Thursday, September 27, 2012

Free Pattern: Ice bag

Boo-boo bag


















A perfect way to wrap up some ice for those little bumps and bruises. The soft cushion of this pattern is gentle to the touch while allowing cold to circulate. Easy enough to make one for each member of the family in their favorite colors.
This bag fits up to a 4"x6" freezer pack, or a sandwich bag filled with ice.

Skill level:
Easy

Materials:
Crochet hook size F/5 
3 oz Worsted weight yarn
  (acrylic was used for this pattern, but cotton would work well     also.)
Tapestry needle

Gauge:
In 4"x4" : 12 sts, 6 rows

Special stitches:
Foundation double crochet (fdc)* - Ch 3. Yarn over. In farthest st from hook, pull up 1 loop. Yarn over, pull through 1 loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops, yarn over, pull through last 2 loops. Place next st in 4th loop from hook.
*note* This pattern is started with foundation double crochet to provide a little stretch. However, it isn't necessary. If you are not familiar with fdc, feel free to make pattern with a starting chain of 37. Starting in 4th ch from hook, make 34 dc across. 

Directions:
Row 1:
Make 34 fdc. Join to beginning ch-3 with a sl st .

Row 2:
*Ch 3 (counts as dc). Work 1 dc in each st.* Join last st to beg ch-3 through back loop only.

Row 3:
Work 1 dc into the back loop of each st. Join to beg ch-3 with a sl st.

Row 4 - 5:
Repeat rows 2 & 3.

Row 6 - 7:
Repeat rows 2 & 3.

Row 8:
Repeat row 2 from * to *. Join to beg ch-3 with a sl st. Ch 3, turn. 

Row 9:
Ch 3. (counts as dc) Work 1 dc in each of next 16 sts. Ch 3, turn. (17 dc)

Row 10:
Dc 2 tog. Work 1 dc in next 11 sts. Dc 2 tog. 1 dc in last st. Ch 3, turn. (15 dc)

Row 11:
Dc 2 tog. Work 1 dc in next 9 sts. 1 dc in last st. Ch 3, turn. (13 dc)

Row 12:
Dc 2 tog. Work 1 dc in next 7 sts. 1 dc in last st. Ch 3, turn. (11 dc)

Row 13:
Dc 2 tog. Work 1 dc in next 5 sts. 1 dc in last st. Ch 3, turn. (9 dc)

Row 14:
Dc 2 tog. Work 1 dc in next 3 sts. 1 dc in last st. Ch 3, turn. (7 dc)

Row 15:
Dc 2 tog. Work 1 dc in next st. Dc 2 tog. 1 dc  in last st. Ch 3, turn. (5 dc)

Row 16:
Dc 3 tog. 1 dc in last st. (3 dc)

Row 17:
(makes buttonhole loop) Ch 3, turn. Join to last st with a sl st.
Bind off, weave in ends.

Finishing:
Holding project flat, match first and last st together, sl st through both to close gap. Ch 1. Sl st all corresponding sts together with a ch between. (sl st, ch 1) 16 times, sl st last 2 sts together. Bind off, weave in ends.

Bobble button:
Turn project right side out. Join with a sl st around post of st 9, row 5. (With project flat, 17 sts should be able to be counted on one side. Place st in st 9 of this count.)
Make bobble st as follows: Ch 3. In back loop of 3rd ch from hook, (yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 4 times. In front loop of st, (yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 3 times. Yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.
Bind off, weave in ends.


















Monday, September 24, 2012

Free Pattern: fabric scrap chair pad


Patio chair pad



  Recycling can save your behind, literally! Made in a traditional granny square pattern, this project works up quickly with chunky fabric scraps and a large hook.
  Originally designed for those oh-so-comfortable plastic patio chairs, this cushion is portable to take to work, school, or work one up in your team's colors and take it to the game!

Skill level:
intermediate

Materials:
Fabric scrap yarn in 3 colors, about 20 yrds each (cut length), 1/2 to 1 inch wide 
Crochet hook size P, or size needed to obtain gauge
smaller hook for weaving in ends

Gauge:
(this will vary greatly depending on the thickness of your material)
In 4 in x 4 in: 5 tc x 2 rows

Note:
Be sure to test your material before starting. Here I recycled 2 different kinds of shirts. It was necessary to cut one material 1/2 inch thicker to obtain the same gauge.

Directions:
Row 1: Color A:
Ch 4 (counts as 1 tc). In back loop of farthest ch from hook, 2 tc, ch 2, 3 tc, ch 2. In front loop of same ch, (3 tc, ch 2) 2 times. Join with a sl st in top of ch-4 . (12 tc, 4 ch-2 sps)

Row 2:
Turn work, sl st into next ch-sp. Ch 4. In same sp make (2 tc, ch 2, 3 tc), ch 1. *In next ch-2 sp make (3 tc, ch 2, 3 tc), ch 1.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. Join with a sl st in top of ch-4. Bind off, weave in ends.

Row 3: Color B:
Join color B with a sl st in any corner sp. Ch 4. In same sp, make (2 tc, ch 2, 3 tc). Ch 1. 3 tc in next ch sp, ch 1. *In ch-2 sp, make (3tc, ch 2, 3 tc). Ch 1. 3 tc in next ch sp, ch 1.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times, join with a sl st in top of ch-4.

Row 4:
Turn work. sl st in next available ch-sp. Ch 4. 2 tc in same sp. Ch 1. 3 tc in next ch-sp. Ch 1. In corner ch-2, make (3 tc, ch 2, 3 tc), ch 1. *[In next ch-sp make 3 tc in next ch-sp, ch 1] twice. In corner ch-2 make 3 tc, ch 2, 3 tc. Ch 1.* Repeat 2 more times. Join with a sl st to top of ch-4. Bind off, weave in ends.

Row 5: Color C:
Join color C with a sl st in any corner ch-2 sp. Ch 4. In same sp, make (2 tc, ch 2, 3 tc). Ch 1. (3 tc, ch 1) in next 3 ch-1 sps. *In ch-2 sp make (3 tc, ch 2, 3 tc, ch 1).  (3 tc, ch 1) in next 3 ch-1 sps.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. Join with a sl st in top of ch-4. Bind off, weave in ends.

Abbreviations/stitches used:
sl st - slip stitch
ch sp - chain sp
tc - triple crochet

Friday, September 21, 2012

How to make "yarn" from fabric scraps


  From denim to t-shirts,  almost any fabric can be turned into yarn for crochet. Whether its old clothes or fabric scraps from your sewing, fabric yarn is simple to make, and a great way to recycle!
  You could sew fabric strips together as for bias strips, or I can show you the easy way! This method works on most fabrics. To start you will need your fabric scraps and scissors.

  If you are using a recycled item of clothing and it is tube shaped (t-shirt, legs of jeans), I recommend cutting in the spiral method, as for plarn. See here:
 http://crochetistheway.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-09-14T18:57:00-04:00&max-results=1&reverse-paginate=true
  Regardless of the shape of your material, you will want it cut into strips anywhere from 1/2 inch to 2 inches wide, depending on the bulk of your fabric. A quick tip: A pair of good, sharp scissors will be a lifesaver. Trying to cut fabric with dull scissors is a pain.

See patterns using fabric scrap yarn:
Recycled fabric necklace
Fabric scrap chair pad

  Here I will be using an old t-shirt which I cut into about 1-inch strips. 

Once you have your fabric strips cut and ready, its time to join them. Cut a slit in both ends of each strip to be joined.

















Run one end of strip 1 through slit in strip 2 so that the slit is past where you inserted it.





Pull opposite end of strip 2 through the slit in its other end.


















If tails stick out, trim them as closely as possible.





Keep pulling through until snug.




Continue for as little or as much as you need! Here is the results of 3/4 of a men's medium t-shirt. The upper back was unusable. At 1-inch thickness, it made 25 yards.




Tip:
  Test your yarn! Keep in mind the bulkier the fabric, the more space it will take up in your project. I once thought I was going to crochet a rug from denim strips, only to find I had cut them too wide. Not only could I use a hook no smaller than a size P, but had I made the project, I would have had a rug about 2 inches thick! (Which would have been cool, if it wasn't also as stiff as a piece of cardboard.) When you get at least 1 strip cut, work it up to test your gauge. You may just save yourself from having a pile of unusable denim.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Free Pattern: Can Cozy

Plarn Can Cozy



  












After trying a few different patterns, I find this one seems to have the most flat bottom.
  The main pattern fits a standard 12 oz. can. Directions are given to extend pattern to fit a larger 16 oz. can for all you energy drink lovers. Both are made slightly larger than the can, with a decrease at the top for a better fit.

Skill Level:
Easy

Materials:
Plarn from about 10 bags, 2 colors, cut about 2 inches wide
Crochet hook, size needed to obtain gauge
Tapestry needle
Permanent markers (optional)

Gauge:
11 sts in 4 inches across, 1 row of sc plus one row of dc = 1 inch high.

Note:
Use permanent markers to color bags before cutting to obtain any color combination you wish, or simply use different colored bags. If you color your plarn, expect some of the marker to rub off while working. Use isopropyl or rubbing alcohol to clean this up.

Directions:

Round 1: Color A
Ch 4. In farthest ch from hook, make 11 dc. Join with a sl st in top of ch-4. (12 dc)

Round 2:
Ch 3. Dc twice in next st. 2 dc in each st around, 1 dc in last st. Join with a sl st in top of ch-3. ( 24 dc)

Round 3: 
Ch 1. One sc in each st around. Using color B, join to ch-1 with a sl st. (24 sc)

Round 4: Color B
Ch 1. One sc in each st around. Join to ch-1 with a sl st.(24 sc)

Round 5:
Ch 3. One dc in each st around. Using color A, join to ch-3 with a sl st. (24 dc)

Round 6: Color A
Ch 1. One sc in each st around. Join to ch-1 with a sl st. (24 sc)

Round 7:
Ch 3. One dc in each st around. Using color B, join to ch-3 with a sl st. (24 dc)

Round 8: Color B
Ch 1. One sc in each st around. Join to ch-1 with a sl st. (24 sc)

Round 9:
Ch 3. One dc in each st around. Using color A, join to ch-3 with a sl st. (24 dc)

Round 10 : Color A
Ch 1. One sc in each st around. Join to ch-1 with a sl st. (24 sc)

Round 11 for 12oz can:
Ch 1. Sc 2 tog. One sc in each st around.  Join to ch-1 with a sl st. (23 sc) Bind off, weave in ends.

Round 11 for 16oz can:



Ch 3. One dc in each st around. Using color B, join to ch-3 with a sl st. (24 dc)

Round 12: Color B (16oz)
Ch 1. One sc in each st around. Using color A, join to ch-1with a sl st. (24 sc)

Round 13: Color A (16oz)
Ch 1. Sc 2 tog. One sc in each st around. Join to ch-1 with a sl st. (23 sc) Bind off, weave in ends.

It is recommended that you wash the finished project in warm, soapy water before using.


Abbreviations/stitches used:
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
ch - chain
sl st - slip stitch
sc  2 tog - single crochet 2 together

Friday, September 14, 2012

Free Pattern: Halloween decoration

Crochet Plarn Ghost

You could make these little guys out of yarn, but why not re-purpose some plastic grocery bags and have some fun Halloween decorations? The best part is, there is absolutely no waste with this project!
Adjust the size of your project by adding or subtracting an even amount of stitches and rows. Example: If you increase the number of stitches in a row by 5, then you will add 5 rows. 
The ghost shown here is 13 inches corner to corner.
Unfolded square is 10 inches by 10 inches.

Skill level:
Beginner

Materials:
About 8 plastic grocery bags cut into plarn about 1 1/2 inches wide
Scraps from cutting bags
Crochet hook
Tapestry needle
Permanent markers

Stitches Used:
Chain, slip stitch, single crochet

Gauge:
(not important) 12 stitches and 12 rows in 4 inches with hook size I/9.

Note:
If you are unfamiliar with plarn, see here:
http://crochetistheway.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-09-14T18:57:00-04:00&max-results=1

Directions:
Chain 26. Or begin row 1 with 25 Foundation Single crochet.

Row 1:
Starting in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across. Ch 1, turn. (25 sc)

Row 2:
Sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.

Row 3-25 :
Repeat row 2.
Bind off.

Edging:
Join plarn in any corner sp. Ch 2. *1 sc in next sp, ch 1*. Repeat from  * to * around all 4 sides of square. Join with a sl st in 1st ch of beg ch-2. Weave in ends.



Finishing:
Stuff plarn scraps in the middle to make a ball.  Fold square corner to corner. 
















Thread plarn on tapestry needle. Sew closed around ball. 



Using permanent marker, draw eyes and a mouth. With hook, join plarn in top center of ball. Ch 8. Join with a slip stitch. Fold corners upwards, or leave as they are.

Abbreviations used:
Ch- chain
Sl St- slip stitch
Sc- single crochet 
Sp- space



How to make "Plarn"



*Hi everybody! It's been a long time since I created this tutorial! I'm stuck on mobile again, and this is the first time I've viewed this page in a mobile browser. If it's as messed up for you as it is for me, then I'm sorry. I'll get this fixed as soon as I'm on a PC again! Spacing and moving pictures is impossible on this cheap tablet.




"Plarn" is made out of recycled plastic bags, and today we will learn how to create it, if you don't already know. It can be made from grocery, garbage, bread bags, etc. Just about any kind of plastic will work, but I find bags with seams (like potato chip bags) tend to break where the seams are.


  If you are familiar with plarn, use your preferred method, or maybe try something new. There are probably about 100 ways to make plarn, this is just a method I learned on the internet, then came up with a new way of joining the strips together.This way is great for those of you who are tired of weaving in ends.

  If you use the "loop" method for joining plarn strips, that's fine. I used to do it that way, and it seems to add a ton of strength to the plastic, but it also takes twice as many bags and leaves lumps in some projects.

  *Note* I have not researched whether or not someone came up with this way of joining before me. I'm not claiming to have invented this method, but if I did, then cool! Enjoy it.

Click here to see a list of patterns using Plarn

  After tiring of weaving in so many "plarn" ends during a project, I remembered reading about a method called the "Russian join" which involves splicing the yarn and weaving it into itself. This isn't really a Russian join, that is only what inspired this idea. 

 So, without further ado, I give you "spiral-cut plarn joined with a splice".

If you are new to cutting bags for plarn, begin with just one. With practice and good scissors (or a rotary cutter), you can stack many bags to cut at once.

Step 1:
If your bag has handles, cut them and the bottom off as evenly as possible, but don't worry about it being perfect, plarn is forgiving.













Step 2: 
Fold/roll the bag up side to side, leaving about 1 to 2 inches unfolded at the top.













Step 3:
Hold the bag by the fold firmly so it doesn't unfold. Cut into this fold starting 1 to 2 inches from the edge. Make sure you cut all the way through the folded part, but do not cut into the unfolded "tab" at the top. Continue cutting in this way, keeping strips as evenly spaced as possible.













Step 4:
Open the bag, holding by the uncut "tab". It should look like this:



Make your first cut along the top side where the strip meets the "tab", straight across up to the next strip.




Step 5:
Each cut will now be placed from bottom to top; starting on the inside of the tab closest to you, ending cutting to the inside of the tab above it.




  









If all goes correctly, you should now have one continuous strip of plarn.















Now, to join the strips together...



Step 1:
Cut a slit lengthwise along each end of the strip, leaving about 2-3 inches at the end. Make sure the cut is wide enough for the plarn to fit through, but try to not get it too long. With too large of a cut, this allows room for play, sometimes letting the plarn come loose again.














Step 2:
Pull the end of one plarn strip through the other, until the slit in this strip is past where you put it in.













Step 3:
Take the tail from the opposite strip and pull it through the other slit.
























I call this a "double splice."
If you prefer, you can do the "single splice", however, this takes a really long time to pull the whole tail through, and is not as strong.

Step 1 - 2
Same as above.

Step 3:
Take the tail of the strip that is inside the slit, run it through the opposite tail of itself.














  You can see why this takes awhile, when you have 15 feet of plarn to pull through; it does make a clean join though.

 Just playing around, I made this with produce bags, and colored some of it with permanent marker. I like the way the sun shines through it when I hang it in the window, like a sun-catcher. I'll have to make a nicer one. What can you think of to make out of plarn?



Saturday, September 8, 2012

A discusion on tutorials

 When I learned to crochet, I did not have Internet access at the time. The only thing I had was a short overview in a book on the basic stitches, which wasn't very clear. After some time of following patterns which never came out right, I discovered that I was crocheting into the back loops of the stitches only. While this is acceptable in some situations, and even called for in some patterns, it caused my projects to end up different from the pattern.
  I also had trouble understanding why my stitch count repeatedly reduced itself every row. This was because the book didn't cover the end of the row, and I didn't know that the previous row's first chains counted as the last stitch. Now knowing these things, it seems like something I should have known from the start. But...I did what my book said.
  Why admit to these things, which others might deem a 'stupid' mistake? I was learning. Nothing is ever a stupid mistake when you're learning, only a misinformed decision. I thought when making these tutorials: If I made these mistakes, someone else might have the same problem. This is the reason for the seemingly repetitive pictures. If anyone has problems, I would be glad to post even more pictures, if it helps.
  However, there are so (soooooooooo) many tutorials on the Internet. There are e-books, blogs, videos...the list goes on. I've mentioned before how everybody learns differently. Maybe videos help you. Perhaps you prefer to learn from a book. Whatever your difficulty, if there isn't someone out there already posting it, there may be soon. If you can't find help for what you need, contact someone. Leave a comment if you need help with anything I have posted.  Also comment if there is anything you think I should do differently, I'm open to suggestions.
 
 

How to: Triple Crochet

  The Triple crochet in height is the tallest of the 'basic' stitches you will learn. This tall stitch provides a lacy effect on its own; when combined with chain stitches, you can produce expansive openwork suitable for delicate wraps and summer attire.
  To begin, chain desired number of stitches. Add 4 chains to this. Yarn over from back to front twice.


 Insert the hook in the 5th chain from hook. These 4 chains make the height of the next stitch.


  Pull up a loop. (4 loops on hook)



  Yarn over, pull through 2 loops. (3 loops on hook)



  Yarn over, pull through 2 loops. (2 loops on hook)



  Yarn over, pull through remaining 2 loops. (1 loop on hook)



  Continue to the end of the row.



  Turn your work. Chain 4, to meet the height of the next stitch.



  Yarn over twice, insert hook in next stitch. pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through 2 loops. Yarn over, pull through 2 loops. Yarn over, pull through last 2 loops.

 
 
 
 


   Continue to the last stitch, which is placed in the top of the chain 4 from the previous row, and will look like this:







  Practice!