Sunday, April 26, 2015

chemo hats

I was asked to make a few chemo hats for a local lady and of course happily agreed. 

Here are two I've made so far. 

The first pattern is from The Gingerbread Lady. It is her big button beret without a button. Though it is not a difficult pattern, the result using the variegated yarn is just beautiful. Of course, that's just my opinion. Here is a hat I made years ago using this same pattern. It is one of my favorites and it was hard to give up.

Here is the hat I made over the past couple days. My model took the day off. LOL 

The bottom brim is folded up in the picture. The yarn is the lovely Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable. The wrapper says this is worsted yarn and to use a J hook. IMHO that is just totally ridiculous. This is at the most a sport yarn and I would even go down to a #2. 

I used a G hook but could easily have used an F. I've been having this skein a while and it was also waiting for a special project. This was it. I think it is the Parrot colorway. I can't lay my hands on the wrapper right now. 

I worked the rounds of the pattern until there were 11 dc between the decreases. This made it close to 12" . Then I worked the decreases until it fit my head snugly. Now I have a small head. If it is too small for the recipient, I think I can undo the work even rows and last decrease to make it wider though I might have to work fewer rounds as there is only a tiny ball of yarn left. The skein is 270 yards (3.5 ozs, 100g). 

The other one is made with another skein I picked up at Michael's one day and had put aside for something special. It is Isaac Mizrahi Carlyle (super bulky) in colorway Algonquin. A flower may be added to it. I'm not sure what color would bring this out best. 

The yarn is pretty soft but the design of it is different. There are what I would call clumps every now and then. These are hard to get through the stitch when you're trying to sew the tails in. This is not an error in the yarn. It is throughout. I didn't realize it when I started out so hopefully the bumps won't cause a problem when worn on a head with no hair.

I used a K hook which seems to work fine. The recommended hook is M. I worked the rounds in double crochet as follows: 12, 24, 36, 48, 54, then work even. I worked even for 7 rounds, then added 3 rounds in single crochet. So it's a total of 12 rounds dc and 3 rounds sc.

I hope to get more soft yarn and make a few more so there is some variety and also figuring at least one would fit the head comfortably.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Doctor Who Season 14 dc scarf

Now that I remembered about it, I finished up that Season 14 scarf. I sewn in all the tails in one night and put the fringe on today.

Stylecraft Special DK Copper, Khaki, Burgundy, Graphite, and Almond
Knit Picks Brava Sport Brindle
Hayfield Bonus DK Extra Value Shade 0766 Pumpkin

Size 8 1/2" x 114" (9 1/2') including fringe

Stitches: ch 37 for 35 double crochets across. 

Hook: G

I cut my thumb the other day so haven't been doing any actual crocheting. That won't stop me for long though. :-)

Happy crocheting!

Friday, April 17, 2015

recent projects

A little while ago I pulled up the blog to begin a new post and discovered that it's been a month since my last post! I also saw that I said I was going to make a Season 14 double crochet scarf. Well, I did. But I put it aside to sew the tails in and forgot about it. I looked all over the house for it and finally found it - in my basket right by my chair! LOL Yes, I am going crazy.

Here is the scarf, tails and all. The yarn used is: 
Stylecraft Special DK Copper, Khaki, Burgundy, Graphite, and Almond, Knit Picks Brava Sport Brindle, Hayfield Bonus DK Shade 0766 Pumpkin

It's about 8 1/2" wide. Length is approx. 102" (8 1/2') without fringe. Fringe would add about another foot. I chained 37 for 35 double crochets across. I used S12-14 double crochet pattern here. You can also find it here. And it is at Ravelry here

Since I finished that scarf, except for sewing in the tails and adding fringe if I decide to do so, I have completed several other small projects. 

My sis asked me to make her some bottle koozies (or huggies or whatever you want to call them). I had never made any but didn't think it would be very difficult, and it wasn't. In fact, I made a whole bunch of them. I forgot to take a photo of the others before sending them off, but here are two. 

This the first one I made. She gave me the size of the bottle and told me how tall she wanted the koozie to be. I didn't have a bottle that size but used my water bottle to judge my work.

I made these just as though I were making a hat but just went higher. I used an H hook and worsted weight yarn. I think this is Red Heart Super Saver light sage, but not sure. It was a huge skein, 14 ozs.

I worked two rounds. First round is 12 dc in adjustable ring. Second round, 2 dc in each of those 12 to make 24 stitches. This came out to be about 2 1/2". Then I worked even (dc in each stitch) for 10 rounds. This made it 5" high. Different yarn, different number of rows can easily adjust this in size. In fact, I'm planning to make one a little taller today. 

The bottle pictured here is a Dasani 16 oz water bottle.

This is the actual container my sister is using. It is taller than my water bottle as you can see. This is Red Heart Super Saver Camo, color Mirage. It is about the same size as the green one.

I also made one with Knit Picks soft cotton yarn which I don't have a picture of. I found it slid around a bit more on the bottle. Possibly cheaper yarn, which would be rougher, might actually cling to the cup better.

Besides the koozies and scarf, I also made a couple squares using my daughter's cross-stitch square pattern which I love. I intended to make a bunch but got sidetracked. I will get back to this eventually. They are 8" using an H hook and the above green yarn.

I have a couple of other projects in progress and, of course, I have to finish that scarf!

Happy crocheting!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Doctor Who scarves

Two Doctor Who Season 12 crocheted scarves are completed. Here is a pic of them before tails were sewn in and fringe/tassels added.

658 rows per scarf for a total of 1316 rows.
23030 stitches (35 per row) for each scarf for a total of 46060 stitches.
53 stripes of color per scarf for a total of 106 stripes done.

Just as a matter of curiosity I timed myself working a row and it took about 90 seconds. So 987 minutes per scarf or 1974 minutes for both. That is 16.45 hours per scarf or almost 33 hours of work for both scarves (if worked continuously and if I did my math correctly). So if you wanted to make one of these and you had only say a weekend to make it, you could do it if you worked really hard at it. :-)

Remember you have to sew all those tails in and add the fringe too. The fringe will straighten that curly section. Let's say add 3 hours for that. I don't know how long it took. (BTW, there were in the area of 100 tails on EACH scarf!) I watched several episodes of Smallville while I took care of those things. ;-)

Let's estimate then that it took about 20 hours per scarf or 40 hours for two.

If one were to purchase one of these scarves at the minimum hourly wage ($7.25) it would cost $145 per scarf or $290 for two scarves, not counting materials. 

Material cost was $20.83 for yarn plus shipping/handling for one scarf. Let's conservatively say that shipping was about 6. So materials and labor would amount to approximately $172 for one scarf and $317 for two.

To summarize - for one scarf, about 8" wide - 20 hours @ $7.25 plus $27 for materials = $172.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, because people balk at paying over $200 for a custom made Doctor Who scarf, not to mention prices for other handmade items. By breaking it down, you can see that you are not getting fleeced. This is actually what it costs to make these items.

I might also mention that this scarf is a bit more than half the width of the actual 4th Doctor scarf so these figures are conservative if you were to hire out a screen accurate scarf. I also did not use the more expensive wool, but rather used a medium priced acrylic yarn.

Both scarves are exactly the same in color. 

Yarn used was:
Stylecraft Special DK Burgundy
Stylecraft Special DK Camel
Sirdar Hayfield Bonus DK Pumpkin
Stylecraft Special DK Copper
Knit Picks Brava Sport Cobblestone Heather
Stylecraft Special DK Khaki
Knit Picks Brava Sport Brindle

If you are working a scarf all these colors are good but I would suggest replacing Cobblestone Heather with Stylecraft Special DK Graphite. The heather works but the original was not heathered.

Each scarf used 1 skein of the above colors for the body. Fringe uses quite a bit of yarn, but I was able to do 9 "tassels" on each end with the leftover from the two scarves. The original scarf had 12 but it was also wider.

I used a G hook and single crochet throughout, starting with a chain of 36. The finished width is about 8". (Original scarf was more in the 10-12" range and knitted). As always with yarn, even with the same manufacturer the thickness is not exactly the same which makes them work up slightly different.

Gauge is approx. 5 sc rows in 1".

The first two stripes of the first scarf were worked February 21. Then I had to wait for yarn. I really consider them begun February 28. They were completed as in picture 1 (with tails dangling) on Thursday, 3-12-2015 with fringe attached last night (March 15, 2015). That said, it really took 2 weeks working my little fingers steadily each day. That's pretty quick! I amazed even myself, but I did want to get these out quickly and I like having a goal in mind when I'm working.

Both scarves in my hall

Measurement was 11'5" relaxed, 11'7" stretched

Laid out on sofa

I'm pretty happy with the way these two turned out. Next up, I'm going to use the rest of my yarn to make a double crochet Season 14 version. After that, I hope to make a Season 15 - which I've never done - probably using Vanna's Choice yarn since it's readily available, but we'll see how it goes.

Happy crocheting!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

crochet mysteries

I just finished reading the 9th book in Betty Hechtman's crochet mystery series. I read it in two days. I always read her books quickly as they are so well written and interesting. If you enjoy crochet (and you must if you're here!) and you enjoy mysteries, you will certainly enjoy these books.

Here is a list of the books in the Crochet Mystery series:

Book 1: Hooked on Murder
Book 2: Dead Men Don't Crochet
Book 3: By Hook or by Crook
Book 4: A Stitch in Crime
Book 5: You Better Knot Die
Book 6: Behind the Seams
Book 7: If Hooks Could Kill
Book 8: For Better or Worsted
Book 9: Knot Guilty

Be forewarned. Although the books can be read out of order, you will find it much more enjoyable to read them in order as the personal journey of our heroine sometimes ends in a cliffhanger. I can't wait for Book #10.

(I was not asked to write a review of this book. I just chose to include it as I enjoy these so much.)

Each book also contains at least one, and usually more than one, pattern.You can see a sample and find out which book they are in here. In Knot Guilty, which is fresh in my mind since I finished it moments ago, the group has a crochet booth at a primarily knitting fair. Of course there's a murder too. I found it a little out there that the ladies could teach folks who had never done any crocheting before to crochet a small granny square pin, with beads, using a size 3 crochet hook, in the space of a few minutes. The Stash Buster Wrap made more sense for a crochet class as it uses only alternating rows of single crochet and double crochet. A good first project. That did not deter from my enjoyment of the story, however, and what do I know. Maybe they are just a lot better at teaching than I am. LOL

The books generally have recipes also. I really can't remember much about that as I'm not a cook but the bookstore where Molly Pink works offers treats as well as books and yarn products. :-)

Betty Hechtman has other books besides these but the Molly Pink stories are my favorites. You can find her books at Amazon

As to my own crochet, I'm still working on the Doctor Who scarves. When I am finished with the body, I'll have tons of tails to sew in. Then I will add fringe which some call tassels but really they are fringe. heh Tassels are  different.

Happy crocheting!