Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Update for Toddler Flower Headband - Crochet

I just had to share a couple of our family photos from our Christmas shoot so you could see just how wonderful the Toddler Flower Headband I  made for Inez looked! The pictures that I took didn't do my kiddos justice. My Aunt Val is amazing! Look how pretty she made us! Inez's angry face and all.

Pre-made Blanket with Crochet Border

While I was out doing some Black Friday Perusing I found these blankets on sale at Walmart for five dollars. I didn't immediately know what I wanted to do with it, but I picked up a pretty pink polka-dotted one anyway! Then shortly after that I noticed some pins on Pinterest that were about adding borders to fleece blankets. I was fairly certain that I could do the same with this one. It was decided! I would add a ruffle border and then give this ad a gift to my son's brand new beautiful little half-sister Theia.

A few things before we begin. This blanket is fuzzy so I wasn't able to pre-make holes for crocheting into, and it already had a seam along the outside. I'd suggest going and buying the material at the fabric store instead of an already made blanket. The seam made the edging a little thicker than I would like and gave  a bit of trouble on the corners. I really did attempt to pre-cut my holes, but I couldn't find them after I made them. I ended up just poking my hook through the material when it was time for each stitch with a solid guess if it was 1/2 inch or not. It looks a little homey, but still very pretty. There are some really great resources out there for finding ways to pre-make the holes. There is a place called Project Linus that sells a rotary blade just for these types of projects and how to videos.

Hook size: G    Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Watermelon

To make the foundation row I poked a hole into the blanket starting an inch away from a corner. It is easier to to the corners as you go instead of starting on one. I did one single crochet into this first hole and then chain 1, about 1/2 an inch away from the first single crochet I made another hole, single crochet and chain 1. Continue this pattern until you reach your first corner. 3 Single crochets in the corner chain one and continue making your holes and single crochet chain 1 pattern. 

Row 1: Single crochet every stitch, 3 SC in corner stitch, Slip to join, chain 2 do not turn work
Row 2: Half-Double Crochet every stitch, 3 HDC in each corner Slip to join, Chain 3 Do not Turn work
Row 3: *2 Double Crochet first Stitch, 3 DC next stitch* Continue until 3 corner stitches 3 DC, 5 DC, 3 DC Continue with 2 and 3 DC pattern Slip to join, Bind off.

I added a little extra by making an Crown Applique and adding it in the bottom corner. I got the pattern for that HERE. It's a free pattern by Sarah London, but remember that this is in UK terms and to either be familiar with it enough to transpose them mentally, or actually write the pattern using US terms before you begin. My crown isn't anywhere near as beautiful as hers, but I'm going to say that's lack of experience to make myself feel better. :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Men's Hat - Crochet

This goofy man is my amazing husband Nick. I made him a hat. This face is proof that he loves it so!

It's always much more hectic around the house when everyone is home, and so this post is a little late today, Better late than never right? I started this pattern based off of a free Red Heart pattern. I made a few changes to the hat by skipping the brim and adding another two pattern repeats to make it as long as my love wanted it to be. I used Impeccable yarn in Navy with an H/8 hook. The pattern can be found HERE. I love how easy it is to tweak these free patterns and make them into something a little more to my liking.

I'm having a great time creating so many things.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Granny Square Flower Afghan - Crochet

Today's project is working on as many of these squares as I can. My son Ryland is out of school the next two days, which mostly means I'll be too busy to get much done. It's okay though, because these busy days are the best days! 

Something that I am learning from Granny Squares is how to work on making my tension the same with each stitch. Because I have only been crocheting for about three weeks this is definitely something that I know I won't perfect over night. Yet, I still really wish I could! Ha! I found this patter on Pinterest as usual and thought that it looked like something I could manage. So far they are pretty simple to make and I'm glad that I chose this flower to do. The color palate from the original model was a more subdued and natural looking choice, but I have to work with what I already have. This means bright pink and yellow daisies with an aqua blue border and the join as you go border will be made with a dark purple yarn. It's looking pretty awesome so far, but that pink sure doesn't photograph well in unnatural light. 

So far I have these three squares complete, about 6 additional flowers and maybe another 15 centers created. The worst part so far is weaving in the ends of the yarn. It really is awful. Granny squares are just too classic and adorable to decide not to do them just because of a little annoyance with ends. Maybe. 

I've got so many projects going right now that I have to settle in and finish some of them before moving on to anything else. So let's see where we get with this blanket and see what I bring for you tomorrow. I'm thinking I can share a knit hat pattern with you. I made the kids each a hat to wear with their Halloween costumes. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

For the pattern and an excellent tutorial on how to make these lovely granny squares please visit THIS wonderful page by Tillie Tulip. She does beautiful work!

Happy Crafting


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Simple Knit Scarf

When I first started my journey into knitting I chose to do the easiest things I could find. There isn't much easier than a scarf that uses basic knits and purls to give it some texture. For the scarf pictured above I used an elongated seed stitch patter that is worked over 4 repeating rows and an even number of stitches. The rows work as follows:

Row 1: Knit 1 Purl 1
Row 2 and 3: Purl 1 Knit 1
Row 4: Knit 1 Purl 1

I chose to work with 2 balls of Charisma yarn in a self striping color called Mulberry Bush. I worked the scarf to be about as long as I am tall, so a little over 5 feet. This left plenty of yarn to make some nice fringe at the bottom. I made this scarf  in many color variations and so far everyone who has gotten one has loved it! Charisma is a very soft acrylic that gets even softer after it's first wash. Not to mention that it is often on sale for a really great price at Michael's... And I'm a stay at home mom with a tight budget. So it really is perfect!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Toddler Flower Headband - Crochet

My husband Nick and I were making sure that we knew what everyone was wearing for our Christmas card pictures this past weekend, when I decided that my lovely hair challenged little girl needed a little something to wear on her head. Luckily we got our outdoor family pictures in before the weather plummeted to to mid 30's and it was a wonderful 70 degree day that allowed her to have a pretty flower headband instead of a silly elf hat! When I had decided what kind of project to make I went to tried and true Pinterest, and found two different patterns that were perfect. 

I  made the headband from THIS pattern by Homemade Saturdays and the flower from THIS pattern by The Party Artisan. I used Sugar and Cream cotton yarn in Mistletoe. I used a I/9 hook for both the headband and the flower. I apparently don't have any buttons on hand. So instead of sacrificing an old shirt to get a button I made one from plastic mesh and the same yarn I crocheted the headband from. 

This headband turned out absolutely amazing! I could have simply used the flower pattern that was attached to the headband on Homemade Saturdays, but the flower I used was accompanied by a tutorial that really helped me understand how to make it. I am still fairly new to crochet and any pattern that teaches me will probably be my first choice. 

Aren't my babies just stinking adorable? I'm sure these Christmas pictures will be perfect! 

Feather and Fan - Knit Afghan

On this blog I plan to do a mixture of Crochet and Knit projects. I am currently very fascinated with the different textures and the ease of crochet, but since this blog site is Knits with Heart I thought I should begin with a knitting project that I have on the needles right now. Please forgive my pictures and their lack of professionalism. I have great hope that I will get better at this as my blog progresses.

The Feather and Fan knit stitch is one of my absolute favorites. I have used it for pretty much any project you can think of. My favorites are washcloths, scarves, and blankets. The blanket that I have to show you today is made from two strands  of worsted weight yarn strung together throughout. I briefly thought of using a bulky weight yarn, but I just don't think that really gives the timeless look I was going for with this afghan.

The pattern for Feather and Fan is very simple. It is cast on with a multiple of 18 stitches and worked in the rows as follows:

Row One: Knit
Row Two: Purl
Row Three: *Knit 2 Together* 3 times, *Yarn Over, Knit 1* 6 Times *Knit two together* 3 times.
Row Four: Knit

When I am not going to add an additional border to my work I add two extra stitches so that I can make a sort of border on the sides by slipping the first stitch knit-wise and purling the last stitch on every single row. When doing this you'll notice that it gives your work a nice braid on the edges instead of the normal uneven edging that comes with knitting.

It isn't the easiest to see the braiding in this picture, but it really looks nice on the finished project!

My project is worked with a cast on of 146 stitches, which means I worked 8 feather and fan sets and had an additional two stitches for my border. I used Impeccable worsted weight yarn in Aran. and a 40 inch circular bamboo needle in size 10.0 mm. A tip that I can give for working this pattern is that I place a stitch marker between each of my sets so that I am able to keep on track and if any mistake is made I figure it out while working that section instead of finding out that I have an error once I make it to the end of the row. There isn't much I dislike more than having to rip out knitting work. I as of yet have not completed this project, but it is working up to be a beautiful blanket.