Friday, February 28, 2014

Time for a Little Green

The winter holidays are over, now it is time to celebrate spring.  Mother Nature maybe delaying her start of spring here in Texas; our temps yesterday in the high 70's, this morning 27 degrees and going down.  The weatherman says this afternoon we will have freezing rain, with those temps I call it snow.  With one of the worst winters this country has experienced, I think we can all use a little spring in our homes.

I couldn't wait to get this table topper out and put it on my kitchen table.  Last year my dear friend Terry of Terry'sTreasures sent me this darling little mat.  Knowing that hubby was going through some health issues and I needed a little special hug, Terry sent me this topper.  Love the green ivy boarder on this mini, it just says spring to me no matter the temps outside.

In addition it was time to get out my own St. Patricks runner and to wish my my mother a St Patrick's Day Happy Birthday.  Wish I could once again give her a big hug.

Enjoy all the pieces of your life,

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hats in the Round, my way

A friend of mine sent me a message and wanted to know what pattern I used for my hats.  Me, the amateur crocheter who mostly makes things like scarves, baby blankets, Prayer Shawls, things that are flat. But I do make hats and started making preemie hats fifteen years ago, I suppose there was a pattern of some kind in the beginning but once I got the hang of those first hats I just winged it from there., so I was at a loss to name a pattern.  Someone asked me how I know what size to make, my response "if I crochet a hat to donate, they will find a head to fit." 

So Sherrill, this is for you and basically this is how I make ALL my hats and change sizes by using different size hooks and and yarns.   I crochet all my hats in the round .

Basic Hat Instructions - child size

Size J hook
Knitting Worsted yarn
Yarn marker
Yarn needle

Basic Hat

Chain 5, join to first chain to make a ring or use Magic Ring (my preferred method)

Row 1. 12 (dc) Double Crochet in the ring.  12 stitches.  Place marker on first dc. 

Row 2.  2 dc in each dc of the first row.  24 stitches.  Move marker to first dc of this row.

Row 3.   *1 dc in first stitch, 2 dc in second stitch, repeat from * to end of  row. 36 stitches. Move marker to first stitch in row.

Row 4.  *1 dc in each of the first two stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch, repeat from * to end of row.  48 stitches.   Move marker to first stitch in row.  This forms the crown of your hat and determines how large the hat will be.  For a smaller hat you could omit Row 4.

Rows 5 to 13.  1 dc in each dc going around in a circle and each time as you come to the marker just move it up one row.  After a while you will feel comfortable with just leaving the marker in one stitch and you will be able eyeball the rows.

If  the hat seems to be about the right size, you can continue to finish off as follows.

Row 14. 15, 16 (sc) single crochet in each stitch of the previous row.

Finish off.  Cut about 4 or 5" tail and slip stitch to secure.  Weave in end with large yarn needle.
At the beginning stitches of the crown (the ring) pull the loose yarn tail to draw ring closed and weave in the end of yarn.

For a man's hat -----all the above rows plus add another increase row.

*1 dc in the first seven stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch. 56 stitches.  Repeat from * to finish row.
Add more rows of dc for extra size.  Finish off with 3 rows of sc stitches and finish.

Sometimes when making a hat for a girl or lady I will use a hdc half double crochet after forming the crown.

Try different yarns and size hooks.
Baby yarn ---- F hook
Sport yarn ---- G or H hook
Knitting worsted ---- J or K hook
Bulky yarn ---- K or L hook

The other pattern that I use a lot is the Ugly But Warm Hat, a similar hat but holding two yarns at once and a M hook.  I also make this one in the round.

Enjoy all the stitches of your life,

P.S.  Sherrill I tried to email you a couple weeks ago but emails keep coming back undelivered. Hope you see this post but remember I am an amateur and definitely don't write crochet patterns..
Hugs, Betty Lou

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Olympics and Prayer Shawls

The 2014 Winter Olympics and Prayer Shawls seem like and unlikely duo but for the past seventeen days I have spent my evenings and some afternoons chair side watching the Olympics and crocheting as fast as I can.  The result---------twenty-eight metals for the USA, many enjoyable hours of watching the competition for me, and two completed Prayer Shawls.  A win-win for everyone.

The pink shawl was crocheted using the Prayer Shawl Ministry's Original Pattern, you can find it  here.  I had the pink worsted yarn in my stash for some time and wasn't pleased with the feel of the yarn and hesitated using it in a Prayer Shawl.  With the need to use what I had, I completed this shawl and I am happy to report that after a delicate wash and a little Downey this shawl is now soft and cuddly.

For the second shawl I used Vanna's Choice and a pattern from the book The Crochet Prayer Shawl Companion called Easy as 1, 2, 3, Shawl.  I needed something easy while watching the athletes.  With so many patterns in this book it is hard to choose one for the next shawl.

I feel an urge to get back in the sewing room and start quilting but maybe a few more hats first.  Once the weather gets warm my desire to knit or crochet diminishes and it is time for quilting.

Enjoy all the pieces of your life,

Betty Lou

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day to you

                            You brighten my day,

                            Just know that you do.

                               I'm ever so lucky,

                          To have friends like you.

                          HAPPY VALENTINE'S  DAY

Enjoy all the pieces of your life,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Head Start

Since Hubby's recovery is going well after his bout with pneumonia /surgery, I find that I am anxious to get back to normal.  All my time was spent either at the hospital or by his side during his recovery at home.  Needless to say I never made it into the sewing room.  No quilts, no miniatures, and no new aprons.

But time was not wasted as I got a head start on hats and scarves for my friend, Jane, to take to the shelter next November. With old man winter still hanging around, they may be needed now.

The count of finished projects for the month of January---------seven scarves, twelve hats, and a Prayer Shawl.

Enjoy all the pieces of your life,

Betty Lou


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