Cute Curly-Q Crocheted Hat

For Halloween, Princess Thundercloud was a Lalaloopsy, and I made her a bright turquoise blue wig out of yarn. But, they couldn’t wear any part of their costumes to school this year and instead were encouraged to wear crazy hats and socks.  So, of course, I thought I’d just make a crazy hat for her. Ignore the fact that I have only very basic crocheting skills.

One of my friends found an adorable wig for a Merida (from Brave) costume for her little girl.  It was basically a stocking hat, with long curls made of double crochet. I decided to make a kind of similar one, using Lalaloopsy colors, and just curls from the crown of the hat, since I already had the wig she was going to wear for trick or treating…and I decided to do this three days before Halloween. Anyway, the hat turned out almost exactly as I imagined!Hat-1-ChaosServedDaily

To begin, just make a basic hat.  I followed these simple instructions from Lion Brand Yarn, making it all one color rather than changing colors.  Then came the fun part…making the curls for it.

For each curl, I crocheted 25 chain stitches.  Then, into each chain, I crocheted 3 or 4 double crochet stitches.  It looks a little wonky as you’re doing it, but when you finish, it’s simple to twist the stitches into a spiral curl.  I left about a 6” tail at the start and finish.Hat-2-ChaosServedDaily

When I got all the curls made (I made all 7 in one evening), I just tied them securely to the crown of the hat, using the yarn tails. Princess Thundercloud loves it, and she can wear it anytime, since it’s not so crazy people would stare. Well, it’s a little crazy, but that’s pretty much how she dresses every day, anyway.  Confidently dresses, I should say. Hat-3-ChaosServedDaily

I saw an orange hat with a few curly green “vines” that one of my friends made for her baby girl…it was adorable, too!  My conclusion here is that adding a few curly-q’s is always good…they’re like the glitter of the yarn world!

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Arm-Knit (in 30 Minutes) Scarf

I’m sure you’ve seen these Arm-Knit Scarf photos floating around Pinterest or any craft website…I saw whole endcaps of “arm-knitting” yarn at Joann’s and Michaels this weekend.  I made this one last December, when we were in the middle of a cold snap. Well, cold for the Pacific Northwest, anyway. These are fun to make and cozy to wear…I hope you’ll give them a try!

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As you might guess, you use your arms as if they were knitting needles to knit this. There’s a great tutorial at flax & twine,  and if you’re a knitter already it takes no time at all to catch on. I think if you didn’t have some idea how to knit, it might take a couple of tries to get it, but it should still be an easy learning curve.

All you need to make a scarf is 2 skeins of ultra bulky yarn (now conveniently labeled in stores as arm-knitting yarn, apparently!).  Then pull up a good show on your DVR and start knitting!

I made these as Christmas gifts last year, so, unfortunately, I probably can’t do that again this year. I may have to go make some new friends between now and December so I’ll have an excuse to make some more!

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Quick-to-Knit Market Bag

This summer, the county I lived in abolished plastic bags at the stores.  We can still get paper bags, but I’m trying my best to take my own bags. I’ve become really good over the past 5 years or so, taking my bags to buy groceries. But I just can’t remember to take them into Target, Kohls, Michaels…where I buy things other than food. I even keep them in my car, but forget them when I get to the store!  I guess I’m just too excited about shopping!

Way back in college, I had string shopping bags that I used (I was already pretty crunchy, even then!), but they’ve gotten lost or perhaps disintegrated throughout the last few decades. So I decided to knit some!  I made one last summer, but gave it away before I took photos, so when I made this one, I took lots of pics.Bag-Title-ChaosServedDaily

I found a pattern I liked from Martha Stewart, at the Lion Brand site. I had impulse-bought (imagine that!) a giant skein of Bernat cotton yarn last fall, because I loved the colors.  It had 710 yards on it, which will make 2 of these Mini-Market Bags.  The name of the pattern is “mini” but I think they’re pretty generously sized.

You can download the instructions, but I found a few helpful tips as I knit.

1. The base of the bag and a few rows of the body are knit with two strands of yarn.  To do that, I pulled the end from the center of the skein, then the other from the outside.  If you were a good estimator, you could just pull from the center and pull out as much as you would need for those rows. But I’m not that good at estimating.

The starting directions from the website:

Base
With 2 strands of yarn held tog, cast on 24 sts.
Work back and forth on circular needle as if working on straight needles.
Rows 1-19: Knit.
Top
Note:
Work will now proceed in the round.
Set-Up Rnd: Knit, do not turn, pick up and k10 sts across short side of Base, 24 sts across cast-on edge of Base, and 10 sts across rem short side – 68 sts at the end of this rnd. Place marker for beg of rnd. Join by working the first st on left hand needle with the working yarn from the right hand needle.
Rnds 1-3: Knit.
Cut 1 strand of yarn, leaving a long tail to weave in. With 1 strand of yarn, beg with Rnd 1 of pattern, work in Lace Pattern until piece measures about 10 in. (25.5 cm) from Base, end with a Rnd 4 of pattern. Note: End with a Rnd 4 means that the last rnd you work should be a Rnd 4, and the next rnd that you are ready to work will be a Rnd 1.

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2. Once the base and the few rows of the body are started on circular needles, the lace pattern is simple to remember. It’s important to use a stitch marker, so you know where each row begins. The directions continue:

ssk (slip, slip, knit) Slip next 2 sts as if to knit, one at a time, to right needle; insert left needle into fronts of these 2 sts and knit them tog – 1 st decreased.

PATTERN STITCH
Lace Pattern (worked in the round)
Rnd 1:
*(Yo, k2tog); rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: *(Ssk, yo); rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnd 4: Knit.
Rep Rnds 1-4 for Lace Pattern.Bag-Wout-Handles-ChaosServe

3. When the body of the bag is about 11”, you’ll bind off part of it and use the remainder to shape the handles, per the directions.

Shape Handle
Next Rnd: K26, bind off 8 sts, k26 and slip these 26 sts to a holder, bind off 8 sts – 2 sets of 26 sts for each side of handle.
Work rem 26 sts back and forth in rows for first half of handle.
Row 1 (RS): K2tog *(yo, k2tog); rep from * to last 2 sts, k2tog – 24 sts at the end of this row.
Row 2 and all WS rows: Purl.
Row 3: K1, ssk, *(yo, ssk); rep from * to last 3 sts, ssk, k1 – 22 sts at the end of this row.
Row 5: K1, k2tog, *(yo, k2tog); rep from * to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 – 20 sts.
Row 7: Ssk, *(ssk, yo); rep from * to last 2 sts, ssk – 18 sts.
Row 9: K1, k2tog, *(yo, k2tog); rep from * to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 – 16 sts.
Row 10: Purl.
Rep Rows 7-10 until there are 6 sts rem, end with a Row 8.
Work rem 6 sts as follows:
Row 1: K1, (yo, k2tog) 2 times, k1.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: K1, (ssk, yo) 2 times, k1.
Row 4: Purl.
Rep Rows 1-4 twice more, then rep Rows 1 and 2 once. Bind off loosely, leaving a long tail for sewing ends of handle tog. Rejoin yarn to 26 sts on holder and work same as for first half of handle.

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4. You’ll make the handles separately, then sew them together, a simple step. After they’re joined, the directions for the edging are simple.  It’s important to pick up as many stitches as you can, to fit all 78 in evenly. It seems as though you’re picking up way too many, but if you pick up too few, the edging will be too tight and you won’t be able to carry the bag on your shoulder. Trust me. I know.

FINISHING
Sew ends of handle tog.
Border
With RS facing and 1 strand of yarn, beg at handle seam, pick up and k78 sts evenly spaced around one side of handle and top of Tote. Place marker for beg of rnd. Join by working the first st on left hand needle with the working yarn from the right hand needle.
Rnd 1: Purl.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Bind off loosely.
Rep border on opposite side of Tote. Weave in ends.Bag-Handles-ChaosServedDailBag-Done-ChaosServedDaily

There…done! Don’t you need a couple? Each bag takes about 8 hours to knit. And listen to this blog dedication…see those first few photos, that look like they might be on a towel?  Well, they were taken on a towel, on our Alaska cruise.  It was the only what background I could find, and I didn’t want to miss photographing a step, or wait until we were home to finish the bag.  I had planned to spend a lot of time on our verandah, knitting and reading, and that’s just what I did…it was fabulously relaxing!

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TBT: Knitted Shamrock Dishcloths

I love these dishcloths I made last year for St. Patrick’s Day, and, as luck would have it, I find myself in need of a couple of new ones.  There’s nothing better than an evening spent knitting while catching up on all those TV shows hanging around on my DVR…after I have all my schoolwork done for the day, of course!.

Since I made coasters with hearts in them earlier this year, I’m a little fascinated by the patterns achieved by simple knits and purls. I think it’s because it’s a little like counted cross-stitch, which I did (a lot) during my GI Joe’s deployments.

For St. Patrick’s Day, I found a pattern online for dishcloths with shamrocks. Yippee!

Shamrock-Cloth-Green

Isn’t that cool? I also made one using a rainbow yarn, but the pattern is much harder to see and I wasn’t as pleased with it. But it’s still pretty nifty!

Shamrock-Cloth-Rainbow

These take one ball each of cotton yarn, and, per the pattern, I used Size 3 needles to make it more closely knit so that the pattern stands out more.

You can find the pattern from Kris Patay at Kris Knits here. Each dishcloth took about 6 hours to knit, but I’m pretty slow (and I was watching DVR’d programs so had to keep fast-forwarding though commercials and losing my knitting rhythm. Don’t judge.).

The plethora of free knitting patterns online is a source of never-ending wonder to me…all you have to do is Google and suddenly you have more ideas than you can possibly knit in a lifetime!

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Two-Hour Project: Ruffled Knit Scarf

If you’re a craft-fair-stalker as I am, I’m sure you saw the ruffled scarves for sale everywhere this fall. Did you know they are beyond simple to make?  I knit several for gifts this Christmas, and I think they would make fabulous Mother’s Day gifts, as well, especially ones like this:

RUffle-Scarf-Title-ChaosSer

They’re made from yarn which is really a chiffon-ish fabric ribbon with knitting holes along one side. The fabric is so light, they’re really wearable in any season, unlike some of the ones made of heavier, regular yarn.

All you need for this scarf is a skein of fabric “yarn” and a pair of size 9 needles. The directions are on the back of the yarn label, but here they are, in case your yarn has a different set of directions.

1013-Ruffle-Yarn

(from acmoore.com)

  1. Gauge is not important for this pattern. Scarf measures approximately 86 inch long. Notes:This yarn is actually a lace strip with holes evenly spaced along one edge. You will be inserting hook through the holes. If you put your work down, be sure to put a stitch holder or safety pin on the working stitch. This holder needs to be larger than the hole so that your work will not fall apart.
  2. Insert hook through 1st hole from back to front; repeat for 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes. You now have 4 holes on the hook. Pinching together all four holes on the hook with left forefinger and thumb, insert hook from front to back into 5th hole and pull through all holes on hook. Repeat this entire procedure with each group of 5 holes.
  3. Continue until 4 or less holes remain; pull end through last stitch and pull tight. Trim beginning and ending fabric strip points so that they blend in with the ruffles.
  4. Shake out your scarf so that ruffles spiral.

This ruffled scarf took around two hours to make, and probably would have been even faster, but I kept thinking I was doing it wrong, since it was so simple, and frogging it and starting over. Silly, right?  It really IS that simple.

Quick and Simple Chunky Knit Cowl

I am overly ambitious when it comes to making knit projects to give as gifts. Thus, the pile of UFO’s (Unfinished Objects) on the shelf in my craft closet. I first panic that I can’t finish it in time for the holidays, then resign myself to the inflexibility of time (why can’t I have an extra 6 hours per day in November and December, anyway?), and decide it will make an excellent Christmas gift…next year.

But I love it when I can knit up a fabulous gift in just a couple of evenings, say while watching the plethora of sappy holiday movies that I DVR each weekend (I’m looking at you, Hallmark Channel). I stumbled upon these gorgeous Chunky Knit Cowls at Flax & Twine, and now I’m a cowl-making fiend, I tell you! I liked this one made (in a color called Spice) that I had to make another for the original intended recipient.Spice-Cowl-Title-ChaosServe

Since I’m not the designer of the cowl, you’ll have to visit Anne’s addictive site for the pattern…but it’s a quick download, and a super easy pattern to knit. This Chunky Moebius Cowl took less than 5 hours to knit, and that was because I kept stopping to fast-forward through commercials.Spice-Cowl-ChaosServedDaily

While I usually prefer using all natural fiber yarn, this Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick makes a cozy, soft cowl to wear on hikes, walking the dog, or just while I enjoy the last bit of fall color in the backyard.  And you can’t beat the price…the pattern calls for 3 skeins, but I only needed two to get the correct length, so it’s less than $15 to make.

One last selling point…it’s knit on straight needles, so if you can knit and purl, you can make this in nothing flat! And if you can’t knit at all, this would be a perfect starter project with very little to learn!

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Shamrock Dishcloths

Since I made coasters with hearts in them earlier this year, I’m a little fascinated by the patterns achieved by simple knits and purls.  I think it’s because it’s a little like counted cross-stitch, which I did (a lot) during my GI Joe’s deployments.

For St. Patrick’s Day, I found a pattern online for dishcloths with shamrocks. Yippee!

Shamrock-Cloth-Green

Isn’t that cool?  I also made one using a rainbow yarn, but the pattern is much harder to see and I wasn’t as pleased with it. But it’s still pretty nifty!

Shamrock-Cloth-Rainbow

These take one ball each of cotton yarn, and, per the pattern, I used Size 3 needles to make it more closely knit so that the pattern stands out more.

You can find the pattern from Kris Patay at Kris Knits here.  Each dishcloth took about 6 hours to knit, but I’m pretty slow (and I was watching DVR’d programs so had to keep fast-forwarding though commercials and losing my knitting rhythm. Don’t judge.).

The plethora of free knitting patterns online is a source of never-ending wonder to me…all you have to do is Google and suddenly you have more ideas than you can possibly knit in a lifetime!

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Beaded Stitch Markers

As I was perusing knitting needles at the craft store the other day, I noticed a little package of beaded stitch markers. And I thought (go ahead, say it with me!), “I could easily make those myself!”Stitch-Markers-Title

They required just a few supplies, most of which I already had.  I only needed to purchase some earring hooks. To make them, you’ll need some beads (different colors for the main bead of each is best), head pins, and earring hooks.  As far as tools, I used needle-nose pliers and another pair known to me only as “my jewelry pliers.” They most likely have another name.  The tips are conical, so perfect for making different size loops.

Stitch-Marker-Supplies

The first step is to string a few beads on a head pin, then wrap the end around the pliers to make a loop.

Stitch-Markers-Loop

Next, wrap the end around two or three times, then snip it as closely as you can.  Use the needle-nose pliers to wrap it tightly around…you don’t want it to snag your yarn.

Stitch-Marker-Wrapping

Open one of the earring hooks using the needlenose pliers.

Stitch-Markers-Earring

Slip the beaded piece into the open earring loop, then close it using the pliers.

Stitch-Marker-Single

And you’re done! Now you can “tend to your knitting” again, as my grandma used to tell me.  I’m pretty sure she was not telling my nosy nose to actually go knit.

So are you working on any new needlework projects?  I finished my first hat (very successfully, I thought!) and gave it to my sweetie for Valentine’s Day. Apparently he liked it…he even wore it while sitting on the couch watching “Hotel Transylvania” with the hooligans. I didn’t think our house was THAT cold!Signature

Heartfelt Mug Rugs

Just a short post today to show off the coasters (aka mug rugs) I just finished. They really took very little time…less than an hour each.  What a perfect Valentine’s gift…cozy and heartfelt!

Mug-rugs

See, there’s a heart in the center.  I used one skein of Plymouth Yarn Company’s Gina wool yarn to make six of these.  I think I probably could have made eight, but it’s kind of a thing that I like things in sixes…my mom gives me a hard time about buying six place settings or a dozen glasses instead of eight. That’s just how I roll.

Mug-Rugs-on-a-line

I love that they’re each different, but coordinate. You can find the pattern at FaveCrafts.com…but beware…it’s oh-so-easy to get sucked in and lose a whole afternoon to browsing those crafts. Or so I hear.

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Two Lovely Bookmarks

My friend Stephanie sent me the cutest bookmark for Christmas…tiny beaded knit mittens connected by a cord that runs through the middle of your book.  I wanted to make something similar, but with a heart theme for Valentine’s Day. I was pleased as punch with the finished bookmark!

bookmark

Let me say, right up front, that I had not crocheted anything in years, and so I basically had to start from scratch.  It took the better part of a morning, but really was quite simple, and once I learned the basics of chain, double, and triple stitches, along with the “Magic Circle” technique, I can make a double-ended bookmark in less than 15 minutes.

And…get this…I used BAKERS’ TWINE!  I know…isn’t that brilliant?  Yet more justification for my stash of twine in every color! I used an “F” crochet hook (3.75 mm), if you’re interested.

bookmark-loop

1. Make a Magic Circle, leaving a tail about 10” long, and chain 3.

bookmark-stitched

2. Into the circle, crochet

5 double crochet stitches

1 triple crochet stitch

5 double crochet

3 chain

A slipstitch to anchor the chain stitches back to the circle

bookmark-pulled

3.  Pull the end of the loop (not the working yarn) to tighten into a heart. Ta-da!  Then I tied a knot to make sure it stays in the heart shape.

4. To make the other end, simply repeat, leaving about 10” of yarn between hearts.  When you’re done with both hearts, tie a knot at each heart, fastening the strings between to serve as the bookmark.

If you’re like I was, and need more guidance on the crochet lingo and technique, The Party Artisan blog is where I learned to make the hearts, and here’s the Magic Circle info.

Then again, if you can’t be bothered with crochet, or you aren’t in need of a reason to own every color bakers’ twine, then you can make this version, which Princess Thundercloud enjoyed crafting.

paper-bookmark

We simply punched out some hearts from scrapbooking paper, and glued a ribbon between them to make a bookmark. Too bad she doesn’t really need a bookmark for her Fancy Nancy books quite yet, but someday she will!  Thundercloud thought these were awfully clever bookmarks, and wanted to make them for all of her little friends…I think they’ll be a perfect class Valentine!

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