Valentine’s Day Wrap-up

While I don’t currently have a significant other in my life, I do have two cute-as-a-button nieces who will always be my Valentines. I live in southern California and they live in northern California, so I decided to send them some candy and little gifties for Valentine’s Day. My sister-in-law’s birthday is on the 17th, so I can conveniently send everything in the same (only slightly late) package.

Below are some pics of the two coffee cup cozies I made for my sister-in-law to accompany her Starbucks gift certificate. As the mother of two kids under four, she appreciates a good cup o’ joe. To quote Dave Foley’s character in NewsRadio: “I don’t know what caffeine is, but I’m pretty sure that without it, your head explodes.”

The one on the left is the “Reusable Hot Coffee-Cup Sleeve from Joelle Hoverson’s More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and the one on the right is the “Boxy Cozy,” a free Ravelry download pattern from Leah Michelle Designs.

For my niece Lauren, who is currently sporting an adorable “Cindy Lou Who” topknot, I crocheted a bunch of little ponytail holders in a variety of colors, some with flower buttons attached. Basically, you just take a regular elastic ponytail holder and crochet around it in a shell stitch, ruffle, loops, or even a simple single or double crochet (click here for a video tutorial). If you string the buttons (I used ones with shanks) on the yarn before you start crocheting, you just slide them up to the ponytail holder when you want to attach them. Easy. The finished holders were super cute, but, sadly, you’ll have to take my word for it since I forgot to take photos of them before I put the package in the mail.

For the family, I made this (very badly photographed) crocheted heart garland they can hang over their fireplace or the entryway to the living room, or wherever. I used three different heart patterns and multiple yarn scraps either from my “remnants bag” (I can never bring myself to throw out yarn until there’s only a microscopic bit left) or from several years ago when I subscribed to the Yarn of the Month Club for awhile. Details below. (Again, pardon the photography — I was running out the door to make the post office cutoff time and I underexposed the photos.)

Crocheted Heart Garland
This is the Heart Garland, gathered and tied together in loops. Peeking out on the left, you can see one of the small white hearts at the ends of the garland.

[Note: the following paragraph is only for the hard-core crochet geek. Welcome, kindred spirits!] If you’re at all interested, here are the details on each heart, from left to right (all the patterns are free on Ravelry):

  • “Modernes herz — Modern Heart” by Carmen Rosemann: one strand of Lily Sugar ‘n’ Cream (color: hot pink) and one strand Conjoined Creations Pastimes (color: “Clue”), size H hook
  • “Modernes herz — Modern Heart” by Carmen Rosemann: two strands Tahki Cotton Classic (color 3447) and one strand Suss Perle Cotton (sugar pink), size J hook
  • “Crocheted Hearts Motif” by Luba Davies: one strand Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky (color 16002), size J hook
  • “Valentine’s Day Heart Crochet Pattern” by Petals to Picots, size large: one strand of Rowan Cashsoft Chunky (unknown color, deep red), size J hook
  • “Heart Crochet Pattern” by Petals to Picots: Rowan Cotton Rope (color 063, lavender), size J hook
  • “Heart Crochet Pattern” by Petals to Picots: two strands of Exceed Wool L Print by Hamanaka (color 402, variegated light pink/white, red, purple, self-striping), size I hook
  • “Crocheted Hearts Motif” by Luba Davies: two strands Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (color 340042, raspberry) and one strand Conjoined Creations Pastimes (color: “Clue”), size I hook
  • “Modernes herz — Modern Heart” by Carmen Rosemann: two strands of Lion Brand Wool Ease (color 139, “Dark Rose Heather”) and one strand of Suss Shine (color: “rose quartz”), size I hook
  • “Valentine’s Day Heart Crochet Pattern” by Petals to Picots, size large: one strand of Crystal Palace Puffin Print (color: 0204, “Dotty Grapes”), size H hook
  • “Valentine’s Day Heart Crochet Pattern” by Petals to Picots, size large: two strands of Tahki Cotton Classic (unknown number, deep red), size I hook
  • “Modernes herz — Modern Heart” by Carmen Rosemann: two strands of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille (unknown color of coral pink), size J hook

The mini-hearts at the beginning and end of the garland were the “small” version of the “Valentine’s Day Heart Crochet Pattern” by Petals to Picots. The rope was chained using two strands of Lily Sugar ‘n’ Cream in ecru with a size J hook; there were 42 chains in between each heart. Phew! Over and out.

And wishing you all a belated Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Elf Hat for Ella

Pointy Elf HatSometimes the titles of books can be misleading, especially when they make promises like “these are the kinds of patterns you can make as last-minute gifts.” Yeah, right, I thought, as I eagerly plunked down money for Joelle Hoverson’s beautifully produced Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and then again for its equally gorgeous More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. Even though I felt an irresistible urge to own both books, I must admit I was skeptical about their titles’ promises: “You don’t know how last-minute I can get!” I dared them silently.

However, this is the fourth project I’ve completed from the two books and so far they more than live up to their promise. When the pattern says it’ll take 2-4 hours, it takes 2-4 hours. I started yesterday afternoon and I was finished by evening. The other project I’ve done is the “Soft as a Cloud Cowl” (twice) from the second book and the “Airy Scarf” by Brenda Overstrom from the first. Muddy picture of said scarf below:

Airy Scarf by Brenda OverstromThis most recent project, “Pointy Elf Hat,” was a snap. I knitted it with size 13 needles in Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick (my “go to” bulky yarn) in “blossom” and the heart was crocheted with a size I hook and one strand of Suss Coolaid (discontinued) and one strand of perle cotton. I found the heart pattern (free!) on Ravelry, of course. It’s from Kara Gunza’s blog “Petals to Picots” and it’s called “Valentine’s Day Heart Crochet Pattern.”

When I look at this hat, I’m reminded of Stephen Colbert’s running joke about George W. Bush: “Great president? Or, the greatest president?” Is this an adorable hat? Or, the most adorable hat?” It will, of course, look even more adorable (if that’s possible) on the world’s cutest niece, Ella.

This is the other hat I sent in my Valentine’s Day package:

Jester Hat for EllaI finished this years ago (2004?) and I guess I was just waiting for the perfect little girl to give it to. Soon she’ll have a little sister to share her hat with — or maybe Auntie Kate will have to make another one? The pattern is “Tri-Corner Hat” by Cathy Campbell for Crystal Palace. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!