Off the needles: Madtoshlove

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It is no secret that graduate students tend to be quite broke. It comes with the territory and there is no point in discussing the merits or faults of graduate stipends. We’ll leave it at, it’s not much. For that reason, buying nice yarn is a treat. Skeins are few and far between and thus, they are treasured.

One way to get good yarn for the right price are stash boxes. I bought a destash box from a designer a long time ago. 40$ for about 16 skeins of different brands and colors. Among them was a skein of Madelinetosh vintage. Then and there, I was in love. I have since bought a couple skeins of her yarn, been gifted 2 and enjoyed them all. The resulting pile of Madtosh knits is pictured above.

I must also mention that Madelinetosh yarn is purchased from fair sources in Peru and South Africa and hand dyed in Texas. Supporting Texas businesses is something I do because I married a Texan and I have had the chance to visit the state and meet lots of lovely people there. I am also a strong believer in buying Made in the USA and supporting small businesses. So this is a win win!

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting about all these finished objects. Including an improvised pattern for the cowl at the bottom of the pile. But for now, let’s get started with some hats!

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The hat on the left top corner was meant to be a Barley hat from Tin Can Knits , did I mention it’s a free pattern? It was one of my first knit hats and I didn’t do the best job at following the pattern. Oops! That does not stop my husband from wearing it very often. The yarn is the skein I got from the destash box and it’s Tosh Vintage in Earl grey color way.

The hat next to it is the Happy Happy Joy Joy hat from Heyladyhey. It is a soft and squishy hat. It embraces your head perfectly and it is truly a joy to wear. This one was knit in 80/10/10 Worsted in Tannenbaum. I got this yarn as a limited edition special for Black Friday. What a great purchase, don’t you think? The yarn is 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. Unfortunately it is not usually in stock but you may be able to find it on rare occasions. Here’s another picture of the finished hat:

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The last two hats may look familiar to you if you follow the blog as I have posted about them previously. The one on the bottom left is the Close Cables Hat by Pickles. It is a free pattern and I knit it in Tosh Chunky in Jade color way. The one on the bottom right is Sand Bank by Justyna Lorkowska and it was also knit with 80/10/10 worsted in Tannenbaum.

Stay tuned for the next post, where I’ll show you tons of pictures of the shawl at the top of the pile, perfect for spring. In the meantime, treat yourself to a skein of Madelinetosh, you’ll thank me later!

Crochet in the third loop and a chunky faux-ribbed cowl

crochet chunky cowl

Have you been looking for a good alternative to knit ribbing in crochet? look no further! The newest installment of…

Learn to crochet

is here!

Today we’re talking about crocheting in the third loop. This technique is great to achieve a ribbed look and it comes with a free pattern for a chunky, warm and cozy cowl.

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First, let’s talk about Crochet in the third loop! or rather, let’s visualize how to accomplish it, step by step!

1. First you’ll need to make 1 round of plain old Half double crochet

third loop after 1 round of hdc

2. Take a look at your work. From now on, you will not be crocheting the next round as usual. Instead you will use the third/side loop as marked in blue

photo 1 (9)

3. Just to emphasize, you will not crochet at the top loops as you would normally do.

third loop not crochet here

4. Now wrap the yarn around your hook as you would for normal HDC and then insert the hook into the third loop

photo 2 (10)

5. The top view looks like this

photo 3 (8)

6. Finish your stitch as usual, wrapping the yarn around the hook once more and pulling it through all remaining loops. You are now done!

photo 4 (2)

Now let’s go for THE PATTERN!

For this I used 2 skeins of super bulky yarn and a 12 mm crochet hook, plus 2 buttons 3/4″ in size

make 56 chains

HDC in each stitch, starting at 2nd chain from hook

chain 1, make 1 hdc in the third loop in every stitch

Repeat for another 13 rows. You will now have 7 ribs in your cowl.

chunky cowl

‘Mug my heart out’ coffee mug cozy

heart mug

Hi there!

Ready for Valentine’s day? This year I was in the mood for some bright colors and a bit of polymer clay for my Valentine’s project. This mug cozy is unbelievably quick. 30 min start to finish. It has some hearts for embellishment, which are equally simple. You can make a ton of them to give away with crocheted/knitted gifts any time of the year (my friends/relatives love it!). Instead of using a plain button, I made my own with polymer clay. You will be seeing a lot more clay projects in the blog from now on. Yay for clay!

Can’t get enough? Check out last year’s Valentine’s project, my heart earflap hats! 

In the meantime, enjoy this pattern and have a love-filled Valentine’s day!

heart mug back

Cozy pattern

With 5 mm crochet hook and acrylic worsted weight yarn (I used Michaels’ Loops and threads in red)

Rd1. 6sc
Rd2. 2 sc in each st (12 sc)
Rd3.(2 sc in first st, 1 sc in next) around (18 sc)
Rd4. (2 sc in first st, 1 sc in next 2 st) around (24 sc)
Rd5: (2 sc in first st, 1 sc in next 3 st) around .(30 sc)
Rd6: (2 sc in first st, 1 sc in next 4 st) around (36 sc)
This completes the base of the cozy

Rd7: sc in each st around in back loop ONLY! (36 sc)
Rd8: sc in each st around in both loops (36 sc).
Rd9: sc in each of the next 32 st. Now you’re leaving the gap for the handle. From now on you’ll work in rounds. Turn, chain 1.
Rd10-21: sc in each of the next 32 st. Turn, chain 1.

Now single crochet along the handle gap. At the end, chain 21 then slip stitch through the first chain to make a closed loop.

————————————————————————–

Funda de taza

Empezar con un círculo mágico. Trabajar en espiral (sin unir las vueltas con punto raso) hasta que se indique lo contrario

  1. Hacer 6 puntos bajos en el círculo mágico – 6 pb
  2. 2 puntos bajos en cada punto de la ronda anterior – 12 pb
  3. (2 pb, 1 pb) * 6 – 18 pb
  4. (2pb, 1 pb, 1pb) * 6 – 24 pb
  5. (2pb, 1pb, 1pb, 1 pb) * 6 – 30 pb
  6. (2pb, 1pb, 1 pb, 1 pb, 1 pb) *6 – 36 pb

Esto completa la base de la funda

  1. Pb en la lazada/hebra de atrás en cada pb de la vuelta anterior – 36 pb
  2. Pb en cada pb de la vuelta anterior – 36 pb
  3. Pb en los 32 pb siguientes (de esta forma dejamos un hueco para el asa de la taza) – a partir de ahora trabajaremos en vueltas montando una cadena al principio de cada vuelta, es decir, no trabajamos en espiral
  4. -21 Montar 1 cadeneta, pb en cada pb de la vuelta anterior, dar la vuelta – 32 pb

Al final de la vuelta 21, montar 22 cadenetas y unir la ultima cadena a la primera con un punto raso.

Heart pattern

Gauge is not important. The larger the hook the larger the heart. I used a 3.5 mm hook with Caron simply soft solids in pink.

{1} chain 3 in magic circle

{2} 3 trc

{3} 3dc

{4} chain 1

{5} 1 trc

{6} chain 1

{7} 3 dc

{8} 3 trc

{9} chain 2

{10} slip stitch at the first stitch to close the heart

for the larger heart, add another round

{11} chain 3

{12} 1 sc+1 hdc tog. in the 3rd chain of the 1st row

{13} 3 hdc tog.

{14} 2 hdc tog.

{15} 4 sc

{16} chain 1

{17} 1 dc in trc of row 1

{18} chain 1

{19} 4 sc

{20} 2 hdc tog.

{21} 3 hdc tog.

{22} 1 hdc+1 sc tog.

{23} chain 3

{24} slip stitch to end the 2nd row-

Patrón corazón

Heart polymer clay button

Take a small amount of red polymer clay and work it in your hands to soften it up. Roll it into a log. Add a small amount of white, pink or another contrasting color and roll the log in your hands to mix in the color in streaks. Once you’re satisfied with the streaks, shape it into a heart and flatten it out. Make two large holes (make sure the head of your darning needle can get through) and bake the heart according to manufacturer instructions. Sew heart onto the cozy using the same yarn you used for the body of the cozy.

Garden dolls and panda plush (free pattern)

garden dolls

 

If you read this blog with some regularity, you know I’m big into the site ‘Cut Out and Keep’. There you can find tutorials for just about any craft and recipes to make your belly happy. The wonderful Cat, who runs the site, asked if I’d like to participate in a book review/project test for the site.

The book chosen is Cute critter crochet and it is full of lovely amigurumi patterns. I was fortunate enough to receive a free copy of the book and get to pick two projects to test. The projects are Garden dolls and Panda plush and the patterns are available for free! 

panda plus

 

Although I was not asked to review the book, I’ll give you my 5 cents on it. The pros are super cute things to crochet with very detailed patterns that include both written and chart instructions. We all learn and crochet/knit differently, so I always appreciate having the instructions in both writing and charts. The cons, which are absolutely a personal preference, is the way in which the items are constructed. The patterns do include some crochet in spiral, but they also rely heavily on things that are crocheted flat and then sewn. I hate sewing parts together, so I was not thrilled to have to sew 12 pieces to make the panda.

In any case, I’m sure you’d like to try these patterns yourself! you can get them for free the Cut Out and Keep site. The Garden Dolls are here and the Panda plush is here.

garden doll flower

Off the needles: Two cabled hats

photo 1 copy 2

I have just recently discovered cables. I have to admit I was afraid of cables for whatever irrational reason you can think of. The fact is that cables require patience, but they are not really difficult. It takes some practice and you can check out some tutorials here and here.

photo 1 copy

In order to practice my cables, I made first a hat for the husband and then one for myself. His hat is made with bulky yarn and mine with worsted. They both rely on 6 stitch cables that are worked differently for a different pattern. I found it good practice to make both hats and thus try several ways of cabling 6 stitches. The result is quite different!

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His hat has 6 stitch cables that are knit quite close together and make for a very squishy hat. By that I mean, your hat will appear to be too small to fit an adult head, but will fit your very large husband’s head perfectly well. The Close cables hat by Pickles is a treat to wear and a free pattern. I would recommend you knit very loosely on this one, as it uses size 5 mm needles and bulky yarn, plus cabling, so things are a bit tight. I found it rough on my hands. Some ravelry users complain it requires more yarn than Pickles recommends, but I used all of one skein of Madelinetosh chunky in Jade. I had a few yards to spare.

photo 2-3 copy photo 3-2 copy

Mine is the Sand Bank pattern from Justyna Lorkowska. I am in love with this hat. The yarn is Madelinetosh 80/10/10, which was her special for black Friday. Very few skeins of this yarn were dyed, so I had to put it to good use with a pattern that really enhances the tonality of the yarn. The hat is soft and squishy and it has just the perfect length. I love how well defined the offset cables are all throughout the hat, including at the decreases. It’s a very well thought out pattern and I really recommend it as extra practice for your cables!

Nobody paid me to say any of this, I didn’t receive a compensation or a free pattern. All of the opinions are mine and I really highly recommend you try the patterns if you are a beginner or even completely new to cables! Enjoy!

Carl Sagan amigurumi doll

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My friend T requested a Carl Sagan doll as a Christmas gift for her dude. What could I say. I love Carl Sagan myself! I’m sure many of you have seen the original Cosmos. But if you haven’t, I really really really recommend it. It’s a treasured DVD set at my household.

photo 2

Carl comes with one of his most typical outfits: a turtleneck sweater, brown pants and black shoes. Don’t forget the blazer for formal lectures! This is a simple doll suitable for beginners and the amount of yarn needed is fairly small, so it can be a great stash buster.

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So, listen to Carl’s advice and get the Carl Sagan amigurumi doll pattern! Enjoy and please let me know if you make any dolls out of the pattern, I would love to see them! 

Stripey hat and cowl set

knit green purple hat cowl combo

Hello hello and happy new year 2015!

We’re starting the year right with another free pattern! the knitting continues and I’m really excited to share the pattern for this knit hat and cowl set. The stripey inspiration came from the unique yarn, which is no other than Malabrigo merino worsted. The colors are green apple and purple mystery.

This yarn was my very first ‘fancy’ yarn, purchased at ‘The Quarter Stitch‘ in New Orleans. Be sure to pay them a visit if you find yourselves in the beautiful Nawlins. It’s truly a yarn wonderland and they’ll happily skein and wrap your yarn to go, using beautiful tissue paper. The cherry on the cake is the little tissue paper hearts inside your bag, tied with colorful ribbon.

As you can tell, this is a very simple cowl design, with 4 row purple stripes on a green background. The hat has single green stripes for contrast and a ribbed brim for comfort. While I didn’t do this, I recommend you use a size smaller needles for the brim, in order to make it more snug.

knit hat cowl combo2

 

And finally, here’s the pattern! add it to your ravelry queue 

Purple mystery with apples hat and apple cowl

Gauge for both: 18 st x 26 rows = 4 inches or 10 cm

Yarn: 1 skein each of Malabrigo merino worsted in Apple green and Mystery purple or about 440 yards of worsted weight yarn of your choice

Needles size 5 mm 16 inch (or longer if you want to use magic loop) + DPNs for decrease OR size needed to obtain gauge

HAT

Size: fits most adults, finished size is 17. 5 inches and it will stretch to fit a head up to 22 inches

Cast on 78 stitches

Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches

Work 1×1 rib (k1, p1) around for 1.5 inches

Then work the following

7 rows purple

1 row green

twice

8 rows purple

1 row green

twice

Work 2 rows in purple and in the last row, place a marker every 13 stitches (we’ll do a decrease in 6 portions)

Start decreases: (k2tog, knit til marker, slip marker) repeat around for 12 rows, until you have 6 stitches left. With a darning needle, pass the thread through remaining stitches and pull tightly to close. Weave in ends and block if desired.

COWL

Finished size is 26 inches

Cast on 120 stitches

Knit 5 rows in green then

4 rows blue

7 rows green

five times

knit 5 rows in green

Bind off and block if desired

Note: the plain knit edge of this cowl will curl. I actually like that in this design, but if you would rather it not curl, you can work a few rows in 1 x 1 rib.

 

Enjoy!