2015 Stash Bust for Charity, Early February update

Fun Fur Silliness, Phase One

Fun fur crochet hat for donation  https://crochetbydarleenhopkins.com/category/2015-chemo-hat-challenge/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:
8.25 ounces

 

Happy Puppy Hat, crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins

2015 Stash Bust for Charity, Mid-January update

New Challenge for 2015

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 Hope or 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!

Hat for Halos for Hope, crocheted by Darleen HopkinsThe 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.

Divine Hat for Halos of Hope, crocheted by Darleen HopkinsNext 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.

Happy Puppy Hat, crochet pattern by Darleen HopkinsLast 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

CrochetForMen

 

Pattern Re-Launch: Happy Pets, Kitty and Puppy

Cat and Dog Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen HopkinsThe 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”.

Buy Now Link with coupon code already applied or learn more about this adorable pattern.

SillyHatsSillyKids (800x99)

Shark Week 2014, Day 7 and a Stash Bust 2014 Update

Shark Hat Finished!

Shark hat crocheted by Darleen Hopkins https://crochetbydarleenhopkins.com/category/2014-chemo-hat-challenge/His name is Cap’n and he is mighty proud of his multiple stripes.  I’ve had a lot of fun making this hat during shark week.  I’ll have to remember to do this again next year.  But I do have a slight confession.  I only watched one shark show while making him, the one on giant hammerhead sharks.   We recorded a couple on the dvr and will watch them eventually.  It seems like every year the researchers get themselves in more and more dangerous situations in order to get the great whites to breach or catch the elusive Old Hitler (giant hammerhead) on film.  Watching the shark shows gives me the heebiegeebies a little but they are wildly entertaining.  Now back to the hat…

I do love the pattern by Monica Miles but as I’m working with limited yarn and a totally different weight than what the pattern calls for, I have to make a lot of adjustments to the pattern.  You can see a few more details on my project page as well as a couple more pictures.  One day I’ll get the right yarn and make one as the pattern is written.  Cap’n will be donated to Halos of Hope and is another hat completed for my Stash Bust Challenge 2014.  He weighs in at 5 1/2 ounces.

Total hats made in the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 12

Total weight of the hats to date: 2 pounds, 5 3/4 ounces.

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

Shark Week 2014, Day 6

Shark Hat Update, Day 6-Almost Done!

P1040862 (1000x750)Moving right along!  Last night I adjusted the body of the shark by removing about 10 rounds and reworking them.  The hat was a little too loose so I frogged back to the last increase and reworked the rounds without it. I also saved enough yarn to finish the fins.  I wish I had enough to outline the fins in sc but this will have to do.  I had less than 2 feet to spare of each color!  I added the gums and worked in some of the ends.  With a couple more ends to work in, teeth and eyes left, I hope I’m able to finish it tonight.  CHOMP!!

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

 

Shark Week 2014, Day 4 and 5

Shark Week Hat Update!

P1040860 (1000x676) I made a lot of progress on the hat Wednesday (day 4) as you can see by the photo!  I really like the two colors together.  I was a little concerned about the different yarns as one is worsted/aran and the other is bulky or maybe even chunky weight.  I worked the bright blue, the thinner yarn, in hdc and the aqua, the thicker yarn, in sc and used the same hook for both yarns.  Therefore, the sc stitches are stitched pretty tight.  Last night (day 5), I finished up the body of the hat and started on the fins.  Unfortunately, it looks as if there won’t be enough yarn for all the fins so I will have to frog a couple of rows.  I’ll just make the gums and teeth section larger to make up for any lost length.  There’s nothing wrong with a lot of big shark teeth!

Shark Week 2014, Day 3

Update on the Shark Hat for Halos of Hope

P1040859 (1000x644)

Last night I realized I wasn’t going to have enough of the bright blue yarn to finish the shark.  I’ve made them before and they usually use more than a full skein.  So a frogged a few rounds and added some aqua stripes.  They are totally random and I add a stripe as I feel it is needed.  I’m happy with the progress so far.  I have a couple free minutes so it is time to squeeze in a round or two.  Check back tomorrow.  : )Buy 2 Get 1 Free on Ravelry, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins

Eyes, Getting them Right, Part III, Crocheted Eyes

Part III in Eyes, Getting them Right

Capturing the right eye look for your crocheted creation may be as easy as  baby safe yarn stitched eyes or cute button eyes.  Or it may require something a little bit more than either of these.  For those times when you need just a little bit more, crocheted eyes are the solution.  And, just like anything you make with yarn, your possibilities are endless.

P1010961 (750x563)

P1010779 (1000x997)Mix it Up! Patterns will include instructions on how to make crocheted eyes.  But once you have made a couple, mix and match different eyes with different patterns for an endless variety of options.  My Kissy! Kissy! Fish Face pattern comes with instructions for 2 different eye options.  Same basic pattern but look at how different the two fish are with a small change in the eyes.

P1020025 (809x1000)Add Twinkle!  Probably my favorite part about crocheted eyes is the option to add a little twinkle to the eye.  With the tiniest amount of white yarn, your eyes go from bland to laughing eyes.  And you can use this twinkle to have the eyes looking in one direction.  I use the beginning tail (white) and make two tiny stitches at about a 120 degree angle.  The result is adorable.  He can look up, down, to the side or cross-eyed with this technique.  You do have to be careful.  If the twinkle in both eyes isn’t lined up just right, your critter will look “off”.

P1010130 (1000x1000)P1010663 (500x500)Crocheted Skull Hat100_6647 (550x371)Explore your Options! With crocheted eyes, you are only limited by your imagination.  Keep a folder-physical or virtual-of all your different eye patterns.  After you have a collection, start exploring.  Mix and match or come up with something totally new and unique.

Pros: Endless possibilities!

Cons: Takes a little longer to do and you may need to follow a pattern to get the right look.

IN SUMMARY

Whichever eye option you chose, make sure you do the following:

  • Keep the eyes even.  You want your hat/doll/whatever you are making to be silly, not odd-looking.  I always add 1 eye, then follow the same round/row to the spot where the next eye should be.  Also, I don’t work in the ends until I am certain the placement is correct.
  • For hats, eyes placed closer together is better than farther apart.  Hats will stretch when worn thereby adjusting the placement of the eyes.  Try the hat on before committing to the final placement (ie working in all ends).
  • Have fun with it!

Last Minute Handmade Halloween Costume

10 Days and Counting to my FAVORITE Holiday.  I LOVE Halloween.  Some of my favorite Halloween memories are of dragging the costume box down from the attic and putting together that year’s spooky creation.  That box contained some old miscellaneous costume pieces and a few of mom’s old wigs and 1960’s housedresses.  I had a lot fun with that box and created some pretty wacky costumes both for Halloween and for just silly play.

Now that I have my own family, we have a costume box too but with only boys, it’s full of mostly bloody swords and capes.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with bloody swords and capes.  We just don’t have anything pink or fairy-like.  So when I started thinking about what would work as a last-minute costume with just bloody swords and capes, I thought of this.  Crocheted Skull Hat

What I love about this is the child’s face is not covered with an obstructing and hot mask.  I dislike full face masks.  They smell funny, are hot and make it hard to see, especially at night.  Another awesome thing is once Halloween is over, you have a great hat to wear throughout the winter season.

 

Not into the spooky costumes? Here are some suggestions for last-minute handmade Halloween costumes for the little ones!

Lego Man Costume
Regular Clothes are All You Need to Add

Halloween Pig Hat Crocheted

Oink! Oink!
Add Pink Top and Pants and You’re Done!

Happy Kitty or Happy Puppy
Adorable Costume for Baby or Small Child

Robot Costume

Mr. Spingy, the Robot Dude
Add Gray Sweats for Instant Costume