Taking the Hat to a Whole New Level

I am not much of an interior decorator. After I have chosen a paint for the walls, it will be that color forever; the furniture has found its placement, it will not move again; why change what took me forever to decide on? I guess this is either I a sign that I am completely set in my ways or too lazy to rework it, either way I am faced with times that I need a bit of different look. It is times like this that I find crochet beanies to be helpful.

I crochet many beanies throughout the year, many are given to various charities, so I have access to several colors and many textures to change the look and feel of my home décor on a very subtle way. The hats get used as pant cozies.

My “beanie” plant cozy

When I was younger I swore I would never create a cozy, after all I don’t mind looking at my toaster or my toilet paper rolls, but somehow I have managed to bring some of it to life in this small way. I have found that really a beanie type hat is essentially a basket turned up side town, so it easily fits the ceramic pots my house plants rest in.

I stumbled upon this out of necessity. I found that my pots were scratching my tables, being pottery the bottoms were always a bit rough and my furniture’s finish always seemed a bit soft, the pairing is not ideal. This means that I need something under my pots, perhaps a doily, a table runner, a coaster…yes, these all get utilized too. But for a little different affect, a hat. By placing a beaning over the pot I get to change to color and texture of the pot as well as saving my table surface. SO this is my subtle little visual difference in the house. It would be like putting new pillows on the couch, it gives a little new life.

As a side note, I can easily wear the hats again after a wash, so in a sense they just sever double duty now…so far, I don’t think anyone has noticed.

Crochet Hanging Vase- Perfect for Spring

It is almost time to admire the spring flowers, almost time to see the final thawing of the ice and snow for the season, a time when the days begin to warm and that restless spirit to be in the sun stirs in us. My home has seen a hint of spring this week. The weather has warmed and the daffodils have begun to bloom.

I tend to really enjoy seeing the daffodils, I never think of them as my favorite flowers, but they add such a nice harkening of s seasonal change with a bright yellow (or white) splash in the green hill side out my kitchen window.

Hanging crochet vase www.lindadeancrochet.com

Daffodils from a hanging “crochet”vase at my door.

So I found some scrap of yarn and crocheted an open mesh, for lack of a better term, “bag” that I slipped a mason jar into. This is the perfect for hanging a jar of flowers. My latest jar is hung at the entrance to my screened porch, it is a simple project that adds a definite bright spot in my day.

If you would like to attempt this hanging vase yourself, you can begin with a chain circle (creating a loop), then work a double crochet, chain nine and double crochet in the loop again. Work a few of these chain spaces, then begin working in the chain spaces created, making a mesh, until it is as tall as you would like it. Fasten off the yarn, and then create a length of chain about 12-18” (30-46cm) long. Weave this chain through the last round of chain spaces created and slip in your jar. Tie the chain tightly just under the brim. With the remaining length of chain tie a loop for hanging. It is as simple as that.

You could probably create this with just a simple long chain tied under the brim of the jar, however it always makes we a little fearful as I am concerned about the lack of support at the base, so I make this “bag” effect. Either way, I think this is a fun way to bring about spring.

Repurposed Bath Towel Blanket

When I was in high school, with my first car, okay a small truck, I had an “always prepared” bag behind the seat. The bag contained a coat, snow gloves, a blanket, a bathing suit, sun block, and a towel. Not exactly the same “always prepared” that I would think of today, but at the time you never knew what plans might arise for after school (especially if I had a day off work). It might be a trip to the mountains to play in the snow, or it could be a day at the river…really depends on the season and the weather, but I was prepared.

Well, several years have gone by since then, but I still attempt to keep “prepared” kit in my vehicle…no longer my cute little truck that I would take 4 wheeling, but my much more practical Subaru Outback…I still refuse to admit it might be a station wagon. My kit now has some granola bars, napkins and wet wipes, a flashlight, and I still have a blanket. I find that this blanket has many good uses, and can even still fit in some spontaneity, like a quick picnic in the park, or what is more likely a fast food dinner during archery practice. The blanket also helps when the kids are tired, or someone is cold. It covers the seats when the dog goes to the vet, or is rolled into a ball to give the driver some more support for resting their arm on the console.

Repurposed bath towel blanket. Www.lindadeancrochet.com

Repurposed Bath Towel blanket

This blanket has been replaced over the years, and one way I like to feel that I have a blanket that is really a second life is to make one. When bath towels wear out, become a bit thread barren, or simply have too many holes, I cut them into squares. As long as the squares are the same size, that is all that matters. I then crochet an edge around the squares. I then join all the squares together, I could sew or seem them, but I prefer to crochet them together. I find that the terry cloth a nice fabric for a blanket of the necessity, but just be mindful of ensuring that you slightly roll the edge of the fabric when crocheting the edge around it, this helps to reduce the initial fraying.

Give it a try next time you have a towel that has seen better days, and create your own blanket to be prepared with.

Crochet Emergency- Shoelaces

It never seems to fail, my kids shoelaces fail at the most inopportune times; when we are just headed out the door to school, when we are off to a new event or sport obligation. As a result I have had to find some quick fixes and amazingly my kids have come to actually request them now as a fashion statement…I crochet shoelaces.

Granted when really looking at the shoes, they have seen better days, but the kids love them and have some that they will wear until they fall apart. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, I have a few myself. However dressing them up with a bit of yarn was never my initial intent, it was simply necessity. Yet as my kids get older they have found these bits of yarn helping them to find their own identity.

Crochet shoelaces www.lindadeancrochet.com

Crochet shoelaces

So why crochet a chain, why not just use a strand of yarn? Well the short story is that the chain actually holds better when tying a bow, and is stronger. When using just a stand of yarn, it is held together by the ply. The ply is part of the yarn construction, most yarns are made up of strands that are spun in one direction, then these strands are spun together in the opposite direction, this is the ply. Granted the tension of the ply does create a strong yarn, just not one that is quite strong enough to live up to a shoelace on my kids shoes.

Creating the yarn into a chain, creates three strands instead of just one. It also makes a little more heft in the diameter, so it is easier to tie and untie.

What I find the most interesting is how my kids have fun picking out new colors for the laces. My son even enjoys adding a bright pink to his laces, at least it helps them have some individual style.

Doily Snowflakes

ScannedImageOne of the saddest things is walking into a thrift store and finding a crochet item. Some feel it is a great find, but I have to say, it leaves me a little disheartened to see all this hard, handmade work, mixed in with second clothes, puzzles that may be missing pieces, and worn toys. So how about a second life for some items.

Doilies are items that I do not usually make for myself. I long discovered that the length of time it takes to make a doily is about the same it takes for me to make an afghan, and I feel like I can see greater process in working an afghan. So when I see doilies I make sure and give them a new purpose.

Snowflake Doilies www.lindadeancrochet.com

Just above my office bulletin board, right beside my banner of encouragement, are 2 “snowflake dollies”.

Now I do not actually have them placed on tables or adorning my dining area, but I get a little creative. One of my favorites is Snowflakes.

I have found that doilies make a great decoration for winter, I actually keep a few up in my office area year round. It is a simple enough process.

A mixture of white glue and water usually does the job of stiffening a doily. Typically you create a mixture of equal parts white glue and water, however if you want only a little stiffness (basically just making things a bit firmer) add more water, and if you want things even more firm decrease the water. Now dip the doily in the solution ensuring that it is completely covered in the mixture. Remove any solution excess so that there is no liquid puddling. Place the doily on either a piece of wax paper, aluminum foil, or other non-stick surface, and block the doily. Make sure that it is placed in the manner you wish for its final appearance and let dry.

Now simply tack you snowflake up in the window or wall, a mirror or frame. I find this as a great way to highlight the beautiful art and craftsmanship that has gone into its creation without relegating these pieces of art to a drawer.