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Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Dillon Hat

I have been making custom items for my friends and family, at their requests, for some time now.  However, recently it has really taken off and I have had lots of requests for custom knit and crocheted goods.  I can do custom items in many ways--my friends can describe an idea and I'll find patterns that fit the description or they can show me various photos of knit/crocheted items and I can come up with a design that combines the aspects of each photo that they like best.

Up until recently I had never tried to create an item from a photograph that was NOT of a knit/crocheted item.  At the end of 2012 one of my friends asked me if I would be able to make a newborn-sized hat that looked like the family's bulldog.  She sent me a few different photographs of the dog (what a cutie!) and with a bit of trial and error, I was able to produce a crocheted version of him!

Here are two of the pictures of Dillon that I used as my inspiration.

Here is the final hat that I made!

And here it is on little Gianna!  She is just so adorable and could make any hat look cute! :)  I'd like to send a big thank you to her mommy, Jazmin, for sending me these pictures of her little one in the hat and letting me use them on my blog :).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

FO: Puppy Hats

Not too long ago one of my favorite blogs, Repeat Crafter Me, posted a new free "Puppy Hat" pattern. This pattern has a very high cuteness factor!  I love this blog for a few reasons 1) it's loaded full of great  ideas and patterns (she is the creator of the Owl Hats that I've made so many of), 2) it's well written and fun to read, and 3) she let's you use her patterns as you wish as long as you give her credit.  I absolutely love that because then I can use her patterns and make things to sell--perfect!

So far I've made two of these puppy hats.  One in child size and one in the smallest size (0-3 months).

Pattern: "Puppy Hat" from Repeat Crafter Me

Yarn: Both hats are made from Vanna's choice yarn--oatmeal for the puppy part and other colors for the accents.

Size: The blue hat is made in child size and the pink hat is 0-3 months.

Hook Size: H, 5.0 mm for both hats.

Notes: Love the pattern and everything about it.  Super quick and super cute.  You can make a few of these in a day.  My only problem was that the child size hat fit my head....and I don't have a tiny adult-sized head.  My gauge was spot on, so I'm not really sure if I had some other issue.  Good thing is that children's heads grow--so it will fit my friend's nephew perfectly at some point.

Monday, February 11, 2013

FO: Sweet and Swingy Dress

My friend Alyson is expecting her second baby in March--a girl!!  I'm so excited for her family and their upcoming addition.  I've been crafting away making a few things just for the occasion!  I've known Alyson and her family since I was in the 6th for like 18 years (WOW!)  I'm actually going to be in her sister Alexandra's wedding in October as a bridesmaid :)...Alex and I are yarn buddies and have been pals since we met in our 6th grade class...but I'm getting off topic.

Pattern: "Sweet and Swingy Dress" by Ellen Gormley which is available in the May/June 2009 issue of Crochet Today!

Yarn: TLC Baby Solid in powder pink with accents of Patons Beehive Baby Sport in Big Girl.

Hook Size: H, 5.0 mm

Size: According to Ravelry, this pattern runs REALLY small.  Since the baby isn't born yet, I figured that this wouldn't be too much of an issue and picked the 12 month size to make.

Notes: I have to say that I don't think this is a dress sized for a 12-month-old.  I don't have a baby to compare it to, but it just seems small...which is perfectly fine because the baby will only be a few months old this summer and maybe it will fit perfectly then!  I really loved making this dress.  The way to do the accent crab stitch around certain areas is genius!

I decided to add a little flower to the front of the dress.  I did this for two reasons-- 1) the back of the dress is identical to the front and I wanted to tuck my ends and start the accent colors on the back of the dress to make any finishing less noticble and 2) I wanted a little more detail and I didn't like the look of the three rounds of detailed edging on the bodice of the dress.  The flower is called the "10 minute flower" by Boomie and can be found for free online.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the English instructions.

What would I change if I was do make this again (which I will be doing)?  I would either make one shoulder have buttons so that it would be easier to put on/take off of the baby or try and incorporate a slit and button hole on the back of the dress.  The neck line is stretchy and wide-ish, but I just would feel better knowing it would be easy for mommy or daddy to dress the baby.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

FO: Baby Bibs

You'll see in the coming posts that I've been busy making a bunch of baby items.  It seems as if a lot of my friends have been asking me to make them stuff or having babies!  Here is one of my favorite patterns for a handmade bib.

Pattern: "I-Love-Stockinette Baby Bib" by Laura Treadway which is available as a free Ravelry download.

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in plum and berry.

Needle size: US 7

Size: As written, no modifications.

Notes: I really enjoyed using cotton-ease for these bibs.  I love the way that they turned out.  The drape is nice and they really don't curl that much.  I've used Knit Picks comfy worsted before, but I've found that they really curled a lot.  Also, I did not slip any edge stitches on these bibs and I think that might have helped them to not curl? Just a thought.

Friday, February 8, 2013

FO: Shades of Yellow and Green

My first project of 2013 (which took me just over a week) was a baby blanket.  My friend requested a ripple baby blanket in gender-neutral colors including yellow and green.  This is what I came up with.

Pattern: "Shades of Coral" by Jan Eaton, found in the book 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns

Yarn: Mostly Vanna's Choice and Vanna's Baby and a little bit of Lion Brand Pound of Love.  I picked greens and yellows first and then added beige and white to round out the colors.  I like using acrylic for baby items because of its softness, durability, and how easy it is to care for.

Hook size: I, 5.5 mm.

Size: I measured the blanket agains the quilt I used to have in MY crib as a baby ("Quilty").  Although I didn't record the finished dimensions, this blanket would be called "crib-sized" so it will won't be out grown for a while (if ever).

Notes: This was a really great and fast project.  I actually began at the end of December (12/30) and finished it by January 9th!  I tucked the ends in as I went along, so that I didn't have to worry about them after it was done.  The border is one row of single crochet.  I didn't do any adjustments along the top and bottom ripples as I made the border.  I'm very happy with this project!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

FO: Crocheted Flower Motif String Bag

I came across this pattern when I was looking for Christmas gift ideas.  I actually made the pink bag for one of my friends, but we've yet to seen each other for the holidays, so I might just end up with it for myself.  The pattern is a really nice pattern (although I found that some of the counts were off).  It's free and quick (took about a week of off and on crocheting) and easy!  I definitely recommend this one.

Pattern: "Crochet Flower Motif String Bag" by LisaJedi Gwinner and it's available as a free Ravelry download.

Yarn: The pink bag is made using Knit Picks Cotlin yarn in Cerise and took about 1.75 skeins.  The green bag is made using Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy in colorway 017 and took about 1.5 balls.  Both I had in my stash--the Cerise from my spring/summer crocheted cardigan and the Hempathy from my I-91 Shop Hop vacation.

Hook size: F, 3.75 mm

Size: The size was as written in the pattern.  My only issue was that I ended up with more loops in the final round than the pattern states.  I think I had 111 or something like that.  Really, it's not a big deal because all you're doing is the top edging and then adding the handles.  This happened both times I made the bag.  To compensate for this difference I just recalculated where to place the handles of the bag.  Easy peasy :).

Notes: The bag holds WAY more than you think it would.  Seriously this bag is awesome!  You can see that I have a few boxes of cereal in the first one and I think some cans and whatever else I had in the kitchen that I could stuff into the bag :).  The green one is now being used as my "stuff carrying bag" for yoga--which is working out really well!  My towel and clothes are all sweaty and gross (eww but AHH) when I'm done with class and the meshiness of this bag allows it to dry really easily.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

FO: Dallas Cowboys Football Hat

One of my friends saw the football hats that I made last year and asked me if I would be able to make her daughter a Dallas Cowboys themed football hat.  Here's what I came up with.

Pattern: "Football Hat"by Brenda K. B. Anderson available in the 8th issue (December 2011/January 2012) of Knitting Today! (aka Your Knitting Life).

Yarn: I actually had trouble finding yarn that seemed to suit the Dallas Cowboys colors.  My friend said that it would be ok if I had to use navy, so that's ultimately what I ended up with.  A lot of the blues were too bright and a lot of navys were too dark.  I ended up using Loops and Threads Impeccable in Navy and Vanna's choice in Silver Heather.

Needle size: US 7's for the ribbing and US 8's for the rest.

Size: Adult size with my usual modifications--2 extra rows on the ribbing (done in K2,P2) and two extra rows on the top stripe before and after the decreases.

Notes: My friend's daughter wanted braided tails, so I cut twice as many lengths of navy as of silver and threaded them through the bottom of the ear flap and then braided them.  I was braiding with two navy sections and one silver.  I'm very happy with the final product as is my friend! I hope her daughter likes it just as much.  This is a great pattern to make (I've made 4 of them so far).  My only issues are that the ear flaps curl, they are thin, and the laces detail is a bit of a pain to sew on.  Other than that, I totally recommend it!

Happy Super Bowl!