‘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).

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.
Rd10-11: sc in each of the next 32 st. Turn, chain 1.
Rd12-16: sc in each of the next 32 st. Turn, chain 1.
Rd17-21: 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.

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-

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!

photo 2-3 photo 3-2

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

photo 1

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.

photo

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!

One basic hat pattern, four styles, many Xmas gifts!

IMG_0109

Hey there!

My apologies for the slightly long delay on being back. Hopefully it was worth your wait! – so what have I been up to? crocheting Xmas gifts of course (and book review I’ll post about soon). Of course, the end of the term is always a last push to get things done. But here we are, gifts made, labwork done and lots of new crocheted and knit things to share in the upcoming weeks.

This year we are spending Xmas with my hubby’s dad, his wife and the hubby’s siblings. So of course I had to make them all hats. The pattern is the same for all of them and the variability in size and fit comes from using different yarns, hooks and making more or less rows to give the hat a different look. You can use this basic pattern and directions to make your own hat however YOU want it! – Best part? they only take an hour or so to make.

But first, let’s see what I made:

The hubby’s dad and brother are avid hunters, so I went with camouflage hats for them. Appropriate, no?

camo hat on crochet

These are made with red heart super saver in camouflage, which is weirdly enough, one of the only brands that makes any camouflage yarn at all. One skein makes 2 hats and a can coozie. Quick and cheap, couldn’t ask for more. These hats are a bit on the loose side of things, because my brother in law has long hair and my father in law doesn’t like very tight hats. In terms of length, they have no slouch at all.

Now comes the gray hat for my sister in law, Maddie.

gray hat crochet onThis one was made with Sheepish yarn by Vickie Howell, from Caron. This yarn is not quite like any other worsted weight yarn you’ll buy. It’s a mix of 80% acrylic and 20% wool, and it’s spun in such a way that some sections are a bit thinner than others. It is however, on the thinner side of worsted weight yarns. In the picture I’m wearing the hat pretty tightly, but it does have a little bit of slouch to it and it is a little loose. It also has a small section of single crochet rows, to make a band/brim which makes it stay in place.

crochet hats collage

The purple hat, pictured in the left hand corner, is also Vickie Howell Sheepish, this time in prune. This one is for my other sister in law Bailey. The hat is as long as the multicolored one right next to it (and in the first picture), and it has the same level of slouch but it is also a bit looser to make room for long curly hair.As in the gray hat, I added a single crochet band, but I made a few decreases before the band, so it would be a bit more snug and not fall off. Don’t worry, I’ll give you all the numbers in a second.

Finally, the multicolored hat, was made in Red Heart Unforgettable yarn in the Sunrise colorway. As you can tell, it’s crocheted in a tube, without any decreases at the band, which is also made in single crochet. It is a bit more snug than the purple hat, because this one is going to my hubby’s other sister, on the mom’s side, who has thin long flat hair.

Now for the details!

Camouflage hats:  made in Red Heart Super Saver Camouflage, with a 5.5 mm hook, 15 rows of dc + 1 row of sc for finishing. Stitch count is 66 stitches. Length is 8 inches, width is approximately 20 inches.

Gray hat: made in Vickie Howell Sheepish in gray, with a 5.5 mm hook. 17 rows in dc + 5 rows of sc for the band. Total number of stitches is 72. Length is 9 inches, width is 19.5 inches.

Purple hat: made in Vickie Howell Sheepish in prune, with a 5.5 mm hook, 21 rows of dc + rows of sc for the band. The number of stitches for the body of the hat is 70. The last row of dc has 4 decreases making the stitch count 66, which is maintained for the 5 rows of sc for the band. Length is 11 inches, width is 20 inches throughout the body and 18.5 inches at the band.

Multicolored hat: made in Red Heart Unforgettable in Sunrise colorway, with a 4.5 mm hook. 22 rows of dc + 5 rows of sc for the band. Total number of stitches is 72. Length is 11 inches and width is 18.5 inches all the way.

And the main pattern, with some notes!

Double crochet hat

With worsted weight yarn of your choice and 5 or 5.5 mm hook, depending on the desired width.

Rnd1: make 9 dc in the magic ring, join to the first dc, not the chains. (9 st)
Rnd 2: 2 dc in each stitch around (18 st)
Rnd 3: *(2 dc in the next st, 1 dc in next) Repeat from * around (27 st)
Rnd 4: *(2dc in the next st, 1 dc in the next 2 st) Repeat from * around (36 st)
Rnd 5: *(2dc in the next st, 1 dc in the next 3 st) Repeat from * around (45 st)
Rnd 6: *(2dc in the next st, 1 dc in the next 4 st) Repeat from * around (54 st)’
Rnd 7: dc in each stitch around (54 st)
Rnd 8: *(2 dc in the next st, dc in next 8 st) Repeat from * around (60 st)
Rnd 9: *(2dc in the next st, dc in next 9 st) Repeat from * around (66st)

* For the camouflage and purple hat, stop increasing here

– For the camo: make 5 rows of 1 dc in each stitch then 1 row of sc

– For the purple: make 11 rows of 1 dc in each stitch, then decrease 4 stitches evenly in another dc round. Finish with 5 sc rows for the band

* for the gray and multicolored hats make Rnd10

Rnd10: *(2dc in the next st, dc in next 10 st) Repeat from * around (72st)

– For the gray hat, make 7 rows of 1 dc in each stitch and 5 rows of sc in each

– For the multicolored hat, make 12 rows of 1 dc in each stitch and 5 rows of sc for the band.

Weave in ends and you’re all done!

I hope you enjoyed this easily adaptable pattern!

Easy PEAsy knit hat

green hat

Two years ago, more or less, my husband talked me into taking up knitting. Although I have never posted any knitting patterns here, I did knit a scarf, a hat and a couple cowls back in the day. My knitting spree only lasted a couple months. I then picked up crocheting and I haven’t stopped ever since. Why did I quit knitting? I thought I sucked at it and I was really slow.

Fast forward almost two years and for whatever reason, I decided to pick it back up. Perhaps because while I love crocheted items like coozies, purses, clutches, storage bags and of course amigurumi, I still like the look of finished knitted accessories better. i feel like knitting gives me a larger array of possibilities when it comes to hats, cowls and certainly sweaters. So here I am, knitting again.

green hat top

This hat is a very simple one I made up, just to prove myself I could come up with a very simple pattern and obtain a well fitting garment. It has a thin ribbed brim, which you can make longer if you wish to. The body of the hat is stockinette stitch all the way and it is finished as a multiple of 6 stitches decrease. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced knitter, this hat works up in no time and it makes for a quick, last minute Christmas gift!

green hat front top

Easy PEAsy hat

Gauge 20 st and 30 rows = 4 inches (10 cm)

Yarn used: Berroco Vintage DK in Pea. Substitute for any other DK yarn. I used about 150 yards, which is less than one skein.

Needles: 4 mm (US 6) 16” circular and DPNs or 24′ or larger for magic loop method

Cast on 96 st

Work on 1 x 1 rib (k1, p1) for 1.25 inches or any length you desire

Switch to stockinette stitch (remember in the round stockinette is simply knitting around) and continue knitting for 6” (if you would like a slouchier hat, you can knit for 8” to have a final hat length of 10”)

Start decreases

(K2tog, k14 st, place marker) around (90 st)

(k2tog, k13 st) around (84 st)

(k2tog, k12 st) around (78 st)

(k2tog, k11 st) around (72 st)

(k2tog, k10 st) around (66 st)

continue to decrease in this fashion, k2tog then knit til marker until 6 stitches remain.

Insert your darning needle through the 6 remaining stitches and close the top up. Weave in ends.

Never knit a hat before? here are some useful tutorial links!

how to magic loop 

how to DPNs

how to knit two together