Sunday, January 07, 2018


I'm pretty sure I've posted about them before. Basically it's a hooded scarf-SCarfhOODIE. I've been meaning to make one for the longest time, and now I have. You basically work the hoodie part first and then attach the scarf. I'll attempt to explain how I did mine. I didn't use a pattern, but I did look up several to research the basic construction and then I began on mine. I might even post the pattern if anyone is interested.

Like my model? Anyway, obviously I ran out of purple yarn before I finished the scarf. I was already aware of that when I chose that color and so I simply finished that last row with the blue and then continued on with it for the edging. It doesn't bother me and it gives the scoodie character. It's very warm and soft too. If we get any more bitterly cold weather I'll even get to try it out before spring.

I call it the Ribby Scoodie, for obvious reasons. Basically I chained 70 (should have chained 71 to get an even number of sts, but oh well) Then I hdc in the 2nd chain and each chain across. Then I chained one to turn all rows (did not count as a stitch) and would hdc in the horizontal strand just under the top of the stitch. This would push the top of the stitch over so I got a line of chains across my piece. After about thirty rows of this I crocheted the hoodie together at the top, only using the inside loops of the last row of hdcs (Also did this from the right side). Fastened off, then I chose another color of yarn and chained 71. Then I hdc across like with the hoodie, then I hdc across the bottom, free loops of the hoodie beginning chain. Then I did a 70-chain hdc beg chain on the other side. Basically this means that you YO, insert hook in the bottom st and pull up a lp. You have three lps on hook. YO and pull through ONE lp. You still have three lps on hook. YO and complete the hdc. Repeat for as many hdc as you need. Then I completed the scarf in the same way as I did the hoodie (you will decide how wide you want your scarf). For edging, I simply sc evenly all the way around (3 sc in corners) and then did V-sts for the final rnd. In corners I would dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1 and dc. I would sk 2 sc between V-sts to keep my work flat. Also, you  need to use the tail of the scarf ch to fasten that part of it to the hoodie before you hide it. You'll see what I mean if you try this, so leave yourself a generous end when you begin your scarf.

So, I used WW acrylic yarn. The pink is RHSS and I have no idea what brand the purple is. The blue is also RHSS. The purple is also a bit thicker than the pink/blue, but it was still classed as WW, if I remember from the wrapper it used to have. Same difference if you look at RHSS and Simply Soft. Both are classed as 4 weight, but RHSS is slightly thicker than Simply Soft.

I also used a 7mm hook to crochet it. 7mm is between a K and L hooks, so either of those would work as well. I don't have a gauge, but it's pretty unnecessary. Just make the hoodie and scarf whatever size you want by varying the number of chains.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Basic Hat Construction

To crochet a basic beanie you will need yarn and a crochet hook. You can use anything from crochet thread to super bulky yarn with appropriate hook for it. Then you will need to decide which stitch you want to crochet your beanie with. Single crochet will give you a nice, tight material and it will be easier to control the size. My favorite is the half double crochet. You get the convenience of a small stitch, yet slightly bigger than a single crochet. You could go double crochet, but then you get into a more loose fabric which might let in more cold air. Still, it's your decision.

You want to start off with a small beginning ring, or as I like to do, crochet into the first chain of your beginning chain. It should be large enough to hold your first round of stitches and will give you the smallest crown 'hole'. For single crochet hats chain 2, for half double also chain 2 and for double crochet chain four, with the ch-3 being your first stitch, you will need 11 more.

Your first round will depend on which stitch you select. Single crochets should only need a starting number of six, half double crochets need a starting number of eight and double crochets need a starting number of twelve.

Your next rounds will consist of increasing by your starting number each time, evenly around, until your crown is large enough. This will depend on if the hat is for a preemie, a newborn, a baby, a toddler, a child, a teen or an adult. Your best bet here would be to measure the head that the hat is meant for, and then crochet a circle that has a diameter of roughly one quarter that. My head is 22” around and I usually make my crown to about 6” diameter. For a beret-style hat, make the crown roughly half the measurement of the head it is meant for.

Then you will crochet in even rounds until the hat is the right length. That's just about it. Easy-peasy.

Now if you want a slouchy hat, you can simply crochet around until it's slouchy enough before ending off. For a beret-style you would make an even bigger starting circle, crochet evenly for four to six rounds and then decrease (Using the beginning number of stitches you started with-6/8/12/etc) until the hat is the right size. Here you might want to attach a single crochet ribbing band.

To attach a ribbing band, you will want to switch out your hook for another that is at least two sizes smaller than the one you were using. In other words, if you were using a size K hook, then you would switch to a size I hook. Then you will chain a length for however wide you want your ribbing to be, plus one to turn. Then single crochet into the second chain from hook and all other chains. Then you will slip stitch into the next two stitches of your hat and turn. You will now work in the back loops only of your band. Skip the two slip stitches and single crochet into each single crochet of your band. Chain one and turn. Single crochet back up to your hat and slip stitch into the next two stitches and turn. Got the pattern? Do this all the way around the hat, until you reach the beginning of the band and end up at the outside edge of the band. Slip stitch the last row of the band to the free loops of the beginning chain and you're done!

Now if you'd rather start at the hatband, you would make a strip of single crochet ribbing, crochet the ends together, then start crocheting on the edge of the ribbing evenly around. When you reach the crown, then you decrease evenly to shape the crown, or continue until hat is the right length, end off, leaving a long tail, weave the tail through the last round of stitches and pull tight. Secure the tail to the inside of the hat. Slouchy hats would follow the same construction, just crochet till it's slouchy enough and end off. For a beret-style you would increase stitches until it is right, then decrease towards the crown.

Really, it's all up to you what you want to do with your hats, I'm just giving some basic guidelines to get you started.

Monday, May 29, 2017

As promised

Here's a picture of the finished sock. I finished it quite awhile back (weather was still very cold too), and have been wearing them since.

They're just a little big on me, even though I used a needle one size smaller than the pattern author did. I think I could go down another two sizes if I wanted.

I also got an inspiration from this pattern and wrote my own. It's constructed the same as this one, in that you knit them on two needles. However, you knit each row. Yes, it's a garter stitch slipper sock with short row toes and heels. I have it up on my Ravelry store as a free download. Here's a peek at it:

This one doesn't have a mate because I didn't have enough yarn to do one. As it was only so I could add an image to the PDF file, it's okay. I'm working on several pairs right now. Black, blue, mauve, a pair for the granddaughter with heels/toes/ribbing in a varigate and the rest in blue.

I think a size 5 needle will give a typical adult sock, while a size 3 needle will give a kid size. I wouldn't go smaller than a size 3 with WW yarn though.

And since I put the pattern up last week, it's had around 236 downloads and 62 favorites. I'm quite happy that so many like it. I just hope the directions are clear enough for them to get as pretty a sock as I did.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Knitting socks on straight needles

That's the way socks were first knit. Before the invention of dpns or circular needles, knitters had to knit socks on straight needles. I wanted to try this for myself and I found a very easy pattern for doing so. Best thing of all, it was free!

The Easiest Knitted Socks Ever

And it is easy. The author gives the pattern that fits their foot, so you'll have to adjust for your own foot. Any competent knitter can do this easily. However, I did make a couple of other changes.

I made short row heels and toes rather than decreasing/increasing at heel and toe. When they're sewn up they look like short row toes and heels. I also didn't go down as many stitches as she did. I have wide feet and heels, so I only decreased 16 stitches at the toes and heels. I also didn't need as many rows for the bottom of the foot. Only 30 rows. I also added a couple more rows of top ribbing (for 6 rows), which made the top ribbing an even inch in width. As I made changes, I noted them down in notepad in a condensed format since this sock is a plain, stockinette sock.

Here's a couple of in-progress photos of it, so you can see, I'm using straight needles and knitting both socks at the same time. Though I'm only knitting them *almost* flat. Doing it like this and I'll only have to close up the two side seams, since the heels and toes are already done.

The top one is the back of the leg and heels. The bottom one is the bottom of the foot and the toe almost done.

Now, to go this route, you will have to do each heel and each toe separately. I didn't cut my main color when I did the toes and heels since I knew I could just pick it back up for the last purl row of the short rows. All in all, it's been a great knit. I'll post finished pictures when I finish them. I'm already almost finished with the insteps, so I'll just need to knit the front of the leg and the ribbing. I'm toying with a stretchy bind off for that since this sock is basically a top-down/toe up sock. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I've been fascinated by this concept for years. I found some pictures of projects that are simply an amalgamation of stitches, motifs and imagination that looked absolutely incredible. Freeform can be knitted or crocheted or both. They start with scrumbles-tiny pieces of knit/crochet stitches. Put them together and/or start adding to it by picking up stitches along an edge and knitting or attaching your yarn somewhere and crocheting. There is no pattern, though you may need templates if your final piece is going to be a garment.

There is no right or wrong to this, you simply use  your imagination, yarn and needles or hooks. I'm working on something and it's incorporating knit and crochet. I don't know yet what it is going to be, it hasn't told me yet. But I have lots of tiny amounts of yarn of different weights and looks, along with motifs and pieces of things I've done just to see what they looked like. So, I know it's going to be a large project to incorporate that stuff, but what will it be? Wrap? Afghan? Blanket Shrug? Even I don't know yet. But it seemed like a good idea to put it all together in a showcase of things that otherwise had no use individually.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


We need them. The skin of our hands just isn't tough enough to pick up a casserole dish straight out of the oven, or to hold onto a hot iron skillet handle. They're easy enough to make, whether you knit, crochet or sew. You can find any number of patters on the internet, most all of them free. Or you can make one up yourself. Any five to six inch square will do. Just make two of them and sew them together with the right sides facing out. Or crochet them together. As long as it's doubled, single thread squares make better dishcloths. However, don't make them too fancy, unless you're going to use them to decorate your kitchen with. I've found that if the potholder is too pretty I don't want to use it for its intended purpose, which will make it all grimy and greasy, eventually.

I've even come up with a simple pattern myself, called a Pot Grabber. It fits over iron skillet handles so you don't even need a potholder. Also, a Lid Grabber, which fits over hot pan lid handles. I'll have to write them out in my pattern blog, if they're not there. And I don't think they are. I put them on Crochetville a long time ago. Still, they're out there, and only take a short time to make. I don't sell my patterns, if I come up with one. They're usually so simple that giving them away is best. I like to share my work, not sell it.

Still, for plain, utilitarian potholders, one of the easiest, quickest and best ones I've found is the diagonal potholder

However, I do change it a bit. I'll work the first part of the round just like any other, sc down the ch and not worry about loops. There will still be an unworked loop to use for the second part. Also, for a smoother texture, crochet through both loops of the scs. When you go to sew it together, I don't use whipstitch. I'll do the first two loops as if I was going to, but then just move to the next sc on the side the thread came out of. I think this stitch has a name, like box stitch or something? Anyway, only going through the loop on the top as you see it, and moving down the same side as your needle comes out gives a better-looking seam. There's a video somewhere showing this. Yes, here it is Video

The next plain potholder is the waffle stitch, or Helena stitch potholder. It's also called the thermal stitch. It's double thick without holding two strands together as well, which is good. A good picture tutorial is right here Helena stitch potholder

Both of these are great for beginners, though the thermal stitch one can be fussy if you don't count your stitches and make sure you didn't miss an end stitch, as that sucker can hide. Otherwise, they make great plain potholders if you need one in a snap. They make great gifts too. Give them to brides, friends, family. They'll use them all the time. I made my daughter a couple of hotpads over a year ago and she uses them all the time. It's a round motif that I got from my mom and I sat down and figured out how to make it. Yes, you need two of them and you simply crochet them together with wrong sides touching. They're great for hotpads or potholders.

In conclusion, any solid square that you know how to make will make a great potholder. Use two strands held together if you don't want to do any sewing, or make two identical squares and sew/crochet them together.

Also, on another note, the double knitting technique of the Hoover baby blanket could  also be adapted to a potholder too.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Double knit

Not the yarn weight, actual double knitting. Where you have a double thick fabric. Like in the Hoover baby blanket.

You can actually do smaller projects to get the feel of working any of the variations. A potholder, a doll blanket, or a scarf would all be good. I'm actually working on about a half size blanket for a kitty mat. Also a potholder/dishrag/dishtowel. I think I'll do a potholder in all three versions. I can never find one when I need one, so they won't go to waste and I can use some scrap yarns that I always have around. I also think a scarf would be nice for people who live in areas of very cold winter weather. I'd probably suggest a short one where you sew the two ends together so it slips over the head to avoid dangly ends that will likely unwrap the scarf from the neck. I forget if these types have an official name, but I'd rather wear one like that rather than a long one.