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.

Love Me Some Cashmere- A Luxury Yarn

Cashmere has been a term that signifies luxury for a long time. I remember watching some 1980’s movies where the character wearing the fuzzy cashmere sweater was the rich either miss understood teen or self-centered antagonist. I always see it in my mind with the big hair of the decade, and thus have felt that it was a wealthy fiber well out of my realm.

Learning more about yarn and fibers I have found cashmere a bit of a misnomer, it is a fiber from the underbelly of a goat. What makes cashmere, well cashmere, is the micron count of the fiber has to be 19 or finer, with less than 3 percent by weight of fibers exceeding 30 microns. Basically it is very thin in diameter. The length of the fiber also must be at least 1.25 inches (3 centimeters) and meet a specific crimp structure (have a certain wavy pattern).

Lisa Souza Dyeworks Cashmere Sport

Some of qualities of this fiber are readily seen in Lisa Souza’s Cashmere Sport yarn. Cashmere holds its shape well yet is springy. It is very light weight, with a lovely drape, and is incredibly warm. One of the most noticeable feature is that light does not reflect from this yarn, it appears more like a velvet and absorbs the light. This may be one of the factors that gives it a luxury quality.

As the fibers are so fine it is extremely soft. This is definitely a yarn that I want to snuggle with. The Sport weight skein provided from Lisa Souza Dyeworks is available in a 2oz/200yrd put up, just enough for a set of fingerless mitts, a hat, or a scarf. (I have a free pattern featuring this yarn in a Tam here). This yarn has a soft stitch definition and thus any really heavily textured stitches might have a soft edge then you may be have with. It can easily support a lace design, and does not demand too much attention to itself, allowing your handwork to shine.

I still consider this fiber a bit of a luxury, even if you can find some wools with a finer quality fiber, and thus being softer then cashmere, cashmere has a certain halo about it that when added to the light absorption, just has a look and feel of something that is unlike anything else.

Celebrate a Month of Crochet! The Spokes Tam

Welcome to my post for the annual National Crochet Month Blog Tour hosted by Crochetville.com! I am honored to have been participated in the last 5 years of this tour event, and this year theme is “Glamping”…or Glamorous Camping, every day in the month of March Crochetville.com has visited designers, yarn stores, and had various giveaways…don’t miss a stop of the tour.

I cannot say that I have done much crocheting while camping…honestly, I have not been camping in years. I live a rural life, and have lost count of the days I spent camping as a kid, so I vacation now in a bit more of a “modern” style…someplace that offers room service.

To celebrate National Crochet Month I have a free pattern to share with you as well as a discount at my Ravelry.com store (use coupon code NatCroMo2017 and receive 25% off any and all patterns).  The Spokes Tam is a simple beret hat dresses up your Glamping adventure with a bit of style. You can really use any weight yarn with an appropriate crochet hook, but I have listed what I have used below.

Spokes Tam (For a printable version, this pattern is available at Ravelry.com for $2.00)

Spokes Tam by Linda Dean www.lindadeancrochet.com

Spokes Tam

Special note: All Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc) after Round 2, are worked around fpdc the row below.

Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc): Yarn over, insert hook from front to back and then to front again around post of stitch, yarn over and draw up loop, [yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook] twice.

Front Post Single Crochet (fpsc): Insert hook from front to back and then to front again around post of stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops.

Double Crochet 2 Together (dc2tog): [Yarn over, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook] twice, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook.

Materials:

*1 skein Lisa Souza Dyeworks Cashmere Sport (www.lisaknit.com)

*Size J/10 ½/6.00mm crochet hook

Gauge: Gauge is not critical for this design

Rnd 1: Ch 4, 15 dc in 4th ch from hook, sl st to join. (16 dc)

Rnd 2: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, 2 dc in next st, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, 2 dc in next st] repeat around, sl st to join. (24 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 3: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, dc in next st, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, dc in next st] around, sl st to join. (40 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 4: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 2 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 2 sts] around, sl st to join. (56 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 5: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 3 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 3 sts] around, sl st to join. (72 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 6: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 4 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 4sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 4 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 4 sts] around, sl st to join. (88 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 7: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 5 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 5 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 5 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 5 sts] around, sl st to join. (104 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 8: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 6 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 6 sts] around, sl st to join. (102 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 9: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 7 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 7 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 7 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 7 sts] around, sl st to join. (136 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 10: Ch 1, turn, fpsc around same st, fpsc around each st, sl st st join. (144 fpsc)

Rnd 11: Ch 3, turn, dc in next 6 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts, [dc in next 7 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts] around, sl st to join.

Rnd 12: Ch 3, dc in next 5 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts, [dc in next 6 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts] around, sl st to join.

Rnd 13: Ch 3, dc in next 4 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts, [dc in next 5 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts] around, sl st to join.

Rnd 14: Ch 3, dc in next 3 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts, [dc in next 4 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts] around, sl st to join.

Rnd 15: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st around, sl st to join.

Rnd 16: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st around, sl st to join. Fasten off.

Spokes Tam by Linda Dean www.lindadeancrochet.com

Spokes Tam

Enjoy a Celebration of Crochet! Don’t forget to use coupon code NatCroMo2017 and receive 25% off any and all patterns at my Ravelry.com store until April 15, 2017.

Check out all the stops on the Crochetville.com tour for more free patterns, discounts and fabulous ideas!

International Crochet- Cabled Round Hat

ScannedImageI have had pattern released in Europe before, mostly in pattern from Red Heart Yarns, but this is the first time I am featured in an actually monthly publication. You can find my Cabled Round Hat in Issue 9 of Crochet Now Magazine, in the United States this publication can be found at some bookstores such as Barns & Noble, or is can be accessed on-line.

Cabled Round Hat by Linda Dean

Cabled Round Hat Crochet Now issue 9 Photo courtesy Practical Publishing

This design is worked vertically, featuring cables that end up encircling the head. It is a one skein project and I was fortunate to check out this English yarn of West Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaced Leicester Aran Prints in color Pheasant. Blueface Leicester is actually a sheep breed that produces a soft warm yarn with a nice spring. To substitute a yarn found in America, any medium weight yarn can work in its place. Just please note this pattern is written in United Kingdom standard terms so the stitch names may seem the same, but are not…so instead of working a double crochet, in the United States we recognize this as a single crochet.

The hat itself has a nice stretch, allowing it to fit a wide range of sizes, while allowing for a very straight forward approach to working it.

I have long worked these vertical style hats, in reality my grandmother use to make a similar style when I was young. It was almost always her go to crochet item, working many vertical hats for charity fundraisers. So for me I thought all crochet hats were made this way, so when I learned how to create a top-down in the round hat, I considered it quite a novelty and fell in love with the approach. Little did I know that what I considered mundane, was really more a novelty then I thought. I have taken this basic approach and added many of my own personal differences, and I hope to share more of these with you…but here is another…. the Cable & Rib Slouchy Hat….

The Cabled Round Hat will be available later this year as a single pattern.

Crochet- More Than One Use

ScannedImageIn my home we have limited birthday parties. My kids have a family party every year, where they get to set the menu for dinner and we share the meal with any extended family that can attend. However, we have an agreement that when they turn 10 they can have a party with friends, at 13 they can have a sleepover party.

So as I am now dealing with my agreement to have a birthday party with friends, I actually undertake some crochet. Over the years my kids have attended many birthday parties, and they often come home with little gift bags full of trinkets and candy and this got me thinking. How often do I just throw out these gift bags full of empty candy wrappers, can I create something a little different, a little more practical…well I think I have.

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Scrap yarn hats as gift bags

I have taken some scrap yarn and created small hats, kid sized, and used them as gift bags. So after the party and all the treats have been eaten the guest have a hat to keep their heads warm or play a little dress up.

It may be a little time consuming, but I think it is worth it. My kids actually really like the idea, and find it fun that everyone can have a different color and a different style. Well at least so far my kids still appreciate my playing with yarn.

I do not have or follow a pattern, I just create a flat circle until it is about 6” to 6 ½“ (15-16.5mm) in diameter, and then stop increasing until it is about 7” (18mm) from the center to edge- the radius. I use a verity of stitches, whatever might tickle my fancy at the moment. Then I fill them with candies and toys to share with my children’s guests.