Friday, December 31, 2010

Soap Saver [Pattern]

Finished Soap Saver
I had been looking for a nice little gift I could give my family and close friends at Christmas. Now, while the message sent could have been "yeesh, you stink - take a bath" I figured those who knew me well enough to get a soap saver for Christmas knew me well enough to know that was not the message I was sending.... make sense? *laughing*

Truly, the soap saver works up rather quickly.

Whenever you crochet an item that is going to be wet most of its existence, you will want to use a blend of cotton and nylon. The nylon helps the material resist moisture and absorbing all the sudsy goodness of the soap; however, the cotton in the blend makes the item softer than if you used a pure nylon/acrylic blend. Now, there are some exceptions to this rule (aren't there always?). I don't see a problem in using a standard acrylic blend for the soap saver simply because if its a little rough, then you get the benefit of a little exfoliation while you bathe. I will say the only thing you definitely do NOT want to do is make a 100% cotton soap saver. Pure cotton will absorb water, turn into a heavy blobby mess, and you will get very few bubbles out of the deal.

The soap saver doesn't use a lot of yarn so you can get several out of one skein. I think this is a great little project for those quarter skeins you have left at the end of a bigger project.

As always, I ask that you do not pass this pattern off as your own. You are free to link to the pattern from your website or blog. Please do not sell the final product or pattern. You may make the soap saver for your own personal use or to give away as gifts.

By Cris

Hook Size: H
Yarn: As described above; any color or style will do

For this pattern write-up, I used Red Heart "Earth & Sky" which was leftovers from a hat and camera case I made. It is 100% acrylic so I'm using it more as an exfoliating soap saver.

ch - Chain
sl - Slip Stitch
sk - skip

hdc - half double crochet
dc - Double Crochet
st - Stitch (normally referring to the row below the current one being worked)

Ch 13

Row 1: 
hdc in 2nd chain from the hook. Continue hdc's down the chain. (12 hdc). Instead of turning your work around to head back down the row of hdc's you just created, turn the work upside down with the same side facing you. You are working down the other side of the chain without turning your work over. hdc in the same st you finished your last hdc in. Grab your yarn tail and pull it tight to pull that chain stitch around the 2 hdc's you just created. Holding the tail up against the work, make sure the rest of the hdc's lock the tail in around the work (you are basically weaving it in without having to go in later and weave it in).

You currently have 13 hdc's done. Finish row 1 with 11 more hdc along the original chain. You should pretty much end up where you started with your hdc row.

sl in the top of the first hdc to join the row together.

The image to the left shows the detail of how the first row works. Notice the dark blue arrows showing the direction in how you work along with where the starting chain is and how the tail is wove into the stitch. The image shows the first row up until the 16th hdc.

Row 2 & 3:
NOTE: You can drop the tail and trim it off now.

Ch 1
Hdc in every st from the row below. Finish with sl to join. (25 hdc per row)

Row 4:
Ch 3
*Sk 1 st. Dc in next st. Ch 1* Repeat between * 11 times (12 dc total, including first dc)
Sl in 2nd ch created at beginning of this row to join

Repeat Rows 2 - 4 two more times:
progress after row 6
NOTE: The hdc in the ch made over the skipped st can be made in the space, not the actual chain. Your last hdc of rows5, 6, 8, and 9 will be in the ch space.

Row 11:
Repeat Row 2 (25 hdc)

Row 12: (optional)
The last row is pretty much up to you! You don't have to do it at all OR you can finish it off with another row of hdc, sc, or your favorite edging.

For this example, I'm going to do the following edge:
Ch 1 followed by sl in next st. Do not skip any stitches. Finish the entire edge. sl to join.

Cut yarn and pull through. Weave in the end. Turn the bag inside out (the right side was actually the inside of the pouch as you created it).

Leave about a 5 inch tail on either side of your chain
Ch 40
Trim and pull the yarn through to secure it.
Weave the string through the top row of dc's. Be sure you start on the side of the bag - you don't want your pull to pull against the shape of the bag.

Tie the tails together in a standard knot.
Tie the tails together into a small bow then tie the bow ends together to double knot it.
Trim the remaining tails off so it is a small little bow.
Pull the opposite side of the string so the bow goes into the side of the soap saver. (the bow will not be at the top hanging part of the string)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Making Hats...

Hello, Readers!

It has been quite a bit from my last post. The year has come and gone and so have many new crochet projects. I am not sure how much yarn I have gone through. I know I have two afghans in progress (one star shaped and the other a scrap-ghan). I have made so many scarves and have discovered the beauty of cowls. I am definitely expanding my crochet knowledge and having a blast while doing it. I apologize to all my readers who started following what seemed to be a blog I was never going to forget to wondering where the cobwebs and dust bunnies came from. Well - hopefully 2011 will bring about a bit of change in that. My only sadness with this blog is that I specifically made it for crochet - and not other crafts.... and I've been painting like a crazed lady as of recent.

Anywho... let's get back to Crochet. I'll worry about that other stuff later.

I have a new love for the "I Love This Yarn" brand of yarn. For such a low price you get a quality yarn that is pretty soft and versatile. The color choices are awesome too. My new favorite color is "oatmeal" which is a light tan with flecks of browns and blues.

I have also been a bit crazed about making hats the last couple weeks. This is one of my favorites:
Blue Bobble Beret

I was looking for free patterns online and found a pattern for the bobble beret:


The website is called "Patterns by Dot" - Dot shares a lot of patterns and all are pretty well written. She is another blogspot blogger so please, do give her credit for a great pattern and enjoy her other offerings.

I will say her explanation of how to do the "bobble" was a little confusing. Basically I figured it out (or translated it as...) as this: to do 1 bobble stitch, YO and put your hook through the stitch, YO and pull a loop through (leaves 3 loops on your hook the first time through). YO and pull through 2 of the loops (leaves 2 loops on the hook). Now, instead of finishing off the stitch as a double crochet, YO and put your hook through the same stitch again. YO and draw a loop through. YO and pull through the first three loops on the hook ... repeat this so you have done 5 partial stitches in the same stitch. After the 5th partial stitch, you will have 6 loops on the hook. YO and pull through all 6 loops. Do a single chain stitch to lock the bobble stitch in place.

Now, another thing that kinda "got" me in the pattern is that when you do the row of single crochet's after your bobble row, you will actually come up with a LOT more than 60 stitches. You cannot blindly stitch otherwise you will have increased your hat size by almost double! What I did was for the single crochet row, I would do a single crochet above all the double crochets and then a single crochet in the locking chain stitch of every bobble. This means you will be skipping every 3rd stitch in the bobble row. I had extra stitches and I'm not sure why. Perhaps I was doing the bobble wrong, but in the end, as you can see in the picture, my hat turned out pretty darn good. It only took me about an hour and a half to two hours to complete. It was a pretty good project that went fast. It would make a great gift.

I'd be interested to know if I didn't do the pattern right.... Dot? You there? hehehe

So that is a bit of an overview of a free pattern that I got through and wanted to share the results and my interpretations of the pattern. If you have a pattern you'd like me to try, I'll give it a shot!