Tuesday 19 August 2014

Crochet Toe Guard Pattern for Roller Skates

A while ago - when I was still playing roller derby before I got pregnant - I made up some toe guards for my roller skates. I wanted to see if crocheted toe guards were feasible in terms of wear and tear before I wrote out a pattern for them. I had a few emails asking for a pattern and I am finally past the baby-brain phase and can write one out.
Below are some frequently asked questions I got about the toe guards. If you have any other questions, feel free to comment or email me and I will get back to you!

How long have your toe guards lasted?

I skated with my toe guards on for a good 4-6 months and they are still going strong. I found that they stretched a fair bit and got a bit discoloured and scuffed, but they still function perfectly well. These would be the perfect accessory for your boutfit*!

*boutfit - team outfit worn only for a bout and must be customized to match the theme

What surface do you skate on?

I skated on wooden/court surfaces - I can't say for sure how they would work on concrete.

Is this a one size fits all pattern?

I made these to fit my skates - Riedell She Devils, size 6.5 mens with a size 5 nylon plate. I assume that most skates are the same width around the toe though. I tried my toe guards on my skates as I went, to make sure the fit would be right, if your skates are a lot bigger it may just be a case of adding in an extra increasing round and adjusting where the holes where the laces and toe stop go. You do want a snug fit as it will stretch.

How do you put the toe stop back on without ruining the toe guard?

I decided to add an extra nut and washer to the toe stop so that I wasn't constantly screwing where the toe guard was. My new assembly went: Skate, nut, toe guard, washer, nut, toe stop. This isn't necessary but might stop the cotton being worn down as fast.

My work turned out different to yours, why?

First of all, I crochet super tight - sorry! I am also a bit of a make-it-up-as-I-go kinda crafter and this pattern might not be quite true to my work, but give it a go and challenge yourself! 

Crochet Toe Guard Pattern

*This pattern is free for personal use but I ask that you do not sell anything made from this pattern. I also ask that you link back to this page if you do put up any pictures of these or your own toe guards made from this pattern on the internet. Thanks!*

3.5mm crochet hook (size 4 or E hook)
1 ball of 100% cotton yarn.
Roller skates to assure a good fit for the toe guard. 

ch - chain (pull yarn through)
sc - single crochet (hook through, pull yarn through, pull yarn through 2 loops)
sl st - slip stitch (hook through, pull yarn through 2 loops)

Row 1: Magic circle with 6 single crochet. Sl st to join.

Row 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each stitch. Sl st to join.

Row 3: Ch 1, (2 sc in the next stitch, 1 sc in the next stitch). Repeat instructions in bracket around the circle. Sl st to join.

Row 4: Ch 1, (2 sc in the next stitch, 1 in the next, 1 in the next). Repeat instructions in brackets around the circle. Sl st to join.

 *This is where you would add another increasing round if you wanted a larger toe guard*

Row 5: Ch 1, sc in each stitch. Sl st to join.

Row 6: Ch 1, sc in each stitch. Sl st to join.

Row 7: Ch 1, sc in each stitch. Sl st to join.

Row 8: Ch 1, sc in each stitch. Sl st to join.

Row 9: *This round we add in the lace holes*  Ch 1, sc 12, ch 3 then sc in the next space. Sc 6, ch 3, sc in the next space. Sc until the end of the circle. Sl st to join.

Row 10: Ch 1, sc around, including the new stitches around the lace holes. Sl st to join.

Row 11: *This is where we add the toe stop hole. Use your pattern as a guide on your skates for where the toe stop hole should start* Sc around to where you want the hole. Ch 9, skip 3 stitches, sc into the next stitch.

Row 12: Sc around, including the ch 9.

Row 13: Sc around. Add in two lots of ch 3 for the second set of lace holes. Line these up with the first set. Once you sc past the toe stop hole, sl st and tie off. Weave in ends.

Nut, toe guard, washer, nut

Hope this helps - any questions just ask! I'd love to see a rainbow version!

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Mama Made: Crossover Baby Hoodie

Pattern courtesy of Leafy Treetop Spot (free PDF download)

The other day I finally got round to sorting through and throwing out/giving away my old clothes. You know, the ones that you keep *just in case I fit it again* or *I'll definitely wear that again*. I figured enough was enough and ditched the clothes that didn't make the cut. There are some 'maybe's' though that lasted this round.

Anyway the point to that ramble was that in the midst of those clothes being re-homed, I found a pair of tracksuit pants that I had worn maybe once. The insides were still nice and fluffy and I had a thought that I could use the material from these pants to make a hoodie for Addison. Because do you see black hoodies for babies around anywhere?

I trawled the interwebs and found a free pattern for a hoodie I liked, then printed it out, and cut out my pieces. If I hadn't made a mistake and cut the wrong side of the hood a couple more times than necessary, then I would have had enough tracksuit fabric to make two hoodies. TWO! Baby clothes are so tiny and awesome.

The lining/ribbing I used is actually a t-shirt that has been cut up. Because can someone tell me where you can get awesome stretch fabric?

I followed the pattern and decided that I wanted my hood to be contrasting so I just flipped it inside out before attaching it to the jersey.

Because my model was sleeping while all this was taking place, I couldn't try the jersey on her for fit. The pattern is for 0-3 months and Addison is coming up 4 months but is pretty small for her size. Next time I make this I will try and alter the pattern to be slightly wider, longer in length and make the hood a bit deeper.

Other than that I am stoked at how well this turned out considering my (lack of) skills. I even managed to do relatively straight top stitching around all the seams.

And of course here are the obligatory cute shots of my darling girl - who is smiling for the camera for once!

It is getting harder and harder to photograph her these days - her limbs are constantly flailing all over the show!