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.
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?
I 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.
The 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
My last post stated “I’ve got some funky fun fur that needs to used…” and this is the result of the first fun fur hat in 2015. It’s pretty stretchy and should fit most about 8 years old and up. I’m hopeful it will find a home to someone with a unique sense of humor. This hat weights 2.25 ounces.
Total hats made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 4
Total weight of yarn used in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date:
It’s a new year and therefore time for a new challenge. A couple of years ago I decided I was going to work on busting out some of my stash yarn and make hats for chemo donation. My 2013 Stash Bust Challenge was focused on a box full of Bernat CottonTots yarn. I ended up crocheting 5 pounds, 15.5 ounces of it into 32 hats for Halos of Hopeor other charitable donation. I had also crocheted other hats for donation in different yarn that I didn’t include in the count. I was pretty busy with hats that year. Last year’s challenge didn’t focus on any yarn in particular, just random yarn in my stash. Last year I made 24 hats out of 5 pounds, 4.25 ounces! I must have made some pretty heavy hats!
It would seem that most of my stash yarn would be close to gone at this point. Sadly, no. I still have too many boxes of yarn. So 2015 will once again be all about working from stash yarn for charitable causes. This year’s goal will be a minimum of 24 hats and 5 pounds of yarn. I’ve got some funky fun fur that needs to used and a ton of cotton and cotton-blends that will be perfect for chemo hats. I also hope to make a lapghan or two.
Let’s start this challenge off with the first 3 hats of 2015 completed!
The first is called End’s Swell. I won this pattern in the Gift-A-Long on Ravelry last month. It is stitched with slip stitches which was totally new to me. The final result is adorable. The pattern is a great way to use up smaller leftovers without having to work in a million ends. I can see making more of these in random stripes as leftovers come available.
Next is another Divine Hat. This is a great pattern and my third one. I used Caron Simply Soft for this one. It looks great but, going forward, I’ll use thinner yarns when making this pattern. I loved it in Caron Spa.
Last is a Happy Puppy. Last month I re-worked the pattern in Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand. I also re-formatted the pattern and took new pictures. The pattern was originally written with Bernat Denim Style-a great cotton/acrylic blend. Unfortunately this yarn has been discontinued. I (of course) have a few skeins of it in my stash and found this hat partially finished. Because Denim Style is super soft and perfect for chemo hats, I finished it and will include it in my next batch of hats to Halos of Hope.
This 2015 challenge is on and off for a good start!
The three hats weigh 7 ounces.
Total hats made in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 3
Total weight of yarn used in the 2015 Stash Bust Challenge to date: 7 ounces
The adorable Happy Pets hats was one of my earlier patterns. The original recommended yarn had been discontinued so I reworked the pattern with the awesome Vanna’s Choice yarn by Lion Brand. In addition to the new yarn, and photos, I reformatted the pattern presentation. The original pattern is still the same, just presented a little bit prettier now. I hope you like it! In celebration, I’m offering it at 50% off (Ravelry only) from now until Jan. 18, 2015 midnight EST. Just make sure you use coupon code “HappyPets50percent”.
I’d like to introduce a few of my latest designs….Drool Bibs!
Penguin Drool Spit Bib
Polar Bear Drool Spit Bib
Hippo Drool Spit Bib
Lion Drool Spit Bib
Baby Bear Drool Spit Bib
Bunny Rabbit Drool Spit Bib
My oldest was a drooler-big time. He was an adorable, chubby, happy baby that soaked everything! I wish I knew how to crochet back then (I learned when he was about 5) because I spent a small fortune purchasing cute drool bibs to soak it all up and keep him dry.
Babies like him are what inspired me to design these adorable drool bibs. Make them in cotton or cotton blend yarn for maximum absorbency. I made mine in Knit Picks Comfy Worsted-what a great yarn! These bibs work up quick and are sure to be a hit at any baby shower.
Each bib pattern set comes with 2 patterns. So far I have made 3 sets; Forest Friends-Adorable Bunny and Sweet Baby Bear, Safari Friends-Happy Hippo and Loveable Lion and just released, Polar Friends-Preppy Penguin and Charming Polar Bear. Be on the lookout for more. I’m addicted to designing them and have plans for many, many more Friends!
Patterns are available on Etsy, Craftsy and Ravelry for $3.50/ SET (2 patterns per set) Don’t forget, all Crochet by Darleen Hopkins purchases on Ravelry are Buy 2, Get 1 Free! No coupon needed!
STASH: to store in a usually secret place for future use
Use a mix of similar fiber yarn in colors that blend well together
For those who crochet, STASH equals possibilities. Will this skein be a hat or scarf to keep your son warm while he plays in the snow? Maybe a market bag for weekend shopping? How about a baby blanket for your co-worker’s newest family addition? But sometimes a crocheter’s stash becomes overwhelming. Do you have boxes or bags full of lone skeins or partial skeins? Not enough for that sweater you’d like to make or not quite the right fiber for a hat?
Beautiful use of bright colors with Caron Simply Soft.
I’d like to introduce my latest pattern, the Made with Love, Heart Baby Blanket. I designed this pattern to be a “stash buster”. I’m a collector of sale or clearance yarn. It’s hard to pass up a good sale. Eventually the skeins build up and a stash of yarn ends up taking over the closet. This blanket is designed to use only 1 or 2 skeins of each color. If you don’t have full skeins, you can substitute different colors in place of 1 color. For example, the pattern is written using 2 full skeins of Vanna’s Choice solids as the darker background color. You can substitute the 1 color with 2 or 3 or more colors of similar shades. As long as the colors work well together, you can use your stashed yarn to make a lovely blanket for someone special.
Here is a beautiful example. Jennifer had only partial skeins of 2 different darker blue yarns. So she combined the 2 and ended up with enough yarn for the darkest background color. She alternated the 2 shades where the pattern called for 1 and used up some of her leftover yarn. The result is gorgeous!
Jennifer’s stash for Patchwork Heart Baby Blanket.
Adorable! Jennifer subsituted 2 colors for 1 (background dark)
This beautiful pattern can be found on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy. Intermediate skill required as you must be familiar with changing colors mid-row.