Shark Week 2014, Day 3

Update on the Shark Hat for Halos of Hope

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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

Shark Week, 2014 Day 1 and 2

Crochet a hat for Shark Week!

In honor of Shark Week, I’ve decided to crochet a shark hat for Halos of Hope. I’ve made a number of these hats before and I have a lot fun giving each shark a different personality.

P1040858 (1000x944)The crochet pattern is available here and the knit version here.  I always make a few adjustment to the pattern as I prefer to work in the round and the crochet pattern is written for rows.  In addition, the pattern is written for bulky yarn and I only have aran available so I’ll add few stitches to adjust for the sizing.

I started the hat on Sunday but was REALLY tired and didn’t get to far.  That is a good thing because I frogged what I did and restarted it last night.  I wanted to make my shark in hdc so I started over.  Now I’m really behind and have a lot of catching up to finish it before the week is over.

Anybody care to join me?

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

Dog Themed Charity Chemo Hat by Darleen Hopkins

Stash Bust Update, June 2014 Busting out the Dogs

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Dog Themed Charity Chemo Hat by Darleen Hopkins


I’m still working on making a hat or two for the Kanine Kap Kampaign.  I just finished my second, Woof! Woof!  The pattern was improvised as I went along and used EXACTLY a full skein of Hushabye Solid by Baby Bee.  This is a really soft 50/50 cotton/acrylic blend in aran weight.  I’m really pleased with how the slouchy style turned out and it will likely end up as a pattern in the future but most likely minus the Woof Woof.  The hat weighs in at 3.5 oz.

Total hats made in the 2014 challenge to date: 11

Total weight of the hats made in the 2014 challenge to date: 2 pounds 1/4 ounces

I’m still behind in my challenge but I’ll keep on stitching! : )


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Men in Crocheted Pants

You know you are a real man when…

I seem to spend as much or maybe even more time looking at crochet online than actually crocheting.  It’s a sickness I can’t get control of; I’m hopelessly addicted to all things crochet.  Because I spend a lot of time online, I find some unique stuff.   We all know the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. This saying applies to crochet too. There are some who would never touch acrylic yarn, it is lace-weight wool only for them. There are some who would never crochet a silly hat, it’s shawls and baby blankets only for them. And of course, there are those who would never crochet, it’s knit only for them, but that’s another post… Anyway, there are some who would never crochet the man in their life a pair of pants and there are men who would never wear a pair of crocheted pants. But the opposite was true for these fellows-or maybe they made the pants themselves, I don’t know. Either way, congratulations to these men who proudly wear the crocheted pants in their family!il_fullxfull_209955307


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Last, one for the ladies so you don’t feel left out.


Sock Monkeys Beware!

Zombie Sock Monkey Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

RUN, Run for your LIFE!

They are cute, cuddly and bring a warm and cozy feeling of nostalgia-the sock monkey. I love sock monkeys. And they are everywhere-even slippers and pjs. Popular sites like Etsy are covered with adorable sock monkey items. But what happens when a cute and cuddly sock monkey encounters a zombie? Well, I suppose this happens: Zombie Sock Monkey crochet hat pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Why a Zombie Sock Monkey hat? Why NOT!  Maybe I read one too many Stephen King novels as a young teen or perhaps I got too much enjoyment out of Halloween dress up while growing up. But what I do know is everyone needs a Zombie Sock Monkey Hat and because every zombie needs fresh meat, the pattern also comes with instructions to make a sweet, cute and cuddly sock monkey (BRAAAAIIINNSS!!!!) sock monkey hat pattern

The Zombie Sock Monkey / When Sock Monkeys Attack crochet hat pattern is available as an instant download on Ravelry for $4.50 (and ETSY too!)  The pattern includes two sizes to fit heads with a circumference of 19″ to 22.5″ (average child/tween and teen/adult) Instructions include how to make the hat with or without earflaps.  Also included are instructions on how to make the cute, adorable and cuddly sock monkey hat.

Ravelry is free to join but you don’t have to join to purchase the pattern.  BONUS!  Every pattern purchased at Crochet by Darleen Hopkins on Ravelry comes with a free copy of the Crazy Frog Hat, how cool is that?  (Frog Brains, Yummy!)Crazy Frog Hat crochet pattern FREE with any Crochet by Darleen Hopkins pattern purchase

Buy 2 Get 1 Free on Ravelry

Dreaming of Crochet

P1030114The other night I had the wackiest dream.

It started out I was flying in a homemade hot air balloon. I ended up in Athens, GA – about 2 hours from my home. I eloquently crash landed as only one can in a dream. Those who were around the area where I landed were real interested in my balloon contraption and I was proud to share the details of the now deflated balloon with them. Then I ran into a good friend of a high school friend of mine. It’s so strange how people from your past just pop up in dreams. Anyway, she and I were walking back to my home and we had to go through this ancient ocean trench that no longer had water. It was very creepy and at one point I started to fall into the trench but Liz helped pull me back up. At the same time a giant sea serpent jumped up and snatched my now rolled up balloon in its jaws and said “There can only be one fantastic creature in these parts” and swam away with it. Of course there was no water….Liz and I freaked out and started to run and that is when I woke up. The crazy thing about this dream is that I had on the wildest pair of crocheted pants. They were made in puff stitches and the yarn used was this beautiful subtly striped yarn in shades of green and blue greens. The yarn was amazing and although I have no desire to crochet myself a pair of pants, I would love to find that yarn.

(Note: The cutie in the picture is a dragon, the closest thing I had to a sea serpent. I’m really afraid of eels and a looking at pictures of sea serpents was freaking me out!)

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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.

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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.


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!