Enough Snow Already

 Seriously? More snowy yuckiness?

Crochet Flapper Hat by Darleen Hopkins http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/waiting-for-spring-flapper-hat-with-roseI had just stepped out of the shower when I received the call that my boys’ school had a two-hour delay, what?  Thor (is that the name of the latest winter storm?) was only supposed to bring us some nighttime lows.  Shortly after that call, I received a text that my job, the local university, had a one hour delay.  Universities aren’t so quick to close or delay, so I figured that warranted a look outside and sure enough, there was snow on the ground.  It was only a dusting and I can’t really complain as I know other southern areas got a lot of snow and northern areas will receive even more, but still, enough is enough!

Spring will be here in TWO WEEKS! so in celebration of warmer days ahead, I’m offering my Waiting for Spring, Flapper Hat at 50% off for the next week.  Use coupon code EnoughSnow2015 at checkout, Ravelry purchases only, expires 3/15/2015 midnight EST.  This is an awesome hat for young ladies in sizes to fit American Girl doll/preemie to small teen/preteen (approx. 12.25-20.5″ head circumference).  Crochet yours in aran/heavy worsted cotton for warmer days ahead or acrylic or wool for the colder days that continue to linger.

Why delay school with only a dusting?  Georgia isn’t equipped to handle snow or ice.  Our best winter mess removal tool is the sun.  See this post for more info on the lack of snow preparedness in Georgia.

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

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

 

Pattern Re-Launch: Happy Pets, Kitty and Puppy

Cat and Dog Crochet Hat Pattern by Darleen HopkinsThe adorable Happy Pets hats was one of my earlier patterns.  The original recommended yarn had been discontinued so I reworked the pattern with the awesome Vanna’s Choice yarn by Lion Brand.  In addition to the new yarn, and photos, I reformatted the pattern presentation.  The original pattern is still the same, just presented a little bit prettier now.  I hope you like it!  In celebration, I’m offering it at 50% off (Ravelry only) from now until Jan. 18, 2015 midnight EST.  Just make sure you use coupon code “HappyPets50percent”.

Buy Now Link with coupon code already applied or learn more about this adorable pattern.

SillyHatsSillyKids (800x99)

Got Drool?

Got Drool?

I’d like to introduce a few of my latest designs….Drool Bibs!

 Penguin Drool Spit Bib

Penguin Drool Spit Bib

Polar Bear Drool Spit Bib

Polar Bear Drool Spit Bib

Hippo Drool Spit Bib

Hippo Drool Spit Bib

Lion Drool Spit Bib

Lion Drool Spit Bib

Baby Bear Drool Spit Bib

Baby Bear Drool Spit Bib

Bunny Rabbit Drool Spit Bib

Bunny Rabbit Drool Spit Bib

My oldest was a drooler-big time.  He was an adorable, chubby, happy baby that soaked everything!  I wish I knew how to crochet back then (I learned when he was about 5) because I spent a small fortune purchasing cute drool bibs to soak it all up and keep him dry.

Babies like him are what inspired me to design these adorable drool bibs.  Make them in cotton or cotton blend yarn for maximum absorbency.  I made mine in Knit Picks Comfy Worsted-what a great yarn!  These bibs work up quick and are sure to be a hit at any baby shower.

Each bib pattern set comes with 2 patterns.  So far I have made 3 sets; Forest Friends-Adorable Bunny and Sweet Baby Bear, Safari Friends-Happy Hippo and Loveable Lion and just released, Polar Friends-Preppy Penguin and Charming Polar Bear.  Be on the lookout for more.  I’m addicted to designing them and have plans for many, many more Friends!

Patterns are available on Etsy, Craftsy and Ravelry for $3.50/ SET (2 patterns per set)  Don’t forget, all Crochet by Darleen Hopkins purchases on Ravelry are Buy 2, Get 1 Free!  No coupon needed!

New pattern-Made with Love, Heart Baby Blanket, a STASH Buster!

STASH: to store in a usually secret place for future use

Stash Buster Pattern

Use a mix of similar fiber yarn in colors that blend well together

For those who crochet, STASH equals possibilities.  Will this skein be a hat or scarf to keep your son warm while he plays in the snow?  Maybe a market bag for weekend shopping?  How about a baby blanket for your co-worker’s newest family addition?  But sometimes a crocheter’s stash becomes overwhelming.  Do you have boxes or bags full of lone skeins or partial skeins?  Not enough for that sweater you’d like to make or not quite the right fiber for a hat?

Beautiful use of bright colors with Caron Simply Soft.

I’d like to introduce my latest pattern, the Made with Love, Heart Baby Blanket.  I designed this pattern to be a “stash buster”.  I’m a collector of sale or clearance yarn.  It’s hard to pass up a good sale.  Eventually the skeins build up and a stash of yarn ends up taking over the closet.  This blanket is designed to use only 1 or 2 skeins of each color.  If you don’t have full skeins, you can substitute different colors in place of 1 color.  For example, the pattern is written using 2 full skeins of Vanna’s Choice solids as the darker background color.  You can substitute the 1 color with 2 or 3 or more colors of similar shades.  As long as the colors work well together, you can use your stashed yarn to make a lovely blanket for someone special.

Here is a beautiful example.  Jennifer had only partial skeins of 2 different darker blue yarns.  So she combined the 2 and ended up with enough yarn for the darkest background color.  She alternated the 2 shades where the pattern called for 1 and used up some of her leftover yarn.  The result is gorgeous!

Jennifer’s stash for Patchwork Heart Baby Blanket.

Adorable! Jennifer subsituted 2 colors for 1 (background dark)

This beautiful pattern can be found on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy.  Intermediate skill required as you must be familiar with changing colors mid-row.

Thank you and Enjoy!

Darleen

Last Minute Handmade Halloween Costume

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.  Crocheted Skull Hat

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

Halloween Pig Hat Crocheted

Oink! Oink!
Add Pink Top and Pants and You’re Done!

Happy Kitty or Happy Puppy
Adorable Costume for Baby or Small Child

Robot Costume

Mr. Spingy, the Robot Dude
Add Gray Sweats for Instant Costume