Thursday, December 19, 2013

Free Pattern and Tutorial: "Fmelted Plarn" coasters






No, its not totally mumbo-jumbo or a typo, but I did make it up. So what is it?...





  When you crochet or knit with certain fabrics, it can be felted. How do you do that with a plarn project?... Melt it! Using an iron on low temperature, some wax paper, and your finished project, you can turn ordinary plarn into solid plastic. Let's get started!


See How to make Plarn
Now with matching Basket


Notes on "Fmelting":

  • If you have ever worked with fusing perler beads, this works (and smells) the same way. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation. You will be melting plastic, and its a really bad idea to inhale a bunch of fumes.
  • You will be using a hot iron. Use the usual and necessary precautions.
  • I'm providing a free, simple pattern for this tutorial, but feel free to try this with any of your own projects. First, practice the "fmelting" on a small piece to test the temperature of your iron. Appliance temperatures may vary.

First, for the pattern details:




Finished size:
4 1/4" (10.8 cm) diameter


Skill Level:
Easy


Materials:
Crochet hook size G/6 - 4.25mm or size needed to obtain gauge
Plarn cut 3" (about 7.5 cm) thick - about 4 bags per coaster
Cork and/or felt stickers


Gauge:
First round measures 1 1/4" (3.2 cm) across


Directions:

Round 1:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in farthest ch from hook. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (12 dc)

Round 2:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), turn. 1 dc in same st. 2 dc in each of next 11 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (24 dc)

Round 3:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), turn. 1 dc in next st, ch 1. {1 dc in each of next 2 dc, ch 1} 11 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (24 dc, 12 ch)

Round 4:
Turn. Sl st into nearest ch-1 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same sp, ch 1. {3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1} 11 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (36 dc, 12 ch)

  Stop! At this point, you have a perfectly good, usable, crocheted coaster. You don't have to continue if you don't want to. If so, bind off and weave in your ends now. Call it done and don't look back. But...if you want to have some fun, follow along...

Round 5:
Sl st in each st around. Bind off, weave in ends.

Because this round has no increases, your piece will begin to curl. That's okay, it will come out flat when you "fmelt" it.


Mainly to make it easier to attach the cork, I blocked the pieces overnight under a heavy jar.


Preparing the coaster for "fmelting":
If you are using cork on your coaster, cut it to the desired shape and size:


Center it on the side of the coaster you want it on. I used cork with adhesive so it would stay put while "fmelting". If you don't have adhesive cork, its okay, it will bond when the plastic melts.


If you are using felt stickers for "feet", don't put those on yet.

Directions for "fmelting plarn":

Materials:
Coaster or other object crocheted with plarn
Iron
Wax paper
Ironing board or other heatproof surface for ironing on

Preparations:
Preheat you iron on the synthetic (lowest) setting.

On your heatproof surface, sandwich your plarn object between two layers of waxed paper.

Remember: Ventilation!

Get ready to "fmelt":
Once your iron is ready, gently set it on the waxed paper. Do not push or add pressure. It is best to slowly move the iron in small circles:


I started by melting each side for 30 seconds. I want mine really melted, so this won't do. However, its looks and feels cool:


You can melt it a little, and it will still be flexible, sort of crispy, and your stitches will show. It takes about  1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side to get to this stage:


Or you can melt it a lot, and it will be solid plastic, with not much showing of the stitches. It takes almost 4 minutes per side to become this way:


This last one is one I was just practicing on. After about 5-6 minutes per side, the end result is this:


Although I didn't think about it while making these, I really recommend putting some non-skid felt stickers on the bottom, because the plastic slides easily across a tabletop. You can put a glass on the plastic side and use the cork as the bottom side, or just use felt stickers and no cork, but I worry the plastic could damage finished surfaces without something to cushion it.




Shared on:


Friday, December 13, 2013

Free Pattern: Shining Stars Bookmark


  This bookmark would make a great addition to any "star" reader's collection. The pattern is a bit challenging, but finishes in no time. The design is enjoyable for all ages and can be made in the color of your choice.
  Finished size is 8" x 2" (20.5cm x 5 cm).


Skill Level:
Intermediate

Materials:
Steel crochet hook size 4
Size 10 crochet thread

Gauge:
One star = 1" (2.5 cm)


Stitches:
Slip stitch (sl st)
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)
Triple crochet (tr)
Dc2tog and dc3tog - {Yarn over, insert hook in designated space. Yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops} twice for dc2tog, three times for dc3tog. Yarn over, pull through all loops on hook (3 for dc2tog, 4 for dc3tog).

Directions:

Begin with a sl st.

Round 1:
*Ch 12, (dc2tog, ch 5, sl st) in 2nd ch from hook. {Ch 2, dc2 tog, ch 5, sl st} 4 times in same st.* Repeat from * to * 4 more times.  (5 stars)

Round 2:
*{Sl st into next ch 2 sp, ch 2. (Dc3tog, ch 4, sl st) in ch-5 sp, ch 1} twice. Sl st in next ch 2 sp, ch 2. Dc3tog in ch-5 sp^. {Sl st, ch 2} twice around ch-10. Sl st in same sp, ch 1.* Repeat from * to * 3 more times, repeat from * to ^ once, sl st in 4th ch from star. {Ch 2, sk 2, sl st} twice. (Ch 4, 1 tr, ch 3, 1 tr, ch 4, sl st) in same st. Working around: **{Ch-2, sl st around ch-10, under next ch-2 of previous side} twice. Ch 1, sl st in top of dc3tog, ch 3, sl st into ch-5 sp, ch 1. {Sl st into next ch-2 sp, ch 2. (Dc3tog, ch 4, sl st) in ch-5 sp, ch 1} twice^^, sl st around ch-10.** Repeat from ** to ** 3 more times, work from ** to ^^ once.

Round 3:
Turn (last ch-1 of round 2 counts as turning ch), (1 sc, ch 1, 1 dc) in same sp. Ch 7, sl st in top ch-4 st. {Ch 12, sk 1st available ch-4 st, sl st in top of next ch-4 st} 4 times. Ch 7, 3 tr in ch-4 sp, ch 3. (3 tr, ch 1, 3 tr) in ch-3 sp. Ch 3, 3 tr in ch-4 sp. Ch 7, sl st in top of dc3tog. {Ch 12,  sk first dc3tog, sl st in top of next available dc3tog}4 times. Ch7, (dc3tog, ch 1, 1 sc) in ch-4 sp. Ch 4, join with a sl st to turning ch.

Round 4:
Turn. Sl st into ch-4 sp, ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 3 sc in same sp, ch 3. (3 sc, ch 3, 6 sc) in ch-7 sp. {Ch 2, 10 sc in ch-12 sp} 5 times. Ch 1, sk 1 st, 2 dc, ch 1. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc in corner ch-4 sp. Ch 1, 3 sc in ch-1, ch 1. (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in ch-4 sp. Ch 1, sk 1 st, 2 dc. Ch 1, {10 sc in next ch-12 sp, ch 2} 5 times. (6 sc, ch 3, 3 sc) in ch-7 sp. Ch 3, join with a sl st to beg ch-1.

Round 5:
Turn, sl st into ch-3 sp, ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 2 sc in same sp. Ch 3, (2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc) in corner ch-3 sp. Ch 4, {3 sc in ch-3 sp, ch 4, sk 4, sl st in each of next 2 sts, ch 4} 5 times. 3 sc in first available ch-1 sp, ch 1, 3 sc in next ch-1 sp. Ch 1, (3 sc, ch 2, 3 sc) in corner ch-3 sp. (Ch 1, 3 sc) in each of next 2 ch-1 sps. {Ch 4, sk 4, sl st in each of next 2 sts, ch 4, 3 sc in next ch-3 sp} 5 times. Ch 4, (2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc) in corner ch-3 sp. Ch 3, 3 sc in next ch-3 sp. Ch 2, join with a sl st to beg ch-1. Bind off, weave in ends. Block, starch if desired.

Note:
  The top of the pattern was designed for a tassel to be added. In the end, I chose not to add it because it will be given to a child. One who repeatedly removes tassels and fringe, so I won't waste my time, but I thought it would make a lovely addition, if you don't plan on giving it to a master of destruction.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Free Pattern: Plarn Soap Dish



  Do you have a pile of old grocery bags laying around? Turn them into a useful object like this soap dish! Combine with a few decorative soaps, towels, or similar items for a thoughtful gift with handmade flair.
  This pattern works up as slick as the soap it will hold. Made with plarn cut extra thick and a larger hook, it takes less than a day to throw one of these together. The stiffness of plarn mixed with cluster stitches makes big bobbles that keep your soap from getting soggy. The textured, yet airy design is also great for drying sponges.


Skill Level:
Easy

Materials:
Plarn - 10 bags cut into 3 inch (2.5cm) wide strips, per dish.
  *I use the spiral method. If you use the loop method, cut half as thick.
Crochet hook size J/10-6.00MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Smaller hook to weave in ends

Gauge:
First 2 rounds measure about 1 1/2" (4cm) across
Finished size: about 5" x 4" x 1" (12.5cm x 10cm x 2.5cm)
                       version 4 measures 1 1/4" (3cm) in depth

Notes:
-  If your material is not cut as straight as possible for this project, your piece may not look exactly square. Thinner spots will pull in and thicker spots will stick out on the sides. If you have some material already prepared and it isn't straight, try to use this in the beginning rounds. It will not be as noticeable on the flat bottom.
  Do not use material which varies more than 1/4" (0.6cm). If you look closely at the picture for Version 2, you can see a great example where the edge is not square. I thought I could squeeze an extra-thick joined piece in there.

-There are a few different ways to work this pattern. The variations are listed at the end of each round, if available.

Version 1: Uses the original pattern.

Version 2: Only one variation in the last round. Creates a turned-out edge.

Version 3: Begins with the first round stitches placed in one stitch for a tighter center.

Version 4: Uses one-stitch center, skips turning a round, and has an extra round for a deeper dish.

Stitches:
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Single crochet cluster (sc-cl) - {Insert hook into designated stitch, pull up 1 loop, yarn over, pull through 1 loop} 4 times, yarn over, pull through all loops.

Directions:
To begin, ch 4, join with a sl st to beg loop.
-Variation: Begin with ch 2 (counts as foundation loop, 1 sc), 7 sc in beg ch. (8 sc) Join with a sl st to beg ch-2. This becomes Round 1. Versions 3 and 4 were made this way.

Round 1:
Sl st into ch-4 loop. Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 7 sc in same loop. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (8 sc)

Round 2:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), turn. 1 sc in same st. 2 sc in each of next 7 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (16 sc)
-Variation: Work as written, do not turn. Version 4 was made this way.

Round 3:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), turn. 1 sc-cl in next st, 1 sc in following. *Ch 2, {1 sc in first available st, sc-cl in next st} twice. 1 sc in following st, ch 2.* 1 sc, 1 sc-cl in next st, 1 sc in following. Repeat from * to *. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1.

Round 4:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), turn. *(1 sc, ch 2, 1 sc) in corner ch-2 sp. 1 sc in each of next 5, (1 sc, ch 2, 1 sc) in next corner ch-2 sp. * 1 sc in each of next 3 sts. Repeat from * to *. 1 sc in each of next 2 sts, join with a sl st to beg ch-1.

Round 5:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), turn. {1 sc-cl in next st, 1 sc in following st} twice, (1 sc, ch 2, 1 sc) in corner ch-2 sp. {1 sc in next sp, 1 sc-cl in following} 3 times, 1 sc in next st. (1 sc, ch 2, 1 sc) in corner ch-2 sp,* 1 sc in in first st available. Repeat from * to *. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1.

Round 6:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), turn. 1 sc in each of next 2 sts, *2 sc in corner. 1 sc in each of next 9 sts, 2 sc in corner ch-2 sp.* 1 sc in each of next 7 sts, repeat from * to *. 1 sc in next 4 sts, join with a sl st to beg ch-1.

Round 7:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), turn. 1 sc in each st around. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (40 sc)

Round 8:
Turn. Skipping previous round, sl st into Round 6 sp below beg st. Ch 1, 1 sc in each st of Round 6. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (40 sc)

Round 9:
Repeat Round 7.

Round 10:
Turn. Skipping previous round, sl st into Round 8 sp below beg st. Ch 1, 1 sc in each st of Round 8. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (40 sc)

Round 11:
Repeat Round 7.

Round 12:
Turn. Skipping previous round, sl st into Round 10 sp below beg st. Ch 1, 1 sc in each st of Round 10. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (40 sc)
-Variation: Work as written, do not turn. Version 2 was made this way.
-Variation 2: Work as written, do not bind off. Repeat Round 7. Bind off, weave in ends. Version 4 was made this way.
Bind off, weave in ends.

That's forty grocery bags saved from a landfill! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Free Pattern: Light and Lacy Windowpane Gloves


  These fingerless gloves are the perfect compliment to the Windowpane Scarf and Hat. A light and lacy texture might not be ideal for playing in the snow, but it will beautifully accent any cool weather outfit while you warm up by the fire or snuggle up to a good book.
  One size fits most, but see the notes about how to adjust the pattern for your own needs. Finished size: 6 1/2" (16.5cm) long and 8" (20.3cm) circumference.

Skill Level:
Easy

Materials:
14 oz skein Red Heart Super Saver worsted weight acrylic yarn 
 *One 14oz skein will make the Windowpane Gloves, Scarf and Hat


Crochet hook size K/10 1/2 (6.5mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
Tapestry needle or smaller hook for weaving in ends

Gauge:
1 dc = 3/4" (2cm) high

Note:
  I prefer to start with foundation double crochet (fdc), but as usual, if you have not learned this method: Ch 26, 1 dc in 4th ch from hook and in remaining 21 sts.
  Fdc creates the foundation chain and first row of stitches at the same time. It also allows the piece to stretch to fit. If you do not begin with fdc, you may need to adjust your pattern.
  Instructions are given at the end of the pattern for how you can increase your pattern if needed. If you need to decrease the size, try a smaller hook.

Stitches:
Slip stitch (sl st)
Chain (ch)
Double crochet (dc)
Foundation double crochet (fdc)

Directions:
Round 1:
Fdc 22 (see note), join to beg ch-3 with a sl st.

Round 2:
Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc, ch-1), sk 1, {1 dc, ch 1, sk 1} 10 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.

Round 3:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each of remaining 21 sts. Join with a sl st t o beg ch-3.

Round 4:
Repeat Round 2.

Round 5:*right hand*
Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc, ch-3), sk 3, 1 dc in remaining 18 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.

Round 5:*left hand*
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each of next 17 sts. Ch 3, sk 3, 1 dc in last st. Join with a sl st t o beg ch-3.

Round 6:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each of next 4 sts. {Ch 2, sk 2, 1 dc} twice. {1 dc, ch 2, sk 2} twice. 1 dc in each of remaining 5 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.

Round 7:
Repeat Round 6.

Round 8:
Repeat Round 3.

Round 9:
Repeat Round 2.

Round 10:
Repeat Round 3, bind off, weave in ends.

*Note*
To increase size, add two(2) sts to the foundation. For Round 2, repeat brackets{} one more time. Add one stitch to the beginning and one stitch to the end of each Round 3 repeat (2 sts). For Round 5, add 2 sts to the end for right hand. Add 2 sts to the beginning for left hand. For round 6, add 2 sts between bracket sets {} {}. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Free Pattern: Light and Lacy Windowpane Hat


  The shape and style of this hat leaves plenty of room for lots of hair, but it still fits great no matter what shape or style hair you're sporting (or no hair at all, like Head, my model) . The lacy design was created to match the rest of the Windowpane set, but any of these accessories are beautiful and bold enough to make a statement on their own.

  The piece was designed to fit a bit loosely, like a bucket hat. Finished size: 22" (55.8cm) circumference, 7" (17.8cm) from brim to top center. Try one or two hook sizes smaller for a tighter fit. The pattern allows for stretching for a snug fit if you wish to make it smaller. Made with a larger hook like the scarf and fingerless gloves, it works up quickly and the pattern is pretty simple.

Skill Level:
Easy

Materials:
1 - 14oz skein Red Heart Super Saver worsted weight acrylic yarn
 *One 14 oz. skein will make the Windowpane Hat, Scarf, and Gloves, with leftovers.


Crochet hook size K/10 1/2(6.5mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
Tapestry needle or smaller hook for weaving in ends

Gauge:
1 dc = 3/4" (2 cm) high
Round 1 = 2" (5cm) in diameter

Note:
It may be necessary to replace ch-3 with ch-2 (where ch-3 counts as a dc), depending on your gauge. My tension is tighter when chaining. If the ch-3 seems high or puckers out, try chaining 2 instead.

Stitches:
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Double crochet (dc)

Directions:
Round 1:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc, see note), 11 dc in farthest ch from hook. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (12 dc)

Round 2:
Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc, ch-1), {1 dc, ch 1} in next 11 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (24 sts)

Round 3:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same st, 1 dc in next st. {2 dc, 1 dc}11 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (36 dc)

Round 4:
Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc, ch-2), sk 1, {1 dc, ch 2, sk 1} 11 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (54 sts)

Round 5:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same st, 1 dc in each of next 8 sts. {2 dc, 1 dc in each of next 8 sts} 5 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (60 dc)

Round 6:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same st. Ch 2, sk 2, {1 dc, ch 2, sk 2} 4 times. *2 dc in next st, ch 2, sk 2, {1 dc, ch 2, sk 2} 4 times.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (64 sts)

Round 7:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each of remaining 63 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (64 dc)

Round 8:
Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc, ch-3), sk 3, {1 dc, ch 3, sk 3} 15 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.

Rounds 9-10:
Repeat rows 7 and 8. Bind off, weave in ends.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Free Pattern: Light and Lacy Windowpane Scarf


  Sometimes acrylic yarns can be itchy and bulky to wear, but this pattern battles that issue with a lacy texture that drapes well. The scarf is long enough to be doubled over and worn in the keyhole fashion, but for warmer days, wear it as a light accessory to accent your outfit.
  A large hook and a fast-working pattern will leave you time to make the matching hat and gloves, and still get out to enjoy the weather or relax by the fire. Finished size: 81" (205.7cm) long and 3 1/2" (8.8cm) wide, with border.


Skill level:
Easy

Materials:
1 - 14oz skein Red Heart Super Saver worsted weight acrylic yarn
*One 14oz skein will make the Windowpane Scarf, Hat, and Gloves, with leftovers.


Crochet hook size K/10 1/2 (6.50mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
Tapestry needle or smaller hook for weaving in ends

Gauge:
3" x 3" (7.6cm x 7.6cm) = first 4 rows of pattern


*Note:
I prefer to start with foundation double crochet. If you do not know this method, begin with: Ch 11, 1 dc in 4th ch from hook. 1 dc in each of the remaining 8 chs.  

Stitches:
Double crochet (dc)
Chain (ch)
Slip Stitch (sl st)
*Foundation double crochet (fdc)* optional

Directions:

Row 1:
Fdc 9. *see note

Row 2:
Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc, ch-3), sk 3, 1 dc. Ch 3, sk 3, 1 dc in last st.

Row 3:
Repeat row 2.

Row 4:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each of remaining 8 sts.

Row 5:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), {ch 1, sk 1 , 1 dc} 4 times.

Row 6:
Repeat row 4.

Rows 7-100
Repeat rows 2-6 twenty(20) times.

Row 101-103:
Repeat rows 2-4. Bind off, weave in ends.

Border: (optional)
*Slip st in every st across, ch 1 for corner, sl st in every loop up side, ch 1 for corner*, repeat from * to *, join to beg sl st. Bind off, weave in ends.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Free Pattern: Angel Decoration

  I needed a quick holiday gift for someone, and that's how these angels got their wings. With an inexpensive pack of ornament hooks and a very small amount of yarn per piece, they will quickly become a new addition to holiday decorations around the house.



  Welcome to another one of my variable designs. First, you may want to use your project for something other than ornaments. Using your own imagination, who knows what you could create? This design could even be worked as a motif for something like a doily or table runner. In addition, there are notes and options given throughout the pattern to show you how to change your own project to suit your needs.


Skill Level:
Easy

Materials:
Worsted weight acrylic yarn, color of your choice
  +/- 5 yards per piece: I will update this as soon as possible. Sorry, but after making all of them and the examples, I never counted the length of material.
Crochet hook size F/5 (3.75mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
Tapestry needle or smaller hook for weaving in ends
Starch, optional
Ornament hangers, pliers, and a large crochet hook or knitting needle (for halo)


Gauge:
1" x 1" (2.5cm x 2.5 cm) = 1 row, 5 triple crochet
 or 3 rows, 5 single crochet

Finished Size:
White: 4 1/4" (10.8 cm) wide, 4 1/2" (11.5 cm) tall



Yellow: 4 1/2" (11.5 cm) wide, 4 1/2" (11.5 cm) tall



Blue: 3 3/4" (9.5 cm) wide, 4" (10.2 cm) tall



Stitches:
Slip stitch (sl st)
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)
Triple crochet (tr)
Triple crochet cluster (tr-cl): *Yarn over twice, insert hook, pull up a loop. {Yarn over, pull through 2 loops} twice.* Repeat from * to * two more times. (5 loops on hook) Yarn over, pull through all 5 loops.

Note:
There's more than one way to make this pattern, but the stitches stay the same. Stitches are worked into the front or back loops for a different appearance.

Directions:
To begin, ch 9, join to beg-ch with a sl st.

Round 1:
Ch 3, sk 1, sl st. {Sl st into next st, ch 3, sk 1, sl st} twice.

Round 2:
blue: back loops only )
*Sl st into next sl st, ch 3. 1 dc in first available ch. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in next ch, 1 dc in following ch. Ch 3, sl st into first available sl st. * Sl st into following sl st. Ch 4, 1 tr in first ch, 2 tr in next, 1 tr in following ch. Ch 4, sl st into first available sl st. Repeat from * to *.

Round 3:
( blue: back loops only)
Sl st into first available sl st and into following 3 chs. Ch 1, 1 sc in each of next 2 dc, ch 1, 1 sc in ch, ch 1, 1 sc in each of next 2 dc. Ch 1, sl st in each of next 3 chs, sl st in each of next 2 sl sts, sl st in each of next 3 chs. Ch 1, 1 sc in last available ch. Ch 2, (1 tr, ch 1) in each of next 3 tr, 1 tr in last available tr. Ch 2, 1 sc in first available ch. Ch 1, sl st in each of next 2 chs, next 2 sl sts, and following 3 chs (7 sl sts). Ch 1, 1 sc in each of next 2 dc. Ch 1, 1 sc in ch-sp, ch 1, 1 sc in each of following 2 dc. Ch 1, sl st into each of next 3 chs and into following sl st.

Round 4:
( blue: back loops only)
( yellow: back loops only)
Sl st into first available sl st, (ch 4, tr-cl, ch 4, sl st) in same st. Sl st in each of next 3 sl sts and into ch-sp. Ch 1, 1 sc, ch 1, 1 dc, ch 1, 1 tr, ch 3, {1 sc, ch 1} twice. Sl st in each of next 10 sts. Ch 1, sl st, ch 1, 1 sc in each of next 3 sts. (1 sc, ch 2) in each of next 7 sts. 1 sc in each of next 4 sts. Ch 1, sl st, ch 1. Sl st in each of next 11 sts. {Ch 1, 1 sc} twice, ch 3, 1 tr, ch 1, 1 dc, ch 1, 1 sc, ch 1, sl st in each of next 3 sts. Join with a sl st to beg sl st, bind off, weave in ends.

Belt: (optional)
Sl st around top 2 beg chs on right side. Ch 8, turn your work, sl st around bottom beg ch, ch 8, turn, sl st to beg sl st. Bind off, weave in ends.

Halo: (optional)
Insert an ornament hanger into the top of project, bend loop closed. Make a right angle bend close to the loop. I used a size N/9.00mm crochet hook to make the circle for the halo. A pen, marker, or anything with a small diameter would work.

To make the bend, a pair of pliers may help. Here's a view of the finished loop from the top:

Bend the rest of the hook at a right angle again so that the hook is in line with the original piece.


With crochet hook size F/5-3.75mm, Join with a sl st around loop for halo, ch 1.

Sl st, ch 1 until loop is completely covered. Mine only took 7 repeats to be finished, yours may vary depending on the size of the loop you make. When halo is covered, join with a sl st to beg sl st, bind off, weave in ends.

Bend the remaining hook closed and twist so it is parallel to the body of your work. If you don't make this bend, you ornament will hang sideways when you insert the final hook.

The original pattern (white) is designed to have a ruffled effect. By placing the stitches of Round 4 in the back loops only (yellow), it allows for some extra space and results in a slightly less ruffled project. Working into the back loops only for all rounds (blue) actually tightens the material and creates the most flat design with tighter stitches.
Maybe you might chose to try working one in the front loops only to see the results. I think it would produce an even lacier effect, maybe without the ruffles. You could even work a few with different hook sizes for varying sized angels. I'm interested to know what everyone else creates. The choice is up to you, so have fun!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Free Pattern: Unbroken Hearts Bookmark


  This romantic bookmark would make a great gift for a special book lover in your life. This 4-round pattern works up quickly enough to make one for everyone in the book club, or stuff some stockings this upcoming holiday season.

Skill Level:
Intermediate

Materials:
Steel crochet hook size 4*
Size 3 crochet thread, pink, or color desired


 *note: Here is where I need your help...My mother gave this hook to me, and I believe it belonged to either my great-grandma or my great-great-grandma. I'm not sure if hook sizes have changed since then, but it does say "made in England", so I'm pretty sure its UK size, which would make it a US size 7, if I'm correct. I couldn't find any information about this brand, so can anybody help me out?



Gauge:
One heart = 1" x 1" (2.5cm x 2.5cm)
Ch-6 = 1" (2.5cm)

Stitches:
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Half-double crochet (hdc)
Double crochet (dc)
Triple crochet (tr)

Directions:
Round 1:
*Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc, ch-1), (2 hdc, ch 1, 1 dc, ch 1, 2 tr, ch 2, 2 sc, ch 2, 2 tr, ch 1, 1 dc, ch 1, 2 hdc, ch 1) in farthest chain from hook. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3.
Ch 6*. Repeat from * to * 4 more times. Do not ch 6 at the end of last heart. Do not bind off.

Border:
Make sure the wrong side faces you and none of the chains between hearts are twisted.

Round 2:
Sl st in each of next 2 sts. Ch 6 (counts as 1 1 tr, ch-2), sk 1, 1 tr. Ch 2, sk 1, 1 sc in ch-sp after dc. {Ch 9, 1 sc in ch-sp after dc of next heart.} 4 times. {Ch 2, 1 tr in next st} twice. Working around: Ch 3, 1 tr in ch-2, ch 2, 1 tr in 1st tr, ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd tr. {Ch 9, 1 sc in 2nd tr of next heart} 4 times. Ch 2, sk 1, 1 tr, ch 2, sk 1, 1 tr, ch 3, join with a sl st to beg ch-4.

Round 3:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 2 sc in same st. Ch 2, sk 1, 3 sc. Ch 1, sk 1, 3 sc, [Ch 1, sk 3, 3 sc. {Ch 1, sk 2, 3 sc} 2 times.] 4 times. Ch 1, sk 2, 3 sc. Ch 1, sk 1, 3 sc, ch 2, sk 1, 3 sc. {Ch 1, 1 sc in each of next 2 sts} twice, ch 1, 3 sc, ch 2, sk 1, 3 sc. Ch 1, sk 1, 3 sc. Ch 1, sk 3, [ {3 sc, ch 1, sk 2} twice. 3 sc, ch 1, sk 3] 4 times, 3 sc. Ch 1, sk 1, 3 sc, ch 2, sk 1, 3 sc, ch 1. {1 sc in each of next 2, ch 1} twice. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1.

Round 4:
Sl st in each of next 2 sts, ch 1 ( counts as 1 sc), 2 sc in same st. Ch 2, 3 sc in next st. {Ch 1, sk 3, 3 sc} 16 times. Ch 2, 3 sc in next st. Ch 1, sk 3, {2 sc, ch 1, sk 2} twice, 2 sc, ch 1, sk 3, 3 sc, ch 2, 3 sc in next st. {Ch 1, sk 3, 3 sc} 16 times. Ch 2, 3 sc  in next st. Ch 1, sk 3, {2 sc, ch 1, sk 2} 3 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. Bind off, weave in ends. Block and starch if desired.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Free Pattern: Autumn Acorn Accessories


  Living in a mild climate, we pretty much get two summers and two fall seasons; There isn't much of a spring or winter. In fact, I've yet to see snow in my lifetime. I don't mind though, because I love the fall and I don't love to be cold. The oak trees on my property have been inspiring me to design something lately, and as usual, something with plenty of versatility came to mind. Also as usual, the troll has been up to no good  stealing my stuff. Originally I had planned on just a cute pair of earrings, which is what you can make with your acorns if you don't live with a mischievous troll. Mine became a brooch, because apparently trolls like jewelry findings.
  Make some for a necklace and earring set, make a brooch like I was forced to, or create a refrigerator magnet, zipper pulls (ooooo, cute on boots!), even decorate a gift! The choice is up to you; I provide the pattern and some inspiration, you can create something totally your own. The pattern works up unbelievably fast, so you'll be done in no time, (hopefully) enjoying the Autumn weather again. The best part is how little material it takes. This project would be a great way to use up fall-colored scraps because each piece only uses about 12 inches (30.5 cm) of worsted weight yarn.

Skill Level:
Easy
*Although I don't recommend this project for beginners, there is almost a step-by-step photo tutorial along with the pattern which makes it easier to follow along for the newbies. Click on the links at the end of this pattern if you need any help with stitches.

Materials:
Worsted weight acrylic yarn
  A: Coffee
  B: Sunflower
  C: SH Browns
  D: Sunflower
  E: Green
  - These are the colors I had in my scraps. I don't even know if they are available anymore. Anything with a similar color would work.
Crochet hook size F/5 (3.75mm)
Tapestry needle
Whatever you will need to complete your accessories, such as jewelry findings or magnets, glue, needle and thread, etc.

Gauge:
6 dc in no more than 2 inches (5 cm)

Finished size:
About 1 inch (2.5 cm)

Note:
For the more advanced crocheter - Piece A is simply a 6 dc cluster, or, dc6tog from the foundation chain, then bind off.
For any beginners who just said "What??", its explained step by step, don't worry, take a look at the pictures provided.

Directions:

Piece A:
With color A or B, ch 8 (counts as ch-5 + 1 dc). Starting in 3rd ch from hook, (y/o, pull up a loop, y/o, pull through 2 loops) in next 5 ch (6 loops on hook).

 Y/o, pull through all 6 loops.

Bind off, use tails to sew sides together.


Piece B:

With color C, ch 2 (counts as 1 sc + foundation loop), 5 sc in farthest loop from hook. Join with a sl st to beg ch-2. Bind off, weave in ends.

Stem:
Sl st through foundation loop of Piece B, between sc directly opposite from each other. Example shows a ch of 3; Make as many chains long as you wish.

Attach Piece A to Piece B:
  Stuffing isn't necessary, however, I simply used the tails leftover after binding off and securing them. Stuff with fiber filling, scraps of yarn, or don't stuff them at all; Its your choice.

With right sides out, match outer sts of Piece B with beg chains of Piece A. Sl st through both sts, ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in same st.

2 sc through both pieces in each of next 5 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. Bind off, weave in ends.
  This is a perfect example of how easily you can change the look of your own acorns. The yellow acorn (right) has less stuffing and was made following the directions as written. For the brown acorn (left), begin by inserting the hook first through Piece A, then into Piece B when attaching.

Leaf:
  The example leaves were made with all colors listed, plus some green that didn't have a label, so I couldn't name it. Use whatever colors are available to you and assemble with which combinations are pleasing to your own eyes.
Using any color you would like:
Ch 4 (counts as ch-3 + foundation loop), (sl st, ch 2, sl st, ch 4, sl st, ch 2, sl st, ch 3, sl st) in farthest loop from hook. Bind off, weave in ends or secure and leave for assembly.

Abbreviations used:
Dc - double crochet
Dc6tog - double crochet 6 together
Ch - chain
Y/o - yarn over or wool over
Sc - single crochet
Sl st - slip stitch
Sts - stitches
Beg - beginning