Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January Blues and a Pattern Tease

Well, I didn't think it was possible, but I've managed to ruin a batch of Rice Krispy Treats. Apparently, if you melt the butter and marshmallows at too high heat, they caramelize a bit and you wind up with rock-hard treats that do not want to be cut into smaller bars. It was my first time making these on our new range, and I guess the front burners really do burn hotter than the back ones. Whoops.
The good news is, 4-year-olds don't mind the giant-crisped-rice-marshmallow-brick, they just see an excuse to gnaw on a massive block of sugary goodness.

So it's mid-January, the holidays are behind us, the rest of winter still to come...so I decided it's time to roll out another pattern.


Is my nose really that long?  Maybe it's the angle. Tim was my photographer - he grouses about it, but he does a pretty decent job.

I'm calling this one Wintersong. It's in testing, right now. And it will be released before the end of the month, if all goes according to plan!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Autumn Beanie

So, I've been thinking about what to do with this awesome hat pattern:

It was originally created for the book, Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies. And I meant to create a larger version for adults, with the idea that it would be a Mommy- or Daddy-and-me kind of pattern.
But the numbers just don't work out, at least not in the same gauge. I could change to a DK or sportweight yarn, But I happen to like the way it looks in worsted weight. See? I made one in blue, too:
Ok, Grant didn't want his picture taken. Here's what it really looks like:

So, anyway, it was just Christmas and maybe someone put a skein of that really yummy hand-dyed wool in your stocking, and you don't know what to do with it but you're itching to make something lacy and warm at the same time, or maybe it's 6 months from now and you're looking to make a new hat for that adorable toddler in your life. Here's the pattern for this awesome little hat! I'm going to make it available for free, here on this blog.

Without further ado:


Autumn Beanie
by Katherine Larson

Finished size: 16"/40.5cm circumference (unstretched), 6.5"/16.5cm tall
Skills needed: Foundation single crochet, chain, single crochet, double crochet

Materials:
Yarn: Dream In Color Classy (4oz/113g, 250yds/229m, 100% superwash merino wool), 1 skein or
50g, 100yds/92m worsted weight yarn 
Tools: H/5mm crochet hook or size needed to meet gauge
Tapestry needle

Gauge: 14 sts and 8 rows = 4”/10mm in body pattern

Pattern notes: Brim is crocheted in one long strip, then seamed. The body is then worked from the brim up.

Abbreviations:
Fsc – Foundation single crochet
Ch – Chain
Sc – Single crochet
Sc blo – Single crochet through back loop only
Dc – Double crochet
Sl st – slip stitch
V-st – Dc, ch 1, dc in same st.

Brim:

Fsc 9.

Row 1: Ch 1, turn. Sc blo across.

Repeat row 1 (62) more times, for a total of 64 rows. Turn work and fold so last row worked aligns with foundation row. Working through the back loops of the last row worked, and the front loops of the foundation row, sl st together. Do not fasten off.

Body:

Rnd 1: Turn work 90 degrees, ch 3(counts as dc here and throughout), 2 dc in same space, sk 3 rows, *V-st in next row, skip 2 rows, *3 dc in next row skip 2 rows, repeat from * around, join with sl st to top of beginning ch3 (9 shells and 9 V-sts)

Rnd 2: Sl st in next st, ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1 here and throughout), dc in same st, skip 2 sts, 3 dc in ch-1 sp, skip 2 sts, *V-st in next st, skip 2 sts, 3 dc in ch-1 sp, repeat from * around, join with sl st in beginning dc.

Rnd 3: Sl st to ch-1 sp, ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), 2 dc in same sp, skip 2 sts, V-st in next st, skip 2 sts, *3 dc in ch-1 sp, skip 2 sts, V-st in next st, repeat from * around, join with sl st in 3rd ch of ch4.

Repeat rnds 2 and 3, then repeat rnd 2 once more.

Rnd 7: Sl st in next ch 2 sp, ch3, dc in same sp, skip 2 sts, *2 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, 2 dc in ch-1 sp, skip 2 sts, repeat from * around, join with sl st in beginning dc. (36 dc)

Rnd 8: Ch 3, dc in same sp, skip 2 sts, *2 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, repeat from * around, join with sl st in beginning dc. (24 dc)

Rnd 9: Ch 3, dc in same sp, skip 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, repeat from * around, join with sl st in beginning dc. (16 dc)

Rnd 10: Ch 3, 2 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, repeat from * around, dc, join with sl st in beginning dc. (11 dc)

Rnd 11: Sl st in 3rd, 5th, and 7th sts, sl st in beginning st and draw closed.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Have you made this? Did you like it? Let me know! And if you'd like to make a project page on Ravelry, here's the place to do so!

Monday, October 3, 2016

New Pattern: Midwinter Headband

This Monday morning in October, the temperature is barely 60F. What a perfect day to release my new pattern, the Midwinter Headband!
It's crocheted in bulky weight yarn (the sample uses about half a skein of Berroco Vintage Chunky), featuring simple cables and a button closure. 
Finished size is 2.5”/7cm wide x 21.5”/54.5cm long, unfastened. 

And it's available for sale in both my Ravelry and Craftsy stores.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Rocking Chair Rehab

My parents offloaded a lot of their old house to our new one. A fantastic maple dining table and chairs, a chest of drawers, most of my dad's tools (a lot of which were actually my grandfathers' tools...which makes them even more awesome).

And this.

It's a child-sized rocking chair. It was my dad's, when he was a kid. The seat cover is crocheted, we don't quite remember which relative made it (either my Gram, or my great-grandmother), we only know that it was very dingy from years spent languishing in a Michigan basement. 
See what I mean? 

As much as I love crochet items, I thought it was time to bring this little rocking chair into the 21st century. 

This was one of the easiest projects I've done. All it took was a bit of patience, some batting, some fabric, and a staple gun. And the patience was truly optional, it took about 20 minutes altogether. But sometimes you get interrupted by a toddler. 
(Bad lighting, had to use the flash, but...you see? Sometimes you just have to stop.)

So, first step was pulling all the old staples:
Someone has done this before.

And then pulling off the old padding:


And then I forgot to take a picture, but I replaced the padding with a double-layer of quilt batting, and a piece of plain muslin on top. And stapled everything to the underside of the seat.
No one sees the underside, anyway.
Notice how that munchkin has a different shirt on? That's one of those interruptions I mentioned.

And now for the top layer:
 This is not an exact science.
And, as I said, no one sees the bottom.
 See how pretty it looks from the right side?
Yes, that is Dr. Who fabric. I found it on Spoonflower. 

And that's it. Less than 20 minutes of hands-on time, under an hour with toddler interruptions. Pretty awesome! Added a bit of furniture polish, and you'd never know this chair is older than the television show that inspired the fabric. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me...

Yes, it is my birthday! And the weather is gorgeous! At least, it is here in Las Vegas. I'm not so sure about the rest of the country...

Anyway, yesterday I released a new pattern on Ravelry:


This is the unimaginatively (yet descriptively) named Ribbon Scarf. It is a one-skein project, using 100g/215 yds/197m of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece yarn (or whichever worsted weight yarn you choose).

Oh, also, since it's my birthday, I'm having a pattern sale. 36% off patterns in my Ravelry store. (Why 36%? Because it's my 36th birthday!)

And now, I'm off to go adventuring with my boys...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Testing...testing...

Well, I've opened the test for my Ribbon Scarf.
I'm still not decided on a name, and I'm still trying to get the final photos, but neither of those are needed for the test phase. The pattern itself is completed, and that's the important part right now.
(If anyone is interested in helping, I'm running the test on Ravelry here.)(And if you're not, that's cool; I'll still announce when it's officially released.)

I took the boys to the park today. Part of this was an excuse to visit Starbucks, as it's right on the way and has a drive-thru, and I haven't had a pumpkin spice latte in a while. Part of this was a genuine need to get Clinton outside and running around. And part of it was an ill-fated attempt to get some decent photos of the scarves.
One of the nice things about living in Las Vegas is the very mild winters that make playground visits, in January, wearing sweaters instead of snowsuits, possible. It's also very, very sunny. That becomes a problem when you're attempting to take photographs of crocheted items that show off the stitches. I tried finding the areas of the park with filtered sunlight, but there weren't many. There was a park bench covered in bird poop (I wouldn't even sit there, I'm certainly not draping a handmade scarf over it), and the ground (again, I'm not going to use it as a display for my crocheted scarves). So the whole photography portion of our trip was a bust.

On the other hand, Clinton ran off a ton of energy and Grant had fun on the swings again, and I enjoyed coffee while it was still hot. So it was still a successful outing.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Names are hard.

Well, they can be. Sometimes it's a really important naming, like when I was pregnant, and Tim and I were trying to decide on names. Naming your child is pretty important. That baby is going to carry his or her name for a lifetime.
Sometimes, it's a fun, frivolous naming, such as a particular meal that someone likes and wants to ask for easily...like when Tim dubbed one of my casseroles, "Chicken Nummies".
Sometimes, it's naming a pet...Buddy found his name because he still a kitten when I got him, and the "Papi" that his previous humans called him just did not fit. But, I was too tired to come with anything clever, so he was just "the cat" to others for weeks, and I called him "little buddy" directly...and then I realize, he was Buddy.

And then there are the times that I'm sort-of naming a pet...but it's not a pet. It's a design. My DNA Scarf was pretty easy to name, since the cable design actually looks like a double-helix. My Harvest Splendor Cowl was easy to name, since it was fall colors, and using the Wheatsheaf stitch pattern.

But the newest one? I've been calling it simply, "Ribbon Scarf", since it looks like an awareness ribbon. That doesn't seem quite accurate, though. Neither does "basketweave scarf" or "toddler scarf".

Oh, I remembered why I chose pink yarn now.

Anyway, I still need to re-shoot the photos.