Whether you like aluminum, bamboo, or just plain old plastic crochet hooks, you still have to pick a style of hook. The two main ones are the in-line Susan Bates type hooks and the Boye type hooks with the nipped in neck. Most people have a strong preference and detest the other type. My preference is the Susan Bates type which also has a slightly more pointed end and a rounder curve to the end of the hook. I feel they slip through the yarn a bit easier and they are always the ones I recommend to beginners. I can use the Boye type hooks with no problem but when I have a choice I will choose the Susan Bates ones. Which type hook is your favorite?
I just tried a new yarn we have at Michaels that changes texture called Bernat Home Mix. The color mixes are nice and the chunky yarn has 4 different textures: a regular yarn, a fuzzy yarn, a t-shirt like yarn, and a strange rippled one that reminds me of fleece when it is worked up. Only the last one is difficult to work with, but if you are patient you can get through it.
Normally, I gravitate to blues but I wanted to get something a bit different so went for “Twilight Purple”. I loved the colors, and it had a hint of blue. 🙂 I decided to make the large granny square throw from this pattern, which is actually for the Joanne version of this yarn which has different textures. Michaels has a similar pattern here. I added extra rows to two sides to make it a rectangle instead of a square. The rows I added alternated 3 double crochets and a chain in the first and 3 double crochets in the chain space and one in the center of the group of 3 in the previous row. I finished it off with a row of double crochet on each end and single crochets down each side. I isn’t a large throw, just a small one for your lap. This took 3 and a half skeins to finish so I may make a hat with the leftovers.
Tonight is an ultra lame free yarn class at Michaels, winding yarn into a ball to make a pumpkin with a pipe cleaner stem. The only reason to come is because the first 10 people get a free skein of Caron Cupcake yarn. I am almost embarrassed to have to teach it. Because of this, I wanted to make a pumpkin that actually takes some skill, so I took some left over yarn I had on hand and came up with this one. It is about 6 inches or so across and I think it turned out fairly cute.
Crochet Pumpkin Pattern
For body, use Bernat Softee Chunky or another size 6 yarn with an 8mm crochet hook for the body. I used the color Pumpkin.
For stem, use Loops and Threads Impeccable or another worsted weight (size 4) yarn with a size H (4mm) crochet hook for the stem. I used the color Deep Forest.
sc = single crochet
sct = single crochet together
Row 1: sc in second stitch from hook and the rest of the chain (14 stitches). Chain 1 and turn.
Row 2: sc in each stitch (14) chain 1 and turn
Row 3: sc in back loops only in each stitch (14) chain 1 and turn.
Row 4: sc in each stitch (14) chain 1 and turn.
Rows 5-34: repeat rows 3 and 4 but skip the chain 1 after last stitch of row 34.
Slip stitch row 34 to the initial chain (make sure the back loops are on the outside) to make a tube and tie off. Put a length of yarn on a yarn needle and thread thru the end loop of every other row, there is an obvious loop on the end of the back loop rows you want to use. Draw the yarn tight to close the opening, tie it shut, and turn it inside out so the seam between the sides of the tube are inside. Hide the ends of the yarn holding the opening shut inside and stuff the body. When body is stuffed to your satisfaction, repeat sewing the end shut for the open end, draw shut, tie off, and pull the ends inside with your crochet hook.
Stem is worked in the round so no chains or turns between rows. You may want to mark the end of a row with a stich marker to keep your place.
Row 1: Use a magic circle and put 8 sc in it
Row 2: 2 sc in each stitch (16)
Row 3: 1 sc in each stitch back loops only (16)
Row 4: 1 sc in each stitch (16)
Row 5: 3 sc then sct next 2 stitches to end of row
Row 6: 2 sc then sct next 2 stitches to end of row
Row 7: sc in each stitch and tie off with a long tail for sewing to body.
Stuff the stem and sew it to the end you want to be the top of your pumpkin using the tail left behind.
Take a long string of thicker yarn and thread it from the bottom hole through the top under the stem and back down to the bottom hole, draw it tight until pumpkin has an indentation in top and bottom to your satisfaction and tie off the yarn. Hide the ends inside the pumpkin, pulling them through with your crochet hook.
For those interested, here are the pumpkins made for the class.
I posted already about the potted cactus I made as a sample for the crochet class I teach at Michaels, so here the bear which is the other option for the class. It is cute but takes quite a bit of time, so I doubt anyone finishes it in the class. When I made it it took a bit over 4 hours, one of which is mostly the assembly and embroidery of the face. It turned out really cute, although I didn’t use the toast color the pattern called for since I already had the chocolate color on hand.
The pattern is made in 10 separate pieces: head, body, 4 legs/arms, tail, ears, and muzzle. The nose and mouth are embroidered on the muzzle and the eyes on the head after the muzzle is attached. The arms and legs are the same pattern, just stuffed differently.
Both the bear and cactus patterns were designed by Twinkie Chan for Michaels and are exclusively for people who take the class. Your local store should be offering the class as well since it is for the whole chain in both the US and Canada. Click the link on her name to see how she intended it to look. I probably should have stuffed the body a bit more in hindsight. I also opted for the standing version rather than sitting, where the legs are stuffed less and attached in a different spot.
Today is Good Friday and I decided to make this cute little Easter chick. I started with this pattern from Bittersweet’s blog and made some modifications to suit what I wanted it to look like. He has a tail and wings that can be pointed down for sitting or up for flying. I embroidered the eyes and crocheted a beak instead of using felt and plastic eyes. I think he turned out really cute. If I can find the right color blue, I think this pattern would make a cute Twitter bird too.
If you are in Canada and want to sign up for any classes at Michaels, be sure to come to the open house on Saturday as all classes are half price that day. My little chickie will be sitting on my table during the open house at the store where I work.
I just finished my sample piece for next month’s crochet class at Michaels. I think it turned out really cute. It is a little stuffed crochet cactus in a clay pot.
The class directions called for cotton yarn, but I had some regular green yarn that I thought was a perfect color that I used instead since I plan to keep this for myself rather than have to turn it back over for the classroom. Pretty simple pattern really, only uses single crochet and slip stitch, and took maybe 3 hours total to do.
PS: Today is the start of the “Lowest Price of the Season” sale here in Canada and there are some really good deals on right now so check it out.