Category Archives: Knitting

Baby Things: Crochet Hat & Knit Sweater

Two of my coworkers are having little baby boys!  They’re not due til the fall, but I figured I’d get a head start on things.  First up is a little guy’s crochet hat that’s modeled after the bigger men’s free crochet hat pattern I posted a few weeks ago.

Crochet a Hat

I got this yarn from Jo-Ann Fabrics and was planning to use it to knit something.  It’s one of those self-striping yarns, but it is painfully, painfully thin.  After spending 30 minutes trying to make something using double pointed needles, I just wasn’t feeling it.  So I got out my crochet hook and made this hat.

While watching a Netflix documentary.

On a Saturday night.

My life is riveting, I know.

Baby Crochet Hat

Baby Crochet Hat

Size G Crochet Hook

FPDC: Front Post Double Crochet

Pattern has a few small adaptations from the original hat, but I’d be more than happy to write a specific pattern for this baby-sized hat if you’d like.   Let me know.

Next up is a half-made baby sweater, modeled after this knitted baby sweater I made two years ago.  It’s a free pattern on Ravelry called “Baby Sophisticate” and has become my go-to baby sweater (the 3,359 people on Ravelry that have made it agree). It’s a classic.

Knit Baby Cardigan

I realized I never posted WIP (work-in-progress) photos of things I make since I am an impatient crocheter/ knitter and tend to whip things out, but I thought I would share my mid-project progress.  Yesterday, I finished the body and have the sleeves and collar left to complete.  Should be a good project for later this week.

Knit Baby Sweater

Knitting

Oh, and just to prove that I’m not being completely lazy this weekend, just know that I’m going to Cedar Point today.  And using my SEASON PASS.  So no pity for the sad, Saturday-night crocheter here!

What have you made this weekend?  I’d love to see what you’re working on.  Do you have any good baby patterns?  I’m thinking maybe some booties to go with the hat or even some to match the sweater.  Hmmm… new projects brewing already…

 

 

Free Knit Cowl Pattern – Chunky

My love affair with cowls continue, and that’s good news for you.  Usually when I’m obsessed with things, I create patterns for those things so I can love them even more.  I just wrote a post about cowls that includes a great sampling of crocheted and knitted designs.  Of the bunch, one of my favorites is a thick, squishy, absolutely-chunky, knit cowl.

Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern

Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern

It’s a simple pattern.  So simple you’ll hate yourself for not thinking it up first (although I’m sure this isn’t the first time this cowl’s been made).

Make one for yourself (I did) or make a couple for Christmas gifts for your friends (did this, too)

Materials

Size US 17 (12.75mm) Knitting Needles

1.5 skeins (160 yards) Lion Brand Thick & Quick – Wool Ease.  You can also use any extra-chunky yarn.

Chunky Knit Eternity Cowl Pattern

CO 15 stitches.

Work Moss Stitch until you run out of yarn.

Moss Stitch

Row 1 – *K1, P1* across an odd number of stitches

Repeat Row until you have about 3 feet of yarn left.

Bind off.

Fasten off yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail.  Using a large darning needle and yarn like thread, sew short sides together with a half-twist to give cowl an infinity loop.  (For details on infinity loop, see bottom of post here.)

Cowl will measure 8.5 inches wide; 70 inches long.  Voila!

free knit cowl pattern

Free Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern

Free Chunky Knit Cowl Pattern

Close up of knit moss stitch:

Moss Stitch Knit

Close up of knit “Moss Stitch” – See how the purls are worked on top of the knit stitches to give you little bumps?

Crochet Cowls – Cyber Monday Sale

I went home for Thanksgiving break.  It was lovely.  Food, family, friends, and photos of cowls (“photos” kinda works in the alliteration sequence, no?  Maybe not, ha.)  With all the yarn I purchased on Black Friday, I got busy and made some crocheted and knit cowls.

My baby sister agreed to model for me, but the weather didn’t quite cooperate today so we had to shoot inside.  Oh well – I think the pics still turned out great.

But here comes the exciting part for you!  I love crocheted and knitted cowls (I think that much is obvious), but all these cowls do me no good – I need to share them!

And this sharing ties in perfectly with Cyber Monday.  Soooo, as part of JJCrochet’s Cyber Monday Sale, you can pick up any of JJCrochet’s cowls for 25% off.  Yay!  This offer is only valid now through Monday, November 28th at11:59pm EST.

Use Code: CYBERCOWL25 at JJCrochet’s Etsy shop to save.  Seriously, these cowls will never go this much on sale for the rest of the year, so stock up now.  (And if you’re feeling extra generous, buy some for your friends, too – they make great gifts!)

Chunky Knit Cowl - Black - JJCrochet

 

Crochet Cowl - Chunky Mustard - JJCrochet

Chunky Cowl - JJCrochet - Cream

 

chunky crochet cowl

crochet cowl - plum, jjcrochet

Crochet Cowl - Chunky Winter Scarf - JJCrochet

Crochet Wheat Cowl

Crochet Cowl - Navy - JJCrochet


I’m partial to the third one – the cream chunky-knit cream cowl, but they’re all great in their different ways. Which one’s your favorite?

Chunky Knit Fall Hat – Open Lace Design (Free Pattern)

So I went to our public library this weekend and found they have 300 million knitting and crochet books.  Okay, maybe not 300 million, but close.  Coming from suburbia where I was lucky to find 10 knitting books at my local library (no joke), this was heaven.

I checked out a few books and promptly went to buy more yarn.

I started knitting a chunky sweater, but when that failed, I ripped it out and went back to what I know: knitting hats.

There’s something about knitting on a Sunday afternoon that just feels right.  So homey, so relaxing – a great way to start a new week.  I want to apologize in advance for the lack of good pictures, but, my dear blog reader, I will share with you because I know you will not judge.  Perhaps when I’m home again, I can bribe my sister to model, but I couldn’t wait share with you so here it is:

Slouchy Knit Hat/ Beret for Fall

We’ve been having colder weather here the past week in Ohio and I thought it was only fitting to create a slouchy/ chunky/ knit beret.  I’m not sure if I had seen a hat like this recently or it was only a design that existed in my mind, but I worked a simple lace pattern to create this hat.  I wanted a hat that was open and not really a wear-out-in-the-freezing-cold-hat, but more of a look-at-me-i’m-cute fall hat.

I would also caution that the instructions that follow provide more of a framework for knitting this hat rather than step-by-step instructions.  If you’re an advanced beginner knitter and aren’t afraid to experiment, you’ll be fine.  If you’re a newbie knitter and like to follow instruction verbatim, try it – you might surprise yourself!

Knit Fall Hat Pattern

Materials

Size 17  (12.75mm) US knitting needles

1 Skein Bernat Roving (I used the “Bark” color)  or any bulky weight yarn.

Directions

CO 32

Rows 1 – 5: Work K2, P2 ribbing. (32 stitches)

This next part requires you to get creative, but you can do it.  Read the directions below so you know what you’ll have to do.

For the next row (Row 6), you want to increase a couple stitches so your hat is a little slouchy.  There’s no rhyme or reason to my increasing, I just worked increased until I went from 32 to 38 stitches.  To make increases, randomly work *K1, YO, K1* (instead of K1, Yo, SKK) every so often in Row 1.  This is you chance to be creative – mix it up and bit and experiment!

Row 6 (RS): *K1, YO, SSK*. Last two stitches – K2.(Remember to randomly increase so you end up with 38 stitches).

Row 7 (WS): *P1, Yo, P2Tog*.  Last two stitches – P2.  (38 stitches)

Repeat Rows 6 and 7 until hat measures 7 inches from beginning, ending with a purl/ WS Row (Row 7).

It’s time to get creative again for the decreases.  Don’t worry – you can do it!

Next Row: K1, *SSK, YO, SSK*

Next Row: P1, *P2Tog, Yo, P2Tog*

Repeat Rows ^ twice more.

Final Decrease Row: *SSK, SSK, YO, SSK, SSK*

Final Decrease Row: *P2Tog, Yo, P2Tog*

Repeat 2 Final Decrease Rows until hat measures 9 inches from beginning and only a few (7-8) stitches remain.

Cut yarn.  Weave through remaining stitches on needle.  Sew up side seam of hat.

And there you have it – your semi-creative knit slouchy hat that’s perfect for winter!

chunky knit open fall hat

chunky knit open fall hat free pattern

Top 8 Reasons Why Crocheting is Better Than Knitting

Top 8 reasons Why Crocheting is Better than KnittingIt’s time to hang up the gloves. The question of which is better–crocheting or knitting– has been discussed since the first sheep’s wool was spun into yarn.

Knitters hold their needles high as they offer delicate stitches and sweaters that took weeks to knit, while crocheters fight back with the functionality of their knotted work.

As someone who has been crocheting since she was 8 and knitting since she was 13, I want to end this argument for good.

Crocheting is Better Than Knitting.  (Don’t tell me you couldn’t see that coming… I have a crochet  blog.)

Here are 8 reasons why I believe crocheting is better than knitting:

1.  Crocheting takes 30% more yarn than knitting.  While some might view this as a disadvantage, I view it as a positive.  Any compulsive crafter would have to agree.  The bigger dent you make in your overwhelming yarn stash at one time, the better.

2.  Crocheting uses one hook instead of two needles.  Why phenangle two things when it’s easier to hold just one?

3.  Crocheting is faster.  Knitters see patterns for 5 1/2-hour crochet afghans and cringe.  They dream about the day they could make something that fast.  For crocheters, making an afghan in two evening sittings isn’t anything new.

4. Crocheting is easier to learn.  I’ll admit this one is subjective… but it’s factual and true.

5.  You have more freedom when crocheting.  Crocheters use one hook with one loop of yarn on it.  Knitters, on the other hand, have perfectly aligned loops sitting obediently on their needles.  Where’s the freedom? When crocheting, if you suddenly want to go over the side, go for it.  Back the way you came?  Sure – not a problem.  Want to join something together?  Just fold and stitch along the top.  Ladies, it doesn’t get more free than that.

6. You can easily make  a crochet flower and other accessories.  I put crochet flowers on pretty much every hat I crochet because I think they’re adorable.  (In fact, I love making crochet flowers so much that I created a Video Tutorial on how to crochet a flower.)  Patterns for knitted flowers involve no less than 12 steps and lots of sewing together.  All that work takes the joy out of flowers.

7. There are less crochet patterns than knitting patterns.  Also might seem like a downside, but the thrill of the hunt makes this a plus for crocheting.  Finding a good crochet patternis like finding GOLD.   Hundreds of books have been written about knitting, but good crochet patterns are harder to trace down and more rewarding when you find them.

8.  And finally, the most compelling part of the case:  Crocheting creates a heavier, stretchier fabric.  This heavier fabric is useful when making:

  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Afghans
  • Baby Blankets
  • Scrubbies & Dishcloths
  • Dishtowels
  • Bags
  • Purses
  • Cowls
  • Socks/ Slippers
  • Rugs
  • Ponchos (are these still in?)
  • Cozies (iPod, Coffee Cup)
  • Pouches (Laptop, Cell Phone)
  • Flowers
  • Mittens or  Gloves
  • Amigurumi (little crocheted animals)
  • Even Dog Sweaters are better crocheted.

Pretty much the only thing people would rather knit than crochet is a sweater.  So for projects that are a sweater, pull out the knitting needles.  For everything else, grab a hook because crocheting’s where it’s at.

And so, I think you will find that crocheting, as whole, is better than knitting. What’s your preference?  Are you a one hook or a two needle crafter?

For an additional comparison between knitting and crocheting, read here: http://www.jjcrochet.com/blog/knitting-vs-crocheting/.

A “Knotty” Surprise

After graduation came a full time job and with a job came moving out-of-state.

Moving out-of-state meant leaving the knitting group I’ve loved and enjoyed for the past 2 years and the 11 ladies who have become my “grandmas”.

Oh Knotty Knitters of the Public Library – You will be missed.

Knotty Knitters of the Delmont Public Library

Last Thursday, July 28th, was the last knitting group I’ll have for a while.  I don’t know when I’ll be able to take off in the middle of a work week to drive 3 hours home to knit with my girls.

This past week, just as our knitting was winding down for the evening, I  heard “surprise!”.  Startled, I saw everyone  put down their needles and smile at me.  I looked over my shoulder only to see a beautiful cake and across the table to see 11 smiling faces.

It was the first time I cried about leaving.

My parents came to share in the surprise and it was a lovely few moments spent with dear friends (and delicious cake).

I don’t think I’ll ever find a group as lively as the Knotty Knitters,  even though they’re all over 65.  No one can replace them!  Grannies Wendy, Dolores, Carol, Nancy, Gloria, Helen, Suzan, and Marge – How I miss you already.  Thursdays from 6 – 8pm won’t ever be the same.