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Crochet mittens

Together with beanies and scarves, mittens are my favourite winter accessory. They look so cute, a glamorous alternative to gloves to protect my hands from getting super dry and scratchy, especially during the coldest and windiest days. This is why with some yarn I had left from my previous pumpkin cowl, I decided to crochet a pair of warm and cozy mittens.

The pattern I used is very easy and it works up really fast, since I was able to complete this project in a couple of evenings after work. This makes it perfect also for Christmas gifts or last-minute presents.

It is a pattern worked downwards, from the finger tips to the cuffs and the only stitches you need to know are the half double crochet (hdc) for the body of the mittens , double crochet (dc) and front post/back post double crochet (fpdc/bpdc) for the cuffs.

To make these mittens, I have used the shade 207 of Gomitolo200 yarn and my 5mm crochet hook.

At the beginning I had to deal a bit with establishing the initial number of stitches to make, so I developed a little trick that worked for me to find the perfect fitting for my mittens.

I started with a certain number of stitches worked into a magic circle and then I made two rounds of increases. If after these two rounds I was not able to cover easily the last four fingers of my hand, I came back and changed the initial number of stitches into the magic loop.

At the end here is the pattern I made up for my mittens , which fits an average range of hands sizes. If you have a smaller/bigger hand, simply reduce/increase the initial number of stitches  into the magic loop and you should find your perfect size.

Into a magic circle, let’s make 9 hdc

round 1 : ch2, 2hdc in each stitch around. Sl st into the first hdc. (18 sts)

round 2 : ch2, *1 hdc into the first stitch, 2 hdc into the next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc (27 sts)

round 3-17 : ch2, 1 hdc into each stitch around. Sl st into the first hdc (27 sts)

round 18 : ch2, 1 hdc into the next 13 stitches. Ch7, skip the next 3 stitches and do hdc until the end of the round. Sl st into the first hdc.

round 19 : ch2, 1 hdc into the next 13 st, 7 hdc into the ch7 space, then hdc until the end of the round. Sl st into the first hdc.

round 20 : ch2, 1 hdc into each stitch around. Sl st into the first hdc.

round 21 : ch3, 1 dc into each stitch around. Sl st into the first dc.

round 22-27 : ch3, 1 fpdc into the stitch below. *1 bpdc into the next stitch, 1 fpdc into the next stitch*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the round. Sl st into the first stitch.

Fasten off your yarn.

Did we forget about the thumb? Of course not. To make it just, insert your hook in any stitch of the hole space you made before. Start making 16 hdc evenly spaced around this hole.

round 1-2: ch1, 1 hdc into each stitch around (16 sts)

round 3 : ch1, *6 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (14 sts)

round 4 : ch1, *5 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (12 sts)

round 5 : ch1, *4 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (10 sts)

round 6 : ch1, *3 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (8 sts)

round 7 : ch1, *2 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (6 sts)

Fasten off your yarn and close up the little hole that remains.

I am really proud of how my pair of mittens came out. I love their rounded shape, it gives them such a sweet and cozy look which makes them simply irresistible.

They also make such a great set with my pumpkin cowl and I am sure I’m gonna wear them together.

Look how beautifully the front post and back post double crochet stitches combine together to create a nice ribbed effect on the cuffs.

I can already see myself walking through the street this winter wearing my mittens with a hot cup of tea in my hands.

I really hope you guys like this pattern. Let me know if you too find mittens adorable and if you are going to use this pattern for yourself or for a Christmas present. Meanwhile I wish you a happy crocheting time from the bottom of my heart and see you to the next post. Byeee !!!!

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Wheat & Cookie beanies

I call it ‘pom pom mania’ and it affects me everytime I crochet a hat. I can’t help it, I have to put a pom pom on it and this is what I did for my latest winter beanies as well. I made two beanies with two different patterns, one more elaborated and luxurious, the other one easier, quicker and achievable by any crocheter newbies in a flash.   

crochet-beaniesI simply adore how the puff stitch and the front post double crochet combine together to create this beautiful, rich and sophisticated pattern. I also think that the monochrome yarn really helps this stitch to stand out. I decided to call this project thewheat beanie, don’t you think this pattern resembles wheat stalks?

wheat-beanie

To make this beanie I have used a little bit more than 2 balls of Regina yarn in this neutral grey color and my 3.5 mm hook. Actually even if the recommended size for this yarn was a 4.5 mm crochet hook, I used a smaller size so that the stitches didn’t look too loose and the pattern less compact and less visible.

regina-yarnstitch1

I started off by chaining 12 for the band. To give it a ribbed look I followed the pattern below.

row 1: ch1 , sc in the back loop of each stitch along

row 2-84: ch1 and turn your work. Sc in the back loop of each stitch along

Once you are happy with the fitting of your band, join the first and last row with slip stitches and start the body of your beanie.

round 1: chain 2 (building chains) , 88 dc evenly spaced all around the stitches below. Sl st into the first dc.  

From round 2 until your beanie measures approximately 25 – 26 cm keep repeating the pattern in chart.

crochet-weat-patternTo close up the beanie, fasten off your yarn being sure to leave a long tale. Using a yarn needle, go in and out of the last round stitches , and pull it tightly at the end. Here you can watch a useful video about this closing hat technique.

pic2pic3While I was making my second beanie, the more I went on, the more it made me think about a giant cookie with delicious drops of chocolate inside. This is why I called this project the cookie beanie.

cookie-beanieFor it I wanted a more relaxed pattern, the kind you can follow while sipping a warm cup of tea or watching a movie with your family. At the same time I didn’t want it to be trivial, so I went for the easy double crochet stitch alternated here and there with puff stitches.

stitch-2For this beanie I used pure ecological yarn in these beautiful neutral shades of creme-beige which I think make the simple pattern more intriguing. I played with contrast for the puff stitches , making them in a standing out brown color.

bio-yarn2

I started off by chaining 10 for the band.

row 1: ch1 , sc in the back loop of each stitch along

row 2-76: ch1 and turn your work. Sc in the back loop of each stitch along

Join the first and last row with slip stitch and check the fitting of your band.

round 1: chain 2 (building chains) , 81 dc evenly spaced all around the stitches below. Sl st into the first dc. 

round 2: chain 2 (building chains), dc in each stitch around. Sl st into the first dc.

round 3: chain 2 (building chains) , *dc into the next 9 stitches below, then switch color and do 1 puff stitch into the 10th stitch*. Repeat from * to * untile the end of the row. Sl st into the first dc.

round 4: chain 2 (building chains) , *dc into the next 4 stitches below, then switch color and do 1 puff stitch into the 5th stitch*. Repeat from * to * untile the end of the row. Sl st into the first dc.

Keep repeating alternatively rounds 3-4 until your beanie measures 25-26 cm and then close it.

For the beautiful pom pom on top, I used my Clover pom pom maker. In this post you can follow my step by step tutorial on how to use it. It’s ridiculously easy!!

pic5I really love how these two beanies turned out and I must say, they have become my essentials during these days since the weather here in Italy is getting polar..brrrr!!! And what about the weather in your country? Which pattern would you pick for your personal beanie? I can't wait to know and in the meantime I wish you happy and warm crocheting times!!! See you to the next post…byeeee!!!

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Slouchy beanie for man

I’ve lost count of all the times my boyfriend asked me to make something for him! Mainly what kept me from doing it was the fear that a crochet item, even if for a man, would always look a bit feminine. At the end, the back post double crochet stitch came to my aid and vanished all my fears. Here is what I got from alternating double crochet and back post double crochet stitches…a slouchy beanie with a nice ribbing look, not too fancy, not too simple, but sporty and perfect for our boys!!

slouchybeanie

DSC_3642

I have used 3 balls of Filatura di Crosa Charly yarn and my trusted 6 mm hook, an essential for every winter project. To give my beanie more personality I chose to use two shades of  grey, a darker one for the band and a lighter one for the body of the beanie.

beanieIIThe pattern to follow for this hat is really easy, relaxing and totally beginner-friendly. It starts with chaining 6 to make the band.

row1-end : ch1 and turn your work. Sc in the back loops of each stitch along.

My trick to give the band the perfect fit is to measure the head of the person who is gonna wear the beanie and subtract 3 cm from that measure. For example, my boyfriend has an head circumference of 58 cm, then I repeated row1 till my band was 58-3=55cm long.

Once you have reached your length, join the first and last row with sc stitches.

The pattern for the body of the beanie is here below :

row1 : ch2, dc into the same stitch. Dc in each stitch around, then sl st into the second ch.

row2: ch2, back post double crochet (bpdc) into the same stitch. Bpdc in each stitch around, then sl st into the second ch.

row3-14: repeat the sequence row1-row2 and your last row has to be a bpdc type.

row15: ch2, *2 dc joined together into the next stitches, 1dc*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the second ch.

row16:ch2, bpdc in each stitch around. Sl st into the second ch.

row17: ch2, 2dc joined together in each stitch around. Sl st into the second ch.

row18: ch2, bpdc in each stitch around. Sl st into the second ch.

After row 18 you have almost done. Fasten off your yarn leaving a long tale which we are going to use to close the top of the beanie. With a yarn needle simply go in and out of each stitch around and once you have finished pull it tightly. You will be left with a small hole on top which you are going to close definitely by sewing it. In my previous blog post, I linked a video that shows clearly this technique.

And that’s my boy wearing my first crochet beanie made for him! He looks adorable, even if a bit shy to end up on my blog blush

beanieIIIbeanieIVbeanieVI hope you guys enjoy this pattern, let me know if you are going to make this beanie for your boys too and if they like it. My boyfriend was enthusiastic and I promise from now on to meet more his requests and create something more for my beloved…I love you all and see you to the next post heart

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Cozy capelet | Red Heart Yarn

Even though I know for sure that winter is not my season, I don’t like to walk around wrapped like a chunky ‘snow-woman’. I like to feel pretty and glamorous even in those days when the air outside is like the frozen foods aisle at the grocery store or the wind is so strong and cold that it seems you can start flying at any moment. Even then, the piece of clothing I cannot give up on wearing is my coat and since we know it is not the warmest thing you can put on when outside is snowing, I decided to combine it with a cozy capelet to keep me warmer.

crochetcapelet

capelet

To make the capelet, I used two balls of Tropicallane yarn which made in total 400 gr of yarn. I chose this intense blue color with red and green shades in it. I think it matches perfectly my red coat!

yarn front

yarn backI used my 6 mm hook for the body of the capelet and a 4.5 mm hook for the cowl. The pattern I followed is here below and it is a free pattern available on Red Heart Yarn website. 

pattern1

pattern2

Keep in mind that the pattern is multiple of 3 +3 chains. This means that if you want your capelet look longer you are going to crochet an initial number of chain of 30+3 or 33+3 etc.

As you might have noticed, I also used smaller hooks than the ones suggested in the pattern and this caused me some adjustments to it. In fact I kept repeating the sequence of rows 3-4 until the capelet was long enough to wrap my shoulders. The cowl looked perfect to me after 7 rows as from the pattern.

cozycapeThe stitches you need to know or practice before starting this project are the front-post-double-crochet (fpdc) and the back-post-double-crochet (bpdc). No panic ladies! It was my first attempt with those stitches too and with a bit of exercise everything went out well. Basically the stitches are worked like a regular double crochet but it is the place where you insert your hook which makes all the difference.

For the front-post-double-crochet, make a first row of regular double crochet and turn your work. Then chain 2 (it counts as your first double crochet), yarn over and insert your hook from front to back between the posts of the double crochet stitch below. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the post. Yarn over and go through the two loops on the hook, twice.

tutorialfpdcFor the back-post-double-crochet, chain 2 (it counts as your first double crochet), yarn over and insert your hook from back to front between the posts of the double crochet stitch below. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the post. Yarn over and go through the two loops on the hook, twice.

bpdctutorialI really like the texture given by the front-post and back-post stitches. I also like the contrast between the way they are worked for the body (horizontally) and how they are for the collar (vertically). It is such a great combination! 

cozycapeletIILet me know guys if you like this pattern too and if maybe you are going to use it to gift someone during Christmas Holidays…A big kiss to everyone and see you to the next post…bye XX

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Easy chunky shrug…

I have been crocheting for a while, but until now, except for some accessories like scarves and hats, I never tried to make something I can actually wear and use as a fashion piece. I thought it was too difficult and it required much more experience and skills. That turned out to be wrong when, searching on-line for some directions, I run into the Lion Brand free pattern called “ simple shrug” and I was incredibly surprised at how simple and easy it was instead. It only took few days for me to have my cozy shrug done and I couldn’t resist to try it on and enjoy it during the last sunny autumn days.

easy shrug1

easyshrug2

easyshrug3The shrug is worked as a big rectangle folded in half, sewing its sides to create the arm holes. Could you think of something easier than that? Since I wanted a softer texture, I worked my shrug holding two strands of yarn together and to give it a nice ribbing look I worked in the back loops only.ribbinglook

Choosing the color for my shrug was the most difficult part of all the work, but at the end I went for a white yarn to make it combinable with most of my outfit.

 What you’ll need :

  • 800 gr of Nordika yarn in a white color
  • 12 mm crochet hook
  • 6 mm crochet hook
  • scissors

ProvaHolding two strand of yarn together, the first step is to make the foundation chain. Remember that the initial number of chains will be the length of your shrug (from your shoulder to your waste). In my case I chained 50 for a total length of approximately 25’’ (63 cm).

row1 : ch1, sc in the back loops all the way around.

row2-end : ch1 and turn your work, sc in the back loops all along.

Keep repeating row 2 until your piece measures approximately 30’’ (77 cm). Remember that the number of rows will affect the width of your shrug, meaning that adding rows you will have a longer sleeves shrug, reducing them you will have shorter sleeves.measuresOnce you have your rectangle ready, fold it in half paying attention to the fact that your rows run vertically, otherwise your shrug will be very short and wide. For the arm holes, make 10 sc into the two shorter sides of your rectangle and once you have done turn it inside out.foldedshrugTo finish my shrug, I used my 6mm hook to add four edging rows of sc worked into the back loops as well.crochetshrug

baackshrugTo be my first attempt, I am really proud of how my shrug came out. It fits me perfectly and it looks exactly the way I expected. There are also so many ways in which you can customize it, like you can make it using a single thread, you can add more edging rows and create a warm collar on your shrug or you can add some edging rows to the arm holes too. I hope you guys like this pattern too because I am already thinking about making a new one on a different color! Happy crocheting my dear and see you to the next post…bye XX.

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A warm cape…

2nd February 2015, Pennsylvania – It’s Groundhog Day there and hundreds of people are waiting excited for this cute, fluffy furball to know when the winter will be over. The tradition says that if the groundhog goes out from her burrow and it is cloudy, spring will come early; if it is sunny the groundhog will see its shade and scared will go back again into her burrow, meaning that winter will be around for at least other six weeks.

Same day, Italy – It’s Candlemas Day here and all the people are staring at the sky because we’ve a saying too for this day. If it is cloudy or rainy it means we’re still into winter time, otherwise a sunny day means spring will come soon.

Well this year it looks like we both got disappointed since the little groundhog went back sleeping into her burrow and here in Italy it actually snowed. So I realized there’s no escape and we’ll have to deal with this freezing winter still for a while. For this reason I decided to turn my disappointment into the chance of crocheting something warm and for me, and this beautiful cape came out.

cape1I love crocheting wearable accessories, they make your look so personal and unique. To make this cape I chose a light grey color which I think looks very elegant and versatile. You can pair it with a dark shade coat or even with a shirt.

cape2For this pattern I was inspired by a crochet magazine I bought in a shop, close to the office where I work and if you are thinking that it won’t be easy to make, you’re wrong! Even if you are a beginner, you’ll be surprised by how simple and fast this project is.

What you’ll need :

  • 4 skeins of yarn (400 gr) in the color you prefer
  • 6 mm crochet hook
  • yarn needle
  • scissors

Stitches used:

  • chain stitches (ch)
  • single crochet (sc)
  • double crochet (dc)
  • triple crochet (tr)
  • slip stitch (sl st)

Start chaining 80 stitches then join to the first ch to form a circle making sure your work doesn’t twist.

row 1-10 : ch 1, sc in each stitch around. Sl st into the first ch.

row 11 : ch 1, sc into the next stitch, *ch 4, sl st into the first ch, sc in the next 3 st*. Repeat from * to* until the end of the row. Sl st into the first ch.

row 12 : ch 5, *dc into the 3rd stitch, ch 2*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the row. Sl st into the third ch.

row 13 : ch 1, sc in each stitch around. Sl st into the first ch.

row 14: ch 6, *tr into the third st, ch 2*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the row. Sl st into the fourth ch.

row 15: ch1, *sc in the next 3 st, 2 sc into the next stitch*. Repeat from * to* until the end of the row. Sl st into the first ch.

row 16 – 17 : ch 1, sc in each stitch around. Sl st into the first ch.

Repeat from row 11 to row 17 two times, then again row 11 and at the end of it fasten off your yarn. Ta-da here is the result.

cape3cape4I hope you guys like this pattern. Let me know if you are going to try it and if you do, send to me the pictures of your works, I always enjoy seeing them. Also I am very curious about your traditions to say goodbye to the winter season , so feel free to share them with me, I am always looking for cultural exchanges. I thank you all guys from the bottom of my heart and I wish you happy crocheting…bye!!!!!

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