Eyes, Getting them Right, Part II-Buttons

Part II in Eyes, Getting them Right

My last post described yarn stitched or embroidered eyes.    Another super easy method to adding character to your creations is with button eyes.

Buttons

Buttons are easy, inexpensive options for eyes and one of my favorites. You can find projects that use a simple basic black button sewed with black thread to projects that use three different colored buttons stacked one on top of the other and backed with felt.  You know the saying, “Cute as a button”, well, there’s are reason for it!  Buttons are cute and crocheted critters with button eyes are even cuter.

I prefer buttons that have four holes for attaching rather than two.  They are more secure and I find the four holed buttons look better.  Maybe it gives a slight illusion of a pupil, not sure, but it is a preference of mine.

Mr. Springy, The Robot DudeTIPS

Use yarn to sew on the buttons.  If your yarn is worsted weight or thicker it will be too thick to use to attach the button.   A simple option is to split the plies of the yarn and use just one.  Try sewing on the button with a coordinating color.   For example, Mr. Springy has button eyes that are sewed on with the contrasting yarn used for his stripes.

Watch out for the types of buttons that attach at the back only.  If they both aren’t secured tight enough they will hang uneven and ruin the look of a project.  You may want to avoid using this type of button on a hat unless you used very thick yarn to crochet the hat.  It is possible for the back of the button to poke thru and irritate the scalp.

Be careful of your placement of the buttons on a hat.  If the hat is a gift or for donation, try the hat on after you placed the eyes to make sure they lay properly and are positioned in a natural way-not too far out to the sides.  Hats stretch when worn and sometimes what looks good laying flat doesn’t look so great when worn.

100_6208_medium2Have fun with buttons.  I made a Goofy Spider hat-he was purple and I wanted to give him red eyes.  I had two mismatched red buttons in my button bin.  I think they made him perfectly goofy looking.

100_6617 (640x640)Get creative with your button options.  I had a hard time finding the perfect buttons for Blockhead Man.  I want flat shiny black buttons and all I had were ones with ridges.  So I flipped the buttons over, used the wrong side and they worked out perfect!

Pros

  • Cute, cute and more cute.  I love the homey feel button eyes give a project.

Cons

  • #1 Con, buttons are a choking hazard.  Do not use on items that will be given to babies younger than 3 yrs. old.

Next, Crocheted Eyes…

Calculating yardage used, it’s easier than you think!

Math is your friend!I love math.  It was always one of my favorite subjects in school.  I find comfort in numbers-nerdy, I know.  Maybe that is why I love crochet designing.  I thrive on finding the proper stitch repeats to manipulate yarn into creating the vision I have in my head.  Many are afraid of math, don’t be.  Math CAN be your friend.  For example, if you need to calculate the yardage used in a project.  Maybe you are testing a pattern for someone and they want the actual yardage you use, or maybe you have some yarn, not a full skein, and want to know if it’s enough to make that special hat pattern.  Maybe you are math geek like me and are just curious.  Whatever your reason for calculating your yardage, you can do it and it’s easy.

Supplies needed-

  • yarn
  • the yarn label (this is key)
  • kitchen scale (digital is best and one that measures in grams is even better)

1.    Determine how many yards per ounce (or grams).

Yarn labels state yardage and ounces/grams. Say your skein has 3.5 ounces and 220 yards.  Divide total yardage/by total ounces.  In this example, that works out to approximately 63 yards/ounce. (220/3.5=62.857).

2.   Determine how much yardage you used.

You need to weigh your yarn BEFORE you start your project (if you aren’t using new skeins) then weigh your yarn AFTER you finish. Subtract ending weight from starting weight to determine weight of yarn used.  Then multiply by amount of yards per ounce as determined from the label in the first step.  In the above example, if you used 1.5 ounces of yarn then yardage would be 1.5 X 63 = 94.5 yards.   That’s it!

There are 28 grams per ounce so if you measure in grams, you will have a much more accurate calculation.  I have a digital kitchen scale.  I believe I bought at Wal-Mart for about $20.  I know some people use the scales at local post offices.  Just remember to always save the yarn labels of partial skeins.  That way, you can calculate how much yardage you have on hand.  If a pattern states estimated yardage needed to complete the project, you’ll know right away if you have enough or not.

Have fun!

Buy 2 Get 1 Free on Ravelry, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins

Magic Circle aka Adjustable Ring, how to

How to make a Magic Circle/Adjustable Ring

I start almost all of the hats I make with a magic circle.  It’s a fantastic way to start anything that is worked in the round if you want to be able to control the amount of “holey space” in the middle.  With the magic ring, you can pull the hole as tight as you physically can leaving no gaping hole in the middle of your hat.  If a pattern suggests you chain 2 then work a round in the second chain, replace it with the magic ring and you’ll be real pleased with the results.

I’ve seen this method called the magic ring, adjustable circle, magic loop and many other similar combinations.  Whatever you want to call it, it is a great way to start a hat or any other item that is worked in the round.

step1 (300x300)1)Create ring and position with working yarn on top.

 

 

 

 

step2A (550x550)step2B (550x550)

2) Insert hook into ring and pull up a loop.

 

 

 

 
step3 (550x550)
3) Secure with a chain stitch.

 

 

 

 

step4A (550x550)step4B (550x550)4) Work stitches of 1st round (sc here) over both BOTH strands of yarn and pull tight with the END strand.

5) Continue with pattern.

 

Oink! Oink! Piglet, Piggy

Crazy for Earflap Hats!

Are  you CRAZY for EARFLAP hats?  I am!

When I started making them, I wasn’t sure how to attach the braids just right.  It took a lot of practice but I believe I have perfected the look.  Follow the tutorial below and you can too.

Tutorial-earflap braid

Tip-When I complete the earflap, I leave a long tail and rather than work the ends in, I work it into the braid.  Two less ends to work in!

RS=Right Side      WS = Wrong Side

1)            For 10” braids, cut 11, 22” pieces of yarn.  Fold in half.Insert hook from WS to RS of earflap and pull the yarn through.  (I find it easiest to use a large hook, size J or larger)

2)            Pull the ends of yarn through the loop and tighten.  Make sure you even out and tidy up any loose strands.

3)            Braid, tie off and trim ends.  Repeat on opposite side making sure braids are the same length.

 Enjoy!

Candy Corn Earflap Hat,
Crochet by Darleen Hopkins