It’s a Turtle, It’s a Basket, It’s… A Turtle Toy!

I have been M.I.A. for quite some time now, and want to apologize. During my time, I have put together a few patterns to share with you all! Woo-hoo!

The most recent, and literally fresh off the hook, is my Turtle Basket Toy. I must say that the little guy turned out exquisitely ADORABLE! Take a ‘looksie’ for yourself. 🙂

Easter and TMNT (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) were my inspiration for him. I also wanted to create a multi-purpose item that my Nephew could use year-’round. So yes, the turtle is an Easter basket, toy, and decoration all in one! 🙂

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The pattern will soon be uploaded to Etsy.com, so stay tuned!

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Merry Christmas! I Bring You Gifts of Joy!

Santa-reindeer

 

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

-Santa Claus

You may think that I’m giving you your gift a few weeks too early, but I figured you’d need some time to enjoy what I have to offer. 🙂

At this point, you’ve probably figured out that I LOVE using Red Heart patterns, which is why I’m giving you the gift of thirty (yes, THIRTY) fun-filled crochet and knit patterns for Christmas! I do hope you enjoy your present, and are as thrilled as I am to dive into Red Heart’s FREE eBook titled, “Decorate and Celebrate“!  Go ahead. Click it so you can get some much needed R & R this weekend.

I’m going to work on the “Christmas Tree Wall Hanging,” featured on page 59 of “Decorate and Celebrate.” My kiddos are going to be SUPER excited to hang the itty-bitty mittons on the Christmas tree as each day of December comes closer to Christmas Day. Let me know what YOU’LL be working on this weekend in the Comment Section below. 🙂

How to Measure Your Gauge

You’re always reading that gauge is critical (even detrimental!) to most crochet projects, but how do you measure your gauge? As mysterious as it may sound, measuring your gauge is really not difficult at all! All you need is the crochet pattern, recommended yarn (per the pattern), and recommended hook size (again, per pattern’s instructions). Here’s the ‘How-To’ on measuring your gauge. (I’m going to be using a single example throughout.):

1. Review Pattern
Review the pattern and look for the “Gauge” section. Under this section, you’ll find something similar to:

12 sts and 12 rows = 4″/10cm over pattern stitch using size H/8 (5.00 mm) crochet hook.

2. Make A Swatch
You’ll start by making a condensed version of the pattern (like a swatch). In other words, the Gauge tells you 12 sts and 12 rows = 4″/10cm, so you will chain at least 12 chns and then begin the pattern. The pattern will continue until you complete 12 rows. At this point, measure your swatch. It should measure 4″x4″ (it’ll look like a perfect square according to this pattern’s instructions).

3. Possible Change in Hook Size
If your swatch is bigger than a 4″x4″, pick the next smaller crochet hook size. If it’s smaller than the given size, pick the next bigger crochet hook size. If the swatch matches the 4″x4″, keep your current hook size and begin your crochet project.

And that’s all, folks! I hope I’ve helped you understand exactly how to measure your gauge. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. I’ll get back to you ASAP. Have a wonderful Sunday! 🙂

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What You Should Know About Crocheting Garments

I’m venturing off in a new direction, my Friends! After months of debating whether or not  to follow suit in crocheting my own garments for the fall, I’ve decided to go with YES! Though I have made baby and toddler outfits in the past, I have never attempted a form-fitting top. Here are a few pointers that will help anyone (including me!) who is looking forward to crocheting their own garments:

1. Check Your Gauge
This is imperative and ever crucial! Yes, it takes time, but it’s nothing compared to having to unravel a week’s worth of crochet work (makes me want to cry!). So, make your swatch. Measure it and make sure it correlates exactly with what the pattern tells you. Otherwise, change your crochet hook size.

2. Measure Yourself
Much like the gauge, you want to make sure your body measurements are precise. This will make or break your project, so double and triple check your body measurements. Use a ‘soft’ measuring tape with a firm band (one that doesn’t stretch) to ensure an precise measurement. Leave enough room for breathing!

3. Pick A Garment You Love
There’s nothing worse than forcing yourself to work on a project you really don’t like. Be sure that the garment you crochet is versitile, meaning that you can wear it either year ’round, or you can mix and match it with more than 30% of your wardrobe. Afterall, why waste your time and effort making a garment that you’ll only wear once a year?!

4. Pick An Easy Project
I don’t literally mean pick an ‘Easy’ level project. If you’re up for a challenge, go for it! What I do mean is for you to go through the crochet pattern a few times before you decide on ‘THE ONE.’ Double check materials, such as the type of yarn needed, crochet hook size(s), notions (are buttons or snaps needed?), special abbreviations, and how the pattern works up in general. I like for my patterns to tell me what part of the garment I’ll be working on. It helps me to visually understand what’s going to happen next.

Best wishes with your garment crochet project!  I hope that it’s a winner, and that you’ll enjoy wearing it for years to come. 🙂

Sincerely,
Debra Lee

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Let’s Go Trick-or-Treating Again!

This is Halloween, everybody make a scene.

Trick or treat until the neighbors die of fright.

It’s our town, everybody make a scream.

…Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

The Nightmare Before Christmas:  “This is Halloween”

Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

We’re almost TWO months away from the night when all the ghouls and goblins come out to play; the vampires flee their dark coffins to suck your blood, while the werewolves who were once men run wildly in the dark – hungry for anything and anyone who cross their path! Ghosts soar high in the sky and come back down every so often to say…

“BOO!”

What a spectacular night!

Amidst it all, children chuckle with glee and shriek when spooked. Some are dressed to resemble the Halloween creatures of the night, but they all have one thing in common – Halloween Loot Bags!

“Cupcake Bag” by Michele Wilcox is a super cute Halloween Loot Bag that will complement any little girl’s costume. (Click here for the “Cupcake Bag” crochet pattern.) It’s an ‘Easy’ level crochet pattern, and works up rather nicely. I will say that I found a few errors within the pattern, of which I will list below. But! Don’t let these tiny mistakes deter you from trying this pattern out! It’s THE perfect Halloween candy bag to add to your children’s Loot Bag collection. (Click here for Wilcox’s “Scary Skull Bag” pattern.)

I can’t wait to see my Little Ones using their Halloween Loot Bags! They’ll definitely stand out from the crowd of children, especially with their small flashlights inside their bags. Too cute!

Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

“Cupcake Bag” Crochet Pattern Errors:

  1. Row 3:  End with 51 sc, not 50 sc.
  2. White Chain:  Use Row 10, not Row 9.
  3. Handle:  Round 1 should say, ‘…in next 34 chs…’, not 33 chs.

Let me know how your cupcake Halloween Loot Bag turns out! Did you pick different colors for the frosting and hearts? I’m excited to hear from you!

(P.S. If my errors are in error, please let me know! Thanks a million!)

Trick-or-Treat, Smell My Feet! Give Me Something Good to Eat!

Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

Voices of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight is Halloween!”

-Dexter Kozen

I stumbled across this really scary trick-or-treat bag while browsing through Redheart.com’s ‘Free Pattern’ section a few months ago and thought to myself, “PERFECTO! This will be great to make for one of my kiddos!” Not only will it save me some cash, but it’ll be a one-of-a-kind Halloween bag. It’s a win-win!

ALSO…! My son came up with a GENIUS idea. He tells me, “Look, Mommy! You can put a flashlight inside the bag to light it up!” HOW BRILLIANT! Be sure to see the photo below to see what the Halloween bag looks like lit up. It’s (the light) a great way to keep track of your child on Halloween night, too.

Lastly, the pattern is titled, “Scary Scull Bag” by Michele Wilcox. Click on Scary Skull Bag by Michele Wilcox for the FREE pattern! It is rated as an “Easy” level, which means there is little shaping to be done. Honestly, I didn’t have much of an issues creating this spooky trick-or-treat bag. Though, the creation of the nose did confuse me a little (probably because I was soo tired when making it! Ha ha!). Just pay attention to the wording, and the nose will turn out fine. Looking at the photo helped me immensely (great for all of you visual learners!). Hope this trick-or-treat bag is on your Halloween crochet ‘To Do’ list! It’s a fun pattern to work on. 🙂 If you’d like to check out some more “Easy” level Halloween crochet patterns, click here. I have a list of them on a blog I previously typed up. Cheers!

Note:  As I previously mentioned, I found the pattern on Redheart.com, but I just looked for it now, and it’s no longer available on their website. If you have any issues with the pattern file, please advise me in the Comment Box below!

Photo Taken by:  Debra Lee
Photo Taken by: Debra Lee

Types of Crochet Yarn: So What?!

Photo Source:  BigStock.com
Photo Source: BigStock.com

If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you have a stash of various types of yarn in your home. Tons of new stock, some scarp yarn, and partially used skeins… Heck, some may even call you a Yarn Hoarder! Just tell ’em, “Don’t be jealous!” Ha-ha! Yesssss, I’m going to cover types of crochet yarn because it’s THE very object that brings your crochet creations to life! Here’s the ‘dish’ on types of crochet yarn:

1.) It’s Numbered

Crochet yarn is numbered from 1-6.

  • 1 = Super Fine (Used for socks, baby clothes/blankets/toys, or anything delicate; really thin yarn)
  • 2= Fine (Usually called ‘sport yarn,’ or ‘baby yarn’)
  • 3= Light (AKA:  DK yarn, or double knitting yarn; used for lighter weight garments/blankets)
  • 4= Medium (Most versatile and is the ‘go-to’ yarn for most crocheters; not too thin, not too thick)
  • 5= Bulky (Can be used for scarves; thick yarn)
  • 6= Super Bulky (Use this for rugs and finger crochet; super thick yarn)

2.) The Name is in the Color

There are a few categories of color with crochet yarn:

  • Ombre = Shades of one color are used along the strand of yarn; shades typically go from dark to light
  • Multi-colored = Self explained; there are several (greater, or equal to two) colors along the strand of yarn
  • Heathered/Tweed = Has random specks/flecks of a different colored fiber along the colored yarn
  • Shimmer = Contains small pieces of tinsel along the yarn to make it shimmer

3.) Stick With What the Pattern Tells Ya

Before starting your crochet project, always read through the pattern at least TWICE. This will help you become familiar with the abbreviations used, how the designer likes to write their patterns, and most importantly, what materials you’ll need to complete the project. It’s critical to stick with the same yarn weight that the project asks for. For instance, let’s say the pattern asks for medium worsted yarn, but all you have is bulky yarn. Should you go ahead and use the bulky weight yarn for the project? NOPE. Your crochet project will turn out much, much bigger (I’m talking monster huge!) than it was initially meant to be. Same goes for the opposite situation. If the pattern asks for super bulky weight yarn and all you have is light weight yarn. Use the light weight yarn, or lose it? Yes, that’s right. LOSE it. The one thing you can do is substitute yarn brands for the same weight in another brand. Just be sure to check your gauge!

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider… Web! (Beginning)

I’m currently working on a spider web table topper for Halloween, and am enjoying every second of it! It’s everything an awesome crochet pattern could be – super easy, fun, and can be used Halloween after Halloween. Seriously, what more can you ask from a crochet pattern?! Woo hoo!

Photo taken by: Debra Lee
Photo taken by: Debra Lee

 

The picture illustrates how the pattern is coming together after round two. Yes, it does look like a flower applique, but don’t worry! It’s only going to get bigger and bigger around, with more chain spaces added in between the “flower petals” (so-to-speak).  Check out the pattern here. It’s a Red Heart pattern, so you know it’s  good one! Stay tuned for the ‘Itsy-Bitsy Spider… Web!’ finale. 🙂

Check This Out, Mary Shelley!

I spent a rainy afternoon crocheting for one of my favorite holidays:  Halloween! What I ended up with was a green-faced monster with little black hair on his head, and two gray screws protruding from his neck! One name described him perfectly:  FRANKENSTEIN!

EEEEEK!!!

Photo taken by:  Debra Lee
Photo taken by: Debra Lee

The monster came to life in my hands within a few hours. I must admit that he was really easy to put together! Although the screw placement was a little off (I’d recommend placing them anywhere after Round 3 from “Complete Face Opening and Work Neck.”), Frankenstein can always be adjusted accordingly.

This pattern name is, “Frankenstein Hat,” designed by Snappy Tots. Red Heart Reflective yarn was recommended for this pattern, but I used Red Heart Super Saver and it worked just as great. It is an “Easy” rated pattern, which means there’s minimal  shaping. Easy-peasy! Enjoy!