawls.

As always, I would love to your comments on this post or any of my other posts.

Kids Character Hats

The Eyes Have It, Nose Knows, Ears Hear, Brows Ask, Bow Stands Out, and Finally the Cookie

Recently, I posted pictures of kid’s character hats and matching bags onto social media and got a lot of positive responses.

A light bulb went off in my mind, and while the hat, is not my design, the bags, the eyes, ears, nose, eyebrows and bow are, so why not share my patterns?

I have assembled all the facial features for you to grab to make for your own hats. Scrap pieces of yarn is all it takes, and in little time, your hats will have added character.
I use the Magic Ring Method to start because it closes the beginning hole completely. June Gilbank (Planet June) has a great You Tube video here to learn. www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLUaywX0-WE

MATERIALS
Yarn: white & black (eyes, ears); gold (unibrow); orange (nose); red (bow); light brown/dark brown (cookie)
US G (4.25mm) Crochet Hook
Tapestry/Darning Needle
Scissors
Removable Stitch Markers (2-4)

INSTRUCTIONS

Eyes

EYES
(black) Magic Ring, single crochet 6 stitches, pull starting tail tight, then slip stitch into 1st st, bind off, cut a long tail to sew to white of the eyes.
(White)
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc into loop, pull tail tight, (do not slip stitch)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch 12sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st, sc in next st; repeat around, slip stitch into 1st sc, bind off, cut long tail 18sc
Attach black eye to center of white eye (Oscar); Elmo- attach black eye to lower portion of white eye
Cookie Monster- 1 eye in center, like Oscar; 1 eye lower, like Elmo

Elmo nose

 

NOSE (Elmo) with orange yarn, just like white eyes
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc, pull tail tight
Round 2: 2sc in each st 12sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st, sc in next st; repeat around 18sc
Round 4: Half double crochet in 1st, 2 double crochets in next 2 stitches, half double crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next stitch, slip stitch in next. Bind off, leaving a long tail.
Stitch nose to lower portion of face, then attach eyes, stitching them along upper edge of nose, making the black portion point inward towards the nose.

Oscar eyebrows

 

UNIBROW (Oscar)
With a long Tail and gold colored yarn (you will use both tails to sew unibrow onto hat)
Chain 21,
HDC in 2nd chain from hook, hdc in next 4 chains, SC in next 10 chains, HDC in last 5 chains. Slip Stitch in side of last hdc. Bind off leaving a very long tail.
To attach to hat, attach black eyes to center of white eyes, sew to hat and place them 3 stitches apart. Lay unibrow on top of eyes, with brow resting near black portion, place 1 stitch marker on both ends of brow. Take another stitch marker and place between eyes, pulling it down to form a point.
Sew one side of unibrow along outer edge of eyes, to center point, move to underside of eye, and sew back to beginning point, leaving tail for now.
Take other tail, and sew other side of unibrow, stitching top of brow and moving to lower side of brow. Once entire unibrow is stitched to hat, use sharp pointed scissors and stuff tail into each side of brow. It is used as stuffing.

Ears

 

EARS (for kitty) Make 2 White yarn
Magic Ring, chain 1, 4sc in loop
Round 1: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next stitch, repeat once more 6sc
Round 2: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 2 sts, repeat once more 8sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 3 sts, repeat once more 10sc
Round 4: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 4sts, repeat once more 12sc
Round 5: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 5sts, repeat once more 14sc
Round 6: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 6sts, repeat once more 16sc
Round 7: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 7sts, repeat once more 18sc
Round 8: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 8sts, repeat once more, slip stitch in next stitch. Bind off, leaving a long tail. 20sc
Attach ears starting at 3rd round of hat, down to 6th round of hat.

Bow

 

BOW (for kitty hat) red yarn
With a long tail, chain 13
Row 1: SC in each stitch, ch 1, turn
Row 2: (from now on) Sc in back loop of each stitch, ch 1 turn
Row 3: Repeat previous row for the next 5 rows, slip stitch in last stitch. Bind off and leave a long tail.
With darning needle, thread the needle, and stitch to center of bow, weave in from one side to the other, the pull to create crease. Wrap around center of bow at least 10 times. Take both tails, and make a knot to secure. It will be ready to sew onto front of ear on the hat.

Cookie

 

COOKIE (for Cookie Monster) light brown and dark brown yarn
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc in ring
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch 12sc
Round 3: sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 18sc
Round 4: sc in next 2sts, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 24sc
Round 5: sc in next 3sts, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 30sc
Rounds 6-8: sc around 30sc
Round 9: sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 24sc
Now grab a long piece of dark brown yarn, thread darning needle, and make little “chip” strips all around the cookie. Keep the needle attached and continue to decrease
Round 10: sc in next 2sts, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 18sc
Round 11: sc in next st, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 12sc
Add more chips to the underside of the cookie.
Round 12: sc2tog all around. Slip stitch in next stitch, bind off, leaving a long tail.
Use both ends of the dark brown yarn to tie a knot. Cut the yarn. You will now attach the cookie to the top of the hat.

crossbody close up1

Summer’s Ready Cotton Crossbody Bag

My original crossbody bag

Have you ever flipped through a magazine, walked into a store, found an article of interest and said to yourself, “I can do that”? Well, that happened to me recently and I had to do something about it. 

While walking through the local mall, I came across a purse on a mannequin that caught my eye. It had fringe on it, with a long strap and it was crocheted! My thought was, “I could make that.”

I couldn’t get it out of my head, I just had to crochet that bag or one similar. Maybe make one with fringe, a long strap to be worn crossbody, big enough to put wallet and sunglasses in it, but not too big.

On Saturday morning, with a cup of hot tea in my hand, I sat down in my “cave” (aka the office) to begin the process of crocheting a bag. First I had to determine a few things. Such as, how big would the bag be? What yarn would be used? What size crochet hook? And, so on.

Yarn.

Originally, I grabbed my stash of Lily Sugar & Cream Cotton yarn, in the colorway Sonoma Print for the bag. The skein is large, 12 ounces, approximately 600 yards, but I need both ends to crochet the bag with 2 strands held together, so my husband wound off half the large skein onto the yarn winder. It’s great to have a yarn winder, much easier than rolling into balls.

Choosing the crochet hook.
Cotton yarn will stretch a bit, so a larger hook, like P, will make the bag airy and will stretch whatever you put in it. A J hook will make the bag stiff, which is good but you do want some give in the bag. My choice for the bag is N-9mm. It will make the bag flow, while still hold its shape.

Let’s crochet.
If you do not want to follow this with all the photos, commentary and instructions, you can pick up the pattern from the patterns link above. For 1 week, you can get the pattern for FREE, afterwards it will be priced at $4.00.

There will be abbreviations in the pattern here:
ch  chain
st-stitch
ss  slip stitch
sc  single crochet

hdc  half double crochet

Round 1 of bag

 

For the sample shown the directions I am using Lily Sugar & Cream yarn-Americana Ombre colorway. With 2 strands of yarn held together, make a slip knot and chain 22. SC in 2nd ch from hook, across to last chain, 2sc in last chain, turn work to underside and 2sc in same stitch, sc across chain, 2sc in last stitch.

10 Rounds SC

 

Place a removable stitch marker, SC in each stitch around for 10 rounds. As you can see from the photo here, this is what it will look like. After the 10 rounds, which forms the base of the bag, you will now hdc around for 12 rounds.

13 Rounds HDC

Do not bind off, its time to add the shoulder strap. HDC in the next 4 sts, turn, sc in each st, continue to make the strap… it will be at least 100 rows. But don’t worry about counting the rows. Just crochet as long as you want the strap. When you have the strap length, lay bag flat, lay the strap on top of the bag, and sc the 4 stitches to the bag.

Attaching strap to bag

DO NOT BIND OFF. You will now make the closure flap. SC in same stitch as the strap edge, sc the next 19 sts, ending with sc in strap edge. Turn and continue to sc across this for 10 rows. Decrease first 2 stitches, and last 2 sts of each row, until there are 2 sts remain. Chain 5, slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook. Add a cute button to close and you are done.

Envelope Decreasing

 

If you do not want to make the envelope closure as in the Americana sample, and just want the flap to be a straight edge, as in the tricolor purse, all you have to do is single crochet 15 rows. Cut fringe to a length that will meet the bottom edge of the purse. And there you go.

Summer’s Ready Crossbody Bag

 

Let me know what you think about the bags. They are fun to make and can be made in less than 8 hours.