Pumpkin hat free crochet pattern

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Halloween is around the corner! do you have a costume? does your child have one? if the answer is no, I have the solution for you! This quick and easy pumpkin hat can be whipped up in no time. Certainly no more than an afternoon!

The size is very easily adaptable as it is crocheted flat using the back loops only. You can chain more for a longer hat or make more rows for a wider, larger fitting hat. This one is meant for a toddler size 1-3. It fits my friend’s baby and he has…ahem, a big head for a 1 year old.

Pumpkin hat 

Crochet hook size 5.5 mm

half a skein of Vanna’s choice in brick (you certainly can buy their pumpkin color, but I find it too light)*

*if you are making the hat for an adult you may need more.

a few yards of Vanna’s choice in green

Toddler size + larger size instructions

Chain 31 (the number of chains determines how long the hat is, if you want a longer hat, chain more)

Rd1. Make 1 hdc in the second chain from the hook, using the back loop only. Then make one HDC in each chain til the end.

Rd2-32. Make 1 hdc on back loop only in each stitch.

Once you reach the desired width, slip stitch the last and first row of the hat together. Now you have a hat seam.

Stem and curly-cue

Join with green yarn and make 1 HDC only in every other stitch, that is, only in the grooves or only in the ridges. This effectively decreases the stitch count by half. Now you’ll have 16 HDC. If you made a larger hat you’ll have half of however many rounds you did.

Rd1. 1 hdc in each stitch (16 hdc)
Rd2. (hdc2tog, 1 hdc) around (8 hdc)

this completes the base of the stem (for larger hat, decrease until you get to 8 stitches, remember to divide stitches in multiples of 8)

Rd3-5. 1 single crochet in each stitch around (8 hdc)

Rd6. (sc2tog, 4sc) twice (6 sc)- yes, this is correct, we have now switched to single crochet

Rd6-8. sc in each stitch around.

Rd9. sc2tog around. Now slip stitch the 3 last stitches shut. Do not cut the yarn.

Chain 21, make 3 hdc in second chain from hook and each chain after that. This will create the curled effect. (and this portion is the same for any size)

Cut the yarn, weave in ends and enjoy!

Looking for more costumes? Check these other patterns out! 

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Louise Belcher costume, crochet hat, pattern HERE

fox hat square

   Fox hat, crochet pattern HERE

knight hat square marked

Knight hat, crochet pattern HERE

miss piggy face brightMiss Piggy hat, crochet pattern HERE

Louise Belcher DIY costume

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Any Bob’s burgers fans out there? – Welcome! I’m glad we share interests

Louise Belcher may as well be my favorite cartoon character, although she has to compete with Steven Universe and the Adventure Time crew. Her and I share a childhood of being around our parents’ business. Hers a burger place, mine a butcher shop. Not so different after all.

As a European who grew up without Halloween, I can’t go a single year without celebrating the event. Perhaps my favorite holiday. This year, I put my crochet and sewing abilities to use and I made myself a whole Louise Costume. The hat is my own pattern creation and you can find it here!

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Why make your own hat you say? Because it costs about 3$ to make! and it’s fun! and the ears are a whole 10 inches! What a great way to make a statement.

As for how to make the dress… I started with this tutorial and made a few changes, so I’m going to summarize for you how to do it! (I still recommend you look at her tutorial!)

1. Pick a dress, whatever dress you have, made of a non-stretch material (it will render more accurate measures).

2. Take a large piece of butcher paper and mark all around your dress. If it has sleeves, mark around the sleeves as well. Mine was a sleeveless dress.

3. Now you have marked the size of your dress, but you need to add about 1/2 inch of seam allowance. You can use a curved ruler for the neck portion.

4. Here’s the main difference with the tutorial. You want an A-line dress and chances are your dress does not have that shape. If it does, you’re done with the design. If it doesn’t, like mine, make a mark 8 inches away from the bottom corners of the dress. Then trace a straight line from the armpit to that mark. This should give your dress an A-line shape. Cut the pattern from the butcher paper and then the fabric using the pattern. See pictures below

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5. Sew the bottom seams of the dress and then sew along the sides all the way to the armpit

6. Take a large t-shirt and put it on top of the sleeve opening. On butcher paper, mark around the arm, cut the pattern and then cut 4 pieces of fabric, two for each sleeve.

7. Sew the sleeve pieces to each other and then pin, with the dress inside out, the sleeves to the sleeve openings. Sew around the sleeves

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Your dress is done! Now put your costume all together and take some silly pictures!

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Little sister hat

babyhat

I love making baby things. They’re small, they work fast, you can use colorful yarn and the final product is oh so cute! So when I heard that our stockroom guy was going to have a little girl, I had to make something! I randomly found this pattern on craftsy. It’s called the ‘little sister hat’ and it’s designed by Linda Permann.

babyhatfull

I loved making this hat. Unfortunately the pictures don’t make it justice, but I’m very happy with the result. I used Red Heart unforgettable yarn in parrot. I was very lucky and the colors lined up perfectly and changed every row. I absolutely recommend you give the pattern a try. It takes less than 2 hrs and the result is amazing.

How to make t-shirt yarn from old pj’s

If you read this blog, you know I like t-shirt yarn. I devoted one of my first posts to a t-shirt yarn storage basket and a tutorial on how to make the yarn. It’s an excellent way to re-purpose t-shirts into crocheted or knitted items and a great activity for kids. This pictorial will show you how to make t-shirt yarn from old pajama pants!

Enjoy!

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NOTE: When I made t-shirt yarn for my basket, from t-shirts, I stretched it quite a bit. That means, before I rolled into a ball, I took about 1 foot between my hands and pulled outwards to make the fabric roll onto itself. I must say this didn’t work very well in the case of the pajama pants fabric, I think it made it too thin. My rule of thumb would be, if you feel like your fabric has a lot of stretch (high spandex content), pull it, if not, better not to do so.

Bear coin purse / wallet (Back to school)

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School is back in session! At least for most. Moms and dads and uncles and aunts and grandparents go back to the routine as well. Backpacks have been purchased and pencil cases are full of multicolored crayons.

back to school banner

But there is always something missing, isn’t there? No matter how well you prepared, you probably forgot something. Perhaps you didn’t think about lunches and lunch money. So perhaps your little ones don’t have a coin purse yet. Here’s an easy and quick pattern for a bear wallet. The design was inspired by Pops de Milk’s bear cozies. Check them out! She has all sorts of cute animal mason jar cozies.

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You can easily change the color and size of this coin purse. You can add differently colored noses for different animals, leave or keep the felt part, choose a contrasting color zipper or add embellishments. In less than 1 hr you’ll have a cute and functional wallet. Make more than one and give them away! Here’s the pattern!

Bear coin purse
You’ll need:
A few yards of worsted weight yarn. Less than 100.
Crochet hook G, 4 mm
A 4 inch zipper (if you want to make a larger wallet or turn it into a pencil case, buy a bigger zipper)
Safety eyes and nose
Small piece of contrasting color felt
Embroidery floss
Embroidery needle and yarn needle

Chain 21
1 sc in 2nd chain from hook. Make 1 sc in the next 18 st. Make 3 sc in the last stitch. Continue making sc on the other side of the chain til you reach the 1st chain again. Make 2 sc in last chain.
Now you have 3 sc in 1st and last st and 1 sc on each side of each chain.

Working in spiral, make 1 sc around for 16 rows. You can vary the # of rows depending on how tall you want the coin purse to be. Once you reach your last row, pick one side of the wallet and mark the positions of the center of the ears. I left 5 stitches between the corner of the wallet and the center of the ear and 8 stitches between the ear centers. Continue to single crochet until 2 st before the marked point for the ear. Skip those stitches and make 7 dc in the ear center stitch. Skip the next 2 st, slip st on the next stitch. Continue in sc til you reach the st 2 positions before the center of the ear. Repeat the previous step. Continue in sc til the end of the row. Weave in ends

Attach eyes, nose and felt as desired. I used a coin to draw a circle on the felt before cutting. Poke a hole in the center of the felt so the safety nose can go through.

To attach the zipper. Turn the wallet inside out. Mark the position where you’d like the zipper to lay. I left 2 rows between the top of the wallet and the zipper so the zipper is not exposed/visible. Pin one side of the zipper in place and sew with the embroidery floss. See picture below.
Now that part of your zipper is sewn in place, turn the wallet inside out and sew the rest of the zipper. I tried sewing both zipper sides with the wallet inside out and that was nearly impossible.

Aaaaand, you’re done! enjoy!

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Lime curd

lime curd w letteringA few weeks ago, I made this delicious lime curd for a tart recipe which I’ll share very soon. But first i wanted to share the curd recipe, which is very very simple. Here we go!

Gather

curd ingredients

 The whites will be used for the tart meringue, you can save them in the fridge for 1 or 2 days. 

zest + sugar

 This will help the oils from the zest break free and go into the sugar. Now let’s make the mix! Add the following ingredients and whisk them in. Keep the double boiler at a simmer, enough to make the bowl hot but not overboil. You don’t want your eggs to cook to a scramble!

curd collage

 You now have all the ingredients in the mix! It’s time to just wait for the curd.. 

 

finish curd

 Put it in a jar, in the fridge and store for up to 2 weeks. You can add the curd to tarts, cookies, cakes, toast… but, our lime curd tarts are coming up soon!!! 

 

Learn to crochet: Essential tools and yarn

Learn to crochet

A few of my friends have recently requested that I teach them how to crochet. Although I’m not sure I’m as good at teaching this as I think I am at teaching science (matter of practice), I hope that this ‘Learn to Crochet’ series is helpful not only to them, but anyone else interested in the art.

The first lesson is about the essential tools required and the yarns available to crochet. Please feel free to ask any questions via comment or e-mail. I will be happy to help any of you learn to crochet!

Let’s start with the essential tools required

tools for crochet W LETTERING

 

You obviously will need crochet hooks. We’ll discuss your options in a moment. Scissors to cut your yarn are also necessary. I have always used just plain scissors, or a nail cutter. No, I’m not kidding, they actually are fantastic at cutting yarn and you can bring them with you on a plane!. Just make sure you have a separate set for that purpose. As for fancy metal scissors available at some places, I don’t care for them. Why? a lot of people will tell you that yarn snips or embroidery scissors are better. But they were not designed to cut yarn. All you need is a sharp pair of scissors, anything else is optional. Tapestry needles come in bigger (gold color) and smaller (silver color) sizes. They both have a blunt end, so they are different from sewing needles. They are used to finish a project, by ‘hiding’ a tail of yarn within the crocheted piece. I mostly use the smaller needles, with the exception of bulky or super bulky yarns, which are really hard to thread through a thin needle. Last but not least are the stitch markers. You can find stitch markers in all shapes and materials, but the ones pictured are by far my favorite because they stay secured to the stitch, while other types of markers can fall off your work. Markers are used to… well, mark a part of your work. They serve as a reference so you don’t lose track of where the beginning of your round or row is, to separate a piece of work in parts etc.

You can buy these markers here: Clover Lock Ring Markers*

Now let’s talk about hooks

types of hooks by material w lettering

 

First of all, it’s important to note that there are many materials available to crocheters when it comes to choosing a hook. The most common are plastic blends, bamboo, fully metallic or metallic with a handle. My favorite hooks are the ones pictured last. They are the clover amour hooks. They were my self-gifted wedding gift and I have fallen in love with these hooks because they are incredibly comfortable. The handle is soft and they are tapered hooks. We’ll discuss what that means next. Let me add that the clover hooks are made in Japan and that simply gives me confidence in the quality. The Japanese are adept crocheters and they invented the art of amigurumi. If you want your own set of Clover amour hooks, you can get yours here. (And no, Clover didn’t pay me to say any of this)

Clover 3672 Amour Crochet Hook Set, 10 sizes*

types of hook shapes W LETTERING

 

An image is worth a thousand words and there isn’t much I can tell you about inline and tapered hooks. Inline hooks have a ‘sharper’ shape and the hook is cut in an angle with two straight lines. Tapered hooks however, have a rounded shape which reminds me of fishing hooks. I prefer tapered hooks because I find them to move more smoothly through the yarn, especially with yarns that tend to split (the fibers start separating). I suggest you try both and decide which one works best for you.

Hey, what about crochet hook sizes? Sizes are standardized and only certain dimensions are available. Hook size is given both by a letter and the millimeter diameter of the hook. Both designations are interchangeable and they go as follows.

Finally, we need to talk about yarn. The variety of yarns currently available is almost overwhelming. The major classification of yarn is done with regards to its weight. This may sound a bit weird, but it really just means the classification is based on how thick or thin the yarn is, which determines what the appropriate hook for it is. However, it is important to keep in mind that weight categories represent a range of yarns, not a single value. I’ll explain this further in a second, but the main weight groups are pictured below.

yarns by weight

The exact classification of yarn according to the yarn council of america can be found here. But I’d like to simplify things a bit for you. First of all, two yarns within the same weight category are not necessarily the same. I think the picture makes that a lot easier to understand. You can see several types of worsted weight yarn pictured and they are clearly not exactly the same thickness. Moreover, they are not spun exactly the same way and they aren’t all made of the same fibers. So how do you pick the right one? Something to keep in mind is the number of wraps per inch (wpi), which is exactly what it sounds like, how many wraps can you fit in one inch. This number will give you an idea of the relative thickness of two yarns that fall within the same weight category but are not exactly the same. The most important thing is that you choose a yarn that appeals to you and that is adequate for the project and season it will be used for.

Yarn Composition

The weight of yarn you require will be determined by a project. But besides the thickness, it is important to consider yarn fiber. There are plenty of fibers available all over the internet and at craft stores. The price of the yarn is directly related to the fiber composition and also to the way in which it has been spun and dyed. Cheaper yarns are usually acrylic or blends of acrylic and wool. Typical prices range from 3-10 $ for about 200 yards.

Some yarns I use often, within that price range are: Caron Simply soft (made in the USA), Vanna’s choice from Lion Brand and Vickie Howell’s Sheepish. The first two are 100% acrylic and the last one is a mix of acrylic and wool. I do not recommend cheap wool yarns. These are usually spun using long fibers which end up poking out of the yarn and make it itchy. Most wool sensitive people are not allergic, they just don’t tolerate the poking.

So if you want to use wool, and you’ll want to, it’s best to choose merino wool that has been finely spun and is not itchy or scratchy. My favorite is Malabrigo yarn, which is available online and at small(er) yarn stores and is reasonably priced at about 14$ for 200 yards.

Cotton yarns are a must for any items that will be exposed to high heat and heavy wearing, such as potholders and cozies. I have recently discovered bamboo  yarns and I am absolutely in love with the lightness and softness of them. But, these are only suitable for lighter garments such as summer shawls. Another favorite is t-shirt yarn, which is made out of the remnants of knit stretchy fabrics. It’s great to create big crochet pieces for the home, like rugs and baskets. The thickness and type of fiber makes the items really sturdy. When it comes to amigurumi, and we will explore it in a future post, I always resort to acrylic because it makes the process much easier on your hands and is resistant to wear.

So… where can you buy yarn? My main stores for cheaper yarn are JoAnn’s or Michaels. (No, I don’t and I won’t shop at HL). However, the type of yarn you will find there is very limited. Mostly affordable yarns made by Caron, Lion Brand and Bernat. The colors are relatively limited and the availability will vary store by store. I recently discovered Knit Picks. They are an online yarn supplier with a large amount of available fibers and colors. Sure, it’s a bit more expensive because of the shipping (the price is actually comparable), but it’s worth it. Another place to keep in mind is Ice yarns. Their yarns are sold by lots of 2-8 skeins. The amount of skeins per lot and the price depends on what yarn you’re buying, of course. I absolutely love their tube t-shirt yarn, which is thinner than most t-shirt yarns (pictured second from the top). Their shipping is a flat price of 10$ and if you have a relatively large project in mind, or you are ok with buying large quantities, I highly recommend it. They are based in Turkey but shipping is typically 2 days! If you are looking for nicer yarns, which are almost exclusively wool, you can find plenty of online stores that distribute some pricier yet affordable yarns, like Malabrigo. While I wouldn’t start crocheting with a very nice yarn, they are worth buying for special projects, especially clothing or accessories that go close to your skin.

Well, that’s it for now! I hope I’ve helped a bit and not confused you very much. Stay tuned for our next ‘Learn to Crochet’ in which I’ll show you how to make single crochets. And please, feel free to ask any questions you might have!

*(This is an affiliate link. It will cost you the same as shopping for it on your own, but I get a wee bit of something which helps me keep this blog full of free tutorials)