Saturday, June 18, 2016

Power Tie Coffee and Beer Cozies, FREE Pattern

In keeping with my pattern of posting extremely last minute gift ideas, I have one for Father's Day! My Power Tie Cozies.

This pattern includes designs for a coffee cozy and a beer cozy. The coffee cozy was originally published in Happily Hooked Magazine, and I thought I'd give it a companion piece to share here. The coffee cozy fits most standard cups you get from from your favorite coffee house, and fits on pint glasses, while the beer cozy fits most bottles and cans. Whether your Dad's favorite vice is of the caffeine or alcohol variety, make him a tie he'll actually use!

This pattern whips up quickly, so you really do still have time to make one for Father's Day.



Power Tie Coffee and Beer Cozies



 Materials
  • US H (5 mm) hook
  • Worsted weight cotton yarn in two colors, A and B. Shown (left to right) in Lily Sugar’n Cream in Light Blue and Country Red, Soft Ecru and Country Red, and Light Blue and Barnboard
  • TwistsYarn needle or Large eye blunt needle  

Gauge 
7 sc and 9 rows = 2”

Abbreviations

st(s) : stitch(es)
ch(s): chain(s)
sc: single crochet
hdc: half double crochet
dc: double crochet
sl: slipstitch
inc: increase (crochet two stitches in one space)
dec: decrease (crochet two stitches together)
BLO: back loops only

Special Stitches
Foundation single crochet (used in coffee cozy only): ch 2, insert hook in second ch from hook and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through one loop (chain made). Yarn over and pull through both loops. Succeeding stitches are worked into the chain made in the previous stitch.

Notes
1. Starting chains do not count as a stitch. 
2. Pattern is worked in rounds. Do not turn at the ends of rounds unless otherwise noted. For beer cozy only, pattern is worked in a spiral without joining rounds.
3. Repeat directions following * to end of round.

Instructions

Coffee Cozy Shirt

1: With A, leaving a slightly long tail to sew up gap, foundation single crochet 27 and join in a ring. (27)

2:  Ch 1, *sc; join to first sc. (27)

3:  Ch 1, *sc 8, sc inc; join to first sc. (30)

4-5: Ch 1, *sc; join to first sc. (30)

6: Ch 1, *sc 9, sc inc; join to first sc. (33)

7-8: Ch 1, *sc; join to first sc. (33)

9: Ch 1, *sc 10, sc inc; join to first sc. (36)

10-11: Ch 1, *sc; join to first sc. (36)

12: Ch 1, *sc 11, sc inc; join to first sc. (39)

13-14: Ch 1, *sc; join to first sc. (39)     

Begin Collar

1: Ch 1, sc in BLO, sc 3, (sc inc, sc 4) six times, sc inc, sc 3, sc in BLO. (46)
*Note: the tie will be worked into the two unworked front loops.

2: Ch 1, TURN, sc dec, sc 42, sc dec. (44)

3: Ch 3, TURN, dc, hdc, hdc dec, sc 2, (sc dec, sc 4) five times, sc dec, sc 2, hdc dec, hdc, dc, ch 3, sl in same space, ch 2 more and sl in row below. (36, not counting chains)

4: Ch 1, TURN, sl evenly up side edge of collar, in each stitch around, and down opposite edge. Tie off, leaving long tail to stitch down collar edge (enough for a few stitches on each side will do).  

Make Tie – pattern on pg 4


Beer Cozy Shirt

With A, make a magic ring

1: Sc 6 into magic ring. Mark ends of rounds. Work in a spiral; do not join rounds.

2: *Sc inc  (12)

3: *Sc inc, sc (18)

4: *Sc inc, sc 2 (24)

5: *Sc inc, sc 7 (27)

Work even until piece measures 5” laid flat.

Begin Collar

1: Ch 1, sc in BLO, sc 2, (sc inc, sc 3) five times, sc inc, sc 2, sc in BLO. (33)
*Note: the tie will be worked into the two unworked front loops.

2: Ch 1, TURN, sc dec, sc 29, sc dec. (31)

3: Ch 3, TURN, dc, hdc, hdc dec, (sc dec, sc 5,) three times, sc dec, hdc dec, hdc, dc. ch 3, sl in same space, ch 2 more and sl in row below. (25, not counting chains). 

4: Ch 1, TURN, sl evenly up side edge of collar, in each stitch around, and down opposite edge. Tie off, leaving long tail to stitch down collar edge (enough for a few stitches on each side will do).  


Tie (same for both versions)

With B, starting with a very long tail (approx 2 ft), hold cozy upside down and attach yarn in the first unworked front loop from the first round of the collar.

1: Ch 1, sc in same space, sc in the second unworked front loop. (2)

2-3: Ch 1, TURN, sc 2. (2)

4: Ch 1, TURN, sc inc 2 (4)

5-10: Ch 1, TURN, sc 4. (4)

11: Ch 1, TURN, sc dec 2. (2)

12: Ch 1, TURN, sc 2. (2)

13: Ch 1, TURN, sc dec. Tie off, leaving a long tail to sew the tie down to the shirt. (1)

 
Finishing

Shirt (coffee cozy only): Use a yarn needle to stitch up the gap left in the first round, and weave in yarn end.

Tie: With starting yarn tail, wrap yarn around the top 1/2” of the tie, weaving yarn through the back of the stitches with a yarn needle to secure them. Continue wrapping until the “knot” reaches your desired width. Tie off and weave in end. With opposite yarn tail, stitch around the outer edge of the tie to secure it in place. Weave in end.


Collar: Fold collar down. Using yarn needle, stitch down the collar along the two front points, weaving the yarn tail under the tie to reach the opposite side. Weave in end. 
 

Enjoy your Father's Day!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Yarn Review - Lion Brand Sock-Ease

Awhile back, I posted about knitting my Circus Socks, following the free pattern "Outside In" available on Knitty. The pattern is lovely and I had a lot of fun knitting my socks, but that's only half of the equation. The other half, of course, is the yarn. 


For these socks I used Lion Brand Sock-Ease in the colorway "Circus Peanut" (hence the name of my version). It's a fun color, and I like how a solid shade brings out the raised ridges of the traveling rib. 


The Big Skein

Sock-Ease is sold a little differently than most sock yarns. It comes in larger, 3.5oz/100 gram balls like most worsted weight yarns so that, as the wrapper claims "one ball makes a pair." The full price listed on Lion's site is $10.49 but I paid about $7, making this a pretty budget friendly yarn, which of course I like. I actually had about 30 grams of yarn leftover - 30% of the original ball -  after making these, so it would be possible to knit a longer pair and still only use one skein.

The Material

This is a machine washable yarn (yay!) that's 75% Wool and 25% Nylon, a pretty standard composition for sock yarns. The feel is rather less woolly than other yarns I've used, though, with very little fuzz. It's quite smooth and sleek and feels a bit more summery that other superwash wool yarns. I thought that would make it a good option for me as I live in New Orleans, where "winter" means highs below 70 degrees.

I found the yarn very pleasant to work with, smooth and soft with no splitting or breaking and no fuzz, so it's still nice to work with for summer knitting when you don't want a huge woolly project laying in your lap.

The Wear

The final product is a pair of cozy knit socks that feel nice and soft on the feet. The only issue I've found with the yarn is that it doesn't quite bounce back and retain its stretchiness like I'd hope.

In this photo, I'd been wearing the socks around for a bit and trying them on with different shoes. As you can see, I ended up with some sag at the ankles and also a bit around the top edge just below the ribbing. Though I won't normally be wearing them with high heels, I do worry that over time they'll get saggier and I'll be pulling them up all day.

The Verdict

The price is nice, it's fun to work with, and the texture feels good against the skin. If the regain memory stays the way it is, I'll be pretty happy with this yarn, but it remains to be seen how well the socks will keep their stretch after multiple washings. For a time-intensive item like knitted socks, I'm not sure the little bit of savings is worth potentially saggy socks.

Would I buy it again? Maybe. But, I'm going to wear them through next winter first and see if they hold up or fall down. 







Sunday, May 15, 2016

Circus Socks


My legs are all dressed up!

Sock knitting is one of the few areas where I'm totally content following a pattern. I don't get bored and decide it needs some of my own flair as I often do, as long as it's a visually interesting pattern like Outside In by Janice Kang. I instantly fell for the traveling rib pattern, and I love how the heel shaping is attractively worked into the design. Best of all, it's a free pattern available on Knitty.

I knitted my socks with Lion Brand Sock-Ease in the colorway "Circus Peanut." It's a fun color and I like how a solid color yarn shows off those glorious ribs. That being said, the pattern designer used an attractive variegated yarn (Panda Superwash in "Violets"), and the result looks fabulous.

asdf
Love that purple!


The pattern is slightly complex, as any traveling design will be, but I found I only needed to consult the charts for the first repeat, only glancing back at it occasionally as I knitted. The flow of the rib is easy to read and you generally just "know" how the row you're working will go.


One of my favorite things about this pattern is how the design goes all the way out to the ends of the toes and down to the bottoms of the heels. It's not something most people will see unless you're out and about in your stocking feet, but I still really enjoy the look of it. And, no matter what shoes you wear, there won't be any unnattractive or unfinshed-looking parts visible.

Knitty classifies this pattern as "piquant," which they define as "something for the seasoned knitter." They call this class of patterns "daring but not exhausting" and "probably not tv knitting." I definitely knitted a good bit of this with some TV happening, but you might miss a bit of the action because though I found the pattern easy to follow, you do have to keep an eye on your stitches. There are no long stretches of stockinette where you can zone out, but the result is definitely worth it in my opinion. 


I wore my "rugged" heels

I did suffer a bit from the second-sock-slump, but I can't blame the pattern for that. Getting that first one done is so satisfying and then you have to start all over again before you can actually wear the things. After a hiatus to work on some of my other projects, I dove back in and found the second just as fun to knit as the first. All-in-all, I found this a fun and satisfying project, and a fabulous design considering it's a free sock knitting pattern.

Next up, a yarn review! Sock-Ease is a budget friendly sock yarn, so I'm eager to see how it holds up after a few more wears.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Flowers for Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day and I've been neglecting my baby—this poor little blog! Since it's rather late in the game to start knitting or crocheting anything for mom, I thought I'd give you all a big bouquet of flowers. Or, at least a nice collection of 10 free crochet flowers patterns.

Crochet flowers are great stash-busters, and you pretty much always have time to make one.  If you want to make one (or more) for your Mom, try attaching them to pins, crocheting tiny ones to glue on earring backs, or sticking them on a handmade card just like elementary school. Moms love those!

1.  First up is this bright and cheery Crochet Orchid.  I love how the different layers give it real dimension, and the colors are pretty fun too. 

Flower Photo

This version is made it plarn! If you wanted to get fancy in the kitchen, you could probably use it as a scrubby.
Flower Photo

2.  Can you believe these Carnations are crocheted? I love this presentation, but wouldn't these be great as part of a permanent corsage or boutonniere?

3.  These colorful Pansy Flowers could really make a statement. They lay a bit more flat than many flowers and could be good for embellishing things like clothing or afghans.

Pansy Crochet Flower

 4.  These Brilliant Crochet Blooms are just that. I love how the petals curve up into little cups, and the color combinations are lots of fun too.



5.  A lot of crochet flower patterns take some liberties with nature, but this Crochet Daffodil could almost be picked right out of a garden.

Flower Photo 

6.  How sweet is this Lily of the Valley? I think it would look fabulous on a lightweight cardigan. 

Lily of the Valley 

7.  I adore these Puff Stitch Crochet Flowers.They're so bright and cheerful, and have a real retro charm.
6 Petal Puff Stitch Crochet Flower
 8.  For the true flower lovers out there, a whole afghan of flowers! This Floral Fiesta Afghan is a garden in itself.
Floral Fiesta Afghan 

 9. For a classic, Victorian style, whip up this Iris Rose. The lacy background makes it something truly special.

10. Finally, for the utiliarians out there, try these adorable floral Jardain Crochet Coasters. I wouldn't mind resting my cup of coffee on those.



However you're spedinging the day today, I hope you enjoy yourself, and take the time to kick back and relax with some crochet!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Say Hoppy Easter with a Bunny Beer Cozy

As a child, I always loved Easter Egg hunts, though I was not at all a fan of eggs. It was the hunt I loved, searching the nooks and crannies of my grandparents' backyard for brightly colored prizes. And of course, the plastic, candy-filled variety were never disappointing.

Now that I'm an adult, I never get to search a yard for colored eggs. So, I started a new tradition. An Easter ale hunt! We gather with friends in the backyard, barbeque, and decorate six pack holders as our "Easter baskets," then go on the hunt. Bottles of beer are rather easier to find than those little round eggs, but you get something you want every time. At least I do.

To add a little extra festivity to this year's Easter ale hunt, I've made cute little bunny cozy to keep those ales cool. Try the free pattern out for yourself and have a hoppy Easter, in more ways than one!



Hoppy Easter Beer Cozy

Cozy fits bottles and cans, as well as .5 liter water bottles.

Materials

  • US H (5 mm) hook.
  • Worsted weight yarn of your choice in white, pink, and black. Shown in Red Heart Super Saver in White, Black, and Shocking Pink.
  • Tapestry or Large eye blunt needle 
Gauge
7 stitches and 9 rows = 2” in sc.

Abbreviations
st(s) : stitch(es)
ch: chain
sc: single crochet
sl: slipstitch
inc: increase (crochet two stitches in one space)

Notes
1.  Cozy is worked in a spiral, without joining rounds. Do not join rounds unless otherwise stated.
3.  Repeat directions following * to end of round.

Pattern
With White, make a magic ring.
1:  Sc 6. Mark ends of rounds. Work in a spiral; do not join rounds.
2:  *Sc inc  (12)
3:  *Sc inc, sc (18)
4:  *Sc inc, sc 2 (24)
5:  *Sc inc, sc 3 (30)
Work even until piece measures 5.5” laid flat.
At the end of last round, sl to join. Ch 1, *sc. Sl to join. Tie off. Weave in ends. 

Ears
inside
With pink, ch 10, sc in second ch from hook, sc 7 more. Work 3 sc in last ch. Working down opposite side of ch, sc 8. Tie off.

outside
With white, ch 10, sc in second ch from hook, sc 7 more. Work 3 sc in last ch. Working down opposite side of ch, sc 8.

Ch 1, turn. Hold the pink ear piece against the white one, with right sides facing out. Working through back loops of pink ear piece and through sts of white piece (see photos), sc 8, sc inc 3, sc 8. Tie off, leaving a long tail to sew bottom edge of ears to cozy. 





Finishing

Nose
With pink yarn and a tapestry needle, stitch a triangle shape in the center of the cozy. Start with the yarn under a single stitch for the bottom of the nose and worked across the 3 stitches in the row above. Wrap yarn several times so the nose puffs out from the cozy.

Mouth
With black yarn and a tapestry needle, work overlapping stitches down from the nose a couple stitches, then out to the side one stitch, and curving up for two more stitches. Repeat last two steps on the opposite side. 

Eyes
With black yarn and a tapestry needle, starting 3 stitches above the corner of the nose, work one long stitch across two stitches to the side and up one, then another two stitches to the side and down one so the eye has a "v" shape. Repeat on opposite side. 

Sew ears to the top of the cozy above the face, with 6 stitches centered between the ears. Tie off. Weave in all ends.

Add an ale with lots of hops, and you're ready to celebrate!