Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pattern: Poke Bag

My nephew who just turned two last month has already seen enough episodes of Pokemon to have his own favorites, leading me to crochet him an Oshawott and a Pickachu (post soon!). Of course, my little buddy's love of Pokemon is just an excuse for his dad, the older of my two younger brothers, to watch.

Actually, we don't make excuses, my brother and I love Pokemon! So, for his birthday I made him a bag to hold the damage counters, status problem markers, coins, etc. that we need to play the Pokemon TCG.

 It's a Pokeball!
The twist on this bag is that it has a flat bottom. So, when you open it and fold down the sides, it turns into a handy bowl to for easy access to grab the tokens during a game.

I actually first thought of this concept some time ago and made a smaller version for my dad. I haven't ever written up the pattern for that, so I'll do that soon. In the meantime, here's the pattern for the Pokeball version.


Appoximate amounts worsted weight yarn:

90 yards - Red
95 yards - White
20 yards - Black
H Hook


For anyone unfamiliar with working in continuous rounds instead of joining at the end of each round: Place a stitch marker in the first stitch of the round, and move it up as you complete each round.
Round 1: Create a magic ring. 6 sc into ring.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st around.
Round 3: *Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 4: *Sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 5; *Sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 6: *Sc in next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 7: *Sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st* Repeat around.
Round 8 - 15: Sc in each st around.
Row 16 - 17: Change to black. Sc around.
Row 18 - 24: Change to white. Sc around.
Row 25: [Sc in next 6 sts, ch 2, skip 1 sc, sc in next sc] repeat seven times around.
Row 26: [Sc in each sc, work one sc around the ch 2 from previous row], repeat around.
Row 27: Sc around.
Row 28: Sc around until 3 last three sts. Sl st into the last 3 sc from previous round. Finish off and weave in tail under the first few sts of the final round to create a smooth edge.

Button (make one):
Using black, create a magic ring. 12 dc in magic ring, sl st to join. Finish off.
Using white, create a magic ring. 12 hdc in magic ring, sl st to join. Finish off.
Center the white circle on top of the black circle and position both on the front of the bag so that the black stripe on the bag is behind the center of the circles. Using white, sew through both circles to attach.

Use white yarn to chain stitch or braid a drawstring or use ribbon. Thread through the spaces created in rows 25 and 26 of the bag pattern.

While it's pretty simple, this is the most complicated pattern I've written so far. So, please let me know if you have questions or if there is anything that doesn't make sense. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Scaled Up Lotion Recipe

Some time ago, I posted my updated skin cream recipe, in a version that makes 2 oz. of lotion. Of course, when I'm making this as gifts, or even most of the time for myself, I make it in larger batches, so I thought others might like to see the scaled up version.

Batch of six 4 oz. jars:

3/4 c shea butter
3/4 c mango butter
1/4 c beeswax
1/2 c c jojoba oil
1.5 tsp vitamin E oil
16 ml essential or fragrance oil (4 ml per jar)

The instructions are the same, you melt all the ingredients except for the essential or fragrance oil in a double boiler. For the essential oil, you can add enough essential oil for the whole batch at once. However, what I usually do is put the amount needed for each jar in the jar, then pour the lotion mix  and stir each one individually.

One final tip: Keep in mind that fragrance oils are generally quite a bit stronger than essential oils. So, adjust accordingly depending on which you use and the scent level you prefer.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Grandaddy's Hat

 Somebody in my family gives my grandfather a sock hat, or something very similar, every year. He's cold-natured, and these hats are his first line of defense. This year, I decided to make one for him by hand, since this is the first year I've had the skill to do something like that.

 I decided to use the Back Loop Beanie pattern by Ryan Hollists, which is available as a free download on Ravelry. I couldn't seem to get the ribbing at the bottom to work right for me (actually, this was a hilariously awful failure so bad that I wish I'd taken a picture of it), so I decided to stick with extra rows of the basic stitch pattern. I used Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn! in Navy, although this picture isn't terribly true to the color.

I also made a couple of sizing changes:

Add row 11: [Sc in next 11 sts, 2 sc in next st] repeat around (six times)
Row 12 - 40: Sc around

When he tried it on, I thought it wouldn't have hurt to have done another increase row or two. I intended it to be long, which it was, so that part worked out fine. On the whole, it's a basic hat, but it worked up nicely and seemed to please the recipient.