Sunday, 28 October 2012

A Skeleton Hat (Crochet)

These instructions are assuming you know a little about crochet.  I'm using UK terms with American terms in brackets.  This took approximately 4 hours to make for my daughter but may take longer for a bigger hat.      
Materials Needed: 5mm crochet hook
                                3mm crochet hook
                                thick yarn in white (aran weight would be ideal) approx 30-50g
                                thick yarn in black (double knit was used in this hat) approx 25g. 
                                Pair of scissors and a needle to stitch on the eyes, mouth and to stitch in the ends.
Skills Needed:        I think I've included all that's needed in the instructions - if you're not sure then just wing it (that's half of the fun and creativity) or have a good look at some of the skills on youtube as there are plenty of useful demonstrations to be found on there.
Using a 5mm crochet hook and with a white aran weight yarn (or as thick as you want it) make a slip knot and create 5 chains, slip stitch through first chain.  Chain 3.
Half Triple Crochet (Half Double Crochet) i.e yarn over, insert through first chain made, yarn over and pull through chain, yarn over pull through all loops on hook.  Do this twice into the next chain and for all chains made (8 crochet stitches made).  Slip stitch into first HTC (HDC).  Takes a bit of practice but don't worry if it's not perfect.
2nd row - Chain 3, HTC (HDC) into each stitch twice, slip stitch into 1st chain of the row.
3rd row - as with 2nd row (approx 32 chains made).
4th row - HTC (HDC) once in every stitch and twice in every 4th stitch.  If you need the hat to be bigger, then make a 5th/6th/7th row with HTC (HDC) once in every stitch and then twice in every 5th on the 5th row, 6th on the 6th row etc this is only a guide and your own judgement on this is advised.
Once you have the hat wide enough, simply chain 3 at every new row to give it height and make 1 HTC (HDC) in every stitch which will not increase the hat any more but will create the side of the hat.   Continue with as many rows as needed then slip stitch through last stitch, cut yarn and slip knot through last stitch.
Measure approximately 10/11 stitches from back of hat, attach white yarn and HTC (HDC) 12 across, turn, chain 2, skip a stitch then HTC (HDC) across until 9 stitches made, turn, chain 2.  Continue until 7 stitches are made on 3rd row, 5 on 4th row, 3 stitches on 5th row and 2 on last row.  Cut thread and slip knot.  Repeat for other side to make ear covers.
Using black thread DC (SC) i.e insert hook, yarn over, pull through stitch, yarn over and pull through all hoops on hook - all the way around the hat.  Use a long length of black and white yarn and with each yarn, fold in half and thread through ear flaps and tie.  Pick up a black and white thread and twist until you are happy with the effect and tie a knot at the end.  Repeat with the other black and white thread. Join the two twisted yarns and twist them together, knot them at the end.   Do the same with the other ear flap.
Using black yarn and a 3mm hook, chain 5 and do as you did to make the hat but instead of HTC (HDC) use DC (SC) stitch.  Make about 5 rows.  Make another eye and  stitch them using your large eyed needle (a yarn needle is ideal) to the hat.  Using black yarn, create two diagonal stitches to make the nose.  Make a grim grin as shown by back stitching horizontal and vertical stitches.  Stitch all loose ends to make the hat neat.  Voila!

Have a very happy and safe Halloween!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Rib & Twist Vest Completed, I Baked Herman & Plots to Decoupage

I've finally finished it!  It's been finished for a while but it took me ages to get around to stitching the final edge on the front, sewing in the ends and then I tried to shrink (yes, I said shrink - which didn't work) and block it not very successfully but I am generally pleased with my first ever item of clothing that I have ever knitted.  It's stretchy so I could have made this a size or two smaller and if I were to make this again, I would use the recommended 5mm needles in the pattern which can be found at the free Red Heart site.  I've done a bit of faffing about on photoshop to concentrate the eye on the garment...
I should be finished with my scarf this weekend and the armchair arm cover too... then what will there be to do?  I have a plan (stroking chin as if plotting to destroy the world with my craft creations mwah ha ha ha)... I've started to snip away at any spare magazines I can find.  I've got several 'Collect It' magazines which are very useful.
Once I've got a good amount of designs,I have an egg in mind to decorate and use as a Christmas bauble.  I'm armed with PVA glue, and no-one's going to stop me! giggle. 
Last weekend I could have killed the family with my Herman the German Friendship cake which is actually a sough dough, grown and fed with flour, sugar and milk over 10 days, then divided between friends (hence the friend bit in the name of the cake) which is forever and ever like a chain of cake, continued and therefore I don't know how old or how many cake generations the friendship cake was.  It was originally given to me by a member of the laugh and craft group I attend.  Thank you friend... it was safe enough to digest and was enjoyed very much

 Apples plus cinnamon and raisens - whats not to love?!  With a dollop of devonshire honeycomb ice cream it was a real treat.

Last night I got a shock.  Browsing flickr knitting, crochet and craft photos I noticed that one of my photos had had over 2000 hits!  I had entered the photo on the Favecrafts flickr site and they have used it in one of their email newsletters.  Wow, that was a pleasant surprise.  Those lacy mittens are gorgeous though.

Challenges for the next week
  • decoupage something
  • finish scarf
  • finish armchair arm cover
  • decide with daughter which cowl (a possible choice) she would like me to crochet, source material for it
  • source materials for Fair Lady Gloves on All Free Crochet and possibly start.
So expect some crochet, knitting and decoupage photos in the next blog.  Happy crafting people!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Is Gardening a Craft?

These are the very first tomatoes that I have ever grown.  I had lots of fun today, taking them out of my large pot and preparing them.  Some were ripening...
and some needed time to ripen so my fella hammered 4 nails in the shed and after I had prepared the vines (leaves, twigs and the littlest of toms went into the recycling bin), I hung them up.
I don't actually eat fresh tomatoes.  Sad but true.  I have never liked them but I do envisage a tomato pasta sauce which I'm sure I will enjoy.  My fella has been eating them straight off of the vine for a few weeks now and has said they are really sweet so I reckon that's a success!  I've deseeded one tom and will sow some more next year.  As to whether gardening is a craft or not.... mmmm.... I suppose there's lots of gardening crafts like wicker work but is gardening a craft?  Well, whether it is or not, I just had to share giggle.

I've finished 3 lace mittens now - in cream, purple and black and a part from feeling a bit dizzy working in the round, I am thoroughly pleased with the results. 

I've started another arm cover for an armchair for my sister but in a different crochet stitch i.e working across in clusters.
It's inspired by the cluster beach bag pattern I started (and will probably finish next year).  Details on how to make this arm cover will be in the next blog.

I've received Simply Knitting issue 99 and the Custard Cream scarf by Kyoko Nakayoshi looks fab so I'm planning to knit it in King Cole Smooth in the natural colour as opposed to the yarn they suggested.  I figured that if I bought the yarn it says to use it'll cost me £27 on line so I thought the alternative King Cole Smooth, although acrylic, is sooooooooooooooo smooth it's dreamy and should cost £12 in total.  The arm cover above, is in the King Cole Smooth and I can't get enough of it. 

I've also got a few ideas up my sleeve for a possible Christmas present - I know, I know, I know!  I promised never to make something for someone unless they asked.  I admit I am a hypocrite.  But I saw it and my brain went 'ping' I know who would 'love' that!  I'm talking in riddles - not to worry, I am sure all will be revealed after xmas.  In the meantime, I've also been looking at some cushions as I think they would be a good way of getting some colour into my life, get some pattern practice and improve on my knitting.  Brain already filling up with possibilities so until next time - get creative!