Tutorial: Embroidered “knit” heart

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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:

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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:

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

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

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

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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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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.
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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.
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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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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

strap7

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

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Crochet: Vertical Heart Garland

tut0

Last year, I guest-posted this tutorial on a blog that no longer seems to be active. I thought I’d re-post it here for you guys. It utilizes the 5-minute crochet heart pattern I posted HERE, but you could sub any heart. This is just a simple Valentine’s Day decoration idea. I hope you like it!

tut01

First, the “anatomy” of the 5-minute heart. The spaces at points a-d will be where you will be inserting your hook for the garland.

tut02

Step 1: Inset your hook into space a and pull a loop through.
Step 2: Insert your hook into space b and pull a loop through the heart and the loop on your hook.
Step 3: Insert your hook into space c and pull a loop through the heart and the loop on your hook.
Step 4: Insert your hook into the stitch at point d and pull a loop through the heart and the loop on your hook.
Step 5: Chain 1, over the top of your heart.

tut03

Chain 5 (or however long you would like the spaces between your hearts) and then insert your hook into space a on your next heart and pull a loop through. Repeat the steps for this heart and each subsequent heart on your garland. Mine is only 4 hearts, but you can certainly make a longer one! I’ve even used a single heart with a long chain to wrap a gift. It was SUPER sweet.

window

This was hung in an open window. The cool breeze had it swaying. Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it!

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D.I.Y. (quick!): tripod hat stand

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Hello, friends! I’m back with another (quick) D.I.Y. project.

I have seen some beautiful coat racks made with sticks, THIS ONE being my favorite. I wanted something on a smaller scale for me to throw hats on, so I rummaged through my most abundant supply of sticks–my knitting needle jar! I don’t know about you, but I almost never pass up a 50 cent set of needles at the thrift store. Especially the adorable plastic ones in a random assortment of colors! For this project, I used some of my repeat sizes, but don’t worry about your needles because we won’t be doing anything permanent to them.

ANYWAY–onward!

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Materials:
3 [13"] knitting needles (OR cut a 3/8″ wooden dowel into 13″ pieces)
~3 yards of yarn

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1. Leaving a 6″ tail, start weaving your yarn around two of the needles. Pull tightly with each wrap.
2. Weave in and out of the center and around each needle 3 times, then tie a tight knot with the tail.
3. Put the third needle on top of the stack and start weaving again.
4. Make the same weave in and out of the center around the new needle with each of the first two. Keep your yarn taught! I like to wrap around the new needle, then around one of the firsts, then back around the new, then around the OTHER first needle, then back around the new one…and so forth! You’re just trying to securely attach the needle to the stack while keeping your wraps even. Tie a knot to secure.

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5. Open up the needles and make sure they can stand. If you wrapped tightly, you shouldn’t have any problem getting them to balance.
6. Use the remaining yarn to wrap around the whole set, securing your tripod in its open position. It won’t be permanently stuck open, but you’ll be able to put some pressure on top without it collapsing. Firm wraps are key!

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And done! Display your favorite hand-knits*. :)

The hat above is Honey knit with KnitPicks City Tweed DK.

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