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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Learning to Crochet Journey and Links and Resource List

Wow, with today's technology and Youtube, I believe you can learn anything you want. If you want to learn how to fix an engine, paint a room, cut floor tile, or crochet you can do it.

 I am 46 years old and over the past several months I have taught myself to crochet. My mother has always crocheted beautiful baby blankets and afghans and also some outfits in the past. But I never really picked it up. I guess I just wasn't determined enough, or didn't have reason enough to do it.

I learned how to knit a few years ago during a Homeschool Co-Op class. A couple moms volunteered to teach a class to teach people how to knit. So there I learned to do basic knit and pearl, I also learned how to make a basic loom hat from some round looms.  I did knit up a few ponchos for my daughter, but found that I really had problems when I dropped a stitch. I couldn't seem to fix my work, and would end up pulling the whole thing out. I also tried knitting up some decorative dishcloths, but seemed to not keep count well so doing designs didn't really work out for me

                                              Here is one of my first knitting projects.
                            I just knitted two squares, sewed them together and added fringe.

So over the past few months I decided it was time to get serious on crocheting. I began with making some doll hats and ponchos for my daughters AG doll. I also met a lady at Walmart who had on a spiral scarf. (I had heard about them, but never done them.) I asked her if she knitted it up and she said no she purchased it. So I decided that I would try knitting up a few for our Church's Christmas Bazaar. I was really surprised that my items sold as well as they did. I sold out of all my scarves, and all my AG doll items, and even had some custom orders that I took.

Since then I decided to give some other things a go, Most recently character hats, and other crocheted hats.

Here are some of the links I have used in my journey to learn how to crochet. I wanted to include these and also hope to update this page often, in order to help those looking. (Because I have spent hours upon hours searching for ways to learn to do things, and some ways are easier than others, and some people teach better than others.)

Mostly I use youtube videos. Another source I use is I have never purchased a pattern yet. But if you visit Etsy you can get inspiration. Then it is just a matter of making the 'Hat you want,": by finding the techniques.  Most recently I wanted to add a band to a newsboy hat and after searching finally found a baby hat that had the pattern for the band. I just adjusted it to the size I needed.

Basic Learn to crochet stitches, etc.

I have heard good things about this site, but only used the site once. But it is a great resource.

Beginner projects

Owl Hat

Sock Monkey Hat
This is the first Sock Monkey Hat video I used  I like the ears on this one best.

This is the snout I like to use.

Again this is after trying different patterns, styles, I find what I like and just take portions of each that I prefer.               

      Here is my first attempt at a sock monkey hat using the first video listed under Sock Monkey hats.

                     Using the 2nd video I started using the filled Snout which I like much better.
But I kept the ears from the first video because I liked them better than the ones in the 2nd video.
I also sewed in the pom pom on this hat. Each yarn is individually sewn in. (So they are not falling out.) Something I should have figured out when I made my grandson's hat below. Because it is just a matter of time before a toddler destroys that one. So I imagine I will be re-doing that pom at some time.

Basic Beanie

                                                                        Newsboy Hat
After learning how to make a basic beanie. I began learning how to add this cute visor. It took a few tries to get it right, but now I can pretty much tell when I am making the hat, how many stitches to add to the hat and how long to go out. This was my first one and the brim was really short.

Some of my later versions.


Teen -adult size newsboy hat. with band.

This is my favorite, and my daughter is begging me to make her a hat and cape to match her doll.
(So it is on my to-do list .)

Owl Hat

The Hoot Owl Hat
I have learned to crochet hats using several different patterns, and videos.
This one was actually a combination of a few patterns but so easy. I really love the square look at the top-as compared to the very rounded tops. It is also very easy to make as long as you figure the circumference of the head you want it to fit.
For this hat I determined how many inches I wanted it to be around.
I stopped when I reached that measurement on the foundation chain. I think this one was around 20".
I then connected the last chain to the first chain with a slip stitch and worked in the round. (So I started building the hat from the bottom up. ) I find this easier to determine the final size. If you begin with crocheting the head portion first you have to really consider guage more. Using this method you do not have to work with guage, since you work with inches. Here is a video where I got the idea for this method. Emi begins the hat this way, and then does a fast decrease in chains at the top.
I chose to decrease much more slowly to make this hat. Since I wanted a square version. I just did a couple decreases in the top row to adjust for this. This hat will fit a 3-10 year old child. Actually probably even up to age 12. My 11 year old fits in it fine.
I also customized the eye brows. Looking at many pictures of eye brows on Etsy.
I keep an inspiration folder in my pictures gallery on my computer. So I can get inspiration for hats I want to make.
I have includeda link to this video from Emi showing the basics for this hat. As I said I worked the top differently, but you can make a cute chunky baby ear flap hat using her method, and then tweak from there to make the top different.

Puff Stitch Hat

I am really excited about creating this Puff Stitch Hat. I used this video. To complete the hat. There are several different videos. I think 4 or 5 in this series.

 Here are the pictures of the completed project. I chose very soft, slightly varigated yarn. I also wanted some colors that would work well for Easter.

One thing you really have to learn in crocheting is that you may have to tear your work out at times. I noticed my puff stitches were pretty loose, and my chains for the brim ended up very tight. So this hat should fit Lexi above. (But when I first finished it, it didn't. ) I was way too tight, I would have fit a 3-6 month old child, but then would have looked like a Pillsbury dough boy hat on the child. So I ripped out the last 4 rows of chain stitches. Having to literally use scissors to cut them out. Then I re-crocheted those 4 rows, using a bigger hook and making sure I used a looser stitch. Which ended up with the result above. (The hat fitting.)
In the video she adds a darling little scallop for the last row, and also 4 chains to be sewn around the bottom of the hat, and also adds a crocheted button cover. (It is so precious, and definitely vintage looking.) But Lexi said it was too dressy for her, so I stopped here. I added a flower, and thought this one was dressier than a crocheted flower would have been. This flower is just pinned on.  If you decide to give this hat a go, have patience, but have fun. I really did enjoy learning this new "puff stitch" and love the look of the hat too. And the hat itself works up quick, adding on the extras takes some time though. (Oh and you might want to grab a larger hook -at least one or two sizes up for the chains at the bottom.)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Week 3 Update

This is an update on Week 3 of January and the 3rd week of the year. Since I start over my weekly count each semester.

The kids began their own history reading this week. (So mom gets a little break.) I am reading bits and pieces of different things in the time period. Early 1900’s and WW1.

Peyton is reading Rascal, and is enjoying it.


Lexi is reading.

All-Of-A-Kind Family (All-Of-A-Kind Family (Pb))

I am reading Prophet by Peretti.


I am almost done with it.

For science we learned about Creation vs Evolution, and the thoughts in how the world came to be.

We also studied plant and animal cells. One assignment I gave the kids was to make a model of a cell.


They did a great job, and explained what the parts where and what they did. I gave them an A+.

Today we focused a little on test prep and art.



Here is our art project. I got the idea from a blog I read today.Here is the tutorial.

The kids did well following her directions. But I had a hard time. So I had to color one circle at a time.

Optical Illusion Art


Above Peyton colors in the hand portions of each circle.IMG_1951

As does Lexi.


I colored the circles one at a time, and just switched colors when I got to the hand parts.


Lexi’s finished art below.


Peyton’s in progress.


His finished masterpiece.


In my spare time this week I made another sock monkey hat.

I call this one Valentine Eyes



Monday, January 21, 2013

Update Week 2 Second Semester

Last week I was sick, so the kids pretty much worked independently. I did manage to read aloud a little each day to them. (Even with a sore throat.) But I am back on my feet this week. 2 days this week we had to go into Knoxville for appointments, so that also took away from our regular studies. The kids just doubled up on their work on Monday and Wednesday.

This is our devotional for this semester. I really wanted to focus more on prayer. So I got this guide.


This is our History read aloud. We are learning about the San Francisco earthquake, and Azusa Street revival. We will continue our America Year 2 unit study. We are currently in the early 1900’s.


I am excited to begin Christian Kids Explore Biology today. This will be our science text this semester.

Christian Kids Explore Biology   -     <br />        By: Stephanie L. Redmond<br />    <br />

We are doing school 4 days a week. But using Fridays now for Test prep. I plan to have Lexi tested this year. I haven’t decided if I am going to get Peyton tested this year or not. He was tested last year, and did well.

Lexi is still taking Dance classes. We switched Dance companies this year. The new company is closer to our house, and offers a trio class (ballet, tap and Jazz) all back to back. So it is all in one day at one time. (Which is so great.) She is also participating in their dance team.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas all year long…well at least the tree….


This year, I decided I would keep our small Christmas tree up all year long. This small tree is in our basement/school room area. I thought we would do monthly themes and it could be part of our worship/prayer time. It could serve as a reminder all year long-that we need to keep the “Spirit of Christ” in our hearts at all times.

So for January I put on blue lights, and we are adding snowflakes daily –as we add people we are praying for. We also add a scripture that God brings to mind whenever we feel God speaking something to us-in our lives or to pray over others.

Some of the snowflakes this month are for family, and friends, church members, church leaders, and city, and national leaders. (It also helps us to keep them constantly lifted before the Lord.)



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Crochet Creations

I have been having a good time making some new creations. I get bored doing the same things, and always want to learn new things. I have been looking at many different pictures online-of these sorts of hats, and then come up with one I like.
Sock Monkey Hat
Football Beanie
Owl Earflap hat

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lexi’s new bedding.

Lexi decided she was too old for some of her room decorations. So we took down the flower-vinyl wall clings. The I saw this bedding and decided it was perfect for her new “Tween” attitude. Not too grown up, but not so little girl anymore. She loves it.

It is purple with pink and black leopard type spots, some of the spots are actually pink hearts if you look closely.



I actually came by this just before Christmas. It is hand made by some local ladies. It is a hair bow holder.


This is a poster Lexi liked, it is the wall cling kind, that you just peel off.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Recap


Just thought I would do a quick re-cap of 2012 highlights for our family.

Peyton turned 12 this past year. He completed 6th grade and entered 7th. He also got to go Dove hunting and Deer hunting for the first time this year. He managed to kill a doe on the first day of the hunt.

Lexi turned 11 and went from 4th to 5th grade. She constantly reminds me that she is a “tween” now. She is taking piano and still takes dance –this past semester she took Ballet and Lyrical. She also got to participate in a larger church production “The Living Christmas Tree”.

Gary did a lot of fishing during the Spring and Summer months. He teaches Children’s Church on Sunday’s as well.

I have been staying busy with homeschooling, running the house, and running the kids back and forth to all their activities and church programs. I have been doing some crocheting and knitting lately in addition to my scrapbooking, and other crafts.

This Fall we took a 10 day trip to Texas. We went through 7 states. Some we slept through more than others lol. In love

We are looking forward to a great 2013.