Valentine Heart and Headband Crochet Tutorial + GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited to announce to I have been asked to guest post my FIRST ever guest blog entry over at Three Sisters and Us!!! The coolest part? She is doing a mini Valentine series… and a giveaway!!! To enter into the giveaway, scroll down to the end of the tutorial!! 
And what is more adorable than seeing my precious little man model a toddler headband with a heart embellishment.. winning one for yourself! 
 
But here is a preview!!
 
 


Valentines Headband with Heart Crochet Tutorial
*This tutorial was used with Red Heart yarn in red, and a size 5.0 crochet hook. 
 
 
 
The Heart
Row 1: Chain 2
Row 2: Single stitch 3 in the second stitch from hook.
Chain 1 and turn
Row 3: Single stitch in each of the three stitches. Chain 1 and turn
Row 4: Single stitch 1 in your first stitch
single stitch 2 in your middle stitch
single stitch 1 in last stitch
Row 5: Single Stitch one in each of the 4 previous stitches. Chain 1 and turn
Row 6: Single stitch 1 in the 1st stitch
Single stitch 2 in second
Single stitch 2 in third stitch
Single stitch 1 in 4th stitch
Row 7: Single stitch one in each of the previous row. Chain 1 and turn
Row 8: Single stitch in the 1st stitch
2 single stitches in the second stitch
1 single stitch in both the third and fourth stitches
2 single stitches in the 5th stitch
1 single stitch in the 6th stitch
Row 9: Single stitch in each of the 8 previous stitches. Chain 1 and turn
Row 10:
Single stitch 1 in first 1st stitch
Single stitch 2 in 2nd stitch
Single stitch 1 in both 3rd and 4th stitches
Single stitch 2 in the 5th stitch
Single stitch one in the 6th stitch
Single stitch 2 in the 7th stitch
Single stitch one in 8th stitch
Row 11:
Single stitch in each of the 11 stitches
Chain 2 and turn
Row 12:
Double chain 8 in the third stitch in.
Single stitch in the 6th stitch in (your middle stitch)
Double chain 8 in the third stitch from end
Slip stitch into last chain on your previous row
Cut off access, tie off and weave in your ends
The Headband:
Depending how wide and how long you need/want it, you can adjust the number of stitches.
I chained 6, turned, and chained a single stitch in the second in from hook all the way across.
Single stitch in each of the 5, chaining one and turning each time until you reach your desired length. Slip stitch in each stitch WITH BOTH ENDS once you have reached your desired length joining them together, cut off access, tie off and weave in ends. Sew the heart onto the headband.
*you can also use a double stitch to give it a little more stretch*
Playing around with different size hooks, and varying weight of warn can give different size hearts. Making one with even a half of size bigger can give you the “layered” heart look with the white and pink together demonstrated below.

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Easy To Learn Chevron Crochet Stitch, Plus Create Your Own Pattern!

So after over 10 hours of trying to get the Chevron Crochet Stitch right (not kidding, one night I tried from 10 at night to 3 in the morning) and trying about 6 different written patters, I had to wing it and create my own. I am not sure why, but every pattern I read I just couldn’t get it right. I did, un-did, and re-did my attempts too many times to count. After deciding to “wing” it and do it myself… I finally got it!

After realizing just how simple it actually was.. I decided on posting a tutorial, and at the end will show you how to make your own pattern up (number of peaks/lengths of them). A lot of patterns I searched showed blanket size (too big) or cuff size (too small) at what I wanted to attempt.  Since I basically just needed to practice, I wanted something semi-small, think between a cuff/bracelet and a scarf..

If you think I am kidding about not being able to get it…this is what my “final” attempts at practicing came out to be before I tried it on my own. It got bigger, and wasn’t a straight edge like I was attempting… So luckily my niece gets a new “baby” blanket for her dollies because it isn’t good for much else.. Plus my feeble attempt to “fix” my mistakes of it getting bigger didn’t work out so well…

Horrible huh?

Before I show you how to EASILY create your own pattern, I will show you how to ‘practice’ with this pattern. I used the Red Heart one pound skeins (I forget the weight, forgive me) and a 5.5 hook and worked in groups of 5. (5 up the peak, 5 down the peak) with 3 peaks. Still with me? OK good! (At the end I flipped it over so my foundation chain was at the top.. I just liked it better that way and since it was flipped it came out to 4 peaks, you’ll see at the end)

In order to complete this pattern you will need to know a few things.

1. How to make your foundation chain
2. How to single stitch
3. How to single stitch two together. Commonly abbreviated as sc2tog.
4. How to work more than one stitch in a stitch.

You probably know how to do all but number 3. If you don’t know how to sc2tog you can search for a video or use the steps below:
1. Start off in your first stitch as you normally would for a single stitch. You will insert your hook into the stitch, wrap around and pull through.
2. Instead of wrapping around and pulling through to complete the stitch, you will insert into the second stitch (you should have two loops on your hook prior to inserting the hook) wrap around and pull through.
3. You will now have THREE loops on your hook, wrap around and pull through all three.

Congrats! You’ve just completed a sc2tog. The purpose of this is to decrease a stitch by one. The purpose of this stitch in THIS tutorial is to create the straight edge you will see, instead of how the edge looks above ;).

Step One: Your foundation. As stated earlier this will work multiples of 5 in 3 peaks/4 valleys. The number will NOT come out like you assume doing just that math!!! You will need to remember we will be adding in ONE stitch for each of the top of the peaks, the TWO chains for the ‘skips’ of the valleys and the TWO on EACH end for creating the edge. Writing it out would look like this: 2,5,1,5,2,5,1,5,2,5,1,5,2 = 41

Chain 41. Chain 1 and turn.

Step Two: In your second and third FROM the hook, single stitch those two together, using the sc2tog method. This creates the edge you want.
Step Three: Single stitch one in each of your next 5 stitches. This is your ‘up’ part.
Step Four: Single stitch THREE into your next ONE stitch. This creates your “peak”.
Step Five: Single stitch one in each of the next 5 stitches. This is your ‘down’ part
Step Six: SKIP TWO of your foundation chains (This creates the “valley”), and single stitch ONE in each of your next 5 stitches. This is your ‘up’ part again.
Step Seven: Single stitch THREE in your next chain (Again, this creates your “peak”).
Step Eight: Single stitch ONE in each of your next 5 stitches creating your ‘down’.
Step Nine: SKIP your next TWO foundation chains (creating your “valley” again), and single stitch ONE in each of your next 5 chains, creating your ‘up’.
Step Ten: Single stitch THREE in your next stitch (creating your final “peak”) and single stitch ONE in EACH the next 5 chains, creating your last ‘down’.
Step Eleven: sc2tog in your final two chains.
Step Twelve: Chain one and turn.
 You can see that the “peaks” are WAY
more predominant than the “valleys”.
DONT WORRY! Once you start adding
more rows it will look better! I promise!
Don’t give up 😀

Step Thirteen: Repeat steps 2 – 12 until you get the length you are looking for. You can choose to keep going or change out your colors. Since this was my “practice” piece I changed colors (because I need practice with that too!) with another of the most abundant color of my yarn supply (Which also happens to be San Francisco 49er colors)…

Since I was practicing and didn’t want it huge, I decided it would be a little banner to hang, and I added a “SF” embroidery (I know needs work lol) and some fringes and it is now a cute little 49er banner for the hubs to hang on the wall for luck!

 This is just one “peak” using 3 stitches instead of 5. Works perfect for a headband!
I stick with 5 as the length because its easy to count 5 when you have distractions.. and dont worry about the sc2tog to decrease your number stitch number, because you are adding one at your end peaks, so you get it back!
The most important thing to remember when counting your foundation, is at the top of your peaks, add another stitch, and at your valleys add two stitches, then add your two to each end for keeping it straight! Once you have the basic pattern listed above down (mainly because it is the same thing each row) the possibilities are endless from cuffs to blankets!
And now! How to create YOUR OWN pattern to fit your project!!
Since you are basically working the same thing over and over, you just need to decide how many peaks you want, and how many stitches you want per side. Below is a little “chart” to help you gage sizes. It would be more “advanced”… but I was working with what I had on hand, and am too lazy a the moment to make it better. I am sure that will come later. 🙂

These are on a regular piece of computer paper. The top is the banner above from the tutorial, using a 5.5 hook. The left is the headband, with 3 on the sides instead of 5 (chaining 11 in your foundation) and using a 5.5 hook. The one on the right, is used with a 6.0 hook, and using multiples of 5 with one peak (chaining 15 in your foundation). You can see going up even a half of hook size can change the size of your outcome pretty noticeably.
You can either make your own pattern in two ways, counting in your head as you go, or like how I like to do, write it out and then begin.
Below is a BASIC writing out of your pattern. I used 4 peaks (for lack of space, and wanted it large enough to see). If you are choosing to write it out instead of in your head, you can add or take away any peaks you wish to fit your project, just remember to leave the 2 on the ends!
The top row is your foundation chain, the bottom is the remaining rows.
You can see the numbers added in. The number two on the ends are for your 2 that you will single chain together. The number one is for the peaks, the two 2’s in the middle are for your skips for the valleys. The letter N is for whatever length you want to use. Substitute the letter N with your number, then add them all up. (For instance using 5 gives you 41, using 6 gives you 47, using 7 gives you 53). Don’t forget you will chain one before your turn also!!

For the bottom/remaining rows: Your two on the end you will sc2tog, N will be your picked number, stitch those, your 1 for the “peak” will include 3 single stitches in ONE STITCH. N is your number back down again, the two from your foundation valley will be skipped as noted by “skip 2”. N again is your picked number, keep going until you reach your last two, and sc2tog for those. Chain 1 and turn, and start again!!

If anything is unclear, or even if this was perfect for you, please let me know! If you need more clarification I would be glad to help if I am able to. If this made perfect sense and you got it, let me know that too! I love the “ah-ha” feeling of getting something, and want you to experience it too!!!!

Thank you for stopping and I hope this has been able to help you in your crochet endeavors!

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Oatmeal Facial

Oatmeal Facial

Step 1:

Over medium heat in a pan add ingredients below for 5-6 minutes

1/2 Cup Oatmeal (I used instant, its what we had)
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Water
1 TBSP Honey

It should look something like this:

Step 2:
Let cool (I transferred it into an old baby food jar at this point to cool, I hate things sitting in pans)
This is what fit into the container and what was left over. Since I didnt have an extra jar I just pitched the rest :/

Step 3: 
Apply for 15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.

Overall impression:
The ingredients were easy enough, I had them all to whip up on one of my whims for this. Applying it wasnt as easy as I thought it would be. The oatmeal wouldnt stick to my face like I thought it would. I dont know if I didnt let it cool enough or im just not stick proof. But I could feel it tightening up my skin only a few minutes after application. I look more like something is wrong with my face at this point (It’s still on, see what I mean).      

After I rinsed it off with warm (okay maybe it was a little more than warm, give me a break its 40 degrees here!) water, I noticed that my skin felt a little bit cleaner (it was only one application so I didnt expect much), and more smooth than normal. So see below, the unedited, unfiltered, no makeup results of the recipe. 

Not too shabby for whipping it together in less than 10 minutes! What are some of your favorite facial recipes?

Homemade Products for Cleaning

Since I have been trying to be on a savings kick lately (and it has KIND OF been working) I looked up a butt load of homemade recipes knowing how inexpensive they can actually be after its all said and done. You just have to put the time into making them. I tried to look up recipes that involved little ingredients, after all I wasn’t trying to spend a lot initially, and thankfully haven’t had to. Below are the list of homemade things that I have found to be worth the time and effort to have something inexpensive and more ‘natural’ being used in the home. I actually have only had to spend less than $20 on ingredients, the rest I thankfully had already on hand! You SHOULD have most of this stuff on hand, I am going to guess the only thing you may need to purchase is borax and washing soda (which is the less than $20 I spent).

Febreze


Purpose:
To make your home smell good 🙂

Step 1:

Mix 1/8 cup (or more if you want a better smell)
2 TBSP baking soda,
32 oz of hot tap water into the container.

Step 2:

Shake it up

Step 3:

Spray it around! Thats seriously it!

Overall impression:
I didnt find it as “smelly” as I thought I would. I am not sure if it was because I used the dollar store brand, or it just wasn’t a strong smell. We used a lot of it at once, but I made four batches so far (and used the fabric softener in the washer) with plenty left to make more. I guess going by four batches (minus the container) comes out be (1$ for the fabric softener and .69 cents for baking soda/ four batches) = .42 cents per batch! It obviously is a lot cheaper than that since I haven’t used up all of the ingredients to be able to say exactly how many batches it yields (plus I use baking soda for other things).

Completeblissblog.blogspot.com

Goo Gone

Purpose:
Take off the residue from labels on bottles/containers when upcycling them.

Step 1:

Ingredients are a 1:2 ratio of vegetable oil and baking soda respectfully. Mix them together until it becomes pasty.

Step 2:

Apply to what sticker residue you want gone. You will want it to be covered but not gooped on. I usually apply a generous layer, then use my finger to “smooth” it out and put the rest back in the container.

Step 3:

Let it sit for about 10-20 minutes (mine is usually longer because I set it and forget about it all afternoon). Once its sat for a while, rinse it off with a rag/sponge. I have found that USUALLY it doesn’t take much elbow greases after that. (I do also wash the bottles before that so I dont know if that helps)

Overall impression:
Since I have found this recipe and tried it, I use it on EVERYTHING! Plastic, glass, you name it. (remember those upcycled starbucks bottles HERE). It uses common ingredients I dont have to go out and buy special, so when I need more, I just whip some up). Since it uses oil and baking soda I cant calculate the over cost per batch. I use oil to cook and baking soda for other things, febreze *cough cough*!

completeblissblog.blogspot.com
Laundry Detergent

Purpose:

To clean your laundry, duh! I also found that it works great as a stain remover on carpet too though!

Step 1:

Take an old jar/jug/empty detergent bottle (like me) and mix in:
3 TBSP Borax
3 TBSP Washing Soda
2 TBSP Dawn Dish Soap (Apparently Dawn works best for removing grease)
4 TBSP Unstoppables. Or more if you want it smelling great (totally optional though. I first used it by adding to every load instead of mixing it straight in, then I found I was too lazy for all that)

Step 2:

Add in 4 cups boiling water and swirl. I never boiled the water, just used REALLY hot tap water! But you could boil it while you are adding the ingredients above. I just didnt want my back turned with boiling water and a toddler.

Step 3:

Let it cool down. It will take a while to cool, and I kept swirling occasionally while it was. Once it does cool, add cold water. You will see bubbles overflow for a little bit before the water actually fill it up. Thats okay. Once it is filled up thats it!!!

Overall impression:
I havent noticed a difference the quality of it cleaning my clothes, but Chad has. His main concern is the smell.. because you know how store bought stuff smells AMAZING and STRONG! I got the Borax and Washing Soda for about 15$ I want to say, the unstoppables are $3.50 at dollar general and $5.00 at Meijer. I have made about 5 loads already, and since I dont use the Borax and Washing Soda for anything else than the detergent (and very little for the next one),  I literally have about 20 more loads to make from them (if not more, the boxes are big and you use SO LITTLE). So as of right now, it averages at $4 instead of $10+ buying it in the store.. But I can make more, so the overall price will drop. His other concern is it “doesnt remove stains” and he claims that “I know what stains are on my shirts before you wash them and they are still there afterwards”. Since I dont scope every piece of clothing before I wash it (and he is a mechanic so he always has grease stains on his uniforms) I dont know if he is full of crap or not. He is the type of person who prefers to spend the extra money instead of homemade stuff. Loser. IF that is the case, you can always use a stain remover spray on them. Also, since the liquid is so thin, it works with HE washers as well as the non HE washers. BONUS!

Disinfectant Spray

Purpose:
Cleaning and disinfecting areas.

Step 1:

I used an old spray bottle of wool-lite (and the Goo Gone to clean it, scrapbook paper and mod podge to write on and look cool). You will add together:

1/2 Cup Vinegar
2 Cups hot water
1 TSP washing soda
OPTIONAL: 10 drops essential oil. I skipped the oil, I didnt have any.

Step 2:

Swirl it around to get the ingredients all mixed up and let sit to cool down

Step 3:

Spray on surface and wipe clean. BOOM! Easy as pie!

Overall impression:
I noticed while I was constantly using the spray (a few times a day cleaning up after everyone), none of us were sick. Then chad decided to not use it while cleaning the kitchen up anymore and me and grandma have been having stuffy noses. Maybe thats just all in my head though. I also used it to clean the microwave after WAY too long of cleaning it. I let it sit a minute and just wiped it down with hardly any scrubbing. Since you use way too little washing soda and you can get vinegar for like .80 cents if you buy the small one, and you can get like a million loads out of it, lets estimate and say this recipe costs about .10 cents to make.. its probably way cheaper, but I am too lazy to do the actual calculations. and 10 cents sounds good and inexpensive to me 😉

completeblissblog.blogspot.com

So thats it! The things I have found to be homemade and USEFUL! What types of homemade cleaning things have you found to work out well? I would love to hear!

Chap stick

Cost: $1 I already had the rest of the supplies

Supplies: petroleum jelly, kool aid and empty containers 

I got the petroleum jelly at the dollar store so it was cheaper. Scoop the jelly into a bowl and melt it down in the microwave. It took a good 5 minutes to get all the way melted. Mix in the kool aid. 

I found it mixed better when it was less of a liquid and more of the mush. When its all mixed up pour into containers!
I got 11 Chapstick tubes and a Joann’s lockable container filled with about a half a cup (whole container) of the petroleum jelly. Viola! No need to buy Chapstick for about 2 years!
I did notice that it didn’t have as much of the flavor or smell I thought it would. Maybe next time i’ll try two packets! 

Remote holder

Cost: free because I already the materials. Otherwise you need yarn and crochet hooks which can be found anywhere from Meijer or a craft store for probably less than $10
Items: yarn, crochet hooks, scissors, finishing nails.

I finally got sick and tired of my toddler finding the remotes and hiding them from us. I used a crocheted granny square that I had previously practiced on for this. Instructions on a granny square can be found here. http://m.wikihow.com/Crochet-a-Granny-Square or you can google search it.. there are also vidoes on the web to have visuals when making one of your own!

I folded the square in half and crocheted up the sides to keep it together. Put two finishing nails in the wall and hung it up! Well out of my toddlers reach, and they are always in the same spot. Now if I can just get everyone else to put them here the remote situation would be handled!