Foundation Stitch + Infinity Scarf

Building the groundwork for limitless possibilities.

While browsing Pinterest I have noticed many pins for the Foundation Stitch and the Infinity Scarf. So I decided to test out both at the same time.

I like to live dangerously.

The foundation stitch is where you crochet the first and second rows at the same time. For those of you who hate the problems that the first and second row might pose, this is an amazing alternative.  Recently, I have been teaching some of my co-workers how to crochet and they were having the hardest time with the second row.  I want to introduce them to the foundation stitch, to give them options, but since they are beginners I think it might just blow their minds and I do not want them to give up just yet.

The infinity scarf  is a long scarf that is connected at the end. It ends up being a giant circular scarf that can be twisted (so it looks like an infinity ∞) and folded over to be draped around the neck multiple times. I like this a lot since double the scarf means double the warmth, and my neck prefers to be warm. You’re welcome neck.

Foundation Stitch:

I came across a blog that did a really good job explaining the Foundation Stitch – Doris Chan Crochet. In particular, she mentions that as you are crocheting you will notice that each stitch comes out sideways or “upside down”. If it wasn’t for that comment I would have assumed I was doing it wrong, thrown it in the corner, and watched Netflix instead. As I got the hang of the process it looked as if I was “making a long, skinny strip that is one stitch wide”. This ends up being the length of the scarf, not the width.

To start, create a slip stitch (sl st), then chain (ch) 2 if you want to do a single crochet (sc)/3 if you want to do a double crochet (dc) row/4 if you want to do a triple crochet (tc) row, etc. To keep it simple, my instructions will stick with the single crochet stitches.

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Insert the hook into the second chain from the hook, yarn over (yo) and pull through the loop, then yarn over again and pull through one loop (as if you were doing a chain – this ends up being the equivalent of the first row), yarn over one more time and pull through both loops on the hook (this is the equivalent of the second row).

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Yay! You did it!

To start the next stitch, you will look for the chain you created that is the equivalent of the first row and insert your hook there. In the blog I cited, her instructions are “The following stitch is worked under the forward 2 loops of the stem of the previous stitch (into the “chain”)”. Use whichever instructions make the most sense to you.

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After you have inserted your hook through the two loops, yarn over, pull the yarn through the loop, yarn over again and pull through to create the second chain of the “first row”.

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Yarn over one more time and pull through both loops on the hook to create the second stitch of the “second row”.

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You repeat this pattern until you reach the desired length of the scarf. Since the foundation stitch only applies to the first row, every row afterwards you treat normally.

Note: if you notice that the strip of stitches you are creating curves in then you might want to loosen your stitches, in particular when you are creating the chain that ends up being the “first row”. This should lessen the amount of curvature.

Here is a good example where you can see the strip curving and when I start to loosen my stitches and it becomes straight again:

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If you are like me and using the foundation stitch in conjunction with the infinity scarf pattern there are a couple of options for you:

1. Just continue the scarf as you would any other, and when you complete it, use a yarn needle to stitch the two ends together. While this is the easier option, the downside is that it may not look seamless.

2. Connect the ends of the scarf together row by row as you go. While this looks more seamless, it does take a few extra steps.

Infinity Scarf:

You will want to make sure that the chain isn’t twisted (unless, of course, you want the twist to counteract the twisting that will occur when you wrap the scarf around you later), insert the hook through the two loops, yarn over and pull the yarn through the loop (as if you were still repeating the pattern and creating one more foundation stitch on this row). Bring the two ends together and insert the hook through the two loops of the first chain of the entire row, yarn over, pull the yarn through one loop on the hook (essentially doing a slip stitch).

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Next insert the hook through the two loops at the top of the end stitch, yarn over and pull through all loops on the hook.

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To start the next row, chain one and single crochet the length of the scarf. When you reach the end of that row, use the slip stitch to connect the first and last stitch of that row, chain one and start the next row.

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Continue doing this until you reach the desired width of the scarf, at which point use the slip stitch then tie off the piece and weave in the end of the yarn.

While I did have some yarn left, it wasn’t enough to make another row, so I crocheted my first flower and attached it over the seam.

Here is my finished product using these methods with a festive, burgundy, chunky yarn that I found on sale:

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Good luck with your crocheting adventures!

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Foxy Request

Warning: lots of step-by-step photos currently without instructions (I will get to it… eventually).

Upon hearing that I make crocheted hats of many different animals, a co-worker asked me to make a fox hat. I haven’t finished it quite yet but I thought I should at least show my progress since I have been negligent with my posts (shame on me).

I started by doing my usual research (aka a quick search on Bing) and found pictures of real foxes and compared them to fox hats currently visible on the internet. I then tried to combine the aspects of the best ones to make something both accurate-looking and cute/cuddly.

I wanted the hat to have some depth too, similar to the fins on the Shark Beanie (it’s so cool that I just linked to my own page), so I decided the ears and the snout of the fox would be 3-D.

Since I haven’t typed up the pattern yet (once again, apologies) I figured I would just put all the pictures up and leave it to your imagination how I did it.

These are the colors I used:

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I tried to get the color placement for the ears as accurate as possible and then attached the outside and inside pieces using a yarn needle:

Fox ears

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When they were securely attached I then stuffed it full of extra yarn to give the ears depth:

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I then started working on the snout (which took forever to figure out). I did the black nose first using a similar technique to the teeth of the Sharks hat. Next, I made a magic ring and worked my way out, changing the colors at particular intervals on each round to get the snout to be orange/brown on the top and white underneath. I then attached the black nose with the yarn needle and stuffed this piece with extra yarn:

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The adult beanie follows the same pattern as every other one I have made (will include pattern later) but I had to change colors for the last few rows so the snout would line up and create the white chest/underbelly look I wanted:

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I need to figure out a way to make the white area more… smooth. I’m open to suggestions.

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Using a yarn needle, I then attached the snout and one ear to the hat:

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And this is where I left off. Right now it is only half done, but I think you can see where I am going with it.

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It was suggested that I should also add a tail to the back… but I’m not sure how I feel about that. Any advice?

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Sharks Beanie

My hockey team is the San Jose Sharks, so when I saw a crochet shark hat pattern on Repeat Crafter Me I just had to make it.

I made a few alterations to her original pattern, such as simplifying the eyes to large, plain black buttons so they are less “googly” looking and adding a back tail (caudal fin).

I have included the pattern for the back fin below, but I should probably add a video as well so that you can see my instructions in action.

Shark Beanie

Side view of Shark beanie

Back fin instructions:

Make sure you have a good amount of the grey yarn that you used for the rest of the hat, since the back fin is comprised of two smaller parts that are joined together and then stuffed with more yarn (if you come up with a better or simpler way to create this piece then please share it with me and the world).

Start by creating a magic ring

Round (Rnd) 1: 4 single crochets (sc) into the magic ring, join with slip stitch (sl st) into the 1st sc of rnd 1, then chain (ch) 1 – should have 4 sc

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Rnd 2: sc in the next 4 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 2, then ch 1 – should have 4 sc

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Rnd 3: sc in the next 4 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 3, then ch 1 – should have 4 sc

Rnd 4: *2 sc in the first sc, sc in the next sc*, repeat from * to *, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 4, then ch 1 – should have 6 sc

Rnd 5: sc in the next 6 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 5, then ch 1 – should have 6 sc

Rnd 6: sc in the next 6 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 6, then ch 1 – should have 6 sc

Rnd 7: *2 sc in the first sc, sc in the next 2 sc*, repeat from * to *, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 7, then ch 1 – should have 8 sc

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Rnd 8: sc in the next 8 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 8, then ch 1 – should have 8 sc

Rnd 9: sc in the next 8 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 9, then ch 1 – should have 8 sc

Rnd 10: *2 sc in the first sc, sc in the next 3 sc*, repeat from * to *, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 10, then ch 1 – should have 10 sc

Rnd 11: sc in the next 10 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 11, then ch 1 – should have 10 sc

Rnd 12: sc in the next 10 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 12, then ch 1 – should have 10 sc

Rnd 13: *2 sc in the first sc, sc in the next 4 sc*, repeat from * to *, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 13, then ch 1 – should have 12 sc

Rnd 14: sc in the next 12 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 14, then ch 1 – should have 12 sc

Rnd 15: sc in the next 12 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 15, then tie off – should have 12 sc

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This will be the top part of the back fin. The bottom part will be similar but shorter in length (this will be done by increasing the amount of stitches per row at a bit of a faster pace than the top part.

Start off the same way by creating a magic ring

Rnd 1: 4 single crochets (sc) into the magic ring, join with slip stitch (sl st) into the 1st sc of rnd 1, then chain (ch) 1 – should have 4 sc

Rnd 2: sc in the next 4 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 2, then ch 1 – should have 4 sc

Rnd 3: *2 sc in the first sc, sc in the next sc*, repeat from * to *, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 3, then ch 1 – should have 6 sc

Rnd 4: sc in the next 6 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 4, then ch 1 – should have 6 sc

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Rnd 5: *2 sc in the first sc, sc in the next 2 sc*, repeat from * to *, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 5, then ch 1 – should have 8 sc

Rnd 6: sc in the next 8 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 6, then ch 1 – should have 8 sc

Rnd 7: *2 sc in the first sc, sc in the next 3 sc*, repeat from * to *, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 7, then ch 1 – should have 10 sc

Rnd 8: sc in the next 10 sc, join with sl st into  the 1st sc of rnd 8, then ch 1 – should have 10 sc

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You can continue on, following the same pattern if you would like the bottom piece to be a bit longer, but I like the way it looks more at this length. The only difficulty is that the bottom piece ends with 10 sc while the top piece ends with 12 sc. This means that when I crochet the two pieces together I will have to double up on two of the top stitches.

At this point, I choose to continue on without closing off the piece.I first line up the two parts so I get a good idea of the placement and shape I want the fin to take.

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You will notice that in order to get a fin shape the gap between the two pieces will get wider and wider. I wanted this part to have a different look to it so I used single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), triple (treble) crochet (tc), and quadruple crochet (qc) stitches to attach the two pieces while still progressively getting taller.

So now I removed the yarn off of the hook, put the hook through the edge sc on the top piece, yarn over (yo) and pull it through to create a slip stitch (sl st).

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Remove the yarn from the hook, insert the hook through the next sc on the top piece, grab the loop and pull the yarn through. Do a sc into the first sc on the bottom piece.

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Have I lost you so far? I really need to make a video of this (because I made it up as I went). Basically what you want to work the stitches along the bottom piece while simultaneously attaching it to the top piece.

Once again, remove the yarn from the hook, insert the hook through the next sc on the top piece, grab the loop and pull the yarn through. This time, instead of doing a single crochet you will do a double crochet (dc) into the next available sc on the bottom piece. (A double crochet is when you yarn over the hook before inserting the hook into the next stitch. You then yarn over (yo) and pull the yarn through only 2 of the loops on the hook. Yarn over again and pull it through the 2 remaining loops to complete the double crochet.)

Once again, remove the yarn from the hook, insert the hook through the next sc on the top piece, grab the loop and pull the yarn through. Here is a breakdown of that in case it doesn’t make sense:

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It creates this twisty look that I’m rather fond of.

For the next one, remove the yarn from the hook, insert the hook through the next sc on the top piece, grab the loop and pull the yarn through. This time, instead of doing a double crochet (dc) you will do a triple or treble crochet (tc) into the next available sc on the bottom piece. (A triple crochet is when you yarn over the hook twice before inserting the hook into the next stitch. You then yarn over and pull the yarn through only 2 of the loops on the hook. Yarn over again and pull it through the next 2 loops, yarn over one more time and pull it through the last 2 loops to complete the triple crochet.)

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Following this pattern, remove the yarn from the hook, insert the hook through the next sc on the top piece, grab the loop and pull the yarn through. This time, instead of doing a triple or treble crochet (tc) you will do a quadruple crochet (qc) into the next available sc on the bottom piece.

Remove the yarn from the hook, insert the hook through the next sc on the top piece, grab the loop and pull the yarn through. To make up for the difference stitch amounts on the top and the bottom, you will create another qc but do so in the same stitch as the previous qc.

(Yay! You are now at the half way point! You will do the same for the other side but now in reverse order, meaning you will create 2 more qc in the same bottom piece sc but different sc on the top, 1 tc, 1 dc, 1 sc, and a slip stitch (sl st) before reaching the beginning point.)

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I then tied off the end and took a nice long nap because that was way more difficult than it should be. Like I said, if you come up with a better way, please share. Until then, this is the best I’ve got.

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I lined up the piece to where I wanted to attach it to my hat. I found that it looks the best when the tail meets the bottom of the hat, but it really is up to you.

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I then stuffed the fin with extra yarn to plump it up and then I attached it to the back of the hat using a yarn needle.

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Since the tail is a bit heavy and is a moving piece on the hat I made sure to secure it tightly and with copious amounts of yarn.

Please let me know if you have any advice on how I can make the instructions more clear.

I have made a few of these hats for friends who love the San Jose Sharks as much as me :)

Out with my friend, watching the Sharks play on TV at a local bar:

Watching the Sharks

A game I went to a while ago with a co-worker friend of mine:

This is Sharks territory!

A guy at the Shark tank even liked my hats so much he said he would pass along the photos of my work to the Head of Sharks merchandise! I don’t think that will lead anywhere but it’s always nice to get compliments.

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Remembrance Day Poppies

At 6:55 tonight I read this blog post:

http://offthehookcrochets.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/remembrance-poppies/

I thought her idea to crochet poppies for Remembrance Day was wonderful but she did not include a pattern. I am sure other crocheters out there would love to make these poppies and donate their proceeds to the Royal British Legion as well so, with that in mind, I spent the next thirty minutes or so figuring out how to make them. Here is how I did it:

Red yarn
Size “H” crochet hook
Yarn needle
Any size black button and black sewing thread
One safety pin

With the yarn:
Magic ring/loop/circle, yarn over and pull through, then chain (ch) 2,
9 double crochets (dc) into magic ring, slip stitch into the first dc, pull yarn tail to tighten the magic ring, then ch 2
Make 2 dcs in the next 2 stitches (so 4 dcs total), followed by 1 dc in the next stitch, ch 2, slip stitch into same stitch as the previous dc, ch 2,
2 dcs in the next 2 stitches, followed by 1 dc in the next stitch, ch 2, slip stitch into same stitch as the previous dc, ch 2,
2 dcs in the next 2 stitches, followed by 1 dc in the next stitch, ch 2, slip stitch into same stitch as the previous dc, cut the yarn with approximately six inches (~ 15 cm) and pull the yarn completely through and tighten the slip stitch.

The next step is to sew a black button to center of the poppy (can be any size or shape you want to get the look you are after).

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Next, using the yarn needle, weave the excess yarn into the poppy (heading towards the center of the poppy because you will use this yarn to hold the safety pin in place).

Keep the safety pin in the center and sew it into place, going over maybe three or four times and even through the safety pin’s loop to keep it extra secure.

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And then you are done! YAY!

I had my grandmother model it for me :)

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I plan on selling these in the future and will donate my proceeds to the Royal British Legion. :) I hope whoever uses this pattern will do the same.

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Cheers!

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Baby Love by Dana

A friend of mine who is currently living in Australia has been a big influence on me and my crochet aspirations. Her name is Dana and she sells her crocheted crafts on Etsy. Here is the link to her page:
Baby Love by Dana
I bought some hand made crocheted hats from her a few months back and I wear them as often as I can (especially the Ninja Turtle hat)

Ninja Turtle Hat

She probably doesn’t make too much money (considering she gave me an “unemployment discount”) but money has never been the point (although it is nice). She just enjoys making things, as do I.
If you get the opportunity please take a look at her page, especially if there is an upcoming baby shower in your future – you might find the perfect gift. :)

Winnie the Pooh baby hat and diaper cover
I mean, how cute is this?

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Red Heart Yarn – Testing out Free Patterns

First, I must apologize for taking a hiatus. I recently started a new job (YAY) and now I have very little time to devote to my crafts. :( But I shall (word)press on.

When you buy Red Heart yarn sometimes the skein (NOT scane) will have a free pattern on the inside of the label. I do not purposely look for skeins with patterns but I always get excited when I accidentally buy one. It’s like getting the prize at the bottom of the cereal box.
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YAY! A blanket pattern! I like blankets!

The problem is that sometimes the cereal box prize is… blah (like a flip book or a top). Same thing applies to these patterns because sometimes the pictures are so small that you do not realize that the patterns are awful until you actually start making it. Case and point:

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There are way better slipper patterns out there (http://www.candypow.com/p/candypow-slipper-text-pattern.html)

I’d like to note here that you don’t need to purchase yarn to get some of these patterns – they are on the redheart website (http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns).

Before I fully dive into a new pattern and dedicate all my time to a new project I like to test it out first. This pattern calls for three different colors of yarn, which I think is overkill for just testing out a pattern, so instead I am just going to use the same color.

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Now this pattern is for a blanket and I want to scale it down a bit (there’s no way I’m doing 181 chains). I only chained 17 (which ended up to 7 of the patterns “clusters”).

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Also, I don’t know about other people (I’d like to hear your preferences in comments below), but I don’t like it when patterns put RS (right side) and WS (wrong side) as part of the pattern. I prefer the patterns that put “turn” when you need to turn it over. It’s simpler. And I have a problem remembering what is the right side and wrong side anyways. I would have to put some sort of marker on it to remind me and, to be honest, I can’t be bothered.

Anyways, I started following the pattern and I really like the “cluster” look that comes out (Note to self: make a scarf with this cluster).

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But then at the beginning of Round 2 (Rnd 2) I end up with this giant hole that I do not like. Blankets shouldn’t have large holes – it defeats the purpose.

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I get that the curved shape will be at the edges of the blanket but I just don’t like huge holes, so I don’t think this is the pattern for me. I kept going with it anyways to finish Round 3 (Rnd 3) and this is the result:

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If I kept going with it (Rnds 4-6) I would end up with another outer ring and, if making a blanket, would have created long oval-shaped strips. You then attach all the strips together to make a blanket. Maybe in the future I will come back to this pattern but right now it’s not high up on my list.

Have any of you gotten a pattern and it just didn’t turn out the way you thought it would? What did you do with the project? Give it away? Take it out and reuse the yarn on something else?

Sometimes I feel obligated to complete a project that I started, even if it doesn’t look the way I want or make me feel happy when I am working on it. I really need to stop this since I want to feel proud after I complete a project, not sad that I wasted my time.

Have you made this type of Mile-A-Minute blanket before? And “Mile-A-Minute” is so misleading, more like “An Inch-A-Minute”.

Hope you all have a nice weekend. :)

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Your first and most recent crafts – taking an inventory

To keep myself organized for this blog I thought it might be a good idea to keep track of all the materials I have accumulated, all the projects I am currently working on, and all the completed items I have made thus far.

Finding and laying everything out is a challenge itself but it will allow me to visually see how my work has improved over time as I practiced and improved my techniques. For example: scarves that used to taper in are now straight.

I think it is important for everyone to look back at their past and current work and spend some time admiring the progress that was made.

It would be interesting to catalog pictures of the very first and most recent craft projects that people have made. Would anyone be willing to share their projects or help me with this?

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