Crochet Coat Hanger

crochet coat hanger

Want to send an obtuse legislator a coat hanger to protest the latest round of ignorant, dangerous, and unjust abortion laws sweeping our nation, but know it won’t make it through the metal detector? Crochet one instead!

crochet coat hanger - chain

 

Crochet Coat Hanger

 

   Ch 40

   Row 1 – starting in 2nd ch from hook: 2 sc, sc2tog 4 times, sc inc 2 times, 5 sc, sc3tog, 10 sc, sc3tog, 6 sc

Fasten off

Attach last arm (using tail) to base in the back of the 10th and 11th stitches (from beginning) of round one

crochet coat hanger - sew

Block or flatten between two books while we’re still allowed to have them!

 

Make America Gay Again Crochet Flag Pattern

Make America Gay Again Crochet Flag

Make America Gay Again Crochet Flag

Did y’all see this tweet showing a “Make America Gay Again” flag in Aspen displayed by Pence’s neighbors while he was vacationing next door?

It got me thinking that it was probably a pretty easy flag to crochet, and that maybe folks might want to make one for their own driveway/ living room/ motorcade protest/ White House visit/ etc. (Or you can pick up the original, and maybe a matching pin, at Drump.wtf)

Please note this pattern does not include exact yarn amounts and gauge – but know this flag will be perfect with any gauge using up all the rainbow scraps in your house. You can trust me because I’ve never held a political office.  

FINISHED SIZE

Approximately 48″ x 34″ – your finished size will depend on the chosen yarn, your tension, and whether you inexplicably dropped 7 stitches along the way because you’re as irresponsible with your stitch count as Hobby Lobby is with artifact customs declarations.

SUPPLIES

  • 4.0 mm /Size G crochet hook
  • 8.0 mm /Size L crochet hook
  • Worsted-Weight Acrylic Yarn (I used partial skeins from my stash)
    • White (Caron One Pound in Bright White pictured- it won’t take that much yarn, but it was on sale)
    • Purple A (Big Twist Value Blueberry pictured)
    • Purple B (Big Twist Value Damson Purple pictured)
    • Blue A (Big Twist Value Royal Navy pictured)
    • Blue B (Red Heart Super Saver Navy pictured)
    • Green A (Big Twist Value Emerald pictured) 
    • Green B (Big Twist Value Lime pictured)
    • Yellow A (Big Twist Premium Gold pictured)
    • Yellow B (Red Heart  Super Saver Yellow pictured)
    • Orange A (Big Twist Pumpkin pictured)
    • Orange B (Red Heart  Super Saver Pumpkin pictured)
    • Red A (Red Heart  Super Saver Cherry Red pictured)
    • Red B (Big Twist Scarlet pictured)
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle
  • This picture of Doug Jones’ son giving Pence so much side eye

  ABBREVIATIONS

  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • maga – make america gay again

 

Make America Gay Again Crochet Flag in the street

INSTRUCTIONS 

Letters

Use G hook and white yarn. 

Before you start the flag, make the letters to ensure they fit within your stripes.  If you have the Uppercase Alphabet Pattern, you’re ready to go.  If you don’t, you can get it for *free* from Ravelry using the coupon code “PENCEISDANGEROUS” For maga, you will need:  6 As, 1 C, 2 Es, 2 Gs, 2 Is, 1K, 2 Ms, 1 N, 1 R, and 1 Y. You can, of course, write any message, such as: “WHAT RIGHT DO TWO PEOPLE WHO NEVER SERVED IN THE MILITARY HAVE TO BAN TRANS PEOPLE FROM SERVICE JUST TO SPREAD THEIR HATEFUL AND DISCRIMINATORY AGENDA” or “INSTEAD OF MISINTERPRETING PASSAGES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT TO CONDEMN A GROUP OF PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY LOVE, MAYBE YOU COULD SPEND A LITTLE TIME IN THE NEW TESTAMENT LEARNING TO LOVE EVERYONE, FEED THE POOR, AND HEAL THE SICK.” *You may need to add a few rows and chains for longer messages.* When finished with letters, weave in ends and set aside.

Flag

Flag is worked using double-stranded crochet.  Hold both strands together as you chain and work stitches. 

With L hook, ch 102 using Purple A & B

Row 1: dc in 3rd chain from hook, dc in each ch across (you will have 100 dc, one for each member of our Senate – whose deadlocks are broken by that feckless VP), ch 1,  turn 

Rows 2-6: dc in each dc, ch 1 (I always ch 1, even on dc because I like the look, but ch 2 is also great.  While we still have free will, choose whichever you like),  turn

Row 7: dc in each dc , switching yarn to Blue A & B on last dc, ch 1, turn (It may appear there are 8 rows of purple instead of 7 in the picture above.  You probably think I was watching V for Vendetta instead of carefully counting my rows, but you would be wrong because this photo is false news and doctored to discredit me)

*This is a great time to check if the letters fit inside the stripe.  If not, just add another row to each color.*   

Rows 8 – 13: dc in each dc, ch 1, turn 

Row 14: dc in each dc, switching yarn to Green A & B on last dc, ch 1, turn

Rows 15 – 20: dc in each dc, ch 1, turn 

Row 21: dc in each dc, switching yarn to Yellow A & B on last dc, ch 1, turn

Rows 22 – 27: dc in each dc, ch 1, turn 

Row 28: dc in each dc, switching yarn to Orange A & B on last dc, ch 1, turn

Rows 29 – 34: dc in each dc, ch 1, turn

Row 35: dc in each dc, switching yarn to Red A & B on last dc, ch 1, turn

Rows 36 – 41: dc in each dc, ch 1, turn 

Row 42: dc in each dc

Row 43: sl st across (this will make the finished edge stronger, like Michelle’s arms)  

Construction: Flip crochet flag over and pin letters to corresponding stripes.  The Uppercase Alphabet Pattern includes instructions on attaching letters (I used the backstitch method). 

Weave in ends.

You’re all done! Now hang that flag where your elected officials can see it! 

My cheesy yarnbomb

cheesy yarnbomb

There are yarnbombers who make pretty pieces, those who make political pieces, and those that make just plain crazy pieces… but me – I like mine cheesy.

cheesy yarnbomb - Hi, Jenny Brown

The idea for this cheesy yarnbomb started with a ball of light orange yarn that wasn’t quite right for my project.  For some reason it reminded me of cheese, and I whipped two squares up right away.

I made the granny square background with leftover fringe from my big crochet fail (which meant I had an end to weave every couple inches).  Then I used my number and letter patterns to create the word “Craft” and the “100% real cheesy” signs.  Last I crocheted over wire to make the “couples” cursive (that’s a technique that still needs some work, eh?).

cheesy yarnbomb - Hi, Jenny Brown

My favorite project consultant suggested adding eyes to the cheeses, which I think makes them look so sweet in love.  Originally I planned to melt pieces of plastic together to make custom wrappers, but then Erin reminded me that sandwich bags existed, and luckily, the cheese was a perfect fit. I was fretting about how to sew them to the background, but I tried Super Fabric Glue“, and it held perfectly.

cheesy yarnbomb - Hi, Jenny Brown

By this point I had fallen in love with this cheesy yarnbomb – and I was trying to think of any excuse to keep it forever.  But I knew that wasn’t right.  My knitting group friend KG suggested a local park, so Craft Husband and I checked it out.

cheesy yarnbomb - Hi, Jenny Brown

The park looked beautiful with autumn leaves falling slowly from the branches and crunching underfoot.  We followed the pedestrian bridge across the highway and back before I decided on this landing for the piece.  I love the idea of someone seeing it from the bottom of the ramp and running up to see what it is.

Bye,
Jenny Brown

PS – If you’re hungry for more punny yarnbombs, let me know in the comments below.

Charity Crochet: Baby Hats

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

If you’ve ever taken a small child to yoga, you’ve probably heard the sing-a-long mantra song “I am Happy.” The Babes, who has the lyrical talent of a young Weird Al Yankovic, has changed the lyrics from “I am happy / I am good” to “I am sweaty / I am good.” It really fits this time of year – even munching some kettle corn at the farmer’s market has the boy perspiring.

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

But sweaty or not, Erin was on a mission to find some models for my newest charity crochet donations.  Luckily we found a few who were the perfect size for these teeny hats (and later became a pretty tasty burrito). Thanks for the great photos, Erin!

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

And yes, fueled by the power of kettle corn, sweaty Babes did some modeling, too.

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

The knitted hats were sent to the maternity wing where the twins were born.  They were both given handmade hats when they were born because they were preemies, and I was so touched by the gesture.  Thank you, stranger, who made that day a little sweeter.

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

The crochet hats went to Sydney of @crochet4nicu13 and @lidsforkidsgold.

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

Sydney, who is 16, is collecting hats for kids who are hospitalized as part of earning her Girl Scout Gold Award.  She also donates 5 hats for every item sold in her Etsy shop.

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

I used a couple different patterns for these 10 hats, but you can get all the details to make your own in my Ravelry profile.  I recommend them all – they were really easy to follow and made such pretty hats!

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

For more information on items I’ve donated and ideas for projects you can try, check out the new Charity Crochet page.

Crochet Charity Hats - Hi, Jenny Brown

Bye,
Jenny Brown

PS – Before you ask, I double washed all the hats after we took them off these dirty, dirty vegetables.  We also washed the vegetables and ate them.

PPS – Yes, I know a post including yoga and the farmers’ market is very pretentious.  What did you expect for a tiny commune?

“Big Boy” Crochet Banner

Big Boy Crochet Banner - HiJennyBrown.com

Big Boy Crochet Banner - HiJennyBrown.comLately, our once little William has been insisting that he is a grown up.  He drinks “coffee” (water in a coffee cup). He plays video games (or at least yells at the controller).  He even works from home (by doing little chores).  And although his “grown-up” life is totally full, there’s nothing he’d rather do than ride that big yellow school bus with the rest of the kiddos and go to class (but only if it’s OK for mommy to sit right beside him).

Big Boy Crochet Banner - HiJennyBrown.com

Poor little William.  All the other kids are doing “First Day of School” photo shoots, and he’s left in the dust.

Big Boy Crochet Banner - HiJennyBrown.com

So, I decided to make him a little crochet banner that celebrated him, school or not.

Big Boy Crochet Banner - HiJennyBrown.com

It’s really easy to personalize this pattern with fun colors and a cute cord.  I used a simple white cord wrapped with leftover bright blue yarn to make sure everything coordinated. (You can make your own banner with the pattern here).

Big Boy Crochet Banner - HiJennyBrown.com

William loved seeing his name in “sho-shay” (his word for “crochet”).  It’s the perfect present for the summer months, when you just can’t make your favorite kiddos cute hats and blankets and mittens.

Big Boy Crochet Banner - HiJennyBrown.com

What’s your suggestion for cute little kids who aren’t quite ready for school?  Tell me in the comments or share on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Bye,
Jenny Brown

PS – Photos by Erin Markan of Folks Collected – thanks, Erin!

Crochet Baby Photo Prop Banner

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

As you may have seen in my newsletter or instagram, my sister had twins!  Emma and Owen were a little early, but they started eating and growing and thriving right away. I mean, can you handle the cuteness?

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

Of course, I want to crochet EVERYTHING for them, so I started with personalized Crochet Garlands.  I thought it would make the perfect crochet baby photo prop. The original pattern is for a larger banner, but I wanted to make something a little smaller for these tiny cuties. I used crochet thread instead of worsted yarn, and I think they turned out great.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

Making the banner was super easy (scroll down for tips for making your own), but taking the kiddos’ pictures was not.  My sister – who took all the pictures in this post – had a few challenges.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

First, after 8+ months of sharing space in close quarters, Owen and Emma like having plenty of personal space.  They even get a little combative about sharing a pic with each other.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

Which leads to – surprise! – some serious tears. (If seeing these sweet darlings cry upsets you, look at their synchronized leg lifts and have a giggle).

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

So then it was time to try some single shots…. first, Ms. Emma, who before the prop was giving full-on blue steel.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

But add the prop and you might as well forget it.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

And her brother is no better.  He’s feeling his look, but he is not feeling that crooked banner.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

Luckily, the banners are something their mama can use in a future photo shoot when they’re feeling a little more cooperative, or just as a sweet nursery decoration.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

While the pattern instructions are written for worsted weight yarn, it’s easy to modify it for crochet thread.  Just use a size 7/ 1.65mm hook for the flags and a 10 / 1.30mm hook for the letters.  For Emma’s banner, that’s the only change that I made to the pattern.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

If you’d like to make a banner more like Owen’s (no scalloped edge), it’s easy to modify the pattern.  Follow all instructions up to the trim.  Then, ch 41, starting at left of last flag with wrong side facing (for this banner, “n” would be first.): place hook underneath first pair of back loops. Pull yarn through back loops, yarn over, and pull yarn through both loops on hook. Then we deviate from the instructions.  Ch 21, then slide hook underneath the last pair of loops, yarn over, and pull yarn through both loops on hook.  You’ll continue with the instructions except when you reach a flag, then repeating single crocheting through first and last loops with 21 chains in between.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

When you reach the end of the banner, you will be working in the back of the chain.  Dc in the third chain from hook and every chain or sc to the end.  When you reach the other end, ch 1, turn, and sc in each dc.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

Fold flags in half, ensuring the last row of single crochets is facing the front of the banner.  Then, starting with the first flag, insert needle through first pair of loops below the trim.

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

Pull yarn through, then insert hook, in the opposite direction, through the next set of loops.  Continue until you reach the other side of the flag with the last pair of loops just below the trim.  (I used a contrasting thread, but you should use the same thread as the flag).

crochet photo prop - hijennybrown

And there you have it!  I hope you’ll make these for your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, neighbors, customers – whoever! And please share them using the hashtag #hijennybrown

Bye,
Jenny Brown

PS – Always be cautious when using a photo prop with a child – especially an infant.  Always have a “helper” to watch baby as you snap pictures. Never leave a prop with an unattended infant.  If using your banner for decoration, do not place it in or on a crib/ playpen.  Be sure it is fully secured and completely out of reach. 

Mandalas for Marinke

Mandalas for Marinke - Hi, Jenny Brown

8-3-2015, Hi Jenny Brown, Mandalas189

I’ve always loved Wink’s blog A Creative Being – not only are the crochet projects beautiful, colorful, and modern, but the text is riddled with smiley faces, exclamation points, and enthusiastic “taddah!”s. You could feel her excitement in every post.

Mandalas for Marinke - Hi, Jenny Brown

When I heard of Wink’s passing, I was shocked and so sad for her and her family.  I’m grateful that Kathryn of Crochet Concupiscence organized a project to collect mandalas made from Wink’s patterns.  The “Mandalas for Marinke” project was designed to honor Wink’s contributions to the world of crochet and increase depression and suicide awareness.  In times like these, I don’t have the right words, but I do have my crochet hook.  My contributions are made from her Spoke Mandala and Crochet Home Mandala patterns. (You can see all the contributions, as they are posted, by following the hashtag “#mandalasformarinke“)

Mandalas for Marinke - Hi, Jenny Brown

Wink herself used crochet to deal with her social anxiety and depression. As she told Kathryn in her book “Crochet Saved My Life,” the mixture of repetition and creativity made crochet the perfect hobby, and later, business.Mandalas for Marinke - Hi, Jenny Brown

“Crochet is basically repeating the same thing over and over again, and for me that flow really helps me get through the day. But at the same time, you have to keep thinking about what you’re doing, so it never gets boring. And you get to be creative while you’re at it – what more can you want?”

Mandalas for Marinke - Hi, Jenny Brown

If you are suffering with suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. They are open 24/7 and are ready to help you. You’re not alone.

Mandalas for Marinke - Hi, Jenny Brown

Bye,
Jenny Brown

PS – Photos by Erin Markan of Folks Collected.  Thanks, Erin!

Crochet Puppy Love

Crochet Puppy Love - HiJennyBrown

Crochet Puppy Love - HiJennyBrown

A few months ago, I was working on a yarny community project when I met Anushka.  She’s a thoughtful and smart middle-schooler who was just learning to crochet from her mom.  At first, she struggled (as we all have) to get her chain straight and her single crochets working in the same direction… but all of a sudden it clicked, and you could see she had the makings of a great freeform crocheter. The next time I saw her, she was making up her own flower patterns.  And the next time she had a Jo-Ann’s haul that had me jealous.

Crochet Puppy Love - HiJennyBrown

And the last time, she gave me this bear.  Can you believe it?  She hasn’t been crocheting long at all, and yet here she is doing complicated amigurumi when she should still be making simple squares and circles.  She said she watched a YouTube how-to video and made it just for me.  Needless to say, I was floored.

Crochet Puppy Love - HiJennyBrownAnd of course, I had to reciprocate.  I found a pattern for the “Tammy” Puppy Amigurumi by Mei Li Lee, and this cute crochet puppy was born.  Her head was a lot fuller (I have to admit I didn’t *completely* follow the pattern), but I like his hollow cheeks and weak chin.  That, combined with the bigger eyes give him a kind of melancholy look that I love…but of course, we’ll let Anushka be the judge of that.  I stuffed him with a knee-high full of poly pellets instead of fiberfil (which might be another reason for his weak features) so he could stand up on a table or dresser.

Crochet Puppy Love - HiJennyBrown

Thanks again, Anushka! I can’t wait to see what you make next.

Bye,
Jenny Brown

PS – Photos by Erin Markan. Aren’t they great? Thanks, Erin!

How to Block Crochet… Kinda

how to block crochet...kinda - hi, jenny brown

how to block crochet...kinda - hi, jenny brownYou know that feeling when you finally finish crocheting an impossible pattern, weave in a nearly insurmountable pile of ends, and wonder…how can I make this process longer and more frustrating?  Well, then blocking is for you!  There are plenty of reasons to block crochet pieces – to help them fit better, to show off a fancy stitch pattern, or to justify the $25 you spent on blocking wires.  Below are some super helpful tips on how to block crochet.

1. Be honest: do you really need to block it?

Blocking crochet will take the wrinkly piece you’ve been slaving over for months and help it reach its full potential – but news flash, it’s not that fun.  So before you even get started, decide if you really, really, really need to block your piece.  Maybe you can just lay it upside down on a table and push it a little with your hand and hope that some healing shiatsu magic will flatten it out (my personal favorite).  Maybe you can just put it in the dryer, and if it doesn’t turn out, pretend that it ended up in there accidentally.  Or maybe you can put it in a pile with other pieces and hope that they’ll all encourage each other to magically smooth out (I lied, this is my real favorite). Try wasting some time coming up with your own technique.

how to block crochet...kinda - hi, jenny brown

2. Buy unnecessary items

A quick googlation will find you tons of blocking pins and boards and stiffeners.  I strongly suggest buying them all and storing them deep in your already overflowing craft room…but you don’t need to.  Most pins are rust proof (the only thing you really need to worry about), and you can make your own blocking board with a piece of classy cardboard covered with an old towel (if you’re blocking with water) or waxed paper (if you’re using starch). Or just pin to your ironing board…it’s about time you use it for something.

Below is a dry blocking technique colloquially known as “I’m too lazy to find a piece of cardboard and dig through the towels, so I’ll just pin it to this corkboard dry and hope that does something.”

how to block crochet...kinda - hi, jenny brown3. Make it harder (or not)

Most of the time you’ll just use water to soften up your piece before holding it in place with no fewer than 759 pins, but sometimes you’ll want to stiffen the piece up a bit.  I like to use non-aerosol spray starch because it’s the only kind available at my local supermarket.  If you just want a little stiffness, you can wet the piece down with water first, then after pinning, spray a little starch on top.  Or, if you’re trying to create a doily that can stand up by itself (true story), you can wet it completely with starch 4 times, using 2 full bottles, then paint it with watered down glue.  I don’t suggest that.

how to block crochet...kinda - hi, jenny brown

4. Regret the results

This is the part where you realize that you didn’t really do your best.  Did you only get the piece kinda wet because you felt like that would probably still work?  Did you pin one side really tight and the other side kind of floppy?  Did you, in a moment of pure exasperation, iron it flat as a melted pancake? Worst of all, did you punk out and only use 500 pins? Well, no worries.  Remember that pile of unblocked pieces?  You can just put that puppy right back in there and try again another day.

how to block crochet...kinda - hi, jenny brown

I hope you got some really helpful tips, but if you want to block something properly, I suggest checking out this tutorial by Annie’s Craft Store.

Bye,
Jenny Brown

Pom-Poms Pom Bomb

Pom-Pom Pom bomb - Hi, Jenny Brown

Pom-Pom Pom bomb - Hi, Jenny Brown Last October, I signed up for a class with Kim Werker, Betsy Greer, and Leanne Prain in Brooklyn (where I serendipitously met internet friend Kelly of Our Secret Treehouse). Afterward I tried to make non-awkward small talk with my craft heroes, and Leanne mentioned that a great way to get kids involved in yarnbombing is to let them make pom-poms.  I tucked that in the back of my mind for just the right project.

Ugly creature class photo! #mightyugly #makemendreflect

A photo posted by Kim Werker (@kpwerker) on

Fast forward to this spring: I was hanging with the folks of Metuchen Yarnbombing, coming up with ideas for a yarnbomb booth at the town’s upcoming art festival, when I blurted out “pom-poms!” When our first plan was denied due to the possibility of irreparable damage to foliage (???), Jen bought the perfect kid-sized fence to cover in yarny cuteness. On Friday night, our crew gathered at the appropriate street corner and looked over the sample pom-poms we each made.  It had been sticky and hot all day, there weren’t many folks walking around, and I figured we were in for an evening of sitting around winding yarn.   Pom-Pom Pom bomb - Hi, Jenny Brown I remember asking a group of teenagers if they wanted to try making a pom-pom…  Pom-Pom Pom bomb - Hi, Jenny Brown And then, the droves… Pom-Pom Pom bomb - Hi, Jenny BrownFor the next 3 hours, I repeated the key phrases “Don’t wrap too tight or your fingers will fall off,” “Are you safe with scissors?” and “It’s OK if you cut me, but let’s be careful so we don’t hurt anyone else” again and again.  I’m not afraid to put scissors or needles or pins into the hands of newbie crafters, but there was such a crowd, and it was getting darker by the minute. Luckily, we made it through the entire night without a single injury. IMG_5193(There was also the added danger of pom-pom projectiles, as some genius told the kids that the only way to get a pom-pom to fluff up was the throw it in the air.  I even told the super shy kids that the higher they threw it, the fluffier it would be.  I can’t get enough of kids making that face that just says “Really?”) Pom-Pom Pom bomb - Hi, Jenny Brown I wish I could show you a picture of the fence completely covered in poms, but truthfully, we let most of the kids walk away with their new little buddies.  How could I judge someone for falling in love with their first little yarn creation? Pom-Pom Pom bomb - Hi, Jenny BrownI was completely exhausted by the time we left, but as I told CH on the way home, “I wish I could do this every day.”  So if you need a crazy lady to come tell your kids “If you keep wrapping the yarn so tight, your fingers will fall off,” give me a call.  Otherwise, you can make your own pom-poms with kids with just their hands or even a fork at home.

Bye,
Jenny Brown