Crochet Photography 101

Crochet without a hook and yarn.

Kitty on crocheted blanket, Shells of Love pattern by Darleen Hopkins

My kitty with Shells of Love baby blanket.

It’s mid-March.  Wow! Have you heard time goes by faster the older you get? It is so true.  It is hard to believe 2015 is almost 1/4 over.  Not only is this year flying by but I’ve hardly had any crocheting time in 2015.  I’ve been busy, really busy, just not with crochet.  The beginning of the year is always hectic.  Because I do all the bookkeeping and tax filing for my husband’s business, the first couple of months of the year are full of year-end processing and payroll, corporate and personal tax filing.  On top of this more than average work-at-home paperwork, my real job had significant deadlines last month and just to make it all a little more crazy, Mother Nature threw in an ice storm (no power for far too long), and some snow to the mix.  Add two active boys and a husband and it’s been hectic.  Last, and because I believe I’m superwoman, I decided to take a photography class.  All my free time has been dedicated to this class and I’m loving it.

I purchased my first DSLR camera last fall.  It was time to step up from the point and shoot as I just wasn’t getting the photos I wanted for my crochet patterns.  Yup, that’s right.  I bought a camera for my crochet.  Sounds like another “you know you are addicted to crochet when…” but it is true.

The Nikon D3200 is great.  It’s an entry-level DSLR and so far I’ve been really pleased.  Up until this photography class, camera operations were a mystery to me.  I stuck to the pre-programmed settings as aperture, f-stop, ISO and shutter speeds were recognizable words but were so confusing to me.   But why have a camera that can do all sorts of tricks and not use them?  So I enrolled in a beginner photography class and when it completed last week, enrolled in the intermediate class.  I’m hoping to continue on to the advanced class.  If not next month, maybe this summer.

Because I purchased the camera to take photos of my crochet, I decided to have all my class photos crochet related.  THIS is how I’m working on my crochet.   Not with a hook and yarn but with a camera.  In the beginning this wasn’t too bad.  The assignments were basic; use your shutter speed to show motion or adjust the aperture to vary your depth of field.  But the homework is getting a little harder and a little more abstract in the intermediate class.  It might be a little easier for me if I took photos of flowers or scenic landscapes.  Having to work crochet into each photo is starting to prove a bit of a challenge.  However, this is a challenge I welcome.  Although I don’t have any current hats or other designs to share with you, I’d like to share some of my favorite photos from the beginner class.

Shells of Love Baby Blanket Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Shells of Love Baby Blanket Crochet Pattern modeled by my kitten 🙂

Piranha Monster Fish Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Black Piranha Monster Fish Hat modeled by my oldest 🙂

Charmed Shawl Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Charmed Shawl Crochet Pattern

Cubed Slouch Hat Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Cubed Hat modeled by my husband 🙂

Picture Perfect Crochet Baby Banket Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Picture Perfect Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern

Glacier Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

Glacier Crochet Hat Pattern modeled by my youngest 🙂

I’m taking the class at the local university through the continuing education program.  The instructor is great and it is a great group of students-even a couple of crocheters in the bunch!  I’ve learned a lot but have so much more to learn.  If you have any interest in photography or have a DSLR camera but haven’t made it beyond full green auto, check out a class.  You will be glad you did.  I know I am.

Black Raspberry Shawl Crochet Pattern 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

 

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, Final Update

Last, but not least… but what is it?

Critter Hat for Halos of Hope, chemo charity crochet hat

Critter Hat

December 31, 2014 and my last hat of the year for the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge was just finished.  I didn’t think I’d have time for another hat this year but then remembered this hat I had started a couple of months ago and hadn’t finished.  There’s a reason I didn’t finish it…fun fur/eyelash yarn.  I’m not a fan of this type of yarn but for some reason (clearance aisle a few years ago!) there are a few skeins of this stuff in my possession. UGH.  There’s no pattern for this critter.  I just made a hat.  As it progressed it was kinda large so I added some super bulky yarn as an edging to tighten it up.  Then, to use up what was left, made some ears-why not?-to create a critter of some sort.  The edging part is pretty tight on Buffy’s head so I’m hoping it will fit a large child.  The good news is I used up all the super bulky and the dark blue fur yarn, less than a yard leftover of each, and created a hat some child will (hopefully) like. The bad news, I have more of this fur stuff, lots more.

This hat weighs 4.25 ounces.

Total hats made in the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 24
Total weight of the hats made for donation in 2014: 5 pounds, 4.25 ounces!

Check back in a week or so for a new 2015 Challenge!

Stash Bust 2014, Mid December Update

Purple Butterscotch for Halos of Hope

Butterscotch Cream crochet hat made for Halos of Hope
Here’s the second hat for December in my 2014 Stash Bust Challenge.  This is the Cable and Rib Slouchy Hat from Red Heart.  I really like this pattern.  It uses short rows for the crown shaping and it’s pretty easy.  When I was a little more than half-way through I realized I wouldn’t have enough purple yarn (Caron Simply Soft) so I added the blocks of cream to get the needed circumference.  The only other modification I made was a slight adjustment to the brim.  I’d like to add a pom-pom but I’m going to wait until I have a chance to crochet another Divine Hat with the remaining cream yarn as I don’t want to run short.  If there’s enough cream left over, I’ll make a pom-pom for this hat.  If not, it looks good as is!

This hat weighs 3.5 ounces.

Total hats made in the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 23
Total weight of the hats to date: 5 pounds!

Stash Bust 2014, First December Update

Another Winter Tracks by Sarah Jane Made for Halos of Hope

Winter Tracks crochet hat pattern by Sarah JaneI’m still plugging away at my Stash Bust Challenge.  I’m beginning to realize I won’t be making 7 pounds worth of hats but that’s OK.  I’ll make what I can.  This is my second Winter Tracks hat, designed by Sarah Jane.  The hat is written to have a brim.  I was so tired and so excited to finish the hat last night that I completely forgot to add it.  Oh well, I think it looks great with and without so I’m going to leave it as it.  Great pattern!  Gotta go, I need to get stitching…

This hat weighs 4.75 ounces.

Total hats made in the
2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 22
Total weight of the
hats to date: 4 pounds, 12.5 ounces.

Whispers, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whispers-shawl-shawlette-or-scarf

Elsa Frozen hat crocheted by Darleen Hopkins https://crochetbydarleenhopkins.com/patterns/

Stash Bust 2014, Last November Update

Elsa and Ninja Hats for White Christmas Donation

Elsa Frozen hat crocheted by Darleen Hopkins https://crochetbydarleenhopkins.com/patterns/Two more hats for donation completed in November! Whoo-Hoo!  These two cuties will be donated locally.  I had an almost full skein of white Red Heart Super Saver in my stash. This isn’t the best yarn for chemo hats so I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Then I received notification that this year’s White Christmas has a Frozen theme. Every year the employees of the local university where I work collect A LOT of food and toys (White Christmas) for those who live in the town and are in need. So, I decided to make an Elsa hat for the collection. I’m pleased to have found a charitable use for this yarn. And because it will be worn by a child who will have hair, this yarn should be OK.

For the hat, I used my Chirp! Chirp! Tweet! Tweet! Hat Baby Bird, Chick, Bluebird, Cardinal you pick hat. I added the hair and crown.

Ninja Turtle hat crocheted by Darleen Hopkins  https://crochetbydarleenhopkins.com/patterns/

The Ninja Turtle hat was crocheted with Red Heart Super Saver also.  I hope it will go to a young boy who will have fun with it.  I have a lot more of this green and I wish I had the time to make more Ninja Turtle hats.  If I still have the yarn next November, I just may make another turtle or two for the collection next year.

The two hats weigh just over 7 ounces.

Total hats made in the
2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 21
Total weight of the
hats to date: 4 pounds, 7.75 ounces.

Whispers, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whispers-shawl-shawlette-or-scarf

Stash Bust 2014, 3rd November Update

Gift-a-long hat, La Villa Lace Brim Slouch Hat for Halos of HopeA Gift-A-Long Hat for Halos of Hope

Two weeks ago I mentioned the Gift-A-Long that is occurring on Ravelry.  This is such a fun event, please check it out.  It is still going strong through Dec. 31, 2014.  The participants are having a lot fun sharing their WIPs, FOs and random thoughts.  You never know what you might find or learn there; lots of new designers and patterns as well as learning what Vegemite and Marmite are.  I gotta try this stuff!

While searching the GAL crochet designers, I discovered this beautiful hat by Betty Fay Wallace, La Villa Lace Brim Slouch Hat, and just had to try it.  I’m so pleased with the hat.  I haven’t made anything like this before.  It is crocheted in mercerized cotton and it is gorgeous.  With three more hanks of this same yarn in my stash it is very likely I will make more of these.

This hat weighs 3.5 ounces.  This is my fourth hat this month.  There’s one week left in November and I have a goal to make a couple more!

Total hats made in the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 20
Total weight of the hats to date: 4 pounds, 4.25 ounces.

 

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

Stash Bust 2014, Another November Update

One more for Halos of Hope

Striped Bentley by Darleen Hopkins crochet patternThird week of November and I have one more hat to be donated to Halos of Hope! This is the striped version of the Bentley Hat I made in September.  I finally wrote the pattern down and it is now available.

Although the pattern is written for Cascade Yarns Bentley, I made this one in Caron Simply Soft.  For some reason have 2 more skeins of the mauve so you will be seeing more pink hats in the future!

This hat weighs 3.75 ounces.  I’ve made over 4 pounds so far-it’s going to be tough to make the full 7 pounds in 2014 but I’ll keep on trying.

Total hats made in the 2014 Stash Bust Challenge: 19
Total weight of the hats to date: 4 pounds, .75 ounces.

 

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