Crocheted Keyhole Scarf

Earlier this year I got a request to make a keyhole scarf (it can also be referred to as an Ascot scarf). It’s a short scarf that sits at the upper chest. As opposed to other scarves this style stays put because one end is inserted into the keyhole of the other. Since I truly had no clue how to make one I started looking for patterns online similar to the picture of the one requested. Once I found a pattern I set it aside figuring I would have time to make it by the deadline of September. Eventually I picked up the pattern to give it a good read over and instantly got worried. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to actually make it. The words leaf, keyhole and neck in the pattern through me for a bit of a loop. I decided though that I would practice on some extra yarn that I have stored away – I have a bin of yarn in my basement with remnants from past projects. I clean it out every now and then because I realized you don’t really need a few yards of random shades of yarn.

So, I picked a yarn that was similar in weight to the yarn I planned on using for the actual scarf. And I must say actually working on something with your hands as opposed to reading and imagining how to do it are so opposite. Once I had the yarn and crochet needle in my hand the pattern made sense and the scarf was a cinch to crochet. I decided to work thru the pattern from the first leaf, to making the keyhole and then a bit of the neck (all those words that through me for a loop at the beginning.) Once I got to a decent point I showed the sample to the recipient of the final product and they were happy with it. I then went and purchased the actual yarn.

And started working on it…

It took me less than a week (probably the quickest I’ve ever gotten a yarn project done – well, except for some ruffle scarves I made a few years ago. I was cranking out two a day after someone requested like 10 of them) and the scarf was done. This is a pic of the scarf just completed but before washing and blocking it.

After washing and blocking the scarf it laid flat.

Here’s a pic of the keyhole…

What the scarf looks like without one end being inserted into the other…

And a not so great shot of me wearing the scarf, but, it gives you an idea of how the scarf fits.

Most importantly, the intended recipient was delighted with it and is planning on wearing it on her upcoming Alaskan cruise!

Unfortunately I cannot share the pattern I used to make the scarf, but, if you would like to make it yourself the pattern I used was the Rita Ascot Scarf by Emily Johannes.

 

The Elusive Magic Ring in Crochet

I have been crocheting for quite a few years now and I still get stumped when it comes to certain stitches and I’ll admit that I will avoid certain patterns if it includes an unfamiliar stitch. Like those FPDC that I see sometimes, which simply stands for Front Post Double Crochet. HUH? I just pass those over. Eventually I will break down and try it, but, for now, I will stick to simple stitches that still create beautiful pieces. I am more apt to try these different stitches when it comes to knitting. Which is kind of a little backwards since with knitting if you mess up it is a bit more complicated to remove all the loops from the needles to rip out the yarn from the “bad” part of the pattern and then reinserting the needles once again. With crocheting you simply remove the one loop from your hook, pull the yarn and then reinsert the one loop back on to your crochet hook. Maybe I just like to do things the hard way. Although, some will argue that knitting is the easier of the two because it involves only two stitches, knit and purl, whereas crochet has more. For example that FPDC I mentioned before, as well, SC (single crochet), dc (double crochet), hdc (half-double crochet) and so forth.

I recently came across a pattern that I wanted to make that I am a bit off season for now. Well, a season late you can say. It’s a Christmas Tree Skirt. I have been wanting to make one for a while, but, I just didn’t care for the patterns I saw. And then, right before the holidays I found one that I thought would be perfect. It was a bunch of hexagons stitched together to form the skirt. I figured hexagons I could handle, although the stitching them together not so much. It’s not that I can’t handle it, but, if you read my A New Year post you will know that I still have a shrug I made over three years ago that I haven’t stitched together. I’m a procraftinator who doesn’t like stitching things together. But, I figured if I start now I have a solid 9-10 months to get it done. And then I started and instantly ran into problems. I’ve crocheted shapes before so I was fine with that, but, the starting point was to create a Magic Ring and that’s where I hit a major hiccup. I watched tutorials online and finally thought I had gotten it, but, it just didn’t seem right. I felt like I had too much yarn in the ring and then that the ring wasn’t “thick” enough for me to stitch my other stitches around. The advantages of the magic ring is that you are able to pull the yarn so you end up with a closed circle in the center, as opposed to the open one you get if you crochet a short chain (about 6 chains) and then join it with a slip stitch. Which is perfect if you are crocheting in the round and/or making amigurumi – the Japanese art of making small yarn creatures. I thought, is a small hole in my hexagon worth this headache. No it’s not. So, I decided to ditch the magic ring and went the chain and slip stitch route instead and found a better pattern for the hexagons and am about a third of the way done crocheting them. I still have to get the yarn for the other two colors. I want a certain shade of red and green to go along with the silvery gray I got and of course since its right after the holidays the colors are out of stock at my local craft stores. Well, they did have some but, they all weren’t the same lot numbers and I already learned my lesson about lot numbers! Quick story, I knitted a blanket for a friend’s baby and one of the yarns wasn’t the same lot number as the other ones. So, when I finished the blanket that one section of the blanket stood out from the rest. That’s when I went and checked the labels and saw that one of the labels had a different number from the rest although was the same color, hence, me learning the hard way about lot numbers. Thankfully she loved the blanket and didn’t notice the difference until I pointed it out to her. That was my first big knitting project actually!

So, maybe I will master the Magic Ring one day, just like those FDPC’s, but, for now, I am happy with my simple method of a chain and a slip stitch to start my crocheting in the round. Besides, I don’t think my hexagons are looking all that bad with the small hole in the middle.

Christmas Wrap-Up

How was your Christmas? Mine was good… Filled with great times, great food and great cookies! As I’ve done in years past I had a Christmas baking marathon and baked various cookies to give as gifts. I took my last sheet of cookies out of the oven early in the day Christmas Eve. This year along with the usual rugelach and malted chocolate chip cookies, I made another batch of these vanilla spritz cookies along with peanut butter cookies and oatmeal cookies. YUM! And, there was also a batch of Gingerbread Men, one of who was a bit angry after losing part of his leg.

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And luckily this year I got my handmade Christmas gifts done in plenty of time, okay, with about a week to spare. This for me is good, since it gave me enough time to wrap them with pretty ribbon bows. I made two Afghans and an earring and bracelet set.

The first afghan was made with Lion Brand’s Thick & Quick Yarn following their Cromwell Court Afghan Pattern. Here’s a pic of the start…

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And the finish product…

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The second afghan was made with Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice Yarn following their 5 1/2 Hour Throw Pattern… Truthfully it took me longer than the 5 1/2 hours and since it involved crocheting three colors together I opted to wind the three colors into a ball to make crocheting a lot simpler.

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And the finish product…

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And finally the earring and bracelet set that I made using tila beads, superduo beads, seed beads and crystals just using basic beadweaving techniques.

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I also squeezed in some time to make my Christmas cards once again this year.

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I hope you are all enjoying the holidays and that you all have a wonderful New Year!

 

 

A Blanket Down, A Scarf To Go

I recently completed the toddler blanket I was working on and am very happy with how it came out. While I have crocheted/knitted my fair share of blankets, this was the first toddler blanket I completed and was a little unsure about the size I wanted to make it…. I obviously didn’t want it to be on the smaller side which would be more appropriate for a baby, but, I also didn’t want it to be so large that it would be too big for a young child. Ultimately the final size of the blanket ended up being 40 x 50 inches, which I think is a decent size for a young child.

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I’ve already moved on to my next yarn project… An infinity scarf (you can never have too many scarves) made with t-shirt yarn. While there a quite a few tutorials online on how to make your own t-shirt yarn I opted to buy mine. I first came across t-shirt yarn when I saw an Arm-Knitting Project using Lion Brand’s Fettuccini Yarn. After visiting the Lion Brand store in NYC I opted to pass on purchasing the yarn for the project – they didn’t have enough skeins of the yarn in the color I wanted and it just seemed like the scarf would end up being a lot more bulky than I would like. Not long after that while at my local Michael’s I came across t-shirt yarn from their Loops & Threads brand and it was more reasonable priced (about $3 skein on clearance than the $9/skein for the Fettuccini Yarn) and didn’t seem as bulky. I decided to scrap the idea of learning how to arm-knit and decided to make an infinity scarf just by regular knitting. So far so good…

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Lion Brand Pound of Love Delectable Shell Afghan – modified from here

Materials:

2 Balls Lion Brand Pound of Love Yarn

Crochet Hook – Size H-8

Directions:

Afghan

Chain 173

Row 1: Double-crochet in 5th Chain from hook, *Skip next  2 chains, 5 double-crochets in next chain, skip next 2 chains, double-crochet in next chain, chain 1, skip next chain, double-crochet in next chain, repeat from * across.

Rows 2 – 95: Chain 4, turn, *Skip next Chain 1 space, double crochet in next double crochet, skip next 2 double-crochets, 5 double-crochets in next double-crochet, skip next 2 double-crochets, double-crochet in next double-crochet, chain 1; repeat from * across, double-crochet in 3rd chain of turning chain. Do not fasten off.

Border

Round 1: Do not turn; work single-crochet evenly spaced around entire outside edge of Afghan, working 3 single-crochets in each corner; join with slip stitch in first single-crochet.

Round 2: Chain 1, single-crochet in same single-crochet as join, skip next single-crochet, 5 double-crochets in next single-crochet, *skip next single-crochet, single-crochet in next single-crochet, skip next single-crochet, 5 double-crochets in next single-crochet; repeat from * around; join with slip stitch in first single-crochet. Fasten off.

Weave in ends.

 

T-Shirt Yarn Infinity Scarf

Materials:

T-Shirt Yarn (being that I haven’t finished the scarf I am unsure of how much yarn I will ultimately use, I do have 2 skeins that are 100 yards each)

Knitting Needles: US 19 / 15 MM

Directions:

Cast on 10 stitches

Row 1: Knit 2, *Purl 2, Knit 2; repeat from * across. Repeat Row 1 until piece measures your desired length (either to loop around your neck or the classic way – topping it over a top)

Bind off.

To finish, sew the ends together and weave in the ends of the yarn.

 

Where are the Beads & Yarn?

While as of late most of posts have been about baking (i.e. the Spatula) I have been working on some yarn and bead projects and today I would like to share with you some of the yarn projects.

I recently completed three scarves…

A button-through cowl I made with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn in Barley. This was a quick cowl to crochet thanks to the nature of the yarn (hence the name of the yarn) and the easy pattern working with double crochets. I believe I was done with this in less than three hours!

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Next I completed another cowl using another Lion Brand yarn, their Landscapes yarn in Desert Spring. It’s a beautiful self-striping roving yarn that’s also great to work with. Well, it was great yarn to work with once I wound it up into a ball as opposed to pulling it out from the skein. I did that during my first go at making this scarf and the yarn began to fray which affected the outcome of the cowl. Thankfully I bought 2 skeins of the yarn – even though the pattern only required one – so I was able to start over with much better results. One other thing, the pattern called for the cowl to be knitted in the round but I opted to add a few extra stitches and just sewed the ends together.

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And finally using Red Heart With Love yarn I crocheted a puff stitch scarf. I had a slight mishap while making this scarf. I knew that it was looking a little funny while working on it but it wasn’t until I finished and needed to add the border around the scarf that I knew for sure what I had done wrong. I didn’t end one of the rows on the right stitch so every few rows the last stitch was sticking out which prevented me from adding the border. So, I had to take the scarf apart and crochet it again. Thankfully it was a quick pattern to stitch up so I was done in no time and done correctly

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And currently on my crochet needle is a toddler blanket for a friend’s daughter – I actually made a smaller version of this blanket last year as a baby gift for another friend. I’m about half-way done and just about to start working with another skein of Lion Brand’s Pound of Love yarn in Honey Bee. As with the button-through cowl, this blanket is just a series of double-crochets.

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Easy Lace Shrug… It’s Finally Done!

It’s been over a month since I posted about the Easy Lace Shrug I was working on. I honestly didn’t think it would take me this long to finish it, especially since I didn’t have much left to go, but that’s what procrastination will do to you. (And also a few mistakes.)

This is where I was when I last posted… I still had to two more sections of the lace pattern to knit up, the seed stich border to complete and I also had to the cuffs to do which I needed to pick up stitches for along the border. Something I had never done before and while it seemed challenging at first I quickly got the hang of it. Although I did have to pull out the first cuff I did because I somehow miscalculated the number of stitches or more likely mistook some space for stitches when they weren’t.

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So, after I corrected my mistake I successfully knitted the cuffs onto each end of the shrug.

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And finally I seamed the cuffs together and it was done (YAY!!!) I’ve been thinking about knitting up a sweater for myself since I got this down. I probably should start soon though so that I can be sure to have it done before next winter.

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One other thing I got done… The scarf I had mentioned in the post about the shrug. And while it’s officially Spring today the temperatures will be on the colder side early next week so I am thinking I may get to wear this before I have to pack it away for next winter.

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A Blanket, a Runner and a Scarf

I recently completed a few crocheting/knitting projects – one was sitting on my needles a little longer than I had hoped, one came together rather quickly and another was semi-done but just waiting to be sewn together.

Up first a baby blanket that was a cinch to make. This is actually the third baby blanket I’ve completed this year – I previously made a Violet V-Stitch Baby Blanket and a Baby Blue Basketweave Blanket. Every time I make one I try to find a completely different pattern to follow and for this one I opted to use the Spring Ripple Baby Throw pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn website. At first I wasn’t seeing the ripple pattern come through but midway through it became clearer. I’m really happy with how this blanket came out and I loved the yarn I used – Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly in Doodle Dots. It wasn’t too heavy or too light which is perfect since the baby it’s meant for is due in late spring.

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And next a crochet project that I actually started late last year… the Crochet Shapes Table Runner, once again a pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn website. I liked this pattern even before I knew how to crochet because of the different motifs it consisted of. I had crocheted all the motifs but needed to stitch them together, unfortunately I got sidetracked with other projects before doing so. I ended up putting the motifs away but it was always in the back of my mind that I needed to finish it and I recently found the time to do so.

The table runner consists of six motifs: Octagon Star, Granny Stitch Hexagon, Circle in the Square, Octagon, Six Petal Flower & Flower Center Circular.

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And when all of these pieces are stitched together you have a unique and customized table runner.

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Finally, a scarf that I began when a fellow blogger, For The Knit Of It, ran a knit-a-long back in March. The pattern chosen was the Bosc Pattern from Robin Ulrich. And yes, Bosc as in pears. If you look closely at the scarf you can actually see the curves of pears in the pattern. I loved the pattern and was excited to work on it, but, getting it started was such a task. Just getting to this point – the first 10 rows of the pattern – took me about 10 tries.

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The reason… the pattern consisted of numerous yarn overs and I kept missing them and would ultimately have to start over. (Knitting is not as forgiving as crocheting.) To combat that I actually typed of the pattern and then marked where the yarn overs would be so I wouldn’t keep missing them. Once I did that working on the pattern was a piece of cake. Unfortunately for myself it wasn’t the type of pattern that I could mindlessly work on while watching television so it took me a lot longer to complete it than I had hoped. I am happy though that I didn’t give up on it and am looking forward to wearing it next winter.

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