Monday, December 29, 2014

Newborn Pants with Bum Flap: Crochet Pattern

Today I am so excited to share these cozy little newborn pants with you! I recently contacted Rebekka Seale with Camellia Fiber Company about creating a crochet pattern with her yarn. Camellia Fiber Compnay offers mill-spun and hand-spun yarn made from local natural fibers such as  Tennessee alpaca (she has some adorable pictures of them on her site)! Rebekka kindly sent over some super soft and thick Merino Aran yarn. I'm so happy we decided on creating a baby pattern with this yarn, because it was such a good fit. The softness of this yarn is perfect for delicate baby skin, but man is it warm and cozy! Very suitable for little winter babes. I'm also quite obsessed with these little upcycled wooden buttons. I've been slapping them on everything, so the bum flap idea may have been another excuse to use them. I'm so in love with how these sweet tiny pants turned out, and I hope you enjoy the pattern! A special thanks to Rebekka for collaborating with me on this project. It's so nice to meet and work with other fiber lovers. I know my husband probably gets tired of hearing me ramble on about yarn and patterns and things of this sort.
Materials: 150 yards of Camellia Fiber Company's Merino Aran yarn, 2 small wooden buttons (I used these), 4mm hook, needle and brown thread, tapestry needle, scissors

Abbreviations: chain stitch (ch), slip stitch (ss), single crochet stitch (sc),
half double crochet stitch (hdc)
These pants are created from the top down working the ribbing first then on to the rise and inseam. The bum flap is created separately and sewn on using a tapestry needle and yarn.

Ribbing
Row 1: ch 7. hdc in the second chain from the hook and in each ch across.
Row 2-46: turn and ch 1. hdc in each hdc across back loops only (this creates the ribbing effect).
After the last row is complete for the ribbing, fold the ribbing in half and align the first ch 7 to the last row of hdc. ss these rows together (still only using the back loops) to create the waistband of the pants. Once joined, the piece should measure 6 1/2 inches across. 

Rise
Row 1: With your yarn still attached to the waistband you just created, ch 1. hdc into the side of the first hdc row and in each around. You should have a total of 46 hdc. ss into the first hdc you made on this row.
Row 2-3: ch 1. hdc around (including the hdc you ss into to join). ss into first hdc of the round.
Row 4: hdc in first 31 hdc of previous round leaving 15 hdc stitches open for the bum flap. turn and ch 1.
Row 5-9: hdc in each hdc from previous round (31 hdc). turn and ch 1.
Row 10: hdc in each hdc from previous round and do not turn. ch 15. ss into first hdc of current round (this will close in that cute little bum flap).
Row 11: hdc in each hdc and ch of the previous round. You should have 46 hdc total at the end of this round. The measurement of the rise (from the top of the waistband to the where the legs start) should be 5 inches.

First Leg
Row 1: With your yarn still attached to the rise, ch 1 and hdc in first 11 hdc of the previous round. Join the back of your first leg to the front of the rise by aligning the stitches on the front of the rise with the stitches on the back of the rise. hdc into the 12th hdc from the first hdc on the front side of the pants. hdc in the remaining 11 hdc of the previous round and ss into the top of the first hdc of the round to create the first leg of the pants.
Row 2-11: ch 1. hdc into each hdc around. ss into the top of the first hdc. (You should have 23 hdc for each leg. Remember to hdc into the hdc you join into on each round.)
Row 12: ch 1. sc into each hdc around. ss into the top of the first sc.
Row 13: ch 1. sc into each sc around. ss into the top of the first sc. fasten off.

Second Leg
Row 1: Line up the front and back sides of the rise for your second leg, and join your yarn by joining the first hdc stitches on the front and back nearest the first leg with a ss. ch 1 and hdc around including the hdc stitches you joined your yarn to.
Row 2-11: ch 1. hdc into each hdc around. ss into the top of the first hdc.
Row 12: ch 1. sc into each hdc around. ss into the top of the first sc.
Row 13: ch 1. sc into each sc around. ss into the top of the first sc. fasten off. The legs should measure 4 1/2 inches long.  

Bum Flap:
Row 1: ch 21. hdc in the second ch from the hook and in each ch across.
Row 2-8: turn and ch 1. hdc in each hdc across.
Row 9: turn and ch 1. hdc in first hdc from previous round. ch 1. skip 1 hdc (this will create your first buttonhole). hdc in next hdc from previous round and in each hdc until only 2 remain from the previous round. ch 1. skip one hdc (this will create your second buttonhole). hdc in last hdc of previous round. fasten off.

Assembly:
Attach the bum flap to the pants using your tapestry needle and yarn. Sew the bottom of the bum flap to the bottom of the bum flap opening. I used the back stitch to secure the bottom of the bum flap to the top of the hdc stitches at the bottom of the bum flap opening. Using your needle and brown thread, sew on your wooden buttons to the top corners of your bum flap. Weave in any ends, and button the bum flap to the pants.

I hope all of my instructions were clear, but please let me know if you are having trouble or have any questions!




Monday, December 8, 2014

Jolene


My first knit project completed. I used the pattern and learned how to knit this scarf from the Skillshare Class I mentioned last week for beginner knitters. I had so much fun with this project, honing in on a new craft similar to one I already know and love. To be honest though, part of me felt a little guilty while I was knitting this scarf. I felt as though I were cheating on my crochet hooks, like my knitting needles were the Jolene to my Dolly. But Dolly should know, nothing could ever replace her. Maybe Jolene and Dolly could be friends? I really hope they can, because I love them both so much! Especially if the Jolenes to come are as soft and cozy as this one.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Baby Color Blocked Blanket: Easy Crochet Pattern For Beginners

The color blocked pattern has been making many appearances lately, and I really love the simplistic and unfledged look of it. When I was asked to create a baby blanket for a recent custom order, this was one of the first designs that popped into my mind. Other baby color blocked blankets I've seen have been in bright hues and give off a fun and loud vibe. I wanted to go with a softer more neutral color palette for this blanket that is cozy and calming for a newborn. This is a gender neutral blanket, and I really love how the tight small stitches of the single crochet stitch and the simple neutral colors came together. I find it so comforting and perfect for a little winter babe.

This pattern is perfect for beginners, because it only uses one basic stitch, and you don't have to worry about counting rows. Even if you are an advanced crocheter, this pattern is great for working on while being preoccupied with oh I don't know you're favorite t.v. show, little ones running around and demanding attention, in the midst of doing laundry or cooking, etc.
Materials: worsted weight yarn in 4 neutral colors, size 5mm crochet hook, scissors, measuring tape

Abbreviations: chain stitch (ch), single crochet (sc)

Instructions:
Step 1 - Using your first color ch 89. sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across (Your piece should measure about 26" across).
Step 2 - *Turn and ch 1. sc in each stitch across.* repeat until piece measures 7 1/2 inches long. Change colors.
Step 3 - Repeat Step 2 with remaining 3 colors. Fasten Off and weave in ends. The blanket should measure approximately 26" wide x 30" long.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall Blooms





It’s October. It’s finally cooling down…a little. The plants and animals seem to feel it, and I’m trying. Millet and goldenrod wave in wetlands greeting the waterfowl that are making their yearly flight from up north. They come to feast themselves into food comas on tubers and seeds much like we do with the Thanksgiving Turkey that will soon be served. Fall is here. It’s pumpkin this and apple that. I think I’ll decorate a pumpkin this weekend. Fall makes you want to do things of that sort, instead of drowning in your own sweat, it gives you refreshment. And the dogs, oh the dogs go crazy, they love it. We hope to take them camping this fall, since we had to leave them on our last trip. Our summer doldrums are fading, and I'm so happy Fall has arrived!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Comfiest Slipper Booties




These slipper booties are by far the most comfortable slippers I have ever made/owned/worn. It's true. And to top that off, they are so sweet and simple. Just lovely if you ask me. I have had Erika Knight's latest crochet book Simple Crocheting on my wishlist for awhile now, and when I saw a free pattern from the book on SMP craft, I was so so excited to get a little taste test. This pattern was easy to read and work up, and I can't wait to try the other beautiful patterns in her book. I do want to note that the pattern called for bulky yarn, and I instead  double stranded a light soft yarn.  I love these slippers, and I can't wait to lounge around the house in them in the chilly days ahead.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Crochet for a Cause & Newborn Hat Pattern

The Period of Purple Crying is a term that refers to the time period that a newborn cries more than any other time period and can be quite frustrating to new parents. During this time, many parents believe there is something wrong with their baby, but it is actually a very normal and healthy period. There have also been statistics that sadly show an increase of infant deaths during this period due to Shaken Baby Syndrome. Spreading awareness about this period can help educate new parents and help them understand what their baby is going through. It helps show them they are not alone, reassures them that their baby is healthy, and lets them know it is just a period that has an end.

I created this pattern for newborn hats that will be passed out to infants and their families to help spread awareness about The Period of Purple Crying. I wanted to share it here to help recruit volunteers for this wonderful cause. If you have another idea for a cute newborn hat, feel free to use a different pattern. We are just asking that it contain some shade of purple in the design. Also, any knitters are welcome to make hats, too! All the information about where to send your completed hats are at the bottom of this post, and they should be mailed by the end of September to arrive in Oklahoma for the first of October. The pattern for this top knot hat follows, and works up pretty quick so you can make several in one day. Thanks so much to any volunteers, and please feel free to spread the word to any crochet/knitting friends. 

Materials: yarn in any shade of purple, 4mm crochet hook, scissors, ruler

Abbreviations: chain stitch (ch), slip stitch (ss), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc)

Pattern: ch 5. ss into first ch. ch 1. sc in each ch around. ss into first sc. *ch 1. sc in each sc around. ss into  first sc of round* repeat until piece measures 5 inches.

Rounds 1 and 2 - ch 2. 2 dc in each sc around. ss into first dc. 

Round 3 - ch 2. *2 dc in next dc. 1 dc in next dc* repeat around. ss into first dc of round.

Round 4 - ch 2. *2 dc in next dc. 1 dc in next 2 dc.* repeat around. ss into first dc of round. (40 stitches)

Round 5-11 - ch 2. dc around. ss into first dc of round. 

Fasten off and weave in ends. Tie top tail into a knot, and roll a cuff at the bottom of the hat with the last 2 rows to finish. 

To find out more about The Period of Purple Crying visit http://www.purplecrying.info




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Crocheted Mug Cozy

Trent and I treated ourselves to a coffee grinder and French press recently, because French press coffee is so yummy. Fresh coffee really makes for a good morning. We have been using local coffee beans from French Truck Coffee, and we both really love it so far. I made these simple crocheted mug cozies to go along with our new French Press, so I don't burn my hands after the fresh hot coffee hits the mug. A very cute solution I think. Here's the pattern:


Materials: 4mm hook, a very small amount of yarn, button, needle and thread, scissors

Abbreviations: Chain Stitch (ch), Double Crochet (dc), Single Crochet (sc), Slip Sitch (ss)

ch 27. ss into first ch to join both ends.
Row 1: ch 1. sc around. ss into the top of the first sc.
Row 2: ch 2. dc into first 25 ch stitches. (2 ch stitches should be left open) turn.
Row 3-4: ch 2. dc around. turn.
Round 5: ch 2. dc around. ch 10. sc into third ch from hook (this is the button hole).
Round 6: sc into the rest of the chains and in each dc from Round 5 around.
Fasten Off and weave in the end.

Sew your button on the opposite side of the clasp and button hole you made (use pictures for reference). I tried this mug cozy on several sizes of mugs, and it fit all of them, so hopefully it fits most standard mugs. Enjoy your coffee, tea, cider, etc. with your new drinkware accessory;)


Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Grateful Heart

                                  
Some days, weeks, months are tiresome and hard. No matter what stage of life you are in, I am finding that there will be good days and bad days and just ok days. I am lucky enough to have someone to come home to at the end of that good/bad/ok day and tell him about it, share my thoughts and hopes and dreams with, and just be me with. I am a pretty weird person. I do random quirky things that would drive many people up the wall, including my husband, but he puts up with it because he likes and loves me. He is my best friend and my family, and I cannot wait to grow our family together and see all the other days God has planned for us. I struck gold when I married this man, and I am forever grateful that he is a part of me.

Image (via)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Shrimp & Zucchini Alfredo

I recently bought this spiralizer from amazon for turning my veggies into faux pasta. Good trick, huh? It's obviously not the delicious carb filled pasta you treat yourself to on date nights, but it is the delicious pasta that brings no heartburn and fewer calories, so you don't feel as bad for skipping your workout.


Shrimp and Zucchini Alfredo: Serves 2


Ingredients:
4 tbsp. olive oil
4 small zucchini
1 lb. medium shrimp
2 cu. lowfat milk
1 cu. chicken broth
3/4 cu. all purpose flour
3/4 cu. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash your zucchini and cut off the ends. Run all four zucchini through your spiralizer or use a pairing knife to spiralize your zucchini.
2. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in large skillet and add your zucchini with a little salt and pepper. Cook on medium/high heat for about 15 minutes flipping occasionally with a spatula.
3. While your zucchini is cooking you can start on the alfredo sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, broth, and garlic powder on low heat until warm. Add flour and stir until the flour had been fully incorporated into the sauce. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the parmesan until fully incorporated into the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer on the lowest heat setting until ready to serve, stirring every so often. If your sauce is not thick enough, add 1 tbsp. of flour at a time over low heat until you've reached your desired thickness.
4. Once the zucchini has finished cooking, remove it from the skillet and place into a bowl with aluminum foil on top to keep it warm. Rinse your shrimp and set aside. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and return to medium/high heat. Add your shrimp to the skillet with salt and pepper and cook until bright pink (about 10 minutes).
5. To Serve: Place zucchini "pasta" on your plates and cover with shrimp and alfredo sauce. Add a little extra parm on top if you please.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Perfect (Crocheted) Little Black Bag


I started making this bag on a whim a few months ago after seeing this beauty on Pinterest. I would do other little side projects throughout my new little black bag quest, and I am happy to announce that I have finally finished it. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, except for the lining bit. This was my first bag ever to try and add a lining to, and I did a pretty terrible job. I'll add the tutorial I used at the bottom, and hopefully you will have more luck than me. I hope to remove this lining eventually and retry. Luckily you can't see the lining from the outside, so as far as anyone else can see, this is a perfectly good lookin' handbag.

Materials: 2 skeins black yarn, 5mm crochet hook, black button, black thread and sewing needle, scissors, 1/2 yd black fabric and sewing machine for lining (optional). 

Abbreviations: chain stitch (ch), slip stitch (ss), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), puff stitch (puff), skip a stitch (sk). Pattern is in US terms.

Row 1: ch 96. ss into first ch. ch 2. 

Row 2-5: dc in each stitch around. ss into top of ch 2. ch 2. 

Row 6: *puff stitch in next dc. ch 1. skip 1 dc. puff into next dc.* repeat around. ss into first puff. ch 3. 

Row 7: puff sitch into first ch 1 space. ch 1. *puff into next ch 1 space. ch 1.* repeat around. ss into the second ch of the beginning ch 3. ch 2.  

Row 8: *dc into the top of the next puff stitch. dc into the next ch 1.* Repeat around. ss into the first dc. ch 3.

Row 9: Repeat row 6.

Row 10-14: Repeat row 7. 

Row 15: Repeat row 8, but only ch 2 at the end. 

Row 16: dc in each dc around. ch 3. 

Row 17: Repeat row 6.

Row 18: Repeat row 7.

Row 19: Repeat row 8, but only ch 2 at the end.

Row 20: sc 14. ch 20. sk 20 stitches and sc into next dc. sc 27. ch 20. sk 20, and sc into next dc. sc 13. ss into first sc. ch 1.

Row 21-24: sc around (when you get to the ch stitches for the handles, sc into the ch stitches). ss into first sc. ch 1.

Row 25: ss around.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

To close the bottom of your bag, fold it flat and attach your yarn to the first stitch on either side. Line the bottom stitches on each side of your bag up and slip stitch all the way across. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Turn your bag inside out, so you can see the puff of your puff stitches.

Attach your yarn to the center of one side of the bag to make a loop for your button. ch 10-12 stitches. ss into the same stitch you added your yarn to. Fasten off and weave in ends. 

Use your needle and yarn to attach your button to the center of the opposite side of the bag. Use my pictures for reference. 
I used this tutorial to add a lining to my bag. I just think it makes it more durable, but feel free to leave it unlined. Sorry if this pattern is a little hard to follow. I didn't write things down as I went, so I've had to just use my memory. E-mail me if you have any questions!



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kitchen Calligraphy Art // You Wash, I'll Dry

This is a pretty simple and explanatory DIY, but I wanted to share. I am a complete beginner in calligraphy, but I've been practicing a lot. I wanted to create a simple calligraphy DIY that I could display in our home, even though I'm not that great at it yet. I've been on the lookout for a piece of art to hang above our sink in the kitchen, but haven't had any luck yet, so I decided to use an old frame and some fun calligraphy art for this space for the time being. I've seen the phrase you wash, i'll dry on tea towels and decided to use this phrase in my frame. I love this saying for a few reasons. It reminds me of my great grand parents ( I know, I was quite lucky to be able to know them for the first 9 years of my life!). My mawmaw Nobie would hand wash the dishes after every meal and my pawpaw Ancel would dry them and put them away, even though they had a perfectly good dishwasher that could do the work for them. It's one of my clearest memories of them. I also like this phrase because it applies to so many things in a marriage/household. You have to work together as a family and help each other out. Anyway, I hope you like this simple little DIY. Don't be scared to show off your skills, even if you feel nervous that it's not perfect!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Adventures in Calligraphy (Vol. 1)

Practice, Practice, Practice. Not even a little bit good at this yet, but I'm having oh so much fun. And I don't even mind the ink all over my hands after writing. Actually, it makes me feel like an artist. I've never been great at drawing or painting, but calligraphy feels beautiful enough to be considered art. 



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Striped Newborn Hat Pattern

A friend of mine asked me to make some baby props for her photography business, and this is by far my favorite piece I made for her. It's just so simple and non-distracting, and I really love the neutral colors of this hat with nice and simple wooden buttons. This pattern was quick to work up, but you do have to change colors often. I think it's definitely worth it because stripes are the best. Actually, wee BABY stripes are the best!

Materials: soft baby yarn in 2 colors ( I used a white and tan color), 5mm hook, scissors, 2 wooden buttons (i bought mine here), brown thread, sewing needle

Abbreviations: Chain Stitch (ch), Slip Stitch (ss), Double Crochet (DC)

Pattern:

Row 1: Using your first color, ch 3. 10 dc into the second ch from hook. ss into last ch. ch 2.
Row 2: 2 dc into each dc around. ss into top of ch 2.
Row 3: Change to second color. ch 2. *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next dc* repeat around. ss into top of ch 2.
Row 4: Change to first color. ch 2. *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next two dc* repeat around. ss into top of ch 2.
Row 5-9: Change colors. ch 2. dc in each dc around. ss into top of ch 2.

Fasten off and weave in ends. Use your needle and thread to sew the wooden buttons on the front side of the hat, one on top of the other.

Photo credit to Erin Cefalu Photography. Check out her site here!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Roadside Stands

 I drive an hour to work and another hour home 5 days a week. It becomes exhausting, and Lord knows I've voiced my complaints about it. I complain about driving to a good job, one that I love (most of the time), in an air conditioned car, usually accompanied by my favorite music or an audiobook, through my favorite scenes on Earth. I pass by the most beautiful swamps, pastures of horses and cows, beautiful wildflowers and roadside stands selling fresh local produce and handmade goods and I complain. What's wrong with me? I read this poem today, and it really made me feel a tad ashamed of the things I take for granted.
 
Give me the gift of time
 to travel the byways
and back roads
 
And fresh eyes to see
fat, contented cows
grazing in green lush pastures
of sweet sweet clover
 
And the privilege to stop
where and when I please
at any roadside stand
for big Vidalia onions
and ripe Elberta peaches
 
-Gwen Barlow
 

So next time, before I begin to complain, I will think of this poem, roadside stands, and all the many wonderful things I have to be thankful for.