Friday, October 19, 2012

His Birthday It Is

Some good friends' son turned one recently, so I wanted to make him something to mark the occasion. Since his parents and I share a love for sci-fi and fantasy, I decided to make him the same Yoda Baby Hat that I made for my nephew some time back. I used the same pattern and materials that I used for the one for my nephew to create this one.

While the young recipient of the hat was a little reluctant to keep it on (it was a pretty warm day to be wearing a crocheted hat), his mom told me that she saw a few adults cast an admiring glance its way.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Updated Hand Cream Recipe

Since posting my DIY Hand Cream recipe, I've continued to refine the formula. I like the original recipe, but it feels a little oilier than I'd like when you first put it on. So, I've tried using different combinations of oils and butters. After a few more attempts, I've landed on what I consider my final (ok, let's be honest, final for the moment) recipe:

1 tbsp shea butter
1 tbsp mango butter
1 tsp beeswax
2 tsp jojoba oil
1/2 ml vitamin E oil
2 ml essential oil (optional - for fragrance)

Melt the first four ingredients in a double boiler. Remove from heat, and add the final two ingredients. Pour into container.

This recipe yields 2 oz. of hand cream. I've been doing my experiments in small batches, but I'll be scaling this recipe up when I start working on Christmas gifts later this month.

I also created a new essential oil scent blend that I've been really enjoying:

3/4 ml lavender
3/4 ml orange
1/2 ml bergamot

This makes for a fairly light, but soothing scent in the 2 oz. hand cream recipe. And since I don't have any new pictures of the cream to share, here's a picture of a butterfly that I took at the Minnesota Zoo this summer:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Roller Derby Babies Pattern

I created these hats for a friend who plays roller derby. One of her teammates was expecting twin girls, and she wanted a gift to get these new derby girls off to the right start.

For those unfamiliar with roller derby, these designs are the helmet covers worn by the jammer and the pivot, two critical positions on the team. In real life, they look something like this:

Image from Molly's Skivvies, purveyor of derby goods

To make my hats, I looked for a basic baby hat pattern to give me roughly the right proportions. I decided on Bev's Newborn Roundie by Beverly A. Qualheim because it's simple and the instructions are easy to understand.

From there, I made quite a few modifications, so here is my final pattern:

Approximately 50 yards worsted weight yarn for hat. I used Caron Simply in Soft in White.
Approximately 15 yards worsted weight yarn for embellishments. I used Red Heart Shimmer in Red.
G Hook
One safety pin style stitch marker
Yarn Needle

Round 1: Create a magic circle. Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 14 dc into loop (15 sts)
Starting with round 2, mark the first stitch of each round with a stitch marker, moving the marker up as you work.
Round 2: 2 dc into top of ch 3 from previous round, [dc into next st, 2 dc into next st] around (23 sts).
Round 3: Repeat round 2 (35 sts).
Round 4 - 9: [2 dc, dc] around. (This leads to an increase of one stitch per round. Round 9 = 41 sts).
Round 10: Dc around (41).
Round 11: [Sc into next 5 sts, sc 2 tog] five times, 6 sc. Slip stitch into first stitch in the round, finish off (36).

For the pivot hat stripe embellishment:
Ch 13.
Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc across. Ch 3 and turn.
Row 2 - 21:  Dc across, ch and turn.
Pin the stripe down the center of the hat to find the correct placement. Stitch the stripe on using the stripe color and a yarn needle.

For the jammer hat star embellishment:
This star is based on the Simple Little Star pattern by Melissa Trenado, with just a slight modification.
Make 2.
Round 1: Ch 2. 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st around.
Round 3: [Sc, ch 5, sc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc, dc in next 2 ch. Skip next sc from round 2. Sc into next sc from round 2.] five times to create five points.*
Round 4: [4 sc up first side of point, 3 sc in top stitch, 4 sc down remaining side] five times. Sl st into first sc. Fasten off.
Pin one star to opposite sides of the hat to find the correct placement. Stitch the stars on using the star color and a yarn needle.

*I initially found this row a little confusing. To add a little clarity, you are working the point of each star over three stitches of row 2. First, you do a sc, then ch 5. This chain becomes a base over which you work 1 flat row that forms a triangle due to increasing the height of the stitches. Finally, you attach your new triangle back to round 2 by skipping the 2nd sc and doing a sc into the 3rd sc from round 2. I'm sure this is still pretty confusing, but it makes sense once you do the first one!