Cowl/Headscarf/Hat Crochet pattern

6 02 2010

This is adapted from a headscarf pattern i found online, which i have since lost the link to.   I will get some action shots up shortly 🙂

– Worsted weight yarn, any kind (i use Red Heart Classic then wash with fabric softener to make it nice and snuggly soft.  Also used Brown Sheep Company’s Lamb’s Pride)

– H hook

*Chain 68 (or enough to fit around your head comfortably)

*sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch around, join

*Ch 3 (counts as 1st hdc)  hdc in each sc around, join

*rep ch 3, hdc round 6 times

*ch 4, sk next hdc, dc in next st, ch 1, sk next st, dc in next, ch 1, rep around, join

*ch3, dc in ch 1 sp, ch 1, dc in sp, rep around, join

*rep dc, ch 1 rounds 6 times

*ch 3, hdc in each dc and ch 1 sp around, join

*rep hdc round 7 times

you can add or subtract the dc ch1 round to make it as long as you want.  i find this is a perfect size to be convertible.


Ch 70, or as many as you started with plus 2

weave through 1st row.  tie together with a matching bead knotted on

to make it a cowl, stretch it out to it’s full width and pull over your head.

for a headwarmer/headscarf, pull from the cowl position up over your ears with your hair out the back.

for a hat, pull the tie to cinch the top.

you can stripe it, or make it from variegated yarn.

you can use a different weight yarn, just adjust you hook size apporpriately and do the starting ch long enough to go around your head.  i made a lovely lightweight one out of fingering weight alpaca, just chaining about 130 with an E hook, and made the dc ch1 mesh 4 inches long, and the hdc rows were 2 inches long each.


Kool-Aid Dyeing with Playsilks

31 05 2008

I love playsilks.  They are squares and rectangles of single-thickness silk that can be used in imaginative play for just about anything – flags, capes, skirts, tents, horse tails, princess hats, turbans, baby blankets, picnic blankets…. pretty much anything at all.  However, being of the more frugal sorts of people, i cant spend $20 or more for a piece of cloth.

However!  i am a member of several Yahoo co-op groups, and have recently purchased undyed playsilks for about $4 each from one of my co-ops.  I also, in that same order, got several packets of basic Kool-Aid to dye them with.  And here is the tutorial on how to do it!  Trust me, this is super-easy!

Here is my plain undyed playsilk, 22″ x 72″

Soak the playsilk in hot hot hot tap water with a splash of white vinegar.  LEt it soak for about 20-30 minutes, or while you are setting up the dyeing equipment. Here is my playsilk soaking in a yogurt container on my stove.

 While the playsilk is soaking, choose your packets of plain unsweetened Kool-Aid (or the generic equivalent).  Use several packets for deep colors, fewer packets for pastels.  I wanted nice dark red, so i used 5 packets of Cherry. 


Pour the Kool-Aid into a non-reactive saucepan, add about 2 cups of hot hot hot water & a splash of white vinegar, stir to dissolve, and set over medium heat.  You want this to come to a very slow simmer. It will be very opaque in the pan. 

 When it comes to a simmer, dump your silk & the soaking water into the pan and start stirring & squishing the playsilk into the dye bath.  It should immediately soak up dye.


Stir continuously until the water is almost or completely clear.  Some Kool-AId absorbs completely, some doesnt.  I’m pretty sure the reds are the hardest to get completely absorbed.  But anyway here is a pic of what the water looked like about 5 minutes into the silk being in the dye bath.  You can see the bottom of the pan, unlike when you put the silk in and the water was completely opaque.

Pull the silk out and rinse under very hot water for a few seconds, then gradually get the water cooler.  I just dumped the pan out in my sink & ran hot tap water over it for a minute or two.  When you squeeze it, the water that comes out should be clear.  Hang it to dry – outside in the sun it dried in 20 minutes – and you have a custom-dyed playsilk!

 If you dont stir continuously, or you have a too-small pan and the silk is crowded, the dye takes a mottled or tie-dyed appearance.  I actually like that so that is the effect i was going for.  You can also overdye for a multi-colored effect, just do it like traditional tie-dye.  Or try dip-dyeing for a graded effect.  You can also paint the Kool-aid onto the silk, then to set the dye you put the silk in a steamer basket and steam it for a few minutes, then rinse.

This also works on wool.  An old wool sweater, or yarn, or anything wool will take Kool-aid dyeing perfectly!  with wool you dont want to stir quite as much, you want a bigger pot (to get a more even color), LOTS of kool-aid, and be sure to rinse in very hot water – if you rinse it in cold it will “shock” the yarn and cause it to felt.  If you WANT it to felt, then by all means rinse in cold.

This will not work on cotton, rayon, synthetics, or anything other than an animal fiber.  Wool, alpaca, angora, rabbit, silk, furs or human hair (ask me how i know that one!) can all be permanently dyed with Kool-aid.

Have fun!




wool soakers…

13 05 2008

Here are some pictures of wol soaker pants i have made for my Azie to wear overnight as diaper covers.  Wool is great becasue it allows those tender baby bottoms to breathe!  I havent had a bit of diaper rash on Baby Bear’s bum since i started woolies for overnight, and if he gets a litle red from the daytime diapers, he’s over it by the morning!

Anyway, i ordered a pattern from Dandelion Dreamers (on hyena cart) for crochet shorties & longies and pulled all of my wool yarn out… and here is the result!

These awesome longies are Lamb’s Pride in turquoise & chocolate brown.  Is there anything cuter than a 4 month old baby in wool longies?

I have more in the works – a pair for Sarah from ivory Lambs Pride, grey wool (i dont know brand or anything) in alternating stripes &  the waistband & leg ribbing is in Lambs Pride lavender.  Although Sarah is a little suspicious of woolies…

I have both knittes & crocheted woolies, and the crochet seem to be more waterproof.  Maybe it’s becasue crochet takes so much more yarn that there is more wool per square inch than in knit? I dont know, but Knit is more flexible & lighter so maybe better for summer, but crochet is great for super-soaking overnights.

How to sew a Fully Reversible Turned & Topstitched Mei Tai

9 05 2008

I love to wear my babies.  I use ring slings, pouches, wraps, mei tais, podegis, onbuhimos, chunei… you name it, i have tried it!  Becasue i dont have alot of extra cash floating around to BUY carriers, i have had to MAKE my own carriers.  I have started a small business making custom carriers to make a little extra cash…  and in the interest of helping other mamas and daddies who want to wear their babies without spending too much money, here are my directions for making a Fully Reversible Turned & Topstitched Mei Tai!  You can make this whole thing for $10 if you can find the appropriate fabric on the $1/yard table at WAlmart or Joannes… not a bad price!


2 yards of bottomweight fabric for inner hidden layer & for straps.  Twill, denim, canvas, home dec fabric (think couch covers) or even well-broken-in wraps are suitable (in a pinch, try a nice heavy jacquard tablecloth as long as it is 72″ or longer)

2 fat quarters of coordinating fabric for front & back panels – this can be WHATEVER.  Quilters cotton, fashion fabric, Minkee, silk, velvet, patchwork, anything goes! just remember, the fabric will get a lot of abuse, so choose wisely. 

small amount of cotton batting, polar fleece, old blanket, or something similar for padding

coordinating thread.  I like Gutterman’s becasue it is very strong & durable and comes in nice colors.

1) Find a pattern you like, trace an existing carrier, or make something up.  General measurements are 17″ 20″ for the body, and 7″ x72″ each for the shoudler straps, 5″ x 24″ each for the waist straps.

2) cut 2 shoulder straps of the bottomweight fabric and 2 waist straps of the same fabric.  Cut 1 17″x20″ of bottomweight and of the 2 decorative fabrics. (17″ wide, 20″ high)

3) Roll &  hem the long edges of all the straps.  Leave both short end unhemmed until later.  You need to be able to adjust how long you like the straps after you finish the carrier.

Now for pictures to go with the instructions!!  Please note, the carrier in this tutorial is being made with knit jersey straps as an experiment THIS DID NOT WORK!  DO NOT USE KNIT FOR STRAPS! IT RIPS ALONG THE STITCHING LINES, MAKING A VERY UNSAFE CARRIER! Please only use a sturdy bottomweight fabric for the straps.  Thank you.  Now, on to the rest of the instructions!

Here are my two decorative fabrics, cut as a contoured mei tai.  I am using vintage home dec fabric and grass green Minkee Dot.

4) Take your mei tai body piece you cut from your bottomweight strap fabric and sw your straps on as shown.  Sew leaving at least 1″ free to the edge of the mei tai body (to allow for folding under during the topstitching) and reinforce by sewing an “xbox” – a box wth an X of stitching from one corner of the box to the other.  Please use  triple-straight stitch (usually found in the stretch stitches) or by sewing over three times, for safety.  Look closely at the straps, you’ll see my Xbox stitching.

5) Now, layer your decorative fabrics right sides together and the canvas layer on top.

6) Stitch all around, leaving open by your straps to allow for turning the straps to the right side. You will close these openings when you topstitch.

7) Now, open up one of the strap openings and reach in between the two decorative layers…

8) and turn the whole thing inside out…

9) so it looks like this:

10) press the seams, and fold in along the strap openings, nice and neat.

11) topstitch around the whole thing, paying special attention to the strap openings. You may need to manually turn your needle to go through the number of layers of fabric at the straps.   

12) and you’re done!  a fully reversible, turned & topstitched mei tai!  go ahead, pat yourself on the back! you deserve it!