Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Rasta Mon!

This pattern caught my eye a while back, and I finally got around to making it this week.  I've always loved this combination of colors and the whimsy of the fake dreadlocks is great.  I expect to have a lot of fun wearing this hat to Halloween parties, MINI get-togethers, golf outings....  Yeah, can't wait to see the look on some folks face when I show up to the first tee wearing it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Persistence Pays Off

When I found this pattern for a lion amigurumi, I couldn't wait to get started and add this guy to my collection of favorite finished objects.  Little did I know he was to become a thorn in my side for weeks.  I don't remember exactly why, but I became a little bored with the project early on and kept picking up other things to work on instead. 

Finally, about a month ago, I finished all of the body parts and construction and had a nice, female lion.  I grabbed the yarn for the mane and started reading through the pattern and promptly put "her" up on the shelf in my room.  I was so confused by what they wanted me to do, I just decided it was good enough. 

So, I saw "her" sitting there every day for the last few weeks and it really bothered me that I couldn't finish what I started.  I decided to give it one more try and dove into the pattern head-first just following instructions one row at a time.  Unfortunately, it wasn't to be quite that easy.  I ripped out my work twice and decided to set "her" down again. 

Then, as I was laying in bed that night meditating, an alternate way of creating the mane came to me, and I saw clearly how to make it work.  I started last night and it came together even better than I had pictured in my mind.  So, through the magic of modern yarn technology, "she" has finally become a "he" -- I present to you, Leo the Lion!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Little Coffee Wisdom

I joined a new group on Ravelry (Breakthrough Crochet) and found this pattern on their Summer Crochet Along.  It was a quick little project that really adds a nice bit of whimsy to a coffee mug.

Monday, June 4, 2012

V-Stitch Headband by JuliChu

I found this pattern a while back and stuck it in my queue on Raverly.  I was looking for something quick and easy to crochet yesterday while I was watching the NASCAR race and decided to pull it out and give it a shot.  It was really simple and repetitive, which made it a great TV watching project.  I finished it up today and had Cindy choose a button she liked.  She liked it so much that she wants me to make more in a variety of colors.  I think I will try it in cotton next, so she has one that is a little more summer friendly.  If you want to know more about JuliChu, check out her blog.

Thanks Juli!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lady Bugs Dancing on Roses

I was finally able to complete a hat that fits my three-year old daughter -- and in her favorite color as well!  She chose the ladybug appliques that really give the hat a nice pop.  The yarn is "Rose Petal" from the  Lily Sugar'n Cream Scents collection and has a nice, subtle fragrance that she really likes.  The pattern is a slight modification of my trail hat design - I just adjusted the top and side rows to fit her head as I went.  As you can tell from my past posts, I really like this design and am already working on another in camo colors for my seven-year old son!

I know a lot of people with allergies don't like the scented yarn from Lily, but I really enjoyed working with it.  The subtle fragrance would waft up occasionally and remind me of walking through botanical gardens.  I will definitely give some of their other scents a try when I get the chance.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Princess and the Pea

My son is in a homeschool group production of The Princess and the Pea later tonight, and my wife and I crocheted these little Peas in a Pod for each of the cast members and the directors to remember their hard work on the play.  It was a lot of fun making them together, and I can't wait to see what the kids think.  My wife took care of the peas while I handled the pods.  These are quick and easy to make!  If you are interested in the pattern, it came from a book called Yummy Crochet by Kristen Rask.  We got it at Barnes and Noble as part of a gift set.  There are lots of other cool "yummy" amigurumis in there too!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hawaiian Shirt Pattern

If you want to make your own Hawaiian shirts, this pattern - M2149 from McCall's - ROCKS!  It takes anywhere from 2-1/2 to 3 yards of material (depending on how big you want the shirt) and also requires a bit of facing and a few buttons.  It is easy to lay out and easy to assemble, and the finished product looks great.  I am a true beginner, and I had no problem doing this mostly on my own (with assistance from my beginner wife).  The pattern also offers several other styles of shirt that I plan to try, so it is a great value for filling up your closet.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trying Something New

So, for our 15th wedding anniversary in April, I bought my wife a sewing machine. She had been wanting to give sewing a try and fell in love with this retro-looking Singer model that was on sale at JoAnn Fabric. We went out to dinner that night, and I surprised her afterward by stopping at JoAnn and picking up the machine. She promptly named it "Motel" after the Tailor Motel Kemzoil from Fiddler on the Roof.

Over the next couple of weeks, she bought some material and made a couple of dresses for our three-year old daughter. I helped her lay out the patterns and pin seams, but steered clear of Motel. Finally, about two weeks ago, I found a pattern for several different types of Men's shirts in my size and went to the clearance rack to pick out some fabric that I thought would make a nice Hawaiian shirt. We got it home, layed out the pattern, and started putting it together. In the beginning, my wife was doing the stitch work on the machine while I pinned the pieces together. Then, she got distracted with the kids, and I decided to give a couple of seams a try. Next thing I knew, I was having a blast. So, I ended up finishing the shirt, including machined buttonholes, by myself and it turned out incredibly well.

 I liked it so much in fact that I went out last night and found some more clearance fabric. I spent this evening after work and dinner laying out the pattern and cutting all the pieces. So, now in addition to crochet, I believe I have found another hobby that might just keep me busy for a while.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wooden Hook Experiment

I just got my first wooden hook from SnokistFarmGirl - it is a US Size G (4mm) in Surina wood. It is 7.5 inches long with a decorative end. What struck my immediately is the amount of flex in the hook. I tend to crochet on the tight side and this hook definitely made me relax the stitches a bit. I would assume the flex decreases as you go up in size, but it definitely takes some getting used to. I do find the cotton yarn I am using tends to slide less freely on the wooden hook, but it isn’t enough to be an issue for me. I’m glad I got the hook to experiment and definitely think it will be a nice addition to my collection for projects where I need to ensure a looser stitch, but for me, the stability of the aluminum hook at this size is still preferred.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Updates

So, despite my lack of recent posts, I have been quite busy during the last month. I finished another trail hat and gave it away at a local geocaching event. As a result, I got my first paying order from someone who liked the hat and wanted one for herself. So, now I have that on the hook. I am also making another of the same hat for myself. And, I started working on a really cool looking lion amigurumi that I can't wait to finish. I also got to see my surviving grandmother on March 30th for her 90th birthday celebration. I gave her the shell scarf I made - what do you give a 90 year old who has everything she wants? I also bought my wife a sewing machine for our 15th wedding anniversary on April 5th and have been helping her with a couple of patterns. So, the craftiness continues despite my laziness in posting!

Happy Hooking!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Horse of a Different Color

Since starting back in November, I have promised my three year old daughter that I would make something for her. I tried to make a couple of hats, but both ended up too small (they are the ones I gave to my newborn niece). She has been very patient, so when I finally finished up a couple of WIPs that had been going on for too long, I asked her what she wanted. She decided on a amigurumi horse, and I figured I'd make it a bit unique. I finished it up today and she seems to be thrilled with it. Just a bit of yarn and a few hours of work, and she has a new toy!  If you are interested in the pattern, you can find it here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Introducing the Trail Hat

I finally got around to writing down the pattern for the Tarheel bucket hat I made a few weeks ago and offer it here for anyone who is interested. It is also available as a free PDF download through my Ravelry account. I'm almost finished with my second one and will share photos as soon as I put on the finishing touches later this week.

Skill Level: Easy
Yarn: 180 yds worsted cotton
Hook: G6 (4.0 mm)
Abbr: ch = chain
st = stitch
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
blo = back loop only
rep = repeat

Instructions refer to U.S. crochet terms. This pattern is worked in the round

This pattern is inspired by the Kid’s Sun Hat pattern offered by Lion Brand Yarn Company. It has been heavily modified to fit an adult size head and to offer a slightly different look to the side. I used Sugar’n Cream worsted weight cotton for the pictured examples.

With main color, work 6 sc into magic ring.
Rd 1: 2 sc in each sc around. (12 sc)
Rd 2: 1 sc in first sc. 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (18 sc)
Rd 3: 1 sc in first 2 sc. 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (24 sc)
Rd 4: 1 sc in first 3 sc. 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (30 sc)
Rd 5: 1 sc in first 4 sc. 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (36 sc)
Rd 6: 1 sc in first 5 sc. 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (42 sc)
Rd 7: 1 sc in first 6 sc. 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (48 sc)
Rd 8: 1 sc in first 7 sc. 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (54 sc)
Rd 9: 1 sc in first 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (60 sc)
Rd 10: 1 sc in first 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (66 sc)
Rd 11: 1 sc in first 10 sc, 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (72 sc)
Rd 12: 1 sc in first 11 sc, 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (78 sc)
Rd 13: 1 sc in first 12 sc, 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (84 sc)
Rd 14: 1 sc in first 13 sc, 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (90 sc)
Rd 15: 1 sc in first 14 sc, 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (96 sc)
Rd 16: 1 sc in first 15 sc, 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (102 sc)
Rd 17: 1 sc in first 16 sc, 2 sc in next sc. Rep pattern around. (108 sc)
Rd 18: Working in blo, sc in each st around.
Rd 19-20: 1 hdc in each st around.
Rd 21: 1 hdc in first 35 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc, Rep pattern around. (111 hdc)
Rd 22-25: 1 hdc in each st around.
Rd 26: 1 hdc in first 36 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc, Rep pattern around. (114 hdc)
Rd 27-32: 1 hdc in each st around.
Rd 33: Working in blo, sc in each st around.
Rd 34: 1 sc in first 18 sc, 2 sc in next sc, Rep pattern around. (120 sc)
Rd 35: 1 sc in first 19 sc, 2 sc in next sc, Rep pattern around. (126 sc)
Rd 36: 1 sc in first 20 sc, 2 sc in next sc, Rep pattern around. (132 sc)
Rd 37: 1 sc in first 21 sc, 2 sc in next sc, Rep pattern around. (138 sc)
Rd 38: 1 sc in first 22 sc, 2 sc in next sc, Rep pattern around. (144 sc)
Rd 39: 1 sc in first 23 sc, 2 sc in next sc, Rep pattern around. (150 sc)
Rd 40: 1 sc in first 24 sc, 2 sc in next sc, Rep pattern around. (156 sc)
Rd 41: 1 sc in first 25 sc, 2 sc in next sc, Rep pattern around. (162 sc)
Finish off.

With complimentary color, ch 5.
Row 1: 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across (4 sc)
Row 2: Ch 1, turn. Sc in each st across.
Rep Row 2 until piece measures circumference of hat where brim meets side.
Finish off.

Sew band around hat, Weave in all ends. Decorate with patches as desired.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Counting In The Round Crochet Cheat

So, if you are like me, counting in the round can become tedious and almost impossible at times with kids running around the house. I came up with a cheat that I am sure has been done before, but I figured I would share it in case there are newbies who stumble across this post. It has taken the "thinking" out of counting in the round and made it much easier to put my work down at any point in the process without worrying about missing a stitch. It works especially well the bigger the piece becomes.

First, you will need the same number of stitch markers as the number of increases you plan to do each round. Make sure at least one of the markers is completely different from the rest. If your series is 6-12-18-24-30-etc, you will need six stitch markers. If your series is 8-16-24-32-40-etc, you will need eight stitch markers. Once you have figured that part out, the rest is easy.

Place the unique stitch marker at the beginning of the round so you will know where to count rows, then count the number of stitches to the next increase. Place a stitch marker in the stitch you want to increase and then repeat around until you reach the beginning. If you counted correctly, you will have the same number of stitches left between the last stitch marker and the one marking the beginning. Magically, this will be the last time you have to count (except keeping track of rows) unless you are working with a pattern that requires different increments to give an added effect.

Now, just crochet one stitch (whatever type you are using) in each unmarked stitch and increase in the marked stitches. Remember to move the marker to the second stitch of each increase and it will continue marking the increase for the next round until you are done.

Voila! No more keeping track of when and where to increase, and no more losing count because little Johnny or Sarah is running around like a wild banchee. Hope this is helpful to some!

Happy hooking!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

On the hook

I haven't finished much lately, but I've got several works in progress (WIPs in Ravelry-speak) on the hook at the moment. As I mentioned in my last post, I started a pair of crocheted socks. I am almost done with the first sock, and although I think it will look really nice, I'm not sure how functional it will be. Single crochet doesn't have a lot of give to begin with and combined with my typical tight stitch, I'm afraid my wife may never be able to get them on her feet! So, they may become a piece of artwork.

I'm also working on a shell pattern scarf using some yarn my mother-in-law gave us a while back. Actually, it is the same yarn I used for my first native american flute case. Anyway, I ran out after the scarf was about 40", but fortunately the yarn is readily available at JoAnn, and it comes in a one-pound skein! I expect to finish the scarf some time this week and will post a couple of pictures then. Not sure what I am going to do with it yet - either give as a gift or sell on Etsy.

I bought some more variegated cotton yarn to make another bucket hat and hope to start it later today. This one will be my geocaching hat, complete with a patch from Groundspeak's store. I haven't decided if I am going to play with the pattern a bit or do it just like the Tarheel bucket hat, but I'll post photos once it is done. Oh, and if you aren't familiar with geocaching, check out this link. You'll probably end up addicted, so I apologize in advance.

By the way, I created a Twitter account today. Not sure how much I will use it, but if you are interested, you can find me by searching on TMBeavers.

That's it for now! Happy hooking!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Who says you can't crochet socks?

Most of my yarny friends love to knit socks and do a really great job of it, but I just can't get into knitting the way I do crochet. Well, while visiting my mother-in-law yesterday, she gave us a book she had bought called Learn to Crochet Socks by the American School of Needlework. The designs are by Kathy Wesley, and I immediately grabbed it from my wife and sat down to start hooking. I've finished the cuff and ankle of one sock, and so far it looks great. I crochet a bit on the tight side, so that may work to my advantage when it comes to socks. I realize crocheted socks don't have quite the elasticity of knitted ones, but I think I am really going to like them. The first pair is being made for my wife, since the patterns are only for women's small and medium size feet, but once I get the basics down, I figure I can adapt it to my own boat-size feet. I'll definitely let you know how they turn out!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Just In Time for March Madness

This is a project I started in early January, but it took me a while to get the sizing right and to figure out what stitch I really wanted to use. I finally settled on single crochet for the crown, band and brim, but used half-double crochet on the side. That many single crochet stitches was tedious work and I had to put it aside several times and work on something else. I got the UNC patch in this week, so I figured I needed to focus and finish it.

Unfortunately, my Tarheels lost to arch-rival Duke earlier in the week, but I have confidence that they will be ready for a deep run in the tournament in March and April. Regardless, I plan on making this my regular golf hat even though it will clash with my Crimson Tide golf bag and head covers! Oh well, the follies of following two different college teams depending on the sport, right?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

All Work And No Crochet....

Makes me a lousy blogger!

I've been at my new position at work for just over two weeks now, and it is really keeping me busy. I was used to some downtime where I could crochet in the privacy of my office, but I am back out in cubicle land now, and I am staying busy all day. I'm not complaining -- I enjoy my work, but it does keep me from completing projects as quickly as I was before.

I am currently working on a North Carolina Tarheel themed sun hat that I hope to play a lot of golf in this Spring, Summer and Fall. The pattern I am using was for a child's hat, so I've had to increase the number of rows to make it big enough to fit me. Since it was mostly single crochet, it is slow going using a size G hook. The crown wasn't too bad, and I did switch to half-double on the side of the hat, but the brim is taking forever. I'm up to 144 stitches on my last round and probably have at least half a dozen rounds to go (with a six stitch increase each time) before I am happy. Might not sound like a lot to some of you, but I can only take so much at a sitting before I have to take a break. I hope to finish it up this weekend, but still have to buy the patch I plan to sew on to complete it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Alpaca Explorer Gloves

I tried something I hadn't done before with these gloves. Using two different alpaca blend yarns we got from my Mother-in-law, I crocheted them together into my fingerless glove pattern. They turned out looking really nice, but what ever possessed me to make gloves with alpaca wool blend is beyond me. They are very itchy!! Anyway, it was a fun exercise in blending different yarns and using up some of our growing stash.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Learning to Knit?

So, tonight I had my first lesson in the art of knitting. I'm not sure I'll ever do much with it, but my wife had been wanting me to try it, so the dutiful (and curious) husband in me gave in and let her show me the basics. I learned to cast-on (long tail style), knit and purl. To give it a fair shot, I'll probably try to knit a scarf in the near future, but for now, crochet is probably where I'll focus most of my creative energies. Remember, you are never to old to learn something new!

Monday, January 23, 2012

So, Who Is The Man Behind Man-Made Crochet?

Now that I have a few followers, I figured it might be nice to let you know a little about me. I didn't really expect to do much in the beginning with this blog except post a few patterns from time to time, but I'm enjoying it for now, so we'll see where it goes.

I addition to crafty stuff, I'm also a sports fan. I played a lot of baseball in my younger years and actually thought I might make it professionally at one time. Of course, a lot of young people have that dream only to realize the numbers are against you once you reach that level. Anyway, I am an Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox fan. Strange combination, but it works for me.

I also love college football and have been a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide as long as I can remember. I was brought up while Bear Bryant was still in Tuscaloosa, so my roots run deep. We are experiencing a nice resurgence under Nick Saban, so life is good for Bama fans right now. Roll Tide!

I started playing golf when I was about 15, and wish I had started sooner. I don't play as much as I would like, mainly because it has become so expensive, but I enjoy my time on the course when I do play. I'm a single handicapper for those that know what that means. For those that don't, it wouldn't really mean much to you if I explained it. :-)

Another obsession my wife and I have developed over the last five years is with MINI Coopers. We've now owned four different MINIs, each with its own distinct personality. Feel free to check out my other blogs, especially the LEGO MINI for more on that aspect of our life although I don't update them nearly as much as I have been updating this one.

I have four children, two boys (18 and 7) and two girls (16 and 3). The older set live with their mom in Alabama and are big into percussion. My son plays top bass for the defending DCI world champion indoor drumline and my daughter plays in the pit for a nationally ranked high school indoor drumline. She also just learned to crochet over the Christmas break, so I look forward to seeing some of her finished work soon. My younger two kids are educated at home and both are already interested in learning how to knit and crochet like mommy and daddy.

If I tried to tell you about all the animals we have shared our home with over the years, I'd be writing for days, so let's just say we have been accused of being the crazy pet people from time to time. Mostly cats, but we've had dogs, gerbils, fish, hermit crabs and even a goat for a while. Petsmart loves us almost as much as Hobby Lobby!

So, there you have it. The man behind Man-Made Crochet. I hope to keep you entertained with my creations and finished projects in the future and always welcome your comments and ideas.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Craft Store Thoughts

Now that I am almost three months into the Art of Crochet, I have had the opportunity to spread my financial love around to several different chain craft stores. Here are my thoughts so far.

Hobby Lobby

I got my initial supplies here and have shopped Hobby Lobby for years for other things. Their yarn selection is pretty decent (for a beginner or budget conscious hooker) and they have a good selection of hooks and notions. They have some sort of yarn on sale almost every week, so this has become a regular stop. (3 out of 5 hooks)


This is another store we have used as a family for years, so it was only natural to check it out for crochet supplies. Their yarn supply is limited, but they do have things Hobby Lobby doesn't so we have to check them from time to time. Their hook and notion selection is also more limited than Hobby Lobby. The crochet and knitting section in our particular Michaels is all the way in one of the back corners, so it really seems more of an after-thought than anything. (2 out of 5 hooks)

JoAnn Fabrics

We just started going to this place within the last week, and it has quickly become my favorite store. The yarn selection is unmatched in Douglasville and the hook and notion section has much more than Hobby Lobby or Michaels. I remember going to this chain as a kid with my mom and grandmother and wish we had thought of it when I started crochet. While we will continue to visit all three of the chains in the future, JoAnn is number one in my book. (4 out of 5 hooks)

On a side note, we visited our first LYS (Local Yarn Store) today, even though it isn't really local to us (about 40 miles away). While the yarn selection was incredible, it is much pricier than I can justify at this point of my experience. Also, the store is geared more toward knitters, and we got the feeling that you had to be a regular to be really welcome. For now, I'll stick with my boring little chains.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Deep Woods Explorer Fingerless Gloves

So, after making the Explorer Cap last night, I decided to try and make a complimentary pair of fingerless gloves today. Instead of looking for a pattern, I just sat down with the same yarn and hook and started working. Having read about the basic construction of gloves and such when I made some gauntlets for my son, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do and it really went pretty quick.

The pattern is available on Ravelry at the following link.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Deep Woods Explorer Cap

As you have already seen, I enjoy making hats. I've been looking around on Ravelry for a good, outdoorsy style hat, but the couple I tried really didn't work out or seemed to have some design flaw. So, taking several stitches I learned in trying them, I came up with my own design and am quite pleased with the result. I used a bulky weight, variegated yard that really went with the pattern extremely well.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry at the following link. If you decide to give it a try and find any problems, please let me know so that I can correct them.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Angry Birds

Seems like everywhere you go these days, the Angry Birds show up in some form or fashion. My wife found some amigurumi patterns a while back and made a set of the birds for our kids to play with around the house. Since then, she has made a few more for people who saw them and fell in love. After a three year detail which saw me traveling around the country to oversee the opening of a bunch of new Social Security offices, I took on a new role in my old office this week. Since I'll be back at a desk most of the time now, I decided it would be nice to have a set of the Angry Birds there to keep me company. So, my wife and I crocheted like crazy over the weekend and finished an entire set in time for me to display them proudly. She did the bodies, while I made most of the little pieces and took care of the construction of the birds. I think they turned out great and I can't wait to see what everyone in the office thinks!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Native American Flute Sleeve

My wife and I bought a great pattern book for beginning crocheters called "63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches Combine To Make An Heirloom Afghan" shortly after I started hooking. It teaches a lot of great stitches and someday we plan to actually make a pair of the afghans together to see how they turn out. One of my favorite stitches in the book is the Trinity stitch. It yields a very dense fabric that I initially planned to crochet into a scarf. After about two feet of work, I realized it would probably be too stiff for a scarf, but it would be perfect as a protective sleeve for one of my Native American flutes. So, I folded it over longways, whip-stitched it together and voila! Now, I have a good looking way to carry my flute!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

So Many Projects, So Little Time

Obsession is a word that is often thrown around when we talk about our hobbies and for me, crochet has certainly jumped right to the top of my list of obsessions. I have completed a lot of projects already in the six weeks or so that I have been hooking, but I have a ton more already lined up and it has become hard to decide what to work on next. My most ambitious project is the lap throw I started a few days ago. Due to the complexity of the stitches I decided to use, it will probably be something I work on a bit at a time for a while. My wife and I started a collaborative effort to complete a set of Angry Birds for my desk at work and finished three of them today (more about that in a different post). I'm also working on a bucket hat for myself and just finished a protective sleeve for one of my Native American flutes. The ideas are endless, and I'm sure at some point the interest will wane a bit, but for now I can't think of anything I would rather be doing!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hats, Hats, Hats

My first project after learning to crochet was the crimson beanie in the picture above. Since then, I've done several hats (including the two others in the picture). There is such a sense of accomplishment taking a ball of yarn and turning it into something beautiful and functional.

Monet Spring Bonnet

I love springtime and the spring celebrations, so I thought I'd get an early start on a spring bonnet for my three year old daughter. Using the same pattern I used for the Sun Hat for Eloise, I changed to a larger hook and used a 100% acrylic yarn, hoping to get a larger hat with a little more flexibility in the yarn. The hat turned out looking great, but it still wasn't quite large enough to fit my daughter's head. Looks like I'll be playing with this pattern a little more to get it to the size I want!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sun Hat for Eloise

One of my four younger sisters will be having her first child some time in April if all goes according to plan, so I made a sun hat for my new niece using a great pattern from Lion Brand Yarns. If you are interested in the pattern, it is called Kid's Sun Hat #90263AD and a link can be found on at

I used the G hook suggested by the pattern along with a nice variegated cotton yarn and the hat should fit my niece as an infant and probably for a year or so after assuming she doesn't end up having a huge head! This hat is worked in spirals with simple, single crochet stitches. You work two rows in the back loops only to get the down turn on the sides and then the up turn on the brim.

I also plan to make some type of flower to attach to the side of the hat as an embellishment. Not sure yet what color I am going to make it.

I enjoyed making it so much that I have already started another one for my youngest daughter - this time using a larger hook and an acrylic yarn to get a larger hat. I'll post more details about it once it is finished.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Black Widow Amigurumi

This is my first design, so I hope it works for any who choose to try it. I couldn't find any black widow spider patterns for amigurumi that I liked, so I just decided to create my own.

G hook
Red Heart Super Saver Yarn – Black and Red
Safety Eyes - 10 MM (2)
Black Pipe Cleaners (4)

Main Body (Black)

Rd 1: 6 sc in magic ring
Rd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)
Rd 3: sc in next sc, 2 sc in next; repeat around (18)
Rd 4: sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next; repeat around (24)
Rd 5: sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next; repeat around (30)
Rd 6: sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next; repeat around (36)
Rd 7: sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in next; repeat around (42)
Rd 8-13: sc in each sc around (42)
Rd 14: sc in next 5 sc, dec over next 2 sc; repeat around (36)
Rd 15: sc in next 4 sc, dec over next 2 sc; repeat around (30)
Rd 16: sc in next 3 sc, dec over next 2 sc; repeat around (24) - begin stuffing with polyfill
Rd 17: sc in next 2 sc, dec over next 2 sc; repeat around (18)
Rd 18: sc in next sc, dec over next 2 sc; repeat around (12)
Rd 19: dec over next 2 sc; repeat around (6) - stuff tightly, finish off and weave in tail

Head (Black)

Rd 1: sc 5 in magic ring
Rd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (10)
Rd 3: sc in next sc, 2 sc in next; repeat around (15)
Rd 4: sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next; repeat around (20)
Rd 5-7: sc in each sc around (20) - finish off, leaving extra long tail

Attach eyes, then using tail, attach head to body, aligning TOP of head to center of body. Head should be attached at end of body where Rd 19 was completed. Stuff as you go and weave in remaining tail when finished.

Hourglass (Red)

ch 6
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and each sc across (5 sc), ch 1, turn
Row 2: sc in second sc and in next 2 sc (3 sc), ch 1, turn
Row 3: sc in second sc, ch 1, turn
Row 4: sc 3 in sc, ch 1, turn
Row 5: sc 2 in first sc, sc 1 in next SC, sc 2 in last sc - finish off, leaving extra long tail

Attach hourglass to bottom rear of body using tail.

Legs (Pipe Cleaners)

Feed first pipe cleaner through a single stitch at bottom of head, twist to secure and shape as desired. Fold over each end to form a thicker tip.

Repeat with three more pipe cleaners, descending toward main body. Last set of legs should be at joint where head meets body.

Welcome to Man-Made Crochet

I'm a guy who has been into crafts most of my life. I started cross-stitching when I was around ten, and I've been doing other crafty stuff ever since. I recently learned to crochet and it has become my new obsession. So far, I've mainly made hats and a few amigurumi animals, but I plan to continue broadening my experience over the years.