Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Sprained Back and a Crocheted Hat

Another full day off from work, a trip to the doctor and pharmacy, all to find out I do have a sprained back. It's a lovely sensation: I'm wearing a back brace/Ace bandage thingy and I'm only comfortable when laying on my side. I want my Mommy.

So as I'm laying here, watching TV, I'm able to get caught up on the stuff on our DVR and get some crochet stuff finished. I need another hat like a hole in the head. It doesn't get that cold here but I loved the pattern.

Last Christmas, one of my co-workers gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble. There, I picked up this fun little kit: the Cozy Crochet Kit by Melissa Leapman: "Melissa Leapman is a widely published sweater designer whose patterns have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Knitter’s, McCall’s, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Knit It!, and Interweave Knits magazines. Leapman has worked as a freelance designer for many leading ready-to-wear manufacturers, noted design houses, and major yarn companies. In addition, her knitting, crochet, and design workshops are extremely popular with crafters at all skill levels. She lives in New York City."

This is a great little kit! It comes with a length of yarn (cheap stuff to practice with), some stitch markers (never had them and now I can't live without them), a set of plastic crochet hooks (nice, but I broke one. Made me realize I prefer metal hooks.), a little booklet on stitches (nice and handy to refer back to), and 25 pattern cards.

I have actually made a couple different projects already, and most of them are pretty simple. While this is a good kit to start with if you are a beginner crocheter, it's also a nice kit to have if you haven't picked up a crochet hook for awhile and need a refresher. I've even recommended this kit to at least one other person since I got it.

There are a few more advanced patterns in there, like a shell stitched skirt (made that over the summer). I can't understand how this didn't get better reviews on Amazon, because it is a really great little kit. Because of Melissa Leapman's crochet and knit "pedigree," this is why the ratings on Amazon surprises me. But then again, Amazon is not the end all, be all of book purchasing possibilities. Remember, I bought my kit at Barnes & Noble.

The most recent project, like I mentioned above, was "Boyfriend's Hat." Since I paid for the kit, I'm not going to post the pattern here. Melissa listed it as skill level 2 and made it with wool yarn. The reason I chose this pattern to work on was because it's a ribbed hat, made with a woven drawstring seam for the top. I hadn't made one of those hats before. Instead of my typical hat, which is worked from the top down, this one is made from the side and then folded in half.

This was made with 1 1/2 small skeins of Lion Brand Cupcake in Blueberry (#106) and 1/2 skein of the Cupcake in a light blue (number unknown). I edged it with Splash, color 7178 (100% polyester) bought locally in Virginia Beach. The Cupcake came from a friend when we were trading some of our stashes.

If making it again, I think I'll either use a G sized hook instead of an H, or make it 1-2 rows shorter. It's not as snug of a fit as I would personally like.

I personally recommend picking up the Cozy Crochet Kit. I don't think you'd be disappointed. Since I liked these patterns, it makes me wonder what I'd think of some of Melissa Leapman's other patterns. I bet they're winners!

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