Wednesday, January 21, 2015

When I looked at what I’ve accomplished this week, I felt a little let down… In sheer numbers, there isn’t as much done as I’d hoped. For instance, I’m only 9 hats along towards this year’s Seneca Santa goal of 100 … then again, this means I’ve got 47 weeks to work on the other 91, so that’s not so bad. Let me tell you about these hats – they’re fun to make, and they don’t take too terribly long to crochet. Then again, if you try to do more than four of them in a day, trust me – your wrists will hurt! I’ll start out with two strands of knitting-worsted weight acrylic yarn. You can – as with the blue/multicolored hat at the top/center/left – use one solid color and a bunch of strategically arranged scraps (I tried to crochet them in a sort of rainbow order). I use a size K or L hook, chain 2 (making the first stitch very loose) and then alternately single crochet and double crochet into that first chain stitch, until I’ve got at least 9 stitches (should be an uneven number). Then pull that first CH stitch as tight as possible to completely close up the hole, and crochet a double and a single crochet into each stitch around for a while – you’re crocheting in a spiral. When it looks just a little larger than child-head size (which will happen soon), crochet around for a while without any more increases) with a single in the double below and a double in the single below… you get it. When there’s a little more hat, if it looks too small, crochet 2 increases here and there (they have to be paired to maintain the pattern); conversely, if it’s too big, work some decreases, similarly paired. Keep crocheting until the hat is long enough to cover a child’s ears, maybe even allowing a little fold-up ease. Finish with a round of reverse single crochet – but make sure it’s stretchy - cut and sew in ends. What’s that stuff sticking out of each hat, you ask? I’m combining efforts with a world-class mitten-maker, so after I’ve used some yarn for a hat, I tie the hat to the rest of the skein for mittens. Big skeins get two hats. The complicated framed tatted doily is Randy Houtz’s design, called the “One Path Doily” because there’s only one round, which is an odd term to use when you consider the finished product is a square. I used size 30 thread, ecru with my own HDT in a complementary color; the thread size made it only about 5 inches across. I liked that the forms in this doily were quite different from anything I’d seen before. After a whole lot of thought, one of the tatters in our group chose two highly contrasting colors for hers, and it’s also stunning. I chose pink for my model patterns for Tatting Times, the February 2015 issue. Getting that finished this week should count for a whole lot of finished projects. On the left is my “Dancing Angels” edging, and you can see a partial angel in the upper right, under the small doily/coaster. Today it left for the printers; next week the finished copies will leave for their new homes in four different countries. You won’t see pictures of my house-cleaning in progress (which has to start in earnest tomorrow, now that Tatting Times is done) but then again, that’s a project that’s never finished!

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