My hooks and needles have been busy busy this week! There will be quite a few things to post about on Friday.
I finally made friends with my circular needles and I’ve managed to make 2 very basic hats.
Because they’re mostly just knit stitch round and round, they’re pretty quick to make (once I’ve finished frogging my cast on 6 times) so they’re definitely viable shop products.
My Apple Orchard yarn arrived yesterday so I’ve cast on another hat using that; I want to see how it compares to my crochet version and which I prefer.
I also ordered some more Landscape in the colour Boardwalk, which is definitely battling with Apple Orchard for the title of favourite yarn. It’s the one I used for that hat up there in the photo, and with what’s left I’m making a baby hat.
Crochet-wise, after getting really quite far with my santa hat I decided it looked too pixie-like and frogged the lot. Now I’m trying again with slightly more increase per round and I think it looks much better.
It’s taking forever at this stage, but I know once I get a pattern I’m happy with I can knock them out in an hour or two and be done.
So that’s what I’m working on this week! What’s everyone else working on? Discovered any fabby new yarn? Let me know in the comments!
My parents came to visit last week and, as usual, Mum brought me lots of goodies. One of which was a skein of the utterly to-die-for gorgeous Lion Brand Landscape, in the Apple Orchard colourway.
It’s even more beautiful in real life.
Of course every single other project was dropped immediately so I could play with my new pretty. I’ve been thinking about hats recently (yes, waffle hat, I see you looking at me) so I decided to make one.
The colours are such a feature that I went for a really basic pattern so it wouldn’t take away from them; just your standard double crochet in the round.
But I seem to have caught the fiddle bug and I couldn’t just leave it at that. First of all I tried alternating front and back post to make a kind of ribbing, but I didn’t like that so I frogged it. It needed some kind of transition from the main bit to the ribbing.
I’m tired so I got halfway through a round of front post dc before realising that made the step down on the inside of the hat. I frogged it.
Then I tried a round of back post, but I didn’t like that so I frogged it.
Now I’m having a go at back loop only dc, as a less severe step down to the ribbing part, and we shall see how this goes. At some point soon I’m going to have to make a decision and stick with it because this yarn does not like being frogged. If I don’t go slowly slowly it catches on itself and fuzzes up and just generally won’t play nice.
But I forgive it. I’d forgive a lot worse for these colours.
What’s everyone else working on this week? Got any new beautiful yarn to squee over? Let me know in the comments!
I’m almost certainly running before I can walk here, but I’ve decided to start making some crochet goodies without patterns.
The patterns I’ve bought so far are fabulous, but they take up almost 20% of the money I’ve spent on my shop. Plus they all (so far) use really simple stitches that I know how to use; in theory I could have written any of the patterns I have bought. So I’m going to give it a go!
Obviously you don’t just dive into something super-complicated for your first go without a pattern, so I decided to start with a hat.
I know from experience (having to restart one hat project at least 5 times) that beginning with the brim and working up doesn’t really work so well for me. Those chains were determined to twist, no matter what I did! There’s also the fact that I love magic rings, so the obvious choice for me was to start from the top and work my way downward.
Here’s what I did (Yes, I’m as British as they come but still use American crochet terms. Don’t go looking for logic here – there is none):
1) Make a magic ring, 6 double crochet into the ring (6)
2) 2dc in each stitch (12)
3) *dc, 2dc into next stitch* 4 times (18)
4) *dc, dc, 2dc into next stitch* 6 times (24)
5) dc in each stitch (24)
6) *dc, dc, dc, 2dc into next stitch* 6 times (30)
At this point I wanted to do something a bit more interesting, so I decided to experiment with some front post and back post double crochet (fpdc and bpdc)
7) Ch 2 (counted as dc), fpdc, *dc, fpdc* repeat ** around and join to starting chain (30)
8) Ch 2 (counted as bpdc), dc, *bpdc, dc* repeat ** around and join to starting chain (30)
9) Repeat 7) and 8) until desired length (including a stripe of colour because I can) (30)
10) Finish it all off with a row of single crochet and a slip stitch at the end (30)
That gave me this awesome waffle-patterned hat
Looking at it on my desk I was super proud of myself for actually making a real thing without a pattern, but…I didn’t like it. To me it looked like an old lady hat. Given the choice, I would never wear it. But my taste in hats is not everybody’s taste in hats so I tried it on, ready to take some photos for listing in the shop, and it’s actually not that bad!
Then one of my friends modelled it for me
She really likes it, which makes me feel super duper proud! Thank goodness for individual tastes in the world – if my friend likes the hat then there will definitely be someone out on the internet willing to buy it when my shop finally goes live.
So there you have it; my very first pattern-free crochet make.
What do you think? Would you wear the hat? Let me know in the comments!
A wee while ago I asked for help deciding how to make up these two hats
I posted on Facebook, instagram, my etsy group, and here on the blog to get as many responses as possible. I got 43 votes overall, which is actually more than I expected!
And the results are:
Opposite colours won 28 votes to 15!
I’m really happy with the result because the more responses came in, the more I realised I actually prefer them with contrasting bows. I still would have made them the same colour if the voting had gone that way, of course, but this way just pleases me more.
So there we have two more items ready to go into my shop! What do you think of the hats? Did you vote for the winning side? Let me know in the comments!
If you’ve got 30 seconds to spare, I could do with some help!
I’ve made two bow tie hats from a Melanie Ham pattern – one in lilac and one in wine red. I’ve made a bow in each colour as well, and now I can’t decide which bow to attach to which hat. Here they are:
My camera is rubbish so the colours aren’t very accurate in these photos, but you get the idea.
So what do you think? Same colours or different colours? Let me know in the comments!
Have you ever heard of the 100:10:1 method of generating ideas? It’s really simple.
Quick as you can, preferably within one day, write down 100 ideas. Quality/feasibility/sense don’t matter at this point. Just write.
Choose the top 10 ideas and develop them
Then pick the 1 best idea from those 10 and develop it fully.
I decided to do this to generate ideas for crocheted goodies to sell in my shop. I numbered a couple of pages in my notebook 1 to 100 and then spent a few minutes staring at that number thinking “I’ll never get that many!” But you have to try, don’t you.
It was halting at first. 1-5 done, think for a few minutes, 6, 7, 8, think for a few more minutes. 9. 10. It was tough and I really thought I wouldn’t manage, but then I hit 36 and the floodgates opened – my brain was supplying ideas quicker than I could write, and right now I have 112 ideas sitting on the page.
The difficulty is in narrowing it down to 10. Some are obviously ridiculous and can be crossed off immediately e.g. cable ties, beards. But the rest…it’s difficult to choose.
A general idea I have for the shop is that I want to sell useful things, not just dust-collectors. That means pretty much all of the clothing options could go into the top 10. Bags are also useful, as are tea cosies, bookmarks, coasters, door stops. But I like pretty things too, so I could also add necklaces, earrings, hair slides and badges.
On the other hand, some of the not-so-useful things really appeal to me on a nerdy level: pokeballs, Nintendo characters, the feminism symbol, cuddly bacteria, Mjölnir.
How to narrow it down?
If I put on my practical head for a minute (it must be around here somewhere) and consider the fact that I’ve already spent almost £100 on this shop without making a single penny back yet, I should go for things that I can make with materials I already have. So badges and earrings are out.
Also things that wouldn’t cost too much to post out, so no doorstops. Preferably quite quick to make so I can get stocked up asap.
How about this:
Nintendo goodies (I just can’t resist!)
Of coursre, I’ll probably end up making most or all of these for the shop at some point, but for the point of the exercise the one idea I’m going to focus on is the first one; hats.
I’ve bookmarked a few patterns for different kinds of hat, beanies, floppy brim, tulip hat etc. I’m also fairly confident I can work out a pattern for a simple hat myself, so you can look forward to posts about that in the near future.
Has anyone used this method for generating ideas before? Think you might give it a go now? Let me know in the comments!