Just For Fun is my way of sharing all the little things I like to do... from crafty things to thoughtful things!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Basic Beanie - Built for Speed

Here's the formula for the "basic beanie" or "basic bucket" hat that will fit every time!

I usually use a soft worsted like Caron Simply Soft but you can use any yarn with an appropriate hook.

If you are not sure how to do double crochet stitches, check out the video tutorials.
Basic crocheted beanie - worsted weight, H hook
Each round begins with a chain 2 that counts as a dc, and ends with a slip stitch in the top of the chain for joining.

chain 3
Round 1: 12 dc (US double crochet) in 3rd chain from hook, join with slip stitch
Round 2: 2dc in each dc around, 24 dc total
Round 3: * dc in next dc, 2dc (inc) in next dc * around, 36 dc total
Round 4: * dc in next 2 dc, 2dc (inc) in next dc * around, 48 dc total
Round 5: * dc in next 3 dc, 2dc (inc) in next dc * around, 60 dc total (stop increases for kid size)
Round 6: * dc in next 4 dc, 2dc (inc) in next dc * around, 72 dc total (stop increases for most adults)
Round 7: * dc in next 5 dc, 2dc (inc) in next dc * around, 84 dc total (stop increases for really big)

Work rounds evenly: 5 more rounds for kids, 6 for most adults, 7 for really big

Work three rounds of fpdc/bpdc ribbing: Work just like dc rounds, but instead of placing the hook in the top of the stitch below, work alternately around the post of the stitch.

Front post - insert hook from the front (right side), around the post, then to the front
Back post - insert hook from the back (wrong side), around the post, then to the back
Fasten off.

Now that you have the basic formula down, you can adjust based on your preferences - more/less ribbing, longer/shorter sides, etc.

Here's a great rule of thumb on sizing… the diameter of the circle (straight across the widest part) at the end of your increase rounds should be a little less than 1/3 of the final circumference you are going for. So, if we are shooting for these sizes (in inches):

22 men
21 women
20 older kids
19 younger kids
18 toddlers
16-17 babies

The flat circle should have a diameter (in inches) of about:

6.75 men
6.5 women
6.25 older kids
5.75 younger kids
5.5 toddlers
5-5.25 babies

Regardless of how many increase rounds the pattern says, if you stop increasing at these measurements and start working “even” the hat ought to fit ok. This way, you can use any yarn and any hook and still get the sizing where you want it to be!

Here are a few examples of hats I've made using this same basic pattern, and adding a few embellishments.  ;o)




Thursday, October 25, 2012

This is Not an Herbology OWL!

Every Hogwarts student knows about OWLs.  Not the feathered kind, but exams - Ordinary Wizarding Levels.

The magical crafting world is no different.  In the House Cup (a group on Ravelry), OWLs are advanced study projects that take steady work over a three month period.
That's right, you heard me... three months. 

When was the last time *anything* took me three months, right?  So, needless to say, I do not qualify for the OWL program.  But that doesn't mean I don't play along in my own way.

This month, it's Herbology.  The OWL requirement I chose is 'floral art', using a pattern that makes you think of plants.

I chose this Garden Path Shawl designed by Lily Go.  It's supposed to make you think of a paved path surrounded by leaves. 

It took me an entire week to make, because I had a tooth surgically extracted two days after I started it.  :oP  But I think it works!

I used 2,332 yards of cotton blend yarn, making it the perfect 'throw' for the couch...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You made that out of string?

There's no doubt in anyone's mind that I love my grandsons... and I enjoy being their Gramma.

Last week, I needed to drop stuff off, and I couldn't resist bringing something fun for the boys.  (What Gramma can, I ask you?!)

So... I made super hero gloves.  Ok, it's not cold here, but it *is* October and there might be a chilly something sometime?  Maybe?

First up is Iron Man.  Freddy loved them and immediately ran around the room.  Very straighforward idea... make red gloves and add power disc circles.  Christy picked him up so he could fly.

I love hearing that boy laugh!

The pair I made for Topher is of course - Batman!

Again, straightforward idea using regular gloves with a small embellishment.  In this case, the spikes.  The cuffs are also a bit longer in order to provide the extra protection you need when fighting evildoers.  ;o)

Topher's expression told me I had scored big Gramma points, cause they were cool.

So... long story short (too late), Topher comes with me to run some errands, one of which includes the craft store.  Every window/mirror/sunny place means the hands go up so he can see the reflection/shadow of his Batman gloves.  Cause, you know, now everyone at the store knows he IS Batman.  So adorable.

While in the craft store buying a pressor foot for my machine, I can tell Topher is thinking.  When I find what I need, we continue walking and pass a bin of yarn... and he speaks his mind. 

"Gramma? Can you make me a sleepy hat?"

"I can make *anything* hon, what's a sleepy hat?"

"The kind with a long thing and a ball at the end."

We proceeded to look at every green yarn in the store, to make sure we got just the right color. 

We even thought through the logic of making one for Freddy and reversing the colors so they are kinda the same and still kinda different.

Every time I make something for the boys I am reminded of when Topher first realized I could make things...

"Gramma?  Did you make this out of string?"

"Yes hon, I did"

"Well, that's a really good job!"

Yeah... that boy gets whatever he wants!  ;o)

Monday, October 8, 2012

What falls in the Fall?

According to the Laurie Berkner song, leaves and temperatures fall in the Fall.  Buuuuut, not so much here in the desert.

It's still 90 degrees during the day, but everyone is breaking out scary movies and The Great Pumpkin, or should that be beagle?

Here's what I've been up to...

Baby stuff!  Not only is Amanda and Mike expecting a boy, but Christy's friend Tara is too.  I won't show you what I'm working on for Amanda yet, well, except for this super soft cotton 'worry blanket' I've already given them...

But I did use Tara as an excuse to do some crazy tie-dyeing.  She's been a best friend to Christy enough years to just nod and smile at my silliness. ;o)

I crochet the blanket and hat in white 100% cotton, and then used a Tulip tie dye kit from the craft store to dye it up.

Gone are the days of giant vats of hot dye that I remember from my youth.  Today's kits are one step, no fuss, and very easy!  Messy, but easy.

The loose swirl is supposed to conjure visions of giant Hawaiian waves since that's where Tara is living now.  Did it work?  You tell me.

Household stuff!  We went from two bathrooms to three - which means new decor, right? 

We went for the classic periodic table shower curtain and crocheted Bazinga! bathmat.  But, be careful of the crossed light sabers on the wall, they're actually attached! ;o)

Bags!  You all know I am a sucker for bags.  These are my recent favorites.

 The snowy bag is an 'exploded' design from Neville's sweater in HP & the Deathly Hallows, the caramel and cream bag is Sherlock's wallpaper, and the house owls, well they speak for themselves!

Sweaters and wraps!  Ok, I am also a sucker for super soft sweaters and wraps.  Gone are the days of fleece and flannel throws on the couch. 

Right now it's this Celtic Knot filet crochet shawl, and a lace diamond shawl.  Because of the flat bottom edge, they are great for wrapping up to watch tv (or crochet!) without that pesky pointy part that always gets stuck somewhere it shouldn't.  I made one of those two though.


I made a sweater for preggo Amanda - the shoulder section of this hoodie is two sizes smaller than the tummy section... and another for my friend Greta who is on the road to recovery after what can best be described as a crummy summer.  Both styles are loose and open, important when temperatures never really dip into 'cold'.
I also managed to make myself a very Brady bell sleeve sweater as well in It's a Sunshine yellow. 
This lacy duster is a great example of how crocheted garments can look completely diffferent when worn.  Check out the difference between flat on the floor and on my body. 
All in all, I've been able to keep myself busy... but the best part of being in the valley is being closer to the kids/grandkids.  We've seen more of them in the last couple of months and I love every minute of it!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wash the dishes and do the mopping...

Whew... July was a busy month as we moved house so Steve could accept a great job offer.  We're not completely settled, but we're getting there.  I managed to keep crafting but alas, I didn't get them posted, so we'll just pretend it never happened!

That said, I finished a Magic Cinderella doll this week that I am especially happy about.  A 'magic' doll is two sided, so you can flip it one way or the other for two different characters.  In this case, charwoman Cinderella and princess Cinderella.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Bird House is for sale!

867 W Pine Knoll Drive, Prescott           928-776-7171

Pine Knoll Estates, Unit 2, Lot 11 plus adjoining Lot 10
Approx ½ acre total, 1,893 sq ft, 3 bedroom/2 bathroom,
Built in 1991 by a construction engineer
                        Realtor.com MLS# 963960                        HomesbyOwner
In the cool pines approximately two miles from the Courthouse Square, everything is easily accessible and yet a world away… with great pine and granite views from every window.

Concrete slab foundation, two car heated garage, dirt room storage, indoor storage, finished attic storage, electricity, gas, septic, city water, paved roads.  Gas furnace, gas fireplace (with thermostat), ceiling fans in every room, covered front porch, two decks, beamed ceilings, three window seats, dual paned windows, garden tub in master bath, oak and tile floors, appliances included. Established perennial landscape with native oak and ponderosa, spruce, walnut and fruit trees, automated sprinkler/drip system.   

Don’t miss the hand carved birds in the eaves outside, and call us to see inside!

The front yard: 

Views from two outside decks, and the top of the hill:

The adjacent parcel, included in sale price:



These photos are prior to our moving in, so they are not a reflection of how the house looks now but it might be interesting to see the rooms empty.