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11  tunisian knit stitch beanie in Crochet: Completed Projects by Balatong on: March 06, 2013 09:50:28 AM
I can't knit but I like the stretch and texture of knitting. I recently picked up the book The New Crochet Dictionary. It's not "new." The book was published in the 80s, but it has loads of techniques, like tunisian crochet. I found out about the tunisian knit stitch (tks) from the book, but because the photos are somewhat blurry and in black and white, I had to supplement with web tutorials.

I started this hat with the tunisian simple stitch and then tks, but I didn't work in the round (that's the next technique I will have to learn).

Using a regular hook, I joined the swatch with slip stitches, and then closed the top with single crochet (sc) and  sc decrease.

To finish, the brim is one round of sc.
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12  Fedora for Gia in Crochet: Completed Projects by Balatong on: February 15, 2013 09:48:21 AM
My friend wondered if I could design a hat for her little girl, Gia. Gia loves sea life and one of her favorite toys is a shark plushy.  Playing with sharks brought fedoras to mind. After some trial and error, and lots of frogging, here's what I came up with:

Instead of starting with a ring, I started with a foundation strip of half double crochet stitches, and increased from there. The top is made of half double crochet stitches, the brim in single crochet, and the "ribbon" is made of a long strand of foundation half double crochet stitches.

Because it's getting warmer, I decided to recreate this look in raffia. The "ribbon" is still in worsted weight acrylic and the brim has more rounds to create more shade. I had to use a smaller size hook for this, but it's built from the same concept.
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13  Fingerless Gloves in Crochet: Completed Projects by Balatong on: February 13, 2013 01:46:07 PM

My hands get so cold, but I need my fingertips to text, crochet, etc. So I got these $1 knit gloves, and clipped the finger tips off.  Instant fuzz! To stop it from fraying and unraveling, I took some very thin blue cotton thread and used a 1.8 mm hook to crochet some edging. 
What do you think?
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14  Jute Basket in Crochet: Completed Projects by Balatong on: February 05, 2013 01:40:56 PM

Jute comes in colors other than brown or green!! I didn't realize this until I came across it on a florist site. The drawback: a spool of 100 yards is twice the price of the regular jute found at the hardware store, and that excludes the shipping.  Well, after I splurged on a spool of navy blue, I crocheted a small basket to showcase this beautiful agavoides and some sedum. I didn't put any soil in there.  The succulents will last a very long time.

I worked in a spiral with single crochet stitches and an F-hook.  I wrapped the last round of half-double crochet stitches around a wire ring that I made from 19 gauge wire. The hanger is also made from the same gauge wire. The hook is an ornament hook.
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15  Re: Anger Management in Crochet: Completed Projects by Balatong on: January 16, 2013 12:20:51 PM
I need one of those SO BAD...but just with a smiley face on the other side so the people I'm giving the finger to don't realize it.

Thanks for the inspiration---this is for those passive-aggressive moments...
When some jerk is talking and you have to sit there and take it...
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16  Re: 13 in 2013 Hat-a-Long in Crochetalongs by Balatong on: January 11, 2013 04:58:03 PM
Oh my gosh, I gotta put the Divine on my list.  Everyone's Divine is turning out divine!

Here's my latest Baseball Cap, but it looks much nicer than a baseball cap.  I might just use the pattern without the brim to make a flapper-style hat.  I used Bernat Super Saver in Teal Heather.  Can you see the flapper hat in this color with some peacock feathers tucked behind the flower, and then beads crocheted into the band?

My friend was nice enough to gift this pattern to me.  I don't usually buy patterns. Here's the link on etsy:

I learned how to do reverse single crochet from this pattern-- a great stitch to add to the stitch "tool box."
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17  Anger Management in Crochet: Completed Projects by Balatong on: January 11, 2013 10:02:47 AM
You know when you get mad, and say shoot, or sheets-and-blankets, or son-of-a, or frick, or... well, you get my drift?  I needed a similar substitute for the finger.  Slip it on your ring finger and it prevents the middle one from staying up by itself.

No one can ever accuse you of giving them the frickin' finger again.

...and, true story: I just got back from the craft store, where, as I stood in line, a mother yelled out to her no-more-than 5 year-old daughter: "Shut the f**k up!"

I wish I had this to stick in her mouth:

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18  Towel Topper in Crochet: Completed Projects by Balatong on: January 09, 2013 01:04:51 PM

A quick solution to those wandering hand towels that tend to clutter the counters.
The main color is Red Heart Spring Green.

To start with, you'll need a hook small enough to pierce through the towel, but big enough to work with the thickness of the yarn.  In this case, I used a 1.75 mm steel hook.

I cut a towel in half and worked a row of SC around each corner and across the rough edge.
Once the first row is done, I switched to a 3.75 mm hook.
2nd row is backloop HDC
3rd row is DC and then I join this row with a SL st

The strap is 6 DC stitches wide: 2 DC, and the ridge is made with 2 BPDC or 2FPDC, then 2DC.  Here is the back slit showing the slip stitch join and ridged strap:

To make the "button" hole, CH2, DC, TRC, CH3, SL st in the back ridge of the 2nd chain from hook, CH, TRC in next st of strap, DC, HDC.

You can use a one inch button or a flower for the front.  The flower I used is here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=381407.msg4512699#msg4512699

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19  Re: 13 in 2013 Hat-a-Long in Crochetalongs by Balatong on: January 04, 2013 06:52:50 PM
I'm in! Thanks for giving me the motivation.  This should be fun!
Balatong (aka, Karen)'s 13:
Using this first pattern, I recently finished 8 to be sent to the students who survived the recent tragedy in Newtown. A group of us made over 600 beanies for the students. We collaborated via Facebook, thus the silly thumb hat (which I won't cheat and count in this list).
2. BrainWaves
3. DorkyFrog
4. Hooded Scarf -- I'm currently doing this one free-form, because I couldn't find a free pattern that I like
5. Baseball Cap in Bernat Super Saver Teal Heather
I love this yarn, but when I went to buy more they were sold out.
6. Gia's Fedora --
7. Raffia Summer Hat --
8. TKS Beanie -- tunisian knit stitch worked from the bottom up, closed with single crochet decrease

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20  Spotlight Turned Planter in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by Balatong on: December 18, 2012 12:57:28 PM
I made this last summer, but never got around to posting it.  This is a spotlight I got at a garage sale.  I chose a plant called "firesticks" to put in it.  Because the plant needs ample drainage, and I didn't want to drill holes through the fixture, I placed the firesticks in potting soil in a 4" plastic pot, then placed the whole thing in the fixture.

It looks lit up because I flashed a flashlight on it while I took the picture.

If you use this plant, just be really careful because the sap is really toxic and can burn you. More info here: http://firestickplant.com/

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