FO: The Turtle Hat

I swear one of these days I’ll catch up on photographing my newer projects and current WIPs so I can share. Until then, have another project from last Christmas. 😉
Today’s project is The Turtle Hat. If you guessed that this hat was a gift for anyone other than my father-in-law, you would be wrong!

To give a little background on this project let’s rewind to Christmas of 2014. My father-in-law saw the crocheted helmet that I made for T and requested a turtle hat. Because y’know… Helmet, turtle hat. They’re almost the same thing.
That’s the short story, but I feel like I should mention that he was very specific about it. He told me in great detail that the hat should be the body of the turtle and it was necessary that it have a cute, floppy head and legs.

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I wasn’t very confident in my crochet skills at the time so for Christmas that year, I made him a hat with a turtle applique on it as a stand-in until I felt like I could pull off the ultimate turtle hat. (Check my entry here for more info on that.)

I let my desire to make a real turtle hat simmer for a few years until I felt confident that I could pull off what was asked of me. The biggest decision I had to make with this project was whether I should make the head and legs in a tube shape and stuff them. I was worried that they would get in the way more than anything, so I ultimately decided to do the cute little flaps instead.

Another design decision that I was unsure about was how to create a turtle shell texture. I almost made individual pentagonal pieces to attach to the hat, but I thought that would make it too heavy and/or stiff. It would also be much more time consuming than I was prepared for. Surface crochet it is!

And that’s how I ended up with this fella.

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I’m really proud of how he came out considering I created this pattern on the fly. There are a few things I might do differently, if I made it again.

  1. I would make the inside lines thicker. I did a double line on the bottom, but I did single lines on the inside. (Or I might even do the idea with the pentagonal pieces sewed on and then surface stitch across the seams.)
  2. I would make double the amount of flaps and stuff them lightly so they would have a little more dimension.
  3. I would make the surface stitches looser. I made them loose enough where the hat would still stretch, but there was a little bit of an issue with the fit being a hair tight around the bottom band.

As with the last project, I still have the pattern notes so if anyone would like to see a pattern written for this, let me know in the comments! 🙂

Thanks for reading! xoxo

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FO: Color-block scarf

Hello, all! I have another 2018 gift to share with you today. It’s unique in that it’s a design that I threw together myself. I was trying to find a gift idea that was practical yet classy for my mother-in-law. I went through some patterns on Ravelry, but couldn’t quite find what I was looking for. Thus, the “color-block scarf” was born! (I know. Catchy name, right?)

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I got some info from T about what her favorite colors were, and after careful deliberation, I decided to combine them via color-blocking. The idea behind this was that it would, hopefully, help the scarf to go with multiple outfits as she could wear whichever color matches on the front/top of the scarf. She wears red often so the goal was to give her a fun accessory to match.
I was also a little worried with the red once I started working with it. It definitely needed some other colors to tone it down a little bit. It’s like… Violently red.

I really like the fabric made by this stitch so I’m already planning on using it again on a future project. Maybe another version of the scarf, but striped or solid color would be nice! I have so much yarn sitting around, I’m sure I could come up with something. (At that point would it even still be called the “color-block scarf”!?)

I think I still have the project notes for this somewhere so if anyone is interested in having the pattern, leave a comment below and I’ll cobble together a readable pattern from my coded notes! 🙂

(They’re not coded. They’re just chicken scratch and only I can read them.)

I’ll be back in the near future with other yarny news. Thanks for reading! ❤

One year later…

…Or close enough anyway.

Hello hello hello, everyone! It’s been entirely too long since I’ve updated. I’ve had so much going on this past year. Unfortunately a lot of it bad, which is why I’ve taken this unintentional, but sorely needed hiatus. Most things have been taken care of now, so I think I’m ready to jump back into blogging!

Today I want to share a project from my Christmas gift frenzy last year. I spent the last 6 months of 2018 (and a few months of 2019!) making gifts for all of T’s family and for some of our friends. I thought it’d be nice to share them a little at a time over the next few weeks.

Let’s start with my favorite gift project of 2018: Ravenclaw Quidditch Gloves by Jolene Meurer!

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As you can see, I opted for Slytherin colors over the original Ravenclaw as the person I gifted these to prefers Slytherin. Do not be alarmed! I’ve already bought the yarn necessary for knitting a Ravenclaw pair for myself. 😉

These gloves were supposed to be just a quick project, but I had to make some major alterations to get them to fit and look right. I followed the directions as written in the pattern the first time and ended up scrapping that glove entirely. It was way too small, and the glove pulled awkwardly toward the thumb, making them uncomfortable to wear.

For those of you who may want to make gloves closer to what I made, I’ve listed my alterations/choices below!

  • Knit Chart B at least 5 times. If you want a longer glove than in my pictures, 6 times should be adequate. (The pattern recommends 4 – 5, but 4 is so short that it will ride up onto your palms. Or it did for me.)
  • After knitting Chart D/C, knit Chart B once more.
  • When working the thumb portion, I slipped the 9 sts onto a scrap piece of yarn and followed the chart until the next round. When I reached the thumb gap in the next round, I CO 9 sts and continued according to pattern for the rows afterwards.

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The main thing that helped with the fit of the glove was including Chart B between Chart C/D and Chart A. The weird pulling in the thumb seemed to be caused by the shortness between the top ribbing and the thumb hole. Even if you don’t follow any of the other alterations, I would highly recommend that one.

Also, it’s probably just a lack of understanding on my part, but I didn’t know what she meant with her instructions for the thumb holes. I ended up substituting my own method that made sense for me. If anyone else decides to make these gloves and understands what she was going for, leave me a comment and teach me your ways! 😀

I’ll definitely be back to post the version that I’m making for myself. I’m thinking I’ll go for the film version blue/silver, and I’ll make the stripes a bit larger! Until then, I’ll be back soon to share more 2018 holiday projects!

Thanks for reading! xx

Find me on Ravelry!

I’ve been using Ravelry since I started knitting back in 2014, and it’s seriously been a lifesaver. If you haven’t heard of it, Ravelry is a website for people who are into fiber arts. You can log your yarn stash, find patterns, make a list of future projects, keep track of your current or past projects, and connect with other yarny people. It’s really been so helpful for me to have a resource like that to keep track of all these things. I really recommend it. </fangirling>

So why are we talking about Ravelry? I hear you ask. Let me get straight to the point.
In the past few years since I started this blog, I haven’t publicly shared my Ravelry account. I wasn’t hiding it or anything, and several clever readers were able to find me quite easily, but I just hadn’t thought about sharing it. Until today.

So that’s it. I just wanted to share my links with fellow Ravelry users. If you want to check out my current and past projects or my library, feel free to visit my profile page and don’t be afraid to add me, if you’d like! 🙂

For those of you interested in my patterns, you can find my designer page too! I’m actually working on two new patterns right now. One of them will hopefully go up within the next few weeks so keep an eye out for that.

I’ll also be adding some links in the sidebar somewhere so anyone can find me whenever they need to.

Thanks for reading this rather pointless entry. I promise I’ll have something better to talk about next week. 😉

Storage for interchangeable needle sets?

I’d been looking for a good interchangeable needle case for ages. The plastic case that my set came in fell apart in about a minute. Unfortunately, all the ones I looked at online or in person were either too expensive, not very good quality, or too small to hold the whole set. I know what you’re thinking. “You get what you pay for!” While I agree with that to some extent, I think it’s worth it to try to save when you can AND still get a quality product. 🙂

If you’ve ever searched “interchangeable needle case” on Google, you’ll know that they can get pretty expensive. The cheapest I found was $13 or $14 on Amazon (without shipping), but they can easily reach $30 or more if you buy them from websites that specialize in knitting-related items. I’m sure that $30 doesn’t seem like much to some people, but my priorities are this: if I spend less on knitting accessories, I have more to spend on good yarn! ❤

With this in mind, I went on a search for a cheaper case that would meet my needs. I’m not picky; I just wanted something large enough to hold all my needles, cords, and maybe even some DPNs, with a sturdy, cushioned material that would protect them while in my project bag. I dropped into a few local craft stores and that’s when I found the perfect case.

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I found this baby at Hobby Lobby in the art supplies section. It’s supposed to be for pencils, but it’s just perfect for knitting needles! There’s a ton of room since it has two compartments, and it’s very sturdy. The best part is I used a coupon and paid about $15 for it. It was way cheaper than anything I found online and way better quality than the actual needle cases they sell at the local craft stores.

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In the first compartment, I have the entirety of my interchangeable needle set, and I keep some extra circulars and some DPNs in the second compartment. And there’s room to spare!

Despite how much it holds, the case itself is about 11″ x 8″ x 1.5″ so it closes and zips up to a reasonable size. It fits easily into all my bags so I’m pleased with how compact it is. Also, they carry different sizes, so I have a smaller one with my 16″ hat needle set that only cost me about $9.

I was very pleased to find a cheaper alternative so I wanted to share for others who have been looking for a good, cheap case. These cases are Global Art brand and come in several different sizes. I bought the 120 (pencil) capacity and the 48 capacity cases for my sets. Also, I’m not being paid or anything for this; I just thought it was a good idea.

So how about you? Have you found an unusual/unique way to store your needles? Leave me a comment and let me know! 🙂