Hats! Hats! And More Hats!

My best seller at the craft that I did were hats.  At the time, I had simple beanie slouch hats, but they sold very well.  With that thought in mind, I decided to expand my selection.

Since I have been using the Caron Cake yarns on a regular basis, I found a great hat for this yarn - Autumn Chill Slouchy Hat.  I really like how the striping works when it is used for this pattern.  I did, however, realize rather quickly that there was a good bit of leftover yarn, not enough to make another hat and not really enough to make a scarf, so I switched to a different version of this yarn available at JoAnn fabrics called Sweet Roll.  This yarn is fantastic for this pattern.  One roll makes one hat so there is no significant leftover yarn.

Finding how easy it was to make this hat, I started to alter it slightly.  Still using the basic pattern, I can make different varieties of hats.  They use about 200-250 yards each including a wonderful pom-pom on the top.  The pom-pom was easily made with the help of the Clover Pom Pom Maker.  You can get them at Michaels but I definitely recommend watching this video for help using it as the instructions that came with the maker are rather pitiful.

My first Autumn Chill Slouchy Hat was out of the Lemon Lime Caron Cake yarn.  I actually ended up with enough leftover to make a child sized beanie (not pictured), but nothing really after that.  I only made the beanie because I had requests for kids sizes at the craft fair that I did recently, so I figured that it wouldn't hurt to do one for now.

Unfortunately, the color got washed out quite a bit when I took the picture.  It is actually far more vibrant than this.  

After doing that one, I was out of cakes, so I switched to the Sweet Roll from Premier Yarns that I picked up at Jo-Ann's.  I had high hopes for them since the Cake yarn had been such a good choice and I was not disappointed.  

I used the following colors (from left to right) Cheesecake, Raspberry, Peaches, and Punch.  I did find that when I started one of these, it was best to make the pom-pom first.  That way if the yarns runs somewhat short for some reason, you won't have to go out and buy another cake just for the pom-pom.  (Sorry, the color is off on these as well.  Darn cell phones.)

After I got comfortable with how the pattern worked, I decided to switch it up a little bit.  I used some of the same stitches, but also added in my own changes.  I made a ribbed band on the bottom first off.  I like the way it fits a little more snugly.  Then I went into a HDC and a DCX stitch (a cross double chain - instructions here.)  I just did this in rows until it was the length that I wanted.  I am pretty happy with how they came out.

I used the Blueberry Cheesecake color of the Caron Cake yarn for this one.  It worked nicely for two hats that were a little smaller than the one shown first.  

I have made other hats with this general pattern out of other yarns and they all have come out rather nicely.  I do recommend having at least 200-250 yards of yarn using anywhere from an "I" hook to a "J" hook to make it work out nicely.  I may get around to writing out a pattern for the adjusted hat later on.  No time right now.

Have a great day!

Mermaid Tail Blanket

Recently, I have gotten back into crocheting.  Actually, I never got out of it, but I did put it aside for quite some time because I hadn't been real happy with my stitches.  But, this year has been different.  I have spent a good bit of time reading patterns and practicing and now I feel far more confident in my abilities as a crocheter.

So good in fact, that just a couple of weeks ago I had a successful table at a local craft fair.

This was my best craft fair table yet and I hope to have many more successful ones in the future.  Therefore, I have to get a move on and makes lots more items!  

But, now on to the real reason for my post -- the Mermaid Tail Blanket.

I have seen lots of these around on Pinterest and such, even a few patterns here and there, but, in all honesty, I didn't really want to pay for one.  I don't want to dive into a paid pattern when I don't know if I am really going to like it - or be able to truly understand it.

But, I found this one online and started working on it.  It uses the Bernat Blanket Yarn and works wonderfully.  I made one for my daughter and didn't really have to adjust it at all even though she is quite tall for a pre-teen.  But if I make it again, I may very well raise the number of skeins of yarn from 4 to 5 just to make it a little longer.  

The pattern itself only called for the two tail sections sewn together, but I had a good bit of yarn leftover so I decided to make 4 tail sections so that it looked more fantastic.  It was a good plan, as I think that it came out very nice.

The only complaint that I had about the pattern itself was that it did not state how far up to sew the back together.  I had to let my daughter try it on so that I could make a determination on how far up to sew it.  Not really a big deal.  Also, there was no note that the tail sections would actually be wider than the sewn bottom of the snuggle snack.  Therefore, it's best to use some clip together stitch markers to hold the tail sections to the bottom of the sack and adjust accordingly so that it is gathered evenly.  It was a little hard to do since the yarn is quite bulky, but it worked out fine.

The yarn, however, is fantastic!  It is soft and cozy and when worked for this pattern makes a thick and warm blanket, yet at the same time is easy to stitch.  The pattern uses a "L" crochet hook, which is what size the yarn is recommended for.  

The Bernat Blanket Yarn comes in a few different varieties - Baby, Brights, and Home and is available to order from Michaels and JoAnns, but is also available in stores.  It runs about $9.99 a skein, but I was lucky enough to get it on sale for 50% off on Black Friday.  It is made from 100% polyester and is machine washable and dryable, though I haven't put that to the test yet.  I used the Lilac Bush color, though it isn't really noticeable in the pictures above, but it alternates from white to lilac to gray and back.  It makes for a very nice look when completed.

Making one of the blankets is rather costly since it uses so much yarn, but if you can get it on sale and with a coupon at some stores, then it isn't so bad.  I would say that in total it probably took about 6-8 hours to work on, though not at all once.  

Yarn Description:
100% polyester
10.5oz (300g) 220yd
Super bulky weight #6
4"=8 stitches on size 11 needles
Suggested crochet hook: K
Machine wash and dry

I would love to know if anyone else has been using this yarn.

Have a great day!

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