Saturday, January 1, 2011

How Bad Do I Have It?

Do you remember those NASCAR commercials from a year years ago that asked, "How bad have you got it?" They were about NASCAR fans that were so ate up with their favorite sport, they found ways to work it into everyday life. How fast can you change your kid's tire swing? I think that question, "How bad have you got it," sums me up where holiday decorations are concerned.

Through Christmas, I had my eye on a light up Charlie Brown at the grocery store. I already bought his sad Christmas tree before Thanksgiving, so I needed Charlie. I figured I'd wait to see if he went on sale because he $29.99 and only 18" tall.


Sure enough, he went on sale for 40% off after Christmas so I bought him a few days ago.

He's cute on the box. On the box. I should have opened the box in the grocery store to look at him. This is what I got.


When I opened the box and took him out, I actually yelled, "Oh my God, he looks like he has a facial deformity!" My husband just laughed and me and said, "Nice!" I couldn't put this ugly ass thing up in my house or yard for the world to see. It needed some reconstructive surgery.

I actually took Charlie Brown's face off (I couldn't move the eyes and brows because they were stuck on) and repositioned his nose and mouth. I also sewed up his sides together where the tinsel fabric was supposed to meet.






He looks so much better! True, his eyes are still crooked but they don't seem to be so terribly so anymore. When I was done, I asked my husband, "Remember those NASCAR commercials?" He knew exactly what I was talking about. :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Artist of the Day

Shauna Richardson has taken crochet far beyond the next level. To her, us regular run of the mill hookers look like a dot on the horizon.

She's doing life sized animal crochetdermy.









"At present I am working on a major commission called the Lionheart Project. Celebrating the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012, the work features three giant hand-crocheted lions in a custom-built mobile taxidermy style case that will tour during 2012."

I think I just found my crochet idol!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Most Awesome Hat EVER

I always have a handful of new hat crochet patterns squirreled away to try, and I decided it was time to try the most recent one I'd come across. I started it a few nights ago. And it was just in time too, because I realized last night that the last hat I made for myself is too loose. I think it's just worn out.

This is the most awesome hat pattern EVER. I was wanting to make up a pattern like this, but when I saw Nerdy Hooker's hat and blog link on Craftster, I knew she had a better version of this hat than I could ever make.

I present to you...the R2-D2 beanie!!!


My hat was made out of some unknown red and black yarn (probably Red Heart), Lion Brand Wool Ease in Grey Heather, and Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Dusty Blue.

You can download Nerdy Hooker's pattern in PDF form from the link to her blog above. I love the way she wrote the pattern itself: the font changes color when you are supposed to change color. It's simple to read and easy to follow without being cluttered on the page.

This pattern does seem to run a little big. If you have thicker hair or a lot of it, then the sizing should be just right for you. I can wear my hair in a pony tail with this hat and it'll be just about perfect. If I'm wearing my hair down, it's a little loose. If I ever need to make this again, I'll probably go down one hook size.

Thanks, Nerdy!!!! :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

No New Hot Pads

Earlier this month, I made a post about a Star Trek hot pad I'd made. I love the damn thing! And I was so inspired by Ilana's creation that I thought I'd try making some graphed patterns of different icons of my own.

Let me tell you...that's much harder than I thought it would be. Shortly after finishing the Star Trek pad, I tried to do the Rebel Alliance logo. Starting with the top and working down, it got so muddled looking in the center where it flares out on the sides. I even tried making the graph smaller so that the pad would be larger and more detailed. It didn't work. But I wasn't completely turned off trying it one more time.  

Remember those damn cupcake hats?

Tonight, I tried doing the logo for the game, Half Life, because that's still my favorite game of all time. All I was going for was the half life symbol in orange on a black field.

It wasn't turning out. The rows were completely off balance from each other and luckily, I realized it when I was only a fourth of the way down from the top.

So, there's another project I can cross off my list. I'm kind up bummed out that these patterns didn't work out, but I would have loved to make some new geeky hot pads for my kitchen!

Toddler’s Motorcycle Helmet Crocheted Hat

DISCLAIMER: This crochet pattern is obviously NOT for a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet for a child of any age. Please don’t make this as one and then try to say you were misled about its use later on. This pattern was created as a cute hat choice for a child to wear during chilly weather on a riding toy, designed to look like an adult’s half helmet.

This is actually my mom, hiding behind my niece at Christmas, because she's laughing really hard at this hat.

Materials Needed:
--G sized hook
--I sized hook
--Yarn needle
--Stitch markers (optional)
--3 small dark colored buttons
--Regular needle and thread (to match the above buttons)
--2 D-rings, 1” wide
--½ skein of Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin (#0254)
--½ skein of Lion Brand Wool Ease Worsted Weight in Grey Heather (#151)
--½ skein Caron Natura (Worsted Weight) in Scarlet (#0045)

Hat:
Row 1: Beginning at top of hat, working with the I sized hook and the Pumpkin, ch 3 and 6 DHC. Use a sl st to join the ends together to form a magic ring.
Row 2: Ch 2, work 2 HDC in each stitch around. Do not turn the hat at the end of the rows. Join the ends with a slip stitch. (14 HDC)
Row 3: Ch 2, work 2 HDC in each stitch around. Join the ends with a slip stitch. (28 HDC)
Row 4: Ch 2, 1 HDC in the first stitch, *2 HDC in the next stitch, 1 HDC in the following stitch, repeat from *, ending with the second HDC in the last stitch. Join the ends with a slip stitch.
Row 5: Repeat row 4, ending with the first of the two HDC. (65 HDC)
Rows 6-12: Ch 1 and work 1 HDC in each stitch around. Join the ends with a slip stitch. (65 HDC)
Row 13: This will start the shaping for the helmet above the ears. Use the image of the pink helmet at left (from bizrate.com) as your guide and ch 2 and work 15 HDC. Then, continuing on the row, work 5 SC and then work 15 HDC. Work 5 SC and then work the remaining 19 HDC. Join the ends with a slip stitch.
Row 14: Ch 3 and work 14 DC and 1 HDC. Then, continuing on the row, work 3 SC, 1 HDC and 14 DC. Work 1 HDC, 3 SC, 1 HDC and then work the remaining stitches as DC. Join the ends with a slip stitch and change yarn to the Grey Heather.
Row 15: Repeat row 14.
Row 16: Ch 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join the ends with a slip stitch and fasten off the yarn.

In the space between the last Pumpkin and the first Grey Heather rows, work a series of surface Grey Heather SC’s. Attach the yarn on the joining row of the hat. Using the I sized hook, work around the hat, join the ends with a slip stitch and fasten off the yarn,

Ear Openings: (Make 2)
These are the V shaped areas on both sides of the helmet where the wearer’s ears would go.
Row 1: Working with the G sized hook and the Grey Heather, ch 2.
Row 2: Turn and work 2 SC in the second loop from the hook.
Rows 3-4: Ch 1 and turn. Work 2 SC in each stitch.
Row 5: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch.
Row 6: Ch 1 and turn. Work only 1 SC in each of the first 4 stitches across. The other side will be worked later.
Rows 7-8: Ch 1 and turn. Continue working 1 SC in each stitch across.
Row 9: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Work 1 SC in the next 2 SC, and work 2 SC in the last stitch.
Rows 10-13: Repeat row 6.
Row 14: Repeat row 9.
Rows 15-17: Repeat row 6. Work 1 slip stitch and fasten off yarn.

Reattach the yarn to the outside edge at row 6 and repeat rows 6-17 on the previously unworked side.

To find the correct place to sew these on, find the sections in Pumpkin and Grey Heather where you worked the 1 HDC, 4 SC, 1 HDC sequences (rows 13-15). Line up the ear openings so the bottom of the V is lined up with the center of that sequence. Don’t stretch the V’s any larger than they naturally lay. If it helps, turn the hat inside out at the point. Using the yarn needle, sew the top of the short straps to the inside of rows 15 & 16 in Grey Heather on the helmet. Turn the hat right side out and weave in any loose yarns.

Chin Strap:
Row 1: Working with the G sized hook and the Grey Heather, ch 5.
Row 2: Turn and start working in the second loop from the hook: 1 SC per stitch.
Rows 3-60: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch across.
Row 61: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog and the last 2 sc tog.
Rows 62-66: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch.
Row 67: Ch 1 and turn. Work the only 2 SC tog. Complete with a slip stitch and fasten off yarn.

Using the yarn needle, sew the row 1 end to the inside bottom of one of the ear pieces. On a typical helmet, the chin strap is attached on the left side. Before attaching the chin strap, make sure you know which part of the helmet you want to be the front so you attach the strap to the left side.

On the right ear opening, attach the D-rings together at the outside bottom of the V. You can use the Grey Heather yarn and the G sized hook, doing a series of SC over the rings to the existing piece. For mine, I started with a SC off the ring, 6 SC lined up over the rings and fasten it off with a slip stitch. Weave in any loose ends.

Flames:
The red is going to make some very simple flames, like on this helmet above (from leatherlolipop.com). The finished flames are not going to be even, so you may want to use your stitch markers here to keep yourself straight.
Row 1: Working with the G sized hook and the Scarlet, ch 44.
Row 2: Turn and start working in the second loop from the hook: 1 SC per stitch except for the last 2 stitches. Work those 2 tog.
Row 3: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Then work 13 SC along the row and 2 SC tog. Leave the rest of the row unworked for the time being.

Outside Flame:
Row 4: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Then work 11 SC and the last 2 SC tog.
Row 5: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Then work 9 SC and the last 2 SC tog.
Row 6: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Then work 7 SC and the last 2 SC tog.
Row 7: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Then work 5 SC and the last 2 SC tog.
Row 8: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Then work 5 SC. Do not work the last 2 SC tog.
Row 9: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Then work 2 SC and the last 2 SC tog.
Row 10: Ch 1 and turn. Don’t work the first 2 SC tog. Work 2 SC and the last 2 SC tog.
Row 11: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Work 1 SC in the last SC.
Rows 12-14: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each SC.
Row 15: Ch 1 and turn. Work the 2 SC tog. Complete with a slip stitch and fasten off the yarn.

Middle Flames:
Row 3: Do not flip the piece over. Keep it so the first flame is on your right side. Go back to row 3 and attach the yarn to the left of the first flame. Work 1 SC in each stitch across and the last 2 SC tog.
Row 4: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog. Work 9 SC in as many stitches and work 2 slip stitches in as many stitches. Then work 1 SC in each stitch across (10 SC).
Row 5: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog and then work 7 SC across. Leave the rest of the row unworked for the time being.*
Row 6: Ch 1 and turn. Work 8 SC across.
Row 7: Ch 1 and turn. Work 3 SC in as many stitches. In the 4th SC, work 2 SC. Leave the rest of the row unworked for the time being.@
Row 8: Ch 1 and turn. Work 4 SC in as many stitches. In the last SC, work 2 SC.
Row 9: Ch 1 and turn. Work 2 SC and the last 2 SC tog.
Rows 10-12: Ch 1 and turn. Work 3 SC across the row.
Row 13: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog and end with 1 SC in the last stitch.
Rows 14-16: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch.
Row 17: Ch 1 and turn. Work the 2 SC tog. Complete with a slip stitch and fasten off the yarn.

Row 5: Go back and attach the yarn at row 5 (marked with an @), keeping the flames still on your right side. After attaching the yarn, work 3 SC.
Row 6: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog and the last 2 SC tog.
Rows 7-9: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in both stitches.
Row 10: Ch 1 and turn. Work the 2 SC tog.
Rows 11-12: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC. Complete with a slip stitch and fasten off yarn.

Row 7: Go back and attach the yarn at row 7 (marked with an *), keeping the flames still on your right side. After attaching the yarn, work 2 SC in the same stitch.
Rows 8-9: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch.
Row 10: Ch 1 and turn. Work 2 SC in the first stitch and 1 SC in the last stitch.
Row 11: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog and work 2 SC in the last stitch.
Rows 12-13: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch.
Row 14: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog and work 1 SC in the last stitch.
Rows 15-17: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch.
Row 18: Ch 1 and turn. Work 2 SC tog.
Rows 19-21 Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC. At the end of row 21, complete with a slip stitch and fasten off yarn.

Outside Flame:
Row 5: Do not flip the piece over. Keep it so the flames are on your right side. Go back to row 5 and attach the yarn to the left of the middle flames. Work 1 SC in each stitch across.
Row 6: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog, then work 6 SC across, and work the last 2 SC tog.
Row 7: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch across.
Row 8: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog, then work 4 SC across, and work the last 2 SC tog.
Row 9: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog, then work 3 SC across, and work the last 2 SC tog.
Rows 10- 12: Ch 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog, then work 1 SC in each stitch across.
Rows 13-14: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch.
Row 15: Ch 1 and turn. Work both SC tog.
Rows 16-18: Ch 1 and turn. Work 1 SC. At the end of row 18, complete with a slip stich and fasten off yarn.

Weave in all loose ends.

Completed length of flames (of the first chain): 9”

To Attach Flames:
Decide which side of the flames you want facing out. Center the flames on the front of the helmet between the ear V’s, keeping the bottom chain on the row of Pumpkin above the Grey Heather. Using the Scarlet yarn and yarn needle, use whipstitches to sew the flames onto the Pumpkin. If you go through the Pumpkin stitches correctly, your Scarlett stitches will not show on the inside of the hat.




Attaching the Buttons:
The buttons represent the snaps used to attach a partial face shield to the front of the helmet. Working on the Scarlet of the flames, line the buttons up on the second row as such: 1 button on the front center and the remaining 2 buttons on the ends of the flames. Use the image to the left (from BikersDen.com) as a guide for button placement.






Proper Care & Washing:
Always wash this item in cold on the gentlest setting. Do not use bleach. Washing in hot water may lead to shrinkage. Either line dry or allow to dry flat. If you must use a dryer, dry on low or no heat.

Fastening the Chin Strap:
Once you have the completed motorcycle helmet hat ready to be worn, put it on the child by pulling it on over his/her ears until the bottom edge of the motorcycle helmet touches the ears. Pass the strap through both rings from inside to outside of helmet and let strap fall. Separate the rings, grasp the free end of the strap and pass it back through inside ring only (outside to inside) and pull it comfortably tight.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baby “Froggie Beanie” Crochet Pattern

This is the pattern for the Froggie Beanie I did this summer, when I did the Chicken Beanie.

Materials Needed:
E sized hook
I sized hook
Yarn needle
1 skein of Caron Simply Soft in Sage (#2611)
Small amount of Caron Natura in Black (#0007)
Small amount of Caron Natura in White (#0001)
Small amount of Caron Natura in Scarlet (#0045)
Small amount of Fiber FillOptional: Small amount of matching eyelash or other novelty yarn for edging

This hat should fit a baby 3-6 months old.

Hat
Beginning at top of hat, working with the I sized hook and the Sage, ch 4, sl st in first ch to form ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 2, work 13 dc in ring, join with a sl st in first dc. 13 sts.
Rnd 2: Ch 2, do not turn, 2 dc in each st around, join with a st in first dc. 26 sts.
Rnd 3: Ch 2, do not turn, dc in first st, *2dc in next st, dc in next st, repeat from * around ending with 2dc in last st, join with a sl st in first dc. 39 sts.
Rnd 4: Ch 2, do not turn, *dc in first two sts, 2dc in next st, repeat from * around, join with a sl st in first dc. 52 sts.
Rnds 5 - 12: Ch 2, do not turn, dc in each st around, join with a sl st in first dc. 52 sts. Do not turn at end of last row.

At this point, you can decide which side of the hat you want to be the outside. I flipped mine inside out when I got to this point.

Optional Edging (If you are making this for a little girl):
Ch 1 and turn. Alternate 1 sc and 2 sc in each st around, join with a sl st in first sc. Fasten off. Weave in ends of yarn.

Eyes (Make 2):
Beginning at the center of the eye, working with the E sized hook and the Black, start with a magic circle: chain 1 and 6 sc. Pull tight and join with a slip stitch.
Rnd 1: Change to the White. Chain 1 and do not turn. Work 2 sc in each stitch around, including in the joining slip stitch (14 sc).
Rnd 2: Ch 1 and do not turn. Work 2 sc in each stitch around, but not in the joining slip stitch this time. Join with a slip stitch.
Rnd 3: Change to the Sage. Ch 1 and do not turn. Work 2 sc in each stitch around, in the back loops only. Join with a slip stitch.
Rnds 4-5:Ch 1 and do not turn. Work 1 sc in each stitch around, in both loops. Join with a slip stitch.
Rnds 6-7: Ch 1 and do not turn. Work 1 sc in each stitch around, in both loops, but decrease this row by 2 evenly spaced sc. Join with a slip stitch. At the end of row 7, fasten off yarn but leave a length of several inches.

To finish of the eyes, go back with the E sized hook and the Sage yarn. In the space between the White and Sage, work a surface row of sc. This will make a raised edge. Fasten off yarn and weave in ends.

Lay the hat flat and decide where you want the eyes to be sewn on. For mine, I lined the eyes up so the edge of the Sage is even with the starting chain 4 circle, and slightly forward. Sew the eyes on with whipstitches and the Sage yarn. Once each eye is halfway sewn on, start stuffing the eyes with the desired amount of Fiber Fill. Finish sewing the eyes on and fasten off yarn when complete.

Mouth:
Use the yarn needle and the Black yarn. Lay the hat flat and embroider on the mouth. Using the eye placement as a guide, have the smile go from the outside edge of each eye across the hat. For correct tongue placement next, make sure you embroider the smile on straight for at least 1 ½-2”.

Tongue:
Rnd 1: Working with the E sized hook and the Red, chain 6.
Rnd 2: Turn. Starting in the second chain from the hook, work 2 sc. Work 1 sc in each remaining stitch.
Rnd 3: Chain 1 and turn. Work 1 sc in each individual stitch, for a total of 5 sc. Work 2 sc in the last stitch.
Rnd 4: Chain 1 and turn. Work 1 sc in each individual stitch.
Rnd 5: Chain 1 and turn. Work 1 sc in each individual stitch, for a total of 5 sc. Work the last 2 sc together.
Rnd 6: Chain 1 and turn. Work the first 2 sc tog, and 1 sc in each remaining stitch. Fasten off yarn and leave a length of a couple inches.

Use this length to sew the tongue onto the hat. Line the short straight edge of the tongue up below the embroidered mouth. Attach it with a few whip stitches and fasten off yarn when complete.

Proper Care & Washing:
Always wash this item in cold on the gentlest setting. Do not use bleach. Washing in hot water may lead to shrinkage. Either line dry or allow to dry flat. If you must use a dryer, dry on low or no heat.