Category Archives: Projects

Cream Chunky Knit Cable Hat

chunky knit cream hat

As mentioned in the post below, cable knit hats have been my jam recently. I’ll wake up before work and knit a few rows. I’ll pull out the needles before going to bed. I’ve even skipped the gym (more than once) because I just had to finish a cable.

We’ve all been there, right?

Knitting, however, is not my first love.

As the name JJCrochet suggests, my heart belongs to the knotty loops of the crochet world. But there’s something about these chunky hats with pom-poms that have pulled me deeper and deeper into the world of two needles.

chunk knit cream hat pom pom

I think the thing I like most about these chunky knit cable hats is they take me a while to make. Not too-too long since I’m still using chunky yarn, but each hat takes about 90ish minutes to finish. Compare that to my normal pace of 20-30 mins for a crochet hat and you could call them an invested labor of love.

Which means I care a little bit more and have spent time finding the perfect yarn, the perfect pom-poms (Pat Catans!) and the perfect tags (Etsy). Instead of just a hat, it’s a blended component of things I’ve hunted down. Sure, the cost to make each hat goes up (the pom-poms run me about $4 each and the tags are $.75), but it’s SO worth it.

pom pom knit hat

Some hats were made just to be made, while others were crafted with a specific person in mind. Sarah likes black, no pom-pom – Brianne likes gray – and Britt would look adorable in a floppy beret. The hats sit piled on my countertop, patiently waiting until they’re ready to be given away and it brings me SO. MUCH. JOY.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to pick up some more yarn with my 25% off coupon from Michael’s. 

Hat for sale on Etsy: Chunky Cream Knit Hat with Pom-Pom ($30)

fuzzy pom pom knit hat

chunk knit hat with pom pom

Chunk Knit & Crochet Hats with Pom-Poms!

If you’re like me, you’ve probably seen the chunky knits and pom-pom hats that are E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. J.Crew, Burbery, L.L. Bean, American Eagle, Loft, etc. etc. As a hooker, I’m obsessed. They’re the perfect blend of warm texture and a little playful fun!

Of course, there’s no integrity in purchasing one from a big-box store, so I decided to knit my own.

While running errands on Wednesday, I found myself in Michael’s (I swear I don’t know how that always happens!). I started perusing the yarn aisle even though, you know, I don’t need anything. The deals were too good, the skeins were too cozy.

I let my guard down and envisioned a weekend of chunky cables and pom-poms. So I bought 22 skeins of yarn and 16 pom-poms. Oh the shame!

(Fun note: the fuzzy pom-poms are actually keychains that are attached to the metal with a small elastic band. A little prying apart of the attachments and I had a simple way to sew onto the hats using the elastic loop.) 

I’ve worked up 4 hats yesterday and this morning:  two cable knit black hats, one cream and another crocheted maroon one. The black and cream ones are based off a pattern from Premknits, the Braided Cable Beanie Pattern ($4.99).

I hate (hate!) knitting in the round (the tubes always twist and turn on me) so I modified the pattern so I could knit on my ever-trusty straights. After following most of the pattern for two hats, I decided to scale it down to only 5 cables instead of 6 and I like how that looks. Less yarn, less time, less bulk.

The crocheted maroon hat was a pattern I made up as I went along and didn’t write down. I can if there’s interest! It takes some time since you have to go back and work slip stitches onto some stitches after you finish to give those 5 rounds their lines of texture.

I love how these knit pom-pom hats are turning out! It’s fun to experiment and see how each one is a little different.

I plan on gifting a few as Christmas gifts  since they work up quickly and everyone loves a good hat. Might also be on the hunt for some new pom-poms, but TBD, it’s going to take me some time to use up the other dozen…

Men’s Crochet Hat Pattern: A Basic

mens crochet hat pattern

Whipped this bad boy up this weekend because I wanted a basic men’s hat pattern. You know, for those projects where you want a neutral base. A few years ago, I made this men’s hat and wanted to create something that was sized a bit larger and without the textured band.

Finished hat will fit an adult male: 21.5 inches wide by 7.75 inches tall.




Men’s Crochet Hat Pattern

Materials: 

  • 120 yards worsted weight yarn. I used Vanna’s Choice in tan
  • Size H (5.0mm) crochet hook

**Important: Check gauge and either use thicker yarn or a larger crochet hook. After Round 2, hat should measure 3 inches in diameter**

Chain 3, join with sl st to form ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as first DC. Work Ch 2 at the beginning of every round in place of first DC). Work 14 more DC into ring. (15 stitches)

Round 2: 2 DC into each stitch around (30 stitches). Measure gauge. Hat should measure 3 inches.

mens crochet hat pattern gauge

Round 3: 1 DC into first stitch. 2 DC into second stitch. Continue pattern of *1 DC, 2 DC* around. (45 stitches)

Round 4: 1 DC into each of next 4 stitches. 2 DC into fifth stitch. Continue pattern of *1 DC into next 4 stitches, 2 DC into next stitch* around. (54 stitches)

Round 5: 1 DC into each stitch. (54 stitches)

Round 6: 1 DC into each of next 8 stitches. 2 DC into fifth stitch. Continue pattern of *1 DC into next 8 stitches, 2 DC into next stitch* around. (63 stitches)

Rounds 7 – 13: 1 DC into each stitch. (63 stitches)

Round 14: SC into each stitch. (63 stitches). Fasten off. Weave in end.

crochet hat patterncrochet hat

crochet hats pattern
crochet hat for men




The Fourth, Final & Finished Afghan

The last time I shared a progress picture, the afghan I was working on was 12 x 11 squares. The colors were blending nicely, but it wasn’t very big. If you’re going to hand-crochet a blanket, then you commit to make a blanket.

I decided to extend the pattern and the afghan turned out to be 12 x 14 squares. I worked until the yarn ran out. Now we’ve got ourselves a blanket! I added 8 rows of a granny-square border, working the same three double crochet cluster into each opening to mirror the look of a granny square.

The inspiration was, of course, Attic 24’s Granny Patchwork afghan.

crochet granny square blanket

Lucy of Attic 24 uses a different method for making granny squares and it’s one I’ve adopted myself. (Once you make 168 squares, you learn to love something). Lucy prefers to not work the chain between 3 DC clusters and only uses 1 chain instead of 2 for the corner stitches. Cutting out or reducing the number of chains makes a tighter square without sacrificing the base elements of the traditional crocheted granny. I really liked her modification.

This afghan was the fourth and final piece in a series of blankets I’ve been working on for the last 4-5 years. I told myself I wouldn’t get sentimental, but it’s hard not to! When I was a senior in college (2011), someone contacted me through my Etsy shop and asked me to crochet a blanket for her daughter as she started college.

The plan was one afghan a year for four years.

#1: Crochet Hexagon Blanket

Crochet Hexagon Blanket

#2: Ripple Crochet Blanket

Crochet Ripple Blanket

#3: Picot Granny Square

rainbowafghan

and this is #4.

crocheted granny squares

Of the four, my favorite was the third one–the Picot granny square. It also took the longest amount of time (by far), but the design is so unique I loved making it. Textured, small and large squares and the colors–just perfection.

Over the years, the woman who contracted the blankets and I became friends. We exchanged Christmas gifts and emails, thoughts on the blankets as they came together. A random note to share vacation plans and life updates. She’s seen me move four times, congratulate me on two new jobs and always been a part of my free time.

It was odd packing up the last of the blankets and writing the final note a few weeks ago. I’ve never met this woman or her daughter who graduated from Yale, yet somehow we’ve been part of each other’s lives. Her daughter joked she’ll have to consider grad school to keep the blankets coming!

It’s the end of a JJCrochet era. Now the question becomes… what to work on next.

The Fourth & Final Afghan

If you’ve been keeping tabs, I finished the third of my afghans–the crochet granny square flower–last spring. Since then, I’ve been busy working on the fourth and final installment of the afghans.

It’s with great pride I present the Solid Squared Afghan!

20150317_221823

This guy differs from its three sibling since its squares are solid colors, not comprised of four to six different colors. The squares themselves are working up quicker (no time joining colors) and can I just tell you how infinitely excited I am to have 75% LESS ends to weave in.

My fellow crocheters, can I get an ‘amen’?!

This afghan was designed to be 12 x 12 squares, yet I found it too small. Each square measures just under four inches, forming an afghan 48 by 48 inches. I figured why stop there? I had enough yarn and plan to keep working until it runs out.

Project Details:

  • Size 3.5mm (E 4) crochet hook
  • Over 15 different colors of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmireno
  • Five rows of granny squares, using the join-as-you-go method

This is also a great project to use up yarn scraps. Pick complimenting threads or random colors and join, join, join until you have yourself an afghan. It becomes almost mindless work–great while watching episodes of Arrested Develpment or Mad Men or nothing. 🙂 Enjoy!

Striped Crochet Baby Blanket

crochet-baby-blanket

A former coworker commissioned a blanket for his nephew. After asking if he had a design in mind, he replied in typical guy fashion: “It’s for a baby. Can you make it blue and gray?”. Sure can, Sam, sure can.

I chose four skeins of yarn for this blanket–I was picturing stripes.

crochet-baby-afghan

We had’ light blue, dark blue, soft baby blue and a variegated black/white/gray to tie it together. I’ haven’t fully embraced bold hues for baby blankets (you can’t deny there’s something cuddly about cloud blue yarn), although I do like mixing saturated colors with the typical baby palette.

It’s my way of blending compliance with creativity.

Once the yarn was selected, I got to work. I’ll tell you a secret, though: sometimes having no direction is the hardest task–all I have is yards of string to make a blanket.

After a few designs, nothing was coming out quite right so I revisited old instructions–a soft wave pattern I used for a rainbow ripple blanket a few years ago. It turned out great! The yarn creates a cozy design when striped together and I love the soft border of baby blue yarn.

Project Details: 

  • Free Pattern: Crochet Ripple Afghan from Attic24
  • Yarn: About 600 yards varying weight
  • Hook: Size I crochet hook

The finished blanket measures 35 inches wide by 42 inches long, should be just the right size for the newborn. Afghan was packaged and mailed off today. I hope it brings many warm nights with it. Thanks for the project Sam–hope your nephew enjoys!

crochet-baby-blanket-stripes