Hooking for Good – The Wrap-Up Show

Hooking for Good Crochet and Knit Donations - hijennybrown.com

Hooking for Good Crochet and Knit Donations - hijennybrown.com

It’s the season of giving, and I used my crochet hook and a few other crafty weapons to to give back a little beginning this November. So how did we celebrate Hooking for Good?

Handmade Donations: I love donating handmade items, so I made one (almost) every week. Each project was so easy that you can do it to!

My donations:

Hi, Jenny Brown - scarves for craft hope

plastic crochet mat - trial - hijennybrown.com

  • 1 blanket to our local animal shelter

crochet blanket - hijennybrown

pompomcloseup - hijennybrown.com

Knit Hat - HiJennyBrown.com

Hi, Jenny Brown - knit mittens for donation

Hi, Jenny Brown - crochet ripple blanket for Binky Patrol

Giveaways: You’ve been good all year and deserve a little something! I gave away a handmade item, book, or pattern each Tuesday through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Items were donated by artist Heather Saulsbury of Creatively Happy, author Kari Chapin, knitter Ann Espo of OpportuKnits, and jewelry designer Adri Westlake of Moon Star Adri.

Week 6 Giveaway – The book Feltlicious donated by Kari Chapin won by Michaela! Congrats, Micheala!

congrats

Week 5 GiveawayCrochet Bannerama Superpack by Hi, Jenny Brown won by Brandy! Congrats, Brandy!

Our giveaway winner - Brandy

Week 4 Giveaway – Armwarmers by Ann Espo of OpportuKnits won by Melissa W. Congrats, Melissa!

winner - hijennybrown.com

Week 3 Giveaway – A Step Back in Time digital package by artist and podcaster Heather Saulsbury won by Carina. Congrats, Carina!

Congrats, Carina-hijennybrown.com
Week 2 Giveaway – Earrings by Adri of Moon Star Adri won by Sarah W. Congrats, Sarah!

congrats, Sarah - earrings by Moon Star Adri

Week 1 Giveaway – Crochet Cowl by Hi, Jenny Brown (that’s me!) won by Kelly K. Congrats, Kelly!Congrats, Kelly!

Monetary Donations: I promised to donate $1 for every item I sold on Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy to Action Against Hunger, an organization that provides nutrition assistance, clean water, and emergency services around the world. I’ve already sent $51 and will make another payment on Dec. 31. Thank you to everyone who made this contribution possible!

This project has been absolutely amazing for me, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to make and donate all these things! Thank you again to everyone who donated something for our giveaways; to my favorite award-winning photographer Erin Markan for helping with logistics, photos, and ideas; to Craft Husband who donated the postage and hours in the Post Office line to send out prizes and donations, and to all of you who commented, made items, or shared a kind word. I really appreciate you all!

Bye,
Jenny Brown

 

Hooking for Good: Make Your Presents Known

Crochet Ornaments

It’s the time of year when all crafters start to really stress: Oh my goodness, I forgot about so-and-so, and I will totally need to make them a present because they’ll be making one for me.  Oy vey, I forgot about that nephew, who I promised a crocheted blanket back in July.  Holy guacamole, how am I ever going to finish 12 pairs of fingerless gloves for the cousins on top of everything else?

My secret is to just buy things from Etsy: same great homemade feel, none of the work.  Or, I give most people nothing.  I know, it’s terrible – but I have a huge extended family, and I’d rather rotate my focus to a few people annually, so I can make them something special, rather than make one throw-away gift per person.  This year I’m so focused on making things for strangers that I’m pretty sure I won’t be making any presents for my family and friends.  Think I can get away with saying “My presence is your present?”

No matter what your gift-giving strategy is this year, here are a few projects from the HiJB archives that would make fun and quick presents.

hello banner from crochet bannerama - Hi Jenny Brown, Banner Beach Photos251

Quick Crochet Cowl – I wore the one from this tutorial during our Crochet Bannerama photoshoot.  So cozy!

lego necklace - hijennybrown.com

Lego Necklace – we made these for Liam’s birthday party, but they’d be great holiday gifts for a crowd.

Crochet Ornament - hijennybrown.com

Crochet Personalized Ornaments – Who doesn’t love a personalized gift?  Some glue, a little crochet thread, a cheap store-bought frame, and you’re all done.

And if you need a gift for your favorite crafters – why not send them some crochet-inspired postcards?

holiday postcards - hijennybrown.com

Or this unique banner pattern?

Crochet Bannerama - Hi, Jenny Brown

Or visit the shops who donated for our giveaways this season!  Thanks to Creatively Happy One, Moon Star Adri, and Opportuknits, Kari Chapin!

winner - hijennybrown.com

Today’s winner gets a present today, too!  Melissa W. was our randomly selected winner and will receive a pair of adult and a pair of child armwarmers.  Ann Espo donated this amazing prize – thanks Ann!  Her goal is to grow her business so she can begin to hire women transitioning back to their families and communities after incarceration.  If you’d like to support her or see more of her wonderful designs, visit opportuknits.etsy.com.

See you Friday where I admit I’m cheating on my crochet with….KNITTING!

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.

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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!

Let’s Make Some Ornaments!

Personalized Crochet Ornament - hijennybrown.com

Are you in that pre-Christmas crazytown where you realize you will never get everything that needs to be done in the way you want it to be done before the shipping cut-off/ boarding last call / in-law visit / Christmas morning?

Take a deep breath.  It’s going to be OK.  And if it’s not, there will be candy.

Crochet ornaments - Hi, Jenny Brown

Maybe what you need is to cut out a little time to make a few cute ornaments for the folks you really love the most.  You know how crochet makes you feel so much better!

But first, you’re going to need some stuff:

  • Wooden or Porcelain frame ornaments (I used porcelain because it was on sale)
  • Crochet thread  – at least two colors
  • Craft paint (optional)
  • Craft Glue
  • Glitter
  • Size B crochet hook and size 7 crochet hook
  • E6000 or hot glue & glue gun
  • toothpick
  • scissors

Please read all the direction before starting (I sound like such a boring teacher) because there are a few caveats. 

Step 1 – Adorn your frame: Remove the ribbon and tag from your ornament.  If you would like your ornament to be painted, here’s your chance, but I was OK with keeping it white because I had some pretty white glitter.  Let paint dry before applying a thin, even layer of craft glue and a ton of glitter.

Crochet Ornaments - Hi, Jenny Brown

Step 2 – Make a background: While the frames dry, crochet a back for them.  I used a B hook and rows of HDC (half-double crochet) to make a piece just about two stitches larger than the opening on each side.  How many rows and stitches you need to do will depend on your ornament, thread, and tension, so just have fun with it.  Remember that all your edges will be hidden on the back, so no one will see it except your snoop of a brother-in-law.  For the oval, you’ll have to be a little more creative by using increases and decreases, so go with the rectangle opening if you’re not used to winging it.  And if you’re not up for any of that, just cut a piece of fabric or burlap a bit larger than the opening.

Crochet Ornaments - Hi, Jenny Brown

Step 3 – Crochet a little cuteness: You will need a character to be the center of your ornament.  Might I suggest a letter, number, or punctuation mark from the Hi, Jenny Brown motif patterns available on Etsy or Ravelry?  But don’t feel like you have to use those.  You could use a tiny granny square, or a heart, or a star, or a squiggly chain.  Whatever you choose, pin it to your background and then place the (hopefully dry) frame on top – is it going to fit?  (If you are using the letter and number motifs, wide letters like “M” and “W” will probably not fit, and others will be a tight squeeze – so crochet tightly with the 7 hook.)   If it doesn’t fit, you may have to re-crochet using a smaller hook or thinner yarn, or go with something different all together.  But don’t throw the one that doesn’t fit away – we’ll have a project for that in a later post.

Crochet Ornaments - Hi, Jenny Brown

Step 4 – Sew your character to the background: Use any stitch you like to firmly adhere your character to the background.  I use the chain stitch because it reminds me of crochet, but it takes longer than using a normal straight stitch.  I would avoid using fabric glue on something so delicate, because it could gunk up and show.

Step 5 – Get your glue on: I use E600, but I know there are some hot glue devotees out there, and I don’t want to keep you from your third-degree burns.  Put a thin layer of glue around the opening on the back of your ornament.  Lay your piece onto the glue backside up, and use a toothpick to press the edges into the glue.  If you are using hot glue, you’re going to have to be precise and quick about this.  If you are using E6 (as Craft Husband and I like to call it), you will have a little bit more time to arrange it nicely, but remember that is not supposed to come in contact with your skin.  The toothpick is your friend.

Crochet Ornaments - Hi, Jenny Brown

Step 6 – Chain a hanger: While your glue is drying, crochet a chain – I did 75 stitches using a size 7 hook because I like how tight it looks, but you can use your 1 hook and fewer stitches.  Tie the two ends together to form a loop. Once your glue is dry, use your smallest hook to pull the hanger, knot side first, from the back through to the front of ornament, leaving about half of the hanger at the back.

Crochet Ornaments - Hi, Jenny Brown

Grab the other end with your hook and pull it through the loop in the front to tighten. Gently adjust so your knot is in the back.  You can weave that end in, secure it with a drop of glue, or just be cool with the fact that it’s at the back.

Crochet Ornaments - Hi, Jenny Brown

Once everything is dry, you’re all done.  Great job! You deserve a cookie.

Crochet Ornaments - Hi, Jenny Brown

Bye,
Jenny Brown