Knitty Kitty Cat Hat {Free Pattern and Friday’s FO}

Knitty Kitty Cat HatI really had no intention of knitting a hat.  It has been in the 40s (celsius) for weeks, so (a) there is no need for hats (b)I had other things to do.  I was browsing Pinterest and found a really cute crocheted Hello Kitty hat and thought I need to make one of these.  I didn’t want to crochet it so I thought I would just knit it instead.  There was no pattern and I did not feel like finding one.

I grabbed some worsted weight yarn, swatched with 2 different sized needles, then started knitting.  I remember when I first started knitting and crocheting and I had no idea what I was doing.  I still don’t know what I am doing most of the time.  But that night, I knew exactly how to construct a hat, how to measure gauge, how to use that gauge to figure out the number of stitches and how to get this done.

Basically, I told myself “I got this”.  When we are just learning something we struggle with all of its elements, then practice and knowledge start replacing that frustration, more time and muscle memory takes over most of it.  Have you even been some place, then found yourself at home, without even thinking how you drove home, maneuvered the roads or even thought about directions? 

The hat is started with the ear flaps, they are made first, bottom up then the rest of the stitches are cast on in between them.  This hat fits children and has a circumference of 18 inches

 

Materials

250 meters of worsted weight yarn.

Tools

4mm DPNs and or circulars

A stitch marker, scissors, darning needle

Gauge

6 stitches/inch in stockinette

Abreviations

K Knit

P Purl

M1L Make 1 left (instructions)

M1R Make 1 right (instructions)

CO Cast on

K2tog Knit two stitches together

Instructions

Ear Flaps

On a DPN cast on 3 stitches, without turning, scoot the stitches to the other side and knit the 3 stitches, keep on knitting and scooting to knit an I-Cord.  If you have never knit one or find these instructions confusing, check out this video.  Knit until it measures 14 inches. 

From now on you will be turning each time as usual.

Row 1 P all stitches

Row 2 K 1, M1L, Knit to last stitch, M1R, K 1.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have a total of 21 stitches.

Row 1 P all stitches

Row 2 K all stitches

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for a total of 7 times. Finishing on the wrong side.  Leaving a long tail cut the yarn.

You have completed the first ear flap, do not cast off, leave it aside on the needle or on a lifeline.

Repeat the process, but this time, knit one more row, do not cut the yarn, CO 33 stitches.  This page explains how to cast on in the middle of the work. Knit the stitches on the first ear flap, now it has the same number of rows as the other one.  CO another 33 stitches, add a stitch marker and join with the first stitch from the first ear flap to join the round. The total number of stitches should be 108.

Continue knitting in the round until the peice measures 5 inches, from the edge of the brim (not the ear flaps).  The brim might be rolling so make sure you measure it while flattening it.  Crown decreases can now begin.

Round 1: *Knit 10, K2tog*

Round 2: Knit all stitches

Round 3: *Knit 9, K2tog*

Round 4: Knit all stitches

Round 5: *Knit 8, K2tog*

Round 6: Knit all stitches

Round 7: *Knit 7, K2tog*

Round 8: Knit all stitches

Round 9: *Knit 6, K2tog*

Round 10: Knit all stitches

Round 11: *Knit 5, K2tog*

Round 12: Knit all stitches

Round 13: *Knit 4, K2tog*

Round 14: Knit all stitches

Round 15: *Knit 3, K2tog*

Round 16: Knit all stitches

Round 17: *Knit 2, K2tog*

Round 18: Knit all stitches

Round 19: *Knit 1, K2tog*

Round 20: Knit all stitches

Round 21: *K2tog*

You should have 9 remaining stitches, cut of the yarn, thread the darning needle and insert the yarn into all 9 stitches, pull tight and weave in the end.

The hat itself is now complete.

Ears

CO 24 stitches, Join in the round.

Knit 7 rounds.

Start decreasing the ears.

Round 1: *Knit 6, K2tog*

Round 2: Knit all stitches

Round 3: *Knit 5, K2tog*

Round 4: Knit all stitches

Round 5: *Knit 4, K2tog*

Round 6: Knit all stitches

Round 7: *Knit 3, K2tog*

Round 8: *Knit 2, K2tog*

Round 9: *Knit 1, K2tog*

Round 10: *K2tog*

Finish off and weave in the ends through the remaining 3 stitches.

Make second ear.

Finishing

Attach the ears.

Weave in all remaining ends.

 

Enjoy your hat.

 

How to become an artist? The fake it till you make it method

More coloring. This is fun.I used to think I was not an artist.  I can’t really draw and my color selections are not very bold or brave and I used to inwardly shudder whenever someone told me I was talented.  It was as if being labeled as creative or artistic was too high a bar that scared me.  And then I decided that I really wanted to be an artist. Actually, I just wanted to make art.  I wanted to draw little cartoons and learn to watercolor pretty flowers.  So I decided I would just pretend I were an artist.  I started printing out Mandalas and coloring pages with pretty designs and would color them using my coloring pencils and stick them in my journal.

IMG_5871And then I started looking at drawings of people and practiced.  I realized I have a specific style.  I like drawing cartoons with big heads and little bodies.  If you were a psychoanalyst you would probably be shaking your head at this right now and trying to figure me out.  Hint: I really like Japanese style chibbis and kokeshi dolls so that might explain why my people turn out looking like bobble head dolls, they also look a lot like my crochet dolls.

This is fun.And then I started looking at art classes and techniques online.  It turns out that there is a lot of technique involved in how you color something and if you can do that fairly well you can make pretty things.  That is all.  It reminds me a lot of when I started learning how to crochet, and the AHA moment when I realized that understanding tension and technique means you were 90% there.  It is exactly when you look at two items made using the same pattern but one is done well with even gauge and the other is all over the place.

IMG_5885I even tried lots of zentangle patterns and found them to be cathartic.  I love drawings done only in black, in fact, I only use black pens.  These need no artistry at all, just patience and some googling for ideas.

IMG_5972Finally, today I got myself some supplies to try some new things.  I know the probability of me being the next Monet is pretty slim, but at least I am having fun.  I am also learning that most of the boundaries between myself and the things I want to do are weak and non existent if only I have the courage to try. 

So there you have it, if you really want to be an artist, just pretend you are, just make art and keep showing up and eventually you will be an artist.

Big Dots Bag {Free Pattern}

Sometimes I am just compelled to make something. An idea pops into my head and I feel helpless against stopping myself. Not that I really ever want to stop myself from making something special.
I felt the need to make a bag on Saturday. I knew exactly what it should look like. It would be smallish, crochet, made up of squares and mostly blue. I had some fake leather handles that I knew I could use and so I got the yarn and started making it.
I was done last night so it is a fairly quick project.
24 squares all together and a gazillion ends to weave in.
I think the weaving in was the only boring part of this project.

A PDF file for this pattern is available at the end of the post.

The yarn:
I used DK weight yarn and a 4 mm hook. The yarn is a cotton acrylic blend, because cotton on its own tends to sag and lose its shape quickly. I also prefer cotton bags because the weather here is warm most of the year so this makes the bag more usable. You are of course welcome to use whatever yarn blend that makes your heart sing.
You might also choose to use a thicker or thinner yarn, just use a suitable hook for it.

Yardage

I used approximately 130 meters of the solid color and 200 meters of the multicolored yarn.

Abreviations 

Terms used are all American.

CH chain

SC Single Crochet

DC Double crochet

HDC Half double crochet

To make the squares:
Round 1: Make a magic circle, chain 3 and DC 12 into it.
I will be ignoring the chain 3 and skip them when I slip into the first DC to close a round. I found that this worked better for the circles.
Slip stitch in the first DC to complete the round. [12 stitches]

Round 2: CH 3, DC 2 into each stitch. Slip stitch in the first DC to complete the round. [24 stitches]

Round 3: CH 3, DC 2 into  same stitch, DC 1 in next stitch, *DC 2 in next stitch, DC 1 in next stitch*. Slip stitch in the first DC to complete the round. [36 stitches.]

You should now have a circle made up of three rounds. If you are using the same color yarn for the frame then continue if not then cut off the yarn and join a new one in any stitch.

Round 4: Squaring the circle

CH 1, SC in same stitch, SC, HDC, HDC, DC 2 in next stitch, CH 2, *DC 2 in next stitch, HDC in next two stitches, SC in next 3 stitches, HDC in next two stitches, DC 2 in next stitch, CH 3* (repeat 3 times),  DC 2 in next stitch, HDC in next two stitches, SC in next stitch. Slip stitch into first SC to complete the round.

I like to finish all the circles, then all the frames, then weave in all the ends. What can I say, I like having a system. This works more like an assembly line and saves the time of stopping, putting down the hook, changing yarn, finding scissors and all that.

Now comes the fun part, joining the squares, the pink line is the fold line and the dark blue lines show you which side of which square joins where.

 

photo.PNG-3
I found this on My craft bay. Go on over and check it out, she has more images like this that show you how to join a bag or a garment.
You can use whichever method of joining that makes you comfortable.  I used a slip stitch with the wrong sides facing together because I wanted the join raised and obvious to give it an interesting textured look.  Obviously this is a matter of preference, so do whatever makes you happy.

Measurements

Each square messed 7.5 cm on the side, the handles measure 32 cm long from tip to tip.  The bag itself  is 29 cm at the widest point and 24 cm at its highest point.

I didn’t line my bag because I plan to use it mostly for quick errands or for holding my projects.

Finally sew on the handles and enjoy your bag.

Big Dots Bag Pattern Big Dots Bag

 

Rainbow Drops {Free Pattern}

I had this idea.  I have a lot of those.  Ideas I mean.  They just pop into my head at the most inconvenient times ever.  This particular idea materialized while I was knitting the Tella Sundress, which was not a good time for ideas to come up.  This idea had to do with white yarn and rainbow yarn. Oh, and bobbles.

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But I am a good girl (or I like to pretend I am) and dutifully finished the dress and took out my yarn and looked it. Bobbles, rainbow yarn and a white canvas. What would you do?

Rainbow Drops Closeup

I made a little clutch.

Rainbow Drops

I am in love with it. Not the actual thing and not crocheting it. I just love the texture and the little bursts of color changing all the time. I lined it and added a zipper but I don’t really want to use it. I don’t think I even want it. I just wanted to see those rainbow bobbles. I wanted to watch them form.

Do you want to make one?
You really should.
I mean every crocheter should do this at least once in a lifetime.
Yeah you know you want to, so here is how.

Materials

2 balls of sport weight yarn one in a solid color and one in a varriegated color (rainbows on white are awesome as you can see)

3mm hook

tapestry needle

scissors

zipper and fabric for lining (optional)

Glossary

SC Single Crochet

HDC Half Double Crochet

SCINC 2 Single crochet stitches in same stitch

RB Rainbow Bobble *yarn over, insert your hook in the stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop, yarn over once more and draw it through the first 2 loops on your hook* repeat 4 times

* .. * Stitches between asterisks should be repeated

[ … ] number between square brackets indicates number of stitches

The Base

The base is a basic oval done in single crochet while turning after every round.

Start with the solid color and chain 31.

Round 1 : Turn the chain and work 30 SC in the back ridge of the chains. Slip stitch into first chain to
form the first round [60 stitches]
Round 2: SC in the next 30 stitches. 3 SC in turning chain. SC in the next 30 stitches. 3 SC in Slip
stitch. Slip stitch into first SC, turn and chain 1 [66sc]
Round 3: SCINC in next 3 stitches . SC in the next 30 stitches. SCINC in next three stitches. SC in the
next 30 stitches. Slip stitch into first SC, turn and chain 1 [72sc]
Round 4: SC in the next 30 stitches. *SCINC, SC* (3 times) in the next 6 stitches. SC in the next 30
stitches. *SCINC, SC* (3 times) in the next 6 stitches. Slip stitch into first SC, turn and chain 1 [78sc]
Round 5: *SCINC, 2 SC* (3 times) in next 9 stitches . SC in the next 30 stitches. *SCINC, 2 SC* (3
times) in next 9 stitches. SC in the next 30 stitches. Slip stitch into first SC, turn and chain 1 [84sc]
Round 6: SC in the next 30 stitches. *SCINC, 3 SC* (3 times) in the next 12 stitches. SC in the next 30
stitches. *SCINC, 3 SC* (3 times) in the next 12 stitches. Slip stitch into first SC, turn and chain 1
[90sc]

 

Sides

The first and third rounds are worked with the right side facing, while the bobble rounds are worked with the wrong side facing.  The yarn is carried from one bobble to the next.  All HDC stitches are made using the first color and only the bobbles are made with the second color.

Round 1: HDC in each stitch all around, slip stitch into first HDC to join the round, turn.

Round 2: CH 1, *HDC in the next 5 stitches, RB in next stitch using second color*, slip stitch into first HDC to join the round, turn.

Round 3: HDC in each stitch all around, slip stitch into first HDC to join the round, turn.

Round 4: CH 1, HDC in the next 2 stitches, *RB in next stitch using second color, HDC in next 5 stitches * , RB in next stitch using second color, HDC in next 3 stitches, slip stitch into first HDC to join the round, turn.

IMG_9911

Keep the second color in the front and the first color in the back when working on the bobbles.
IMG_9912

Don’t worry about the loop from the main yarn becoming loose you will tighten it later.
IMG_9914

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Once you are done with the bobble, push the yarn back to the front, and take the main color from underneath it.
IMG_9916

Tug the main yarn slightly to tighten the loop.
IMG_9917

See how simple it is?
IMG_9918

That is it.
IMG_9919

Keep the yarn tension even so the fabric doesn’t pucker.
IMG_9920

Don’t those floats look cute too.
IMG_9922

Repeat rounds 1 – 4 until the case is the desired height.  Work round 1 one more time.  You may use the second color and work one more round of SC for a border.  Finish off.

Finishing

Weave in ends and make a zippered lining or just add a zipper the quick and dirty way.

Sploshy Washcloth {Free Pattern}

Sploshy WashclothsBefore I learned crocheting or knitting I couldn’t understand why someone would want to use pretty hand crocheted or hand knit washcloths or dishcloths.  It didn’t make any sense.  I could just buy a much cheaper version from the store and I wouldn’t feel sad when they got dirty or fell apart.

That was of course until I crocheted my own and then knit my own.

First of all knitting or crocheting them is a great way for beginners to learn new stitches and improve their skills without worrying about ruining expensive yarn and they are quick to finish and don’t use up a lot of yarn.

I like my dishcloths on the smallish side and I like them textured too.  It is also best to use 100% cotton because it is really absorbent and hey that is what washcloths need to do right?

 

The yarn I used is mystery cotton but I am guessing it is light worsted or DK weight.

Materials

2 stitch markers

Tapestry needles

Size 6 (4mm) needles

A skein of worsted weight ( my 50gm ball made two washcloths and I still had leftover yarn)

Pattern

Cast on 35 stitches

Row 1 – 8 : Knit

Place stitch markers after the 4th stitch and before the last 4 stitches to mark the garter border.
For all rows knit to the first stitch marker and continue with pattern below, and then knit from the second stitch to the end.

Row 9: Knit

Row 10: *K1,P1*, K1

Row 11: Knit

Row 12: *P1, K1*, P1

Repeat rows 9 – 12, 9 more times

Repeat rows 1 – 8 once.

Bind off and weave in any ends.

 

That’s it.

Of course you could make a cup of coffee and cast on another one.

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