Thursday, November 15, 2012

Full size red striped afghan

Trying to come up with an idea for a wedding gift for two good friends of mine proved to be harder than I thought. I realized about two weeks before the wedding, hey, I could make something. But what? Matching scarves/hats seemed too cheesy, and I'm not good at other articles of clothing. Oh, I know, I could make an afghan. So I decided on colors that I knew would match their living interior, and figured out what kinds of yarn I would need to go buy. And of course, this all happened right before Hurricane Sandy, and there was no way I wanted to go out and battle the crazy crowds at Wal-Mart just to get yarn. So I sat there and calculated how fast I could crochet and if it would be possible to make this in less than two weeks. And on Halloween, I got my yarn and started it that night. For the next few days, that's all I did (a small perk to being "in between" jobs..).. with the exception of not even looking at it on the weekend because my old job called me in to work.  Lo and behold, five (crocheting) days later, I had this:

I was quite happy with the result, actually. While at the store I decided to change my original pattern plan because I didn't think I could complete the original in time (it was a lot of FPdc's so it would take twice as long). So I basically just guessed and it came out okay. Although I wish I had gotten one more skein of red so the stripe pattern ended more symmetrical, but I ran out of yarn and I was running out of time, so I figured this would have to do.

So, if anyone would like to see how I completed my masterpiece (only called so because it's the biggest thing I've ever made, haha).. Check below and I'll tell you:    

Yarn used: Red Heart Super Saver (364 yds.)
3 skeins Merlot (A)
2 skeins Black (B)
2 skeins Cafe (C)

I think I used my J-hook

Foundation: with color A, ch 150
Rows 1-6: dc every stitch across, with a turning ch-3 at the ends
Rows 7-8: switch to color B, dc every st
Rows 9-10: switch to color C, dc every st
Rows 11-12: switch to color B, dc every st
Rows 13-18: switch to color A, dc every st
Rows 19-20: switch to color C, dc every st
Rows 21-22: switch to color B, dc every st
Rows 23-24: switch to color C, dc every st

You get the pattern by now. Keep repeating until it is the size you desire or you run out of yarn. If you want your stripes to end symmetrically, I suggest you buy one more skein of color A, then you will have enough for another 6 rows.

At this point, it's a good idea to tie off the ends. I didn't weave them in yet, but when I make the border I crocheted around them to save me some time. But it's your choice if you want to do that part now or later.

For the border:

Starting in a corner, with color C, sc all the way around. I tried 1 sc in each small st space and 2 sc in each dc st space, and it was too much. On my next try I only did the 2 sc in each dc space and it turned out fine. And remember to do 3 sc in each corner.
With the same color, make a second round, sc in each st. On the corners, where you have 3 sc from the previous round, make 2 sc in each st in between the 3 sc stitches. Does that make sense?
Switch to color B for the final border. I did a picot stitch. You can space them farther apart or closer together, and you can make them smaller or larger than I did. My method was 3 sc then a picot. To make a picot, sc in the next stitch, ch 3 (or more if you want larger), then sc into the bast ch of that stitch. Then sc in the next 3 stitches, and on the 4th make another picot.
I hope my directions aren't too confusing.
To finish off, tie off your ends and make sure all loose ends are woven in.
There you go! As you can see from the first picture, the afghan I made ended up being the size of a full bed, although I don't know the exact measurements.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to let me know!
Happy Crocheting!  :)

Oh, and one more thing. I got a text from the newlyweds last night and they loved it!! It made me so happy to hear that. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Red & Black Scoodie (tutorial)

I decided I wanted a hooded scarf one day so I went about searching for patterns on the internet. I found a few that I liked, but there was always something about one of them that wasn't pleasing, so I gathered a few ideas here and there and put together something of my own. The following is just generic directions of how I did it. Feel free to use these ideas and make up your own. I'll try to be precise when I can.  :)

Color A: Black fleck
Color B: Cherry
(I don't remember the brand exactly, but I only had one skein of each)

Foundation: with color A, chain 180 (or length of your choice)

Row 1: ch 2, turn, hdc every stitch across

Row 2: repeat row 1

Row 3: switch to color B, hdc every stitch across

Row 4-9: hdc every stitch across, with a turning ch 2 at each end

Row 10: switch back to color A, hdc every stitch across

Row 11: hdc every stitch across, tie off

You can now stop here and just have a two-colored scarf, or continue on to make the hood (made separately then stitched together):

Foundation: with color B, chain 50-60 (depends on how large you want the hood; I started with 58 chains, measuring it over my head as the hood would sit); and make sure this is an even number, then add 2 for your turning chain

Row 1-16: hdc every stitch across, with a turning chain 2 at every end

Row 17-18: hdc two rows with color A

Row 19-21: hdc with color B

Row 22-25: hdc with color A

(note: you don't have to switch colors the same times I did, I only did so because I was running out of the cherry color)

Now that you have your two separate pieces it's time to sew them together. First, take the hood piece and fold it in half so your base chain is together. I used a whip stitch and folded in the top so there wouldn't be a corner poking out.

Once that is done, find the center stitch of your scarf. (I used pieces of thread for stitch markers and also counted out how far the hood would go before sewing it together to make sure it was centered. In the end it was off by a few stitches, but when it's on it's not noticeable.) Anyways.. Once you have your hood in place, just whip stitch it to the scarf. I did two passes to make sure that it was secure.  Also keep in mind the inside and outside of your scarf so that any knots or not-as-pretty stitches are on the inside.

For the final step, with color A, start at the end of the scarf (on the edge that the hood is attached to) and do a single crochet along the edge, and when you get to the hood, ch 1, then single crochet along the outside edge of the hood, down the other side, ch 1 when you reach the scarf again, then single crochet to the end of the scarf. Tie off and weave in all loose ends.

There you have it! I like the way the rows go in different directions, which is different than some of the other patterns. Another thought I had after I had it put together is starting with a shorter foundation chain for the hood, then increasing the first few rows. This would eliminate the need to sew in the top corner and I think it would round out the back of the hood more. At least in my mind that's how it would work, but who knows, haha.

If you have any questions please let me know. And don't hesitate to leave a comment and let me know what you think or if you tried it. I would love to hear your feedback!

As always, happy crocheting!!   :)