Elphaba Beanie

OK – So I love the beanie that Elphaba wears in Wicked.

So I looked at a bunch of pictures, and I found that there are about a million different versions depending upon the production.  They are all pretty close, but the one I was looking for was the version that Idina Menzel wears in the original Broadway production.  After checking Rav, I found that I wasn’t happy with the patterns on there.  The hat is crocheted with small spaces showing between each stitch, but the patterns I found seemed to be more of a mesh (like filet crochet). The spaces in the show pictures I found didn’t seem that big. The only thing left to do was to make my own. Not too difficult – I’m pleased with the results:

Not only that, I wrote up the pattern!  Here’s what you need to know.  I used and H hook and some leftover worsted weight.  I’m not sure how much it took, but definitely not much.  The other important thing is that this is going to look a little small/tight when you first make it.  It should stretch a bit upon the first wearing.  If you crochet it to fit perfectly from the start, it will stretch out and be too loose after you wear it once.

This has NOT been test crocheted, so if you have any questions, feedback, I’d love to hear from you.  (Please be nice – remember it’s a freebie!)

And, I have no connection with Wicked the Musical, and any trademarks, etc. are the properties of their respective owners.

OK – Here’s my pattern:

Elphaba Beanie Hat

BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE!!!!

After looking at this for a day, I decided to try it again a bit differently.  I’ve adjusted the shaping a bit to make it a bit more flat at the top, since I think that matches the original a bit better.  Honestly, no one other than me would every notice any difference, but it was bugging me.  So, here for your further crocheting pleasure, I give you Elphie’s Hat Version 2!

Can’t really tell the difference, can you?  Even so – for anyone who prefers this version, here’s a new PDF:

Elphaba Beanie Hat Version 2

Happy Easter

So we had a great Easter weekend filled with egg hunts, parties, and, of course, a wonderful Easter Morning Church service. Saturday was egg dying day, and in our house, we use natural dyes.  It’s not that I see myself as any kind of “earth mother” or anything like that.  The real reason is that my grandmother always dyed her Easter eggs with red onion skins, so I like to keep that tradition alive.  Over the years we’ve added other natural dyes, but the red onion skin eggs are always my favorite.  Here’s this year’s offering:

Easter Eggs 2011

This year I had an extra large stash of red onion skins (thank you, Marc from my local ShopRite), and I really filled the pot with them.  The result was red eggs with super-cool patterning on them (you can’t really see from the photo, but it is definitely a bit of awesomeness).  The other colors we tried were turmeric (yellow), coffee (tan) and Welch’s Grape Juice (gray).

Then, I decided to try something new. I always end up with a pot of red water (from the onion skins) that generally gets tossed down the drain without too much thought.  BUT (yes, it’s an awful big BUT), this year I pulled out some old KnitPicks Bare that I had lounging in the stash, gave it a quick wash in the sink and threw it in there.  Then boiled it – not for long – just enough to bring the water to a boil.  I figured that it’s superwash, so wouldn’t felt in the hot water.  Plus, I already had vinegar in there as a fixative for the eggs, so I hoped that would work for the wool too.

Onion Dye

Let me point out, that I did NO research on the best way to do this, so I probably made all kinds of mistakes, and there are probably way better ways to do this.  It was a last minute experiment.  Anyway – Like I said, I boiled it – then pulled it out and rinsed. And rinsed. And rinsed.  I didn’t think the water would EVER run clear. In the end, it never did get all the way clear, but it was so light that I finally just gave up.

So I’m pretty pleased with the outcome:

Onion Skin Yarn

The finished product is kind of a nutmeg color with subtle light/dark gradations.  I think it’s going to be a hat.

Yesterday I went out and bought PAAS Easter Egg Dye at half price – I think that’s going to be the next dying experiment.  :-)

Happy Easter to All!!!!

Finally!

So remember this way back in July of 2009?

This was my very first attempt at dying yarn – done with Kool-Aid, thank you very much!  The left hand one was mine, the one to the right was Jasmine’s.  Well, my skein has been sitting in my little rubbermade box (keeps out the moths), for the last year-plus.  Guess what!  {here’s where you say “What?!?!?!”}  I’ll tell  you what!  I FINALLY did something with it!  I proudly present to you . . . .

My Molly-Weasley Mitts!

This is not what I had originally intended for this pattern (Here, by the way – it’s a freebie).  I’ve had these reading mitts in my Ravelry queue forever.  So, once my Christmas knitting was finished, I thought I’d finally get a chance to try them.  I even had some gorgeous sock yarn in my stash that I thought would be perfect.  The problem was, that the pattern calls for DK.  And, yes, I probably could have tried them at a thinner weight, but I really liked the way they looked in the Ravelry sample pic (not the photo on the pattern itself) and I was afraid the same stitches in sock weight (beautiful though it is), just wouldn’t look the way I wanted. Well, the only wool DK in my stash was this.  So, I figured I’d give it a try.  Then, of course, I miss-measured on the first, so they’re about an inch longer than the original design.  But, it’s OK, because I got something that I didn’t even know I wanted.  The colors (as head-ache inducing as they are) kind of remind me of the Molly Weasley bell-sleeves from the first movie.  (Can you tell I finally saw HP7?)  So, I decided that if Molly wore reading mitts, this is probably what they’d look like.  Plus, they have the added benefit of being slouchy enough that if I turn them inside out, they’re very similar to the Hermione mitts in the most recent movie. (Yes, I know – the colors are off, but they’re close enough to suit me.)

So YEA!!!  Happy New Year to all, and I hope your Holiday Season was wonderful!!!!

Just in Time for Halloween

OK, so I know it’s back to school time, but I guess I have Halloween on the brain.  I’ve signed up for two (yes two – I know, big ole slice of crazy pie) Halloween swaps on Ravelry, and partners should be assigned soon, so I’ve been getting goodie ideas.

Anyway – back on track here.  Over the weekend I made a dishcloth for my mother-in-law.  Just a simple eyelet heart on a garter-stitch field (Rav link).  It’s from the Dishcloths from the Heart book by Leisure Arts.  Well, As I was knitting right along, I thought, it might be pretty easy to take this idea and create dishcloths with other shapes.  And, with these Halloween swaps coming up, plus my children’s current pirate obsession, I thought, why not try a skull.  (Actually, I thought skull & crossbones, but decided the skull by itself would be easier).  Of course, it had to be made with black cotton, which meant a trip to the store (but really, it’s OK, because I had other things we needed to buy too).

So, I’m really pleased with the final product:

I didn’t check on Ravelry before I started, because I didn’t want to steal anyone else’s ideas. But I have checked since I finished, and, while there are several other pirate / skull dishcloths, there aren’t any of this style – YEA!!!!

I like it so much that I wrote up the pattern. Please be aware – this hasn’t been proofed or test knitted.  (Anyone want to give it a shot?).  If you come up with any corrections or suggestions, please let me know!

(And, I know when I get patterns online, I usually prefer pdfs, so I also have it as a  PDF – CLICK HERE to download the PDF.)

Halloween Skull Dishcloth

Materials: 100% cotton worsted (I used about 2/3 of a 70.9g skein of Sugar ‘n Cream)
Straight needles, size 7 (or size to get gauge)
Gauge: in Garter stitch – 14 sts = 4” (10cm)

Cast on 37 St.

Rows 1 and 2: Knit across

Row 3: K1, SSK, YO, K1, * YO, K2tog. Repeat from * across to last st. K1

Row 4 and ALL EVEN NUMBERED ROWS:  Knit across

Row 5: K1, SSK, YO, K across to last 3 st. YO, K2tog, K1

Rows 7 & 9: Repeat Row 5

Row 11: K1, SSK, YO, K10, * YO [slip 1, K2tog, PSSO] YO, K1, Repeat from * 2 more times, K9, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 13:  K1, SSK, YO, K8, K2tog, YO, K11, YO, SSK, K8, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 15: Repeat Row 13

Row 17: K1, SSK, YO, K8, K2tog, YO, K2, *YO [slip 1, K2tog, PSSO] YO, K1, Repeat from * 1 more time, K1, YO, SSK, K8, YO, K2tog, K1

Rows 19 & 21: Repeat Row 13

Row 23: K1, SSK, YO, K7, K2tog, YO, K13, YO, SSK, K7, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 25: K1, SSK, YO, K6, K2tog, YO, K15, YO, SSK, K6, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 27: K1, SSK, YO, K5, K2tog, YO, K17, YO, SSK, K5, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 29: K1, SSK, YO, K4, K2tog, YO, K8, YO [slip 1, K2tog, PSSO] YO, K8, YO, SSK, K4, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 31: K1, SSK, YO, K3, K2tog, YO, K9, K2tog, YO, K10, YO, SSK, K3, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 33: K1, SSK, YO, K3, K2tog, YO, K21, YO, SSK, K3, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 35: Repeat Row 33

Row 37: K1, SSK, YO, K3, K2tog, YO, K4, YO [slip 1, K2tog, PSSO] YO, K7, YO [slip 1, K2tog, PSSO] YO, K4, YO, SSK, K3, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 39: K1, SSK, YO, K3, K2tog, YO, K2, (K2tog, YO) 3 times, K5 (YO, SSK) 3 times K2, YO, SSK, K3, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 41: Repeat Row 37

Row 43: Repeat Row 33

Row 45: K1, SSK, YO, K4, SSK, YO, K19, YO, K2tog, K4, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 47: K1, SSK, YO, K5, SSK, YO, K17, YO, K2tog, K5, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 49: K1, SSK, YO, K6, SSK, YO, K15, YO, K2tog, K6, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 51: K1, SSK, YO, K7, SSK, YO, K1, *YO [slip 1, K2tog, PSSO] YO, K1, Repeat from * 2 more times, YO, K2tog, K7, YO, K2tog, K1

Row 53: K1, SSK, YO, K across to last 3 st. YO, K2tog, K1

Rows 55 & 57: Repeat Row 53

Row 59: K1, SSK, YO, K1, * YO, K2tog. Repeat from * across to last st. K1

Row 61: Knit across

Bind off all stitches in Knit.

Copyright 2010, Michelle Dickson. All Rights Reserved.

End of Summer

OK – so really, I’m still here.  Things just got busy this year – that and I spend too much time on Facebook – oh, and my children interrupt whatever I’m doing at approximately 30 second intervals.  So anyway, I really have been knitting and crocheting right along.  I really don’t want to blog a long catalog list of a bunch of little projects, but I will show a couple:

First off – I got tired of seeing/hearing about Clapotis, and finally decided to bite the bullet and try on of my own.  Here it is:

It actually was kind of cool.  I made it with sock yarn, so went down on needle size and added an extra repeat both across and down to make my final size match the pattern.  It did get VERY boring about 1/3 of the way through, but I plugged right along.  And, let me tell you, there is something very satisfying about dropping those stitches and making them all run down at the end – YEA!!!  I am pleased with the outcome.  Who knows if I’ll actually use it, but I’m happy with it.

And second:

Now, I have to tell you the story that goes along with this.  My birthday was this month, so I decided to save a little money and splurge on a couple of things for myself.  Nothing too major – just a couple of little things that most times I can’t justify buying for myself.  So . . . I made a list of potential goodies and one of them was a little vampire doll called a Vamplet.  These things are so stinkin’ cute and the price is reasonable.  But I couldn’t justify it once I added in for shipping, especially for something that’s just going to sit on a shelf and gather dust.  So I got the bright idea to make one myself.  Yes, it will still sit and gather dust, but at least I used stash yarn so, other than the time involved (and the little skull/bat buttons) it was free!  (And, anyone who knows me knows – If it’s Free it’s for Me!).  So, I found a cute little amigurumi doll pattern and vamped it up. Not bad!  The original vamplets are cutier, but I’m happy with little Hortense. (Well, haven’t officially named her yet – so who knows, that might changed.) Jasmine keeps begging for one of her own.

And yes, I know, I HATE making toys.  This one took me forever because I only did a little at a time.

So that’s it for now.  There are more in the Rav queue and a couple that didn’t even make it there, at least not yet – doilies, bookmarks, bags, etc.  I’m trying to take some pictures and update.  It’s my annual “Back to School Time Catch-up!”  Especially since it’s time to start the Christmas knitting (scary, I know)!

Wow – The Holidays are over!

Welcome to January. When we look back at this holiday season, I think we’ll remember it fondly as the year of the sickies. I’m finally feeling better, but now the little guy is all stuffy and sneezy (and has been for too long – we finally went to the doctor), and this week, my Mac decided that it was tired of  turning on, so that is also at the doctors right now, and I’m stuck on the dreaded PC laptop – not my favorite, but I’ll save that rant for another time and just be thankful that I actually have a computer. I am holding my breath that no work comes in until I get the Mac back, though. As you can tell, it’s been an exciting week.

My goal was to have the tree down last Monday – that didn’t exactly work. But hey, I have a couple of knitting projects finished, so I figure that helps to make up for it.

First of all, the purple shifting sands scarf is FINISHED!!!  I don’t know why I spent so long on this project. It could be that once you get the stitch pattern down, it can get boring quickly. Or it could just be that I love the feel of knitting with Malabrigo so tried to stretch it out so that it would last longer. Anyway, it’s finished, I love it. I think I’ll need to get another Malabrigo project on the needles. I think there’s some kind of calming qualities intrinsic in Malabrigo – Do you think they do something to the wool while they’re spinning it? (ooohhhh – voodoo!)

AND, I managed to crochet a couple of these oh-so-cute little baby doll bassinet/purse combos. I’m very pleased with them – they were quick and adorable (if I do say so myself). The hardest part was finding a little doll the right size to fit in them. I eventually lucked out at Walmart – YEA! The pattern also includes a baby bunting to go with the doll, but since my dolls were already dressed, and it didn’t look like the bunting would work on them anyway, I just tossed together a quick baby blanket.  No pattern – I just did a little half-double/chain combo thing and then put on a reverse-single border to match the border on the bassinet.

Also decided to try this very cool facecloth/dishcloth by Norah Gaughan. LOVE IT! I love her geometrical designs. This cloth is knit from the outside in. I may try it again in the round to avoid the seam. I think it should work fairly easily, since every wrong side row is all knit and purl (no cabling). The photo really doesn’t do it justice, but I was trying to take the pictures quickly, and didn’t worry too much about lighting, etc.

And, while I promised more pics of Christmas knitting, I kind of forgot and gave a few things away without snapping a pic. Did however remember to photo these cute little bowls that I made for the aunts:

LOVE THEM! So easy and they turn out so cute! You can see the ornaments on a couple of them. The pattern is from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders.

So that’s what I have finished to show. Feeling very productive looking at this post right now. YEA ME! (can you tell we’ve been watching way too much Disney channel in our house?)

So now it’s on to . . . .

DUDES!  This is the beginning of SOCKS!!

I know!

FINALLY.

Yes, I’ve been promising to start another pair of socks forever. So, here they are. They’re the Sunshine pattern from Cookie A’s new book. All right – it’s not so new anymore since I’ve been dragging my feet on the sock thing for so long. I’m using Knit Picks stroll/eassential in their kettle dyed burgundy. It was tough to pick, I have a bunch of sock yarn that’s been calling my name. But I think this one’s been calling longest, so . . . Although I want to start a pair of Nutkins too. Not to mention Ysolda’s Whimsical Little Knits because my Evil Stepmother wants to be Ishbel.

So, thanks for listening to my new year’s ramblings.  I leave you with one of my favorite pictures from this year.

Christmas Pageant ’09 – My favorite shepherd and sheep!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

Yes, I’m still Here

OK – so I know most of my posts seems to start with “Sorry this took so long”.  It’s just that sometimes life (and the holidays) get in the way.

So, I have been knitting.  The biggest bulk of my time was taken with this:

Mom’s Christmas gift. I’m really proud of it!  Although it was a lot of work, and there were a couple of times (one night in particular) when I though I was going to have to rip the entire thing out and then go wallow in a pit of despair.  But, thankfully, all mistakes were caught and corrected before I had to toss the whole thing. Still not loving the border  – I think borders are nicer in crochet – I mean, really, how much can you do with a knitted border?  (Yes, I know, there are a lot of nice knitted borders out there – it’s personal opinion.) And then – after the fact, of course – I found out that somewhere out there there’s an Option B for the border that is actually nicer, but I haven’t been able to find that option.  So here’s the pattern.  It’s called Frosted Ferns by Herbert Niebling.  If you’re going to attempt it, get used to counting and find a place to work with NO distractions!!!

Also managed a couple of other Christmas items, which I haven’t had a chance to photograph yet. AND made the Ashley Hat twice. There’s no gauge in the pattern, so I guessed the first time and the hat, while lovely, was way too big.  So I donated it to charity, dropped a couple of needle sizes and tried again.  Here’s my second try:

Size-wise it’s much better.  But, I think I could have gone down even another needle size on it.  Of course, it looks even bigger on my daughter, but she wanted to model this one for the picture.  It’s still MY hat, although I have a feeling she might steal it when I’m not looking.

I’ll get pictures of the other items somewhere along the line – really, I will.  I’ll do my best to snap them before they are gifted away.  In the meantime, our tree is (finally) up and decorated!  Not my favorite activity, but Jasmine wore me down. She actually did most of the decorating part.  I concentrated on putting it together and adding the lights.

The kids are happy with it, and it does look pretty!

So, Happy Christmas everyone! Go read Luke 2:11!

(“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown”)

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