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!
Last, one for the ladies so you don’t feel left out.
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:
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!!!!)
The Zombie Sock Monkey / When Sock Monkeys Attack crochet hat pattern is available as an instant download on Ravelry for $4.50 (and ETSYtoo!) 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!)
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!)
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.
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.
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”.
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).
I’ve been steadily working on my Bernat CottonTots 100% cotton yarn stash. This month I have three hats to share with you.
Waiting for Spring Flapper Hat
The first is the Waiting for Spring, Flapper hat. This is the first hat pattern I designed and offered for sale and have not made it in a long time. While I was working on it, my husband said “going Old School on this one, huh?” It’s an adorable hat and I guess I need to make it more often! I made an XL which should fit most 3 yr. to small adult heads.
The second hat is my latest release, the Silly Hat. It looks a little bit like my favorite starfish, Patrick Star from SpongeBob SquarePants. Patrick is such a goofball; no wonder SpongeBob is best buddies with him. It is a version of the Candy Corn Hat. This is a medium (most 3-6 yr. old children). It’s too tight for my almost 11-year-old to wear so it should be perfect for a younger child.
Crazy Frog Hat
The last is my buddy, the Crazy Frog hat. This pattern is included free with every one of Crochet by Darleen Hopkins patterns I sell (Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy); just an extra bonus and thank you for your purchase! I made a small/medium to fit most 3-6 yr. old kids.
I’m saving these three to donate to Halos of Hope when they arrive in Atlanta for Stitches South. They are collecting regular and sea themed hats to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Egleston & Scottish Rite and will be distributing them that same weekend.
My three hats weigh in just over 9 ounces. Add this to the two I donated in December to Halos of Hope, New England Chapter and that’s a little over 1 pound (so far) of CottonTots crocheted into soft hats for Halos of Hope! Five pounds to go! : )
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.
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
Oink! Oink! Add Pink Top and Pants and You’re Done!
Happy Kitty or Happy Puppy Adorable Costume for Baby or Small Child
Mr. Spingy, the Robot Dude Add Gray Sweats for Instant Costume