Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crochet Tip: Invisible Join

Sometimes fastening off your work with a slip knot can look awkward.  Here is an alternate method that you should use to avoid that ugly little knot ruining your beautiful work!  I didn't invent it, but this is how *I* do it.

I had just finished making a strap to go across the front of a newsboy cap.  You could also use "Invisible Join" at the back seam of a hat, the collar of a sweater, the edge of a dishcloth, or pretty much anything that's worked in a round..

Step 1:  In this photo the last stitch I made was a HDC (you could use this for SC or DC also).  Instead of finishing this piece with a SL ST, I just clipped my yarn & pulled it through the HDC.  Leave a good 6-8 inch tail for weaving in the ends.

Step 2:  Take your needle & thread it under both loops of the first stitch of that round. (as shown)

Step 3:  Now insert the needle down through the top of the last ST you made (where the tail was coming out before).  Pull the yarn so that the tension of your join matches the tension of the adjoining stitches.

Step 4:  Weave the tail of the yarn SECURELY into the wrong side of the work.  Look at the right side... No ugly knot. :)

Well done.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Time To Get Organized!!!

I don't know what my problem has been lately, but I have been so "out of it."  I've let my house get too messy & my crochet orders sometimes pile up to the point where I feel stressed.  I don't like how lazy I've become.  So it's time to fix it.

My MIL has sent me a couple of these daily planner pads (you can get these at almost any store, but I know the ones she bought for me came from Michael's in the $1 bin).  I used to plan my chores & the menu on it... and now I've decided to schedule my crochet projects on here too.  This photo is part of my schedule for next week. --->

On the left, I keep track of my housework.  I don't write out my daily maintenance things, like loading the dishwasher or bathing the kids.  I only chart out the major chores.

In the middle, I plan out my crochet projects.  I'm going to try to complete one order per day... unless I get a BIG order that will take up several days.  If I can finish 2 orders in one day, I'll do that too.  But I'd also like to be able to squeeze in a few personal projects... like at night when I'm watching TV after the kids go to bed.  I have a gigantic stash of yarn that is screaming my name!

And on the right I make a list of all the possible dinners I could make.  I've stopped trying to plan a daily menu b/c leave it to my husband to come home from work and order pizza.  And since he's in the army, only God knows if he'll even be home in time to eat with us anyway! 

So that's my plan.  It's not rocket science, but if I can stick to it, I should have a cleaner house... and my customers should have a better idea of when they can expect their orders to go in the mail. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Item in my Shop - The "Ella Hat"

The "Ella Hat" is a soft crocheted beanie with a large, ruffled brim.  It's the perfect all-seasons hat!  Warm for cool months, but can be made with cotton for the warm months.  Plus, the ruffle brim keeps the sun out of your eyes.  This hat is available for customization in my shop right now.  The pattern for this hat will be available later this week.

Here's a photo of my sweet daughter wearing the "Ella Hat".  Isn't it lovely? :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tasty Recipe - Soft Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies

I accidentally made these tasty morsels... I never have all the ingredients I need to follow directions, so I made some substitutions to the "normal" oatmeal raisin cookie recipe to come up with these Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies... If you like soft cookies, you'll like these! Yum!!

1/2 lb (2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups SELF RISING flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.
3. Add eggs & vanilla.  Beat well.
4. Add in flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt.  Mix well.
5. Stir in oats and chips.  Mix well.
6. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
8. Let rest for 2-3 minutes & remove from cookie sheet.

Makes about 2-3 dozen.  Cookies should be soft, almost cake-like.  You can substitute raisins, chocolate chips, craisins, or any other sweet goody you have in your pantry.

Enjoy :)

CROCHET PATTERN - Simple Flower Coasters

Need a quick gift?

You can whip up a pair of these coasters in about 30 minutes, and with less than 1 oz of yarn.  These coasters are very pretty!  They work well as face scrubbers or toddler washcloths!

YOU NEED:  about 5 yards of cotton yarn (acrylic would be OK, but cotton is best), an H hook, scissors, yarn needle

STITCHES:  SC - single crochet, DC - double crochet, SL ST - slip stitch.

Start with Magic Ring or ch-4/join.

Round 1:  CH 2, 12 DC in loop, join with SL ST to 1st DC.  (12 DC)

Round 2:  CH 2, 2 DC in each DC around, join.  (24 DC)

Round 3:  CH 2, *1 DC in next, 2 DC in next* around, join.  (36 DC)

*If you want your petals to be a different color, change yarns now.

Round 4:  CH 1, SC in same ST as join, skip next ST, 5 DC in next ST, skip 1 ST, SC in next ST, (skip 1 ST, 5 DC in next, skip 1 ST, SC in next) around, join with SL ST to 1st SC.  (9 petals)

Fasten off & weave in ends.  That's it.  4 rounds of simple flower fun!

If your "petals" curl up or the coaster won't lie flat, reduce number of stitches per petal to 4.

 © 2012 Danyel Pink.  You may sell what you make, but please credit Danyel Pink Designs for the pattern. You may NOT resell the pattern, distribute it in any form, post it elsewhere online, or alter it to claim it as your own. Please provide a link back to my blog instead.  Contact me with any questions or for pattern support.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Crochet Tip - Use the Magic Ring!

I'm not sure who gave me this tip, but as a hat maker let me just say that it was one of the BEST tips I ever received!  If you make a lot of hats, or anything that's worked in the round, you NEED to know how to start with the Magic Ring!  It's also sometimes called the Magic Loop (not to be confused with the magic loop used in knitting) or Adjustable Ring or Sliding Loop.  Whatever you want to call it... LEARN IT!  I've seen some hats in people's shops where they're still using the Ch-4/join method.  No no no... that little hole in the top of the hat looks icky!

<-- The center of this hot pad is not cinched closed, and that's OK b/c snowflakes are supposed to look like that.

When you use the magic ring, you can pull the tail thread and the circle can be cinched totally closed.  No more holes!

<-- See a hole?  Nope.  That's how it should be. :)

On crochetme.com, there is a step-by-step tutorial with photos... this is the page I used to learn the magic ring.  It was SO helpful!   CLICK HERE

There are also various videos on YouTube that you can watch to learn the method.  Sometimes watching them over and over is helpful.  Just search for "magic ring crochet" or CLICK HERE for a good one.

Hope you found these links to be helpful!  Happy Crocheting!