Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A little Problem With Sizing

My mom told me that my niece loves Elmo. Personally, I can't stand the little red f----r. It's that God awful voice of his. But since she likes Elmo, I figured I'd make her one last birthday gift of a crocheted Elmo hat. What the hell, right? I'd only have to look at him and not listen to him.

I got a little carried away with my sizing of the hat. This is what happens when I change a pattern and use a TOTALLY different kind of yarn.

It's a little big for a 1-year-old kid.

It fits me.

I'm not keeping it and I'm not giving it to someone else. The kid will grow into it.

Eventually.

When she's in her 30's.


So here's the pattern for an adult sized Elmo hat with earflaps. If you decide to try downsizing it to a kids' size, I'd love to see how it turns out for you!

I couldn't just make a flat Elmo face. I had to take it one step further and make it 3-D. I have a feeling the eyes feel like the eyes on the GIR hat I made...like breast implants. I am a subconscious perv, and yes, I am a straight woman.
Materials List:
F sized hook
H sized hook
Stitch marker
Yarn needle
Fiber Fill
Moda Dea Wild in Flames (#9980)—2 skeins*
Caron worsted weight in Scarlet (#516)—2 skeins
Caron worsted weight in black—small amount
Caron worsted weight in white—small amount
Caron worsted weight in orange—small amount

*This yarn was already discontinued when I bought it. It is a bulky weight, mohair-type yarn that is very soft and furry looking.

Hat:
Working with the Scarlet and Flames together on the H sized hook, begin at top of hat, ch 4, sl st in first ch to form ring.
Rnd : Ch 2, work 13 hdc in ring, join with a sl st in first hdc.
Rnd 2: Ch 2, turn, 2 hdc in each st around, join with a sl st in first hdc.
Rnd 3: Ch 2, turn, hdc in first st, *2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st, repeat from * around ending with 2 hdc in last st, join with a sl st in first hdc.
Rnd 4: Ch 2, turn, *hdc in first two sts, 2 hdc in next st, repeat from * around, join with a sl st in first hdc.
Rnd 5: Ch 2, turn, *hdc in first three sts, 2 hdc in next st, repeat from * around, join with a sl st in first hdc.
Rnds 6-8: Ch 2, turn, *hdc in first four sts, 2 hdc in next st, repeat from * around, join with a sl st in first hdc.
Rnd 9: Ch 2, turn, *hdc in first five sts, 2 hdc in next st, repeat from * around, join with a sl st in first hdc.

Rnds 10-13: Ch 2, work 1 hdc in each st around. Join with a slip stitch. Do not turn.

Rnds 14-15: Ch 2, work the first 2hdctog, 1 hdc halfway around, then work 2hdctog, and then 1 hdc in the remaining stitches around. Join with a slip stitch. Do not turn.

Rnds 16-18: Ch 2, 1 hdc in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch. Do not turn.

Rnds 19-20: Ch 2, work the first 2hdctog, 1 hdc halfway around, then work 2hdctog, and then 1 hdc in the remaining stitches around. Join with a slip stitch. Do not turn.

Rnd 21: Ch 2, 1 hdc in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch. Do not turn.

Earflaps:
Rnd 22: Ch 2, work 9 hdc in as many stitches. Turn.
Rnd 23: Ch 2 and work the same 9 hdc again. Turn.
Rnd 24: Ch 2 and work the first 2 hdctog and the last 2 hdc tog. Work 1 hdc in each of the remaining stitches. Turn.
Rnd 25: Ch 2 and work 1 hdc across the row. Turn.
Rnd 26: Ch 2 and work the first 2 hdctog and the last 2 hdc tog. Work 1 hdc in each of the remaining stitches. Fasten off the yarn.

Fold the hat in half so the finished earflap is lined up to where the second earflap will be. Repeat rows 22-26 on the other side of the hat.

Edging:
With the H sized hook, attach the orange yarn (1 strand) with a slip stitch in one of the inside corners of the earflaps. Ch 1 and work 1 SC in each st around, working 3 SC in each corner to get around it. When you are at the center bottom of each earflap, leave 2 extremely long sections of yarn (at least 40”) to work with later. Join the orange ends with a sl st in first sc. Fasten off. Weave in ends of yarn.

Cut 2 lengths of red yarn, the same as the orange lengths on the earflaps, 1 for each flap. Weave one end of the red yarn through the inside hdc’s of the earflaps and line them up with the orange yarn. Once the red yarn has been secured, braid the lengths of yarn into chin ties. Knot and finish off the ties at the desired lengths.

Nose:
Rnd 1: Working with the orange on the F sized hook, begin at top of the nose. Make a magic circle of 1 chain and 3 SC. Join the ends with a slip stitch.
Rnd 2: Chain 1 and do not turn. Work 2 SC in each stitch, including the joining stitch, and join the ends with a slip stitch.
Rnd 3: Chain 1. Work 1 SC in each stitch and join the ends.
Rnd 4: Chain 1. Work 1 SC in the first stitch, 2 SC in the stitch. Alternate these stitches around and join the ends.
Rnds 5-6: Repeat row 3.
Rnd 7: Chain 1. Work 1 SC in the first stitch, 1 SC in the second stitch, 2 SC in the third stitch. Alternate these stitches around and join the ends.
Rnds 8-9: Repeat row 3.
Rnds 10-12: Chain 1. Work 1 SC in the first stitch, 1 SC in the second stitch, 2 SCtog in the third stitch. Alternate these stitches around and join the ends.

At the end of row 12, stuff the nose. Cut a length of several inches and secure the last stitch with a slip stitch. Weave the length through the yarn and pull it tight like a drawstring.

Mouth:
Working with the black on the F sized hook, begin at top of the open mouth smile. Chain 47.
Rnd 1: Starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 SC in each stitch. Chain 1 and turn.
Rnds 2-6: Work the first 2 SCtog and the last 2 SCtog. Work 1 SC in each of the remaining stitches. Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row, except for row 6. At the end of row 6, finish off the yarn with a slip stitch.

With the F sized hook, outline the mouth’s edges with SC’s in the Moda Dea Flame. Work 3 SC around the corners and fasten off that yarn once complete.

Eyes (Make 2):
Rnd 1: Working with the black on the F sized hook, begin at top of the open mouth smile. Make a magic circle of 1 chain and 5 SC. Pull tight and join the ends with a slip stitch.
Rnd 2: Chain 1 and do not turn. Work 2 SC in each stitch, including the joining stitch, and join the ends with a slip stitch.
Rnd 3: Switch to the white yarn and chain 1. Do not turn. Work 1 SC in the first stitch and 2 SC in the second stitch. Alternate these stitches around and join the ends.
Rnd 4: Chain 1, *SC in first two sts, 2 SC in next st, repeat from * around, join the ends.
Rnds 5-9: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch around and join the ends.
Rnd 10: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in the first stitch and 2 SCtog in the second stitch. Alternate these stitches around and join the ends.
Rnd 11: Repeat row 5. Stuff the eyeball.
Rnds 12-13: Repeat row 10. Fasten off the yarn with a slip stitch at the end of row 13 and leave a length of several inches. Continue stuffing the eye to your liking and finish off the back of the eye with a drawstring to pull it shut.

Assembling the Face:
Decide which side is the front. Center the nose and sew it on. Secure it with a few stitches at the top and center of the nose, leaving the bottom of the nose unsecured.

Position the eyes to rest above the nose so that the eyeballs touch. After sewing on the first eye, also sew it to the nose. Sew on the second eye and attach it to both the nose and first eyeball. Since this is a 3-D hat, sew the nose and eyes all the way through the hat.

Use the Moda Dea to sew the mouth onto the front of the hat, centered by the nose. In the interest in space, tuck the upper part of the mouth under the bottom part of the nose. The mouth can be sewn through the front stitches only. Once completed, fasten off the yarn.






Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last Bit of the Weirdness

It's been about two weeks since I posted anything original and finally I have something new to show: the finished Brobee for my niece's birthday gift, another bit of oddness to round out the gift.

I thought Foofa looked like a pink Grimace. I stand corrected. This thing looks more like Grimace, but with longer arms. He's got the fur that Foofa doesn't have.

This guy took me a while to make, since he's my own pattern. I actually frogged half of his body to start over, and then started over the first arm. But even though he was made without any furry yarn, I am pretty happy with how he turned out.

For a cell phone picture, this didn't turn out too badly!

Materials List
--E sized hook
--H sized hook
--N sized hook
--Stitch marker
--Yarn needle
--Fiber Fill
--Caron worsted weight red
--Caron worsted weight black
-Caron worsted weight white
--An assortment of light and dark green yarn:
--Caron Simply Soft in Sage (#2611)—2 skeins
--Panda Bubble Bug (color #4), which was actually a boucle—2 1/2 skeins
--Caron Natura in Kelly Green (#0025)—2 skeins
--Some assorted olive green chenille (no label)—2 small balls

Body:
Row 1: With 3 strands of light green yarn and the N sized hook, do a magic circle of 6 SC. Join with a slip stitch. Chain 1.
Row 2: Do not turn piece. Work 2 SC in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch. Chain 1.
Row 3: Work 1 SC in the first stitch*, then 2 SC in the second stitch. Repeat from the * all the way around. Join and chain 1. Use a stitch marker to mark ends of rows (optional).
Rows 4-5: Work 1 SC in the first stitch*, then 1 SC in the second stitch, and 2 SC in the third stitch. Repeat from the * all the way around. Join and chain 1.
Rows 6-7: Work 1 SC in the first stitch*, then 1 SC in the second stitch, 1 SC in the third stitch, and 2 SC in the fourth stitch. Repeat from the * all the way around. Join and chain 1.
Rows 8-15: Work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join and chain 1.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the darker green yarns. Rows 16-18: Repeat row 8.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the light green yarns. Rows 19-21: Work 1 SC in each stitch around, decreasing each row by 1 SC. Join and chain 1.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the darker green yarns. Rows 22-24: Work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join and chain 1.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the light green yarns. Rows 25-27: Work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join and chain 1.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the darker green yarns. Rows 28-29: Work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join and chain 1. Begin stuffing the body.
Row 30: This is where the split into 2 legs will be made. Choose which side of Brobee is the front. Work 1 SC in each stitch until you are in the center back of Brobee. Chain 2 and attach with a SC to the front center of Brobee.  Continue working 1 SC in each stitch around.  Join the ends with a slip stitch.*

*From this point on, you will repeat the same directions for the other leg.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the light green yarns. Rows 31: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch. Join with a slip stitch and chain 1. When you get to the chain 2, work 2 SC over it. Join with a slip stitch.
Rows 32-33: Chain 1 and decrease by 1 SC. Join with a slip stitch.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the darker green yarns. Row 34: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch around and decrease by 1 SC. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 35: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 36: Repeat row 34.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the light green yarns. Row 37: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch around and decrease by 1 SC. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 38: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 39: Repeat row 34.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the darker green yarns. Rows 40-41: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch around and decrease by 1 SC. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 42: Chain 1 and work 2 SC in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 43: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 44: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in the inside loops only of each stitch around. Continue stuffing the leg.
Rows 45-46: Chain 1 and working through both sets of loops, alternate 1 SC and 2 SC tog. Join with a slip stitch and fasten off the yarn. Using one strand of the dark green and the yarn needle, weave it in and out of the bottom of the foot, creating a drawstring. Make sure the foot is stuffed as you want it, and pull the yarn tight. Fasten off the yarn.

Arms (make 2):
Row 1: With 3 strands of the light green yarns on the N sized hook, leave a length of several inches and make a magic circle of 1 chain and 5 SC. Join the ends with a slip stitch.
Row 2: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 2 SC in each stitch, including the joining stitch, around and join with a slip stitch.
Rows 3-4: Chain 1 and work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join the ends with a slip stitch.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the darker green yarns. Rows 5-7: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around and join with a slip stitch.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the light green yarns. Rows 8-10: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around and join with a slip stitch.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the darker green yarns. Row 11: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around and dec by 1 SC. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 12: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around join with a slip stitch.
Row 13: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around and dec by 1 SC. Join with a slip stitch.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the light green yarns. Row 17: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around and dec by 1 SC. Join with a slip stitch.
Rows 18-19: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around join with a slip stitch.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the darker green yarns. Rows 14-16: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around and. Join with a slip stitch.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the light green yarns. Rows 17-19: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around and. Join with a slip stitch.

Switch colors to 3 strands of the darker green yarns. Rows 20-22: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around and. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 23: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around. Stop halfway around and chain 4 (this will be his thumb). Starting again in the same SC as you started the chain, continue working 1 SC in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 24: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch around (work the last 2 SC tog) and ignore the chain 4. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 25: Chain 1 but do not turn. Work the first 2 SCtog and the last 2 SC tog. Work 1 SC in each of the remaining stitches. Join with a slip stitch.

Starting stuffing the arm.

Row 26: Repeat row 25. Finish with a slip stitch and fasten off the yarn. Finish stuffing the arm. Once stuffed, use a yarn needle to weave one of the remaining yarn strands through the end of the hand like a drawstring and pull tight. Weave in any loose ends.

Sew the arms onto the body where the first dark green section ends (between rows 18-19), positioning the thumbs facing out. Use the lengths of several inches you left when beginning the arm. This should position the arms to be as long as the legs. Weave in all loose ends.

Spikes (make 3):
Row 1: With 1 strand of the red yarn on the H hook, leave a length of several inches and ch 11.
Row 2: Do 2 sc tog in the sec chain from the hook, 1 sc in other remaining 6 sc, and finish with 2 sc tog in the last sc. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 3: Do 2 sc tog in the sec chain from the hook, 1 sc in other remaining 4 sc, and finish with 2 sc tog in the last sc. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 4: Do 2 sc tog in the sec chain from the hook, 1 sc in other remaining 2 sc, and finish with 2 sc tog in the last sc. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 5: Work the first 2 SC tog and the last 2 SC tog. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 6: Work the 2 SC tog. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 7: Work 1 SC in the stitch. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 8:  Work 2 SC in the stitch. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 9: Work 2 SC in each stitch. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 10: Work 2 SC in the first stitch, 1 in each of the middle stitches, and 2 SC in the last stitch. Ch 1 and turn.
Row 11: Work 2 SC in the first stitch, 1 in each of the middle stitches, and 2 SC in the last stitch. Ch 1 and turn.

Fold the piece in half and work SC along 2 sides, leaving the bottom open. Finish off with a slip stitch and fasten off the yarn.

Mouth:
Row 1: With 1 strand of the red yarn on the H hook, leave a length of several inches and ch 12.
Row 2: Work 1 SC in each stitch across and work 3 SC in the last stitch. Continue working 1 SC on the other side.
Row 3: Repeat row 2 and end with a slip stitch. Fasten off yarn.

Eyebrow:
Row 1: With 1 strand of the black yarn on the H hook, leave a length of several inches and ch 15.
Row 2: Work 1 SC in each stitch across and work 3 SC in the last stitch. Continue working 1 SC on the other side and end with a slip stitch. Fasten off yarn.

Eyes (Make 2 of each part):
White Part of the Eye
Row 1: These are worked from the top down. With 1 strand of the white yarn on the E hook, leave a length of several inches and ch 3. You will use this length later to sew it to the face.
Row 2: Turn and in the second chain from the hook, work 2 SC in each SC.
Row 3: Chain 1 and turn. Work 2 SC in the first stitch, 1 SC in the second and third stitches, and 2 SC in the last stitch.
Row 4: Chain 1 and turn. Work 2 SC each of the first and last stitches, and 1 SC in each of the middle stitches.
Rows 5-7: Chain 1 and turn. Work 1 SC in each stitch across.
Rows 8-9: Chain 1 and turn. Work the first 2 SC tog and the last 2 SC tog, with 1 SC in each of the middle stitches. Fasten off the yarn at end of row 9 with a slip stitch.

Pupils
Row 1: With 1 strand of the black yarn on the E hook, leave a length of several inches and do a magic circle of 4 SC. Pull tight and secure with a slip stitch. You will use this length later to sew it to the white part.
Row 2: Chain 1 and work 2 SC in each stitch around, including the joining chain. Secure the ends with a slip stitch and fasten off the yarn.

Sew the pupils to the whites.

Attaching the Face:
The entire face is sewn on within the first 15 rows of the light green yarns. Starting with the mouth, attach it with a series of whip stitches around the outside edges with the red yarn.

Go back to the mouth and embroider a line of black yarn across the center.

Sew the eyes on above the mouth (the eyes should take up as much width as the mouth), leaving a row’s width between, with a series of ship stitches around the edges.

Position the eyebrow above the eyes, leaving a row’s width between,  and do a series of whip stitches around the edges to sew it to the face.

Stuff the spikes lightly and sew them to the top of Brobee’s head, with the middle spike centered over his eyebrow. Line up the other spikes end to end.

This ended up being longer than my forearm. I told my sister to make sure when her daughter picks him up, that she bends at the knees and not her back, otherwise she'll wind up with a hernia!

This actually is a pretty special project, I think, even though I preferred how Muno turned out. As Nicole the knitter would say, there is a lot of love in this project. Three generations of friends and family contributed to this project without some of them even knowing about it.

--Caron worsted weight red--I already had this yarn.
--Caron worsted weight black--I already had this yarn.
--Caron worsted weight white--I already had this yarn.
--Caron Simply Soft in Sage--I already had one of these, bought my mom, and I bought one more.
--Panda Bubble Bug--I bought these in a yarn store in Yorktown, like Muno's Moda Dea in Flames, but it was my friend Michelle that actually found it.
--Caron Natura in Kelly Green--This was yarn my mom sent to me that actually came from my grandma's house after she passed away.
--Some assorted olive green chenille--This yarn came from Nicole the knitter after a yarn exchange.

By using three strands of yarn at a time, I was able to use them as a chucky, heavyweight yarn on a larger hook. There are a few places where you can still see some of the stuffing inside through the stitches, but I don't mind that because it gave it a good overall size and I did stuff it quite firmly on purpose.

My only complaint about this project is from the Caron Simply Soft yarn in Sage. I've used this yarn before in this same color and I need to call it quits. EVERYTIME I've used this Sage color, it pulls out and knots terribly. The label says, "To start: First pull right yarn free from inside of skein. Then slowly pull left yarn and continue working with it." Even by following these directions, this color yarn in this kind of yarn, always bought from the same store, knots so much that I can't pick the knots out. I have to start cutting it apart. I think Caron needs to take a look at how this yarn is wound in the factory.