Tag Archives: Crochet

The Winter Blues Have Arrived!

I’m embracing the long winter months ahead with a delicious wintery blue Brava project. Like most everyone, I have a major crush on any rainbow palette – be it a full-on Crayola extravaganza or a subtle monochromatic transition. I was delighted when we expanded our Brava acrylic worsted palette to include just the perfect hues for my dream crochet blanket.

Brava Blues
Aren’t they gorgeous? In case you’re wondering, they are as follows:
Left to right: Marina, Cornflower,Peacock, Tidepool, Silver, Dove Heather, Clarity, White

Brava Blues

Brava Blues

I’m planning on doing a chevron pattern, like this one. Should create a lovely, wave-like effect!

What is your favorite set of colors? Any particular rainbow combinations you favor?


Accessory Weather

Those frosted windshields and travel mugs full of hot tea mean that it’s accessory weather! Fingerless mittens have come out of storage weeks ago, I’ve started carrying around a slouchy hat in my purse for windy emergencies this week and I just sorted through my chest of knit sweaters. I’ve been pretty steadily increasing the winter wardrobes of my extended family and friends every Christmas and this year is certainly no different. I wanted to share a few of my recent favorites to add to your own gift list!

I heard that Tincanknits would be coming to my local yarn shop in a few months ago so I popped over to look at their patterns on Ravelry as a little refresher before I made a trip to see the projects in person. I fell in love with their Antler Hat pattern for a second time and decided to make one for my mother in Full Circle Worsted Ponderosa. I love the combination of simple repeats in this cable pattern and the lovely stitch definition of Full Circle. The single ply yarn makes such a bouncy, cozy fabric!

More recently, I whipped up a pair of Stacey’s Semplice Fingerless Mitts (free pattern!) in my favorite yellow: Turmeric in Swish DK. It doesn’t get more autumnal than that. I was able to do them two-at-a-time which means that both thumbs actually ARE the same length (I problem of mine when it comes to mittens). Unisex and super versatile – this pattern has been in heavy rotation lately as I try to whittle down my Christmas gift list!

Lastly, I wanted to try my hand a crochet beanie. I still have some Chroma Worsted samples kicking around in my stash and I just love how it crochets up. I discovered Rohn Strong‘s great patterns on Ravelry and tried my hand at his Grizzly hat pattern. It’s got just the right amount of slouch and fits perfectly, this pattern is definitely added to my “second time around” list for last minute gifts. I’ve got my eye on a ball of Chroma Worsted Soft Rock for one and Midwinter for another.

Are you still working on big gift projects for Christmas or are you trying to fill in some gaps with smaller accessories too? I still have one more sweater to get crackin’ on but then it’ll be smooth sailing for the rest of the month!


Clove & Spice Knit and Crochet Pumpkin Free Pattern

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Link to the Clove & Spice Knit and Crochet Pumpkin Pattern

The rains are here and I know it’s time to start thinking about pumpkins, golden leaves and early frosts. My favorite pumpkin patch has started sneaking tempting images of ripe pumpkins into my Facebook feed and my Pinterest is filling up with October crafts (beeswax-dipped leaves, anyone?) so it’s definitely time to get my fall crafting started! To celebrate the cooler weather and changing seasons I whipped up a quick little pattern with instructions for both knit and crochet pumpkins.

Both versions of the Clove & Spice Pumpkins are great beginner patterns with written pattern instructions and photos illustrating how to create those chubby little ridges. These little fellas are the perfect size to perch on a book shelf or to add into a little tabletop tableau (the knit Spice pumpkin has a 10.5″ circumference and the crochet Clove pumpkin has a 13.5″ circumference) and there’s enough yarn in one ball of Wool of the Andes Sport to make two pumpkins.

I can’t think of a cuter way to welcome in the fall season! What are your favorite cold-weather crafts? Are you gearing up for a trip to the pumpkin patch too? I can’t wait


Books with double the fun!

I love my job! I have the pleasure of finding books at Knit Picks.  Today is double exciting because we have new books to share and it’s book sale time! With 40% off, it’s hard to resist!  Here are some knitting, crocheting and tatting books that have caught my eye.

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KNITTING

Vogue Knitting: Very Easy Sweaters is a classic book of sweaters. 50 Projects! You’ll be able to find something for anyone in here – many of the projects are plus sized as well.  The projects include light weight, cabled, striped & colorwork, as well as stockinette and dramatic shapes.

For the colorwork fans, Interweave has come out with a new book Fair Isle Style.  Mary Jane Mucklestone brings you 20 fresh designs from several designers. Projects include scarves, gloves & mittens, socks, sweaters, a skirt, and many more. The sweaters and skirt include plus sizes, which is a plus (no pun intended!). Not only is it a book full of projects that focuses on  fresh, modern uses of color, it’s a book about knitting the Fair Isle technique.

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CROCHET

Wedding Crochet is filled with 20 romantic and feminine crochet designs. Though the title says “wedding” there are many projects in here that can be used for everyday wear.  There are wraps, shawl, lacy cardigan, little girls shrug, belt, necklace, long gloves and corsage.  Wedding specific projects some short veils, favors, garter, and ring bearer pillow.  I have my eye on the lacy cardigan.  its beautiful!

Treasury of Holiday Crochet has 84 gifts and home accents for holidays all year round. Projects include Halloween Masquerade mask, Chanukah throw, American flag afghan, ornaments, Christmas stockings, Father’s Day tie, Easter dress and basket and oh so much more!

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TATTING

The last two new books are tatting books.  Tatting is a new adventure for me and I love it! I love the design options that are available.  Needle tatting is my preferred method.  We have lots of tatting tools as well as hankies for your tatting pleasure!

Celtic Tatting has 12 original designs using the graceful loops and whorls of Celtic knots. In this book you will find edging, a Celtic flower, butterfly, heart & cross.  You will find projects using these designs in earrings, a collar, bookmark, doily and a decorative frame

The title Festive Snowflakes & Ornaments says it all.  It includes 14 snowflakes and 4 motifs.  You can hang them as snowflakes or attach them to ornaments to create an unique, dazzling look.  These are perfect for decorating your house or to give as gifts.

There are so many more new books available that I could go on for days!  Check out the rest of the new books here. We’ve included images of the projects to help you in choosing the perfect books for your library!


Crochet Week: Curio Luminarie Cozy and Hanging Planter Pattern

I’m pretty sure that I just took my crochet skills to a whole new level this past launch when I released my very first pattern (the Luminarie Cozy and Hanging Planter Pattern) as part of Knit Picks, for free! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share what I’ve been tinkering with since we got our first samples of our new Curio crochet thread in the office.

I’ve been oggling jar covers on Pinterest since I created my account but never wanted to make a set out of something as heavy and wooly as Palette, and none of our lace yarns seemed quite sturdy enough for the job of bearing the weight of a plant. In stepped Curio just about the same time summer truly got started here in Portland and I seriously starting to pine for something cute to work on. Curio has the perfect combination of sturdiness, stitch definition, extraordinarily lovely palette and dainty thread weight for this sort of project.

I chose the ever-classic Natural color and picked up my 1.5 mm steel crochet hook and started playing around with different stitches.

Some of the very first images that really caught my eye were jar cozies with candles inside. I LOVED how the light shines through the fabric and casts beautiful lacy shadows on the table top. A simple sleeve that fits snugly over a jar seemed like the perfect place to start. I found a fairly solid stitch pattern that I thought would hold it’s shape, stay situated on the jar right where I wanted it while still allow enough of that romantic candlelight to shine through.

Isn’t that lovely? And it’s so easy. I decided to crochet it flat, working back and forth until I had just the right length to wrap around the jar. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about twisted foundation chains and I could just stitch the ends together for a quick finish.

The second pattern was a bit of a challenge because I needed to find some way of making a base to support a jar with a plant inside so that I could hang it in a window. It couldn’t be too open, or the whole shebang would sag, but it still needed to have a touch of delicacy about it.

I settled on a simple round motif for the bottom that transitions into a simple two-row repeat in the round for the sides. My favorite part about both projects is that if you’re familiar and comfortable basic crochet techniques, you can whip both of these up in a day and have PLENTY of thread left over to make many more.

I would love to crochet a few of these in gradated colors to line up down a table for a dinner party. Maybe Natural, Bluebell, Ciel and Navy? Oh, how those blues get me every time!


Knit & Crochet in Public Week: Knittin’ Out in the Open

Crafting started as something fun to do once in a while, like during a rainy day or on the odd vacation weekend. I have a few memories of making massive collages of tiny horses cut out of magazines, or sorting through a giant jar of buttons.

That was all before I picked up a pair of knitting needles late in high school. From that moment on I needed to craft. It became a lifestyle. I knit in class, on the bus, during movies, on car rides to the store and especially in parks on nice days. Today I always have a larger project to work on at home and a smaller portable project to work on when I’m out in the fresh air and I noticed during this past round of craft shows that I always love picking up purses and tote bags but my first thought was always “hmmm… how much knitting can I fit in here?” 20130610_0051

I’m not making a statement with my public craftitude, instead I’m simply keeping busy and working through my stash no matter where I am. I do get a little thrill whenever a stranger asks what I’m making or even just correctly identifies whether I’m sewing, knitting or crocheting (conversely, I HATE it when someone asks what I’m sewing when I’m clearly knitting… sheesh!).

I think the project that has spent the most time out and about with me is my Hue Shift Afghan. I bought the yarn after I saw the finished blanket when it came through the office, well before I even shot it for the catalog! I couldn’t WAIT to get started!

Well, almost exactly one year later I just finished weaving in the last end. It is by far my most long-term project and one of the least portable but I wanted to finish it so badly that I wound up lugging it around with me for the past five months.

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Now it’s officially done (complete with a photo!) so now the space in my purse for projects is freed up and I’m definitely at a bit of a loss for what to start next! I think I’m due for a few toys or mittens. Lately I’ve been grabbing a ball of yarn and a crochet hook instead of reaching for my circulars when I head out on a date or to a coffee shop. I love how portable and quick Amigurumi or granny squares can be!