Ask me about my Chainmail and Broadsword Sale

November? Really? That’s the last time I posted?

I spent all of November and the first week of December working on Christmas gifts. I even had a whole weekend all to myself without a husband (who was in Toronto, Canada) or my kids (who were across state with my in-laws for a family Christmas thing) and I got a lot done.

Then I got sick from either my daughter or husband. It started as a cold/fluish/upper respiratory thing, then morphed into an ear infection that I’m still fighting (but it’s losing. Finally). I’ve been sick for the past two months and yesterday was the first day since about the 7th of December that I felt well enough to really work on crocheting.

Which means I never finished those darn Christmas gifts, I haven’t finished the present for the December birthday, and the February birthday is sneaking up on me quick. I haven’t touched the project I was commissioned to do quite a while ago. I never did get around to making more mini stockings to put on etsy and I never made a sale of the darn things either (which is sad because they’re cute. Next year maybe).

I’m so very much behind on things, but I’m working on them finally. The Christmas gifts are far enough along that they are too big to bring to work, so I have to work on them at home. The Dec and Feb presents are still small enough I can haul to work and make pieces for them when we’re slow (which unfortunately is most of the time right now. Sigh).

I have nothing new to post right at the moment. I haven’t really read very much in the past two months. I haven’t really done *anything* in the past two months. The most exciting thing was finally getting unsick enough to see the Hobbit a few weeks ago (Never thought I’d have a crush on a Dwarf. I have never been so wrong). But I am Alive and Mostly Unsick, so there’s that!

This is my winter hat, the first hat I ever made. It says NPC on it because a) it was a simple enough design and b) I game master/dungeon master enough games that calling myself a non-player character (NPC) is fitting. I’m never sure what gets me more looks when I go out an about; the fact that my hat says NPC and most people wouldn’t get what that means or my pink hair.

NPC

Hats aren’t terribly difficult to make. It’s basically a circle connected to a tube.

For the NPC hat, I started with 8 HDC (half-double crochets) either in a magic circle or in a small chain circle. Then each row needs increases. Row 2 is every stitch (so 2HDC per stitch), row 3 is every other stitch (so 1HDC in stitch, 2 HDC in next stitch), row 4 is HDC in 2 stitches, 2 HDC in next stitch and so on, for about 6-10 rows, depending on how big/small the hat your making is, the size of the yarn, and the size of your hook (I probably used an I hook for this one as that’s my preferred size). This one was made in a spiral but I’ve also done rounds (Vikings hats). I think this hat got 8 rows of increases, which is just right for my head with a bit of stretch for when I have a ponytail in my hair.

I have an odd way of keeping track of how many increases I need. I use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of my round and then for whatever round I’m on, that’s how many I count. So, starting with round three, I will count one, two, three. Number two and three go into the same stitch. round four, three and four go into the same stitch. round Five, four and five go into the same stitch. It is the only reliable way I could figure out how to keep track of my increases, and works fairly well as long as people aren’t trying to talk to me when I’m counting.

So, in pattern terms, what I’m doing looks like:
Round 1: 8 hdc in ring
Round 2: 2 hdc in each hdc around
Round 3: (1 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc), repeat around
Round 4: (2 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc), repeat around
Round 5: (3 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc), repeat around
Round 6: (4 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc), repeat around
Round 7: (5 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc), repeat around
Round 8: (6 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc), repeat around

A baby or toddler hat should get less rounds; a large adult hat should get more. Then it’s just rounds and rounds of HDC in each stitch until the hat is long enough. The NPC hat has 26 rows, so I must have done 18 of these rows, but I could have made it a row or two shorter. I finished it off with a row of SC because it made it look purdy.

The actual NPC part was made by switching out the color in the appropriate spots (it’s the same way I made the Mando hats, only a hell of a lot less work). After the increases, the stitches are consistent and line decently with graph paper. I plotted out the letters then referred to it as I was working on each round. I carried the hat color behind the embellishment color so I had less ends to weave in (which is my least favorite part). I will take pictures and post a better description the next time I work on a project that does that (which is probably my nyan cat scarf).

Now I should probably work on one of those gifts so I can give them and SHARE them! I’M ALIVE AND MOSTLY UNSICK! IT’S AWESOME! ^_^