October 13, 2014

Santa Fe Winter Goodies

New commission promt: Hat and Scarf for sister at an art school in Santa Fe

There is no part of this prompt that I am not loving. As an art history major and someone who adores the city of Santa Fe I was all about this. After a little more discussing I looked through my pattern collection and decided upon a hat and scarf that I think would be perfect. The client agreed and off we went!

The hat I am basing on this amazing Rainbow Beanie. I don't have all those exact colors on hand but figured that what I did have would be close and still come out bright and colorful. I say "base off" because after reading through what she did, I needed to make some changes for my own sanity and clarity. For the scarf I decided it would look lovely if I made this Lion Brand Flower Blossom Scarf in the same colors palette as the hat.

After looking through my stash and comparing to the beanie color pallet I ended up with this selection of yarns. They are all worsted weight and about the same thickness and feel. I used a 5.00mm H hook and started on the hat.

As the beanie is based off a granny square type pattern, I figured it would not be hard to do myself. A few other changes from the inspiration beanie is that I did not make earflaps, and I made it a little longer to cover at least the top part of the ears. I tried it on after a few extra rounds at the bottom before the edging to make sure it would fit right for an adult.

Once again, I find that crochet is a learning experience. After getting 9 rounds into the hat, I realized it was pretty loose on me. Meaning it would certainly be on anyone else. So I had to rip the whole thing out and start over with a smaller hook.
Scrapped at this point. Too wonky. Too large.
I switched to a 4.25mm G hook. I also took the opportunity to raid my local Joann's, take advantage of their sale, and get new yarn. Mainly because several of the original yarns I picked are what I now consider to be "crap yarn". Pardon my french. But a regular Red Heart Super Saver yarn just feels awful to my hands after working on such nicer yarns more recently. Too scratchy... I wouldn't want it on my neck no matter how cute the scarf turned out.

New color palette (new yarns are Bernat Satin since I had a few colors in that already on hand):
Similar yarns means a nicer finished product. There is a dark gray after that light gray too...

Granny Rainbow Beanie (4.25mm G hook)
Note: Throughout I will be referring to three dc in a row as a double crochet cluster (dcc) to keep reading this from being a nightmare. A (vdcc) is two sets of three dc separated by a chain. It is used to increase each round until reaching the desired size. Don't forget to change colors at the end of every round! And to be clear: every single cluster has a chain between it.

R1. (yellow) MC, Chain 3, 2dc into loop, make 4 dcc and secure with slip stitch to first. Change color. (5 dcc)
R2. (orange) Chain 3, 2dc in same space, chain 1, dcc in same space as first, *ch1, vdcc*, join last to first at second dc of first dcc on each round going forward. Change color! (10 dcc)

R3. (Red) Chain 3 in first opening, 2dc in same space, ch, dcc in same space forming a vdcc, *ch, dcc, ch vdcc* (15 dcc)
R4. (pink) Chain 3 in first opening, 2dc in same space, ch, dcc in next space, ch, vdcc, *ch, dcc, ch, dcc, ch, vdcc* (20 dcc) (each side has 2dcc, one vdcc)

R5. (purple) Chain 3 in first opening, 2dc in same space, *ch, dcc, ch, dcc, ch, dcc, ch, vdcc* (25 dcc) (each side has 3dcc and one vdcc repeated around)
R6-13. Chain 3 in first opening, 2dc in same space, *dcc* around  (25 dcc) changing color at the end of each round. Note: at this point omit the chains between each set to have a tighter fit, or keep them in for a slightly larger size. (light blue, dark blue, light green, dark green, khaki, light gray, dark gray, yellow again)
R14 -19. Chain 1 and sc around to make an edge. Change colors as you like, or not at all. (I did two of orange, red, pink) (74 or so stitches around)
Hat for the order.

While making the hat, I made a second one at the same time to send off as a gift for another colorful person in my life. So her hat got a different brim since I wanted more colors!!! The last rows are one each of orange, red, pink, purple, blue, dark blue, light green and a hdc row of dark green to give it some finality.
Second hat for a friend.

On to the Lion Brand Flower Blossom Scarf ... or rather... not at all.
After reading through this pattern I saw that they wanted you to double up the yarn and use a giant 13mm hook. I didn't feel like buying a new hook, and more importantly, balling up all my yarn colors into two balls so I could carry two strands. That would take forever by hand.

So instead it became my inspiration piece and I found a flat flower pattern that I could use my normal yarn, one strand and the same G hook on. I just did an image search and really liked the look of this simple Maybelle crochet flower pattern.

I made my first flower with an orange center and yellow outside rows, but decided it was a bit normal. So I made a second in three colors. One color for the first row, a second for rows 2-3, and a third for the 4th final row. With three colors it looked a lot closer in nature to the every row color change of the hat and felt much more in keeping.

Each flower takes about 25 minutes to make. I used the order of the colors in the hat to determine the sets of three colors from which to make into flowers. That way I knew that I would use them all at least once. With 12 colors in the hat, I got 12 flower made. The blossom scarf needed 16 of the motifs, so I added two extra colors (dark orange and light purple) so that I could make up 4 more with other color combinations. Each flower is unique in color and order. (About 7 hours to make all flowers and join)

I joined each flower as I went along, using the center stitch of each petal (last row) to join to the one before it. There are a lot of methods but basically before the 4th double crochet I slipped the middle stitch of the previous flower onto my hook and completed the 4th double crochet of the new flower around it. I did this for two petals on each flower to have a sturdy join between each.
Hat and Flower Scarf
Once they were all joined I noticed they started curling in when worn. So my husband suggested I made a backing for them and sew em down to it. Not an awful idea that. So I made a quick rectangle scarf to be a backer. Took about 5 hours to make the backer part.

Ribbed DC Scarf (needed about a skein and a half of brown)
Chain 15 plus 2 to turn.
Double crochet 15 across.
Chain 2, double crochet across in back loops only.
Repeat till reaching the length desired. The back loop double crochet give the scarf a little texture.

I then used a sc to finish the edges and attach two stitches from the side petals of the flowers. I left a long tail to sew down the center of each flower a bit. Once I started attaching them I go to the end and realized that I had space left on my scarf, and I started at the wrong end to rip some rows out. So I made up an 17th flower and added it to the leftover space. It was just enough to not make it look strange.
One more flower.
The finished size of the scarf was 78 inches long and 4 inches wide.
I also added another two rows of brown to the brim of the hat to tie it together.
Scarf (so you can see the texture) and finished hat with brown row added.
Made the scarf really nice, warm, and thick. Which is good, because as my husband also pointed out the scarf of flowers only had a lot of holes in it which isn't really warm. Together they are super happy. Perfect for snowy days or with a light jacket. So glad I got to make these.
Better pic of the finished scarf.
Total time: 25 hours total - 10 for the hat with restarting and making two at the same time, 15 hours for the scarf
Difficulty: Easy