Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Simple Lace Headband

During my trip to New York last year, my best friend and I went to The Strand Book Store. It was heaven for book lovers like us. Right outside the store they had shelves and tables of pre-loved books that were on sale. Besides the cheap price (from $1 a book!), I've always been drawn to these second hand books because of their history and the stories behind them, and the beautiful chaos they present. Chaotic, because they are often piled unsorted, sometimes with no categorisation, only grouped by their prices. I get a high from browsing through these books, and the excitement of finally finding a treasure among them is unexplainable. (So much book passion!)

Only this time, it wasn't me who found the treasure. My best friend casually handed me this book of crochet patterns after she chanced upon it, saying something like, "Here, buy this, you might find it useful for your recent crochet hobby." And buy I did! It was only for a dollar, and had a lot of stitch patterns inside, and it was the best purchase I had on that trip (apart from all the good pizza and cheesecake that we had).

The book has a lot of patterns that can be used in almost all kinds of projects - scarves, blankets, beanies, etc. I got so excited! But since I acquired this book when I was still a newbie, I was not yet confident in making my own designs (and yes, I had difficulties reading the patterns). After almost a year of practice, I'm finally posting my first design based on one of this book's patterns. Yay!

It's a simple pattern, which I initially intended to use in a beanie, but when I saw how it looked I thought it would be a good design for a headband too. I'm not sure what this kind of pattern is called, but I'll just call it a lace because of its holes.

Hook: 3.75mm crochet hook
Dapper Dreamer Bamboo Cotton Blue Steel (dark blue / navy)


Ch 75. To increase length, add multiples of 12.
Note: Each ch 3 at the end of each row is the turning chain, and will serve as a dc unless otherwise stated. In cases where the turning chain is ch 6, the first 3 chains will serve as a dc and the next 3 chains will be a chain space.

Row 1: dc in the fifth ch from the hook, dc in the next 3 sts. *ch 3, skip 2 chains, dc in the next 10 sts. Repeat from *, and end the row with dc in each of the last 5 sts. Ch 3, turn. (60 sts, 6 3-ch spaces)

Row 2: dc in the next 2 sts (3 dc now including the turning ch), *ch 3, sc in the 3-ch space, ch 3, skip 2 sts, dc in the next 6 sts. Repeat from *, and end the row with dc in each of the last 2 sts, dc in the turning ch. Ch 6, turn. (42 sts, 12 3-ch spaces)

Row 3: *sc in the 3-ch space, ch 3, sc in the next ch space, ch 3. Skip 2 sts, dc in the next 2 sts, ch 3. Repeat from *, and end the row with 1 dc in the turning ch. Ch 3, turn. (24 sts, 18 3-ch spaces)

Row 4: *2 dc in the 3-ch space, ch 3, sc in the next ch space (the middle one), ch 3, 2 dc in the next ch space, dc in the next 2 sts. Repeat from *, and end the row with 1 dc in the turning ch. Ch 3, turn (42 sts, 12 3-ch spaces)

Row 5: dc in the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the 3-ch space, *ch 3, 2 dc in the next ch space. Dc in the next 6 sts, 2 dc in the next ch space. Repeat from *, and end the row with 1 dc in the turning ch.

From here, you can either fasten off, or continue to the headband ends.

Headband Ends

If you fastened off your yarn, join yarn in any corner of the headband.

We will be working on the side of each row now, and we will treat each row to be 2 sts (e.g., 1 horizontal dc is equivalent 2 sts). Note that we will work on both ends of the headband, one end will be the button end (where the button will be attached) and the other end will be the button hole end.

Row 1: Ch 2, dc in the same row (this will serve as a dc2tog for this row and the succeeding rows). 2 dc in the next 3 rows, dc2tog in the last row. (8 sts)

Row 2: Ch 2, dc in the next st. Dc in the next 4 sts, dc2tog in the last 2 sts. (6 sts)

Row 3:
For the button end: Ch 2, dc in the next st. Dc in the next 2 sts, dc2tog in the last 2sts (4 sts). Fasten off.
For the button hole end: Ch2, dc in the next st. Dc in the next st, ch 2 (or 3, depending on the size of your button), dc in the next st, dc2tog in the last. Fasten off.

You can also opt to join both ends of the headband and get rid of the button by doing a whip stitch or by slip stitching them together. You can also choose to have a tie-back headband by chaining at the end of each headband end, and doing sc's along the chain for a thicker tail. If you want to make a thicker headband, you can use thicker yarn. You can also add 1 row of stitches (dc, hdc, or sc) if you want your holes to be not on the edge.

And there you have it! Fast and simple. I'll be posting more designs inspired by my crochet book in the coming days. Enjoy crocheting AF! \m/

This pattern is free and not for sale. Please credit and link back to this site when sharing, using for business, etc. Thanks! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Spinning Summer Slouchy Beanie

This is yet another beanie that I made as a gift for one of my friends for Christmas last year. I actually made this just early this year because I was really swamped making all of those handmade gifts weeks before Christmas. Fortunately, my friend is a nurse and has a crazy schedule, and we don't meet in person often, so I was pretty sure we weren't going to meet during the busy holidays. The same goes for our friend who does research at the university; she doesn't have a crazy schedule but we almost always meet up only when all three of us can go. I will be posting her beanie too in the following weeks, so stay tuned for that. :)

Going back to my nurse friend's beanie, like most of my crocheted gifts, I wanted to give her something personal and something that suits her. She's the type of person who, despite her busy schedule, loves to go out on trips especially to beaches and everywhere else that involves bodies of water. So of course, I wanted to give her something somewhat related to that. But the theme of my gifts for Christmas was beanies, so I had to give her a beanie too. That was a bit problematic because usually beanies are for keeping you warm, and if you are in the beach, you won't really need a beanie! So I thought of giving her a beanie that's not really warm and that she can still use even if the weather's a bit hot.

Soooo, I searched for beanies that were lacy or that had holes in them. At first I found some patterns with little holes, one of them I also made as a gift for one of my cousins (will post this one soon, too!). But the one I found in Moogly was the one that made me think, yes, this is the perfect beanie for her. I was so excited to make it because it looked really unique and cool (temperature-wise). And I also can't wait to give it to my friend!

Pattern here.

The pattern is so simple and so easy that I made it in a breeze (and this beanie is breezy, too!). It looks complicated because of the spiral effect and the vents, but it really just involved chains and double crochets. You can definitely wear this on hot days; very stylish and fashionable. Even after finishing it, I'm still excited 😄 I really love how this beanie turned out, and I am so happy I made the right choice.  Hopefully my friend will love it too (I know she will because I made it, haha!).

So there you have it! Hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I did. Enjoy crocheting AF! \m/

This pattern is free and not for sale. Please credit and link back to this site when sharing, using for business, etc. Thanks! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Linked Hearts Bracelet

Hearts, hearts, hearts! It's Hearts Day in less than a week! Let's get on to our yarns and hooks and make our loved ones (including ourselves, too!) some handmade gifts filled with love. ❤

Previously I made a heart cactus amigurumi which is so cute and perfect for Valentines Day. For this post, I made bracelets out of linked hearts. I was inspired to do this design when I saw a beanie with linked hearts, but the pattern was not free so I had to figure this one out myself. I also chose to use a thin yarn so I will have smaller and cute hearts. It took me around three to four trials before I got the size and shape of the heart I want. But it's totally worth it! So what are you waiting for? Check out the pattern below.

Hook: 2mm crochet hook
Any lace yarn of your choice. For me I used the following:
Monaco Salmon Pink (B621)
Monaco Ecru (B61)
Red lace yarn (I forgot what brand this is)

Stitches Used
ch (chain)
sl st (slip stitch)
sc (single crochet)
dc (double crochet)
sc5tog - It's like a sc2tog, but instead of inserting your hook and pulling up a loop in just 2 stitches, you do it in 5 stitches.

Linked Hearts Pattern

First Heart

Ch 20, sl st to the first ch to form a ring. Be careful not to twist your chain!

Sc in the same ch where you slip stitched. Sc in the next 2 sts. (3 sts)

3 sc in the next 3 ch. (12 sts)

Sc in the next ch. (13 sts)

Sc5tog in the next 5 sts. (14 sts)

Sc in the next ch. (15 sts)

3 sc in the next 3 ch. (24 sts)

Sc in the next 3 ch. (27 sts)

Sc, dc, sc in the last ch. (30 sts)

Sl st to the first sc. Fasten off.

Second (and succeeding) Heart

As in the first heart, ch 20. Insert your chain to the first heart, then sl st to form a ring.

Note: It is important that you take note of how you are inserting your chain. If you insert it from behind the previous heart, the next heart will have its curved part on top of the previous heart. If you insert it from the front of the previous heart, the previous heart will appear to be on top of your next heart. Check this out on the pictures below:

Left: inserting the tail end of the yarn from the back of the previous heart
Right: inserting the tail end of the yarn from the front of the previous heart

Because I didn't know about this when I made my third heart, the second (white) heart appeared to be on top of the first and third hearts. This wasn't how I intended the linked hearts would look like, but I thought it looked nice too so I continued alternating the way I inserted my chains. Refer to the images below to see how the hearts look like using the two ways of linking them.

Top: alternating inserts of chains
Bottom: insert the chains consistenty from the back of the previous heart

Going back, once you've inserted your chain and formed a ring, repeat the same steps mentioned above in the first heart. You can now keep on making hearts until you reach your desired length.

Finishing the bracelet

There are several ways on how you can finish your bracelet.

Continuous Hearts

The first one is by linking your last heart to the first heart as well. The bracelet looks good with this technique because the hearts are continuously linked, but you have to make sure that your hand will fit through the bracelet to be able to wear it.

If you choose this, end your bracelet by linking the last heart to the second to the last heart and first heart at the same time. It can be tricky, but it's doable.

1. If you chose method 1 to link your hearts, insert the tail end of your last chain from behind the previous heart, and then insert the working end from behind the first heart as well.

2. If you chose method 2, insert the tail end of your last chain from behind (if you chose to insert your previous hearts from behind) or from the front (otherwise) of the previous heart, and then insert the working end from the front (or the back) of the first heart. Note that the ways you insert the tail and working end should be opposite. If you inserted your tail end from the back, insert the working end from the front.

You hook might get caught up in the first heart, so what I did was I removed the hook and held on to the loop until I was able to insert it to the first heart, and then I returned my hook to the loop. Your working yarn will be caught through the first heart, but that's okay; you can still pull through it and work with it. When you fasten off, just pull the working yarn from your heart and through the first heart.

Once you've slip stitched to your first chain and formed a ring, you can start finishing your last heart as usual.

Using a chain string for tying

This method is more flexible because you can easily resize the bracelet using the chain string. Your hearts might not look like it's linked continuously, but at least you won't have to worry if your bracelet's not gonna fit your hand or the hand of the person you're going to give this to.

To do this, starting on the leftmost heart such that the tips of the hearts are to the left, join your yarn to the 7th sc from the bottom tip of the heart, chain 1, and sc to the next st.  Chain up to your desired length, fasten off and cut your yarn. Do the same to the rightmost heart, but this time join your yarn on the 6th sc from the bottom tip of the heart.

Other ways

Button - You can also use a button to fasten your bracelet. Attach one button to one end of your linked hearts, and then to wear it just insert the button through the opposite heart. Your button, however, should be the right size so it won't come off easily.

Clasps - Alternatively you can also attach clasps to each end of the bracelet by sewing them on the 6th st from the bottom tip of the heart.

Continuous Hearts and Using a chain string

Some tips

These linked hearts look pretty, and they are really unruly too! They tend to twist and turn and move around, so I suggest sticking the hearts together by either using hot glue on the overlapping parts, or sewing them together. That way you keep the hearts in place.

And that's it! It was my first (kinda) time working with a 2mm hook and such fine yarn. I thought I was gonna get dizzy because of the smallness, but luckily that didn't happen. I am even getting the hang of it - these hearts just turned out to be so cute! I will probably do more projects using these yarns in the coming weeks; I actually have some ideas already right now. So stay tuned!

Start making these bracelets now, wear them, give them, spread the love. ❤

Enjoy crocheting AF! \m/

This pattern is free and not for sale. Please credit and link back to this site when sharing, using for business, etc. Thanks! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Valentine Gift Bags (and more!)

Valentine's day is just around the corner, and it's the season of giving! I know Christmas is really the season of giving, but Valentines is also a time when people give gifts to their loved ones. People give Valentines cards, flowers, stuffed toys, sometimes balloons too, and of course Valentines will not be complete without the sweets. We give these gifts to show our love to the special people in our lives, but what better way to let them feel our love than to give them handmade gifts?

So I rounded up these Valentine bags, purses, containers, what-have-you - for all of us to enjoy! These Valentine gift containers are so cute, they are gifts themselves as well. They're all pretty easy to make, so there's no worry that you won't be able to finish in time to pack them up with your choice of gifts and give them out by Valentines day. And most importantly, they're free!

Crochet Heart Baskets
These crochet heart baskets are really cute, and I think they will really look good when filled with candies! The pattern used a 12mm hook so these baskets turned out pretty big, but you can scale down your hook size and yarn choice for smaller-sized baskets.

Valentines Day Gift Bag
A drawstring gift bag that you can use to store candies, chocolates, small notes, and just anything lovely! The pattern used intarsia crochet technique to make the heart design in the middle.

Envelope with Heart
Maybe too small or thin for keeping candies in (surely, you don't want to put just one chocolate inside, right?), but I think this will be perfect for jewelries like bracelets and necklaces, with a little note inside saying something like, "You envelope me with your love." So cheesy! I'm sure you can come up with a better line than me. :)

Heart Coin Purses
These may be coin purses, but you sure can put a lot more in there than just coins! This pattern may require a little more effort because of all the sewing of the zippers, but it's worth it because you (or the one you're giving this to) can actually use it as a coin purse. Talk about practicality! And whenever they need some change, they will remember you. ❤

Daisy Heart Granny Purse
Such cute handle! A heart with a handle! Like saying, "You hold my heart." Here I go again with my mushy lines! I should just probably busy myself making these. :) You can definitely give this to anyone you like, but I think this will really look cute for kids. Because Valentines is not just for romantic love, it's for all types of love! ❤

Cable Heart Gift Bag
Now these bags just demand that you put more chocolates in there! Just kidding. These are really cute and handy bags that you or your loved one can definitely reuse.

Valentine Chocolate Box (and chocolates!)
Now this is not exactly a fast one to make, but it's a clever idea, right? A chocolate box that never empties. Haha! Although your loved one might get disappointed (or pissed, even!) at you for giving them fake chocolates, you should probably have some real chocolates at the ready for damage control. Or of course if you don't want to make the crochet chocolates, you can just fill this box with real ones. Or if you're a prankster like me, just make the crochet chocolates and put them in a real chocolate box! That's really mean, don't do that unless you are very secure with the relationship you have.

Sweet Heart Goody Sac
As a gift bag, or a scent bag, or decoration - you can have this in many ways! Ain't that a treat. :)

Valentine's Day Mini Treat Bags
Last but not the least! These cute bags are simple and easy to make, and you can even make them without the heart (for non-Valentines days, or when you're just not really a fan of hearts).

Can't wait to try them out? Start making them now and spread the love around.

Enjoy crocheting AF! \m/