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.

“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. 

St. Patrick’s Day: Crochet T-shirt Yarn Koozie

J Crochet Koozie - hijennybrown.com

J Crochet Koozie - hijennybrown.comI’ve been looking for a good excuse to give t-shirt yarn a try, and lucky for me, Promo Analyzer sent me a whole box of goodies…

promo box - hijennybrown.com…including a t-shirt perfect for cutting up.

tshirt yarn - hijennybrown.com

I used this tutorial by Upcycled Stuff  to cut the shirt, and here’s where I should mention the things I did wrong.  #1. I used a shirt with a seam. In my defense, that’s the shirt I was given, and I kinda like the look of the raveled edges poking through.  If you don’t, you know what to do.

cutting tshirt - hijennybrown.com

#2. I still haven’t bought a new rotary cutter, even though that pink one will occasionally pop its wheel.  (I close my eyes every time I retract it, as if that will save me.)

tshirt yarn - hijennybrown.com

#2. during the last step, where you pull the yarn to hide the cut edges, I may have been a little too aggressive and created some extra ends to weave in, and you know how I love that.  t-shirt yarn koozie - hijennybrown.com

Because I was making the coozie to fit a specific water bottle, I made a chain a stitch smaller than the circumference of the bottle, then I worked in the round using single crochets until I ran out of yarn.  Of course, I had to applique a quick “J” to mark it as mine using the Uppercase Alphabet pattern.  It’s the perfect touch to keep your St. Patrick’s Day Guinness out of the hands of your grabby CH.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day,
Jenny Brown

PS – here’s a sneak peek at the other goodness I created (including a cute shamrock from B. Hooked’s pattern). 

Promo Analyzer recraft - hijennybrown.comThe full deets will be on promoanalyzer.com soon! 

Photos by Erin Markan of Folks Collected

Personalized Crochet Coffee Sleeve

J Coffee Cup Sleeve - HiJennyBrown

One of the great things about going to Michelle Ward’s Creative Live class (besides eating my weight in vegetarian tacos) was meeting some amazing people, including Jen of Jen & Company. Hi, Jen!

Jen asked if I would make her a crochet coffee sleeve and pinned this pattern.  If you watched the class, you know she looks amazing in coral, so this one (recognize the yarn?) should go well with her outfits.

Crochet Coffee Sleeve - HiJennyBrown

That texture is just the best.

Crochet Cup Sleeve - HiJennyBrown

Of course, I couldn’t just make one.  I also made a purple one (recognize that yarn?) with her name in lilac.

Jen Crochet Coffee Sleeve - HiJennyBrown

It was so hard to pack it up – I mean, I’m a Jen…and it felt so good in my hand…and that vintage button…

Crochet Coffee Cup Sleeve - HiJennyBrown

But I packed it up anyway.  I can always make more, right?

Jen Crochet Coffee Cuff - HiJennyBrown

If you’d like to make one, just take your favorite coffee sleeve pattern and crochet up a few letters (if you’re crocheting a long name or word, use crochet thread so you can fit more characters). Pin the letters to the cuff (be sure to leave room for the button) and place it on a dummy cup.  This will ensure the cuff won’t be too tight with your sewn letters.  Then all you need to do is attach them with the running stitches and you’re done.  (If you’re worried about how the wrong side will look, you can add a piece of felt to the back.  But really, nobody is going to look).

J Coffee Cup Sleeve - HiJennyBrown

I hope Jen likes them, and I also hope we’ll have coffee in the same state again, soon.

Bye,
Jenny Brown

 

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

Introducing: 2014 Crochet Holiday Postcards

holiday postcards - hijennybrown.com

Woo-hoo!  It’s that time of year again – the day I remember (and am constantly reminded) that I’m not getting any younger.  At least they soften the blow with cake. (Little Liam has been talking about “buttercream” all morning – who knew he was a frosting connoisseur?)

Won’t you help me take my mind off sinking deep into my late-30s by talking about something else?  Something I like just a wee bit more?

Ah, yes: Crochet!

holiday postcards - hijennybrown.comEverything’s better with yarn – right? The top-left design is new for this year – I kept dreaming of something woodsy and cozy, and this is what came off the hook:

Hi, Jenny Brown -Merry Christmas Post CardThe original crochet piece was photographed by Erin, my awesome partner in crime.  Doesn’t it make you want to sip hot chocolate by a cozy fire?

11-24-2014, Hi Jenny Brown Post Cards31 Hi, Jenny Brown-Postcards

I also brought back the “peace on earth” and “have yourself a merry little christmas” themes that sold out last year because they are just too cute to ignore. They’re a little larger (4 x 6) and thicker (130-lb glossy cardstock, baby) this year.

Oops – almost forgot about the back.  It has a traditional postcard layout with a crochet twist:

Hi, Jenny Brown - Crochet Postcards backIf you’re as excited about these as I am, head over to Etsy and use the coupon code “officially” for 10% off.  (And if you were wondering, yep – I’ll be giving $1 from each pack to Action Against Hunger).

OK, now off to get some of that cake.

Bye,
Jenny Brown

Hooking for Good – Quick Crochet Cowl

Hi, Jenny Brown - start sl st join for Quick Crochet Cowl

squarecowl

Craft Hope is amazing – they have collected and distributed over 100,000  handmade items to folks in need around the world, and I love participating whenever I can.  For Project 25, they are collecting various sewn, crocheted, and knitted items for We Are Kenya, which will provide over 200 students with the necessities to thrive in school. The cut-off for projects to be received at the US collection point is Nov. 15, so if you finish something this weekend, you can totally make it.  My mom and I made three scarves that we hope will be warm and cuddly for the kiddos that receive them. Hi, Jenny Brown - scarves for craft hope

Making the orange and white one on the right reminded me of my favorite quick cowl pattern, which is great for the holidays.  The pattern is easy and mindless, so it’s perfect for beginners or last minute presents.  It’s also not as bulky as other patterns, so it’s a lot more wearable (think bosses, mothers-in-law, teens).  Because the pattern is simple, it’s a great option for a variegated or novelty yarn.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

QUICK CROCHET COWL

Quick Crochet Cowl - Hi, Jenny BrownSupplies

  • 250-280 yds worsted weight yarn (I used Red Heart Unforgettable because it’s pretty and acrylic, so it’s perfect for us wool allergic crocheters) Hi, Jenny Brown - Red Heart Boutique for Quick Crochet Cowl
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • “I” hook

Abbreviations

  • ch = chain
  • dc = double crochet
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • sk = skip

Instructions Ch 38 Hi, Jenny Brown - Red Heart Boutique for Quick Crochet Cowl row 1. Dc in 6th ch from hook, (ch 1, sk 1 ch, dc in next ch)  16 times, ch 4, turn.  You’ll see 17 “squares” (aka, ch 1 spaces) across the row. Hi, Jenny Brown - turn Quick Crochet Cowl Hi, Jenny Brown - first row for Quick Crochet Cowl row 2. Sk 1, dc in dc, (ch 1, sk 1, dc in dc) 15 times, ch 1, sk 1 ch, dc in next ch, ch 4, turn Hi, Jenny Brown - second row for Quick Crochet Cowl Hi, Jenny Brown - second row turn for Quick Crochet Cowl Repeat row 2 until you have about 1 yard (from your fingertips to the middle of your chest) of yarn left, or until the scarf is as tall as your intended recipient (I’m 5’6″, and this is almost exactly my height.  If you’re making this for a kid, you’ll want to stop sooner so it’s not overwhelming).  Do not cut yarn. Hi, Jenny Brown - ready to join for Quick Crochet Cowl Finishing Holding right sides together and being careful not to twist, match top and bottom ends together.  Sl st ends together by inserting hook through corner last dc (on end) and corner chain (from foundation chain), pull up a loop, then pull it through loop on hook. Hi, Jenny Brown - start sl st join for Quick Crochet Cowl   Hi, Jenny Brown - how to sl st join for Quick Crochet Cowl Continue for each ch or dc.  After last stitch, fasten off and weave in ends. Hi, Jenny Brown - final sl st join for Quick Crochet CowlTurn cowl inside out and wrap it around your neck.  Resist urge to keep it for yourself.   Bonus Points – replicate woven scarf Instead of joining cowl, lay scarf flat.  Thread yarn onto needle, and using a double thickness, weave yarn through first vertical row.  Cut yarn, leaving a long tail at top and bottom. Hi, Jenny Brown - woven crochet scarfWeave using opposite start (if you went over the first row, go under) for next row.  Continue until entire scarf is woven.  Tie yarn for each row at top and bottom to secure.  Trim fringe evenly. Hi, Jenny Brown - scarves for craft hope

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PSST: I’ll be giving away a pretty blue version of the cowl this Tuesday – follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for all the details Tuesday on how to win.  I’ll share the winner in my post Wednesday.

Bye, Jenny Brown

Project Idea: Teacher Gift – Crochet Cup Cuff

When I look back on all the hilarious, fun times I had in elementary, middle, and high school, one awesome person comes to mind – my best friend & buddyboy (sorry for the inside joke), Ms. Myers.  She taught me all the important things in life – how great a perm can look, how delicious takeout tacos can be, and how long you can listen to Electric Youth before you get tired of it (Answer: infinity).  She also provided a herd of My Little Pony’s that were fun to play with and/or crochet on (tiny yarn berets, anyone?) Ms. Myers, is now an amazing teacher and overall cool adult.  When I started thinking about this crochet cup cuff, which uses my Lowercase/Uppercase Motif Set (psst: on sale until midnight, Aug. 23 for only $3), I knew she would be the worthy, crochet-loving recipient.  If you don’t have a teacher best friend, please feel free to use this as bribery for your kid’s new teacher – you can fill the cup with markers, candy, or dollar bills (depending on the volume of your child’s “indoor voice”).  If the teacher you’re making this for doesn’t have a short last name,  you still have options.  What about “#1” (you’ll need the Numbers & Punctuation set for this one), or “Super”, “Great”, or initials?  Maybe a grade like “A+”? (and then make a new one that says “D-” at Winter Break? Maybe not.) Now, let’s get to work.

Teacher Gift Crochet Cup Cuff Project Pattern

TEACHER GIFT – CROCHET CUP CUFF

Abbreviations: ch: chain sc: single crochet Supplies:

  • 50 yards White Worsted Weight Yarn (100% cotton yarn shown here but not required – yarn and thread quantities are estimated and will depend on your tension and material)
  • Crochet Thread in:
    • Gray: yardage will depend on word used
    • Blue: 2 yds
    • Red: 1 yd
  • Crochet Hooks – G/4.0mm (when using yarn) and 7/1.65mm (when using thread)
  • Yarn Needle
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins or Safety Pins
  • 2 white Elastic Hair Ties (the smallest ones work best)
  • 2 Buttons (I used star buttons) and Matching Thread.
  • Plastic Straw Cup (this one is about 11.5 inches around at its widest.  If your cup is larger or smaller, you can add or subtract from your foundation chain and each subsequent row to achieve the perfect fit).

Crochet Background With white yarn, ch 43 Row 1:  Sc in second ch from hook, sc in each ch, ch 1, turn Row 2:  41 sc, sc over hair tie, ch 1, turn (now is a great time to wrap your piece around your cup and see if it fits) IMG_20140819_171659 Hair tie pictures shown with smaller sample & bright colored hair tie for contrast.  IMG_20140819_171705 Row 3:  sc in each sc, ch 1, turn Row 4:  41 sc, sc over hair tie, ch 1, turn IMG_20140819_171705IMG_20140819_171717 IMG_20140819_171744 Row 5 – 13:   sc in each sc, ch 1, turn Row 14:  41 sc, sc over hair tie, ch 1, turn Row 15:  sc in each sc, ch 1, turn Row 16:  41 sc, sc over hair tie, ch 1, rotate Sc around piece, working in side of rows, foundation row, other side of rows, and last row.  Place 3 sc in each corner. Weave in ends. Add Lines

  1. Add line between rows 4 & 5 (not counting border row worked into foundation chain) using blue crochet thread and backstitch.  (To start: pull needle up through first space, insert needle into second space, pull needle up through third space, insert needle back into second space.  Continue by pulling yarn up through next empty space and inserting needle back into the previous space to create a “solid” line.)
  2. Repeat step 1 between rows 12 & 13 (not counting border row worked into foundation chain).
  3. Add line between rows 10 & 11 (not counting border row worked into foundation chain) using running stitch and red crochet thread. (To start: pull yarn up through first space, insert needle into second space. Continue by pulling yarn up through next empty space and inserting needle into the following empty space to create a “dashed” line)
  4. Weave in ends.

Crochet Letters

  1. Using the Uppercase/Lowercase Crochet Motif Pattern and gray crochet thread, crochet your word/name/grade.  Weave in ends.
  2. Pin letters to background (I use straight pins, but if you’re prone to pricking yourself, you can use safety pins.)
  3. Sew letters to background using grey crochet thread and backstitch.
  4. Weave in ends.

Putting It All Together Sew buttons on opposite side of hair ties using matching thread. Weave in ends. Teacher Gift Crochet Cup Cuff Buttons Place cuff around cup- hair ties may need to be folded over or knotted depending on how much space is between the two sides. IMG_20140819_171828 If you would like, you can add a backing to hide your stitches, but I think the back looks kind of cute (minus the few ends that became loose during the photo shoot). 8-20-2014, Hi, Jenny Brown, Ms. Myers Koozie135 These cuffs are totally irresistible – and if you don’t believe me… Teacher Gift - Hi Jenny Brown Crochet Cup Cuff kids running back and forth to cup Bye, Jenny Brown Project pictures by Erin Markan of Folks Collected.  Thanks, E!

Crochet a Photo Prop, Help a Kid, and Prove Your Middle School Art Teacher Wrong

I recently listened to an episode of “After the Jump” where Grace talked about the positive side of jealousy – how it can be a force to show you what you want and who you want to be like.  It’s in that light I say: I am jealous of my far-away friend, and fellow FH alum, Megan.  Gosh, she juggles volunteering, family, and work like it ain’t no thing and still has time to be a gentle scold of the super complainy, negative facebook set (e.g.: me).  How she has time for it all, I’ll never know (I just spent an hour & a half rearranging my Pinterest boards), but when she said she needed volunteers for her latest project, I of course raised my hand.

hijennybrown creative crochet frame photo prop

Her idea was inspired by the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles and a mentoring project she did last year with a group of girls from different backgrounds.  As Megan told us: “I asked them to write on a piece of paper a positive word that defined them. Surprisingly, many of them struggled to do so, and it took a lot of talking and working with them to find words they were comfortable saying about themselves. Sadly they were more quickly able to point out their weaknesses than their strengths, and what I learned in talking to many is that they are afraid to say positive, strong statements about themselves. They don’t seem to have a voice.”

yelling creative photo prop frame crochet hijennybrown

The plan: get a group of grown-ups to each write a positive word that describes them on a piece of paper, take a selfie with it, and then Megan would incorporate them all into a video that she would show to the girls she mentors.  Cool idea, and one I thought could have benefitted middle-school Jenny Brown, who, after another “D” in Art class, lost all confidence in her creativity.  What a series of (I’m sure well-meaning) Art teachers took as “laziness,” and “sloppiness” was actually a lack of self-confidence and know-how.  I still struggle with presenting something creative without apologizing for it first.

hijennybrown photo prop creative bench crochet

And so I wasn’t surprised when some of the women who volunteered for this project also had a difficult time finding a positive descriptor.  Something that really helped me was Jennifer Lee’s “Right-Brain Business Plan” class, where she gave a simple solution: take a poll.  Just ask friends/ family/customers/whoever to describe you in three words.  You don’t have to limit them to positive words, but I guarantee you’ll get some because you’re awesome.  Duh.  My beautiful, intelligent, hilarious sister gave me “creative.”  That was a year ago, but I knew it was the right word for this project.  Oh, and I knew it had to be crocheted.

7-29-2014 Hi Jenny Brown, Creative32

FRAMED CROCHET PHOTO PROP

Supplies:

  • yarn (I used worsted-weight cotton, but you can use anything from bulky yarn to crochet thread to get larger or smaller letters)
  • crochet letter pattern (might I suggest mine?)
  • crochet hook (The size will depend on your yarn, but I used my 2nd favorite hook – yes, there’s a hierarchy – my 4.0 Addi Turbo)
  • small, sharp scissors
  • yarn needle
  • washi or masking tape (optional)
  • photo frame (The size will depend on your yarn & word)
  • double-stick or single-stick tape (I used a combo because I ran out of double-stick, which is way easier to use)
  • backing paper, fabric, or photo to fit your frame (I turned over the dummy photo already in the frame)

Putting it all together:

1. Crochet your letters, then weave in the ends with your yarn needle. Clip any stray strings.

2. If you want to be sure your word is super straight (obviously not a concern of mine), add a guide line to the back of the glass/plastic with washi or masking tape.

3. Add tape to the back of each letter.  Place letters on front of glass: I always place the first letter first, then the last letter second, and so on, to get the spacing as even as possible. Check the front of the letters to see if any tape is showing and clip any excess.  As you can see from this side shot, there is a little curling and a few visible tape doughnuts.  However, the front-on shots show neither of these.  The lesson: be generous with the tape, but don’t drive yourself insane.
tape crochet frame photo prop diy

4. Remove tape from back of glass/plastic and clean if necessary.  Insert glass/plastic, background, and backing.

5. Smile and say “Cheese!”

Even if you don’t crochet, please don’t let that stop you from writing (or stitching, or knitting, or drawing, or whatevering) a positive word for yourself.  I’d love for you to share it with me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter, or in the comments below.  I promise not to be *too* jealous.

Bye,
Jenny Brown

7-29-2014 Hi Jenny Brown, Creative76

*P.S. for the sticklers out there, these aren’t technically “selfies.” My frame was too big or my arm was too short, depending on your outlook.  My amazing, talented, (also) hilarious friend, Erin, took them for me.  Thanks, Erin!