Slouchy Variations

I heard forecasts about the weather for this coming winter … and it sounded cold … very cold.   As in, the same as last year.  And I haven’t really recovered from that vortex winter that dragged on forever …

And then I realized that yes, it is almost the end of August, and those ber months are coming … September, October … which usually means that the cold is coming in … and I panicked.

I’ve been collecting hats for my personal charity/cause (NYCHHI) since last year … but I don’t know if I have enough!  Yikes!  I better start on my hat-a-day schedule again, start another hat blitz!

After much experimenting again, I came up with more slouchies, with variations from the first one … a ribbed brim … a wider crown and body before it narrows down by the brim.

And look – if you need an extra layer, just pull the body down and over your ears!

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I like that … I think I’ll make more of that … It’s going to be a very cold winter … again.

 

 

My First Successful Slouchy Hat

It’s almost the end of summer … those cold winds are coming back … we’re all going to be bundled up again … I am so not ready for that so soon!  Well, we can’t stop Mother Nature either …

During an unexpected lull in activities and work, I picked up hook and yarn and decided that I was going to figure out how this slouchy hat/beanie was going to be made.  I had followed patterns before, but they never turned out right.  Some looked like it was a chef’s hat.  Others turned out to be over-sized berets.  So I put away all the patterns and just started crocheting with what I know about making hats.

After three tries – two of them completed hats already but it didn’t slouch the way I liked it – I came up with this.  Tah-daahh!!!

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I think I like this.  In fact, this is my first ever successful slouchy hat.  It’s finally slouching in the back like I think it should !!  Something came to mind though … Back in the day when I was just starting to learn how to crochet a beanie hat, I think I was making slouchy hats back then and didn’t know it … oh welll …

There’s been several requests for the pattern for this particular one.  I didn’t follow any pattern for this; I was just winging this.  This is just a basic beanie pattern, really, nothing different.  Here is what I did to get this.  If you find something doesn’t work with this pattern, do let me know.  I don’t usually write out my patterns as I’m experimenting, so this is written after the fact.

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HDC Slouchy Hat

I used an H-5.00mm hook and the yarn looked/felt to be DK weight.

Setup:  ch 5; sl st to form a circle;
Top:
Round 1:  8 hdc in circle; slst to join;
Rnd 2:  ch 2, hdc in same st; * 2 hdc in each st;* slst to join; (16 hdc)
Rnd 3:  ch 2, hdc in same st; *hdc in next st; 2 hdc in next st * slst to join (24 hdc)
Rnd 4:  ch 2, hdc in same st; *hdc in ext 2 st; 2 hdc in next st* slst to join (32 hdc)
Rnd 5:  ch 2; hdc in between the stitches around (no through the top loops); slst to join

Body:
Rnds 6 – 25:  repeat Round 5 nineteen/twenty times – OR until it is 10 inches in length – or the length you want;
Rnd 26: ch 2: *hdc in next 6 st; hdc dec in next two st;* slst to join
Rnd 27: repeat Round 26;

Brim:
Rnds 28-32:  ch 2; hdc around; slst to join.

Fasten off.

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Things to keep in mind about these slouchy hats:
– It’s somewhere in between a beanie and a beret … the top doesn’t have to fit the crown of the head, and the body is not as wide as the beret;

- The basic construction is a narrow top, long body, and a slightly narrower/smaller brim.  If the head opening/brim is too small for the intended recipient, I would normally evenly increase the last two rounds of the body by ten stitches, then start the brim pattern.

- Yarn and tension may make a difference.  You may need to crochet with a bigger hook or looser tension, if the yarn is worsted weight/bulky, because you need some sort of ‘drape’ and not just hang down stiffly in the back.  This was a DK yarn – actually, I’m not sure what it is; it was from a donation for NYC Hats for Hope Initiative (my charity cause), and it didn’t have any labels on it.  So my best guess is DK yarn, and if I do find out what it is, I’ll edit this.

And there you have it – my first slouchy hat that I like.  Enjoy!

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2015 Special Olympics Scarf Project: Summer Lull

I know it’s the height of summer, and working on winter items is the complete opposite of what we want to do.  I know that I am inspired to work with wools and winter items when there’s a cool nip in the air, and cooler winds are blowing in.  I also know that I don’t knit or crochet fast enough to finish a scarf or shawl in time for the cold winds.  Well, except for hats, but really, how many hats can you wear at a time?

Anyway, I’m seriously starting up on winter items now.  Specially for the Special Olympics 2015 Winter Games.  The wonderful crafters over at the Facebook Knit and Crochet for a Cause were better than me – some have been plugging away with scarves, headbands, earwarmers, hats for the participating state program.

Like this beautiful earwarmer – my eyes always light up when I see this.  I think it’s that button that draws my eyes. Thanks so much for your beautiful work, Phyllis!

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So far, we have fourteen states participating in the 2015 Scarf Project.  We may hear back from two or three other states, but since they haven’t replied to my emails, then maybe they’re not interested.  We have enough to work on for now, anyway, but there’s also a little bit of regret that they choose not to continue participation.

These are the states participating this year.  If you see a state for whom you may want to support, or maybe just because you like the colour combination chosen by a state, you are more than welcome to make an item or two and send it on.
Complete details and information can be found here, and in the Facebook and Ravelry page links on the sidebar.

2015 KC4SO

African Violets Gets Bigger

I’m probably spoiling the finished-item reveal, but I’m so excited about how this is taking shape. Well, the border isn’t done yet, but you know what I mean.

The hexagon afghan is slowly getting bigger.

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I made six big hexagons, and joined it together to make a bigger hexagon.

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And this is what a big hexagon looks like.  It’s measuring about three feet across, and because of the odd-shaped borders, does not really cover enough to be used as a throw or lapghan.

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I’m going to play around with how much bigger to make this, or maybe square it off, or fill in the bigger gaps. Maybe another round of big hexagons, then border around.

Any other ideas?  What do you think?

 

 

 

All Because of One Square

While out on holidays, I also acquired one skein of the Red Heart Banana Berry for an on-again, off-again project from a couple of years ago that I had unearthed and re-discovered. You know how that is, right?  Well, I thought that I might as well finish up the throw, since I had quite a number of the squares done.  And so I proceeded to make big and small squares while sitting out by the pool, until I used up the skein of yarn.
As I unpacked the suitcase when I got home, I had a sudden urge to finish the throw with the squares I had made.  I spent a couple of hours working on the dark blue borders for the new squares, then proceeded to lay it out to get an idea of how I was going to join it … and found this …

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There’s a square missing!  Seriously?!  Did the dog take it with her when she jumped up on the bed? I searched everywhere for it, and couldn’t find any stray square.   Well, you know what that meant … a quick trip to the yarn store the next day, for sure!

The next day … Yes, that’s two skeins of the colour I need, when all I need is enough for one more square.  Why?  I don’t know.  I think I’ve trained my mind and hands to pick up skeins and balls of yarn in twos.  And two more of the RH Watercolour for the African Violets afghan in progress.

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Oh, except that the RH Boutique Unforgettable in Dragonfly was all by himself, so I had to pick him up to give him a home.  And the RH Unforgettable Cappucino was for the other WIP that I had started during the holidays, and had used up already.  So, only one of each.

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And I don’t know yet what I’m going to make with these, but I just couldn’t resist those colours … RH Unforgettable in Petunia (the purples) and Sunrise (the oranges and reds).  *sigh*

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I’m on a yarn diet … again.  And all because of one square.

 

 

Ambitious Intentions

Hello all!
Back from a short holiday to spend some time with family, and now trying to get back into the routine … before the start of school and the chaos of the end of year events!

I was very ambitious when I packed yarn and hooks and needles for the holiday … I had actually started out with a short-row shawl.

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That’s my new stitch/technique learned – the short rows – and I’m enjoying it. Until I found that I dropped a stitch on one of the turn-backs, and it had a big hole in the middle. So I started to unravel row-by-row, but nothing was cooperating … so I frogged the whole thing instead.  Yes, that big piece, which got bigger as I worked on it during the plane ride.  Frogged.  *sigh*

So I decided to try the Multi-Dimensional Scarf that I found on Yarnspirations, with another skein of yarn.  It didn’t work either, then I had a brainwave.  What about a diagonal brioche stitch?  This is what I came up with.

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I was liking it, the way it looked and how it was all working out even though I was just winging it. Then something went wrong again, and the pattern got mis-aligned … And so it was frogged *sigh* It must be all that sunshine and sitting by the pool.

But I didn’t give up.  I decided to try it again, but this time, I kept close attention to what I was doing, and counted out the stitches and the yarn overs … This is what it looked like then … Not the same as the first time … Has that ever happened to you?  It worked perfect the first time, then the second time you try the pattern, it looks different!

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This isn’t looking too bad, actually.

Now I can’t decide whether to make it a diagonal shawl, or rectangular, which means I’ll have to start decreasing at some point.  hmmmm ….

 

 

 

 

African Violets Taking Shape

I started to plot out the joined big hexagons … Mac seems to like it.

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The brown join was bothering the boys. I found a purple tweed skein and used that instead to join the motifs together, then the dark violet or eggplant to border the big hexagon. That way the individual motifs are still outlined.

I used the brown to join the big hexagons together. I still wanted that brown as part of the overall design.

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Mac still likes it …

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So we keep on going …