Crochet to do list and a hat challenge

Hats, and Lists and Bears, Oh MY!

Hats for Halos of Hope; bears for a sweet charitable project called Team Lewis I just found out about and has a very special meaning to me; a new design currently in progress; new design ideas I’m dying to get started on; the CGOA Master Crochet Program I’m determined to start and finish in 2015; and EYEBALLS, gotta have more eyeballs in lots of colors.  So much to crochet and so little time.

cotton and cotton blend yarn stash for charity crochet

How many hats and bears will this yarn make?

What do you do when you can’t decide what project to crochet first?  Do you have multiple WIPs going at once, skipping from one project to another or do you just crochet as fast as possible to finish one item and then move onto the next?

Me, I’m a list girl.  Growing up I remember my dad making lists.  They’d be in the corner of his desk blotter with the items crossed out as completed.  I don’t remember or know what the lists were for, “to do” lists of some sort, but I can still visualize them on his desk in the house I grew up in.  I guess that is why I make lists for everything.  I make them at work, I make them at home.  I make lists for my kids of chores to do when school is out and my husband and I have to work.  I make lists for the grocery shopping (sectioned into quadrants: grocery, non-food, cold stuff and produce).  And I make lists of items to pack for when we go on vacation.  Lists for everything!

See UPDATE below! So here’s my list of crochet items I plan to stitch in April.  I tend to get bored making too much of one thing so I have to mix it up a little.  I’m going to try to stick to it and in order…

1) Finish WIP hat for Halos of Hope
2) 2 bears for Team Lewis
3) Cotton hat for Halos of Hope
4) Work a night or two on WIP design
5) 2 more bears for Team Lewis
6) Work a night or two on WIP design
7) Cotton hat for Halos of Hope, ship all hats made to date
8) 2 more bears for Team Lewis, prepare for shipping
9) Finish brown eyeball
10) Start that new design you want to do so badly!!

UPDATE:  After drafting this post but prior to publishing, I received a challenge from Pat.  She bet me 2 skeins of cotton yarn that she could make more hats for Halos of Hope this month than I can.  I say GAME ON!  I may have to tweak the order of my crochet to do list a bit due to this new development and pick up in May what I don’t get to this month.  Halos of Hope is such a great organization so I want to make as many hats as possible.  Also, I want to WIN!   And I do want to make at least 6 bears this month as they need to be in the mail by the end of the month.

Revised list
1) 6 bears then as many hats as physically possible.

Looks like my crochet time will be spent mainly on hats and bears.  And it looks like we may be eating a lot of frozen dinners this month.  Less time cooking = more time crocheting!  So much to crochet, so little time.

Silly hats for silly kids crochet patterns by darleen hopkins

Cubed Hat Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Snow in Georgia and Warm Crocheted Hats

Bentley and Glacier Crochet Hat Paterns

Bentley and Glacier, Crocheted Hats for Young Men

Old Man Winter is Back in Georgia

This winter has been unreal.  The northeastern US has really been hit with insane amounts of snow.  Up until about 2 weeks ago, I thought the southeast was going to escape the wrath of the multiple winter storms.  Nope, no way.  Mother Nature wasn’t going to let The South get off easy.  We were hit with an ice storm on 2/16 and as a result, we went without power for 4 very long days.  Temperatures sunk to single digits during the time we had no heat and no water.  (This is something I learned the hard way.  When you have well water, once the power goes out, so does all water!) Although we had a generator to keep the freezer going, a few lights, an occasional TV show and the microwave to heat up hot chocolate, we were still pretty cold.  There’s just so much space heaters can do.  But we survived and we were lucky to have no damage to our water pipes.
Bentley Crochet Hat Pattern
Then more snow came on 2/23 and once again on 2/25.  Thankfully, we didn’t lose our power with the arrival of the last storm.  This last batch of snow brought us about 3 inches.  I used to live in upstate New York and up there 3 inches is nothing.  But here in Georgia we don’t have snow plows and only a couple salt trucks for the entire county.  Three inches of snow cripples all transportation.  In fact, my boys have only been to school one day in the last two weeks and I’m sure they will have another snow day tomorrow.  Temperatures are reaching into the 40s today and the sun is shining brightly.  Lots of the snowy mess is melting but what remains will freeze again tonight.  But before the sun melted it all away, my boys, my husband and myself got out and enjoyed this rarely seen winter wonderland.  And to keep them warm, I thought it would be fun for each of them to wear a different hat.  They modeled and I snapped pictures-Enjoy.Glacier Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen HopkinsCubed Hat Crochet Pattern by Darleen HopkinsBentley Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen HopkinsGlacier Crochet Hat Pattern

Glacier, Cubed and Bentley Crocheted Hat Patterns

Glacier, Cubed and Bentley Crocheted Hats

 

Gift-A-Long Designer, Cynthia Levy

Cynthia Levy, Knitting Designer

Twisted Maze Socks, knit pattern by Cynthia Levy http://www.ravelry.com/people/redtigerOne of the great things about the Gift-A-Long on Ravelry is the opportunity to get to know other designers.  Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia Levy, a knitting designer.  Many of Cynthia designs incorporate amazing and lovely cabling.  She has published a number of beautiful knit sock patterns as well as some quick-to-knit designs that would be perfect for the holidays that are fast approaching.   After you get to know her a little bit better, check out her gift suggestions and get stitching!

How long have you been knitting and how did you first learn?

I’ve been knitting ever since I was a pre-teen figure skater.  I considered it essential to have a sweater and mittens to coordinate with every skating outfit and the best way to collect them was to make them myself.  The first thing I actually remember knitting was a fair isle yoke sweater to match a skating skirt.  My mother was used to my habit of jumping right into a complex project, instead of ever starting a new hobby with something simple, so she agreeably purchased the yarn and delegated any necessary assistance to my grandmother.

What is your favorite design of yours, why?

Snow Flurry Mittens Knit Pattern by Cynthia Levy (Redtiger)

Snow Flurry Mittens by Cynthia Levy (Redtiger)

One of my favorite original designs is Snow Flurry Mittens.  I live in the Canadian sub-arctic and -40C is normal winter weather.  Anything warm and cozy is bound to be well loved by me.  The pattern was a bit of a challenge to get just right so I’m quite proud of it.  The snowflake pattern is worked with the mitten held inside-out, so that the pattern stitch can be easily accomplished in the round, and a variety of needle sizes are used to accommodate the gauges of the various stitches.

 What is your favorite project of yours, why?

I absolutely adore Julia Farwell Clay’s Bartok Tunic pattern published in Interweave Knits Spring 2013.  I fell in love with the pattern the second I saw it.  I made my tunic in the yarn and colors specified in the magazine, but shortened the length and narrowed the sleeves.  It’s the most comfortable sweater ever and garners compliments everywhere.

 What are your favorite knit tools or notions?

stitch markers https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/caliopesfibreI have a real weakness for double-pointed sock needles.  My current favorites are Knitters Pride Karbonz and Kollage square needles.  And I have recently become a fan of pretty stitch markers.  I recently acquired some stitch markers from Caliope’s Fibre that make me happy whenever I look at them.

 When you aren’t knitting, what are you doing?

If I’m not knitting or designing, I’m probably toiling away at my more than full-time day job.  But if I’m not working or knitting, I certainly won’t be idle.  My husband is a private pilot so our summers are dedicated to enjoying our little Cessna floatplane.  My other activities include pottery, quilting, weaving, tole painting and stained glass, as well as fishing, camping, hiking, gardening, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. Too many interests, too little time!

 Where can we find you?

Eye of the Helix Sock Pattern by Cynthia LevyThe best place to find me is on Ravelry as redtiger.  I spend way too much time gazing at all the great patterns and yarn displayed there.  My original designs are available through my shops on Ravelry, Craftsy and Patternfish.  I’m also on Twitter as Redtigerdesigns.

 

Thank you Cynthia!  Your designs are beautiful and inspiring.  I’m a huge fan of your gorgeous cabling.  Keep warm (-40C !!!) and happy stitching!

Stash Bust 2014, November Update

Two more for Halos of Hope

Give it a Whirl Hat http://www.ravelry.com/projects/DarleenHopkins/give-it-a-whirl-hat

Give it a Whirl hat

Willow Tree Slouchy http://www.ravelry.com/projects/DarleenHopkins/chunky-willow-tree-slouchy-beanie

Willow Tree Slouchy

First week of November and I have two more hats to be donated to Halos of Hope! I was so excited to receive the gifted yarn that I just had to make some hats right away.  The first is a pattern that was suggested through the Hat of the Month Ravelry group.  Each month, the members of the group decided on a free hat pattern to stitch over the month.  I’ve found some great patterns this way.  The second hat is a pattern I found written for bulky weight yarn.  I wanted to use the gifted ombre yarn paired up with some solid yarn I had in my stash.  I had to tweak it slightly to adjust for the different gauge but I’m really happy with how it turned out.  Click on the photos to be brought to the project pages and the links to the free patterns.   The two hats weigh just under  11 ounces! Heavy hats!

Total hats made in the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 18
Total weight of the hats to date: 3 pounds, 13 ounces.

PS-If you haven’t joined Ravelry yet, it is time to do so!  Look for an amazing announcement later this week!

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

Just Treats this Halloween!

Generous Crocheter Sending Treats this Halloween

Gifted yarn.  www.cochetbydarleenhopkins.comCrocheters (and other crafters too!) are such generous people.  We love our craft and want to share it with as many others as possible.  How often have you found yourself saying to others “If you’d like to learn, I’ll show you.”  Not only do we share our skills, we also share our stuff.  Last week, one of my regular pattern testers mentioned she had some cotton yarn she couldn’t use and asked if I’d like it.  She said maybe I could make a couple of hats for Halos of Hope with it.   Because she lives rather far away I suggested she see if she might be able to find someone local so we wouldn’t have to worry about shipping costs.  Her response was, if I wanted, it was mine and she would treat on the shipping.  I said sure thinking it was maybe 3 or 4 balls of yarn.  Yesterday (Halloween),  I arrived at my house to find a large box at my door.  “What?”  I wondered, “What treat did I receive?”  I opened it to find 17 full and a couple partial balls of cotton yarn. WOW!  Yeah, I think I can make more than a couple of hats for Halos of Hope with it!  The yarn weighs over 2 pounds, 10 ounces, almost as much as the yarn I have used in 2014 (to date) to make 16 hats!

This isn’t the first time someone has shared her craft items with me.  Last year, a woman my husband knows through his job, was clearing out some knitting items.  She sent him home with 2 large bags of books, patterns and needles for me.  She said for me to take what I wanted and donate the rest.  How sweet!  I pulled out a couple of books and some lovely bamboo needles and brought the rest to the thrift store that supports a local women’s shelter.

Thank you both Heather and Maggie for your generosity.  All of these gifts will be put to good use as I continue to bust out my stash for Halos of Hope.  If you’ve received a generous gift from another crafter, I’d love to hear about it!

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

Stash Bust 2014, Update-One More for October

Silly Hair for a Silly Girl

Hair hat for Halos of Hope by Darleen Hopkins http://crochetbydarleenhopkins.com Hair hat for Halos of Hope by Darleen Hopkins http://crochetbydarleenhopkins.comWhew!  I finished a second hat for October to be donated to Halos of Hope!  I wanted to change it up a little and make something fun.  While searching for ideas online I noticed many fake hair/wig hats.  There are hats that look like Cabbage Patch Kids, Princess Leia and just about every Disney and fairy tale princess who ever wished upon a star.  So going with that theme, I grabbed a partial skein of Caron Simply Soft in Strawberry and made a wig hat for a little girl who might think pink hair was fun.  The pattern is a basic beanie with strands added for the braids.  And just for kicks and giggles, I added some random button decorations to liven it up.  This was a lot of fun to make and I will definitely make some more versions of this hat in the very near future.  This hat weighs just over 3 ounces.

Total hats made in the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 16
Total weight of the hats to date: 3 pounds, 2 ounces.

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

Stash Bust 2014, Update-October

More Divine Hope

Crocheted by Darleen Hopkins for Halos of Hope I just finished my second Divine Hat, pattern by Sarah Arnold, to be donated to Halos of Hope.  This pattern creates a beautiful stitch and should be made in a yarn with great stitch definition.  I don’t think it is for beginners but for those who have some experience, give it a try!  I’m so glad I did and will likely make more hats with this pattern.  I used Caron Spa, so soft and perfect for a chemo hat.  This one will go with others for my next shipment out to them.  They have been running short on their hat supply this year. If you have some time, maybe you can make a hat, or two, for Halos of Hope!  I used the full 3.0 oz skein for this hat-had less than 12 inches to spare.  I LOVE when that happens!

Total hats made in the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 15
Total weight of the hats to date: 2 pounds, 15 ounces.

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

Stash Bust Challenge 2014, Update Aug

Divine Hope

Halos of HopeI took a quick break from designing to work up a hat for Halos of Hope.  I have been eyeing the Divine Hat by Sarah Arnold for some time.  I remember trying it when I was new to crochet and just couldn’t figure it out.  It has been on my to-do list ever since.  The stitch pattern is beautiful and once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t require much concentration.  In other words, it is a “get in the zone” hat.  I had some tweaks to the pattern as it calls for worsted and I choose Caron Spa, a lighter weight yarn.  You can see my notes here.  This is a beautiful pattern and it is free so there are a ton of projects on Ravelry.  I love seeing the variations others have made; extra long slouchy style, stripes with pom-poms, big flowers added, sc edging with buttons, brims and bows are just a few of the adjustments.  There are so many ways you can make this simple and beautiful hat your own.  Give it a try.  If you can’t figure it out right away, bookmark it and come back to it after you have a little more experience.  You will be glad you did.

This hat weighs 2 3/4 ounces.

Total hats made in the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 13

Total weight of the hats to date: 2 pounds, 8 1/2 ounces.

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