Will crochet for coffee

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coffee cup cozies, java jammies, mug sweaters . . . Whatever you want to call them, they are great projects for beginners, a quick gift, or just to use up bits of yarn. I wanted one that would keep your hand cool and your coffee warm no matter what cup you were using. Here is what I came up with.

Adjustable Coffee Cozy

Yarn: 50-70 yards of worsted weight, I used Galway Paint

Hook: US G, 4.00mm

Notions: button about 1”dia

Gauge: Not important for this pattern

Special stitches:
FPDC - Front Post Double Crochet: Yarn over. Insert hook around post of next stitch from right to left. Yarn over, finish DC as usual
Waffle stitch - *DC in the FPDC, FPDC in the DC*

chain 19

row 1: dc into 4th ch from hook, dc in next 15 sts (16 dc)

row 2: ch 2 (counts as hdc here and throughout), turn, *fpdc around first st, dc in top of next st* 7 times, hdc into top of turning chain (16 sts)

row 3-25: ch 2, turn, *fpdc around dc from last row, dc in top of fpdc from last row* 7 times, hdc into top of turning chain (16 sts)

row 26: ch 1, turn, slip stitch into next 5 dc, ch 1, sc into next 6 dc (6 st)
row 27: ch3, turn, dc into next st, ch2 & skip next 2 st, dc into next 2 st (6 st)
row 28: ch1, turn, sc across (6 st)
Repeat rows 27-28 5 times (6 buttonholes)
Finish off and weave in ends.

Sew on button around row 8 or so.


This pattern hasn't been tested by anyone but me, so feedback is welcome!

Making peace with denim-style

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I frogged most of the scarves I was making with Bernat's denim-style yarn. I was really starting to hate that stuff. But I have finally made peace with it. It works up nicely as a hat when I use an L hook (8.00mm).

It has been wicked cold the past couple of weeks. Great yarn weather. I keep adding more winter-wear items to my Ravelry queue. I can't possibly get them all done, but I can't stop collecting them. Every once in a while I'll go through the queue and weed out the items that, when I'm honest with myself, I know I will never make.

I keep adding more yarn to my stash, too. I've got to stop buy yarn until I get some of these projects done. But there are so many lovely yarns out there calling my name. I'm currently glomming on Highlander from Alpaca With A Twist. It is so soft and buttery. And the colors are homey and comforting. This yarn just makes me happy.

Scarf Mania

Sunday, November 9, 2008

With the economy in the tank, it's a good year for homemade gifts. That's why everyone is getting a scarf this year. At the moment I have nine different scarves in the works, with more on the way.

Most of them are in Bernat denim style yarn. I love the way this yarn looks on the shelf. Unfortunately, it's not as much fun to work with. It's almost a bulky weight so it needs at least a J-hook to have any loft whatsoever. I'm keeping the stitches simple because even a basic V-stitch felt too stiff with big holes.

But it did give me an opportunity to try a slip stitch pattern based on David Benjamin Burchall's techniques. Using a Bates P-hook (11.50MM), I am alternating back loops and front loops. The resulting looks similar to a knitted American moss stitch. And the fabric is soft and drapey. I'm pretty happy with it.

On the knitting front, I finished my garter stitch scarf and have started moss stitch scarf and a ribbed scarf (both in Bernat denim). I have also started a hat using a beautiful mint green Highlander yarn from Alpaca with a Twist. I love this yarn so much I don't even mind using pointy sticks. It is so soft I can't wait to touch it. My husband is starting to question my relationship with this yarn.

Stick it

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm becoming bi-stitchual. I started a garter stitch scarf the other day to give the knitting muscles a work-out. I will never love working with pointing sticks the way I do with hooks. I just don't think that way. But I would like to be competent enough to knit at least one pair of socks in my lifetime. I know there are folks that crochet socks and more power to them. I just don't like the feel of crocheted footwear.

Good N Plenty bag

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

After the monster crochet bag, I needed to prove to myself that I could do a reasonably sized string bag, so I set out to make a bag using one 2oz ball of cotton worsted weight. The yarn I chose reminds me of Good N Plenty licorice candies.

I'll post pics as soon as I get a good shot out of my crap digi-camera. In the mean time, here's the pattern. If you make this bag, please post comments. I'd love to hear your feedback.

Good N Plenty Bag
(one skein cotton string bag)

This pattern is worked in rounds from the top down to make it easier to adjust for the variable yardage of individual skeins. Because yarn is sold by weight, yardage can vary from skein to skein. The more dye a yarn has, the few yards it will offer per skein. The idea is to get as many rounds out of your skein as possible.

Work both loops throughout. Mark the end of each round with a stitch marker or scrap of yarn to help keep track of rows.

Finished size: approx 10” high x 9” wide

Gauge: 7 rows = 2” and 6 stitches = 2”

Yarn: Peaches N Cream (worsted weight, 100% cotton; 2 oz) 1 ball of #198 Black Cherry Ombre

Hook: USJ10/6.00mm

ch = chain
rnd = round
sc = single crochet
sl st = slip stitch

Ch 49, sl st to join being careful not to twist the chain (do not turn throughout)

Rnd 1: ch 1 (counts as 1st sc), sc in each ch around, sl st to join (49 st)

Rnd 2-3: ch 1, sc in each sc around, sl st to join (49 st)

Rnd 4: ch 1, sc in next 7 sc, ch 10 skip next 10 sc, sc in next 14 sc, ch 10 skip next 10 sc, sc in next 7 sc, sl st to join (49 st)

Rnd 5: ch 1, sc in each stitch around, sl st to join (49 st)

Mesh body:
Rnd 6: *ch 4, skip 1 sc, sc in the next sc* 24 times (24 ch loops)

Rnd 7-15: *ch 4, sc in ch loop* 24 times (24 ch loops)

Rnd 16: 2 sc in each ch loop around, sl st to join (48 st)

Rnd 17-19: ch 1 (counts as 1st sc of rnd), sc in each sc around, sl st to join (48 st)

**Rnd 20: ch 1, sc in each sc around, sl st to join, fasten off

Whip stitch the bottom closed (make two passes if you have enough yarn left), weave in ends.

** Note: Repeat Rnd 17 for as many rows as possible while still leaving enough yarn to sew the bottom closed. If you have enough to make it to Rnd 21, go for it. If you can only get to Rnd 19, that's ok too.

Voulez-vous crochet avec moi?

Friday, October 17, 2008

The manager of my LYS asked me if I'd be interested in teaching a crochet class. I am both flattered and freaked out by the idea. Getting paid to teach people to hook . . . what's not to love!

But what if I am a lousy teacher? These people are paying me to learn how to crochet. I'm not just wasting their time if I suck. I'm wasting their money, too.

Classes don't start until December. That should give me plenty of time to get over myself and plan some lessons.

For the love of all that is fuzzy . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grumble, grumble, grouse, growl . . .

I finally reached the top of the string bag and I can't help but notice how enormous this bag seems. It is only now that I realize the pattern called for a F hook (3.75mm) but I've been using an H hook (5.oomm). D'oh! And this, my friends, is why you should always check you gauge.

But I'll be damned if I'm going to rip it out and start over. I'll just call it a beach bag instead of a market bag and pretend I meant to make it big enough to hold a Buick.

By now, my entire left hand has turned green from the dye in this yarn. Luckily it washes off easily. This colorway is a bit obnoxious in a dense fabric, but the loops actually look kind of pretty. They remind me of goldfish scales. I'll post pics when I finally complete the handles.

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