Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Sparkle Stripy Brimmed Beanie

I've always made my crochet hats from the top down, and felt I simply had to do some sort of creative stitch at the end to tidy it up. I decided to try starting from the bottom with a stretchy and “knit-effect” brim. 
The result was fantastic! I am super happy with this beanie, and the best part is you can size it to fit just about anyone with no other tools than a measuring tape!



Neat, huh? I actually bought this yarn with a totally different project in mind, but unfortunately it didn't have the right kind of drape. However, the colour changes are practically magical in that they seem to change at even intervals around the hat with absolutely no pattern alterations from me! 
The method is very straightforward, and may require minor jigging by yourself with nothing but your measuring tape!

Don't forget to "Hook It" on Ravelry, or add it to your queue!

Materials:
  • 1 skein of King Cole Shine DK (any colourway is fine, I went with Lava)
  • Size 5mm hook. 
  • Darning needle. 
  • Scissors.

Abbreviations:

Ch - chain 
Dc - double crochet 
St(s) stitch(es) 
Sl st - slip stitch 
Dc2tog - double crochet two together 
Sc - single crochet 

Instructions: 

For the brim - firstly use a measuring tape to get the circumference of your head. Head size and hair thickness can vastly alter the size of brim needed while not affecting the shape of the actual hat. This measurement is exactly how long your brim needs to be before you join it. The brim will be quite stretchy, so very little extra will need to be added to ensure comfort. 

Row 1: Ch 12, sc in 3rd ch from hook, and in each ch after (should have 10 ch).
Row 2-90 (approx): Ch 1, sc in front loop only for all sts.

Break yarn, leaving a tail long enough to sew both ends together. 

For the hat - to start with, re-attach your yarn at any point (a little before the leftover tail from your sewing is a good point to start, as this gives you the option to stitch over it, concealing it and weaving it in in the process). Chain one and HDC in the same space. Perform an even series of HDCs around the brim of the hat and join with a sl st to the first HDC. If you look closely at the brim edge, you will see that every second row has a rather prominent gap with just one piece of yarn as a bridge - aim to get one of your HDCs into each of these, and the others should be directly between these! The amount of HDCs you perform will vary depending on the overall length of your brim.

Row 1-4: Ch 2, 1 dc in each st around, join with sl st to first dc.
Row 5: Ch 2, *dc2tog (one in same space as ch 2), 1 dc in next 7 sts, repeat from * to end (if you have any remaining sts after ending with your 7 sts, work them as normal).
Row 6: Ch 2, *dc2tog (one in same space as ch 2), 1 dc in next 6 sts, repeat from * to end, join with sl st to first dc (work remaining sts as normal).
Row 7: Ch 2, *dc2tog (one in same space as ch 2), 1 dc in next 5 sts, repeat from * to end, join with sl st to first dc (work remaining sts as normal).
Row 8: Ch 2, *dc2tog (one in same space as ch 2), 1 dc in next 4 sts, repeat from * to end, join with sl st to first dc (work remaining sts as normal).
Row 9: Ch 2, *dc2tog (one in same space as ch 2), 1 dc in next 3 sts, repeat from * to end, join with sl st to first dc (work remaining sts as normal).
Row 10: Ch 2, *dc2tog (one in same space as ch 2), 1 dc in next 2 sts, repeat from * to end, join with sl st to first dc (work remaining sts as normal).
Row 11: Ch 2, *dc2tog (one in same space as ch 2), 1 dc in next st, repeat from * to end, join with sl st to first dc (work remaining sts as normal).
Row 12: Ch 2, dc2tog around, join with sl st to first dc2tog.

Break yarn, leaving enough of a tail to weave through the remaining stitches, pull tight (double weave if necessary).


There you have it! A nice, snug and sparkly beanie with a trendy knit-effect brim! As you can see, the yarn changes casually every second row, which almost gives the appearance of changing yarns, without all the messy weaving and cutting. Adding rows where you simply dc across will add length to the hat, giving it a more slouched style. Casting on more stitches when making the brim will also make the brim thicker (coming further down the forehead). 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dino Earflap Hat

(Can you tell I like earflaps?)




Super cool, no? I was actually inspired by my partner - who correctly pointed out that my crochet shop was completely lacking in boy-friendly apparel! I thought to myself "Well, dinosaurs are pretty awesome, and boys like those - right? Well I'm sure girls can too!"



I browsed Ravelry for some inspiration and stumbled across this, which is exactly what I envisioned when I thought of a "Dino Hat":
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dino-dinosaur-spike-beanie-and-earflap

Thinking I could give it a pretty good stab by myself, I set to work with leftover yarn from Christmas and St. Patrick's Day.

Current sizes available are 3-6 months, and 6-9 months (which would probably stretch to 12 months if I'm honest). As I work on it, I will add more sizes, but anyone with a bit of experience in crocheting basic beanie hats should be able to figure out the increases! There is only an additional row of work to change the size of the hat to 6-9 months and depending on the baby, an additional row of double crochet at the end might be needed to come far enough down on the forehead.

Don't forget to "Hook It" on Ravelry, or add it to your queue!

http://www.ravelry.com/designers/alisha-finnegan



Materials:



  • 1 skein of any DK wool of your choice in orange, yellow, black and green. 
  • Size 5mm hook. 
  • Darning needle. 
  • Scissors. 

Abbreviations:
Ch - chain 
Dc - double crochet
St(s) stitch(es)
Sl st - slip stitch
Dc2tog - double crochet two together
Sc - single crochet


Instructions:


Row 1: Ch 2, Dc 11 into 2nd ch from hook, sl st to first Dc

Row 2: 2 Dc in each st around, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn

Row 3: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next st, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, ch 2, turn

Row 4: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 2 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn
Row 5: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 3 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn

Row 6: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 10 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn

Row 7: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 11 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn

6-9 months Row: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 12 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn

Row 8-14: Dc in each st around, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn



Now it's time to add the earflaps!


Fastening your yarn to the left and right of the centre of the hat -

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 7 (9) sts, Ch 2, turn

Row 2: Dc in all 8 (10) sts, Ch 2, turn

Row 3: Dc2tog, Dc in next 4 (6) sts, Dc2tog, Ch 2, turn

Row 4: Dc2tog, Dc in next 2 (4) sts, Dc2tog, Ch 2, turn

6-9 month Row: Dc2tog, Dc in next 2 sts, Dc2tog, Ch 2, turn

Row 5: Dc2tog twice, fasten off and weave in ends.


To tidy the hat edges, simply attach alternating colour to the centre of the hat, and single crochet in each stitch around. I worked with two strands for this (of course, using chunkier wool would have the same effect) and just do your best to add an even number of scs around the earflaps.


For the spots, simply work the beginning of the hat all over again, stopping when you have your desired size (I worked the first 2 and 3 rows for each of my spots) and leave a tail of suitable length for stitching the spot to the hat.


For the spikes, simply work two earflaps per spike and stitch them together (using two makes them stiffer, you can also stuff them!). You can work them in the 3-6 or 6-9 month size, and add as few or many as you prefer! When you have stitched them together, make sure to leave a tail of yarn long enough to attach them to the hat! Fix a row of them along the centre of the hat moving backwards. This is easily done by lying the hat flat on a surface, with the earflaps meeting up exactly.






And lastly, the braids (if desired) - Using your yarn, measure how far down you would like your braids to drop, and cut exactly twice that amount of yarn. Cut 12 more pieces of the same length (you will have one left over, which you will use to measure out the alternating colour). Take two strands, fold them in half and attach them to one of the three centre-most scs on each earflap. Repeat this until you have filled 3 scs with a total of 12 strands doubled over. Using the leftover strand, measure out 6 strands in your alternating colour, and double them up as before. Attach them in the same way between the two "strands" of your other colour in each sc. For example, I have two sets of green in each of the three scs, and I attached my red set between each set of green. This means the colours will blend properly when you braid them. Cut your leftover strand in half, and braid down each earflap, using the two strands to bind them tightly. Trim the edges for neatness and you are done!



                                      

Monday, 23 February 2015

Lucky Irish Earflap Hat

As I am Irish, and a huge fan of crochet hats, I knew I had to come up with something for St. Patrick's Day! I thought of the masses of children being taken to parades all over the country (and, indeed, the world) and decided to start off with a toddler-sized pattern. This hat would comfortably fit a 1-3 year old (maybe not if the child had very thick hair) and has the added advantage of being very warm (us Irish can only expect the finest Winter weather, even in March!).



And here it is! Unfortunately, I'm not equipped with the best of light (see previous post about fantastic Irish weather) or a good-quality camera, but I'm sure you get the just! On with the materials!

Don't forget to "Hook It" on Ravelry, or add it to your queue!
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/alisha-finnegan



Materials:


  • 1 skein of any DK wool of your choice in orange, yellow, black and green.
  • Size 5mm hook.
  • Darning needle.
  • Scissors.

Abbreviations:


Ch - chain
Dc - double crochet
St(s) stitch(es)
Sl st - slip stitch
Dc2tog - double crochet two together
Sc - single crochet

Instructions:

With green - 
Row 1: Ch 2, Dc 12 into 2nd ch from hook, sl st to first Dc
Row 2: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next st, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn
Row 3: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 2 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, ch 2, turn
Row 4: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 3 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn
Row 5: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 4 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn
Row 6: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 5 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn
Row 7: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 6 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn
Row 8: 2 Dc in first st, *1 Dc in next 7 sts, 2 Dc in next st, repeat from * to end of row, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn
Row 9-12: Dc in each st around, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn

With black - 
Row 13-14: Dc in each st around, sl st to first Dc, Ch 2, turn

With green - 
Row 15-16: Dc in each st around, sl st to first Dc, fasten off and weave in ends. 

Now that the hat itself is complete, it is time for earflaps (note, these are entirely optional, and can be left out if you would prefer to fringe the hat, or leave it plain).

Fastening your green yarn to the left and right of the centre of the hat - 
Row 1: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 7 sts, Ch 2, turn
Row 2: Dc in all 8 sts, Ch 2, turn
Row 3: Dc2tog, Dc in next 4 sts, Dc2tog, Ch2, turn
Row 4: Dc2tog, Dc in next 2 sts, Dc2tog, Ch 2, turn
Row 5: Dc2tog twice, fasten off and weave in ends. 

To tidy up the hats and weave in ends nicely, fasten your green and do a full line of single crochets around the edge of the hat and the earflaps.
To attach braids, simply cut lengths of your orange wool (twice the length that you would like the braid to be), use your crochet hook to pull the yarn through the end of the earflap and tie! Do this with as many lengths as you think you need to pull off a good braid!

For the buckle - 
Ch 19, (Sc, ch 2, sc or turning stitch) in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 4 chs, turning stitch in next ch, sc in next 3 ch, turning stitch in next ch, sc in next 4 ch, turning stitch in next ch, sc in last 3 chs. 
Using some yellow yarn, or thread if you prefer, sew the buckle onto the centre of the hat, overlapping the black. For tidiness, try not to have any green within the window of the buckle. 

And you're done! For extra effect, you could weave in some smaller lengths around the front of the hat to make an orange fringe, but I've left it out as it can be hard to tie in lengths that don't get into kiddies eyes! 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Edie Crochet Bunny Lovey

In an attempt to rid myself of the ever surmounting amount of scrap-wool and abandoned yarns with projects still attached, I decided to try my first ever pattern.



Here she is! This little bunny, nicknamed "Edie", was so much fun to make and a real treasure to watch my daughter play with when it was finished! The pattern is so versatile, allowing for different sizes, colours, weights of yarn and animal heads to finish it off!

Don't forget to "Hook It" on Ravelry, or add it to your queue!
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/alisha-finnegan

Materials:

  • Any two yarns of your choice in the same or similar weights. In this project I have used a mixture of Aran and DK wool - it really added to the texture and stopped the blankie from becoming too stiff. Any amount is sufficient - you keep going until you decide it's big enough!
  • Size 4mm and 5mm crochet hook.
  • Darning needle.
  • Stuffing of your choice for animal head.

Abbreviations:

Ch - chain
Dc - double crochet
Sc - single crochet
St(s) - stitch(es)
Sc2tog - single crochet 2 together (decrease)

Instructions:

For the Lovey: 
I could type it out word for word, but Tamara Kelly over at Moogly has a splendid pattern for her Leaping Stripes blanket and has photos and videos showing you how it's done! 
I casted on 42 for my blankie and worked the pattern as normal, but feel free to follow Tamara's sizing guidelines to make a larger/smaller blankie!



I kept going until the blankie could be folded corner to corner with no excess - an exact square! 

For the bunny head, I made a simple stuffed ball shape using the following pattern:
(Worked in a spiral with no turns)
Row 1: Ch 2, 6sc in 2nd ch from hook (starting ch)
Row 2: Sc 2 in each sc around. (12 sts)
Row 3: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * x6 (18 sts)
Row 4: *Sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * x6 (24 sts)
Row 5: *Sc 3, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * x6 (30 sts)
Row 6: *Sc 4, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * x6 (36 sts)
Row 7: *Sc 5, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * x6 (42 sts)
Row 8: *Sc 6, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * x6 (48 sts)
Row 9-13: Sc around (48 sts)
Row 14: *Sc 6, sc2tog*, repeat * x6 (42 sts)
Row 15: *Sc 5, sc2tog*, repeat * x6 (36 sts)
Row 16: *Sc 4, sc2tog*, repeat * x6 (30 sts)
Row 17: *Sc 3, sc2tog*, repeat * x6 (24 sts)
Row 18: *Sc 2, sc2tog*, repeat * x6 (18 sts)
Row 19: *Sc 1, sc2tog*, repeat * x6 (12sts)
Row 20: Sc2tog x6, fasten off and weave in ends.

As the head opening gets smaller, be sure to add in your stuffing, keeping the spherical shape of the head as you go!

For the ears (make four):
Row 1: Ch 5, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch after, turn (4 sts)
Row 2-4: Ch 1, sc all sts, turn (4)
Row 6: Ch 1, 2sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts, 2sc in last, turn (6 sts)
Row 7-8: Ch 1, sc all sts, turn (6 sts)
Row 9: Ch 1, sc2tog, sc in next 2 sts, sc2tog, turn (4 sts)
Row 10-12: Ch 1, sc all sts, turn (4 sts)
Row 13: Sc2tog x2, turn (2 sts)
Row 14: Sc2tog, fasten off and weave in ends.

Pair up your ears (two for each ear) and using the same wool and a darning needle, stitch them together without adding stuffing. This makes for a nice, erect ear that is easy to shape.

For the inner ear (make two):
Row 1: Ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in remaining sts (3 sts)
Row 2-4: Sc in all sts
Row 5: Sc3tog, fasten off and weave in ends. 

Using the wool and your darning needle, add the inner ears to your ears and fasten them to the head wherever you would like! I find adding the nose and eyes first much easier so that the ears are positioned neatly!



Thank you to Stephanie over at allaboutami for her bunny pattern, from which I modelled the head only (http://www.allaboutami.com/post/80169231280/springbunniespattern)

To fasten the bunny head to the blankie, simply position him/her in the centre, and use the wool and darning needle to fix the head in place at 5 points for safety. I find one in the centre of the bunny, one to the front and back and one to the left and right of the head make a solid foundation. If you are clever, place these 5 points so that they match up with the same colour wool used in the blanket to disguise your stitches!

And there you have it! One finished Bunny Lovey! I had real fun putting together my first pattern (with the help of some inspirational ladies!). Hopefully you enjoyed it as much as I did and you've made a new teeny crocheted friend for yourself or someone special!