Hats, Hats and More Hats

Making hats goes well with the Hallmark Channel. I'm just saying.

I've continued making the preemie hats but I'm now getting to the end of the baby yarn. I think I'm spoiled now. Recently I tried using "regular" yarn and it seemed massive in my hands. I like that delicate look and feel. But alas, it's not for everything, is it?

I've got a nice stock of bulky yarn too. I recently got this incredibly soft skein of light blue bulky (I don't know the name of it) in a grab bag of thrift store yarn. You can't do too much with just 1 skein and that just a part of a skein so I pulled the large loom out and started making a slouchy hat. Now, this is a far cry from my usual hat style, but I must say that I love it!

I was afraid the large loom would make the hat too big for my head but instead, I like how it doesn't crush my hair flat to my head. (or at least leaves me enough curl to fluff it back up). I loomed that yarn until there wasn't anymore so I have this sort of tail that hangs off the back when I wear the hat. But it doesn't stick up so I don't look like an elf.

With all that said it doesn't matter what I look like in the hat. The fact is that this hat is the softest one I ever had and I have plenty of hat to make a wide brim over my ears on especially cold days. It works!


Frilly in Pink

Here's a few more little preemie baby hats. I really love making these! I especially like experimenting with different ways to make sweet frilly brims. I can just picture the little girls wearing this grouping.

And here is my finished pink gray and white 9-block afghan. It turned out better than I'd thought it would, but it's nowhere near perfect. I added a scalloped border around the outside edge which contrasts nicely with the tiny squares around each block.

A close-up of the edging.


Experiment in Pink, Gray, and White

I had purchased a grab bag of yarn at the thrift store a while back. In it was the large skein of pink, white, and gray baby sport yarn. I ended up making large blocks out of it. Unfortunately I didn't calculate too well and only ended up with eight blocks instead of nine. So my newest creation has a large white block in the center

I did three rows of single stitches around each block and then took my big plastic needle and starting pulling it all together.

I love how the rows look where two blocks are joined, like little waffles. Since I've now completed my tic-tac-toe board of vertical and horizontal rows I can take the blanket to the Crochet Club meeting at church to lay it all out on the large tables to see where I need to add some extra borders here and there. (I never said my blocks were perfect)!

It's a pretty good size at roughly 36 inches square before finishing the outer edge. I'll probably donate it to a baby group or perhaps even a nursing home (elderly ladies like pink, right)?

Speaking of babies I did finish a few more hats. Unfortunately the lady that was collecting has already made all her deliveries and I had to hang on to them. But I'll find a home for them soon.


Baby Memorial Hats

I had knee surgery at the end of August (two different surgeries in one year is crazy) which means I've been maintaining a slow lifestyle. So I've been keeping busy making little baby hats for the lady who collects memorial hats for mothers who lose a child at birth and have nothing to take home but an empty heart.

About a month or so ago I took 126 hats made by the Crochet Club at church. Since then I've continued the mission and taken about 30 more. I call them Angel Hats.

These little things are so much fun to make and I'm cleaning out all those miniature skeins of tiny baby yarn that I haven't been able to use over the last few years. No matter how small the hat turns out, unfortunately there will always be a little head that can fit it sooner or later, a little child that God called home too soon. Hopefully, a mother that I prayed for while making it will cherish her hat and find peace.


Ready For a Baby Experiment

My little Speckled Pup blanket finally made it to  church last Sunday. Since it  was made from scrap yarn and basically full of knots I put it where I sit to use behind my back while still healing from surgery. For several weeks I'd move from piano bench to pew and realize I'd forgotten to grab a blanket to use from another pew, making for a more painful experience. My little blanket worked like a charm. (I actually heard quite a few compliments on it too)!

I already have enough yarn on my shelves to last quite a long while and keep telling myself "do not buy more" until I use what I have already. So what do I do? Again?

It's not my fault! It fairly jumps off the shelves into my shopping cart! I'd actually done pretty good lately, suppressing this yarn urge, but last week there it was -- a deal I could not pass by!

It was a big ol' 8.5 ounce skein of pink Bernat Baby Sport yarn for just 99¢! I looked on eBay and these are easily selling for $10-$12. But I'm going to try actually making a baby blanket out of it using one of the recent stitches I've been playing with. I have an experiment up my sleeve.


Crochet, Then Eat, Then Crochet

I'm still adding on to my Speckled Pup afghan lap blanket. I'm glad I did; it's much better now at 27 inches. I think I should aim at least for 30 inches. It's funny though, that no matter what the size is it always feels good.

The BBC Crochet Club met at a member's home last night while the church was filled with Vacation Bible School kids. Two members were helping at church but the rest of us headed just across the line to NC for a working pizza party. It was really nice and everyone had a lot of fun! We read one of the many thank you cards we've received for the graduate blankets presented a few weeks ago. It's nice knowing we created something that will be enjoyed by others.

I'm making washcloths for mission donations now. Luckily they work up fast because I don't have much time to make a bunch.


Speckled Pup Blanket

My Speckled Pup lap rug is coming along. I'm debating whether to make it a bit larger or not. Coming in at 25 inches square it is sufficient to cover your lap and knees but not quite large enough to 'tuck in' along the sides, if you know what I mean. Sometimes a good tuck can make a big difference.

To increase the size means I'll have to wait to get some more leftover yarn bits. I've fairly used up all I had (not counting the odd bits like baby yarn and cotton wash cloth yarn). I've a feeling this little blankey will be done in time for winter!


Occupying Time

Being stuck at home while healing from back surgery is the pits. But it does offer plenty of time to crochet. For several weeks I'd been looking at a yarn bag of odds and ends I'd gotten from the thrift store. I grabbed the blue and cream and started experimenting with the Cross Over Stitch. I'd done it a few years ago but wanted to see if I could remember how it went. After a quick refresher I made a small lap blanket for church.

Later while plundering in my yarn stockpiles I pulled the extra large wicker basket out where I toss leftover bits of yarn every so often. Since the basket is now full it's time to start putting the pieces together. I've started another random yarn blanket that I fondly call the "Speckled Pup." As you can see I have a nice start already.


Little Blue Hats

These little hats have been so fun to make; it's a quick and easy project for watching TV or carrying around. I was using up a partial skein of that nice sparkly baby yarn I'd gotten in a grab bag of multiple yarn skeins from the thrift store the other week. And yes, I finally finished the yarn before I finished a hat but luckily had the same yarn in white.

They will soon be donated to a local hospital. Have you been noticing all the baby ads on TV lately? I don't even remember what they are selling because I'm so focused on all the little hats on the babies! You never know where you will get inspiration!


Little Corn Cob Bag

It has been such a long time since I was able to attend a Crochet Club meeting. My last one was in mid-March, right before I went to have back surgery. Then after I was able to sit up and felt like doing a few things I decided to make a small walker bag to hold the phone or TV remote (I'd hobble my painful way across a room only to discover I'd forgotten them).

I loomed my little bag because I just didn't have the energy to deal with crocheting anything. (I did try). Even then, I decided to just lay the yarn over the top instead of doing an e-wrap or any other stitch. I did an e-wrap on the beginning row only, just to make sure it wouldn't all come unraveled later.

You can see it was very crude, but again I was hurting a lot and didn't care as long as it worked. The lower left photo shows why I call it a Corn Cob back. I love the way it turned out simply by laying all the yarn on top.

It may be weird but it has been invaluable to me!


Tiny Hats

We're now in the baby hat mode. After a recent brain storm we decided to make hats for the Crisis Pregnancy Center and the Bridge Network's Baby Boutique. It's been interesting adapting our hats down to little ones after making large ones for so long. Using smaller needles and thread skews our former reference points somewhat.

I've been experimenting with a new-to-me Double Cross Stitch crossover stitch after watching a video several times. I thought the first stitch was always a butt-kicker so I simply changed it to a chain and a Double-Crochet. It worked just as well because no one will ever notice the difference when looking at the hats.


Still Crocheting

Well, this has been like watching paint dry. No post in like forever! Since the Crochet Club wasn't meeting during summer and then were more off again than on during the warm fall I didn't crochet much at all. But I finally got my shrug 'coat' finished. Here is my friend, Sue, modeling it. I'm not as happy with it as I should be. Everyone else loves it and I even had a request to do one in camo colors for a gal who likes to hunt but doesn't like to be cold. It's ok for a first try, but I can see things I wish I'd done differently now.


Since September the Crochet Club has only met about 4 times. It was either too hot or too cold or rainy and messy out. Then it got so everyone was taking turns being sick and for the last six weeks it's been holiday mode taking center-stage. We did get together other the holidays for a Christmas party at one of our members homes. We had an awesome time together, which was nice since we haven't been actually meeting.  I think we're now ready to get back to working.

We have many lap-sized afghans throughout church for our colder senior citizens as well as babies who get chilled beneath the many ceiling fans in our sanctuary. Odd as it seems when folks first walk in, we've had so many people tell us what a great idea it is! We keep them rolled up on the ends of the pews.
As I was putting them back in place after they'd been removed for a recent memorial service I told the pastor that we were getting ready to get crochet hats together for donation.  He mentioned a church he used to be at that has a soup kitchen and often gives hats to homeless visitors. But, he said the lady who used to make them passed away. He is going to check if they could use our hats. How cool to be able to help another church's ministry like that! Being a country church we don't often get as many options as city churches do. I'm thrilled at this opportunity that God may open for us!

Since I've decided to not do craft shows or sell my hats online for a while I've already gather 43 hats to donate and I know the rest of the Crochet Club members have many hats to give too! We've just been waiting for the right time!


Slow Shrug

Think I'll ever get done? In my defense some days it's just too dang hot to have this stuff on my lap. But it is coming along nicely; slowly, but nicely.


Shrug Shrug

I've been on a bit of a shrug kick lately. I saw one that looked to be made from an afghan blanket and thought I'd give it a shot. I don't have a pattern, just a few pictures gleaned from Pinterest, that I'm trying to go by.

I figure I have nothing to lose by trying. If all else fails I can take it back down to a blanket, right? Blanket stage is where it is right now, but I'm excited to start seeing things come together.

I only had a hodge-podge of colors to choose from, but luckily they seem to be working together. I have some dark brown I'll be adding if push comes to shove (I start running out of other colors).


Zigging and Zagging

Lately I've been connecting blocks for the latest Crochet Club Covered With Love blanket that we're making for a local shut-in. I ended up using one blue block left from a previous blanket in the middle, surrounded by the red blocks CC members made specifically for this project. After adding white around each block for consistency of edges I decided to use the same blue to join the blocks and make a blue border to balance out the massive amount of red against the blue.

On the last two Covered With Love blankets I had joined blocks with a simple crochet stitch that resulted in a raised ridge. For this one I wanted to keep things flat so I have used a zig-zag of single-stitches. It's working very well.

To keep everything fairly straight I left the blocks laying flat on my kitchen table rather than taking them in my lap so bending over the project is my biggest problem due to degenerative disk issues, so things are taking longer than I'd like. I have to work in short time increments, but gradually it's coming together.