Forays into crochet, sewing, painting, and more.
Read about my craft projects, complete with photos, links to patterns, and a sprinkling of advice. Also check out my Pinterest board, where I get a lot of my inspiration: http://www.pinterest.com/jbanning/crochet/
One of my friends texted me the other day wondering if I could make this scarf, which she had seen on Pinterest. This scarf is done by arm knitting. I haven’t attempted any kind of knitting before, and though I plan to learn soon, I thought I would go ahead and try to do something that has a similar feel using crochet. I decided to use the Lovers’ Knot stitch, which I first learned by watching this video. This is a fast, easy stitch which lets you choose how tight or loose to make the stitches.
I also made cuffs similar to the one shown with the arm-knitted scarf.
Overall, I think it turned out okay! I might experiment with this look a little more, by using multiple colors and playing with the size of the stitch.
Okay, today is seriously cold here in east central Indiana–my dad’s weather station says it’s 23.9 degrees right now, but it feels much colder. So, with winter clearly rolling in, what better project to start than a winter hat?
My cousin, who has the most adorable twin baby girls, asked me to make a couple of winter hats for them this last week–and I have to say, I was pretty pleased with the outcome.
Winter hats are generally pretty simple to make. For a basic hat, you start at the top with a flat circle, increasing the size of the circle to a certain size, at which point you then stop increasing and work down the sides. The tricky part is knowing how big to make that top circle, and for that, this handy chart has been my best friend.
Okay, so let’s make a hat. My friend needs one, so I’ll make a basic gray one for him. According to that above chart, a hat for an adult male will need to start off with a flat circle that’s 7.5 to 8 inches in diameter, and will measure about 9.25 to 9.5 inches from top to bottom once it’s finished.
Honestly, you can use just about any yarn and hook, and any stitch. As long as you have a flat circle of the right size to begin with, you can’t really go wrong. Using chunky yarns and big hooks will mean you’ll work fewer rounds than I did here.
Basic Crochet Hat Pattern
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet (US double crochet, UK treble crochet)
Round 1: 11 dc in the magic loop. Sl st to the top of the first ch 3 to close the circle. Pull the magic loop tight. (12 total dc, including the first ch 3.)
Round 2: Ch 3. Dc in the same dc. 2 dc in each dc around. Sl st into the first ch 3. (24 total dc, including the first ch 3.)
Round 3: Ch 3. 2 dc in the next dc. **1 dc in the next dc, 2 dc in the next dc.** Repeat from ** around. Sl st into the first ch 3. (36)
Round 4: Ch 3. 1 dc in the next dc. 2 dc in the next dc. **1 dc in each of the next 2 dc, 2 dc in the next dc.** Repeat from ** around. Sl st into the first ch 3. (48)
Round 5: Ch 3. 1 dc in each of the next 2 dc. 2 dc in the next dc. **1 dc in each of the next 3 dc, 2 dc in the next dc.** Repeat from ** around. Sl st into the first ch 3. (60)
Round 6: Ch 3. 1 dc in each of the next 3 dc. 2 dc in the next dc. **1 dc in each of the next 4 dc, 2 dc in the next dc.** Repeat from ** around. Sl st into the first ch 3. (72)
Round 7: Ch 3. 1 dc in each of the next 4 dc. 2 dc in the next dc. **1 dc in each of the next 5 dc, 2 dc in the next dc.** Repeat from ** around. Sl st into the first ch 3. (84)
(Noticing a pattern yet? Continue, adding a stitch to the pattern in each round, until your circle is the right size. This pin might help you visualize what you’re doing. At the end of each round, your total number of stitches should be a multiple of 12. I’m making a hat for a man, so according to this chart, my flat circle needs to be between 7.5 and 8 inches in diameter. 7 rounds got me to 7.5 inches. You may need fewer or more rounds, depending on the size of your hat and the weight of your yarn.)
Got your circle to the right size? Awesome. Now we start building up the sides.
Rounds 8 and on: **Ch 3. Dc in each dc around. Sl st to the first ch 3.** Repeat until the hat height is correct, and feel free to change out colors at the end of any round to make stripes. (My men’s hat should be between 9.25 and 9.5 inches from the top of the crown–the center of my magic loop–to the bottom edge.)
I get this question all the time. Pinterest seems to have piqued a lot of people’s interest in crochet, as well as other domestic-y activities–but I first picked up a crochet hook several years before the Pinterest-verse exploded.
My freshman year of college, back in the dark ages of 2006, there were several girls in my dorm who crocheted. They made such colorful blankets and throws out of such beautiful yarn, and I’ve always been a pretty crafty person, so I decided to give it a try myself. My mom, who had learned as a kid, was able to show me the rudimentary idea–but there was a lot she couldn’t remember. So, she picked up this kid’s book on learning to crochet, and I took it from there.
Now, my first few years of crocheting were full of fits and starts. I would pick up a project for a little while, get frustrated, and leave it in the closet for the next three months. I think one of the biggest mistakes I made in my early crochet career was that I nearly always tackled big projects–blankets and throws, rugs, etc. This is a huge mistake for the beginning crocheter. Even now, I rarely take on big projects like that, and when I do, I try to chop them up into smaller bits. Because just like every other big project in life (writing and noveling included), you have to be able to meet goals, see progress, and get a sense of accomplishment now and then in order to keep going with a big crochet project. That’s why granny square blankets are so great–you win a small victory every time you complete a square, and that sense of accomplishment keeps you motivated and working toward the bigger goal.
I really got into crochet in graduate school, when I met my roommate, Kayla. Our favorite way to de-stress after class was to sit in the living room with a bottle of wine, our crochet projects, and an episode of NCIS on the television. Yes, we were twenty-three-year-old-grandmothers, and yes, we were awesome.
It was during one of these evenings that I found this pattern for crochet sunglasses cases on Pinterest. I absolutely adore this project–it’s small, simple, practical, and oh-so-cute. Check out my own well-worn case:
I tweaked the original pattern a bit, to fit my yarn/hook/sunglasses, but it’s essentially the same. I make these little cases all the time for my friends and family–they’re great gifts, and you can whip one up in less than an hour.
So, if you’re just learning to crochet, here’s my advice: start small. Go ahead and inundate your friends and family with all the homemade washcloths and coasters and sunglasses cases they could possibly need. Because especially when you’re just starting out, you’re going to need that sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a project.