2015 Stash Bust for Charity, Sneaking in One More for April

One more for April, 2015!

Purple Fuzz chemo hat for donation, Halos of Hope

While gathering up my collection of hats to mail to Halos of Hope I found this hat that was 90% done.  I had started it in February while I worked up the pattern for the orange furry wig.  I didn’t have enough yarn so I had to turn it into a beanie.  At some point I set it aside and completely forgot about it.  It is a whole ‘lotta Purple Fuzz!  The furry wig pattern is still on my to-do list and I have more furry yarn in stash to work with.

This hat weighs 3.25 ounces.

Total hats made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 10

Total bears made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 6

Total weight of yarn used in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 2 pounds, 6.25 ounces!

15 hats ready to mail to Halos of Hope

15 hats ready to mail to Halos of Hope

 

Whispers, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whispers-shawl-shawlette-or-scarf

2015 Stash Bust for Charity, End of April Update

Three More Hats for Halos of Hope

Halos of Hope chemo hat for donation, crochetPat with 12 Months = 24 Hats challenged me this past month with who could make the most hats during the month.  The winner gets 2 skeins of cotton yarn.  I started out strong and completed 2 hats in the first week.  But the month became busier for me and I was only able to complete 3 more in last couple of weeks.  Overall, 5 hats in one month is pretty great and I’m pleased with my progress.  I’m anxious to see how many Pat completed and if she’ll be sending me yarn or if I’ll be sending some to her! Of course, the real winner is Halos of Hope as all hats will be donated to them.

Halos of Hope chemo hat for donation, Big Kahuna crochet pattern The first hat is a pattern from the April issue of ILikeCrochet.com.  It is the Darling Baby Hat made in the largest size.  I used some organic cotton yarn I have had for a while and love it.  The flower is attached with a safety-pin so it can be moved or removed for washing.

Big Kahuna crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins.  Made for Halos of Hoe chemo hat donationThe next hat is a Big Kahuna made with Bernat Handicrafter CottonTwists.  I LOVE the bright pinks!

Beanie crocheted by Darleen Hopkins for Halos of Hope donation, chemo hatThe last hat is a random striped basic beanie.  I didn’t follow a pattern.  I just grouped together some small balls of leftover cotton/acrylic blend yarn that I thought looked nice together and started crocheting.  I like the way it turned out but it was A LOT of ends to work in.

It was a lot of fun to “compete” with Pat this month.  I can’t wait to see how many she finished!!  Did she beat 5???

These three hats weigh 8.75 ounces.

Total hats made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 9

Total bears made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 6

Total weight of yarn used in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 2 pounds, 3 ounces!

Black Raspberry Shawl Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Crocheted Wee Bears for Team Lewis

2015 Stash Bust for Charity, Mid April Update

More Crocheted Bears

Crocheted Wee Bears for Team Lewis

6 Wee Bears for Team Lewis ready to mail!

Wee bear for Team Lewis crochted in cotton/acrylic blendscrocheted bears for Team Lewis, used Sugar 'n Cream ombre and a solid lavendarThree more bears for Team Lewis.  The striped matching bears are made with alternating rows of Sugar ‘n Cream ombre and a solid lavender.  This yarn was given to me by very generous crocheter (Read more!)  The pink striped bear was made as the sibling to the blue striped bear I posted last week.  I used a couple different brands of cotton/acrylic blend yarn for her and she is super soft!

The bears are a lot of fun to make. I’m honored to be able to help out this group and I hope the bears can bring some comfort to those who are going through the worst thing imaginable. The  three bears weigh 5.75 ounces-before stuffing!

Team Lewis is a sweet organization, please check it out.

Total hats made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 6

Total bears made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 6

Total weight of yarn used in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 1 pound, 10.25 ounces!

Sunny Days Baby Mobile crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Time for Spring, April 2015

Springtime Crochet

Spring was late to north Georgia this year but when it finally did arrive, it brought the beautiful and bright colors of the springtime flowers.  First the sunny yellow daffodils, then the bright purple pink of the redbud trees and the sweet purple of vinca.  Currently the white and pink dogwoods are in bloom and azaleas in many shades of pink to red and white are starting to show their colors too. Of course the new green leaves are popping out and to the dismay of many, the light green of pine pollen covers just about everything in sight.  It is because of the pine pollen that I am always happy to see April showers.  Springtime is beautiful and colorful and often wet.

I finally had a chance to peruse the latest issue of ILikeCrochet.com, April 2015.  And just like the colors Mother Nature brings us in the spring, this issue is full of gorgeous and bright patterns and projects to bring a little springtime to everyone, even if nature is a little late.  From the bright Flower Power Throw on the cover to one of my favorites, the Retro Flower Cushion (adorable!). Blooms abound on hats, bags and in the lace of shawls, wraps and tops.  There are some wonderful gift ideas for new baby and Mother’s day.

Sunny Days Baby Mobile crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

photo courtesy of ILikeCrochet.com

And because we are always thankful for April showers that not only bring May flowers but clear the pine pollen from the air and the cars, the Sunny Days baby mobile would make a great gift to any expectant parent.  I just had to give a shout out to my design. 🙂

I’ve already started a Darling Baby Hat in extra large as one of the hats for my 2015 Stash Bust Challenge.  What will your first project be?

2015 Stash Bust for Charity, Early April Update

Bears and Hats and Hats and Bears

Cubed Hat, Relaxed Beanie crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins with adjusted stripingchemo crochet beanie for halos of hope - Cubed Hat, Relaxed Beanie crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins with adjusted stripingThe Cubed Hat with alternate striping.—–>

This past week my boys been on spring break so we decided to take a quick road trip to Tennessee and Alabama.  The road trip was fun and we saw some great sites.  Raccoon Mountain, Cathedral Caverns, Russell Cave National Monument and Little River Canyon National Preserve.   Whenever we road trip my husband does most of the driving.  This gives me lots of crochet time.  This is good because  as mentioned in my last post, Pat, with 12 months = 24 hats challenged me to hat-off.  We are competing to see who can make more hats for Halos of Hope this month.  In addition to hats, I’m making bears for Team Lewis.  Lots to crochet in April!

Relaxed Beanie Cubed Hat Crochet, crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins Cubed Hat Relax Beanie Halos of Hope, crochet pattern by Darleen HopkinsI decided to make a Cubed Hat as my first hat for this challenge as my husband wears his Cubed Super Slouchy a lot and I thought it would be nice to make one for donation.  Halos of Hope always seems to need hats for men.  My intent was to make a Cubed Hat, Super Slouchy but apparently I picked up the pattern for the Cubed Hat, Relaxed Beanie!  Whoops!  About 80% into the hat I realized I was making a beanie.  Oh well. The good thing about this error was I had enough green yarn to make a second beanie.   I used the same pattern but adjusted the striping.  My husband really liked the color combination so it looks like I’ll be making him one as well.

teddy-bears-team-lewis crocheted bear for Team LewisThe bears are a lot of fun to make.  Team Lewis is a sweet organization, please check it out.

It’s been a busy month so far!  The two hats and three bears weigh 12.25 ounces.

Total hats made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 6

Total bears made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 3

Total weight of yarn used in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 1 pound, 4.5 ounces!

 

Crochet Photography 101

Crochet without a hook and yarn.

Kitty on crocheted blanket, Shells of Love pattern by Darleen Hopkins

My kitty with Shells of Love baby blanket.

It’s mid-March.  Wow! Have you heard time goes by faster the older you get? It is so true.  It is hard to believe 2015 is almost 1/4 over.  Not only is this year flying by but I’ve hardly had any crocheting time in 2015.  I’ve been busy, really busy, just not with crochet.  The beginning of the year is always hectic.  Because I do all the bookkeeping and tax filing for my husband’s business, the first couple of months of the year are full of year-end processing and payroll, corporate and personal tax filing.  On top of this more than average work-at-home paperwork, my real job had significant deadlines last month and just to make it all a little more crazy, Mother Nature threw in an ice storm (no power for far too long), and some snow to the mix.  Add two active boys and a husband and it’s been hectic.  Last, and because I believe I’m superwoman, I decided to take a photography class.  All my free time has been dedicated to this class and I’m loving it.

I purchased my first DSLR camera last fall.  It was time to step up from the point and shoot as I just wasn’t getting the photos I wanted for my crochet patterns.  Yup, that’s right.  I bought a camera for my crochet.  Sounds like another “you know you are addicted to crochet when…” but it is true.

The Nikon D3200 is great.  It’s an entry-level DSLR and so far I’ve been really pleased.  Up until this photography class, camera operations were a mystery to me.  I stuck to the pre-programmed settings as aperture, f-stop, ISO and shutter speeds were recognizable words but were so confusing to me.   But why have a camera that can do all sorts of tricks and not use them?  So I enrolled in a beginner photography class and when it completed last week, enrolled in the intermediate class.  I’m hoping to continue on to the advanced class.  If not next month, maybe this summer.

Because I purchased the camera to take photos of my crochet, I decided to have all my class photos crochet related.  THIS is how I’m working on my crochet.   Not with a hook and yarn but with a camera.  In the beginning this wasn’t too bad.  The assignments were basic; use your shutter speed to show motion or adjust the aperture to vary your depth of field.  But the homework is getting a little harder and a little more abstract in the intermediate class.  It might be a little easier for me if I took photos of flowers or scenic landscapes.  Having to work crochet into each photo is starting to prove a bit of a challenge.  However, this is a challenge I welcome.  Although I don’t have any current hats or other designs to share with you, I’d like to share some of my favorite photos from the beginner class.

Shells of Love Baby Blanket Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Shells of Love Baby Blanket Crochet Pattern modeled by my kitten 🙂

Piranha Monster Fish Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Black Piranha Monster Fish Hat modeled by my oldest 🙂

Charmed Shawl Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Charmed Shawl Crochet Pattern

Cubed Slouch Hat Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Cubed Hat modeled by my husband 🙂

Picture Perfect Crochet Baby Banket Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Picture Perfect Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern

Glacier Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Glacier Crochet Hat Pattern modeled by my youngest 🙂

I’m taking the class at the local university through the continuing education program.  The instructor is great and it is a great group of students-even a couple of crocheters in the bunch!  I’ve learned a lot but have so much more to learn.  If you have any interest in photography or have a DSLR camera but haven’t made it beyond full green auto, check out a class.  You will be glad you did.  I know I am.

Black Raspberry Shawl Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Enough Snow Already

 Seriously? More snowy yuckiness?

Crochet Flapper Hat by Darleen Hopkins http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/waiting-for-spring-flapper-hat-with-roseI had just stepped out of the shower when I received the call that my boys’ school had a two-hour delay, what?  Thor (is that the name of the latest winter storm?) was only supposed to bring us some nighttime lows.  Shortly after that call, I received a text that my job, the local university, had a one hour delay.  Universities aren’t so quick to close or delay, so I figured that warranted a look outside and sure enough, there was snow on the ground.  It was only a dusting and I can’t really complain as I know other southern areas got a lot of snow and northern areas will receive even more, but still, enough is enough!

Spring will be here in TWO WEEKS! so in celebration of warmer days ahead, I’m offering my Waiting for Spring, Flapper Hat at 50% off for the next week.  Use coupon code EnoughSnow2015 at checkout, Ravelry purchases only, expires 3/15/2015 midnight EST.  This is an awesome hat for young ladies in sizes to fit American Girl doll/preemie to small teen/preteen (approx. 12.25-20.5″ head circumference).  Crochet yours in aran/heavy worsted cotton for warmer days ahead or acrylic or wool for the colder days that continue to linger.

Why delay school with only a dusting?  Georgia isn’t equipped to handle snow or ice.  Our best winter mess removal tool is the sun.  See this post for more info on the lack of snow preparedness in Georgia.

Whispers, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whispers-shawl-shawlette-or-scarf