Saturday, January 28, 2012

Angel Soft Baby Hat - Free Crochet Pattern

Long past time for a new pattern!  Today I am posting up my Angel Soft Baby Hat.  Perfect as a photo prop because it is designed to have interchangeable decorations that insert into the designed spaces between stitches. 

Angel Soft Baby Hat (with interchangeable adornment ideas)
Sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12 – 18 months
Materials Needed:
Worsted weight soft boucle yarn (I used a soft natural color of Plymouth Yarn Boucle Merino Superwash)
Hook Size H (5.0) for 0-3 months, I (5.50) for 3-6 months, J for 6-12 months, K for 12-18 months
Tapestry Needle
For adornments (optional): yarn scraps, 2” alligator clips, 3 ft. of ½” wide ribbon, premade hair bows or flowers, craft glue
Small alligator style hair clips 
Dc – double crochet
Sp- space
St- stitch
Sl st- slip stitch
Ch- chain
Pattern is written with US crochet terms.
Hat is begun with a magic circle, if you don’t know how to make this I highly recommend looking up one of the many good tutorials on it or you may substitute a ch 4, connecting with a sl st to the first ch to make a ring.
Gauge: gauge sample worked with a size I hook, 5 dc = 2 inches wide and ¾ inch tall, crochet a sample using your yarn and a size I hook to determine if you are crocheting with the tension needed for this project, if not you may need to adjust up or down a hook size to achieve proper sizing.  This hat does have a LOT of stretch so it's very forgiving size wise.
Begin with a magic circle (see notes section).
Round 1: Ch 3 in magic circle (counts as first dc), work 8 more dc in the circle, connect to the top of the ch 3 with a sl st.
Round 2: ch 3, dc in same sp as ch 3, work  2 dc in each dc around, connect to the top of the ch 3 with a sl st.
Round 3: ch 3, dc in same sp as ch 3, ch 1, skip next st, *work 2 dc in next st, ch 1, skip next st*, repeat  from * to * to the end of the round ending with a ch 1 and skip last sp, connect ch 1 to top of the ch 3 with a sl st.
Round 4: ch 3, dc in same sp as ch 3, work one sc in next dc and in ch 1 space of prior round. *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in ch 1 sp of prior round*, repeat from * to * to end of round and connect last st to ch 2 with a sl st.
Round 5: ch 3, dc in same sp as ch 3, dc in next 3 dc, *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next 3 dc*, repeat from * to * until you reach the end of the round, connect your last st with a sl st to the ch 3.
Round 6: ch 3, dc in next st, *ch 1 and skip next dc, dc in next 2 dc*, repeat * to * until end of round,  it should end with a ch 1 and skipped stitch, attach the ch 1 to the top of the ch 3 with a sl st.
Round 7: ch 3, work one dc in each dc and ch 1 space to end of round, sl st last dc to the top of the ch 3.
Round 8: ch 3, work one dc in each dc, join last dc to ch 3 with a sl st. 
If you want it a little longer you can add a row of sc around the bottom.  Fasten off and weave in ends.
Interchangeable Decorations
These are what make this hat awesome as a photo prop.  The openings worked into the hat make a great place to thread any color ribbon or to attach hair clip bows and flowers.  One hat….many looks!
How to make a flower clip:  crochet your favorite flower pattern (there are many, many out there and many are free).  Take your alligator clip and clip through the back of the flower being careful that the clip doesn’t show.  You can then attach the clip around the 2 dc in the 3rd row from the bottom.  If using crocheted flowers you do not need to permanently attach the flower to the clip making the clip reusable as well.
How to add ribbon:  weave a 3 ft. long piece of ½” wide ribbon in and out through the open spaces on the 3rd row from the bottom of the hat.  Start wherever you want your finished ribbon bow to be.  Once you have completed weaving the ribbon, tie in a pretty bow.
Use plastic or silk flowers: attach to an alligator clip using craft glue or a hot glue gun.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Toilet Paper Cozy and Potty Shawl

I have decided to offer the first 30 downloads of this pattern for free from!  This is an updated version of my toilet paper roll cover and a matching floor rug that fits around the base of the toilet.  Once it has been downloaded 30 times it will be returned to it's normal pattern price of $1.50...which I think is quite reasonable considering the hours that went into designing it to fit perfectly!

Click here to download the pattern from

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In A Jiff Scarf Crochet Pattern

This particular scarf is for sale on Etsy!

This is my own made-up go to pattern when I need to whip out a scarf really quickly or when I have some lovely super bulky yarn to use...but don't have a lot of it.  It is very easy to adjust the pattern to make it as wide or narrow as you need.  You can also add texture and a different look by making some very easy stitch changes which I will mention in the pattern.  Length is always dependent on who you are making the scarf for.  I usually will do a children's scarf between 3.5 and 4.5 feet long (minus the fringe) and an adult scarf between 5 and and 5.5 feet long (minus the fringe).  A children's length scarf takes about 2 hours if you crochet at a moderate speed (I'm by no means super fast!)

Materials:  super bulky yarn, size N (9 mm) hook, tapestry needle, measuring tape or ruler

dc - double crochet
st - stitch
ch - chain

Foundation: ch 12. (add or subtract a stitch or two until you have a width you like)

Row 1: dc in 3rd ch from the hook and in each ch across. (our turning chain will count as a stitch throughout the pattern)

Row 2: ch 3, turn, dc in each dc across.

Continue row 2 until the scarf has reached it's desired length.  Fasten off and weave in ends with a tapestry needle.  Add fringe if desired. (see fringe instructions below)

Variation 1:
the green scarf in the photo above uses a slight variation, every other row of crochet is done in the back loop only (you can find instructions on how to do back loop only in a tutorial earlier in my blog).  This adds a subtle striping to the texture.  I like to do this when a yarn is a solid or a heather like the green.  If I use a multi-color yarn I generally just use regular dc stitches as the color adds the interest to the piece.

Variation 2: work every row in the back loop, this will produce a raised strip every two rows per side, as in the light blue scarf below.  The bright pink was worked in normal dc through both loops.

scarf worked in a chenille type yarn, the light blue was done with every row in the back loop only and the pink was done with standard dc.  Due to the texture of this yarn I omitted the fringe.

Adding fringe:  To add fringe first decide how long you want your fringe to be, since we are using super bulky yarn I take the length I want times two and add 2 inches.  For example if I want 5 inch fringe I would cut each piece of yarn for my fringe 12 inches long.  When making fringe out of worsted weight I use 2-3 strands for each stitch but with the bulkier yarn I would recommend using 1 or two strands.  If starting with a 12 chain foundation we will have 9 dc in each row therefore we will need either 18 or 36 strands (18 is one strand per stitch on each end of the scarf and 36 for two strands per stitch on each end).

Fold the strand or strands in half, use your hook to pull through the end stitch from the back.  Don't pull it all the way through, just far enough to make a loop.  Put the loose ends of the strands through the loop and pull tight.  Repeat in each stitch on both ends.  Trim with scissors when done so your fringe is nice and even.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Make Your Own Fleece Dog Ropes

Up until two days I ago I had 3 dogs, and then Miss Izzy a 5-year old doberman puppy (wow, does she act like a puppy) joined the pack.  It's expensive owning this many dogs so I save a little by making my own fleece dog ropes.  I can make about 10 for the same price as buying 1.

I prefer these to standard ropes because, quite frankly, I don't like pulling out rope strings out when the dogs do their business!  These have an added advantage of keeping your dogs teeth nice and clean.  So clean in fact that our veterinarian asked if we brush our dog's teeth!  (Like I have the time or patience for that!!!!)

What you need: 

Fleece (buy it on clearance or sale at your local fabric store or online).  You're going to want to buy a few yards when it's cheap and keep it on hand.  I would guesstimate that you need about 1/2 yard for a large rope toy.  I like to buy at least 3 different colors although I was down to only two when I made the rope in the pictures.

Scissors or some other cutting tool (I'm a quilter so I use my rotary cutter but it's totally not necessary)

That's it.....liking it so far?  Good.

Step 1:  prep your fabric by washing it and drying it to remove any chemicals from the fabric surface.

Step 2: cut your fabric into strips going from selvedge edge to selvege edge (the selvedge is the part that is on the sides when the fabric is on the bolt, you will be able to tell because the side where it was cut from the bolt is NOT a selvedge edge).  How wide you cut your strips will depend on how big of a bone you want, I have big dogs so I go about 2-3 inches wide....if you have a little dog make them narrower but don't go under 1 inch wide or it won't hold up!  You will need 6 strips per rope.

pile of strips....aren't they lovely
Don't get too fussy cutting them, it's okay if they aren't perfectly straight or exactly the same width.

Step 3: Take your 6 strips and lay them on top of one another, tie a knot near one end.

tight knot a few inches from the end
Step 4: Begin braiding VERY tightly holding two strips together for each part of the braid, the tighter you braid the longer it will last and the less little pieces of fleece your dog will eat (they will probably eat some but it comes off in small bits and passes right though, their doodoo will be quite colorful though).

the tighter the better when you braid!

Step 5: After 4-5 inches of braiding (2-3 if making a small bone) tie two knots using the middle strips and each side.  We're basically just securing our braiding to make sure it stays nice and tight and that the fleece doesn't stretch out as fast if used as a tug toy.

Two knots to secure the braiding nice and tight

Step 6: Braid another 2 inches or so and then tie another pair of knots as in Step 5.  This is creating a nice tight core area where we will make a center knot later.

Step 7: Braid for another 4-5 inches and tie off with a large knot just like you made at the beginning, I sometimes will tie a smaller knot with a couple of strands just to make sure my braiding doesn't loosen up while I'm tying this knot.  Pull it as tight as you can get it!

Step 8: Tie a knot in the middle where your two smaller knots are. This adds strength and durability to the finished item and protects your hands a little more when playing tug. 
Tie a knot in the center

Step 9: Trim both ends to be nice and neat. All done!

Izzy loves the new fleece rope toy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Vi's Shell Headband - Free Crochet Pattern

Tonight I polled my Facebook fans for an idea for a free pattern for this blog.  Apparently everyone was out partying and I got two suggestions.  This is Vi's Shell Headband named after the daughter of my cousin Karen who suggested a headband pattern.

This will fit infants through school-aged children.  I can stretch mine to fit me but it's a tight fit and my yarn is strechier than normal cotton yarn.


A small amount of cotton yarn (I used Nashua's Cilantro cotton blend yarn, this yarn is super stretchy and has great stitch definition)

G hook

Tapestry Needle

Optional: yarn of choice for flower decoration 


fdc - foundation double crochet
st- stitch
sl st- slip stitch
dc- double crochet
ch- chain

Special Stitches:

shell stitch - 5 dc in the same stitch

foundation double crochet (fdc) - this is a chainless foundation stitch which makes for a much stretchier finished item which is ideal for headbands.  I can't explain it very well but Teri over at Diamond Crochet & Crafts did a great tutorial which you can find here


Row 1: Do 30 fdc stitches (count the beginning ch 3 as one of the stitches).  Turn. (there is no turning chain)

Row 2: Skip 2 st, *shell stitch in next st, skip st, sl st in next, skip st*, repeat from * to * to the end of the row.

Turn your work 1/4 turn so that the end is facing up.  Sl st in in side of the beginning ch 3 of the foundation row.

Row 3: repeat row 2 stitching into bottom of the foundation row.

At the end of row 3 do not finish off, instead fold right sides together and slip stitch the two ends together. 

Finish off and weave in ends.

Use as is or add your choice of decoration.  I added a nice and easy flower from one of my favorite blogs.  You can find it here  You can glue the flower to an aligator clip and switch out decorations to match outfits.