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!

 

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

 

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!

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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!

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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.

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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

The Spirit of Gifting-A Touching Story

The Spirit of Gifting-A Touching Story

P1010644 (600x419)Every Christmas I try to make a special handmade gift for my boys.  See photo at left for last year’s Minecraft Creepers.  Earlier today I purchased a pattern to make this year’s surprise and I’ll start working on it tonight after they go to bed.  We are fortunate enough where these handmade gifts are special treats for our kids and although they receive plenty of store-bought gifts, they always really enjoy the crocheted creation they know will arrive.  A few minutes ago I read a very touching story of a family who hit hard times and the store-bought gifts weren’t so easy to get.  Crochet helped this family bring Christmas surprises to a couple sweet children.  The sweetest gift though, was the gift from the son.  If you have a couple of minutes, please check out this story,  written by Crochey Day and posted in Crochetvolution Winter 2012.  You can find it here:  http://crochetvolution.com/winter-2013/the-year-there-was-yarn-for-Christmas  You may need a tissue, I did.

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The Spirit of Gifting-My Favorite Gift Ever

The Spirit of Gifting-The Foundation

With the first week of Ravelry’s (hopefully annual) Indie Gift-A-Long behind us I’ve been thinking a lot about handmade gifts.  I’ve made number of them over the years; from the traditional macaroni necklace I’m sure I made as a child to some of my own crocheted designs in more recent years.  However, without a doubt, my favorite handmade gift is the blanket I designed for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.

50th Anniversay GiftI began the concept for the blanket on their 49th anniversary.  I wanted to make them something special and unique, they deserved it.  But at the time, although I had “winged it” on a couple of different hats, I hadn’t made or designed anything so huge.    The design needed to represent them and the foundation they gave me and my siblings from which we would build our lives and relationships.  To me, the design was obvious, a family tree.  Someone I knew directed me to Lion Brand’s Tree of Life knitting pattern and although beautiful, it wasn’t personal enough.  So I did as I so often do, I  made up my own pattern.  I learned how to do front post stitches as I wanted my design to POP and learned how the front post stitches worked with flat stitches and graphed out the tree.  I learned after much trial and error, that a crocheted stitch isn’t always as square in real life as it is on graph paper.  Online I found a make it yourself graph paper where you can determine the shape of the “squares”.  I searched high and low for the perfect yarn and ended up with two types.  One cream with gold metallic for the 50th anniversary to use as an accent and a soft, easy care cream yarn for the main afghan.  The colors had to be an exact match.  After finding the perfect yarn I had a hard time finding enough of the same dye lot.  By complete luck someone was selling an entire paper box full of the perfect yarn (eBay).  And bonus, they were only about 30 miles away and therefore, no shipping.  An unbelievable and perfect find.

Designing 50th Anniversary GiftI remember re-doing the graph a number of times and so pleased I was able to find my final graph from which the blanket is made.  The trunk represents my parents-their foundation of love and support for each other and the family.  The three main branches are my brother, my sister, me and our spouses.  The six smaller branches are our kids, their grandchildren; my brother’s son and daughter, my sister’s two daughters and my two sons.  And the branch turning into a bird is our special angel,  my son who died shortly after his birth.  Very much a part of our family but whose life was cut way too short.

Many variations of edging were worked.  I wanted a little gold to represent the 50 years and wanted to frame the design. I’d never done a puff stitch before this and not even sure if that’s the stitch I used, but the result is perfect.

My parents were and still are great examples.  For my brother, my sister and me, they provided a strong foundation as parents should.  They taught us marriage is about love and support and with this foundation we have survived – as couples – some of the toughest days of our lives.  I’m so very thankful for that.  Next month they celebrate 56 years.  How very lucky they are.  My mother, my #1 fan, has often encouraged me to write down this design and self-publish it.   I can’t, it’s too personal.  Maybe one day I’ll create a similar design but for now it will remain as my favorite gift ever.

50th Anniversay Afghan, original design

Read other stories about gifting here: http://www.heartstringsfiberarts.com/gal.shtm

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