Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cotton Obsession

I have been on a dishcloth binge lately. To the point of forgetting things I have promised to people. *insert whoops face here* I don't know what my issue is, but I am obsessed with them. I just want to sit and knit with cotton. 

I think what did it to me was discovering "I Love This Cotton" yarn from Hobby Lobby. You want to talk about soft, silky cotton in a huge variety of colors? My dear, you have found such a one in this cotton. I started off with a chocolate brown, lime green, lavender, and teal. Then I ventured to try one of their sparkly cotton yarns (love it), and finally splurged on a pretty tan with flecks of color. As far as I'm concerned, I need to have one of every color. It is lovely for baby and face washcloths. 

This pattern is: Ballband Dishcloth, originally distributed by Pisgah Yarn & Dye Co (Peaches & Cream Cotton), which happens to no longer exist because it was bought out by Spinrite (Bernat) (Sugar & Cream Cotton). 

This one uses the chocolate brown ILTC with some left over mint green Cotton Tots I happened to have in my stash. Still using the Ballband Dishcloth Pattern.

This uses the tan with color flecks. I made the Hourglass Eyelet Pattern by Love2KnitDishcloths. It was a very nice repeating pattern. 

This is a terrible picture of the sparkle cotton. It is black and the sparkle thread has an iridescent thread that just doesn't photo very well. I chose a skull pattern because anything with stitch definition just got lost in the black. This one is called Halloween Skull Dishcloth by Michelle Dickson. This yarn has great 'scrub' to it. 

Last up are my animal dishcloths. 

Waving Frog Dishcloth by Melissa Bergland Burnham. This is actually lime green. Hate that yellow night-time lighting issue. 

Next is Butterfly Dishcloth by Emily Jagos done in teal.

Last up is Garden Swan Dishcloth by Melissa Bergland Burnham (If you can't tell, I really like her patterns) in lavender. 

The animal cloths were given with matching seed stitch cloths as a gift to a not-yet-born baby girl named Claire. ILTC is such a ridiculously soft cotton. I just can't get over it. 

So, anyway..those are most of my latest pieces. I have run out of I Love This Cotton and have moved on to my huge stash of Peaches N Cream. I'm hoping to make a dent in some of the cones. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

School is over...Let's move on...

I have so much to be thankful for, but let me start with...SCHOOL IS DONE!!! I handed in my very last assignments yesterday for my Associates degree. Thank you, Jesus. 

For about two months I was going to continue on for my Bachelors...then Christmas break happened. The amount of effort it took for me to get myself back into the school groove after having a mere two week break was exhausting. It made me realize that I had been in school nonstop for 50 weeks, and I was tired. I had taken two weeks off in July to travel to Wisconsin for my daughter's high school graduation party, but other than that, it had just been go, go, go. 

So, since I am completely burnt out on school, I figure it is time for a break and moving on with my life. 

I have been busily working on projects. I thought I was going to have the time to fit some craft shows into my routine, but no that isn't going to work. I just don't have the time to work on the stock. I am much more focused on getting back into designing. 

I have one hat in the testing process, and I am working on an afghan pattern that I plan on pitching to a particular yarn company. I have been blessed by several other blogs that have requested to post my free patterns on their sites..and YES! I am so honored to be considered for your blog posts! I love it! Thank YOU! :) 

I feel like now is the time to work on increasing my online presence. Blogging on a regular basis, sharing new/fun patterns, and getting my website up to snuff. 

I'm so grateful for all your kind words over the years, and for the new friends I get the privilege of meeting on a daily basis through this wonderful medium of yarn. 

I hope you guys are ready, cuz this train is moving forward, and hopefully it's going to be a wild ride!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

How to Custom Size a Crocheted Hat!

How to Custom Size a Crocheted Hat!!

Figuring out how to make a hat to a specific circumference and length is not as hard as one would think. This formula works best for a closer fitting hat (think beanie or ski, not tam or slouchy). I am going to explain this in “beginner’s” terms. When I tried to learn how to do this, every “lesson” I read assumed that you understood math. I won’t assume that of you, because I do not understand math. So, here we go:

1) Take a flexible tape measure or a piece of string and wrap it around your head at the widest part, which is usually your forehead area. If you over lap your pieces, make sure you pinch or otherwise mark where you intersect your pieces. This isn’t terribly scientific but remember that the more “finger” you get behind your measuring piece, the bigger your measurement will be.

2) If you are using a flexible tape measure, look at your number. If you are using a piece of string, measure your piece of string at the intersect. This is your CIRCUMFERENCE.

3) Using a calculator, divide your circumference by 3.1415927 (PI). This will give you your ACTUAL DIAMETER. (Example: my head circumference is 23”/ 3.1415927= 7.32112727. Obviously, that number is too big to be workable, so we round to the nearest quarter number. I would round mine to a 7.25”.)

4) Here it gets a little funky. You will take your ACTUAL DIAMETER number and minus an inch off. We will call this our WORKING DIAMETER. So, my new WORKING DIAMETER will be 6.25”.

Why do we do this? I can’t give you a scientific reason, but I can give you a crocheter’s reason. Having made a few hats using the actual diameter, I discovered they weren’t so great as a hat. But, if I flipped it over and threw a handle on it they made a really nice handbag. Use my mistakes as a learning tool and turn your ACTUAL DIAMETER into a WORKING DIAMETER. 

5) Ok, now, in your increase rounds is where you will become an obsessive measure(er). I, actually, measure after each round until I get to know a pattern well. Work increase rounds until you reach your WORKING DIAMETER. After that, no more increases should be needed.

6) After you have reached your WORKING DIAMETER in your increase rounds, you can then start working the “body” of the hat. These are just round after round of your chosen stitch that will be worked until you reach the desired length. Take into account any trims rows you will want to put on the bottom of your hat when you are deciding on a finish length. 

I use Crochet Geek's Hat Size Chart for every single hat I make. I printed it off and I keep it in my crochet journal as a guide for all my hats. I wish my head were a computer and could just remember all those numbers, but it isn't and can't, so her chart is super handy!!