Baby Viking Hat

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The finished hat

My family grows in leaps and bounds. My youngest was one of six babies born in a ten month time period. This past year I got a total of four new nephews, all between March and the end of June. Somewhere around early June my sister, the mom of one of those babies, asked me if I’d be willing and able to crochet said baby a hat for Halloween, a viking hat. It seems my sister is much better at planning ahead than I am. She knows how busy I am and had a specific goal in mind for her child. Maybe I was the person to help her accomplish that goal, maybe not. Considering she asked me half a year in advance I figured I’d be able to find the time. Besides, crocheting a viking hat sounded fun. It couldn’t be as hard as that shark hat was.

I found a pattern online but it was not free. (wah-wah) I totally get why people charge for patterns and it was only five bucks, but I was still resistant to pay for it. It’s my contrary nature in action. “What?”, it says, “You want me to pay?!? Psh, I don’t need your silly pattern, I can figure this out on my own.” And usually I can.

For this one I made a basic beanie (there are five million free patterns out there) with a four evenly spaced front post hdc around the hat. And then I realized that the example viking hat I was following had two front post stitches in the front and back and one on each side. Luckily my firs start of the hat was waaaay too small. It’s been a while since I’ve had regular contact with baby heads, my guestimating skills are rusty. So now my little guy’s stuffed hedgehog has a grey hat.

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The second attempt, first one completed

On the second attempt I made the hat bigger and had two front post stitches together in both the front and the back. (Front posts are the raised lines that run vertically, helping to give the hat the appearance of being a metal helmet.)

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While making the hat without a pattern was no big deal the horns were a bit puzzling. I’ve never done amugarami crochet or even tried a more three dimensional item. It went a lot smother than I thought it would; I figured it out on the first attempt and was able to replicate it pretty closely on the second.

I used a super tiny hook with regular sized acrylic yarn. The stitches are tight and it was a bit challenging to maneuver the yarn with that little thing but the effect is worth it. The little horns are stiff enough to stand up on their own and hold their shape perfectly. And look how cute they are!!! They’re like tiny wizard hats. My water bottle got to cosplay as Gandalf and then Dumbledore that day. Fun times all around!

The bottom edge was a little tricky and, honestly, I would not have mined having the pattern for this part. The ridge is again created by either front or back post stitches, this time single because I didn’t want height. One round of single front/back (whichever gave the bump on the right side) post, there’s a round of double crochet with interspersed bobble stitches. There’s no regularity to those, I just eye balled the spacing. And then the last row was another round of front or back post single crochet.

I finished the beard using this pattern (I’ve made beards before and knew they’re pretty quick and easy) the morning of the 28th when a couple of my sisters and I made plans to go to a local Trunk-or-Treat later that evening. It was as good an excuse as any to get the finished Viking hat to my sister and nephew. My sister brought the baby over to my house a little early as we planned to ride together…good thing too because the hat was still too small. I tried to stretch it but there was no making it fit that kid’s giant head. Aggghhh!!!

I undid the hat up to where the horns were attached and started rapidly crocheting it again. For a third time. This time I used double instead of half double crochet stitches for the body of the hat. It was quick and dirty crochet time here. I got the body of the hat finished moments after we arrived at Trunk-or-treat and he wore it as is for the evening.

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As we were driving home I added the bottom edge but even without it my nephew was a pretty adorable little viking.

A couple of my previous projects made appearances this Halloween too!

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Sherlock scarf…I thought I had blogged about this somewhere in there but couldn’t seem to find it.

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Originally a Cabbage Patch style hat, this one got a new life as Dorothy’s braids.

 

Nothing Says Awkward Like a Third Shoe.

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One of these things is Not like the other…and there are only two things here.

It’s finally here: Summer! Among other things that means finished crochet projects…and it’s about damn time.

I started a pair of baby shoes to match a certain baby hat quite a while (at least a month) ago; they were meant to be part of a quick baby gift to take to a shower that was the second week of June. Well, no surprise, that didn’t happen. I ended up bailing on the shower pleading insane levels of busyness at the time. Really that’s a fairly valid excuse anytime during my school year but this was the week before finals and fell on a fuller-than-most weekend so I felt very little guilt about not going. Plus showers are akin to a mild form of torture though this one may have had alcoholic punch. You know I really cannot make it if I’m passing on free drinks.

The pattern for these little gems was simple enough and they did work up pretty quickly but as soon as I finished the second shoe I noticed a problem. They did not match. Sometimes symmetry is my nemesis. Aside from gambling on the baby being born with a club foot there was really only one thing to do, make another shoe.

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Three’s company.

I avoided making the strap until the rest of the shoe was finished so that this third shoe could be paired with whichever of the first two it matched or, at very least, was closest to. Meanwhile I actually tried to make it match the smaller of the original two shoes since I was aiming for newborn sized shoes to begin with.

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Success...basically.

I think I followed the pattern both  all three times with the exception of using a slightly bigger hook than it called for (I don’t even have a 2.5 mm hook) but somehow they all turned out very slightly different. That may have something to do with the fact that all three were made when other things were going on for example at work, during baseball games, and even at the beach and they were made at different times. Maybe making a pair in one sitting would yield more accurate results. Ah well, live and learn right?

Now to attach a button to at least two of these bad boys, make a couple quick bibs, and get this package to the soon-to-be-new-momma. And maybe I’ll attempt a fourth shoe to go with the sad third shoe that will not be included.

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That looks like a … *Warning* Adult Content

I started this new crochet pattern. (I would link to it but I’m about to compare it to male anatomy and I don’t know if that’s what the designer had in mind!) So there I was crocheting away, making myself a new hat and not really paying attention to what was forming. This hat had some single front post rounds as to create ridges. I didn’t really like the ridges and was bemoaning them when my coworker/co-blogger exclaimed “It looks like a penis!”

Now in her defense I’ve been talking an awful lot about the male anatomy. Oh! Get your mind out of the gutter…not like that! I have Anatomy & Physiology class this semester. From now until December 15th it’s all penises and vaginas for me. How often does a person get to say that?! I’ve been studying at work therefore there’s been pictures like this sitting around.

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I may also have been sharing some fun facts with her because let’s be honest – genitalia is funny.

I’m in luck when it comes to my co-blogger because she’s been through this class as well and shares my sense of humor. But apparently this is not universal. When chatting with my roommate’s girlfriend I casually mentioned that I had just learned that the most frequent way to “break” a penis is to roll over on it in the night. She made a funny face and walked away a few minutes later. Clearly this class is increasing my social awkwardness. (Side note: the second most common way is excessive masturbation.)

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I have since frogged some of the pattern and am reworking it. But when my hat looked like this:

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Well there was nothing to do but call it a dickhead.

Blankets and Scaring Myself Silly

I’ve got all kinds of events this summer and fall. Marriages, babies…you know those events that a crocheted blanket would be a perfect present!

My cousin’s wife is due in August. I had some  light green yarn leftover from a project gone wrong and am making a very cute ripple blanket. Possibly with a little appliqué.  Ripples are fun and easy to do. Plus it take very little concentration. Perfect for catching up on some tv. And therefore, I made some serious progress on it yesterday while watching American Horror Story: Murder House. OMG – I freaked myself out.

I watched and crocheted for an embarrassing number of hours. Really an embarrassing amount of time. I am addicted to this show but good grief does it make me a jumpy mess. My cat jumped on the bed and startled the crap out of me!
While the baby blanket is going well I’m also attempting a wedding blanket. I saw a pattern called the 5 1/2 hour throw. I thought perfect! It uses three yarn strands together and a size Q hook. I figured I’d whip it out and be done with a project. It’s a very simple v-stitch. I did about three rows and hated it. It looked soooo sloppy. So I frogged it. As I mentioned before I haven’t had the best luck with crochet lately. So I’m back to the drawing board for the wedding blanket. I think I’m just going to make a throw and I have some very neutral colors to work with. I’m just not sure how I’m going to combine them!

Crochet blues

Yep, I’ve got them the crochet blues. I haven’t been satisfied with my projects and I’m lacking inspiration.

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This hat didn’t turn out quite right. It’s too narrow at the top and just needs a quick revision. The yarn was difficult to work with because it was cheap and kept bunching up. It looks pretty made up but I am not looking forward to frogging it and fixing the top. I don’t know if you can tell from the picture but it does not slouch. It…folds….sorta….not attractively.

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This is a shawl I made. It wasn’t supposed to be a shawl. It was supposed to be a cowl. I followed a pattern but it ended up too wide to just be a cowl and not long enough to double up. So I decreased and turned it into a shawl. Now don’t get me wrong I actually like this but it wasn’t what I pictured or was going for. Also this yarn, Homespun, is kinda a bitch to work with. It’s fuzzy and hard to see the stitches.

Yep, I’ve got the crochet blues.

I do have a lot of other stuff going on. Crochet has just fallen to the back burner a bit. I need a pattern that says “Make me! I’m wonderful!”

If you have any suggestions I’m all ears. I’m working on a baby blanket that will be cute but is pretty basic. It’s ripple blanket and I do love a ripple but I sometimes a girl just wants variety in life. This is the first time in quite awhile that I only have ONE project on the hook.

In other news – I couldn’t resist sharing this picture of some poor sap in my parking lot that got plowed in.

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I mean seriously! I have no idea how they got out. I would’ve been so angry it this happened to my car.

This is a bit how I feel lately. I’m short on motivation across the board. Unfortunately other things in life have a deadline. Or maybe that’s a good thing otherwise I’m not sure I’d leave the couch!

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Crochet Conundrum…Suggestions Welcome

So I’ve been working on a blanket for my sister for Christmas. You can see my progress here, here and here. It’s been going really well. And then I realized I miss-measured!!! Ahhhhh! Now I have three rows of granny squares and one row is longer than the rest! See–

IMAG0371Can you see the end on the skinny grannies? It’s gone long. Here’s a closer look.

IMAG0372It’s about an inch or so too long. If I stretch the wide granny squares the seams show and look terrible. I’ve already bordered all the rows and really don’t want to undo the borders. Really, I don’t want to undo anything! I’m looking to add something maybe. This particular blanket will also have a few more parts and a rather large border. I could make the border sort of include my mistake. It’s going to be a vivid blanket with a going on and a lot of different parts so I’m hoping to find a way to include/mask my mistake. Any suggestions are very, very welcome!!

What’s that saying about measuring twice??

Lack of yarn

I’m working on a baby blanket. I have three skeins of really nice baby yarn and one skein of cheap Red Heart camo. The camo yarn is scratchy and rough but I really wanted camo in the blanket and I could only find it in cheap yarn. It’s fairly spread out and surrounded by delightfully soft baby yarn. I’ve been trying to finish up this blanket and my basket project so I’m down to only two works in progress.

I was relaxing, watching  The League on Netflix and crocheting away. And then the unthinkable happened…I ran out of the cheap camo yarn with only two rows to go!! Grrrr. It was10:45pm and I started debating whether or not it was worth running to Walmart. I decided getting out of pjs and putting on real clothes just wasn’t worth it. I just switched projects.

As I was working the border I ran out of the lovely rose colored yarn with only 1/4 of the border left to go!  Good grief. Clearly I’m not a good judge of the amount of yarn a project needs.

How does one learn that skill??