Relax! It’s just my yarn stash!

It’s a yarn artist’s thing, some of y’all will just never understand. đź’–

Funky Air Bear

corrugated_stackWhat the big deal with having a yarn stash?!

Only a knitter/crocheter would understand another knitter/crocheter. I’ve had many conversations with non-knitters about why I need more yarn, a different colour yarn, a different weight yarn, a different size needles, a different pattern, etc. I have had to explain the basics of knitting so many times that I feel like a broken record – no, super bulky yarn isn’t ideal for knitting a newborn baby hat; lace looks beautiful but it isn’t ideal for knitting slippers; just because I have size 3 needles doesn’t mean I can use them to knit all weights of yarn… and it goes on and on.

Same goes for how much yarn knitters have. What is wrong with having yarn? I mean people collect all kinds of things and usually are proud of their collections. So why the guilt every knitter feels when someone mentions…

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Messy Bun Hats

Were these unfinished hats a big hit in your area? I know that in a couple of the crochet groups I belong to on Facebook, some crafters were swamped with orders and requests right before Christmas. We rarely experience hat weather where I live, so I was able to get through the holidays without any last minute orders but I did make some practice hats that I thought you’d like to see.

ngxo8042The Easy Peasy Messy Bun Hat lives up to its name and you can find the pattern here. It works up quickly but it looks like a million bucks! For the kid size version, I used a smaller hook and made fewer rows. There was plenty of yarn left to make boot cuffs, too. Or in Regina’s case, wrist warmers. I made Tina one to match her cocoon cardigan.

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Those girls do love purple.

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I was looking for something different, and when this pattern showed up in my Facebook newsfeed I knew I had to try it. I am thrilled with the finished product, and so is my mom. She kept the hat after playing model. The free pattern by Marly Bird includes instructions for closing the top.

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You can find several good ‘cat hat’ crochet patterns online. To make yours a messy bun hat, seam the ears only and leave the center portion unfinished. This style was the fastest to work up and has been a hit with kids and adults. I’m thinking about adding black whiskers to the front, and maybe a pink nose.

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I happened to have a skein of chunky yarn in my stash and I used it to make a spiral hat using sc in the BLO. This particular hat is on its way to Kentucky. It’s a bottom-up hat, the first one I’ve ever made that didn’t use a ribbed band. I’ll be making more of them, but probably in worsted weight yarn.

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A neighbor gave me a skein of Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Stained Glass and as soon as I put Sarina’s hair up I knew exactly what kind of hat she needed. I’ve called it the Two-Fer and the Double Trouble hat. I’ve had visions of the whole cheer squad wearing them in team colors at the regional competition. Or the hip hop dance class at the Spring recital! It’s a basic DC beanie, but I skipped some stitches in the 7th round to make the holes.

You can find all of my projects on Ravelry and on Facebook. And I wish you and yours all the best for the New Year!

Miniature Stockings

I’ve got 23 days…okay more like 22 and a 1/2…to finish 40 days of Christmas preparations. By when I found a box of Christmas decorations I made last year, and all of these precious miniature stockings were inside, I knew y’all would love them!

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I use these to hold small bottles of specialty hand creams and bars of cold press soap, then arrange them in gift baskets with Spa Quality Wash Cloths.

I used this free pattern to make tiny stockings to decorate the tree. The girls and I also hung them in backpacks and handbags. I made some in team colors to add a personal touch to wrapped packages for sports enthusiasts.

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I use for a bigger hook to make gift card holders! And they look really cute on wreaths and garlands.

I hope y’all get a chance to make a few!

 

Tote Bag Trio

I try to make sure all the kids have a little something special just from me under the tree each year. I decided on tote bags for the 7-9 year old girls so I could match their personalities but keep the gifts on an equal level. So I headed over to my Pinterest board in search of inspiration and I found a pair of perfect patterns!!

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The Candy Colors Tote and the Rainbow Tote were made using the Simple Stripes Tote Bag pattern which is available on Ravelry.

 

The Purple Passion Tote was made using the Give Me Variety Tote Bag also available on Ravelry.

I used Red Heart Super Saver that was leftover from some other kid-related projects. Now I’m thinking about making each of them an ornament with the same colors, maybe start a new family tradition!

As always, you can see more of my work at http://www.facebook.com/acountryyarn

 

 

Kids’ Jackets Round Up

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that I’m a self-taught crocheter. I first picked up a hook in February of 2013, and I’ve learned everything thanks to the huge number of tutorials and patterns that are available online. My two girls, Sarina my youngest daughter and Regina my oldest granddaughter, are two of my most willing models and testers and my favorite collaborators (and Pop Warner cheerleaders). Because of their interest and enthusiasm in my art I’ve created theses jackets in less than a year’s time!!

I am particularly proud of the Sarina Hoodie which is an original pattern. Sarina chose her yarn and the colors and helped design the pattern. I’ve written down enough notes to recreate my work so I can offer custom orders but I have yet to write out the actual pattern.

This jacket is absolutely Regina’s favorite pattern in her favorite color. You can read more about our variations on this one in this post.

I made both of these last Spring when the early mornings were still nice and cool but the temps were up in the 80s before lunchtime. Sarina chose the Cotton Cardigan which I scaled down to fit her smaller frame. Regina’s jacket is a version of the Bouvardia Hooded Jacket.

This was the first serious “you can wear it in public” jacket I ever made. I had the yarn in my stash and we knew we needed something to go with those red boots! You’ll find the details and a link to the pattern in this post.

The Second Version

I’ve been crocheting for just under four years,  and, as a result of my endless need to practice, my girls have piles of handmade wearables and no two items are the same. I try to make each girl a part of the planning process by having them browse patterns and choose the yarns I use, but sometimes I just grab what’s on hand and start making something without any input from either of them.

My granddaughter Regina isn’t into fashion or following trends. She’s really into comfort and she knows what she likes. And she really likes the Bouvardia Hooded Jacket.

The first version I made with cotton Sugar and Cream yarn that I had bought only because the colors are pretty and it was on sale. I made this one in the Spring and left off the hood. Our South Florida weather is moody more than cold and windy in April. I also shortened the sleeves so she wasn’t constantly pushing them up at school.

I really like the stripes of color around the front and bottom. They give the jacket a kind of hippie chic flair.

When it was time to start thinking about cool weather again, Regina knew exactly which jacket she wanted. We walked the yarn aisles at the nearest craft store for nearly 20 minutes before she chose a variety of purples!  And with the inevitable cold fronts looming in very near future, I made the jacket with the hood.

Because the fabric feels more like a blanket than sweater, I added length at the bottom and the sleeves for an extra snuggle feel. I finished it yesterday and she took it home just in time for the low-40s temps this morning!

You’ll find the original pattern here. I’ve seen comments that some people found it difficult or found errors but I didn’t have any trouble adapting it to fit a child.

Is there a favorite pattern your friends or family request? Leave me a link in the comments.