Friday, January 2, 2015

Free Pattern: Furry Fingerless Gloves

  Thanks to my kid, I've finally tackled a project using Bernat Boa! You can read about my trepidation and trials with this awesome, yet difficult yarn in the Boa Yarn Review. But getting back to this pattern...Oh, boy, does it have a story -

  First, the yarn: I've been "playing" with a few skeins of Boa for a while now, trying to figure out what I want to make with it (and how to work with it). Sure, I'd thought of borders and trims, but I wanted to make something out of it. And that's not easy, or cheap, if you create a large project. Well, Michael's solved my budget problem: Yarn clearance bin! 99 cents a skein, because all the labels are missing and the balls are tangled! Thank you, +Michaels Stores, because there are people like me who will untangle these messes and look up color info on the internet, and we appreciate an out of budget yarn at an awesome price.

By the way, I was bad and cleaned them out of every ball. Sorry everybody else!  

  So, about the "not easy" part: It's not easy to work an entire pattern with this yarn alone. For more complaints, read the review, but to say the least - Where are the stitches in all that fur? I've fought and fudged, frogged and four-letter worded, and now I give up. Let's just use this stuff along with a strand of plain ol' worsted, and get on with a pattern already!

  And the kid was the inspiration for the smaller, easier pattern. She has a fingerless glove obsession, and a science fair project due. She's had almost two months to complete it. You know, hypothesis, research paper, experiment, conclusion, and the display board to go with it? Due in TWO WEEKS! And as of five days before this pattern was finished, she hadn't even started! So, I've been itching to pick up a hook after playing assistant scientist for the last few days. She caught me playing with the Boa yarn, and said that gloves made out of it would be awesome. And I promised her some new crocheted furry awesomeness as soon as she finished her homework.

Funny, how fast that homework got finished...

*Just a note, my kid isn't a "little" kid...These gloves have a slight bit of stretch and are big enough to fit most average size women. Finished size is 5" (12.7 cm) long, 3 1/2" (9 cm) diameter, with an outer circumference of 8" (20 cm).

Skill level:

Bulky (5) Eyelash yarn - I used Bernat Boa in Soft Mink - less than 1 skein
***Update*** Bernat Boa has now been discontinued! You can still find some available online if you search, or check for a similar substitute.
Worsted weight (4) acrylic yarn - I used Red Heart Super Saver in Coffee
Crochet hook size P/15-10.00MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Smaller needle to weave in ends

With hook size P and both strands,
4" (10 cm) = 11 half-double crochet in 5 rows

Chain-2 at beginning of rows always counts as a half-double crochet.

It was a pain, but I actually worked into the chain stitches over the chain-2 thumb hole. The pattern works fine if you just work into the chain-2 space instead.

Stitches and abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Half-double crochet (hdc)

Beginning (beg)
Skip (sk)


With both yarns held together, ch 11, join into a ring with a sl st.

Round 1:
Sl st into the ring made, ch 2 (counts as 1st hdc). Make 11 hdc in ring. Join with a sl st to beg ch-2. (12 hdc)

Round 2:
Ch 2 (counts as hdc), 1 hdc in each of the remaining 11 hdc. Join with a sl st to beg ch-2.

Round 3:
Ch 2, hdc in the next stitch. Ch 2, sk 2, hdc in each of the remaining 8 hdc. Join with a sl st to beg ch-2.

Round 4: 
Ch 2, hdc in the next hdc. Hdc in each of the next 2 chs. Hdc in each of the remaining 8 hdc. Join with a sl st to beg ch-2. (12 hdc)

Rounds 5 and 6:
Repeat Row 2. Bind off, use a smaller hook to weave in ends.

  These gloves would still look awesome in any of the Boa colors. From pure white (funky bridesmaid gloves?) to pure black (punk it out!) and lots of colors in between, this pattern can be taken from funky and fun to excellently elegant. Brighter light highlights this shimmery yarn and gives it a touch of sparkle. Imagine what these would look like in one of the glittery colors!

  C'mon, +Michaels Stores, I'm watching that discount bin! Don't you have a few tangled skeins in a glittery shade? I promise I'll be nice and leave some for the others this time!

Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Yarn Tales Tuesday

A New Year

  This will be the last Yarn Tales Tuesday article of 2014! YTT was started with the intention of prompting discussions about crochet, needle art, and yarn-related subjects. I began writing this series in August of this year, and so far, it's been a success!

  Sometimes, I use YTT to just rant about things that have affected me personally, but I still keep it yarn-related in some way. From educational posts about checking your gauge, to silly subjects like Bi-Polar Craftitis, these articles have been (for the most part) fun to write. They don't always inspire the discussions that I had hoped for, but sometimes it's just a way for me to get a load off of my mind. Many of you have thanked me for information, let me know that you got a laugh, and helped to build my confidence in ways you may never know.

  I want to use this last Yarn Tales Tuesday of the year to thank everybody. Every time I see one of my posts or projects get a like or a share, and every time I receive a comment I know that someone appreciates my work. Thank you to Subscribers, Followers, repeat visitors, and even to those of you who are visiting for the first time for taking the time to stop by to see what I have to share.

  Thanks also goes to Free Indie Crochet Patterns, Crochet Pattern Bonanza, Crochet at Play, Daisy Cottage Designs, Knot by Gran'ma, and All Free Crochet for sharing my patterns. Just like it takes work to design and create crochet, it also takes work to share and link to patterns. Whether it's a big website with a ton of employees or a fellow blogger working alone, I appreciate every time one of my patterns, tutorials, or posts are shared. If you've shared my work and I don't know about it, then thanks goes to you too, and please contact me so I can give credit.

  Additionally, I want to thank the staff and my fellow Makers at +Guidecentral. This blog business doesn't make enough to keep me in yarn and hooks. Thanks to this innovative D.I.Y. site, I've been able to earn a little side cash for more supplies. It has also provided me with an easier way to create crochet tutorials that often correspond with my free patterns. Fellow Makers also contribute daily to my crafting inspiration with their beautiful and interesting creations. Whenever I get "burned out" on creativity, a quick look at what the Guidecentral community is crafting will get the ball rolling again. And make me go to the craft store for supplies!

  For those of you who are interested, I've set some new goals for the upcoming year to expand the Crochet is the Way business. Some of them are realistic and already in motion, and some of them may be a bit harder to reach. Hopefully I will be able to achieve some of the more unrealistic goals, but even if I don't, Crochet is the Way will still have more to offer in 2015. I don't want to spoil any surprises, but a big one will be, hopefully, a store!

  I find that to reach a goal, it helps if you tell someone about your plans. Have you set any crochet-related goals for the new year? If you're planning on finishing that project you've been putting off, or perhaps you're ready to learn a more advanced stitch, let us know about it!

Hope you've enjoyed the Holidays and have a Happy New Year!

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