Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hamilton Hat Pattern

Here's a new pattern, just in time for some holiday gift-giving! The Hamilton hat is made using sc, hdc, dc, fpdc, and bpdc.  The hdc crown is warm, the sc/dc combination gives the body an interesting pattern and texture, and alternating post stitches make up the brim. Follow the directions below carefully for a XS (14”), S (17”), M (19”), L (22”), or XL (24”) sized beanie.

2 skeins worsted weight [4] yarn (Vanna's Choice, Red Heart Super Saver, I Love This Yarn) in different colors. This amount of yarn will actually make two hats, if you switch the colors.
J Hook
I Hook

Do not cut the yarn after each round, just run it up the seam for the next round. Change colors with the sl st that joins each round. Instead of pulling up the color you are working with, pull up the color from the previous round.


Crown Round 1: With J hook and color A, 9 hdc in magic circle, join with a sl st

Crown Round 2: ch 1 (does not count as a stitch) 2 hdc in each hdc around, join with sl st into first hdc (18)

Crown Round 3: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next stitch, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (27)

Crown Round 4: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (36)

Crown Round 5: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (45) (4” diameter, for XS, add one extra stitch (46), continue to Body Rounds)

Crown Round 6: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (54) (4.75” diameter, for S, continue to Body Rounds)

Crown Round 7: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (63) (5.5” diameter, for M, add an extra stitch (64) and continue to Body Rounds)

Crown Round 8: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first hdc (72) (6.25” diameter, for L, continue to Body Rounds)

Crown Round 9: ch 1, *2 hdc in first stitch, 1 hdc in next 7 stitches, repeat from * around, skip the last increase stitch, join with sl st into first hdc (80) (7” diameter, for XL, continue to Body Rounds)

Body Round 1: ch 1, sc into first stitch, dc into next stitch, repeat from * around, join with sl st into first sc

Body Round 2: change to color B, ch 2 (does not count as a stitch), dc into the first sc, sc into the next dc, join with a sl st into first dc

Rounds 3-X: Repeat body rounds 1 and 2, sc into every dc, dc into every sc, alternate colors every round (For XS: X=6, for S: X=6 or 8, for M: X=8 or 10, for L: X=10 or 12, and for XL: X=12) Increase X for a longer hat, end with a Color B round. Note: For an average kid size I would make the L with 10 rows, and for an average woman size, I would make the L with 12 rows

Brim Round 1: change to color A, ch 1, sc into each stitch around, join with a sl st into the first sc

Brim Round 2: change to I hook, ch 2 (does not count as a stitch here and throughout the brim), dc into each stitch around, join with a sl st into the first dc

Brim Round 3: ch 2, fpdc around the first stitch, bpdc around the next stitch, repeat from * around, join with a sl st into the first fpdc

Brim Rounds 4-5: Repeat round 3, fasten off and weave in ends.  (For XS, end with round 4)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Off the Hook: Dream Catcher Necklace Holder

I've been working on making a bunch of these Dream Catcher Squares to make a blanket for our friends' baby. I tried making one of the squares with some scrap yarn that I had, but I ran out before I was done. Darn. I loved the way it looked and the color, so I frogged it back to round 10, attached it to a metal ring, and added an easy chain loop for hanging. It seemed like it was missing something, so I hung a couple of necklaces from the bottom. Perfect!

My 1/16th Native American (Lenni Lenape, if you're interested) is pleased!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Free Cross Stitch Patterns

Some good friends of ours recently found out that they are (85% sure they're) having a girl, and we are so excited for them! (Okay, actually, I was really hoping for a boy so we could pawn off all Elijah's clothes and old toys, but I'm very happy to welcome another little girl into my life as well.) I decided to get a head start on some gifts for her (or maybe him). I don't know what their theme for the nursery is (I don't even know if they know what the theme is), but after some Pinterest stalking of mutual friends, it seems there is a tribal/native American themed baby shower in the works. Working within that theme, I decided to put my cross stitch skills to good use and design a few simple patterns. My plan is to put them into small frames as nursery art.

Here they are!

Tribal Arrows
Dream Catcher


Want to make some? You can download my patterns here:
Note: There seems to have been some issue with the sharable links. I have tried linking them again. Please leave a comment for me if they aren't working. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tapestry Crochet Sea Turtle Pattern

Having recently discovered tapestry crochet, I've become a bit obsessed and been inspired to create some new patterns. First up is this little sea turtle:

This would make a cute pillow or blanket, but I used the pattern to make a zipper pouch. For someone who LOVES sea turtles as much as I do, this is awesome! This pouch measures 6.5"x8.5", the perfect size for a 7" or 8" tablet or a journal.

To make this pouch, follow these directions:
(If you need some help with tapestry crochet, check out this awesome tutorial from A Crochet Journey.)

  • 2 colors of Cascade Ultra Pima yarn. I used about 1/2 a skein each of Major Teal and Bright Olive
  • 3.25 mm hook (I used a Boye steel 0/3.25mm hook, but a D hook is the same size), but you can use a smaller hook for a smaller pouch with a denser fabric, or a larger hook for a larger pouch with a floppier fabric
  • zipper (or closure of your choice)
  • pattern chart (and organizer)
With color A, ch 50

Round 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook (place marker), sc across until the first chain (48 stitches), in the first chain work 3 sc, then sc across the back edge of the chain, in the last chain (the same one as the sc with the stitch marker) work 2 sc (100 stitches total) - do not join

Round 2-50: Hold color B and work your stitches over it until it is time to change colors, working in the back loop only (BLO), sc around following the pattern chart, changing colors when indicated. You will work each round of the pattern twice (once for the front of the pouch, and once for the back). Move your stitch marker up at the end of each round (or don't and suffer the inevitable consequences). At the end of round 50, fasten off and sew in your zipper or the closure of your choice.

Note: While an color change worked in the wrong stitch here or there won't make much of a difference in the overall pattern, you will want to be extra careful when placing your second color B stitches in round 3. If your count is off, your second turtle will end up off-center (ahem, not that I know this from personal experience or anything...) but even then, it's not the end of the world.

Tip: If you're using a zipper, I have found that it works best to use my sewing machine to sew a guide line on the zipper to help me hand-sew it into the pouch.

Hand-sewing without guideline:

Hand-sewing with the a guideline:

So much better, right?

Happy crocheting, fellow sea turtle fans!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hot off the Hook - Magenta Moroccan Tote

Here it is, my finished Moroccan tote by A Crochet Journey!

It has real leather handles and a lining that was hand sewn in with teeny tiny stitches. I machine sewed the lining (with interfacing to stiffen it up) and then used the machine sewn line to guide my hand sewing. I love it, and I'm really excited to use it!

But, whew, that was a lot of color changes...

Now, what to make next...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Crocheting with Kids - Getting Creative with Legos

It used to be easy to crochet for an extended amount of time. Before Elijah, I had TONS of time to do whatever I wanted (hurray for being a college instructor and only working 2-4 hours a day). After Elijah (and the initial sleep deprivation), there were 3 hour nap periods. Now, he's 4 1/2, rarely naps, and isn't usually in bed until 9:30. During the day, my crochet work gets interrupted to put shows on TV, make food, play games, clean up messes, etc. During the evening, it gets interrupted by my need to sleep :). I've had to get creative with how I deal with all the creative things going on in my head, and still spend quality time with my kid.

(Case in point, while writing the above paragraph, I stopped to straighten a blanket on the floor, to get Elijah a granola bar, to get him a glass of orange juice, and to change the Netflix show.)

Enter Legos.

Elijah has only recently gotten into Legos. We have a box from when I was a kid, and we got a couple more boxes of blocks for Christmas. Both James and I love playing with Legos, so we're excited that Elijah is entering this phase. The other night, I decided to do some crochet planning while playing with Legos.

How cute with this be as a granny square blanket?

And those tiny 1 square blocks? Perfect for planning tapestry crochet designs. I was imagining a little coin purse.

For me, this is the perfect solution. I get to work on my stuff and play with Elijah at the same time. He has now even started to make his own "designs", which just means he fills up a board with random blocks. I just might take a picture of one and make him a blanket of his own creation at some point. How sweet would that be?

Even if you don't have kids, using Legos to plan out crochet projects is fun, but expensive if you don't already have the blocks. Weren't these things cheaper when we were young?

How do you get creative when crocheting with kids?

June Yarnbox Luxe

As a birthday gift to myself in May, I signed up for Yarnbox Luxe and I am so excited! Yarnbox is a subscription box club that sends out curated boxes of yarn, knit and crochet patterns, and other notions. They currently have 4 different subscriptions that you can sign up for - Classic (monthly), Sock (monthly), Plus (starting in July), and Luxe (quarterly).

Even though the Luxe is really only geared towards knitters, I signed up for it anyways because I wanted the more luxurious yarns, and the other notions they include in the box. Turns out, in the December box, they will have a crochet option - yay!

So, here's the box.

And here's what's inside:

7 (!) skeins of Shibui Knits Linen yarn from Portland - this is the muted neutral colorway of ivory, ash and field. Each skein of this linen yarn has 246 yards, so I have 1722 yards to play with. The yarn feels a little rough, but I hear that linen softens as you work with it and after it gets washed.

Octave, a knit scarf/wrap pattern by Shibui - this is a cute scarf/wrap, and while I have considered making a crochet version of it, I have found a couple other patterns that I might make instead. Check out the Rococo Waistcoat which is currently in first place on my list. I could use a pretty neutral vest this summer.

Wee Lil' Pouch from splityarn - this is cute and will probably end up holding my yarn needles and stitch markers...or change in my purse.

Stitch Markers by Bling Your String - I plan to add lobster clasps to these so I can use them for crochet

All of this for about $75, which includes 2 day priority shipping. I am overall very impressed with this box and am looking forward to using my new yarn and seeing what comes in the next shipment in September!

Yesterday Afternoon

This is what I was looking yesterday afternoon:

Elijah and I were holed up in the studio with the portable AC unit on full blast. I had my feet up because they've been swelling from the heat, and I had an ice pack in my lap that Elijah has his head on. We have been dying in this heat. It was the first afternoon in forever that he hadn't been asking me every 3 minutes if we could go outside. Thank goodness for that small mercy.

Now, I know across the country upper 80's/low 90's is nothing to write home about, but here in the Puget Sound region, it's HOT. And I mean AC units and fans are sold out across the area, there are cooling stations for the homeless and the elderly, and we're under an excessive heat warning HOT. James and I are feeling a little smug about the fact that we ponied up the cash back in April for a new AC unit since it is now selling on craigslist for twice what we paid.

And there's no end in sight to the above average temperatures. Sunday is even daring to have a high temperature of 97. Really? it October, yet?

In other news, also seen in the picture is the Moroccan Tote Bag I've been working on. Only 19 more rounds to go! I've enjoyed working on it, and I am loving tapestry crochet, but I'm excited to get this bag off the hook so I can use it! On the table is a scrap yarn rug that I've been working on and off on to whittle down my yarn stash. That clothes hamper in the background is full of donations, including two bags of fabric (gasp!). That's probably sacrilege to someone, but I was running out of room and I need to pare down some things, so it's got to go!

As we head into this holiday weekend, I hope you have a fun and safe 4th of July! Hopefully, I'll be back next week with my finished bag!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"It's a Girl!" Again...

This past weekend, I traveled to Las Vegas to celebrate my best friend Sarah's birthday with her and our moms (who are also best friends). Sarah found out that she was having a girl back in mid-April (at 16ish weeks), so I planned to give her my "It's a Girl! gift on our trip since I hadn't even started anything for her at that point (shh, don't tell her!). You can check out the "It's a Girl!" gift for her first daughter, Elladie, here.

Elladie had a peacock themed nursery and Sarah was planning on keeping the same theme for her new daughter, Avarie, but I wanted to give her something a little special and unique. So I decided on a flamingo theme. The colors are the same as the peacock theme (teal, aqua, and white) with some pink thrown in to make it special.

The most time consuming part of the gift was this blanket. It is worked in a 7 triple crochet shell stitch with a 4 round single crochet border and measures about 36"x36".

A flamingo appliqued beanie. There's no pattern as I just made this one up as I went, but it turned out pretty well.

Luckily, since it was almost summer, there were flamingo themed clothes available at Carters.


I also ran across a flamingo print hooded towel.

A paper embroidery design to match the one that I made Elladie for her baby shower.

And a simple bag to put in all in.


For Sarah's birthday present, I made 4 stretchy bracelets with different bird charms for each of her kids.

The eagle is for her son, Wyatt, the peacock for Elladie, the dove for Charlee, who was miscarried, and the flamingo is for Avarie.

Sarah, happy birthday and congratulations on your soon-to-join-us-on-the-outside little girl! Avarie, I'm looking forward to you arrival!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hello, Summer!

Hey! It's been awhile. How have you been?

The last few months have been busy and not busy at the same time. Work was busy, Elijah was busy, my crochet hook was busy, but this blog has been pretty un-busy. That's not that I haven't had anything to say, I just haven't had the inclination to actually get on here and say it.

First, I've been whipping up baby stuff like it's going out of style. So many of my friends are pregnant right now. I've made 3 different Seahawks themed hats, a couple of lovies, some crochet lined fleece blankets, and a whole "It's a Girl" gift for my best friend, Sarah. I'm giving that to her this coming weekend, so I'll post the pictures after she has seen it first.

I've been working on a couple of projects for me, as well. I'm working on a purple and teal "blip" blanket, similar to this one. I've also got the Moroccan Tote by A Crochet Journey on the hook. I've been enjoying learning tapestry crochet, and just this morning I designed a pattern for a sea turtle that I'm going to try to make into a zippered pouch in tapestry crochet.

For my birthday early last month (Hello, 31!), I bought myself subscriptions to Yarnbox Luxe and FabFitFun. They are both quarterly subscription boxes - 1 for yarn, 1 for beauty and health products. I got my first boxes last week, and they are so much fun! My dad also got me a 3 month subscription to Hammock Pack, and that first box arrived two days ago. I love getting fun stuff in the mail! I signed my husband up for The Ramen Box, and he is looking forward to seeing what arrives. Do you receive any subscription boxes that you love?

Also, for my birthday, I wrote down a list of 31 Things I Want to Do Before I Turn 32. Mostly it's things I've been meaning to do (get all my yearly doctor/dentist visits in - ugh), things I think I am gradually getting to old for (chalking my hair, getting a henna tattoo - of a sea turtle, of course), things I want to make (crochet a pair of socks, dye a skein of yarn), and places I want to go (Winthrop, San Diego). It was fun thinking of the list, and it's been fun crossing a few things off of it (read a new series - Check! Lady Julia Grey series thanks to birthday present from a coworker; take a flowing water picture - Check! Narada Falls, Mt. Rainier).

As I write this, 12 students are sitting in front of me, furiously scribbling away on their finals. Once they are done, I plan to correct them, submit my grades, and say "hello!" to 16 weeks of Summer break! It has been a good class, and a good quarter, but I'm ready for a break. I'm hoping to be around this space more often, but I make no promises, because life is life, and life lived off the computer is good.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

On the Hook - A Crochet Journey's Moroccan Tote

Seriously, how cute is this bag?

Source: A Crochet Journey
It's not often that a pattern I've seen keeps me up at night. When I saw the Moroccan Tote by A Crochet Journey, I knew that I had to make it at some point. "But, wait! I don't know how to do tapestry crochet," I said to myself. "That's okay, there's a tutorial on the blog. I'm sure I could figure it out...eventually." And then came the sleepless nights. I was literally dreaming about finding the perfect yarn and making the bag. What the heck?! I mean, I love crochet and everything, but I don't dream about it. I honestly kept waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it...

Okay, at this point I should probably also mention that I had just been diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis and was given a tetanus booster shot in the same arm (worst decision I've made in a while), so the pain I was feeling could have also played a part in the waking up...but still, I was constantly thinking about the pattern, so I knew I needed to make it sooner rather than later. Luckily, I had just finished the last big project I had on my hook (more about that later), and I could easily put the smaller things aside for a while.

So, yesterday we stopped by a new yarn shop (Acorn Street Yarn Shop) in Seattle and I bought the 3 skeins of Cascade Ultra Pima I would need to make it. I went in wanting a deep blue, but walked out with a beautiful purple-y magenta (you know how it is when you're standing in front of all those colors) and white.

And now that Elijah's in bed, it's time to get to work. Whenever there is counting involved in a pattern, I have to wait until my little "Oh you're counting? I can count, too!" helper is down for the count.

Wish me luck on the tapestry crochet, and stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Monday Surprise

Today, when I picked Elijah up from school, I noticed that he had something shiny in his sweat-soaked hair (they had just been outside). I fished around and pulled out a sequin. I showed it to Elijah, and do you know what he said to me?

"I was hiding it for you, Mama!"

That kid. Anytime he sees a sequin he gives it to me - a mini sequin probably lost from a little girl's shirt at the mall play area, a bigger sequin someone dropped at the beach, and now pilfering one from school in his hair. What can I say? He knows what I like :)

It sure made my Monday, and I hope you are surprised with a little something wonderful to make your day just as sweet!

(In other news, I am surrounded by pregnancy announcements and baby crochet hook can not keep up, but my Facebook newsfeed is certainly exciting.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March Update

Happy April Fool's Day!

Here's Elijah's idea of an April Fool's Day joke...that he did in mid-March...thanks random April Fool's Day Caillou episode!

Let me tell you, he was SO proud of himself! It was pretty cute!

In like a lion, out like a lamb...

Apparently March here in the Pacific Northwest did not get the memo. The lion decided to take some time off, and sent the lamb out early. We had beautiful weather for most of the month. That's not to say we haven't had our obligatory rainy days, but they really have been few and far between this winter. Instead of gray skies and drizzly rain, which would be the norm for the beginning of April (and May...and June), I'm looking out the window at clear blue skies and sunshine. Seriously, Mother Nature, what's up with you?

March was a pretty good month. I finished out Winter Quarter, enjoyed a week and a half Spring Break, and have been back at work for 2 days. My mind has been pretty occupied with work stuff, so there hasn't been a lot of crafty-creative things going on around here. I've been working on reading guides for a couple of different novels to use in class. Up first was updating and correcting the guide we made for The Book Thief over winter break to get it ready to use this quarter. I'm still finding a few errors in it, but every quarter it gets better and better. I'm also working on one for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet which I want to use in class in the future.

I've also been trying to find some new books to read for class, so I've been working my way through some books set in the Seattle area.
  • Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford - more difficult language as well as a more difficult story dealing with topics I would rather not discuss in class (rape, abortion, suicide)
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - cute story, relatively easy language, but not really classroom appropriate

I did manage to get one more pattern up in the shop - the Billi Beanie that I originally made for my aunt who is going through chemotherapy, so I'm still on schedule for accomplishing my New Year's goal of publishing 12 patterns this year.

The only other thing we did creatively this month was making a batch of salt dough egg and butterfly ornaments to hang on some twigs we collected from our neighbor's yard. Have I mentioned how much Elijah loves eggs? It's bizarre, but he has been obsessed with eggs since he was probably 18 months old. Easter is by far his favorite holiday! It's cute and weird at the same time.

I got a new Microsoft Band last weekend, which has been fun. I know it's mostly used for fitness, but I actually got it because I miss so many calls and texts. Either Elijah has my phone, I forget to take it out of my bag during class, or I'll have it in my back pocket where I have little feeling because of having nerves cut during back surgery when I was 12. It's been reassuring to know that my wrist will vibrate whenever I get a call or text so I don't always have to keep remembering to check my phone. The Microsoft Band isn't terribly comfortable, but it's not uncomfortable either. I think it just takes a little getting used to.

We also took Elijah to the Pacific Science Center for the first time last weekend. Man, it seems so much smaller than it did when I was a kid. Amazing how that happens, huh?

I hope you had a great March, and that your April is filled with lots of fun things and good weather!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Pattern for Sale: Billi Beanie

There's a new pattern in my shop, The Billi Beanie.

Created as a chemotherapy cap for my wonderfully crazy aunt Billi, this beanie is made of a soft cashmere-angora-wool blend yarn in beautiful colors. It is sized for an average adult, and it measures 22” around and 8” in length.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Update

Here's what I've been up to the last month...

 I found this kit from Dimensions and made a cute peacock feather cross stitch necklace.

I bought some fantastic Noro Shiraito yarn (color 31) at Apple Yarns in Bellingham, WA on our way home from celebrating Elijah's 4th birthday, and made this hat for my aunt. The pattern will be available sometime in March.

I played around with some funky rainbow colored yarn from Loops and Threads Soft and Shiny (Fiesta). The hat is my Ruby Turban pattern, and the jellyfish is from Lalylala. (Be sure to click on the EN tab to get the pattern in English.) These are also for my aunt.

I made this simple cute mandala from Made in K-Town to hang in my kitchen, which has been rearranged and has gotten some new textiles.

Just this morning I made this cute little elephant for one of my coworkers. It's a bit bigger than the fingertip sized crochet elephant she jokingly posted on my Facebook page, but I think she'll still love it. I work the pattern using Loops and Threads Soft and Shiny in Gray with a G hook. I also left the wings off and added a bow and a simple sc scarf (ch 41, work 40 sc, extra sc in the last stitch, 40 sc along the other side of the beginning ch, extra sc in last stitch, join with sl st, fasten off, weave in ends).


We got our family pictures back from Cassandra Hamilton Photography. You can check out the rest of our pictures here.

 I read The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James.

All in all, it's been a good month. I hope your February was full of lots of wonderful things. Now, on to March!