Creating Beautiful Things in Life: January 2013

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Crochet a Simple Granny Square

Melani, here are the instructions on how to do a simple Granny Square. It is crochet in the round. The nice thing about this pattern is, once you have the first couple of rows done, the pattern repeats itself into infinity. My Mother in Law learned how to crochet in her 50's. Doing this version of the Granny Square is the only pattern she knew. After a few years her house was covered in colorful Afghans of Granny Squares.

There are several ways of starting the ring. One way is to crochet into a Magic circle. Another one is to make a ring of chains joined into a circle. 

Either make a Magic Circle or Chain 5, slip stitch into 1st chain to create a circle.

Row 1: Chain 3 (counts as first double crochet), in same space (2 Double crochets, chain 2, 3 double crochets), chain 2. In next 3 chain 2 spaces (3 double crochets, chain 2, 3 double crochets, chain2) . Slip stitch into the top of beginning chain 3. Now you should have a total of 12 double crochets and 4 chain 2 spaces.

There are several ways of working the beginning corner. I think the easiest way for a beginner is the following...
Row 2: Slip stitch over the next 2 double crochets and into the center of the first chain 2 space. Chain 3 (first double crochet), work 2 double crochets, chain 2, 3 more double crochets into the same space (first corner made), chain 2, (3 double crochets, chain 2, 3 double crochets)* into the next 2- chain spaces, chain 2. Slip stitch to the top of beginning chain 3. (Total of 24 double crochets, 8 chain 2 spaces.)

Rd. 3: Chain 3, 2 double crochets, chain 2, 3 double crochets into first corner, chain 2,* 3 double crochets into next space, chain 2, work corner (3double crochets, 2 chains, 3 double crochets), chain 2*. repeat from *-* 3 times. Slip stitch to top of chain at the beginning of the round. (Total of 36 double crochets and 12 chain 2 spaces.)

Continue in this pattern. With each consecutive round you should gain 1 double crochet cluster and 1 chain 2 space on each side of the square. (Adding a total of 12 double crochets and 4 chain 2 spaces in each round.) Hope this helps.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Crochet Ribbon and Hearts Hatbands

Hi everyone, hope you all had a great weekend. Since Valentines day is just around the corner I decided to make some headbands for my grand daughters. These headbands worked up very fast and are easy to make. I wanted a design that allowed me to use ribbon in the band and had a border worked in, rather than added to it. I tried several variations and they all worked out well.

Supplies: Worsted Weight yarn
Size H Hook
Ribbon (I used ¼ and and 5/8)
Embellishments of your choice

Measurement: 1 ¾ inches wide, length about ½ inch to 1 inch shorter then circumference of head.
Stitch gauge not necessary

Stitches used: chain, single crochet (sc), slip stitch
Turning Picot: chain 2, slip stitch 2nd chain from hook, chain 1

For ¼ or 3/8 ribbon size chain 6, for 5/8 ribbon chain 5.

For ¼ or 3/8 ribbon:
Rd. 1: sc in second chain from hook, chain 2, skip 2 chains and sc in last chain (infants)
sc in second chain from hook, sc in next chain, chain 2, sc in last 2 stitches, work Turning Picot
(chain 2, slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook, chain 1),
turn work.

Repeat this round until desired length is reached, ending with turning picot. Slip stitch both ends
together (ending with 1st chain of first turning picot made), break yarn.

For 5/8 ribbon: chain 5, sc in second chain from hook, chain 3, skip 2 chain, sc in last chain, make turning picot.

Ribbon: Since ribbon doesn't stretch, it needs to be the size of the circumference of the head + 2 inches for securing ends. I added another 1/2 inch to an inch to allow for growing room. The Headband will stretch to accommodate the ribbon. Thread ribbon through loops. (I started with the joined section of the band.) Up through the wrong side, over 2 loops, under 1 loop; repeat. I stretched the headband slightly before cutting the ribbon. Leave about 1 inch tail of ribbon on each end. Sew ends of ribbon together on wrong side. Don't forget to singe ribbon to prevent fraying. For added security sew end pieces of ribbon to the inside of the band.

If you want to use the headband without appliques or clips, rows should end in multiples of 3. Otherwise you may run 1 or 2 loops short when threading your ribbon. Appliques and hair clips applied over the seamed area, will not only hide the seam but also any shortfall of loops.

I am still writing up the patterns for the hearts I made. Should be able to post those later in the day.
Unless I specify that I used  a pattern created by someone else, the pattern is my original. You are free to make or sell products made with any of my patterns. Please don't redistribute or claim my patterns as your own.

If you need help with any of my projects or are stuck on a project of your own, please leave me a message and I will try to help you along as much as I can.

                                           Appliqued Hearts Patterns

Double Heart: Either use the magic ring or chain 4, slip stitch for form a ring.

Rd.1: Chain 4, in loop work 2 trbc crochets, 4 dc, chain 1, 1 trbc crochet, chain 1, 4 dc, 2 trbc crochets, chain 4, slip stitch to center.

Rd 2: Do not turn work. Chain 1, skip 1st stitch (1st chain of 4 beginning chain 4 of previous rd.), 2 sc in next 3 stitches, sc in next 7 stitches, (1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 hdc) in next stitch, sc in next 7 stitches, 2 sc in next 3, chain 1, slip stitch into center of ring.

Rd. 3: turn work, slip stitch into the first stitch, sc in next stitch, 2 hdc in next 5 stitches, 1 hdc in each of the next 7 stitches, 2 dc in point of heart, hdc in next 7 stitches, 2 hdc in next 5 stitches, 1 sc, chain 1 skip next stitch and slip stitch into last, slip stitch into center, break yarn.

Make 2 hearts. I used alternating color in rd. 3 of second heart. Overlap hearts and stitch together.  

Ruffled Heart:

Work rounds 1 and 2 for Double Heart, break yarn. Use contrasting color. Do not turn work. Slip stitch into first stitch, chain 3 – work dc into same stitch. 2 dc in each stitch around. In last stitch, dc chain 3 slip stitch into same stitch, break yarn.

Lacey Heart with Flower: Either use the magic ring or chain 4, slip stitch for form a ring.

Rd. 1: Chain 3, 15 dc in ring, slip stitch to the top of chain 3.

Rd. 2: chain 1sc into same stitch, chain 2, (hdc, ch 1) in next 2 stitches, (sc, ch 1) next 4 stitches, (dc, ch1, dc) in next stitch, (sc, ch 1) next 4 stitches, (hdc, ch 1) next 3, slip stitch in center of heart.

Rd 3: ch 1, sc in next space, ch 1, (dc, ch 1) next 3 stitches, ( hdc, ch 1) next 4 stitches, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next stitch, (hdc, ch1) next 4 stitches, (dc, ch1) next 3 stitches, chain 1, slip stitch in center.

Rd 4: chain 3, sc in next space, ch3, (hdc, ch 3) next 3, (sc, ch 3) next 5, (dc, chain 3) next stitch, (sc, ch 3) in next 5, (hdc, ch 3) next 3, sc in next, slip stitch in center.

The flower I used for the center came from a pattern I found at :

I did change the first row of her pattern from sc to dc to accommodate my grand daughters request for a big rhinestone in the center.  

 If you find any errors in my patterns, please let me know.                  


Monday, January 21, 2013

Accessorize Your Hat - How to Crochet a Bow

                                  Part 2 - How to Crochet a Bow

There are a lot of different ways to make bows. The one I am going to show you today is a simple bow made out of two crochet rectangles. The larger rectangle for the actual bow and the smaller one for the center loop. To make this type of bow, I prefer to use thicker worsted weight or bulky yarn. I also use a hook one or 2 sizes smaller than recommended for the yarn I am using. It makes the material stiffer, holds it's shape better and is less likely to curl. For the bow I made for this hat I used Sensations Rainbow Classic. It's a  bulky yarn, but very soft. I used a J crochet hook. For the finer worsted weights I usually double and work with 2 strands.

For this bow I started with a chain of 15. Worked in all single crochets. The dimensions are 14 stitches across for 11 rows. My rectangle measures about 5 inches wide by 3 inches high.

Start with chain of 15, sc in 2nd chain from hook, sc in each stitch across.
Chain 1 and turn.  11 rows.

Fold your rectangle in half lenghtwise and finder the center.Fold each long edge in meeting at the center fold. Pinch the middle and secure with a few stitches to hold the bow together.

Fold in half lenghtwise. Fold long ends to center fold 

For the smaller rectangle I started with chain 5, sc in the second chain from hook, sc in each stitch across, for 4 stitches by about 9 rows. Sorry, forgot to count my rows. I measure my work around the folded bow until it fits all the way around. Then I slip stitch the center band together in the middle of the back of the bow.  Weave in ends, leaving on long tail to attach the bow to the hat. 

This simple bow adds a little flair to the hat. Next up making and attaching braids.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to make Pom-Poms and Braids for Your Hats

Part 1 - Pom-Poms

Pom-Poms and braids are a popular way to add flair to any hat. My grand kids love pom-poms and I made quite a few of them in the last few months. If you don't make a lot of them it wouldn't pay for you to invest in a pom-pom maker. I have to say, I am in love with mine. Making a good size pom with cardboard circles is a little time consuming. It takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to get a nice and fluffy one the old fashioned way.  With my "toy" it only takes about 2 minutes.

Assuming you don't have the luxury of a pom-pom maker, I am going to show you how to make a pom, using a cardboard template. Any stiff cardboard, such as a shoe box will suffice. Using a compass, glass or any round object the size you would like your pom-pom to be, trace 2 circles onto the cardboard. With a another smaller round, object draw a bulls-eye in the center of each circle. Cut the circles out and remove the bulls-eyes. What you are left with, are 2 identical cardboard doughnuts. 

Used a can of tuna for outer circle, bulls eye should measure about 1 inch.

As you can see, mine aren't what you would call professional but they will do the job. The goal is to wrap the doughnut with yarn, until the hole in the center fills up with yarn. For this template I used the lid of a tube of Vaseline. It measures 11/2 inches in diameter. This was actually a little to big. For this size pom, a center opening of 1 inch would have been better. I like to completely wrap my pom about 5 times. Making Poms for over 40 years, I developed a feel for it. Once my circle fills up and my disc feels nice and puffy, I know it's right. If you think you have enough yarn wrapped around the doughnut but your center isn't full, not all is lost. In this case all you need to do is to take a needle with some yarn and run it around the inside of the circle several times,pulling tight and catching all of the loops. This keeps your loops from falling through the hole when you cut your pom open. If the center if full, this step will not be necessary. The more yarn, the fluffier the pom-pom will be. Holding both pieces of cardboard together, thread the needle through the center of your doughnut. Knot the end to keep it secure. Now comes the fun part, wrapping and wrapping around the circle. When you run out of thread, join the new thread with a knot. It can be cut off later, when you trim your pom. Once your cardboard circle is full, cut the thread. 

Now it's time to cut the loops. To separate the strands, cut the yarn around the top edge of the template, all the way around. Do not cut the cardboard.

Now cut a piece of yarn about 18 inches and slide it between the center of the 2 discs. This is how you tie off your pom so you don't end up with a pile of loose strings. Wrap the yarn around the center at least 4 or 5 times. Pulling as tight as you can. Knot it several times but don't cut you string. I use it to sew my pom to the hat. Now cut the cardboard circle to remove the finished pom. You might be able to carefully pull the circles apart and save your template. Trim the pom even if you have some larger strands and carefully cut out any knots.

These colors work for both a boy and a girl. I decided to use it for a girl and accessorize it accordingly. I think a pretty crochet bow would look very nice. Bows are very easy and can be done many ways. Next up tutorial on how to crochet a bow for your hat.

Pom-Pom maker I purchased at JoAnnes. Came in a set of 2 sizes for $19.99 with 50% off coupon only about $10.00. This is the large set. Purchased the small set at Hobby Lobby for $8.00 regular price. Easy to use and a great time saver if you make a lot of Poms.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How to Crochet a Properly Sized Hat

Most basic Beanies or hats start of with a flat circle. The diameter of the circle determines the circumference
of the finished hat. The diameter of the circle is determined by the circumference of the head. In my previous post, I included a chart for the various sizes.

I crochet a hat to show you how to properly size a hat. I made mine to fit an infant 3 - 6 months. At this age the average infants head is a circumference of about 15 inches. My flat circle needs to be 5 inches.

If you are not a very experienced crocheter, getting a flat circle may sound a little intimidating but it is actually very simple. The formula I use depends a the stitch. If I crochet in a single crochet stitch I start with a circle of 6 stitches and evenly increase 6 stitches with every round. For half double crochet I start with 8 stitches and evenly increase 8 with every following round. For a circle with double crochet I start with 12 and increase 12 with every round. The yarn and hook size do make a difference. Worsted weight yarn can vary greatly size. With the thicker yarns, fewer increase rounds are needed. I do not join at the end of the row but I do use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of every round on my increase rounds only. It gives a much neater finish without a seam showing.

The pattern I use is always the same. For instance if I work my circle with sc, rd. 1 would be 6. For round 2   I would have 2 stitches in every stitch of the previous round (12). Round 3: 1 sc in first stitch, 2 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in in next stitch, 2 sc in next stitch...(18). Rd 4: 1 sc in the first 2 stitches than 2 sc in the 3rd stitch continue in this pattern for the round (24).  Round 4: sc in first 3 stitches, 2 sc in next. sc in nex 3 stitches, 2 sc in next...(30). Continue in this pattern until desired diameter is reached.

Once you have the correct diameter of the circle continue without further increases until your hat measures the correct height. Since I am working on a 3 - 6 months size, my hat should be about 6 inches in height.

When measuring the final circumference I had exactly 14 inches. Since the hat needs to be about an inch smaller than the circumference of the head, I was right on the mark. At this point you can add a small border around the edges for a Beanie, or add ear flaps.  To show the proper positioning of the ear flaps I included a few more photos.

Ear flaps are always attached to the back half of the hat. The corners of the ear flaps meeting with the corners of your hat. Notice the small space between the ear flaps in the back. I could have made them a little bit smaller for this size. Once you have one ear flap finished, simply fold the hat in half with the corner of the ear flap meeting with the corner of the fold. Insert crochet hook in the opposite corner and work the same number of stitches to the back half of the hat.

Once your ear flaps are done, finish the hat with a trim. I usually go all the way around with one round or two
of single crochets. I forgot to take a picture of the finished hat but I have one with a model. You have to forgive the fit. My doll only measures about 12 inches in diameter so the hat is about 3 sizes to big. But it does give you an idea of the correct placement of the ear flaps.

Leave me a message or a comment if you need help with any of your projects. My next post will follow very soon. Finishing touches for your hats. How to make Pom Poms and braids. Also since Valentines day is less than a month away, I am trying to put some of my crochet heart patterns in writing. I will share them with you as soon as I can get them on paper. Stay tooned!

How to properly size crochet hats. Chart for correct sizing, including Magic Circle Sizes.

Crocheting hats is something I know well. In my experience, getting the hat to fit properly without a model is not always easy. Most Beanies start of with a flat circle. The size of the circle depends upon the circumference of the head. Looking on the Internet I have found several Blogs that offered a chart   
to help in getting the proper size. The measurements for the circumference of the head and the corresponding sizing for the flat circle and hat height varied somewhat. Purchasing patterns can add to the frustration. I have had great differences for the same size between different designers.

To take the mystery out of fitting my hats, I started to keep a chart for the sizes I made the most. This was very helpful. I also did a lot of research into how to correctly size your flat circle and height of the hat. I found a formula that helps in getting the correct size. To figure out the diameter of your flat circle all you need to know is the circumference of the head. An adult woman's head averages about 22 inches. The formula is to divide your circumference by 3.14.

Head circumference 22 : 3.14 = 7.00 inches. Now you know your circle needs to be 7 inches. To get the correct height (from top of crown to bottom of the ear) you divide your circumference by 10 and multiply this number times 4.

Head circumference 22 : 10 = 2.2 x 4 = 8.8. So the hat height should be 8.8 inches. Hats are generally made about an inch smaller in circumference than the circumference of the head. This keeps the hat fitting snug and to keeps it from falling off. Most patterns generally have about an inch stretch to them. 

I am going to post the chart I made for myself. This is the chart I use to size the hats I make. It is a good reference and I hope it helps.  

Size Head Circumference Hat Circumference Crown Circle Diameter Hat Height -Top of Crown to Bottom of Ear
Preemie 1 – 2 pounds 9 – 10 inches/23 – 25 cm 7.5 – 8 inches/18 – 20 cm 1.75 – 2 inches/4 ½ – 5 cm 3 – 3.5 inches/ 8 – 9 1/2 cm
Preemie 2 – 3 pounds 10 – 11 ¼ inches/25 – 28 cm 8 1/2 – 10 inches/22 – 25 cm 2.0 – 2.25 inches/5 cm 3.5 inches/9 – 9 ½ cm
Preemie 4 – 5 pounds 11 ½ – 12 inches/28 – 30 cm 9 – 10 inches/23 – 25 cm 2.5 – 3 inches/ 6 ½ – 8 cm 3.5 – 4 inches/9 – 10 ½ cm
Preemie 5 ½ – 6 pounds 12 – 13 inches/30 – 33 cm 10 - 11 inches/25 – 28 cm 3.0 – 3.5 inches/7 ½ – 9 cm 4 – 4.5 inches/10 ½ – 11 ½ cm
Newborn 13 inches/33 cm 12 – 12.5 inches/30.5 – 32 cm 3.5 – 4.0 inches/9 – 10 ½ cm 4.5 – 5.5 inches/11 ½ – 14 cm
2 weeks – 3 months 14 inches/35.5 cm 13 – 13.5 inches/33 – 34.5 cm 4.45 – 4.75 inches/11-12.5 cm 5.5 – 6 inches/14 – 15 ½ cm
3 – 6 months 15 inches/36 cm 14 – 14.5 inches/35.5 – 37 cm 5 inches/ 13 cm 6 – 6.25 inches/15 ½ – 16 cm
6 – 9 months 16 inches/40.5 cm 15 inches/36 cm 5.25 inches/14 cm 6.25 – 6.5 inches/16 – 16 ½ cm
9 -12 months 16.5 inches/42 cm 15.5 inches/ 39.5 cm 5.25 – 5.5 inches/14 – 15 cm 6.5 inches/16 ½ cm
12-18 months 17 inches/43.5 cm 16 inches/ 40.5 cm 5.5 - 5.75 inches/15 cm 6.75 inches/ 17 ½ cm
18-24 months 18 inches/46 cm 17 inches/ 43.5 cm 5.75 – 6 inches/15 – 16 cm 7.25 inches/19 cm
2-5 years 18 – 19 inches/46 – 48.5 cm 17 – 18 inches/43.5 – 46 cm 6 – 6.25/16 cm 7.25 – 7.5 inches/ 19 cm
Child 19 – 20 inches/48.5 – 51 cm 18 – 19 inches/46 – 48.5 cm 6.25 – 6.5 inches/16 cm – 17 cm 7.75 – 8.0 inches/20 cm
Teen 20 – 21 inches/51 – 53.5 cm 19 – 20 inches/48.5 – 51 cm 6.5 – 6.75 inches/17 8.0 – 8.5 inches/20 – 22 cm
Adult Woman 22 inches/56 cm 21 inches/53.5 cm 7 – 7.5 inches/18 – 19 cm 8.75 – 9 inches/23 cm
Adult Man 23 inches/ 59 cm 22 inches/56 cm 7.5 - 8 inches/19 – 20 cm 9.25 – 9.50/23 ½ cm

My next post will show this formula in action. I have already completed the hat and taken some photos but still need to write the post. Stay tuned and have those crochet hooks ready! See you in a couple of days.