Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Simple Snowflake


  Worked up in only three rounds, you can make a ton of these snowflakes in no time! Make them in different colors to use as gift tags (bust those scraps!), create one with sparkle-y yarn for an ornament, or work up a bunch to create a garland. Personalize a tag or ornament with fabric paint, or coat them in glitter glue for decorations. With such a simple pattern, this snowflake leaves you extra time to add your own touch!


free crochet pattern, snowflake, winter, Christmas, decoration, ornament, gift tag, garland, tutorial


  The snowflakes I made in worsted measure 4" (5 cm) from point to point. Make them bigger or smaller by using different yarn weights and your manufacturer's recommended hook size. The chunky version shown measures 6" (12.5 cm).


  I started working on an awesome beaded version of this pattern using thread, but I ran into a problem... My seed beads were too small and wouldn't stay trapped in the stitches. Not to mention, they are so small that they were difficult to slide. The thread version would have measured a little less than an inch (2.5 cm), and had a ton of potential as a piece of jewelry. Consider giving it a try if you have the right materials: Just slide a bead up in each single crochet and chain stitch of the last round.




Skill level:
easy crochet pattern







Materials:
Worsted weight (4) yarn (or see suggestion above)
-I used Red Heart Super Saver in blue for the tutorial/worsted version. I think the white may be the same yarn, but I was working from my scrap pile. It could be Caron United or One Pound... It's worsted-weight acrylic either way.
-The chunky version was made with Bernat Pipsqueak and a size K/10.5 - 6.50 MM hook.
Hook size I/9 - 5.50 MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Yarn needle




Gauge:
Not important. If using different yarn weights, try manufacturer's recommended hook size.




Notes:
A picot is usually worked with a chain stitch after the slip stitch. The chain is skipped in this pattern. Do not chain after making the slip stitch of the picot.

Need help? Click here for a step-by step tutorial!



free crochet pattern, tutorial, snowflake, winter, Christmas





Stitches and abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Picot - Chain 3, slip stitch in bottom bar of last stitch made.




Directions:

Round 1: 
Ch 3, sl st in farthest ch from hook to join into a ring.


Round 2:
(Sl st in ring, ch 5) six times.


Round 3:
(Sl st in next ch-5 space. Ch 1, sc, picot, sc, ch 1, sl st all in same space) six times.


Bind off. To avoid an uneven gap: Pull tail from back to front through first sl st, then back through ending loop. Weave in ends.



free crochet pattern, snowflake, ending in the round, tutorial


Happy Crocheting!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

August Scarf of the Month: Scrappy Granny


  Hey, how about a free pattern? The Scarf of the Month series has been on hold because of July's disaster... But I'm done waiting. Let's skip July and get to August, because there's even more patterns backing up!


  The Scrappy Granny Scarf was designed to use up those half-skeins taking up room in yarn stashes everywhere. Unlike a classic Granny Square that can use up smaller scraps of yarn, this rectangular Granny needs longer bits to finish a round. So, dig out those color-coordinated I-made-a-hat-now-what?-skeins, and let's get our Granny on!


crochet, granny rectangle, free crochet pattern


  You could make this scarf more colorful and use up shorter 1/4 skeins by switching colors every round. I worked with what I had on hand to create this scarf. If you plan on doing the same, then check out this progress post showing you how to judge whether you'll have enough yarn to make it around the pattern. Finished size of my six-round scarf if 60" (150 cm) long by 7.5" (18.75 cm) wide. You could work less rows for a skinnier scarf, or continue working rounds for a wrap! Directions are included at the end of the pattern if you would like to continue working around.


free crochet pattern, granny rectangle, scarf




Skill level:






Materials:
Worsted (4) weight yarn
-I used Red Heart Super Saver in:
Color A - French Country
Color B - White
Color C - Blue*
*I lost the label for this scrap. I could have sworn this color was "Royal", but after double-checking on Red Heart's webpage, it appears to be called "Blue". If they do sell a "Royal" and I just missed it, then this is Royal.
Crochet hook size J/10 - 6.00 MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Yarn needle
Stitch markers (optional - to mark beginning chain)




Gauge:
In 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm)
Four sets of 3-double crochet
4 rows -or- 2 rounds


free crochet pattern, granny rectangle, scrapbuster




Notes:
Chain 4 at beginning of rounds counts as one double crochet + chain 1. Use stitch markers if needed.

There are no chains between double crochet sets! I know so many of you will say "I got this, it's a granny square" - but beware of no chains! Only chain-1 for corners.

Pattern is written in multiples of 3 + 1.




Stitches and abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Double crochet (dc)

Back loop (b/L)
Begin/beginning (beg)
Front loop (f/L)
Skip (sk)
Space (sp)
Stitch (st)




free crochet pattern, granny rectangle, scrapbuster




Directions:


Chain 140 to begin. (136 = 45 multiples + 1, + 3 for beg dc, + 1 for ch-1 corner space.)


Round 1:
Make 3 dc in b/L of fourth ch from hook. (Sk 2 chs, make 3 dc) 44 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in same st. Ch 1. Working around, make 3 dc in f/L of same st. (Sk 2, make 3 dc in f/L) 44 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in same st. Make 2 dc in same st as beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 2:
Sl st in ch-1 corner sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in same sp. *(Sk 3, make 3 dc in sp after set) 45 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in same sp.* Make (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-1 corner sp. Repeat from * to * one time. Make 2 dc in the same space as beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 3:
Sl st in ch-1 corner sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in same sp. *(Sk 3, make 3 dc in space after set) 46 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in the same sp. Sk 3 dc, make 3 dc in sp after set.* (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next corner ch-1 space. Repeat from * to * one time. Make 2 dc in the same sp as the beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 4:
Sl st in ch-1 corner sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in same sp. *(Sk 3, make 3 dc in spce after set) 47 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in the same sp. (Sk 3, make 3 dc in sp after set) 2 times.* (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-1 corner sp. Repeat from * to * one time. Make 2 dc in same sp as beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 5:
Sl st in corner ch-1 sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in same sp. *(Sk 3, make 3 dc in space after set) 48 times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in the same sp. (Sk 3, make 3 dc in sp after set) 3 times.* (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-1 corner sp. Repeat from * to * one time. Make 2 dc in same sp as beg ch. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


Round 6*:
Sl st in corner ch-1 sp. Ch 4, make 3 dc in the same sp. (Sk 3, make 3 dc in space after set) 49 (...) times. Ch 1, make 3 dc in same sp as last. (Sk 3, make 3 dc in sp after set) 4 (...) times.* (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next corner ch-1 sp. Repeat from * to * one time. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.


* If you wish to continue the pattern for a wrap, just follow the last round! Replace the number before the (...) with the next highest number each round.


Bind off, weave in ends.


free crochet pattern, scarf, shawl, stashbuster



Happy Crocheting!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

An Update on Weird Stick Thing (Thanks, Ravelry!)


  Didn't I say that I'd end up feeling like an idiot over Weird Stick Thing? Well... I guess I don't feel like a complete idiot... I mean, I didn't know what the thing was, so I set out to investigate. And when I couldn't come up with an answer, I asked for help from all of you. That just means I'm uninformed; not an idiot. But... I still feel like an idiot.


knitting, crochet, needlework, tools


  Weird Stick Thing was found in a bunch of needlework tools, so I assumed that it was a needlework tool of some kind. Wouldn't you? And after some help from the wonderful members of Ravelry, it's possible that Weird Stick Thing wasn't originally intended as a needlework tool... Or, maybe it was? I love the responses to my post! Let's cover some of the suggestions so far:


1. Swizzle stick

2. Fruit skewer

3. A cheap shawl pin

4. Crappy knitting needle (lol!)

5. A spool-knitting tool


  Whether Weird Stick thing was added to the collection by my mom, the original owner, or just by accident... Well, we may never know. But I do know that my mom used to do quite a bit of sewing back before my time, and still created a few projects in my younger years. I have vague memories of a quilt in progress, mentions of some mysterious material called bias tape that looks like fabric to me*, and what looked like surgery being done on a blanket with an orange stick.


*I'm not that clueless, I really know what bias tape is. I just refuse to acknowledge it.


  I assume the "surgery" would be "turning corners"; something that didn't register in my young brain because the quilt wasn't being turned... Just like how I couldn't figure out why bias tape wasn't sticky at all... And while we're at it, I was confused about orange sticks not being orange, too. Hey, we could keep going with the perplexity of why Turtle Wax is to wax your car and not to wax your pet turtle, but we're talking about Weird Stick Thing, not the misconceptions of a three-year-old.


  So, getting to the point: According to suggestions 1 & 2, it looks like Weird Stick Thing might be nothing more than a swizzle stick. Yup, this mystery needlework tool was possibly part of a cocktail. The ball-end looks right, but what about that pointy end? Maybe it's a skewer/swizzle stick combo, or maybe it's a swizzle stick with a broken top. Either way, I could see it being used as a tool to turn corners while sewing. BUT! See a note during the explanation of suggestion 5.


  As for suggestion 3, I could also see it being the pin-part of a shawl pin... But indeed, it would be a cheap one. And that rolls into suggestion 4: The crappy knitting needle. That's what I thought it was at first! Who knows, maybe it is...


  Now, on to suggestion 5, and possibly why I didn't recognize this tool: The tool for a spool knitter, or a Knitting Nancy. This is a tool and craft I had to go research. French knitting? Are you serious? Now there's another yarn-y craft I'm going to have to learn? Yay! Anyway... Although this tool doesn't exactly match any of the ones I found online, it does bear a striking resemblance. And I even found one that came with a yellow plastic stick, but the ball at the end is different. This could be a cheaper version, or it could still be a swizzle stick.


  However, I think suggestion 5 could be the likely answer, due to some extra clues provided. One informative Ravelry member happens to be married to a 30-year bar and restaurant manager. See? It helps to have inside connections. Apparently the size of this "swizzle stick" is all wrong for it to be a fruit skewer, swizzle stick, or a fruit-skewering swizzle stick.


  So in conclusion, there still is no real conclusion! The Ravelry discussion is still ongoing, so feel free to stop by and check the whole thing out. Is it a swizzle stick? A knitting spool tool? What do you think? And to add to the barrage of questions: Forget the grown-up style looms... Have you ever used a toy-style Knitting Nancy Doll? Why, oh why did they make a toy that poops out your needlework? What IS that?  


This whole thing makes me want to throw a Starbucks drink stopper in with my tools, just to confuse the kids when I'm gone :) 



knitting, crochet, needlework



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