Thursday, November 10, 2011

More beads and a hat...

This past weekend I did two craft related things I'd like to share with you.  On Saturday I attended the Fall Bead Renaissance Show in Overland Park, KS, with my mom and sister.  We had a really lovely day and as usual I spent way more than I should have on beads I just couldn't live without.  But really, there is no better inspiration than seeing all those beautiful sparkling beads and coming home with some of them.  They are just waiting for me to create some fantastic new jewelry...and I'm really hoping to have a bit of free time soon to get to sit and play with them all! 
The other thing I did was crochet a new hat for winter.  As soon as the cold weather starts creeping in I always have the strongest desire to sit with a crochet hook in hand and a lap full of warm and fuzzy yarn.  I really love to crochet- I find it so comforting and peaceful.  If you are like me and you enjoy either crochet or knitting I hope you have found the Ravelry website.  You can check it out here:  It is a free website that is a real treasure trove for the fiber artist.  You can find all sorts of patterns on the site and many of them are even free.  I just did a search for hat patterns for crochet and looked through the many options that came up until I saw one that was just what I was looking for.  The one I found on Ravelry was actually a free pattern that was offered on Julie's Gleeful Things blog as her Christmas present to her readers last year.  Here is the link to the pattern I used on her delightful blog:  It is called the Gumdrop Slouchy Hat.  She has great pictures of it in different colors, some are solid one color and others she did in two colors.  I liked the way it looked so I decided to give her pattern a try. 
I used a size J crochet hook per her instructions and the yarn I used was Lion Brand Yarn, Tweed Stripes in Marble.  After checking the gauge I was about a half an inch bigger than what Julie recommended but I decided to just keep going and tried to make my stitches a bit tighter from that point on.  Since it is a slouchy hat, I didn't think having it a little bit big would make too much difference.  Here's the hat and the yarn I used to create it:

I love the way it turns out striped without the work of changing yarn!  The less ends you have to work in when you are finished the better off you are, I think!  It took me probably around 4 hours to make the whole hat, that's an estimate because I didn't sit and make the whole thing straight through.  Plus, I hadn't crocheted anything for over a year so I may have been a bit slow starting off.  I did alter the pattern just a bit at the end.  I had some yarn left in my skein so I did an extra row of single crochet at the very end, and I also did the last rows of single crochet in both loops instead of just the back loop as the rest of the pattern was made.  I did this so the brim around my head would fit a bit more snug and just to be a bit of a rebel...Here's my new winter hat!

Modeling my new Gumdrop Slouchy Hat!

I love it!  Of course, I love the color too, and it will look just so perfect with my grey coat this winter.  I may even get more ambitious and make a scarf to match.  So here's a big thank you to the wonderful people who run the Ravelry website and a thank you to Julie at Gleeful Things too!  Here's a link to the cool patterns you can buy from Julie on Ravelry's site:  She has some adorable crocheted critters on there as well as other hats and Ipod cozies.  I'm really loving the "feathered family" which is a little family of bluebirds along with a nest to tuck them into.  I hope you'll stop by her Ravelry store and see what she offers there! 

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