The Twin Beanies

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It turns out that our hike from last week came at just about the perfect timing since we are now having even more rain, wind, cold, mud, and weather that generally invites one to stay indoors for many cups of hot tea, good reads and, of course, yarn!

I just finished making these twin velvet hats for Shira and Tehilla, which marks the end of my stash of velvet yarn – phew! I love the result, but it was sure more difficult than usual to work with, and it has little to no stretch so it requires exact measurements.

Both hats are pretty freeform, worked starting from the brim and bottom up. I did cable twist and alpine stitch on the other.

I hope you are all warm and cozy this winter, and I wish you all a very happy new year of creativity, crafting, and making wonderful memories with your families.

Hanukkah and hiking

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First Hanukkah candles 

We lit the first Hanukkah candle yesterday, and of course, couldn’t resist the temptation to make something fried (I always declare that I won’t, and the kids always talk me into it).

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Then today we went for a little hike in the area where we live. The weather was beautiful, and the cyclamens and crocuses are beginning to poke out!

Wishing a happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends, and an enjoyable holiday season to the rest of ya’ll!

Modified Dragon Scale Crochet Gloves

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The crocodile stitch is one of the most fun crochet techniques I have mastered lately. Once you get the hang of it, it’s quick and easy.

I was determined to learn it because I had my heart set on making a pair of these dragon scale fingerless mittens for a friend who had actually written a book about a mysterious disease that leaves human beings covered in dragon scales – I figured it would be the perfect gift for her book launch. DSC_0347.JPG

I followed this tutorial, but once I got to the wrist part, I did a stretchy ribbed cuff in the round by working single crochets in the back loop only – you can find a tutorial for working stretchy ribbing in the round here. I am now really addicted to making stretchy hat brims and cuffs!

Because I was working with color-changing yarn and no two skeins are exactly the same, there were slight differences between the two mittens, but I was pretty pleased with the dramatic “dragon color” effect.

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And here is the recipient with her newly published book! If you’re into dystopian sci-fi with dragons, deadly disease, and major conspiracies, check out The Dragon Plague by Anna Mantovani.

Soft Shells crochet beret

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Since I’ve ordered plenty of enticingly soft velvet yarn, I couldn’t resist making another cozy beret for these cold rainy days. This one is snugger-fitting than my slouchy beret, although it uses the same amount of yarn – and, what makes me really excited, it’s the first time I actually wrote down a row by row pattern when making an original item, so now I can share it with you all!

Materials: 1 skein velvet yarn

Crochet hook 4mm/ G

Special stitches used: shell; single crochet two together (sc2tog)

Row 1: make foundation circle and work 12 double crochets into it.

Row 2: Work 3 shells across the dc (double crochet) tops. Slip stitch and join.

Row 3: Work two sc (single crochets) into the top of each stitch.

Row 4: Work 6 shells into sc row.

Row 5: Work 2 SC into the top of every second stitch: it would go 1sc, 2SC, 1sc, 2sc… All the way around, slip stitch and join.

Row 6: Work 9 shells into sc row.

Row 7: 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc in top of same stitch… Repeat all the way around.

Row 8: 12 shells.

Row 9: 3 sc, then 2 sc in top of same stitch, repeat all the way around.

Row 10: 15 shells.

Row 11: 4 sc, 2 sc in top of same stitch, repeat around.

Row 12: 18 shells.

Row 13: Now we’re beginning the decrease. Make 4 sc, then decrease by crocheting two sc together (sc2tog).

Row 14: 15 shells.

Row 15: 3sc, sc2tog, repeat around.

Row 16: 12 shells (or 13 if tension seems too tight).

Row 17: 2sc, sc2tog, repeat.

Row 18: 10-9 shells (adjust for tension).

Row 19: 1 SC, sc2tog… Repeat.

Row 20 onwards: make a few rows of brim in SC, adjusting for desired tightness of fit.

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In the photo: Tehilla (9) modeling the Soft Shells beret for me. It’s adult-sized so it looks a good bit slouchier on her than it does on me.

Chunky crochet hat with stretchy brim

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We’ve finally had some rain, which means long, cozy evenings with lots of yarn! I just finished making this lovely textured hat with a long stretchy brim that can be folded on itself.

It’s really quite similar to my Cozy Cabled Crochet Beanie, except that I made the cabling wider by adding two front post double crochets and alternating the location of the crisscross in each sequence.

I also opted to make the brim with single crochet, rather than slip stitch, in the back loops. It makes for a lighter, less dense texture, uses less yarn, and is less weighty.

Made with yak wool blend and crochet hook number 5.