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Crochet, Knitting, Projects

Katniss Vest/Cowl from Catching Fire

They say books are better than movies, and I’d agree. But I’ll be the first to admit:  when reading the Hunger Games trilogy, I never would have dreampt up this knit vest deign Katniss wears in Catching Fire.


I was recently commissioned by a friend to make the “Huntress Vest” Katniss wore for a brief second. The part-cowl, part-vest was only in one scene, but crocheters and knitters were quick to draft patterns to replicate the design. Depending on the look you want, you can find free and paid patterns for Katniss’ vest on Etsy and Ravelry,

My friend thought his wife would like this chunky version of the cowl by TwoOfWands.  It was made in my favorite yarn (Lionbrand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick) so I was looking forward to the project. I mean let’s be real, who wouldn’t want to look like Katniss?

Crochet Katniss Vest
Channeling Katniss with a side-braid… Not my best look.
Katniss Cowl Back
Open on the left side; arm hole on the right.
Crochet Katniss Vest
Knit panel over the right shoulder; the rest of the cowl is crocheted.

This pattern is clearly written and was a fun project amidst the many Christmas projects I had going on. It’s 4 parts crochet and 1 part knit; the chunky yarn helps it work up quickly. It’s made in 5 separate pieces which makes the construction a little tricky and since it’s not a normal sweater or vest, I needed a couple tries to piece it together. Does it swoop left then right or right then left?

Project Details: 

  • Pattern ($5): Katniss Cowl by TwoOfWands on Etsy
  • Yarn: 4 skeins of Lionbrand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Grey Marble
  • Needles/Hooks: Size US 19 knitting needles and P and J crochet hooks
  • Size: One size fits all; larger than Katniss’ original cowl
  • Modifications: Used seed stitch for the knit panel instead of the pattern instructions; found I liked it better than the chevron pattern that was called for
  • Favorite part: The wonderfully big cowl neck
  • Odd elements: Working two separate panels for the main “swoop” piece when I thought one would have worked. Also using single crochet to seam the pieces together rather than stitching them with a darning needle. It makes the seams visible which is a ‘look’, but I’m not sure it would have been my first choice.
  • Make again: For sure! Like the pattern and the detailed instructions

Knit Katniss Vest Cowl

During the brief time I had the cowl/vest on to take pictures, I realized just how warm it was. I’m sure my friend’s wife will like it. Down with the Capital… Katniss and Peeta forever.

Crochet, Projects

Crochet Santa Hats: Tis The Season

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re experiencing peace this holiday season as you spend time with friends and families to celebrate the birth of Christ. Blessings and a Happy New Year.

I wanted to share a project I’d been working on for a few weeks. While visiting Cleveland to see my friend’s new baby (remember the crochet newborn vest?), I heard plans of a Christmas 10K run and was asked if I could make hats. Not just any hats, though. Santa hats. (said in the Will Ferrell voice: SANTAAA!!!) Seven Santa hats in a few weeks – totally doable.

baby crochet santa hat
Little dude looking adorable in his baby-sized Santa hat

I’d make a hat or two a night and worked up 10 hats total – 7 adult and 3 for the kids. No official pattern, but I made a basic hat shape using two stands of Red Heart and a size K crochet hook. 9 Rounds of red, 3 of white for the brim, and a pom-pom for the tops.

The final products turned out great and I took a couple pics of the hats sitting in my living room in Pittsburgh. When I started getting texts from my friends during race day and seeing pics on Facebook, I realized just how cute they all looked together. They’re a good looking crew (minus Tim, of course).

Crochet Santa HatsFrom what I heard, everyone finished the race and had some great times, despite it being a blustery 34 degrees in Cleveland. Thanks to my friends for letting me be a part of something in Cleveland (felt like I was there, minus the having to exercise part which I count as a win in my book) and for sending some cute pics.

Adult Crochet Santa Hats
The crew at a post-race brunch
crochet santa hat
Husband and wife team, Kim and Jon, looking especially festive as they run

Crocheted Santa Hats

My Three Good Friends: Kim, Tisha and Trisha
My Three Good Friends: Kim, Tisha and Trisha. Miss these ladies!


Knitting, Projects

Knit Baby Sweater – Baby Sophisticate II

It’s been 3 years since I’ve made the “Baby Sophisticate” knit sweater, a free pattern on Ravelry that has over 5,600 projects. People like this design because it’s easy yet interesting, classic yet works up quickly.


I especially like the button and roll-collar details. You knit using size 8 needles so it’s warm without having painstakingly small stitches (goodbye size 3’s).

My college friend, Blake Imeson, runs a web design business called Lime Cuda, and we keep in touch. He and his wife recently gave birth to a beautiful little boy, Wesley, and I’ve been meaning to make them something. Wesley is just about 5 months old so I sized up for this sweater and made it to fit 6 months – 1 year (pattern is also available in newborn size). Hopefully he’ll be able to get some good use out of it.

Blake, I’m sorry if you’re seeing this post before the sweater’s shipped. Act surprised 🙂


Project Details: 

  • Free Pattern: Baby Sophisticate
  • Knitting Needles: size 8
  • Yarn: 1 skein (about 200 yards) of Red Heart Soft
  • Time: Mmmm… maybe 5-6 hours?


Sweater Yarn

Crochet, Free Patterns, Projects

Easy & Quick Crochet Cowl Pattern

I wanted to write a pattern for the perfect cowl I could toss on for brisk fall mornings. Not something as intense as the chunky knit cowl pattern I use when it’s snowing, just something that would keep out the whippy morning wind.

Crochet Scarf Pattern
Crochet Scarf Pattern

This easy and quick crochet cowl works up in a snap with bulky yarn and a size N crochet hook. It’s pretty easy and the result is a semi-open weave cowl to top off your I-refuse-to-admit-it’s-winter-so-all-I-will-wear-is-a-cardigan look. (It’s ok, we’ve all been there.) It’s functional without being over the top.


Easy & Quick Crochet Cowl Pattern


  • Size N (10mm) Crochet Hook
  • 1.5 Skeins of Lionbrand Wool-Ease Chunky Thick & Quick (or 150 yards of any “Size 6” – super bulky weight yarn or roving)

Finished Size: 31 inches long; 8 inches wide

Special Stitches

3-DC Cluster: Also known as DC3tog. *YO, insert hook into stitch. YO, pull up a loop. YO, pull through 2 loops. Two loops on hook. * Repeat from * to * twice more until there are four loops on hook. YO, pull through all loops on hook.


Chain 49. Join with slip stitch to form ring. Cowl is worked in the round.

Round 1: Ch 1, sc in each stitch around. Join round with sl st into first ch-1. (49 sc)

Round 2: Ch 2, counts as first DC in 3-DC cluster. DC2tog in same stitch to complete first 3-DC cluster. *Chain 1, skip next stitch. Work 3-DC cluster in next stitch.* Repeat instructions from * to * around for the rest of the round. Join round with sl st into first cluster. (24 clusters)

Round 3: Ch 2, counts as first DC in 3-DC cluster. DC2tog in same stitch to complete first 3-DC cluster. *Chain 1, skip next ch-1 space. Work 3-DC cluster in next st (which is the 3-DC cluster of the previous round).* Repeat instructions from * to * around for the rest of the round. Join round with sl st into first cluster. (24 clusters)

Rounds 4 – 7: Repeat Round 3

Round 8: Ch 1, sc in east stitch around. (49 sc)

Fasten off



Easy Crochet Cowl Pattern
Easy Crochet Cowl Pattern
Crochet, Projects

Crochet Newborn Vest for Titus

My friends (not me) are getting old. Old people have babies. Which means “Fun Aunt Jayna” gets the chance to crochet something tiny!

Newborn Vest for Baby

I visited Cleveland last weekend to see a friend who’d had a baby. She was pregnant when I left and a mom for a second time when I returned. Titus Hudson is adorable. Slept a lot, but can’t blame the kid – he’s only 10 days old.

Hanging out in his new vest.
Hanging out in his new vest.

I crocheted the vest the morning before I drove back. Searched for a pattern to replicate, but when I couldn’t find anything, I created my own design. It was a little tight going on Titus and now I see why people don’t make newborn-sized vests. Not to self: make a sweater next time – kids don’t like things shoved on their heads.

Titus in his crochet vest with "Fun Aunt Jayna"
Titus in his crochet vest with “Fun Aunt Jayna”. He loves it already.

Project Stats:

  • The vest ended up being 16.5-17 inches in circumference
  • No pattern, but I should write one down in the future. Made up of FPDC, SC, DC, and HHDC stitches.
  • Stripes were a happy accident. I was running out of blue yarn and started incorporating other colors. I think they make it look vintage. His parents are urban dwellers (hipsters?) so it works.

Just sharing the latest  project I was working on. Have you made newborn clothing? Any go-to patterns? My favorite is the Baby Sophisticate, a knit baby sweater that I’ve made a few times because of its classic design.


Crochet, Free Patterns, Projects, Uncategorized

Crochet Flower Pattern

Crochet Flower Pattern

Having a go-to crochet flower pattern should be every crocheter’s goal. This crochet flower isn’t fancy, but it works up quickly and is great for adding detail to a project.

Crochet Flower Pattern

It’s a great flower for beginner to learn – I’ve even written out the crochet abbreviations and taken pictures along the way so you know exactly what to do. For the more experienced crocheter, this is a good “base flower” that you can add more petals to (why stop at 5?) or a second layer for added volume.

Crochet Flowers

Crochet Flower Pattern


  • Crochet Hook & Yarn – Any Size! Depends on your project, but this will work up with everything from thread to bulky yarn
  • Flowers below crocheted with a size H (5.0mm) crochet hook and worsted weight yarn (Vanna’s Choice)


Chain 3, slip stitch into first chain to form a ring.

Round 1: Chain 2 (counts as a double crochet). Work 9 more double crochet into the center of the ring (10 DC total). Join to top of chain 2 with a slip stitch.

Round 2: Chain 3 + 1 (counts as chain-3 space plus 1 single crochet). Skip 1 stitch, single crochet in next stitch. *Chain 3, skip 1 stitch. Single crochet in next stitch.* Repeat instructions from * to * around two more times. Chain 3, skip next stitch. Single crochet into first chain-3 space to join Round 2. (5, chain-3 spaces).

Round 3: Work 4 double crochet and one single crochet into first chain-3 space. First petal complete. Into next chain-3 space, work [1 single crochet, 5 double crochet, 1 single crochet]. Repeat for next 3 patterns. Slip stitch to first single crochet to join.

Fasten off.

Crochet Pattern
Round 2 after Chain 3 + 1, Skip next stitch, single crochet, chain 3
At the end of Round 2. Join last chain-3 with a single crochet into the first chain-3 space.
At the end of Round 3, after 4 petals have been made.
At the end of Round 3, after 4 petals have been made.
Crochet Flower
Finished Crochet Flower!

Crochet Flowers Pattern


Crochet, Pictor Granny Square, Projects

Crochet Granny Square Picot Afghan – Part II

grannyblanketIn March, I shared the beginning of the granny square/picot flower blanket. Since then, the blanket has grown from just 5 squares to 18 beautiful rainbow squares, including a large 8-rounder. Each little square is 4 x 4 rounds of granny, but the larger square takes up twice that, so 8 rounds–or the size of two squares.

Non-coincidentally, the  release of Arrested Development, Season 4 has seem to cause an exponential growth  in my available crochet time. I am enjoying quiet nights at home with this project and Netflix.

Progress pictures for those wandering how the blanket is growing. I’m planning to have a couple more squares added by the end of the week.



Crochet, Projects

Knit the Bridge Pittsburgh


Two of my good friends sent me info on Knit the Bridge – Pittsburgh while I was in Cleveland (thanks, Hannah and Amanda!). I thought it was the coolest concept and wanted to participate, but I wasn’t in Pittsburgh. Until 3 weeks ago.  Now living within the city limits of the ‘Burgh (and being a library card holder in Allegheny County – yay!), I finally felt I could show some crochet love for my hometown.

You might be asking yourself, what is “Knit the Bridge?”  Stop and think what it might be about. It is literally knitting a cover for a bridge. More specifically, the Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburgh.  A project like this is called “yarn bombing” and it’s where crocheters and knitters cover public items–statues, parking meters, trees, a bridge– in crocheted/knitted panels.

Here’s a definition from KTB’s website:

What is Knit the Bridge, Pittsburgh?

Knit the Bridge is a vision for a grassroots, community-led arts project that would bring the many diverse communities of Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania together to create a large-scale, aesthetically stunning, fiberarts installation on a bridge in downtown Pittsburgh.

Two years ago, I came across a yarn bombing of Fred Rodgers in Pittsburgh sporting his classic red sweater. Yarn bombing is a quirky way to introduce more people to fiberarts and sometimes raise awareness for specific projects or foundations.

One of the reasons I really like this Knit the Bridge project is because they recycle the panels once the installation is over. They’ll wash and donate the yarn panels (which can be sewn into blankets) to local shelters, nursing homes, and other organizations.  Very cool!

I signed up to crochet a railing which is 105 inches x 9 inches.  I got out my I hook and some bright pink, orange, and yellow acrylic yarn until I read this requirement for panels: “Yarn: Please use black acrylic yarn only.”  Not as fun as I originally planned, ha, but I guess all black railing covers are fine, too. Everyone’s got to play her part.

No picture of my WIP, but it’s just a black strip of crochet, so I’ve taken the liberty of recreating it in Microsoft Paint:

My work in progress panel for Knit the Bridge. **Digital representation created in Paint.
**Not actual photo – Digital representation

You can read more about KTB – Pittsburgh here.  If you’d like to be part of the project, it’s not too late!  Panels are due Saturday, June 1st and range in size from 17″ x 17″ (partial panel) to 34″ x 72″ (full panel).  You can register to make a panel here at the Knit the Bridge website.

Crochet, Pictor Granny Square, Projects

The Beginning: Crochet Granny Square Picot Afghan


Spring keeps trying to make its way to Cleveland, such a brave little guy.  Persistently optimistic, yet unsuccessful.  The weekend was 72 degrees and blissfully sunny, while today saw snow flurries and temperatures below freezing.  I couldn’t think of a better way to help lure the warm weather to stay than crocheting another cheery afghan.

It’ll belong to the same family as the ripple blanket from a few months ago and the hexagon afghan I finished in 2011.   I was commissioned with creating this rainbow granny square based off Attic 24’s lively design.

Project Details: 

Debbie Bliss Yarn

Crochet Hook - Custom

Debbie Bliss Cashermino Yarn

Beyond the lively play of colors (and getting to use my fantastic new hooks), what makes this afghan great is that it’s not your typical granny square blanket.  The center of each square starts with an 8-petal picot flower (chain 3 picot) and 4 leaves peaking out the sides that replace the center round of the “typical” granny.

I started the pattern this past weekend and have 5 squares to show for my work.  I’m already in love.  The colors, joining each square as I go, and the slightly raised flower-centers have the potential to make this afghan a unique, brimming-with-life, custom treat.  I’ll share pictures as the afghan grows so you can monitor my progress along with me.

Also, I am currently seeking volunteers to help me sew in the infinite number of ends that are a result of  the numerous color changes.  Serious inquiries only. 🙂


Picot Granny Square

Granny Square Flower

Crochet, Projects

Crochet Coasters/Flower Pattern

I saw these beautiful crochet coasters by LuLu Loves and pinned them to make later.  Last night, my roommate commented we needed coasters for our new coffee table.  Out came the hooks and this first flower coaster was born.

Free crochet coaster pattern can be found here:

Crochet flower coaster pattern

crochet flower

These coasters worked up in just a few minutes and have four simple rounds so they’re a breeze to crochet.  Project Details:

  • Lionbrand Wool Ease Yarn (gray)
  • Size G crochet hook
  • Finished size: 5.25 inches in diameter
  • Free coaster pattern here: LuLu Loves

I think these little guys would make a great house warming present or hostess gift… Enjoy!


Crochet, Free Patterns, Projects

Crochet Hat: Free Pattern

crochet hat pattern

It’s December!  Where does the time go?  It’s a cold, quiet Sunday afternoon here in Cleveland.  I’m watching Inception, eating butternut squash bisque, and writing crochet patterns.  Isn’t that what everyone’s doing?

Thanks to everyone who took my survey – over 200 responses and more coming in every day!  The overwhelming majority of you said you wanted more crochet patterns and I aim to please (and shouldn’t be too hard – this is a crochet blog).

I’ve written a pattern for this lovely hat.  It’s chunky, it’s bulky, and I have been wearing it all afternoon.  Since we’ve determined not to turn on our heat until absolutely necessary, the air in the apartment has an edge to it.

This hat is ribbed.  It’s made flat.  You sew up the side and sew up the top and you have yourself a sideways-stitched hat. Most crochet hats are made in the round, from the top down, but this method makes the stitches go in a different direction.  If you can make a rectangle – you can make this hat!

Crochet Hat: Free Pattern (Ribbed)



  • Size L (8.0mm) crochet hook
  • 106 yards super bulky yarn – I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. This pattern uses every last inch of yarn, so if you’re planning to make a bigger hat, you’ll need a second skein of yarn.

Stitches Used

  • HDC – Half-double crochet
  • Ch – Chain
  • SC – Single Crochet


Note: Pattern is worked in back loops only (BLO).

Leaving 12 inch tail of yarn, Chain 24 + 2 (counts as first HDC)

Row 1: HDC in each stitch across (25 stitches)

Row 2: Chain 2, turn.  Working in BLO, HDC in each stitch across (25 stitches).

Repeat Row 2 until you have 21 Rows.  At this point, you’ll have a rectangle measuring 16.5 inches wide by 13 inches tall.

Do not fasten off yarn.  Fold long sides together.  Single crochet the sides together.  This row will be ridged, just like the rest of the hat.

Do not fast off yarn. Single crochet around the edge of the tube you just made.  This will be the edging of what you’ll fold up to be the brim of your hat.

Now, fasten off yarn.

Using the long tail of yarn you left at the beginning, loosely weave the needle the entire way around the second side of the tube in two inch long stitches.  You’re trying to create a drawstring that will pull the top of the hat closed.  Pull end of yarn so the top of your hat tightens.

Weave in ends.

This hat is easy to crochet – it’s the assembly part that can be a little tricky.  Hope the picture helped.  This is a quick crochet gift that’s perfect for those last minute parties.

Related Posts: 


Crochet, Free Patterns, Projects

Crochet Baby Hat Pattern: Newborn Bear

Crochet Baby Bear Hat PatternMy coworker is having a baby and I could not be more excited!  This coworker (let’s call him “JB”) was the first person to train me at my new job.  As such, JB and I have a “complicated” relationship.  Mostly it involves him trying to hate me and me trying to win his favor.  I will often say “Jay-beee” around the office when I see him and it wasn’t til months later that he confided that he hates that nickname.

Well too bad, JB.  It’s your name!  And get this – JB’s wife is also “JB” and their son–who is due in two weeks–will soon be another JB.  Soooo cute.

JB relentlessly kids about my crochet skills so I thought there would be no better way to finally bury the hatchet once and for all than to make his soon-to-be son a hat.  And so was born (pun intended)….

Baby/Newborn Crochet Bear Hat Pattern

Crochet Baby Hat Pattern


  • Size H (US 8/5.00mm) crochet hook
  • 80 yards worsted weight yarn (I used Vanna’s Choice in Taupe)
  • 5 yards of another color (center of the ears – I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted in Cocoa)

Crochet Stitches

  • Chain (ch)
  • Double Crochet (dc)
  • Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc)
  • Half Double Crochet (hdc)
  • Slip Stitch (sl st)
  • Single Crochet (sc)

Finished Size: Hat is 6.25 inches across (12.5 inches around) and 5 inches tall (not including ears).  Will fit newborn sized baby.

Note:**Some crocheters are reporting a small hat – Repeat Rounds 5-7 a few more times to make a hat longer.

Newborn Crochet Hat Pattern

Chain 3.  Join with sl st to form ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as first dc now and throughout), 9 more dc into ring.  Join to top of ch-2 with sl st. [10 stitches]

Round 2: 2 dc in each stitch around.  Join to top of ch-2 with sl st. [20 st]

Round 3: *2 dc in first dc, dc in next 2 dc*.  Repeat from * to * around.  Join to top of ch-2 with sl st. [27 st]

Round 4: *2 dc in first dc, dc in next 3 dc*. Repeat from * to * around.  Join to top of ch-2 with sl st. [33st]

Rounds 5-7: Dc in each st around.  Join to top of ch-2 with sl st. [33 st] **Note: If you’d like a longer hat, repeat Rounds 5-7 a few more times before Round 8.

Round 8: *dc in first stitch, fpdc in next stitch*.  Repeat from * to * around.  Join to top of ch-2 with sl st.

Fasten off.

Bear Ears (make two)

Using darker color yarn for center of ears, Chain 3.  Join with sl st to form ring.

Round 1: Ch 2, 9 more hdc into ring.  Join to top of ch-2 with sl st. [10 st]

Round 2: Join main color yarn used for hat.  Ch 1, 2 sc in each stitch around. Join to top of ch-2 with sl st. [20 st]

Fasten off, sew ears onto sides of hat.

Baby Hat Pattern

Instagram pic

JB’s wife is due in two weeks so the little guy could be here anytime!  I hope she makes it through the weekend so I can give JB this hat on Monday.  Hold on, little guy… only two more days!

What are some of your favorite patterns to make for newborn kiddos?

Crochet this bear hat with other Ravelry-ers here: