Tate Rancher Hat

A long time ago, I started a raffia crochet hat. I started it three times. Each time it was too big and the last time, after completing the pattern, it was still so large that I decided to frog it and never make it again.

Fast forward to a few months ago and I happened to walk into work when our Berroco rep was visiting my boss and ordered a couple of cakes of Berroco Estiva, a cotton tape yarn that I was going to try to make a different hat with. (That hat was The Cleo Crush Fedora, a free pattern on Ravelry.) I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to make the sunhat/Cleo and recently cast on.

And then I realized that I had been gifted a great sun hat on my birthday by my daughter and her husband and it’s also blue so perhaps a sun hat wasn’t what I wanted to crochet again. Perhaps a fedora with a smaller brim … hence, the Tate Rancher!

Me! The Queen Bee in my Tate Rancher hat

I haven’t been crocheting for very long but this pattern is a simple single crochet and it’s made up in a spiral. The directions are clear and detailed enough to help the novice crocheter (like me!)

I started my hat with an I I5.5mm) crochet hook because, don’t forget, I started out making the Cleo Wide Brim but I ended up going down to an H (5.0 mm) because at the first measuring spot, I was a bit too loose. Don’t judge. Once I changed to the H, I was right on the measure. It’s a good spot to do a “gauge” swatch because the first part of the hat to the first measuring spot is only a few rounds.

the first measuring point … I was spot on with the H crochet hook and this yarn but even if I needed to adjust, this only took a short while to crochet and I wouldn’t have felt badly frogging and re-starting!

I did choose to use the fancy wire stuff that was suggested in the pattern to stiffen my hat brim. It was easy to crochet around (although the ends are rough and I did wrap them with some washi tape but they still popped out when I was steaming the hat to block it. It was readily available at Home Depot and my husband happened to be going there so I added to his list.

I braided a nice long section of the Estiva to tie around my hat because I don’t have a piece of leather or a skinny belt. I like the one color look, honestly, and I am quite pleased with this hat. I think I’ll be wearing it a lot this spring and summer. I have trouble driving with my sunhat but this hat should be ok in the car, too.

All the details are on my Ravelry project page. I’m lindar on Ravelry. Gone knitting!

I’m a Crochet Queen Bee!

That's What I'm Talking About!!!

That’s What I’m Talking About!!!

Those of you who are loyal readers (such as it is since I haven’t been posting very often … this thing called work really obliterates my time to knit and blog about it) know that I’ve been saying that I have to learn to crochet. Well, I think I have accomplished a few steps in that direction.

I have a dear knitting friend, Terri, who is an accomplished crocheter, a good knitter and she is the Queen of Nuno Felting. One evening at our Wild Rows gathering, I asked her to show me a Granny Square and she did. I practiced for a couple of days until it started to feel more natural. Now I have a collection of Granny Squares …. I had thought I would make an afghan but I think I will make a cover for my ottoman that lives in my atelier. Time will tell but the pile keeps growing.

Granny Squares

Granny Squares

Then, my knitting group decided to make a baby blanket for one of our members. Terri reminded me that since it was to be a 12 x 12 inch square, it was a good way to practice more. This time we were asked to keep our squares to blues and/or browns.

12 x 12 inch Granny Squ

12 x 12 inch Granny Square

And then I found this bag pattern somewhere in the blog-oshpere or on Facebook or Ravelry. The pattern is here. It’s not in American crochet terms, which, I have learned are different from English/European (?) crochet terms so beware. I marched right out to my local Joann Fabrics and buy some cheap-o yarn to give it a go. I’d never followed a crochet pattern before and I didn’t know what the stitches were called. I found a tutorial on YouTube and off I went. My first attempt is in the “use it another day” bin because it didn’t look right. The second attempt is pretty darned good … in my humble opinion!

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I can even make a flower!

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The bag … lying down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was very pleased with my little flowers! They were to hide the rather ugly join that I had to make to get the handles attached to the bag. I think next time I would make the handles part of the body of the bag and leave it at that. BUT I love the little flowers and am glad to know how to make them … and add a couple of leaves on a couple of the handles and this is what they look like! I think it will become a gift this Christmas … stay tuned!IMG_3983Another project in the finished pile and now I can use the yarn to make a sampler blanket (baby sized) and learn a few more crochet stitches. Yay!

Gone knitting!

 

Learning Something New

This week I started a new job with a day of training and then “bam!” I hit the ground running. I am the Clinic Assistant at my local elementary school … what used to be the school nurse but public school budgets don’t have the budget to pay an RN so they train us to do the job under their supervision.

So, I’m learning a lot of new things. How to take in and administer medications for students in my school. How to deal with angry parents who didn’t educate themselves. How to follow new procedures. How to deal with “politics” in the office and how to create healthy boundaries so that we all do our jobs in a cooperative, collaborative and happy environment.

Today I taught myself something else new. I learned to crochet!

I learned it by watching this most excellent tutorial on Youtube! It’s provided from All Free Crochet (dot) com and Nastazia … check them out (since I can’t teach crochet just yet!)

My first attempt was nowhere near a square shape. The sides were all sorts of wonky.

First Attempts

First Attempt

It was supposed to be a washcloth or dishcloth but I didn’t have the proper size of crochet hook. My hook was somewhat smaller and so was my swatch … so we’ll call it a coaster! 🙂 I also used cotton rather than acrylic (because if my dishcloth had been dishcloth size, I would certainly not have wanted it to be acrylic … acrylic doesn’t really absorb! Anyway, my first attempt (which isn’t well photographed) looks much better here than it turned out. It was the most oddly shaped piece of work EVER! So, I frogged it and started again.

I’m super pleased with my second attempt!

Second Attempt

Second Attempt

My second swatch is a real square and it has fairly decent tension. Tah! Dah!

I guess I am going to have to take a trip to Joann’s now to buy some larger metal crochet hooks so I can keep learning … it is a lot quicker than knitting and some of the new patterns that I have been seeing (in crochet) are so cute. I have been threatening to learn for so long. It’s about time I finally just did it!

And now I am feeling proud!

I can crochet … the Queen Bee Knits and Crochets, too!

Gone shopping!