Sunday, 6 April 2014

Teddy Ear Hat

Here's a quick and easy little hat pattern for you.  Perfect for last minute gift ideas! And easy to personalise with your choice of colours and design.


Materials:

8ply acrylic yarn. I use Spotlights brand of Moda Vera.
4.5mm crochet hook, and a large eyed needle for weaving in ends.

Tips:

I crochet over my ends when I colour change by holding the yarn along the edge of my work and completing the stitch over the wool.  I leave a bit out and later thread it back under the stitches again using a wool needle.

The beginning Ch 3 of each round does NOT count as a DC.  Finish each round by slip stitching into the first DC not the Ch 3, this will create a less visible seam.

This hat is to suit a 1 year old. To change sizes simply do more or less increasing rounds before continuing with the main body of your hat.

The Pattern:

To begin chain 5 and join in first ch to form a ring.

Round 1: Ch 3, 12 DC in ring. (Ch 3 does NOT count as a st) Join with a slip st into first DC.
Round 2: Ch 3, 2 DC in same st. 2 DC in each st around. Join with a slip st into first DC.
Round 3: Ch 3, 2 DC in same st. 1 DC in next st, 2 DC in next st. Repeat around. Join with a slip st into first DC.
Round 4: Ch 3, 2 DC in same st. 1 DC in next 2 sts, 2 DC in next st. Repeat around. Join with a slip st in first DC.
Round 5: Ch 3, 2 DC in same st. 1 DC in next 3sts, 2 DC in next st. Repeat around. Join with a slip st in first DC.
Round 6: Ch 3, 2 DC in same st. 1 DC in next 4 sts, 2 DC in next st. Repeat around. Join with a slip st in first DC.
Round 7-16: Ch 3, DC in same st. 1 DC in ea st around. Join with a slip st into the first DC.
Round 17: Change to colour B and ch 1. HDC in same st and each st around. Join with a sl st in first HDC.
Round 18: Change to colour C and ch 1. HDC in same st and each st around. Join with a sl st in first HDC.
Round 19: Change to colour D and ch 1. HDC in same st and each st around. Join with a sl st in first HDC.

The main part of the hat is now complete.

Ears: 

(make 2)

Using colour B, Ch 5 and join in first ch to form a ring.
Round 1: ch 1, 10 HDC in ring. Join with a sl st into first HDC.
Round 2: For this round you do not complete the round. Using colour C, perofrm 1 HDC in first st. 2 HDC in next 6 sts. 1 HDC next st.  Leave final sts unworked.
Round 3: Change to colour D. Starting in the previous rounds 1st HDC perform 2 HDC. 1 HDC in next st, 2 HDC in nxt st. Repeat 6 times. As before leave remaining sts unworked.

You should see you have created a semi circle. Fasten off and weave in ends with a wool needle.  Attach to hat using whip stitch with main hat colour.

A slightly different version for a baby boy.

Welcome Bella!

As a kid I was mildly obsessed with  the movie Turner and Hooch.  Especially with Hooch, the giant, gorgeous slobbery sidekick dog.  I fell in love with Douge De Bordeaux breed, but never ever saw them and I thought they weren't available in Australia.

Fast forward to moving into our first home and guess who lives up the road? A gorgeous big Douge De Bordeuax! Roxy's parents were building a house and hadn't fenced yet so Roxy would escape and come to our house to play.  Like most of her breed she was a big softy and just wanted to play... and eat.

I introduced her to husband and ta-da! He shared my love for them.  We're firm believers in adopting dogs as there are so many out there who need loving homes.  But would we be able to find a Hooch?  We signed up to the Douge De Bordeaux rescue list and crossed our fingers.  And then we waited... and waited.

Then it came. The email to tell us there was a Dogue De Bordeaux called Bella in solitary confinement (due to kennel cough) at the Lost Dogs Home. No one else had seen her becuase she had been sick.  She was basically untrained, boistrous, and prone to barking from boredom.  Did we want to meet her? Heck yes!

Her formal photo's they sent us.
She's not quite smiling here.
 So we all packed into the car for a long drive and the trip was worth it.  It has been said that when you're meeting a dog at a shelter you're meeting it on its worst day.  Most dogs are a bit confused at their sudden change in circumstance, are bored or stressed and generally just not quite themselves.  Bella burst out of her pen and bounded all over us! She was a big dog and very excited.  She loved the kids and tried desperately to reach them. Having been in solitary she was rearing to get off the lead and play!  She was big, and gorgeous and fun.  I loved her instantly.  We took her home that day.

She fit in like a hand in a glove.  Our older dog is tiny by comparison and wary.  Bella slobbered all over her and demanded that they be friends.  So far little Bam Bam is still in charge, but things may change.  Bella already knows how to sit, drop and roll over, but she only does these things when she feels like it!  I'm taking her to the local dog clubs manners class so we can bond and learn the basics again together.

Here she is all settled in and I like to think she's smiling.  Welcome home Bella!

 

You can find me on Instagram as knitty_bon or email me at funkybugs@hotmail.com

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Mike Wazowski Hat

I'm loving that my kids are into Monsters Inc right now. I loved the first movie, but they're all about Monsters University. There's no Boo though, so I'm not such a big fan. Anyhoo, I was asked to make a Mike hat for a Christmas prezzie and thought I'd share my pattern here with you. Happy holidays!



So onwards to the fun part!

Materials:
I use 8 ply acrylic yarn in lime green.
You will also need scrap amounts of black, blue, white and light brown.
4.5mm and 4mm hook.

HAT:
I used my basic hat pattern, and made it to suit 3-4yrs.

Stitches/ Abbreviations Used:
(Pattern is written in American terminology)
Sl st - slip stitch
SC - Single Crochet
DC - Double Crochet

Main Pattern.
To begin: Make a slip knot and chain 4. Join to the first ch with a sl st to form ring.
Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as a stitch). 12 DC into ring. Join with a sl st into the top of the first DC stitch. Do not join into the top of the ch 2 here or in any other round. This will create a less obvious seam.
Round 2: Ch 2, 2DC in same st and in ea st around. (24 DC)
Round 3: Ch 2, 2 DC in same st. Now *1 DC in next st, 2 DC in nxt st. Repeat from * around. (36 DC)
Round 4: Ch 2, 2 DC in same st. Now *1 DC in next 2 sts, 2 DC in nxt st. Repeat from * around. (48 DC)
Round 5: Ch 2, 2 DC in same st. Now *1 DC in next 3 sts, 2 DC in nxt st. Repeat from * around. (59 DC)
Round 6: Ch 2, 2 DC in same st. Now *1 DC in next 4 sts, 2 DC in nxt st. Repeat from * around. (71 DC)
Round 7: Ch 2, 2 DC in same st. Now *1 DC in next 5 sts, 2 DC in nxt st. Repeat from * around.

You will notice by now that the pattern basically continues by extending the amount of 1 DC stitches between the 2 DC increases. Simply continue on in this way until the crown of your hat is big enough.
I have had so much trouble getting hats the right size until I found this little secret from BobWilson123 It's basic maths and it works!

Ok so you will have noticed the piece you are working on looks like a big flat circle. This will become the crown of the hat. You now need to get out a tape measure and measure across the center of the hat. See below...




My measurement was 14.5cm. So now I take out my trusty calculator and multiply 14.5 by 3.142 to get the circumference. The answer is 45.5 So my hat will measure approx 45.5cm around.
Then I compare this measurement to my hat sizing notes to see how big my hat will be. Here's a copy of basic head measurements from baby to adult. My hat when finished would fit a child approx 3-4 years old.

Age                        Circumference
Newborn                  34 cm
3-6 months               40 cm
6-12 months             44 cm
12 months - 3 yrs     48 cm
3-10 yrs                   50 cm
Teen                         55 cm
Adult female             56 cm
Adult male                58 cm

Ok, now that you have figured out how big your hat needs to be you will continue as follows. In my case I'm happy for my hat to fit a 3-4 year old and will not perform any further increase rounds. If you need your hat to be bigger, continue to add increase rounds according to the main pattern and measure using the above equation until it's big enough.

The following rounds would go like this and so on until you have the right size.
Round 8: Ch 2, 2 DC in same st. Now *1 DC in next 6 sts, 2 DC in nxt st. Repeat from * around.
Round 9: Ch 2, 2 DC in same st. Now *1 DC in next 7 sts, 2 DC in nxt st. Repeat from * around.

Ok, so once you have finished with the tricky increasing/measuring part, onwards to the easy part. You now need to turn your falt circle into a hat shape. This is the body of the hat.

Body of hat: Ch 3, DC in same st. 1 DC in each stitch around, joining with a slip stitch into beginning DC. (Do not join in the chain 3, ignore it and join into the top of the next DC, you will get a much less obvious seam this way).

Continue until your hat is "tall" enough. I use my children as models, but there are plenty of charts out there if you need help in the internet land. Just google "Hat size chart".

I do an extra round of single crochet to finish so the hat doesn't stretch out of shape later with wash and wear.

EYE:

Ch 5 and join in first stitch to form a ring.
12 DC in ring.
2 DC in each stitch around, Fasten off.
Using blue, *1 DC in next 3 sts, 2DC in next st. Repeat around. Join with a slip st. Fasten off.
Using white.*1DC in next 4 sts, 2DC in next st. Repeat around. Join with a sl st.
Ch 3, DC in same st. *1DC in next 5 sts, 2DC in next st. Repeat around. Join with a slip st. Fasten off. Leave along tail to sew onto hat.

Position eye in the middle front of the hat, sew into place.

MOUTH:

Using black yarn, neatly back stitch a crooked little smile underneath the eye.

HORNS:

Using light brown make 2.
The horns are made working in the round. You may want to use a st marker to keep your place, or since they're small, I just count to keep track.

Create a magic ring.
4 SC into ring, pull tight.
1SC, 2SC in next stitch. Repeat once. (6 sts)
SC in each st around. (6 sts)
2SC, 2SC in next st. Repeat once. (8 sts)
3 SC, 2 SC in next st. Repeat once. (10 sts)
For the next 3 rounds perform 1 SC in each st. Sl st to join and fasten off leaving a long tail to sew in place.

Sew horns onto either side of head.

Ta da! A Mike hat!

If you are making this hat to fit an adult you may need to adjust the eye and horn sizes to be bigger and more in proportion to the hat.

Feel free to use this pattern as you wish, for personal use or to sell is fine. Please link back to the pattern though if you sell your items. Thanks :)


You can contact me via the following:
Email: funkybugs@hotmail.com








Friday, 29 November 2013

Crochet Nerds Unite

Possibly the best thing about the internet is that it lets you connect with other nerdy types who love the things you love.

I'm part of a few crochet related groups online and the latest craze is granny square swaps. In some groups you put your name and address on a list and agree to swap with others. However this can be a bit touchy as sometimes you won't get squares back from some people. I prefer to put my trust in people though and so far I have been rewarded by some awesome squares from all over the world.

Another group I'm part of do a big swap. We sign up for a round, usually about 25-30 people per round. Then we make 25-30 squares (1 for each person) and send them to a co-ordinator with a self addressed return satchel and they get sorted out and sent back to us. It's a great way to make a friendship afghan and get to know other yarny people. Plus its an awesome chunk of mail to get! Soooooo much better than boring old bills and junk mail!

These swaps usually come with Facebook groups or somewhere central to chat, share pictures, ramble on about yarn and hooks and all things crochet. What could be better? If you're not part of something like this get on it! You'll love it :)

Here are my squares ready to be posted.


Here are the gorgeous squares I got back.


And here's something I've been working on in the background, for my gorgeous, sweet little nephew who arrived last week. I'm a very proud Aunty!


As always, keep crafty and I'll check in again soon.

You can contact me via the following:
Web address: www.funkybug.com.au
Email: funkybugs@hotmail.com





Friday, 9 August 2013

Attic 24 Bunting for Yarndale

I'm a long time fan of Lucy from over at Attic 24.  I love reading her blog and being inspired by all of her patterns. Her use of colours just makes me smile every time.

Lucy has been busy busy busy organising Yarndale, a festival for yarn lovers. It's all the way away in England though so no chance of my going. But she has opened the floor for us yarn crafter's to join in and help her make the world's longest bunting! You can find the pattern for the granny triangles here. They're fun and easy to make and as always Lucy has made a beautiful photo tutorial (a bonus for those of us who get lost with long boring stretches of text in patterns).




So, the deadline for the bunting to arrive is the end of August and as always I must leave things to the last minute. I hope mine get there in time with the help of some express post!

But the real hum dinger for me in all this yarny excitement was learning how to steam press something. I abhor blocking finished crochet items. Blocking boards, and water and pins make me get all nervous and I'm certain I'll wreck all my hard work somehow. But Lucy shares an easy peasy way to steam block something small like a granny square.

Basically, you take your finished item, stretch it out and pin it to your ironing board. In this case my triangles had to have approx 7inch sides, so I used a tape measure to make sure before pinning each corner down (angle your pins so they don't become loose).  Then I filled up the trusty iron with water and set it to steam, which in my case is as easy as pressing a button with a picture of steam on it. Lucky really because I think this is the first time I've used an iron in a veeeery long time. Anyhoo, then you hover the iron over the pinned item, about a millimeter away from the surface. Do NOT touch the item with the iron. Hover over it, letting the steam do it's thing, pulling it into shape if necessary. Then let it dry while pinned and voila! A perfectly perfect little triangle! How easy is that? I have finally lost my fear of blocking items and will be doing this for all the squares and motif's from now on. I had to share it with you!

If you feel like joining in and making some triangles to send to Lucy for Yarndale the postal info is on her blog here.

Happy crafting everyone, see you next time :)

~ Bonnie.


You can contact me via the following:
Web address: www.funkybug.com.au
Email: funkybugs@hotmail.com


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Crochet Related Injury - Yep, it's a real thing!


Anyone who does a repetitive task will be able to tell you that eventually that repetition is gonna cause some pain. Joint pain, muscle soreness, aches and pains. It's bad enough when it's work that causes these issues (think RSI from working at the computer all day) but when our craft/ hobbies start to hurt us it's just not fair!

So if you're a crocheter or a knitter here are some issues that might bug you:

* Wrist pain
* Finger soreness
* Pain spreading up the arm and into the elbow joints
* Shoulder pain
* Neck and back pain (mostly from being seated in the same position for hours)

Never fear though! The great thing about the crafty community is that when we run into common problems, we share our solutions. Here are just a few I've come across in my internet travels.  If you have more, feel free to leave them as a comment so we can try them :)

* Have regular stretch breaks. Get up and stretch your wrists, arms, shoulders, back and neck.
* Try not to crochet/knit for longer than half an hour without taking brief stretch breaks.
* Some people crochet with a cushion or pillow on their lap to bring their work closer and it helps with neck and shoulder strain.
* Get yourself a very flexible brace. Mine was kindly sent to me from someone who was close to a shop called "The Dollar Tree". It's made out of wetsuit type material and goes around my thumb and wrist and does up with velcro. I also use my boxing strap as it keeps my wrist braced and helps with my RSI. Try looking in the chemist for something similar.
* As silly as it sounds (and simple) I get less pain in my hands and arms when I'm keeping healthy and getting enough fruit, veggies and calcium. Healthy body, happy crafting!  My phys ed teacher would be having the last laugh now!
* Try taking a natural joint supplement. I take fish oil and it really helps my wrist pain.
* Some people apply hot/cold packs to joints. I find heat packs are great for my neck and back pain, but not so much for my wrists.
* Change your grip. In crochet there are two common ways to hold the hook. Like it's a pencil or like it's a steak knife. If you can get the hang of switching between one and the other it gives your muscles/joints a break and can ease the pain of RSI. It took me ages to get the hang of both and I still always favour the ole steak knife grip.
* Take a couple of days break from crocheting or knitting. I know, I know. It feels like I'm missing a limb without some yarn in my hands, but if you are experienced a lot of pain it might be best to take a break for a while and let your swollen joints have a holiday.  I've had to do this all week and I am one bored and grumpy yarny!

That about taps my wisdom on the subject. If you have consistent pain in your joints it might be a good idea to see the doc. I know of some yarn-a-holics with carpel tunnel syndrome, RSI, braces, casts and more. I'm hoping mine is just a RSI flare up, but if it keeps up I will very, very reluctantly take myself to the dreaded doctor. Who may or may not understand that it is just not an option to give up my hooks and yarn. Ever.

Happy crafting guys!

~ Bonnie.

You can contact me via the following:
Web address: www.funkybug.com.au
Email: info@funkybug.com.au



Sunday, 4 August 2013

New Direction

 I don't know if any of you have stopped by my Funky Bugs facebook page recently, but if you have you will see a great big banner across the front of it that says this:
Eeeep! That's right, closing down! But it's not all over here at Funky HQ, I'm just injecting the joy back into my craft. While I admire and respect anyone out there who can turn their crafty loves into a business, it turns out it's just not for me. I prefer to work away at my crochet quietly, with the radio on, having some 'me' time. I have loved making things for people and imagining my crochet items being worn all over the place, but it's time to turn my crochet back into a hobby.
But never fear! I have made so many friends out there in Internet-land, so my blog will always be open. My email account will never be deleted and if you ever feel like dropping me a line and chatting crafty stuff you can!
I will still be offering FREE patterns here on the blog, and occasionally uploading my current projects, inspirations and ideas. There may even be item giveaways etc as I make my way through my dream list of crochet to-do's and then need to give them to somebody to love :)
I don't see this as an ending. It has been a really fun journey and this is just a new direction for this little bug.
Stay funky everyone, and keep on craftin'.

xoxoxo Bonnie.