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I have more than enough WIPs and computer upkeep to keep me busy, but I just couldn’t resist a few little projects.  They are entertaining until all those little ends catch up with you! 

Hopefully people are managing with the error in color scheme for the Through Any Window Baby Blanket Tutorial.  The corrected tutorial is slowly coming together. 

This tan Crochet Headband, below, consists of a few easily crocheted flowers.  The pattern calls for four motifs, but I threw in one more as a tiny bit of procrastination.  Since each motif was made individually, all those loose ends were no fun. 

The pattern directs you to leave a ten inch tail when you finish off, which is then used to connect the motifs.  Next time I crochet this headband I would just slip stitch across a ch-5 loop for a quicker, join-as-you-go assembly. 

 

Just like the Elizabeth headband I made last Christmas, the wrong side almost makes this headband reversible.  Each flower petal is a cluster of double crochet stitches which bulge on the bottom side. 

Mandi of On Hooks and Needles made a pretty green cotton version back in May 2007.  Mine is made of some scrap Red Heart Super Saver in Cashmere. 

Andrea’s “Woven” Dishcloth gives the stitch multiple so you can easily customize the dishcloth size.  I used a starting chain of twenty-six with a size F hook.  The actual dishcloth measures 6″x 6″.  I also replaced the double crochet stitches in Row 1 for half double crochet stitches. 

This dishcloth packs a lot of cotton in a little square.  Back and front post stitches are alternated in each row with a tight gauge.  This results in a tough, durable structure and a nice, bumpy texture. 

Andrea has a blog contest running until 2pm CT, March 23rd.  To enter the contest, make up the mystery pattern and e-mail her a description and/or picture.  Even if you can’t participate, check out her blog after the deadline to vote for the best entry! 

Also, check out her review of A Whole Load of Craft along with a short interview about my crafty beginnings.

*That’s cool* a random fact

The Pink and White Lady Slipper (cypriedium reginae), illegal to pick in Minnesota, takes over a decade to produce it’s first flower.

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The front post dc and shell stitch combination in this Divine hat really caught my eye.  The pattern uses asymmetrical shells to force the front post stitches in one direction, making the spiral effect.  To me it looks complicated, but the pattern stitch is surprisingly straight forward and very easy to create. 

If you’re a knitter, the Odessa from MagKnits is a similar design.  I like how the beads are knitted into the spiral.  If only I was that advanced!  For my hat, I used Caron SS Heather in Denim.  The color is closer to a bluish silver than a denim, though. 

 

I made the Cable hat, below, for myself.  My double crochet hat is starting to show signs of wear after several loyal years.  Plus, with all this snow and freezing wind I needed a sturdy hat.

Compared to my old RHSS hat, this thing makes my head look huge!  There’s front and back post stitches, so it has the thickness of three layers of crochet.  My brother thinks it looks like those Russian Ushanka hats, especially if I added ear flaps.  I tend to agree, but it’s very warm.  And the hat is made with Caron Simply Soft Heather (in Charcoal), so it’s soft too. 

I learned a new technique for a nearly-seamless front post stitch join with these hats.  The pattern calls for a ch-2 before making the first front post stitch in the round.  When you come to the end of a round, you ignore this ch-2 and join directly to the front post stitch. 

This means that instead of chaining for a stitch that should be a front post, you hide this chain behind and there’s barely any difference between the join and the rest of the hat.  You can see the seam of the hat in the picture below, on the left of the cable.   

 

These patterns are both from the same designer, which are written with minimum detail.  They’re easy enough to understand if you’ve ever followed a hat pattern and there’s a stitch count at the end of every row.  Don’t be scared off by the cables in the second hat either.  The directions for cables are really clear. 

I ran into some problems with gauge and my yarn selection.  I originally used Red Heart Super Saver, but the connected front post stitches looked jilted.  Not that you can’t use Red Heart, but the cables really shine when you have a smooth yarn like Caron SS. 

The other problem was gauge.  I had the gauge with the suggested hook size, but it was mammoth in size.  The gauge is based solely on the width of the front post cable.  What I found was this gauge could be true with about three different hooks.  

Also, the cable hat especially, really stretches because of the front post stitches.  So if the hat does feel a little snug, just remember that it will ease up a bit with use.  If you want to use the official gauge, I would go with the smallest hook size possible.  I ended up using a size H crochet hook with a gauge of  13 dc and 7 rows = 10″.   Even with the size H hook, it’s still the teeniest bit loose, but I’m glad I have it for this snowy Northwest winter. 

*That’s cool* a random fact

Russia has twice the number of chess Grandmasters as Germany, its nearest competitor.

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