Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rainy Day Moebius Cowl

This project was by request for Vicky. Since she already know's what she's getting, I'll go ahead and post the details.

The pattern I started with is the Snowy Day Moebius Neckwarmer Hood by Gardener's Ramblings.
I found this pattern through Ravelry, and I modified it quite a bit.

I only had one skein left of this beautiful yarn, plus, Vicky was looking for something to go with her fall coat, as it is more for rainy days (keeping her hair & glasses dry) rather than for cold and snowy days. So I chose a larger hook and a bulky yarn to make it breathable, and yet comfy.

Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in Barrington (336)
Hook: 10.0mm (N)

Base chain was 50sts + 3 for the turning ch.
I just did a dc in each st, following the pattern for making it a moebius. Honestly, with this yarn and hook, I think it would have been great to follow the pattern as written, and I definitely had enough yarn (used the WHOLE skein). However, when I started, I wasn't sure how it would turn out.

Moral of the story: this was SUPER easy to make, and its my new favorite project. It worked up in a little less than 2 hours, and its super soft. I never liked the look or the "gimmick" of the moebius stuff before, but this was honestly a great piece and I'm definitely going to make more. Plus its a one-skein project! You can never have enough 2 hour (or less) one skein projects around Christmas time. I'm just sayin.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30-Minute Hat

I designed this hat to go along with my 90-Minute Scarf project. It is worked with 2 strands of worsted weight yarn, held together and worked as if they were one strand. In this project, both strands are pulled from the same skein, but you could use different yarns. It takes about 30 minutes to complete this project. I finished it in about 45, while cooking dinner, and with time taken to photograph a tutorial.

Yarn: Bernat Super Saver Solid [Worsted Weight Acrylic Yarn]
         Work two strands together as if they were one
Hook: US 9.0mm (N)
Hat Size: Adult
Find this pattern on Ravelry

Special Stitches: Front post double crochet (fpdc) and back post double crochet (bpdc)
See my FPDC/BPDC Stitch Tutorial for how to do these stitches. If you are uncomfortable with these stitches, just omit them. You will then work rnds 10 & 11 the same as rnd 5. After that, you may choose to add an additional rnd of (ch 1, sc into each st around, sl st to join) if you want to snug up the bottom.

Begin by making a magic ring. (See this tutorial I found on youtube)

RND 1: Once you have made the magic ring, ch 3, and do 8 dc into the ring. Tighten ring and sl st into the top of your initial ch 3 to join.

RND 2: Ch 3, do 2dc into each dc from the previous rnd. sl st into the top of your initial ch 3 to join.

RND 3: Ch 3, dc into the first dc, *2dc into the next dc st, and 1 dc into the following st* Repeat from * to * around until the end of the rnd. sl st into the top of your initial ch 3 to join.

RND 4: Ch 3, dc into each of the next 2 sts. *2 dc into the next dc st, and 1 dc in each of the next 3 sts* Repeat from * to * around. sl st into the top of your initial ch 3 to join.

RNDS 5 - 9: Ch 3, 1 dc into each st around. sl st into the top of your initial ch 3 to join.

RND 10: Ch 3 *fpdc into the next st, bpdc into the following st* Repeat from * to * around. sl st into the top of your initial ch 3 to join.

RND 11: Ch 3 *fpdc into each fpdc and bpdc into each bpdc* around. sl st into the top of your initial ch 3 to join. fasten off.

Rnds 10 & 11 should give your hat a snug but stretchy band around the ears.


Some people have had trouble getting their hat to be the right size. When working with 2 strands of yarn and a larger hook, gauge can vary dramatically from person to person. I strongly recommend that you try on your hat frequently to make sure it is the right size.

To make the hat wider, do this for your row 5:
Ch 3, dc into each of the next 3 sts. *2 dc into the next dc st, and 1 dc in each of the next 4 sts* Repeat from * to * around. sl st into the top of your initial ch 3 to join.

To make the hat longer, repeat the row 9 pattern for an extra 1-3 rows, depending upon how much longer the hat needs to be. Try it on as you work!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stitch Tutorial: FPDC & BPDC

So, with my blog becoming more popular, I'm getting more and more requests for video's & photo tutorials. I don't think I have the energy/patience for video tutorials, but I can take pix of my work to try and help you out.

(In these photos, I'm working 2 strands of green yarn together as one, to make my 30-minute hat, so please keep this in mind when looking at it.)

Both of these stitches MUST BEGIN with a row/round of regular dc sts prior to starting the row/rnd that is fpdc/bpdc.

Front Post Double Crochet (FPDC):

This stitch is essentially a plain dc st, but instead of putting your hook into the stitch as you normally would, you put it behind the "post" of the dc directly below that st. 

Insert your Hook behind the "post" of the dc that is directly below where you would normally make your dc stitch.

Yarn over, as with a normal dc.

Pull the yarn through, behind the "post" of the dc. This pushes the stitch from the previous row/rnd to the front of your work also.

As with your normal dc, yo again, and complete the dc st as normal. You may want to do this a little loosely until you get used to doing fpdc sts, as they tend to be bulkier sts in general.

Back Post Double Crochet (BPDC):

This stitch is the inverse of the FPDC. Again, it is a dc st that is essentially worked around the post of the dc below where you would normally put your st. This time, however, you will be putting your hook in front of that stitch, pushing it to the back of the work.

Insert your hook from the back of your work to the front, to the right of the dc that you're going to work with. This should be the "post" that lies directly below the st where you would normally put your st.

Push the hook over the post of that dc, and to then the back of your work (using the space to the left of the dc's post). In this photo, the post of the dc is hidden behind the hook, as it should be with your work

Yarn over, and pull the loop all the way through to the front, so that you're left with 3 loops on your hook. This pushes the dc st from the previous row/rnd to the back of your work.

Yarn over and complete the dc st as you normally would.

Alternating your FPDC and BPDC sts can create a ribbed effect. It also tightens up your stitches, while at the same time adding a stretchy quality, so its great for the bottom of hats or the tops of socks/leggings. Some patterns will have you add FPDC sts only, and this creates a line of ribbing that is on the front side of your material only.

If you are new to crochet, and trying to learn many stitches, I HIGHLY recommend you buy the book "Stitch and Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker". It has great instructions with pictures on how to do almost every stitch you'll ever need, along with how to read patterns, how to read stitch grids, how to troubleshoot your work, and some basic patterns to help you get started. No, I'm not associated with the book/publishers/author in any way. I just love the book, and all the crochetters in my local craft group reference it constantly.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Living Statue Costume

As part of our haunted house this year, we wanted a living statue out front as a "mild" scare and to help pass out candy. We also wanted it to be very cheap.

The dress was made from 4 yds of clearance gray fabric I got for $3/yd at Joann's. It was folded in half, and I cut the sleeves without any scrap. (see diagram)
Fabric is folded in half long-way, and draped over the shoulders.
Cut along the red lines, and sew along the blue lines, with the right sides togther.
Measure room for shoulder and chest before cutting.

The belt was then braided from approximately 75 yards of yarn left over from my wig yarn. (15 pieces of yarn, 5 yards each)

I cut off about 4" all around the hem, and added that to the wooden base (made from scrap wood) that I was going to stand on.

I set the dress, belt and candy bowl (which is set on an up-side down round trash can we had in the garage) on the stand and attacked it all with 2 different shades of grey spray paint. ($4 per can from Lowes)

The make-up was cheap grease paint from the halloween store. I had some already in my kit that I purchased last year.

Total Supplies: $12 in fabric, $8 in spray paint, $3 in yarn, scrap wood, make-up, and old trash can with old bowl to hold candy.

See my most recent post for the pattern on how to make the yarn wig.

Halloween Wig Pattern

I created this pattern in order to have an extremely inexpensive wig to wear as part of my living statue costume. I imagine this pattern would also work well for a Raggedy Ann type of wig.

Yarn: Caron, Red Heart, or other worsted Weight yarn (this was in my stash) approx 300 yrds
Hook: 5.5 mm
Supplies: sewing needle and matching thread

Special Stitch: V-Stitch (V-st)
triple crochet (tr), ch 1, triple crochet (tr)

Wig Base:
You are essentially making a stretchy hat. If you plan to leave the hair on the wig down, instead of styled, consider using a basic dc or hdc hat pattern to give you more coverage beneath the strands of hair.

Ch 4, sl st into 1st ch to forn a ring.
RND 1: Ch 5, tr into ring. (this represents a v-st) 5 V-sts into ring. sl st to 4th ch of the ch 5 that began the rnd.
RND 2: Ch 5, tr into the first V-st of previous rnd. V-st into the SAME st. 2 V-st into each V-st of previous rnd. sl st to 4th ch of the ch 5 that began the rnd.
RND 3: Ch 5, trc into the first V-st of the previous rnd. *2 V-st into the next st. 1 V-st into the following st.* Repeat from * to * until the end of the rnd. sl st to 4th ch of the ch 5 that began the rnd.
RND 4: : Ch 5, trc into the first V-st of the previous rnd. One V-st into each st around. sl st to join.

Repeat Rnd 4 until the hat is long enough to cover your hairline (and if desired, your ears). My wig base was a total of 7 rnds. Fasten off.

Once the base of your hat is completed, select a length of hair strands for your wig. Cut lengths of yarn that are approximately double how long you want the hair to be. Slip knot the strands of hair onto the tr sts that make up the v-sts.

The following pictures represent a top view of the hat, and the lines represent approximately where I knotted in the strands of hair. The blue pattern represents what I did for a braid/bun wig. The red represents what you might want to do for a pigtail wig.

Once all of your strands are tied in, place your wig onto a foam head, or lay it on a bent knee to give it shape. Using coordinating thread, stitch shut the center part of the hair. Lay the hair flat and loosely place it into a style. Stitch the strands to the wig base LOOSELY with a running stitch in order to help hold your style. Secure the style with scraps of yarn or hair bands. Trim as desired.

My wig was spray painted to match the colors of my costume better, but this wasn't totally necessary.