Tutorial: Embroidered “knit” heart

title

I wanted a design for the front of a knitting notebook and after doodling a few different ideas, I came up with this sweet heart. The embroidered chain stitch resembles knitting when they’re put right next to each other, so it was the obvious choice for a knitting notebook. Here are some instructions for making your own little heart!

01materials

Materials
-a tool to make small holes in paper; I use this Martha Stewart Screw Punch (affiliate link), but you could use a sharp needle + something to “hammer” it or an awl
-pencil
-about 3 yards of worsted weight yarn
-yarn needle that will fit through the holes you make
-graph paper (the paper I used is 5 squares per inch)
-card stock or whatever you want to embroider your design on

The Design

02pattern

I used graph paper to plot out my design evenly. Place the graph paper with your design on the card stock where you want to place your stitches. Use the screw punch or awl to punch holes (you’ll want to put a self-healing cutting mat, or other board you don’t care about indenting, under your paper). The holes will aid you in keeping the chain stitches straight. If you are already an embroidery master, you can probably freehand them!

On the other hand, if you have never embroidered the chain stitch, I have outlined the steps below:

embroidered chain stitch step by step via goodknits

1. Bring about half of the yarn through the bottom center hole from back to front.
2. Go back through from front to back in the same space, but do not pull the yarn all the way through.
3. Come back up through the next hole up AND through the first loop you made.
4. Pull the yarn all the way through, tightening the first loop/stitch.

Repeat steps 2-4 for the embroidered chain stitch. I got into a habit of making two loops and using the second loop to tighten the first, like this:

05-alt

At the end of the column (and the rest of the columns), finish the stitch by going down into the same hole, over the last loop, instead of through it, like this:

06-endcolumn

To make the next column, weave the yarn through the back of the stitches toward the bottom:

07-backweave

Work the next column and continue until all columns on this half of the heart are complete.

08-startcolumn2

Weave in this end of the yarn through the back of the stitches:

10-backhalf

Use the other half of the yarn to work the second half of the heart. Weave in your yarn when you’re done and that’s it!

embroidered knit heart animation

Here is my [handmade] notebook:

knitlovenotebook

I filled it with knitter’s graph paper and stitched it up by hand. That screw punch I linked above REALLY comes in handy for projects like this!

You could use this tutorial to make a lovely Valentine’s Day card! You can make other designs, as well, just be sure to have at least two dots per column when you are plotting it out on graph paper. I want to do a set of scissors! If I can come up with a few designs, I’ll make another post to share!

knitlovenotebook2

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Knitting: plaid beanie

Knitting: plaid beanie

Pattern: basic beanie with plaid technique from Webs (see here)
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light (1 skein MC: oceanic mix partial skeins in two CC: turquoise mix, mahogany mix)
Needle: 3.25mm (US 3) 16″ circular & 3.5mm (US 4) 16″ circular + DPNs

plaid

I was just in a hat knitting mood, last week. I was cleaning my bedroom and found the envelope with my my leftover skeins of Ultra Alpaca Light from Andrew’s sweater, so I figured I should make him a matching hat. I was leaning toward some sort of colorwork, but when I found this plaid technique, I knew that was it.

It was super easy! Especially because I already know how to crochet. The vertical lines are made with surface crochet, so it’s basically just a chain through the purl stitches.

If you want to make a beanie with this yarn (fits sizes 5-8, but I can put it on MY head pretty comfortably), here are my details:

With smaller needle and your MC, CO 110 stitches, place marker, and join to work in the round.

Work a [K1, P1] twisted rib (knit through the back loops) for 10 rounds.
Switch to larger needle and work an increase round of [K 11, m1] around. (120 st)

For all rounds until you get to the crown decreases, you will work this pattern:

[K 10, P 1, K 3, P 1] around.

The color pattern is: 4 rounds MC, then [1 round CC-1, 2 rounds MC, 1 round CC-2, 10 rounds MC] repeated from [ to ].

Work to about 6.5″, ending at the start of the 8th row of a chunk of MC.

Maintaining the color pattern only, work the crown as follows-
Round 1 (MC): *SSK, K 6, K2tog, P 1, K 3, P 1; Rep from * around. (104)
Round 2 (MC) and 3 (CC-1): K the knit stitches, P the purls.
Round 4 (MC): *SSK, K 4, K2tog, P1, K 3, P 1; Rep from * around. (88)
Round 5 (MC) and 6 (CC-2): K the knit stitches, P the purls.
The rest of the rounds are in the MC only.
Round 7: *SSK, K 2, K2tog, P 1, K 3, P 1; Rep from * around. (72)
Round 8: K the knit stitches, P the purls.
Round 9: *K 4, P 1, K3tog; Rep from * around. (56)
Round 10: K the knit stitches, P the purls.
Round 11: *SSK, K2tog, P 1, K 1; Rep from * around. (40)
Round 12: K the knit stitches, P the purls.
Round 13: K2tog around. (20)
Round 14: K2tog around. (10)

Cut yarn, leaving 12″ tail- thread through remaining stitches, and cinch shut. Weave in ends.

I cut each CC after the CC rounds instead of letting them travel up. You use a crochet hook to slip-stitch in the little valleys left by the purl stitches. I have CC-2 on the left of CC-1, but you could do the opposite. I had to use a 5mm (US-8 H) hook to get the right tension. The smaller hook resulted in chains that were too tight and bunched up a bit.

nate2

andrew3

andrew1

It fits my 8 year old like a regular beanie and it’s a little slouchy on my 5 year old. If I were making it for an adult, I’d work an extra repeat of the color pattern just to make it a bit taller to cover the ears. This one is just about 7.5-8″ un-stretched.

Have you every knit plaid? Don’t be intimidated by the crochet part! The slip-stitch is the simplest of the crochet stitches and the only thing utilized in surface crochet. You put your hook through the fabric where you want the stitch to be and then just pull a loop of yarn through. Keep it on your hook. Using your hand on the back of the fabric with your yarn around your finger (ala continental knitting) to keep your tension even, just put the hook back through the fabric at your next spot and pull another loop through the fabric and through the loop on your hook. Repeat that process until you’ve gone through all the stitches! With the sport weight yarn, I had to stretch the fabric to see where I had to slip stitch next, but it wasn’t a big deal and I finished it pretty quickly.

If you’ve tried it, let me know! Show me your projects!

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Crochet: Sly Fox Hat

Crochet a fox hat

October is here! I love October because it means that MAYBE cool weather is on its way to Houston. Probably not, but a girl can dream, right? October also means it’s costume time! Last year, I composed two sweet costumes for my boys’ book character parade (see here) at school.

Combine cool weather and costumes and you get…animal hat! Specifically, a sly little fox hat.

mrfox1

It features some interesting shaping to create the point at the front and long sides to cover the ears. It is definitely inspired by Ganomy, which, if you’ve been reading long, is my favorite knit hat pattern. This crochet hat is worked from the top down, though, and, like I said, has a point at the front. Instead of two sets of increases and decreases, there eventually are three. I hope you guys like it! I’ll put some notes at the END with suggestions for changing the size. Please read through before asking questions! Have fun!

Materials
1 skein Vanna’s Choice in brick or other worsted weight yarn in a foxy color
Small amount of white and dark gray yarn in same weight
5 mm (US H) crochet hook
4 mm (US G) crochet hook
yarn needle

NOTES
Abbreviations (U.S. terminology)
Ch: chain
DC: double crochet
slst: slip stitch
sp: space
rep: repeat
DC2tog: DC 2 together
SC: single crochet
SC2tog: SC 2 together

Gauge
About 3.5 DC and 1.5 rounds per inch with larger hook.

Each beginning ch-3 counts as 1 stitch.

Pattern
HAT
With large hook, Ch 3, 11 DC into a magic circle. Cinch circle shut. Slst into top of beginning (beg) ch-3. (12)

Round 2: Ch 3, 1 DC in same sp, 2 DC in each st, slst to top of beg ch-3. (24)

Round 3: Ch 3, 2 DC in next st, *1 DC in next st, 2 DC in next st; Rep from * around, slst to top of beg ch-3. (36)

Round 4: Ch 3, 1 DC in next st, 2 DC in next st, *1 DC in next 2 sts, 2 DC in next st; Rep from * around, slst to top of beg ch-3. (48)

Round 5: Ch 3, DC in next 7 sts, [3 DC in next st, DC in next 15 sts] twice, 3 DC in next st, DC in last 7 sts, slst to top of beg ch-3. (54)

Round 6: Ch 3, DC in next 8 sts, [3 DC in next st, DC in next 17 sts] twice, 3 DC in next st, DC in last 8 sts, slst to top of beg ch-3. (60)

Round 7: Ch 3, DC in next 9 sts, [3 DC in next st, DC in next 19 sts] twice, 3 DC in next st, DC in last 9 sts, slst to top of beg ch-3. (66)

Round 8: Ch 3, DC in next 10 sts, [3 DC in next st, DC in next 21 sts] twice, 3 DC in next st, DC in last 10 sts, slst to top of beg ch-3. (72)

Round 9: Ch 3, DC2tog, DC in next 9 sts, [3 DC in next st, DC in next 9 sts, DC2tog, DC in next st, DC2tog, DC in next 9 sts] twice, 3 DC in next st, DC in next 9 sts, DC2tog, slst to top of beg ch-3. (72)

Rounds 10-11: Repeat Round 9. (72)

Round 12-13: Repeat Round 9, but switch to white after the third decrease and work with that yarn, carrying the MC, to the stitch before the next decrease. You will have to attach the new color every round. Finish the round in the main color, attach white at the end.

Round 14: SC around in white, making [1 SC, ch 2, 1 SC] in the center DC of the increases of the previous round, slst to first SC. Fasten off. Weave in ends.
————————–
Ears
Note: the ears are made up of two pieces each– a solid piece in the MC of the hat and a piece that is white + the MC.

Make 2 solid pieces for the back of the ears
Ch 10
Row 1: SC in second chain from hook and each of the rest. Ch 1, turn. (9)

Row 2: SC2tog, SC 5, SC2tog. Ch 1, turn. (7)

Row 3: SC in each st. Ch 1, turn. (7)

Row 4: SC2tog, SC 3, SC2tog. Ch 1, turn. (5)

Row 5: SC in each st. Ch 1, turn. (5)

Row 6: SC2tog, SC in next st, SC2tog. Ch 1, turn. (3)

Row 7: SC in each st. Ch 1, turn. (3)

Row 8: SC2tog, SC in next st. Ch 1, turn. (2)

Row 9: SC2tog. (1)

Ch 1, SC 9 down the side of the triangle. At bottom corner, ch 3, then turn triangle clockwise to work across the beginning chain, SC 9 to next corner, Ch 3, then SC 9 back to top of the triangle. SC in the sc2tog stitch from last row, ch 3, SC in same st, slst to first of the SC you made down the side of the triangle. Fasten off.

Make 2 pieces for the front of the ears.
Work pattern as above, but switch to white for Rows 2-9. Switch back to main color after last SC2tog and work border in MC. Leave a long tail at the end of these pieces.

Stitch a front and back together, then sew in place on your hat.
————————–
Eyes & Nose
With smaller hook, make 6 SC into a magic loop. Cinch loop shut. Slst to first SC.
Round 2: Ch 1, 2 SC into same space and each stitch, slst to first SC. Fasten off, leaving a 12-18″ tail for attaching. (12)

For Eyes only
Slst into each st.

Sew eyes and nose in place with tail yarn.

the sly fox hat

Notes on size
As-is, the pattern fits a child size heads. My son is 5, but his head is about the same size as his 8 year old brother. For a larger hat, I increased my hook to a 5.5 mm (US I) and added some more repeats of Round 9 before making the last 3 rounds. It would be possible to make some more complicated increases, but I can’t give any specific advice on that. Try working the pattern through once, so you can see where the increases are placed and then work it again, adding an increase round after Round 4 (increase to 60) and then some round(s) after 8 (remember–Rounds 5-8 are increasing stitch count by 6 DC each round). The last 5 rounds are the same, so you would just need to figure out where to put the decreases that balance out the increases. Good luck!

mrfox3

mrfox4

mrfox2

[Download the printer-friendly version.]

Sly Fox Hat Pattern is ©2013 Lisa Gutierrez | goodknits.com
For personal use only.

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Fall is here! 5 free crochet patterns

Fall has arrived and I thought I’d re-share some of my favorite Fall patterns. All five of these patterns are FREE, so go nuts! Click the photos to get to the patterns.

Crochet: Simple Statement Wreath

The simplest wreath pattern out there.

Crochet: Fall Lace Garland

Ever notice how crochet pineapples kind of resemble leaves? Make a garland in your favorite fall colors!

Crochet: Simple Mask

Perfect for Halloween! These masks are really quick to whip up. Start making a bunch and pass them out at Halloween instead of candy.

Crochet: Bat Bow

Another sweet Halloween pattern. It’s not even October and I want it to be October 31st already.

Crochet: Rube wristwarmers

‘Rube’ is now FREE! Go make your hands cozy!

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Crochet: camera strap slipcover

crochet a camera strap slipcover

So, I’ve had my Nikon 1 for over 6 months and this is the first slipcover I’ve made for its strap. I have made slipcovers for my DSLR’s strap (see here), but the thought of having to turn a tiny, less-than-one-inch-wide, tube inside out was just not appealing.

I’ve been doing a lot of knitting and crochet the past couple weeks for other people and yesterday I decided I needed to make something for myself. I started to feel a little run down and uninspired, so I went to Michael’s and just stared at the yarn for a while. Eventually, I was standing in front of the embroidery floss and I don’t know why, but I thought of my camera. Maybe I wished I had it with me to take a photo of the floss? I don’t know, but I started grabbing colors and I knew I was going to make a cover for my camera strap. I knew I was going to crochet one.

Here’s the thing– I would never crochet a camera strap. I just don’t think it would be strong enough to carry the camera’s (even my tiny V1’s) weight. I want something durable to hold my precious baby, so I trust what my camera came with. The good news is slipcovers don’t hold any weight! You can use whatever stitches you like. Heck, you could make a lace slipcover! I took a simpler approach, as I wanted the colors to shine. I made the entire thing in single crochet.

strap-materials
2.35mm (US 1) hook, 13 skeins of embroidery floss, and my camera strap

strap3

strap4

strap2

strap1

strapgap

For the most part, I worked in a spiral. When I was about 1-1.5″ from the center, I started working in rows. I wanted a gap at the center to thread my strap through, so I wouldn’t have to thread it the entire length of the slipcover.

If you are making a slipcover for a Nikon 1 strap, I found 18-stitch rounds to be perfect. To figure out how many stitch you will need for a different size strap, I actually suggest swatching. I know it seems tedious, but you only need a few rows.

Work a chain to go around your strap plus a few more, then crochet 3 rows. Wrap it around your strap and then mark where it fits snugly, but still enough to move. When you have that magical stitch number, you can start your slipcover.

I chained 18, worked one ROW SC and at the end of it, I simply made my next SC into the first SC, starting my spiral (don’t join with a slst at the end of each round).

I worked each color until I ran out (I only had one of each), then I joined the next. I didn’t work to the very last inches of the color, instead I switched colors on the edge of the strap–I would lay the piece flat, pick a stitch on the edge, then work to that stitch, completing it with the new color. Working in a spiral means you won’t be changing colors in the same stitch. I crocheted over the new colors and didn’t have any ends to weave in at the end, except for the beginning and end colors. I worked 2 rows of SC in a contrasting color on each end.

If you’re interested in what colors I used, here are the DMC (25) numbers:

embroidery floss colors

strap6

i heart my camera

strap7

Have you made or bought any pretty camera straps or slipcovers recently?

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