Free Pattern: Crochet Bar Stool Covers

20140610-112257.jpgI finished my bar stool covers. They were fun to make.  There is something very satisfying about the granny circle/square. I’m sure most of you crocheters can look at the picture and reverse engineer how to make them, if you wanted to. I have never written a crochet pattern myself.  It seems simple enough, but when I got out my markers to try to draw a chart it turned into quite a behemoth and quickly got away from me.  I may have to enlist the help of Adobe Illustrator on that one.   I learned how to crochet by reading the tutorials at The Purl Bee. So if your find yourself scratching your head at any of my wording, that’s a great resource.  I also like to hold my ends against the work and crochet over them to eliminate the extra work of weaving in ends later.  In case anyone is wondering these are Spin Stools from Crate & Barrel. The seat is 15″ in diameter.  The colors are the same on both stools, I just reversed the order.

Link to Ravelry Project Page

Simple Text PDF Download on Ravelry

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If your stools are larger or smaller, simply continue the granny bit till the piece is just a smidge smaller than the diameter of the seat, then skip to the last 5 rounds. With crochet it is very easy to manipulate sizing. Eyeballing it (as long as your eyeballing skills are decent) is usually enough.

Until I figure out how to write a proper pattern here is a little crochet recipe of sorts:

Hook Size F

Red Heart Acrylic Yarn

With Color One-

Round 1:

I started with an adjustable loop.

Chain 3 into the loop.

Double crochet 11 times into the loop.

Join round.

Pull the loop taught.

Round 2:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 1 more time into the same space.

Into each following space, double crochet 2 times.

Join round.

Break yarn and switch to Color Two-

Round 3:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 2 more times into the same space.

Into each new space, double crochet 3 times.

Join round.

Break yarn and switch to Color Three-

Round 4:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 3 more times into the same space.

Into each following space, double crochet 4 times.

Join round.

Round 5:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 3 more times into the same space.

Into each following space, double crochet 4 times.

Join round.

Break yarn and switch to Color Four-

Round 6:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 4 more times into the same space.

Into each following space, double crochet 5 times.

Join round.

Round 7:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 2 more times into the same space.

*Single crochet once on either side of the middle (third) double crochet from the previous round.

Into each following space, double crochet 3 times.*

Repeat between * until end of round.

Join round.

Break yarn and switch to Color Five-

Round 8:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 2 more times into the same space.

Into each following space, double crochet 3 times.

Join round.

Round 9:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 2 more times into the same space.

Into each following space, double crochet 3 times.

Join round.

Break yarn and switch to Color Six-

Round 10:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 4 more times into the same space.

Into each following space, double crochet 5 times.

Join round.

Round 11:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 4 more times into the same space.

Into each following space, double crochet 5 times.

Join round.

Round 12:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 6 more times into the same space.

Into each following space, double crochet 7 times.

Join round.

Break yarn and switch to Color Five-

Round 13:

Chain 3 into first space.

Double crochet 3 more times into the same space.

*Single crochet into six chain spaces of the previous round’s cluster.

Into each following space, double crochet 4 times.*

Repeat between * until end of round.

Join round.

Round 14:

Chain 3 into first crochet chain space.

Double crochet  into every following chain space.

Join round.

Round 15:

Chain 3 into first crochet chain space.

Double crochet  into every following chain space.

Join round.

Round 16:

Chain 3 into first crochet chain space.

Double crochet  into every following chain space.

Join round.

Round 17: Decreasing

Chain 3 into first crochet chain space.

Double crochet  into every other chain space.

Join round.

Round 18: Decreasing

Chain 3 into first crochet chain space.

Double crochet  into every other chain space.

Join round.

Weave in any tails.  You may have to stretch the cover a little bit to fit it on, but it will go. I find that the snugness helps it not to slip off.

-Marie

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Crochet: Barstool Covers

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20140523-095049.jpgI have these two great metal bar stools at my kitchen table.  They’re the perfect height, and they spin! However they’re metal so they’re coooooold in the winter and in the summer, bare legs stick to them and its always a gamble when you’re getting down. One false move and they try to keep some of said skin. Ouch.

I was fiddling around with crocheted circles the other day, working out a throw idea and I had a brain flash. I could make yarn covers for the stools!  After a few false starts I got into the hooking groove and came up with this little beauty. It took a wee bit of pulling and tugging to get them on after hooking the decreases but they fit well and I’m not concerned about them coming off.  I’m chuffed.

I think for the second stool I will reverse the colors with dark radiating to light.  I’m so glad I learned to crochet.  If anyone wants the instructions I can post them. I haven’t written crochet instructions before so that should be fun! I’ll have to dig out my sharpies for a chart.  -Marie

Vogue Knitting Live 2014

VKL2I know I should be concentrating on Thanksgiving but I am starting to get excited for Vogue Knitting Live NYC! Its still nearly two months out, but you all know how time flies. Florrie and I have signed up for classes, a lecture and we have our marketplace passes ready to go.

Our Schedule looks like this:

01/17/2014
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Adding and Inventing Colorwork Patterns – NEW!
01/17/2014
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Lecture: Journey Inside the Great White Bale with Clara Parkes
01/18/2014
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Hand-Painted Yarn: Customizing a Palette with Natural, Botanical Dyes – NEW!
01/18/2014
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Secrets to Writing Your Own Sweater Patterns  

So excited! The color work class is with the Color Work Queen, Mary Jane Mucklestone. (I have just dubbed her this… I’m fairly certain that she doesn’t go around introducing herself this way) the class is about incorporating color work into design.The class notes said to bring 3-8 colors of wool to work with.  Florrie and I promptly bought 8 shades of Cascade 220,  you know we don’t do things by halves.

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I can’t wait to see what we come up with. I have always loved color work, but find it a bit daunting. The few times I have tried it it didn’t work out so great (getting the tension of the travelling strands was trickier than I thought!).  So my hopes for this class are that it will demystify the process for me and help with my design work.

We’re also taking a foray into hand dying yarn. That is something that Florrie and I have been chomping at the bit to try for years now. This class will focus on natural dyes, its pretty incredible what you can do with plants and minerals. Our last class is all about sweater design. I have been sketching sweaters for ages and I can knit one for myself but the idea of grading sizes to fit a multitude of body shapes scares the pants off me so I have my fingers crossed that I will get the courage to plunge in after taking this class. Bring it on, sweaters! If your classes don’t scare you at least a little bit, they aren’t the right classes, in my opinion.

Our lecture is the Yarn Whisperer herself Clara Parkes. We are especially excited about this lecture because its something that we have been thinking, planning and dreaming about for a couple of years now.  Wool. More specifically production of wool into gorgeous, squashy, lovely skeins for hand knitting. I’m just saying… its a very exciting prospect.  Don’t you think so?

Hurry up January! I can barely wait. Will we see you there?

-Marie

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Bitten By the Bug

ImageI learned how to crochet last winter with a class on Craftsy.  I have always been what you might call a knitting snob.  I used to roll my eyes at crochet, and clutch my pearls at the thought of working with acrylic yarn.  “But knitting is so much prettier!”  “I only knit with natural fibers!”  “Crochet is such a grandma thing to do, I may as well get 4 more cats!”  “Crochet is so late 70’s, there’s nothing modern about it at all.”  But I have learned to open my mind a bit. It happened when I was exposed to two things. Bear’s Rainbow Blanket from the Purl Bee, and seeing Heidi Bear’s African Flower pattern on Ravelry. I was astounded that a craft that I considered so ‘tacky’ could make such pretty projects.  I know the dedicated crocheters out there are brandishing their hooks, offended at my words. And I apologize.  In my defense I was exposed to a lot of crocheted toilet paper covers complete with plastic dollies on top as a child.  But my eyes have been opened to the possibilities.

I made my first (gasp) acrylic throw for my sofa last spring.  Its a giant Granny Rectangle.  I didn’t use a pattern, I just made a chain and then made granny stitches in it until it became a rectangle. I love it. Its soft and warm, and I can throw it in the washing machine without thinking twice.  Besides that, if you consider the cost of making a blanket sized project in a nice wool its really prohibitive.  When Florrie and I saw how much the Bear’s Blanket kit cost to make out of Koigu, we fell out of our chairs.  Well played acrylic, well played.

After being bitten by the hook bug, I trolled Ravelry and found that there are a lot of great crochet projects out there. I remember seeing the Purl Bee’s blanket and wracking my brain to figure out a way to make the same squares in knitting,  I tried and tried but it never came out quite right. I believe some clever girl out there did it.  I’m sure if you Googled it you could easily find the free pattern. That’s when I decided that it was time to learn to crochet. Its fast to pick up.  I learned the basics in just about an hour.  That same hour I was making my first clumsy granny squares and soon after that I tried my hand at Heidi’s wonderful African Flower and here are my results!

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Not too shabby, eh? Its a fun, easy pattern. I have high regard for what I call “Bang for your buck patterns” and this falls solidly in that category.  You only need to know how to single crochet, chain and double crochet. I think the next thing I need to learn is the join as you go method. The major drawback for crochet (for me anyway) is that the joining and weaving in ends is a process and a half.  I have learned how to capture the ends as i crochet, but joining as I go is still an unknown, but seems right up my alley.  Do any of you have favorite join as you go method? I would be forever grateful if you hooked me up! (I apologize for that terrible, awful pun).

-Marie