Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekend Wonder #6

Hello! Here's Weekend Wonder #6!

This WW is a piece in freeform crochet that I made a couple weeks ago for my husband. He admired my bath mitt, but he wanted something easier to get on and off. I bought some cotton in colors he liked, and this was experiment #1. I call it the Bear Claw.

The construction was simple if you know how to crochet in the round already. (Better tutorials are available at NexStitch or in Kim Werker and Cecily Keim's Teach Yourself Visually Crochet.) I chained 2 and single crocheted 6 into the first chain to form the innermost round. From there, I followed a basic crochet-in-the-round increase pattern in half double crochet: 2 in each stitch for one round, then alternating 1 hdc and 2 hdc in each stitch for one round, then adding one additional hdc between the increases for each round for a total of 6 rounds. I would have stopped one or two rounds sooner for my own, much narrower hands, but he asked for the extra width.

I then chained 8 and skipped 3 between single crochets around the outer edge to make the loops. (I actually didn't use standard sc. I did an sc decrease (sc2tog) so that the pull of the loops would be spread over two stitches.) I had to redo this at least once because the loops weren't big enough for his fingers, so you definitely want your recipient or a similar hand around to test the fit on. The thumb loop was larger; I think 12 chains skipping 6 stitches, but I'm guesstimating that from memory. Then, last but not least, I chained across the circle from the base of the thumb loop almost straight across the wrist to make the strap. I attached that with an sc and a couple slip stitches for good measure, then reversed and put a single crochet in each stitch all along the back of the loops for reinforcement.

Apologies if any of those directions are vague, but I didn't take any notes. I'm describing what I did from memory and from the pictures, because Husband found it so useful that he took it out of town with him for grad school visit #2 this weekend.

I would say this took no more than 40g from a 100g skein of Lily Sugar'n'Cream cotton - I think the colorway is called Denim. I really like making little projects like this for two reasons. One, because it is easy to grab a bit of cotton (or any yarn, really) and a hook to throw into my purse at the beginning of the week. No pattern to worry about, no need for anything but my handy slip-n-snip scissors. Two, because you learn all kinds of things, whether you realize it or not, about what you can do with a hook and yarn when you imagine something and try to manifest it one stitch at a time. I'll admit that they don't always work out as planned - I still have a few dozen yards of the cotton I used for my scrubbing fingertips that I can't seem to make into anything else - but sometimes you end up with something really handy or really cute, or both!

My husband loves that his bear claw is reversible (shown here) and easy-on-easy-off, unlike my mitt, and he's asked for a second one for the other hand. I'll take better notes as I make this second one and see if it's worth making a free pattern.

Happy crafting!

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