Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Puff, A Bobble, A Popcorn Oh My!

What's the Dif?

When reading a pattern you might encounter a word like Puff, Popcorn, Bobble, Picot and think to yourself - 'what the heck?' Do not fret! You are not alone. These are in fact different techniques, but even I have referred to one by the wrong name. So, for your learning pleasure, here are the true meanings of each term:
The Bobble:
The bobble is a collection of loops crocheted together. 
 To see step by step instructions on how to crochet bobble, click here.

The Popcorn
The popcorn is a collection of stitches where the first and last of the collection are crocheted together to make the set 'pop' out of your crocheted piece. 

To see step by step instructions on how to crochet a popcorn, click here.

The Cluster
The cluster is a collection of double or triple crochet stitches (or extended stitches) where they are not completed until the end and then all are crocheted together. 
To see step by step instructions on how to crochet a cluster, click here.

The Puff
The puff stitch is similar to the cluster except all stitches are crocheted into the same base stitch before being crocheted together.

 To see step by step instructions on how to crochet a puff, click here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Good Morning friends and fellow crafters. All is well here on the East Coast of the US today. Yesterday was a hot and humid day, but my family made the most of it by playing PlayStation games and reading books on the deck!

I also was working on some different sizes of my hats. I don't have another show until September, but I want to be super prepared. Now that I have a general pattern I like to use for the shells (that's the hat part with out the body parts and eyes) I can sit and whip up a bunch and then work on adding the extra bits. I was working on a purple version of my monster hat. Hopefully tonight I'll finish them up with ears and eyes. 

I also took a moment to do a little photo shoot. My son is such a good sport (see above photo), but at about picture 10 he wanted to switch places and me wear the hat while he took pictures. He loves cameras- and is adorable - so we compromised and I let him use my old Canon Powershot and not the fancy Nikon. 

So what's everyone's plan for Memorial Day? I know this isn't a holiday for my european/southamerican friends, but for the US peeps - will you Grill, go to a parade, go see family, call up a loved one? What ever you do, I hope the sun shines down on you!

And in case you're feeling down, here's a pic to lift you up!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Extended Single Crochet in Two Colors

Extended Single Crochet in Two Colors
(Multiple of 1)

I doing some experimenting and discovered this beauty and like the nice person I am - decided to share it rather than horde it. But that's crochet for you. What's the point of coming up with new stitches and patterns unless you share it. BUT I would LOVE to see what you do with it! (see the side bar for my Facebook and Twitter pages)
Ok, so we covered the extended single crochet stitch a few weeks ago. (Click HERE if you want to see the posting.) Here I've added some flair using a second color as part of the stitch.

Rather than starting with the base chain I'm going to jump after row 4, but the stitch is the same in any row so you could use this half way through a piece to make a row or two stand out or make a whole scarf, hat, bag in this pattern.

So here's my piece after 4 rows. To start your next row you're going to insert you hook in the first stitch and with only the blue pull up a loop.

Next, yarn over and pull through to completed the extended stitch. 

After this you're going to top of the stitch with a loop of red. Using only the red, yarn over and pull through all three loops on the hook (the first stitch of a row is the only time you will have 3 loops on your hook).

Here's what it looks like after a few more stitches.

When you reach the end, yarn over with both colors and pull up a loop. This will be your turning chain.

Next, flip your piece over.

The next row is crocheted the same as the last except you change colors so now the red is used to make the extended stitch and the blue is used to top the stitch. First insert your hook and using only the red pull up a loop.

Then yarn over and pull up a new loop - this completes the extended portion of the stitch.

To top the stitch, yarn over with only the blue and pull though all loops on the hook. Repeat across.

I have an idea for how I want to use this, but would love to hear yours as well. If all goes well I post a pick next week for your viewing pleasure. 

It's a three day weekend this weekend, everyone have fun and don't forget to bring a hook and some yarn in your bag in case you're stuck in line for ice cream at the fair :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Eight Legs and Counting

Octopus Commeth

Whew, I bet you guys are getting tired of my animal farm huh? I'm having loads of fun being inventive and I appreciate your tuning in each night to see what I've come up with. Tonight I was just so tickled by the final project that I just had to post pics for you to see. 

The legs are not stuffed, they're just very fluffy and the whole thing is made with 100% acrylic, but not my normal Michael's brand Impeccable. I got annoyed at the color I wanted not being in stock (as you know, Michael's does not have on-line ordering so you are stuck with what's available!!) sooooo I went adventuring to a new craft store and picked up Deborah Norville's Everyday Soft Worsted yarn. It's got this shmoofy quality to it, very soft and the color selection was pretty good. So there's my endorsement of the year, lol. But I will still use my other yarn for certain things - when I can get the color I want (when will Michael's learn!!!??)

So anyway, back to the hat. I would say it has 8 legs, but I found enough websites which said 6 legs and 2 arms that I'm going with that. I contemplated adding a mouth, but I don't know...I think it looks pretty cute as is. 

I've got some other animals in my mental list, but I guess I need to make the last few in multiple sizes so I'll be reverting back to my typical lines up of stitch discussion, hilarious quips and all around good fun. 

If you have an idea for a fun topic or just want to say hi, you can find me on:
Facebook and 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Frog By Any Other Name


Remember on my Facebook page yesterday when I said I was working on a frog hat? ...no? Ok well, I had a bit of fun on this one. The eyes are not stuffed, I used a smaller hook size to obtain a stiff texture which allows the eyes to keep their shape. You can use this technique for making a brim on a hat or other item that needs to keep its shape. 

The eyes actually took two tries. What I found worked best was to make a flat circle in white and then add a half circle row or two of green on the edges. This makes the eyes look like the pop out. 

This hat is actually my five year old size, but you can see how well the hats stretch to grow with your kids. My son will be wearing his hats for years! 

Now I need your opinions on this one - do you think it needs a tongue? nose? I kind of like it with just the eyes. And if you check out the below example I think my hat looks pretty close. Thoughts?

Feeling creative? Share your trials and tribulations with Moi for a chance to win a stuffing animal hat creation - a la Crochet By Karin. Just post to my Facebook page and I'll pick at random (with feedback from my 2.5 yr old son). 

And don't forget to come say hi on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monster Hat Sucess!

A Modern Day Monster

Well, it took four tries, but check this puppy out! I have this overwhelming sense of mission impossible  accomplished! It's pretty cool. I'll be trying it out on my son tomorrow so I'll post more pics with the cuteness, but for now check out how great this looks. ...then look at the olds posts and see how ugly it was. Then look at how cute it is in this post again :)

Next up is conquering a frog hat. I had a lot of green yarn on hand so it seemed like the logical choice. 

Here's a little fun for your noggin':

One day Bryan was walking in the woods. There was a stream just over the next hill and he had brought his boots so that he could go wading, looking for rocks to add to his collection. The stream had many times before provided colorful stones that Bryan polished and kept in a secret box under his bead. He'd spend hours looking up each stone in the rock book his dad have given him. 

Just over the next crest Bryan would just see the edge of the stream. Something bent over, taking a drink. It seemed to short for a man and it was hairy. Afraid it could be a bear Bryan ducked down and shuffled to a nearby tree. The thing drank from the stream for long minutes and for each passing second, sweat and shivers coursed down Bryan's arms. He was sweating and yet freezing and his whole body screamed to run, but he couldn't; he was mesmerized. Finally the thing bent up to sniff the air and Bryan could see large dull ears twist in his direction. The animal did not turn to look at Bryan, even though he was sure it knew he was there. Instead it raised its head and let out a low whine - the wind carried it and upon reaching Bryan's ears a sharp pain stung him behind the eyes. 

Bryan squinted and raised his hand to rub the ache away when a loud shuffling alerted him that the animal was moving quickly. Looking wildly around Bryan was shocked to see the animal mear feet from him, his head tilted, staring at Bryan. Bryan only stared back, not sure what to do next. The animal had a reddish speckled coat and large eyes. It's nose projected from its face and it seemed to be twitching - smelling him. 
Just when Bryan thought the animal would turn to leave it lept at him, knocking him over. Bryan scrambled to his feet ready to kick and punch, but the animal ignored him. Instead remaining on the ground to grapple with an unseen thing. Bryan again stared unbelievingly until the animal finally turned, a snake it's hands. Relief filled Bryan's body and he quickly grabbed the tree to keep from falling. It hadn't tried to kill him. Whether it saved his life or merely caught a bit of food, it didn't want to eat him and that's all that matter. 

Bryan silently tipped his head to the now distracted animal and slowly backed away. When he'd gained a significant distant he turned and walked back up to the next hill and over. Next time, he told himself, I'll need to bring some food for the Monster.

Night guys! Have a great Tuesday! And don't forget to say hi on Facebook and Twitter!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Monster Hat - Attempt three

I tried again tonight. Still not really impressed, but I'm getting there. This one looks slightly like a pig and I think the eyes need to be closer to the nose and a little bigger. Thoughts?

This is the fun and yet aggravating part of crochet work. You need to try over and over and over and until you make something truly fabulous. But don't give up! I spoke to a very nice woman at my last show who'd made the same hat 3 times and still wasn't happy. Why? The stitches might be too lose, or maybe she messed up the pattern early on and wanted to go back and fix it, or she made it too small or too large.

You just need to keep trying! And don't worry, if it looks silly it doesn't matter - your friends will still be impressed, your kids tickled and your hands busy.

Hugs everybody!

Here's a few more pics for your enjoyment:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Monster Hats!

Monsters always come in Twos

Good evening fellow crafters and yarn enthusiasts! I wanted to share with you all a little project I've been working on and get your feedback. My niece Alli loves my monster hat that I made for infants and want want wanted one for her adult sized head. Sooo I've been fiddling with the design to find just the right combo of features to be cute and yet still monster-ee. 

For those of your who have not been to my Etsy store (http://www.etsy.com/shop/CrochetByKarin), here is a picture of the hat in question: 

The yarn I used for this hat is from an old stash I had and I didn't have any more so I went to Michael's and I found two alternative multicolor yarns that were very soft and 'shmoofy.' But I wanted to play with the nose a little. 

First, I wanted to get your two cents on the nose I crocheted for the new hats. The one in the above picture is more of a half circle while the two new hats have more of a triangular nose. 

Do you like the more half circle one or do you like the new design with the triangle?

Secondly, which do you like more the fan-like ears or  the circle ears?

In any case, they are both very soft and yummy to wear and my niece will now get to pick wether she'd rather be in orange or purple. 

Any of you have some fun projects you'd like to share? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter pages.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Post Fair Wrap Up

Heritage Day at the Park - Purcelleville, VA 

I just know you guys are all a twitter wondering how my day at the fair went....Right? Well, I'll tell you anyway. 

First, the fair was very cool, there were a ton of activities for kids like:

Donkey Rides!
and these are no small ornery donkeys my friends. These things were HUGE! And seemed to be quite friendly. And notice how large the ears on them are? It makes that scene from Pinocchio make much more sense. 

They also had a civil war encampment:

As well as a petting zoo, face painting, henna tatoos, a farmer's market, two or three vendors selling pie (my kriptonite), a band, and a full train set display with working train. It was pretty impressive and I tip my hat to the organizers.

The ONLY downside was that it was cold, rainy, humid and gross - if you only consider the atmospheric conditions :) This let to poor turnout and low sales. BUT I did get to know my booth neighbor quite well (there she is in the picture below) and she gave me tips on upcoming shows and such.

Below is a few pictures of my booth set-up. I went with something a little differen than last time so that I could test whether having my table of flowers int he front helped them to get more attention. The answer is yes, it did, so I'll be doing that in future. I also got more practice putting up and collapsing my tent so I'm counting the trip as an overall success. Which is why I went out and bought tons of plants for my garden today :)

Also, because I hate to just sit around and it's rude to read a magazine when customers are walking in and out - I finished two croceht projects while at the fair! One item was an elephant hat and the other was a new hat:

I'm thinking of adding a face to future versions as it makes me think of a cat - what do you think? Do you see a cat? It might also be a fox or some sort of terrier, but I'm going with CAT ok? lol

Also for the show I made a few color versions of the bowl we made a few weeks ago:

If you don't remember us making a bowl, click HERE.

I don't have any more fair engagements planned until August so I'll be doing some experimenting this summer. I've got a few ideas for different animal hats, a purse or two. And don't worry, I have plenty to share with you all too :) So keep in touch and let me know how your special project is going. Find me at Facebook or Twitter and have a great May!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Day in the Park!

Ok, Ok. So I've been a bit 'incognito' for a few days. I apologize. It's been a crazy week, but I'm back!! Tune in tonight for my recounting of my second ever craft event, the:

Sat May 14, 2011



Location: Purcellville, Virginia
Click HERE for more information

And if you're local, come by and say Hi!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tipping the Cup Part II

A Pencil Cup for Mom

So yesterday we left off with the above item being half completed, but because you mean so much to me, I muscled down and got this awesome craft project completed. 

When we finished yesterday we were about here:

Continue to crochet additional rows until you are about 3/4 the way up. (Oh and just in case anyone is wondering, I am not crocheting with the cup in place, I'm crocheting and then testing it by putting it on the cup).

I crocheted about 8 or so additional rows to reach this level:

At this point you are ready to add your pattern so you need to brain storm. Count the number of stitches you have to work with and count out different patterns till you find one that's going to work with a round piece. For me it was "sc, sc, dc, dc, dc." Using this pattern I went all the way around with no cross over in the pattern. 

It's important to count it out because you don't want to go all the way around just to find out that you'll end up with two sets of single crochet stitches next to each other! 

At this point, when you're making your slip stitch to end the row you want to switch to your alternative color. You'll be making two rows in your new color and pulling up the orange will be difficult so I would cut it (about 4-6 inches of tail is perfect). 

With the new color I crocheted single crochet stitches on top of the double crochets from the previous row and double crochet stitches on top of the single crochets.

For the next row you will repeat the same pattern - essentially 'doubling up' on the first row of gray. This will make the wavy pattern more noticeable.

Following this you'll use the slip stitch to join the orange back in and crochet a framing row. This row fills in the waves of the gray giving you a sold line all the way around. To do this I will crochet double crochet stitches on top of the single crochets and single crochet stitches on top of the double crochets.

Following this simply crochet around and around until you're piece is long enough to extend past the top of your pencil cup insert by several inches.

Fasten off and sew in all your strings. (All of my strings were on the inside so I had the flip the piece inside out to sew them in. I then decided the inside looked better and used that instead.


My cup is about 5 inches in height and 2.5 inches wide. I think the orange and gray look classy, but use whatever combo you like. And enjoy your Mother's day!! 

(I'm off for the rest of the weekend as I am a mother. I'd love to hear your mother's day stories so please add comments below or on my Facebook page or Tweet me :)
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