10 Valentine’s Day Projects for Scrap Yarn

I’m a pretty devoted Moogly fan. As I was going through my Valentines Day Pinterest board, her Sweet on Crochet: 10 Free Valentine Patterns came up. Looking for a few quick, scrap projects, I decided to expand on her idea and make a list of

10 Free

  1. I Give you my Heart Bookmark by Sunflowers at Home
  2. Yarn Hearts by Aunt Peaches
  3. Crochet Flying Heart Applique by Bea Crafter 
  4. Granny Sweet Heart Pattern by Nancy Drew Designs
  5. Dainty Heart Valentine Earings by Crochet Memories
  6. Heart Shaped Pompoms by Willowday
  7. Crochet Flower in a Heart by Cre8tion Crochet
  8. More Crochet Hearts by Dada’s Place
  9. Sweet Lacy Hearts by Linda’s Crafty Corner
  10. Love Wiggles Trivet (Okay, so this one isn’t technically for scraps, but I LOVE this pattern and it looks pretty easy even for someone honing their skills!)

I’ll be hookin’ today and can’t wait to try out a few of these between my other projects! What did you try from the list? Any projects you would add? Let me know in a comment here or on Facebook! 🙂

Knitting, Crochet, and the Perfect Pair of Pants

Few things are worse for a crocheter than seeing an absolutely LOVELY pattern, fall in love with it, plan what yarn you’ll use and what colour, then discover it’s a KNITTING patter. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. Devastating.

I have no idea how to knit. The idea of managing two needles at once frightens me. I just don’t really have any inclination to start learning it. Crochet, for now at least, is enough for me.

I was browsing Pinterest for ideas on what to do with the sock yarn I splurged on. I wanted to make something other than socks. I came across these adorable little baby pants and knew I just had to make them! The yarn I had would work up beautifully for these pants! I mean, just look at them!

80850ada_small2 and with my yarn…..That One *swoon*

So, when I read the first lines of the pattern, I was so upset! However, I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I’ve done a few hats in the past from pictures. I decided I could figure this one out, too. Then, I can write up a pattern to share here.

I know how to make the “ridges” on the waist by doing rows of crochet both loops, then crochet back loops only on repeat for many, many short rows. Then you crochet the ends together and turn it horizontally. That worked up well enough. I started the waist/butt part next bu doing rounds and rounds of single crochets. I had originally started with double crochets, but it doesn’t look right. It works up faster, but is too loose and holy for the pants.

I’ve never worked with sock yarn before. It’s a thin, size 1, lace yarn. It’s very fine. It’s tough making sure I don’t pull out too much when I work with it and get it all tangled. Each row adds only another teeny,tiny section to the length. It is tough to see progress with it. I will keep slowly,slowly plodding along a few rows at a time while watching Netflix in the evenings with my husband. I’ll share the progress over the next few day (Weeks? Months? years!?)

Lyssa xx

P.S…I think this is only project four stacked on the little end table on my side of the couch. Not too bad for just starting February!

Have you ever felt the devastation of seeing a pattern and then realizing it wasn’t available in crochet!? What have you made with sock yarn before? Let me know in a comment below!

Winter Is Kicking My Butt…

Winter is really kicking my butt. As an American living in England, getting use to the dark winter days, raining all the time, and the WIND is tough.

I usually try to put out a post on Mondays. As this is a blog and website dedicated to my Etsy crochet shop, I usually post something related to crochet. Today, however, I’m too sick to post. I have a few blogs in various stages of writing, but I’m to tired to finish them. Instead, I’m taking a sick day, because….

 

I HAVE THE FLU! 

So, I’m putting off my piles of school work, I am probably going to skip class, and I’m just going to curl up on the couch with my 10 week old, drink hot tea, and “watch Netflix ‘n’ Chill”. Oh, and crochet, of course!

What are some of your favorite things to do when you are sick that make you feel better? Have you had the flu this year? No? How have you stayed healthy? Let me know in a comment below!

P.S….tune in next week when I may even post TWO blogs! 🙂

Pikachu and the Turtle Hat

On Saturday, I took my boys out to the mall so that my older son, Hayden, could go to Build-A-Bear Workshop! Much to my husband’s delight, he decided on a Pikachu. After spending a bit of extra on a “beating” heart, I balked a bit at the prices of the clothes for stuffed animals, and we settled on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hat. When we returned home, my husband was just as excited as I thought he would be. Pikachu hasn’t left Hayden’s side since he chose him, either! My husband was also excited about the turtle’s hat. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell who’s the bigger TMNT fan! He made an offhand comment about being sad he didn’t have one in his size. Naturally, I had an, “ahHA!” moment and excitedly replied, “I can crochet that!” So, I spent the next several hours working up an adult sized turtle’s hat.

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Hayden, Grayson(down in the baby carrier), and me!
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Pikachu and his TMNT mask! 

This turtle’s hat is easy enough for most beginners to do! The “hardest” part is the “magic circle”. If you don’t know how to do the “magic circle”, double crochet, or single crochet, I have linked instructional videos below for you!


TEXT

You can buy this turtle hat in my Etsy shop!

Materials:

1 skein green yarn (I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn in “Fern”) for the turtle head part

1 skein blue/red/orange/purple (depending on the turtle you want to make, I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in “Really Red”) for the “mask” part

1 size 5.5mm hook

1 tapestry needle to weave in ends

NOTES: I absolutely LOVE Tamara Kelly over at Moogly! She has a fantastic video tutorial on how to do the magic circle  if you don’t already know how. I prefer this method to the “chain X and join”, as this leaves no hole in the middle.

Stitches and Abbreviations Used:

Double Crochet(dc): Learn to do a double crochet here.

Single Crochet(sc): Learn to do a single crochet here.

Chain(ch)

(Xdc):Number of double crochet stitches total in that row

(Xsc): Number of single crochet stitches in that row

Instructions: 

Round 1: Make a magic circle, chain 2, and dc ten stitches in, joining at the top of the first dc with a slip stitch. (10dc)

Round 2: Ch 2, 2 dc in same stitch, and each dc around, joining at the end. (20dc)

Round 3: Ch 2, 1 dc in same stitch, 2 dc in next. Repeat *1 dc in first stitch, 2 dc in next stitch* 9 more times. Jion. (30dc)

Round 4: Ch 2, 1 dc in the same stitch and the second stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. Repeat *1 dc in the first 2 stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch* 9 more times. Join.  (40dc)

Round 5: Ch 2, 1 dc in same stitch, the second stitch, and the third stitch, 2 dc in the fourth stitch. Repeate *1 dc in the first three stitches, 2 dc in the fourth* 9 more times. Join. (50dc)

My husband has a medium sized head for an adult. A larger headed adult may want to increase another round. For an adult small or child size, you may want to only increase to round 3 or 4.

Round 6-10: 1 dc in each stitch around. Join.  (50dc) You may need to add 1-3 more rows for a larger head, or decrease 1-2 rows for a smaller head.

Now, I use this method of colour change for this next row. If you want, you can simply tie off with a slip stitch, attach the new colour with a slip stitch, and weave in ends later.

Round 11: With new colour, 1sc in each dc around. Join. (50sc)

Round 12: 1 sc in each sc around. Join. (50sc)

Round 13: 1 sc in each of the next 30 sc. Ch 6. Skip 5 stitches. s1 c into the next 2 stitchs. Ch 6. Skip 5 Stitches. 1 sc in the next 8 sc. Join. (40 sc, 12 ch)

Round 14: 1 sc in each sc around, and each ch around. Join. (52sc) Yes, this is increasing by 2. This helps shape the eyes and gives a bit of room in the hat for the bridge of your nose.

Round 15: 1 sc in each sc around. Join and tie off. Cut and eave in the end. (52)


 

Let me know hot your project turns out! Feel free to leave a photo below or send an email to besoftshop@gmail.com Please also let me know how you liked the pattern and if you notice anything I could clarify. This is my first pattern! 🙂

 

 

10 Tips for Crochet Beginners!

10 Tips for Crochet Beginners Blog

 

It took me years and years and YEARS to even feel competent trying to crochet. I started out in 5th grade trying to earn a Girl Scout badge. All we had to do was chain 10 stitches. I just couldn’t do it! It ended with me in tears of frustration and quitting Girl Scouts completely!  I picket it up many years later as an adult who needed a few projects to enjoy while pregnant and “Nesting”. I saw yarn and crochet books on sale at Michaels and just had to pick some up (because, really, who can resist 60% off prices and an additional 20% off my entire purchase coupon!?!?) I thought it would be easier as an adult, but I was wrong!

I spent hours and hours staring at the pictures in my book. THEN I figured out I was trying to crochet with my left hand, as I’m a lefty. Unfortunately, everything I had bought was for RIGHT handed people. So, to YouTube I went, searching for fellow lefties! I watched hours and hours of videos, read dozens of blogs. And I practiced, practiced, practiced! My husband even now occasionally tells me my creations, “actually look good!!” (Gee, thanks, hunny…)

For all the many, many blogs you find out there, I thought I’d compile the best tricks I have come across to help out beginners (especially my lefties out there!) And here they are……
10 Tips for Crochet Beginners!

  1. Make sure you buy a book with lots and lots and LOTS of pictures…and make sure that it’s for lefties if you are a lefty, or righties if you are a righty!
  2. See if any of your friends or relatives crochet…you’d be surprised how many people are closet hookers! (Yes…people who use crochet HOOKS are (lovingly!) called “hookers”!) Being able to talk to someone who crochets in person and watching them live is a great help! You can have them pause, rewind, and repeat as many times as you need, with the added help of their more relevant commentary. They can also help you figure out difficult stitches later on with some tips and tricks of their own.
  3. If you don’t have any hooker friends (I still giggle a bit when I type that!), check out YouTube! There are hundreds, probably thousands, of videos on stitches, patterns, tips, and the like. I’ve linked some of my favorites here and here. Feel free to explore the many options available!!
  4. Practice. You probably won’t get it right the first time. Or the first ten times. Maybe not even the first 100 times-THAT’S OKAY! Keep at it! I wasn’t so great the first time I started or picked it back up again, honest!10909252_10152459604537610_2014133071_o

For the record, that’s supposed to be a SQUARE….not a triangle! Oops!

5. Keeping the same tension is really tough. You’ll start out with tight tension and then gradually it will get looser if you don’t pay attention. Conversely, it will start out loosely, but get tighter as you hyper-focus on it! Practicing tension is just as important as mastering the actual stitches. 1624235_10151844038877610_954570444_n

This isn’t supposed to be a trapezoid! Tension is very important unless you want to spend hours and hours and hours blocking…but not even blocking will fix it if there is too much difference!

6. Always, always, ALWAYS count your stitches. It may seem dull, and boring, and tedious, but it matters.  Don’t get lazy a few rows into a blanket and think you can just not worry about it. You’ll accidentally drop a stitch and it will be problematic when you turn your blanket into a triangle 50 rows later!

7. Learning to read a pattern is one of the most important basics. Knowing how to read a pattern is the foundation for how you will be able to learn and grow as a hooker (teehee!). It’s how you’ll be able to do those intricate hat patterns and lovely graphgans. It’s important. Seriously!

8. Posture is also really important! How you sit on the couch matters. Your neck and back will ache after a few hours of looking down at your stitches, so pay attention and take breaks when you need to, and you will often.

9. Don’t be alarmed many people don’t know the difference between crochet and knitting. Most people don’t know which is which. It also takes a while to look at a picture and tell if the stitch is crochet or knitting. Just laugh along with those who don’t know, and don’t be obligated to correct every Tom and Sue you meet.

10. Don’t be afraid to try new, more difficult things! Learning isn’t always easy, but you’ll never get better if you don’t try! If you get tired of the simple stitches, learn a new one, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right away. If you can’t get it the first dozen times, maybe put it away for a while and take it out again in a month or so. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn in that time!

My 11th, bonus tip, is probably the most important:

11. HAVE FUN! If it’s not fun, it’s not worth it! It’s okay to get things wrong and laugh at yourself! You’ll improve and look back and laugh at yourself one day! Just take a look at some of my mistakes!

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One of my first attempts at trying to learn the “magic circle” technique. It took me months (really!) to learn it. I just couldn’t get it! The  one day, it finally clicked and it’s now my favorite way to start a project!

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That’s supposed to be a daisy! I still struggle and have to take extra time when making petals that are supposed to be flat.

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this just goes to show you always need to pay attention! I accidentally crocheted the square onto an extra side-oops!

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My first hat I made for my brother!

Did you enjoy this blog? Was it helpful for you? Do you have tips or tricks for others you’d like to pass on? Leave a comment below and let me know!

P.S….Don’t forget to check out my last post to enter to win your very own cup cosy!!

 

New Year, New Goals!

My New Year’s Resolution is to set 4 business goals every month and then accomplish them! We may be half way through the month (almost!), but that won’t stop me! What are your 2016 resolutions? Do you have any big yearly or monthly goals for yourself? Leave a comment with your name for a chance to win a Valentines Day cup cosy! Winners will be drawn on the first day of February and announced on my Facebook Page, so check back to claim your prize! Don’t want to miss out on getting an adorable cosy? You can buy one in my Etsy Shop! 🙂

Pinterest Graphic

Comment below to win your very own cup cosy! One entry per person. You may gain an additional entry for every person you refer who comments that you referred them.

Happy crocheting, and as always…..Be Soft!