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quick crochet

  • Crocheting the Shells With a Twist Cowl

    If there's anything I love about crocheting, it's shells.  I'm not sure why.  But I like crocheting them and I like the way they look, all stacking around each other.

    I was looking through the Crochet Cowl book last week--don't ask me why I keep thinking about cowls in this summer heat.  I can't explain it or stop it. My Ravelry queue is completely ridiculous right now--and when I realized that the body of the Shells with a Twist pattern was just the same two rows of shells, I had to try it out.

    I used some Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lana D'Oro that I won last year as part of a drawing at my local yarn store.  It's a nice gray color and I've been saving it for....something.  This cowl was an excellent use of it.  I used around 240 yards or so, and a G hook.

    After a very productive night with my knitting group (who doesn't want to spend her Saturday night getting called a hooker?!), I had made a cowl!  I think this is 4 hours' worth of crocheting and it would be the perfect movie project.  In the time it takes you to watch a Lord of the Rings movie, you could have a cowl!

    I'm definitely going to make a few more of these for Christmas, although I'm probably keeping this for myself.  Look at me!  I look tall in this!

     I'm 5'2" if I stand up straight, wear good shoes, and lie through my teeth.  I hadn't thought that a long cowl would stretch out my appearance a bit, but now I'm nearly considering wearing this 50/50 mix of wool and alpaca just because I like the look of this so much!

    And at least I don't look any shorter if I loop it around my neck twice.  I made it as long as the pattern called for, but I think having it a few inches longer or shorter would have been fine.  This is worked flat like a scarf, so you can clip the ends together and try it on before finishing off and stitching the ends together.

    I'm going to be completely honest with you and tell you that I've spent far too much time looking at this picture some more.

    I'm going to check the yardage on some of my cotton yarn now.  I would definitely wear this around my office right now, or anywhere else where the AC can get a little crazy.

    And I could look taller doing it.

  • Crocheting a Spiral Dishcloth

    I crocheted the Spiral pattern from Dishcloths.

    I really want to call it the Pinwheel Pattern.  I even typed it in this post a few times and had to go back and fix it.

    Maybe it's because I'm getting the 4th of July on the brain and I love those little pinwheel firecrackers (you know the ones.  They make a little ZZZzzzzt! sound while they spin and fire off sparks that probably hit your legs), or because I just like pinwheel-y designs.  But I really like the spiraling pattern of this dishcloth.  I want to make it with different colors so it looks like a kid's toy.  Or maybe with variegated or self-striping yarn so it will look like a lollipop.  

    Or maybe I could just make a whole bunch of these just because they're quick and easy and cute.

    This took about 30 or 40 minutes, and I barely had to follow the pattern once I got the hang of things.  It would be an excellent beginner project for someone who was new to working in the round, or just new to crocheting in general.  It's simple, but it's not boring.  Plus, 60ish yards of cotton yarn and a mere 9 rows to work?  Yes, please!  You can't really tell in the pictures, but the dishcloth is 9" or 10" in diameter.  So that's a pretty good-sized dishcloth for not too much effort!

    This was a quick and fun project, and I'm looking forward to making a few more of these. 

    In fact, maybe I already did.

    Fine, I absolutely did.

    Stay tuned!

  • Crocheting a Basic Slouchy Beanie

     

    I did it!

    One failed attempt and three gauge swatches later, I crocheted the Basic Beanie from Crochet Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps.

    Yes, three gauge swatches.

    I wound up going down to an E hook.  I was surprised that was what it took for me to get the right gauge with a worsted weight yarn, but it did.  The crocheted result wasn't too dense (like I had feared) and the hat is nice and slouchy.

    The hat is smaller than last time--meaning it fits on my head.  And this is how much yarn I have left over from my last hat attempt.

    I'll just add that extra yarn to the half of a skein I have left.  Maybe it will turn into a cowl and then I can have a matching set this winter!  I've been knitting and crocheting for myself quite a bit lately, and I kind of don't want to stop now.  I love this yarn, I love this color, and it turns out I do love this pattern.

    There's just six rounds of increases followed by several rounds of crocheting before a decrease round and the brim.  Crocheting in the back ridge of every round makes rows upon rows of circles and I absolutely love the look of it.  It's simple, but there's some elegance to the simplicity and I think this is just so pretty.

     

    If I had some gradient yarn I wouldn't even be typing this right now because I'd be too busy crocheting this hat pattern all over again.  Actually I could, in theory, have time to crochet a hat and write a post about it.  This is a pretty straightforward project and I made my hat in about a day. 

    I'm pretty excited about this bit of wooly happiness incarnate on my head this winter, but if I had it to do over again (but I won't, because that's THREE tries for one hat), I think I'd work even more straight rounds.  I might have actually skipped a few due to impatience, or maybe I was getting nervous about the size.  I should have known better.  I think the key in making slouchy hats is to work until you think the hat is pretty darn slouchy, and then work a few more rounds after that. And even taking that into consideration, I think this is just great.

    As quickly as this practically crocheted itself up, I can see myself making a lot of Basic Beanies between now and next winter.

    Especially now that I've got that gauge figured out.


  • Making Cheerful Dischloths with Neon Colors

    I was looking for a nice weekend project, and decided to keep up with my own personal fixation on the Fast Favorite pattern from Dishcloths.  I don't know, but I'm really in the mood to make this dishcloth in one solid color with a contrasting border.  But I like the end result, so I'm going to keep doing it.  As much as I like a variegated cotton for a dishcloth sometimes, I was in a mood to  make bold dishcloths with bright edges.  Apparently I want my dishcloths to be stylish?  I guess that was the decision I made after making two dishcloths one evening in Tangerine and Hot Green.

    "You know I coulda been born just plain white trash, BUT FANCY WAS MY NAME!"

    By the time the weekend hit, I was in a mood.  Simple, bold....dishcloths.

    Lots and lots of dishcloths.

    I made two dishcloths with yarn in Red and Hot Blue.  And two small dishcloths with Denim yarn that I edged with Tangerine and Hot Green.

     Once I started using the Tangerine yarn as an edge on the dark color of the denim, I wished I hadn't used it for entire dishcloths last week.  I really like these lighter and brighter colors for just the edges.

     I considered crocheting a dishcloth in Hot Green, but made it about 3 rows in before my eyes hurt.  But as an edge, it's a nice bit of brightness.

     I've been seeing color arrangements with bits of neon for a while now, especially in Martha Stewart publications and on the Purl Bee.  I don't know if I'm really a neon convert, but while I'm on this wild crochet cotton bender I think I'll keep feeling stylish and daring with my color choices.


     I think you should try it!  Or, you know, buy stock in Lily Cotton. 

    Because I don't see myself stopping any time soon.


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