Monday, January 30, 2012

Searching for Snow

Here in the foothills of North Carolina we don't get a lot of snow. We did last snowed four times before Christmas. But normally, we see it a couple of days each winter. That's ok with me since I'm not a cold, snow, winter type of person. Every winter I say, 'Lets move to Florida.' Michael and Ireland love the snow. So yesterday Michael decided we were going to look for snow. The mountains always get more, so we decided to head west. The only great thing about where we live is the distance to attractions. The mountains are an hour away and the ocean is about four hours depending on the particular beach. We ended up going to Beech Mountain.

This winter has been mild and mild in the mountains as well. There is no real snow. All of the snow in the photos is man made. It's all fake. Ireland didn't believe me. She couldn't grasp the idea of fake snow. I was surprised at all of the skiers that were there. I thought it would be dead.

Michael is a skier and used to go all the time. We wanted to introduce Ireland to it all and see if she would like to go back and ski sometime. Since there was no real snow Michael didn't ski, so we'll go back again. Maybe next time I can try out the ice rink. To me that seems more interesting.

Ireland had a good time in the fake stuff

When we came home I didn't crochet one little bit. I wanted to, but my latest project is really getting on my nerves.

I like the pattern but the yarn is not my favorite. I get charmed every time I step into my LYS. I find myself standing in front of the Noro, admiring the awesome colors and imagine how great they would look around my neck, and then I break down and buy some of it. When I start crocheting with it I curse the yarn and imagine myself burning it.

Raveled here
Needless to say, I am Not a Noro lover. Gasp...I said it. I am breaking up with Noro.

The next time I go to the shop I will walk right past those charming Noro shelves and go to the Universal Classic Shades or Poems. Yes I will. I love the Classic Shades but have not used Poems. I'm hoping it will be as beautiful and has to be much softer.

More about this project when I finish. Hopefully, then I'll be happier with it.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Little Hello Kitty Fanatic

I decided it was time to make Ireland a new hat.

Ireland has a grey and pink sock monkey hat that she wears all the time. I made it for her last year and basically got tired of seeing her wear it every single day. Don't get me wrong, I love that she loves it and wants to wear it. I just wanted to see her in something new. Since she's a Hello Kitty Fan, I started making this hat for her last week.

When I almost had it finished, I showed it to her...I just couldn't help myself. Guess what she said... I wanted a piggy hat. Grrrr.... (I did remember her telling me in the recent past that she wanted a piggy hat) I didn't let that comment stop me. I sewed the ears, face, and whiskers on and then showed it to her. By that time she had warmed up to the idea of having a Hello Kitty hat and was so excited.

Now she loves it and tells everybody she sees that her mommy made her hat for her. That makes me feel so happy.

I'm still pondering over the piggy hat. Maybe...maybe next year.

After making the Elise shawl, I have decided to make another shawl with Noro (Uugghh, that's another post on another day). I'm looking for a good pattern...any suggestions?

For now I'm going to write up the Hello Kitty Hat pattern :D

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Accidental Cowl

This cowl was an accident...hence the name. I didn't intend to make another cowl this winter and somehow I did. 
I was actually trying to make a poncho and I messed it up. So I threw it down and left it alone for a few days. A couple of weeks ago I picked it back up and sewed the ends together. When I put it around my neck I realized that I had made another cowl. I'm really glad that I screwed up that wrap. I wear this cowl a lot. It is smaller and lighter than the others I have made and it is definitely my most wearable cowl.

To anyone who is concerned with the name and/or description: This pattern is original. The idea was inspired by a mistake (the reason why it has it's name), not by anyone else. The word "accident" is common and is a common occurrence while crocheting.  Name, materials, design, and description are original and not an idea of anyone else. The name will remain the same. Since this is a free pattern, it in NO WAY relates to any other actual item or finished item with the same name.

This cowl is so easy to make and what makes it great is the texture. I used a chunky yarn with a big hook and the drape is so nice. The stitch is not as interesting as the Soft Stitch cowl, but it is easier to wear.

The stitches are loose and open

but when you put it on, you will realize how soft and drapey it feels.

I think you'll love it too. It only took One Skein of Patons Shetland Chunky. I would not substitute the yarn for this. The yarn absolutely makes the cowl. If you don't have access to this yarn at least use chunky weight. You can't get the same softness and drape with super bulky or worsted (for this project).

This is a great beginners pattern.

Here's how I accidentally made it:

Bulky weight size 5 yarn (I used Patons Shetland Chunky in Oxford Grey)
Size M or N crochet hook
Yarn needle

7.5 inches (18cm) in width
54 inches (137cm) in circumference

Do not crochet too tightly
Work in rounds
The first Ch 2 or Ch 3 of each round counts as the first stitch.

Ch 78 loosely

Join ch with sl st

Rnd 1: Ch 2, hdc in next ch and each ch around. Join with sl st to first st of the rnd.

Rnd 2: Ch 3, Dc in next st and each st around. Join with sl st to first st of the rnd.

Rnds 3 - 8: Repeat rnd 2.

Rnd 9: Ch 2, hdc in each stitch around.

Finish off and weave ends.

What I love so much is the sheen of the yarn...that's why I recommend using it. I don't know if you'll get the same effect unless you use something comparable.'s so easy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two New Favorite Go-To Patterns

I've been wanting to make the Elise shawl forever now. I finally made it over the weekend. I love it, love it, love it!

The best thing about this pattern is, it's Free! It took me one day to crochet it, one day to block it, and one day to photograph it. I tried to model it and got a couple of ok shots. I'm not showing the best shot of the shawl, because I look very drunk (I'm not, by the way). So here are a few shots and then I'll show you my other new go-to favorite pattern for gifts.

Now look at the before blocking...

and during blocking...

Amazing huh? I love blocking. It can be a pain to get it all ready, but it's so worth it. Yesterday, Ireland came in from daycare, walked through the door and walked right on top of the shawl. Of course, I freaked out and had a meltdown because it rained all day here and I had to get down in the floor and very delicately wipe the mud off. So needless to say, I put the shawl in the second bathroom and closed the door. It still turned out visible mud. The yarn is so great. I used Happy Feet sock yarn color number 4 (about 390 yards) and a size I crochet hook.

Just one more photo... tehe. I can't help myself

Raveled Here

I bet you're wondering, You sure are doing a lot of crocheting and very little job hunting. Yep, I'm thinking the exact same thing as well. But I do have exciting news concerning making money. No, I haven't found anything permanent, but... I do have a paying gig.

Right now I am under contract for one design with a yarn company. I'm really excited about that. I can't give you any details yet. I have turned down a couple contracts in the past because of insanely short deadlines (like 4 days...yeah right) but this company is awesome and gave me a generous deadline and sent me the luscious yarn to work with. Very exciting!!!

I'll share more info after all is said and done and I am given the ok from the company. Michael, my other half, said, "Now all you have to do is get 4 or 5 a month and you'll be all set." Yeah right buddy, easier said than done:)

Now here is my other new favorite go to pattern. It is not mine I found it on Ravelry. It's the Crocheted Mary Jane Slippers found here

and guess what... it's totally free as well. I made these last night after my little Irelie went to bed. They are so warm and comfie, but do not crochet these too tightly or you'll feel like you're walking on knots. Here's some pics

Raveled Here

I changed up the last couple of rows and the edging. I also made a thinner strap for the button. So if you decide to make a pair and would like the altered version like mine, just let me know and I'll let you know how I did it.

I received a couple messages asking how I altered the pattern.

First of all. My feet are a little narrow. If your feet are a little wide you may not want to alter the pattern. I also wear a size 8.5 (US) and found that the pattern was perfect for my feet. I don't think that the size is as adjustable as stated in the pattern. I had to crochet these a little bit loose so the stitches wouldn't be rough to walk on. I guess it's all about trial and error. My advice for someone with a smaller foot would be to crochet a little loose with a smaller hook... and if you have really small feet use a DK weight yarn.

I followed the pattern until I reached the Upper portion. On round 1, instead of working 17 sts on the toe I worked 16.

Then I left out rounds 5 and 6.

Rnd 5: I worked the edging by working a sc round (starting at the point where I wanted my strap) working all the way around back to the start (decrease in this round).

Rnd 6: Chain 24, sl st into the 6th chain from the hook (this creates the button hole) sl st in each ch and each st all the way around the slipper (no decreases in this last round).

Finish off.

So basically I left out rounds 5 and 6 and replaced the last round with a slip stitch round.

Have a great week!

Oh...I'm offering one final scarf pattern for free. So check back in a few days and I'll post it for ya:D

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Just Another Sock Monkey Hat Pattern

I've been wanting to post all week about how interesting my life is and all the interesting things that I do, not related to crochet. But I realized life is pretty boring. I don't have a lot to blog about. I'm on Twitter and all I talk about is crochet. I seriously need a life I guess :D

With that in mind, I decided to post my Sock Monkey hat pattern. I've used other patterns to make these hats and they all turned out great. However, this time I decided to make this hat with a totally new pattern. I like my own little shortcuts and ways of doing things.

1 skein Bulky weight yarn (I used Lion Brand Jiffy yarn in Camel Spray)
Red, White, and a tiny amount of black yarn
Size H & I crochet hooks
Yarn needle
2 buttons

The size in the photo will fit a 4-12 year old
This pattern is easily altered to fit any size
I used bulky weight. If you choose to use worsted weight then you'll end up with a toddler or baby sized hat

I forgot to get the gauge before I mailed it out, but I did crochet a little tightly. If you crochet more loosely, the hat will fit an adult.


With I hook and white, Ch 3

Rnd 1: 7 hdc in 3rd ch from hook (which is the 1st ch made) Join with sl st to the top of first st. (8 hdc)

Rnd 2: Ch 2 (counts as first st here and throughout). Hdc in same st. 2 hdc in each st around. Join with sl st. (16 hdc)

Rnd 3: Ch 2. Hdc in same st, hdc in next st. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st) around. Join with sl st. (24 hdc).

Rnd 4: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 2 sts. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 sts) around. Join with sl st. (32 hdc).

Rnd 5: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 3 sts. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 sts) around. Join. (40 hdc).

Rnd 6: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 4 sts. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 4 sts) around.
Join. (48 hdc).

Rnd 7: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 5 sts. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 5 sts) around. Join. Finish off. (56 sts).

Rnd 8: Using the red, attach with sl st and ch 2. Hdc in next st and each st around. Finish off.

Rnd 9: Using the camel, attach with sl st and ch 2. Hdc in next st and each st around. Join with sl st.

Rnds 10-17: Ch 2, hdc in each st around, join with sl st. Do not finish off.


Ch 1, sc in same st and in next 10 sts, turn (11 sc)

Ch 1, sc2tog, sc in next 9 sts, turn (10 sc)

Ch 1, sc2tog, sc in next 8 sts, turn (9 sc)

Repeat this method of decreases until you end with one stitch, finish off.

2nd earflap

Holding the hat with the right side facing skip 17 sts from the first row of the earflap just made.

Attach with sl st and ch 1. Sc in same st and in the next 10 sts, turn. (11 sc).

Work this earflap the same as the first, but do not finish off when you finish the last row.

You will work a sc round all the way around the hat. Evenly place 11 sc in the sides of each earflap and 3 sc in each corner. Finish off.

In any corner, attach with red yarn leaving a long enough tail to use as part of the braid. Work a row of sc all the way around the hat. Remember to place 3 scs in each corner. Finish off, leaving a long enough tail to use as part of the braid. (I love ways to eliminate weaving ends)

Ch 14
Rnd 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 11 ch, 3 sc in last ch. Working in the other side of chain, sc in next 11 ch. 2sc in the last ch. Do not join.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in the first st, sc in the next 11, 2 sc in each of the next 3 sts. sc in next 12 sts. 2 sc in next st, do not join.
Rnd 3: 2 sc in first st, sc in next 14 sts. 2 sc in next 3 sts, sc in next 14 sts. 2 sc in next sts, sc in last st.
Using my favorite special finishing, leaving a tail long enough for sewing. (Refer to the chunky hat tutorial for the finishing)

Change to H hook and hold 2 strands of the camel spray together. Crochet tightly

Ch 3
Row 1: 7 Hdc in the 3rd ch from hook, turn. (8 hdc)
Row 2: Ch 2, Hdc in first st, 2 hdc in each st. (16 hdc)
Finish off leaving a tail long enough for sewing

Cut Nine strands for each side. You should already have 1 strand (the beginning and ending tails) for one side

Make a pom pom and sew onto the top of the hat.

Using photos for reference, sew the eyes and mouth onto the hat. When sewing, only sew through the top layer of the stitches on the hat so the back will look nice and neat.

Using the red, sl st the smile onto the mouth piece. I played around with it a few times to make it look the way I wanted. I did this after everything was sewn into place. I tucked each of the tail ends into the underside of the hat into the camel. (If you don't like this method you can always sew a smile with a yarn needle. The photos of Ireland wearing the hat have a smile sewn this way. I later took it out and used slip stitches to make it look smooth and neat)

As always, you can leave me a comment or send me a message if you need help. I wrote this up pretty fast so there may be mistakes. I hope not, but feel free to let me know. I check messages a couple times each day.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Chunky Beanie Pattern

Well, I made a trip to the Post office this morning to mail out the hats from the giveaway. Sure enough, the USPS is closed today due to the holiday. I do this every single time they are closed. It seems like I always have orders to mail out on holidays. Anyway this worked out well, because I had the chance to take more photos.


One skein Chunky or Bulky 5 weight yarn (I used Patons Shetland Chunky in Oxford Grey)
For the magenta round I used a small amount left over from my Isar scarf
Size I (5.5mm) crochet hook
Yarn needle

One size fits most


Ch 3

Rnd 1: 7 hdc in 3rd ch from hook (which is the 1st ch made) Join with sl st to the top of first st. (8 hdc)

Rnd 2: Ch 2 (counts as first st here and throughout). Hdc in same st. 2 hdc in each st around. Join with sl st. (16 hdc)

Rnd 3: Ch 2. Hdc in same st, hdc in next st. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st) around. Join with sl st. (24 hdc).

Rnd 4: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 2 sts. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 sts) around. Join with sl st. (32 hdc).

Rnd 5: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 3 sts. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 sts) around. Join. (40 hdc).

Rnd 6: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 4 sts. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 4 sts) around.
Join. (48 hdc).

Rnd 7: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 5 sts. (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 5 sts) around. Join. (56 sts).

Rnd 8 - 15. Ch 2, hdc in each st around. Join.

Rnd 16: Ch 2, hdc in the back loop only in each st around. Join and finish off.

For the magenta rnd you will work around the post of each hdc of rnd 16.

Attach with sl st and work a sl st around each post. You will insert the hook from the front and go under like you are working a front post stitch. When you make it around to the last stitch, cut the yarn.

The following photos will show you how to finish off. I like to use this special finishing all the time. It eliminates the need for a knot. I hate using knots in crochet. Most of the time they are not necessary.

When you get to the last sl st pull the tail up through the top of the stitch.

Now take your hook and slide it under the first sl st and pull the tail all the way through

Take the hook and place it up through the center of the last sl st

Take the tail and pull down into the center of the last sl st. You end up with a seamless finish. Cool, huh?

Years ago a lady taught me lots of shortcuts and tips when crocheting. I use this tip all the time.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winners for the January Giveaway

I'm so excited today. I love announcing winners of my giveaways. Today we have two. One for a beanie hat...

and another winner for this slouchie hat

I split the names into two lists, numbered them, and then used to randomly determine the winners.

The winner for the beanie is:

Pacas !!!

and the winner for the slouchie is:

Sam !!!

Congrats to both of you! Now all you have to do is send me your mailing address and I'll put these in the mail tomorrow.

Ok... I have more business to discuss:D

I finally broke down and did it!
I joined twitter. I kept saying that I would eventually get around to it and finally I did. So now you can find me there too.

More business... and I think you'll like this better.

A few weeks ago I got an order for a sock monkey hat. I mailed it out and then one day last week I realized something. I screwed up. Imagine that! I forgot to sew the ears on the hat before mailing it to the little girl. I felt sooo bad, because the ears make the hat. It just wasn't complete. So I contacted the mother of the little girl and offered to make her another hat for free in a different color.

I used my own pattern, that I am currently writing out. It is really easy and I hope to offer it soon.

A few weeks ago I put up a poll asking what kind of critter hat would you like to make most and of course the majority chose "other". I'm hoping "other" meant sock monkey...tehe

Here's my little monkey modeling and acting crazy

Congrats to the winners and check back for the beanie pattern And the Sock Monkey pattern!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Finally...My Finished Cardi...Almost

A couple of months ago I made this cute cardi for me:) After some motivation from Janette over at The Green Dragonfly, I finally took some photos of mine.

I found the right buttons/ closure thingies at my LYS and took these pics. I need to redo one of the's pretty darn crooked.

Overall, I'm really happy with it. I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and I love it. I think it looks better with a tank instead of long sleeves.

The photo is not so great but you get the idea.

You can find the Free pattern here. It's an easy and versatile garment to make. I finished this in 2 nights (minus finding the buttons and sewing them on)

Right now I'm having a giveaway, so go to my previous post and leave a comment to enter to win. I'm giving away two hats...probably this Sunday.

Have a wonderful week:)

Friday, January 6, 2012

January Giveaway

It's that time again...Give Away Time!!! This month I am giving away a finished project or two. These are my favorite posts...I loooove giving. So here you go...

I love this slouchy hat. It seems the color grey is everywhere right now. I have tons of grey yarn and decided to make a slouchy hat. It is my own design (that I haven't written out yet) and I love the way it fits. Not very bright and colorful, but sometimes we need a neutral to wear.

Now, I know a lot of people do not wear slouchies so I have another one for ya! It's a beanie...made out of a chunky grey. I have tons of this grey also so I decided to include one of these in the giveaway as well. Another neutral, but I did add a magenta row at the edge to give it a little color.

There will be two winners! Just leave me a comment and let me know which one you prefer...slouchie or beanie. In about a week (next weekend) I will randomly choose one winner for each.

Please disregard the face in the photos. Too lazy to add makeup and photoshop to make more presentable...haha

Oh...I almost forgot... I'll post the pattern for the beanie in a couple of days. It's so so easy. And a super fast instant gratification project.