Author Archives: Underground Crafter

About Underground Crafter

My name is Marie Segares and I’ve been crafty for a long time. My maternal grandmother taught me most of the needlearts at a young age, but the only one I’ve done continuously since childhood is crochet. As an adult, I picked up (again) sewing, quilting, embroidery, and knitting. My parents were also big creative influences, especially my dad, who is a fine artist. He had a kind of creativity “boot camp” program in place after school, on weekends, and in the summer time. (He was the Drill Sergeant, and I was the new recruit, in case you were wondering.) I live and work in New York City and am currently on the endangered species list as a Native New Yorker. By day, I work in higher education administration/college access. By night (and weekend) I make cool creative stuff and teach people to do the same.

Swamp Hooks: Guest Post, Crochet Hook Review, and Giveaway!

Swamp Hooks Guest Post, Crochet Hook Review, and Giveaway on Underground CrafterToday is the third in a series of weekly posts where I feature an artisanal crochet hook maker, share a review of the hooks, and offer up a giveaway where you can win your very own hand crafted crochet hook!

Today’s post features Swamp Hooks. Amy Surratt is the maker behind the shop. All of Amy’s hooks are hand carved from genuine Southern swamp wood, and her shop’s tagline is “Southern grown, American made.” Amy stopped by today for a guest post, followed by my review of two Swamp Hooks, and a giveaway for a custom, wood carved crochet hook (!), so read on for details!

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Swamp Hooks Guest Post, Crochet Hook Review, and Giveaway on Underground CrafterGuest Post: Zen Lessons and Making Crochet Hooks

By Amy Surratt, Swamp Hooks

Carving crochet hooks was never something I had given much thought to. It was not on a bucket list or in some greater design for my life. It was something that just dropped in on me, unexpectedly and quite literally.

A branch from a cypress tree fell and landed just outside the door and it was pretty. It looked like it should be something and not just refuse left behind by a storm. After long consideration, my fiancé and I decided to try and see what we could do with it. Unfortunately the first few tries ended badly and didn’t really resemble crochet hooks all that much. As a matter of fact, many of the first hooks ended up being kindling in the fire place when the heads popped off or the entire thing just seemed to implode so I don’t really have a finished hook to hold up and say “This is it, the first hook from that first branch.”

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It did start a curiosity in both of us, though, that eventually blossomed into a joy, especially when the heads stopped popping off quite as often. It started us both looking around at trees and branches and wondering, “What could I make from that?” and “I wonder what the wood looks like.”

That was the first lesson I learned from carving crochet hooks. . . Sometimes happiness is not a goal to be struggled towards. Sometimes it drops out of the sky and lands at your feet. You just have to recognize it and the possibilities it opens up for you. We have both found that carving the hooks is something we enjoy to do. The way this branch or that will look when oiled, the smoothness of the hook when it is fully polished, using the natural curves and bends in a design. It is fun to do and we really enjoy it and we would never have tried it if Cypress trees didn’t have a habit of dropping branches at startlingly regular intervals.

The second lesson I learned was that carving random knobs and bumps is anything but a random act. I thought it would be easy — what could be easier than doing something completely random? I was wrong. To make something look random requires more thought than making it look like a swirly-doo. Humans tend to look for patterns in things and when you are carving that natural instinct sneaks in and before you know it, you are carving a set of uniform random bumps, evenly spaced and sized. To create something random you have to stop trying to create something random. You have to carve a bunch of separate things and focus not on the whole but on each thing and just trust the whole will work itself out in the end. It is not nearly as easy as it looks but it is also fun too. Pushing yourself to be random makes you see the wood grains and the knots and bends and work with them to create something different and unique.

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The third lesson is that it takes a whole lot of effort to make something look natural. This sounds paradoxical but as soon as you start carving something, the naturalness of it is harder to maintain because you’ve changed it. It’s the whole physics “observation changes things” paradox I think. Instead of trying to push your idea of the natural look, you have to work with the wood to see what it wants to be. The grain of the wood might want to flow one way even if you planned on it going another. The tightness of the grain pattern or shape of the grain swirls might make things you thought of doing not work as well. To make it look natural you have to stop being in control of the carving in a way and let go, see the wood and let all of those things show you how to make it natural looking. You have to surrender creative control to the wood so it can show you what it wants to be. Wow, that sounded amazingly hokey but it is true. Sometimes the wood has a personality to it and you have to work with that and allow it to guide you.

The fourth and last lesson is harder to put into words. When creating artwork, I find it easy to step back and know that what my finished product is, is what I wanted it to be. I can see the results and feel the pride of accomplishment. When we create a hook, we can see if it is neat looking and can feel if it is smooth but that final step is not ours. The creation of the hook is actually a two-step process. We love making the hooks but even when we are done and the hook is finished and it looks just like we wanted it to, that final validation doesn’t come until the person we gave it to or who bought it tells us, “I love the hook and it works great for me.”

The final product of our labors is the start, not the end. That final moment of stepping back and taking pride in what we have created happens when the hook finds a home and a hand that will use it. Hearing about people’s projects with our hooks is great. It is like we are part of a bigger series of events. What we love to do just flows into what other’s love and that is a very cool thing in my book.

So carving hooks is more than just a way to make money for us. It has been a very fun journey so far that has taught us things. We never thought it would or that we’d enjoy it so much but, the fact is, that stick on the ground started a passion in us. Today, I carved a butterfly on the end of a crochet hook made from an orange tree that has been giving us oranges for 20 years and finally got caught by a frost. It is beautiful and the tree, which by the way had the best oranges, becomes something new. That is a cool feeling to have.

The giveaway we are doing is for a hook of whatever size you want and whatever kind of handle design you like best. You can choose cypress, swamp mahogany, melaleuca, or orange wood as the material. We’ll work with you to make whatever kind of hook and size of hook that you want and it will be a one of a kind thing, just for you.

Swamp Hooks Crochet Hook Review

Amy sent me two hooks to try out: a Melaleuca “Love Hook” in US H-8 (5mm) and a Cypress hook in US K-10.5 (6.5 mm). You can see the hooks in action and watch my full review video below.

Swamp Hooks are tapered crochet hooks available in several different styles.

The “Love Hook” has the type of “random” knobs that Amy discusses in her guest posts along with a heart shaped end. The Cypress hook is in their signature “Original Swamp Hook” style with bark on it for a rustic look.

What I like about these hooks:

  • Both hooks are incredibly smooth. I assume this is to the natural oils and beeswax Swamp Hooks uses to finish each hook. These are probably the smoothest wooden hooks I have ever worked with.
  • Both styles are visually appealing.
  • The Original Swamp Hook had a long handle to avoid the abrasion against the side of your hand that sometimes happens when you use the knife grip to hold your hook.
  • Both hooks have a tapered throat, which I prefer to an inline hook.
  • Both hooks have a wider circumference on the handle, allowing for a more relaxed grip while crocheting.
  • These hooks are created in a sustainable, ecologically friendly manner. The wood is gathered from fallen trees on their property and after hand carving, each is finished with natural oils and beeswax.

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What might take some getting used to about these hooks:

  • Most crocheters would probably take several uses to find a comfortable grip on the hooks with “random” knobs.
  • Crocheters who prefer hooks with inline throats to tapered hooks may find it harder to pull the yarn through their loops with this hook.
  • Both styles of hook have non-standard shapes, so they may not fit into your existing hook holders.

Swamp Hooks currently sell for $15 – $25, depending on the size, style, and wood used. You can find more of their hooks and their other products, including aprons and hair sticks, in the Etsy shop here.

Full disclosure: Two free review samples were provided by Swamp Hooks. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

Giveaway

Amy from Swamp Hooks is offering up a special hook to one lucky U.S. reader! The winner can choose hook size, handle type, and material from options including Cypress, Melaleuca, Swamp Mahogany, and Orange Tree wood!

So stop by Swamp Hooks and let us know your favorite hook from the shop in the comments! Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for your chance to win by Friday, April 3, 2015. Only entries logged through the widget will be eligible to win. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Announcing a CAL adventure! Mystery Scarf Blog Hop CAL/Design Improv Workshop 2

Last October, Pia Thadani, the crochet designer/blogger at Stitches ‘n’ Scraps, hosted a Design Improv Workshop where a group of crochet designer friends created an impromptu pattern together. (You can check out the free crochet Drawstring Bag Pattern here.)

I missed out on that event, but I’m joining in on the Design Improv Workshop 2, which will be even more fun! Starting on April 1, 2015, I’ll be part of a group of crochet bloggers/designers who will be creating another joint pattern as a mystery crochet-a-long/blog hop! I’d love it if you could join in!

Mystery Scarf Blog Hop CAL April 2015 Design Improv Workshop 2

This will be a bit different than the typical CAL. First of all, it will be a mystery to everyone – even the designers! We do know that the finished project will be a scarf (though you could also you join it together to make a cowl or infinity/circle scarf).

We also know that each row will be 40 stitches across (not including turning chains).

We are not specifying a recommended gauge, yarn weight, hook size, color, or number of pattern repeats, and each of the designers will be choosing their own yarn, hook, and gauge without consulting the rest of us. This should allow you to see many variations during the design process.

In Pia’s words,

This means that you get to add your twist to the design too! Will you make it thick, bulky, and warm for next winter? Or will you make it light and airy for warmer weather? Will you change colors or do it all in one color? Long, or short? We can’t wait to see all the different results!

I do hope you’ll join in the fun with me! There will be plenty of ways to join in, share your pictures, and talk with other crocheters about your progress.

Here are some ways you can get in on the CAL!

  • Use hashtag #DIW2 on social media whenever you share a picture or talk about the CAL!
  • Follow the Pinterest board to see all the great pictures people are sharing. (You can also ask for an invite if you’d like to Pin to it.)
  • You can join in the Design Improv Workshop Ravelry group or G+ community to chat with other crocheters! I’ll also have a dedicated chat thread for the CAL in the Underground Crafter group on Ravelry here.

Although I’m the third stop on the blog hop, I haven’t chosen my yarn yet (egads!). Naturally, I’m stash diving. Here are my options so far, and my thoughts on each.

Miss Babs Yowza--Whatta Skein in Violets in the Grass. I have about 470 yards remaining.

Miss Babs Yowza–Whatta Skein.

I used some of this Miss Babs Yowza–Whatta Skein in Violets in the Grass in my temperature scarf and just love it! It’s a worsted yarn but on the lighter side. Since I don’t know what the pattern will look like yet, I’m not sure how the multi-color yarn will work, though.

I actually have two other variegated yarns I’m considering. On the left, Noro Chirimen in colorway 8, is now discontinued and was a gift from a friend. I think the cotton/silk combination may be nice for the spring. And, on the right, Wisdom Yarns Poems in Autumn, was received in a swap. It is more of a self-striping yarn. The autumnal colors could inspire me to kick off my holiday crafting early.

In between these wildly multi-colored yarns and some of the solids I’m considering is a marled yarn I received in a swap, Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5 Ply. It’s listed as a sport weight yarn but it’s quite thin. I think it would make a great skinny summer scarf and there’s definitely enough yardage.

Bendigo Woolen Mills

Bendigo Woolen Mills

Of course, a solid yarn is likely to have better stitch definition, which may be important when working with multiple stitch patterns from different designers. So I looked in my stash to see what solid or semi-solid yarns were available where I *might* have enough yardage for a crocheted scarf of unknown size.

I love the color of this Araucania Ranco. The sock yarn could make this interesting. Another plus – it’s already wound!

Aruacania Ranco in 102.

Aruacania Ranco.

I also still have a little over two skeins each in two colors of Countrywide Opals (previously used in my Triptych Sampler Infinity Cowl). This is a sport weight yarn but it’s acrylic, so it probably won’t be very breathable for the warm months ahead.

Countrywide Opals yarn on Underground Crafter blog.

Countrywide Opals.

My final option is SHOKAY Shambala Yarn in Emerald. I have two skeins of this beautiful yak yarn. Probably cozy for the spring/summer, but likely to have great stitch definition.

SHOKAY Shambala.

SHOKAY Shambala.

I’d love to hear your opinion! Would you especially love to see one of these yarns in my sample (or should I just head to the yarn shop over the weekend)?

Back to the Design Improv Workshop! You can read more about it in Pia’s introductory post here.

I’m sharing the schedule below. I’m hoping you’ll join in starting April 1, 2015!

April 1: Stitches’N’Scraps by Pia Thadani @WhichCraft3 +StitchesNScraps.com

April 3: American Crochet by Mistie Bush @CrochetAmerican +MistieBush

April 5: Underground Crafter by Marie Segares (me!) @ucrafter +MarieSegares

April 7: Busting Stitches by Stacey Williams @BustingStitches +StaceyWilliams

April 9: The Crochet Lounge by “e” Lee @CrochetLounge +TheCrochetLounge

April 19: KatiDCreations by Kati Donahue @KatiDCreations +KatiDonahue

April 21: Crochet for you by Erangi Udeshika @erangi_udeshika +ErangiUdeshika

We’ll wind up with wrap up posts on April 30! I’ll also be sharing some prizes for a giveaway in my group on Ravelry, but I’ll announce more details on April 1st.

Interview with Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux

Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

I’m finally back on track with my posts for (Inter)National Crochet Month, and today I’m sharing an interview with one of my favorite crochet (and knitting!) bloggers and designers, Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux. Back in January, I was honored to be interviewed by Jennifer on her blog, and of course when NatCroMo came around, I wanted to share her story with you all.

This post contains affiliate links.

Jennifer can be found online at Fiber Flux, as well as on FacebookGoogle+Pinterest, Ravelry (as iheartfiber and on her designer page), Twitter, and YouTube. I’m also including a roundup of my favorite free crochet patterns from Fiber Flux (as well as one free knitting pattern thrown in for good measure!). All images are used with permission and are copyright Jennifer Dickerson/Fiber Flux.

Jennifer says,

Thanks so much, Marie, for having me here on your awesome site!  I have a lot of admiration for you as a crafter and business person and am honored to be here today.

Thank YOU so much for stopping by, Jennifer!

Free pattern roundup & Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

Jennifer Dickerson.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet?

Jennifer: I taught myself to knit years before I learned to crochet.  Being a member of Ravelry, I often would come across gorgeous examples of crochet.  I wanted to learn for quite some time and a lovely (and very patient) aunt of mine who is a very experienced and talented crocheter taught me the very basic stitches.  She is known in our family as the “afghan queen” and was the perfect teacher.  After that I was quite taken with the craft and have had the crochet bug ever since!

Free pattern roundup & Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

Alpine View Wrap, free crochet pattern on Fiber Flux.

UC: What inspired you to start designing? 

Jennifer: It is really amazing all of the things you can do with some yarn.  My very first pattern, Lightning Fast NICU and Preemie Hats, was created because I wanted to make a large donation of little hats to a local hospital.  As a mother, I love the idea of wrapping the tiniest babies in something lovingly handmade.

I Like Crochet April 2015 banner

From there, I began making other things inspired by the people around me and from that came a scarf for a loved one, a hospice shawl, and lots more.  I still design each of my patterns with someone in mind as I am creating them.

Free pattern roundup & Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

Raspberry Sorbet Button Cowl, a free knitting pattern on Fiber Flux.

UC: Although you have a lot of variety in your patterns, you definitely have quite a few cowls and scarves. What do you enjoy about designing neckwarmers?

Jennifer: I am somewhat of a scarf and cowl fanatic.  From early fall to mid spring, I honestly wear one every single day!  I have very heavy ones for the coldest of days and lighter ones for the house and when it warms up a bit (hopefully that will be soon!).  One of my blog friends even dubbed me the scarf queen at one time!  When I get together with friends and family, I will often send them home with a scarf around their neck too.  I love to wrap those I care about with a warm wooly neck hug.

Free pattern roundup & Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

Pumpkins on a Fence Scarf, free crochet pattern on Fiber Flux.

UC: You have tons of videos available on YouTube. How’d you get started filming videos and they’re numbered in episodes. What’s your approach to sharing videos with your fans?

Jennifer: Actually I make videos entirely because of my readers.  They have been asking me for years (yes, years!) to make videos of my projects.  I launched my YouTube channel in the fall of 2013 and have had a great time exploring this fun way of sharing information.  I have the most awesome readers and they have been very supportive and appreciative of my new endeavor.  I often accompany a video along with my written patterns, so that people can refer to it if they get stuck or need additional information.

Free pattern roundup & Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

Philomena Shawlette, free crochet pattern on Fiber Flux.

UC: In addition to crochet, you also share knitting and embroidery patterns and tips on your blog. As a multi-craftual lady, how do you divide your time between these different crafts? Do you have a favorite?

Jennifer: Percentage-wise I definitely have more crochet patterns and videos, but I definitely find joy doing both.  Crochet and knitting are so similar in many ways, but just different enough, so when I feel stuck or need to take a break from one craft, I will often switch and pick up a pair of needles or vice versa.

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I am thankful for both of them because it often will help me “reset” my creative button from time to time.  I will always knit and I will always crochet. They are both such a big part of my life!

Free pattern roundup & Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

Ocean Air Scarf, free crochet pattern on Fiber Flux.

UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?

Jennifer: I suppose many crafty people can relate to this, but I really do find inspiration everywhere…colors of produce at the farmer’s market, the high fashion runway, the local yarn shop, the way a particular fabric drapes over a shoulder, the juxtaposition of texture.  My background in art certainly helps me make creative decisions too…prior to being part of the yarn world, I was a painter, making large abstract paintings and showing them in local galleries.  This training in classical art making with regards to color theory, composition, perspective, etc. most definitely influences me as a designer too.

Free pattern roundup & Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

Crochet Class Cowl, a free crochet pattern on Fiber Flux.

UC: What is your favorite crochet book in your collection?

Jennifer: I am a bit of a book collector…I have piles and piles of them and enjoy flipping through them often.  I love Sarah London‘s use of color and pretty much anything from Linda Permann.

Laurinda Reddig‘s latest book (that I had the pleasure to review recently) has been an exciting read too.  My stitch dictionaries get a lot of milage are are jam packed with post-it notes, full of things scribbled in the margins, and most of the corners are folded in to mark a spot. (UC comment: I’ve previously reviewed Sarah’s book here and Laurinda’s books here and here.)

Free pattern roundup & Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

Cherries in Bloom Infinity Scarf, free crochet pattern on Fiber Flux.

UC: Do you have any crochet/crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Jennifer: To get a big picture view of what is going on in the craft word at any given time, I am a frequent visitor of Ravelry and craftgawker.  I just love to peruse the beautiful handiwork and see the collective beauty of so much talent!  I am so grateful to have made friends with lots of other bloggy stitchers who inspire me not only with their talents, but their wisdom and business savvy as well…I find myself hopping onto their blogs regularly too.

Free pattern roundup & Interview with crochet & knitting designer & blogger Jennifer Dickerson from Fiber Flux on Underground Crafter

Renaissance Button Wrap, free crochet pattern on Fiber Flux.

UC: How are you celebrating NatCroMo this year?

Jennifer: My crochet hook is pretty much an extension of my hand, I will most likely be doing what I already do on a daily basis…crochet, crochet, and more crochet!

Thanks again for stopping by, Jennifer! I’m looking forward to oodles more videos on your YouTube channel.

And, if you like neckwarmers as much as Jennifer and I do, you may want to check out my Crochet Neckwarmers Pinterest board!

Follow Underground Crafter’s board Crochet Neckwarmers on Pinterest.

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground Crafter

I am so excited today to share an amazing guest post and tutorial from Sheri Pavlović at Confessions of a Refashionista! Sheri is a self-described “DIY Diva” and she blogs about eco-conscious fashion. When I was getting ready for this year’s (Inter)National Crochet Month celebrations, I knew I wanted to include a few posts about crochet styling, so I reached out to two fashion bloggers. Sheri’s post is the first one I’m going to share.

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Sheri can be found online at the Confessions of a Refashionista website, and on CraftGawkerFacebookGoogle+, Instagram, KollaboraLinkedInPinterest, Refashion Co-opRefashion Nation, Spread Your Wings and Craft, StyleGawkerTumblrTwitter, and YouTube.

All images are copyright Sheri Pavlović and used with permission. I hope you enjoy this tutorial as much as I did!

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Crochet Styling: Guest Post and Tutorial

Guten Tag from Berlin! I’m Sheri, the quirky Canadian creator behind Confessions of a Refashionista, the fabulously crafty corner of the internet packed with step-by-step tutorials for everything from groovy clothing & accessories to funky home decor + a healthy dose of thrifty style inspiration!

I’m an avid upcycler who lived a most extraordinary existence in North America, Japan, England and Greece before finally ending up in Germany.

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My personal definition of a Refashionista? A kick ass DIY eco-fashion upcycling warrior who firmly believes that fabulous, affordable, unique style can be achieved by anyone without supporting the growing phenomenon of cheap, unethically produced “fast fashion”.

It’s no secret that I’m utterly smitten with all things crocheted. Unfortunately I can’t seem to progress my skills past the basic chain stitch, fortunately a chain stitch is all that is required for the quick refashioning tutorial I’m sharing today!

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground Crafter

I discovered that fabulous clutch in the bag bin of my fave charity shop and even though it was missing the strap I knew that with a bit of refashionista magic it would make the perfect addition to my groovy thrifted jumpsuit and crocheted beanie ensemble!

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground CrafterI grabbed a couple of lanyard clips and an old fabric belt from my stash + my largest crochet hook.

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground CrafterThen made sure that the clips actually fit the existing strap holders of the clutch.

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground Crafter

Looped one end of the fabric belt over the bottom of the clip and stitched it on leaving enough space to comfortably begin the chain stitch.

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground Crafter

Chain stitched the full length of the fabric belt.

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground Crafter

Then looped the open end over the second clip and stitched it down.

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground CrafterEt Voila! A fancy new crocheted strap that transforms my clutch into a handbag or wristlet!

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground CrafterAs I mentioned above I am a lover of crocheted gear with zero talent for actually creating crochet myself. Luckily charity shops are simply bursting with hand knit and crocheted items. I already know every item was lovingly handmade and as most are still in as-good-as-new condition I absolutely do not hesitate to give those adorably cozy pieces a new home! Here’s a few thrifted crochet styling ideas to get you started on your own unique looks:

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground Crafter

A crocheted tunic with a pair of DIY patched jeans and clogs is a groovy casual ensemble!

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground Crafter

Crochet makes a fabulous outfit topper when worn over jumpsuits and dresses!

Crochet Style 3 - Shawl

Channel your inner Stevie Nicks with an amazing crocheted shawl and refashioned dress!

Crochet Styling, the Refashionista Way: Guest post by Confessions of a Refashionista on Underground Crafter

And my folklore fantastic outfit complete with a crocheted vest, embroidered DIY table cloth skirt and refashioned crochet chain embellished boots!

Happy National Crochet Month from this Canadian Refashionista in Berlin! For more funky DIYs take a peek at my tutorial index and always remember to Keep up your Passion for Refashion!

 Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing this tutorial, Sheri! You’ve given me some great ideas for upcycling some of my older and unfinished crochet projects.

Free pattern: Mod 9-Patch Blanket

Mod 9-Patch Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

Back in August, 2013, one of my patterns was published in Love of Crochet. As sometimes happens when you design patterns for print, the name was changed. The magazine called it the Mod Square Blanket, but my original title was the Mod 9 Patch Blanket.

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Photo (c) Creative Crafts Group, LLC/Love of Crochet.

Photo (c) Creative Crafts Group, LLC/Love of Crochet.

I chose the original name because the blanket layout is a 9-patch pattern, based on the 9-patch quilting designs that were making a resurgence in the modern quilting community when I originally submitted the design.

Mod 9-Patch Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

Mod 9-Patch Blanket block layout diagram.

I designed the blanket with 5 variations on the traditional granny square pattern, and then arranged these variations into 3 different 9-patch groups. There is a one-color square (Block A), two variations on the square within the square (Blocks B and D), and two variations on the granny in the corner (Blocks C and E).

I wanted the project to be portable, so I designed the blanket to be sewn together at the end.

Mod 9-Patch Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

The finished squares, awaiting assembly.

I used Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in 1914 Alaska Sky, 1960 Pacific, and 889 Spruce (which has since been discontinued). This yarn is one of my favorites for blankets because it washes and wears well. The design includes two sizes, a twin and a long twin (the beds that are common in college dorm rooms). But, as you can see, the twin size also just covers the top of a double (full) bed.

Mod 9-Patch Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

MC and I love to use it over a sheet in the winter while watching movies on the couch. We can both stretch our legs out on the ottoman and the blanket keeps us cozy.

I’m sharing an updated version of the pattern for free on my blog. I hope you have as much fun crocheting this blanket as I did! I’d love to see your pictures if you make one.

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Mod 9-Patch Blanket

Crochet Pattern by Underground Crafter

02-easy 50

US terms 504-medium 50

This blanket combines a quilting-inspired layout with granny square variations.

Mod 9-Patch Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

Finished Sizes

  • Twin [Long Twin] 50” (137 cm) wide x 74” (188 cm) long [50” (137 cm) wide x 78” (198 cm) long].

Materials

  • Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (100% superwash wool, 3 oz/100 g, 220 yd/200 m) – 5 skeins in 1914 Alaska Sky (CA), 5 skeins in 1960 Pacific (CB), and 8 skeins in 889 Spruce (CC), or approximately 1,100 yd (1,000 m) in CA and CB, and 1,760 yd (1,600 m) in CB in any medium weight yarn.
  • US H-8/5 mm crochet hook, or any size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Yarn needle.

Gauge

  • 1 block = 8” (20 cm) in pattern. Exact gauge is not critical for this project.

Abbreviations Used in This Pattern

  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • ea – each
  • rep – repeat
  • Rnd(s) – Round(s)
  • sc – single crochet
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • sp – space
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • * Rep instructions after asterisk as indicated.

Pattern Instructions

Basic Block

  • Ch 4. Join with sl st to form ring.
  • Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), 2 dc in ring, (ch 2, 3 dc in ring) 3 times, ch 1, sc (counts as ch 1 here and throughout) in top of ch-3.
  • Rnd 2: Ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, [ch 1, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp] 3 times, ch 1, 3 dc in first sp, ch 1, sc in top of ch-3.
  • Rnd 3: Ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, *ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * twice more, rep from * to ** once, 3 dc in first sp, ch 1, sc in top of ch-3.
  • Rnd 4: Ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) twice, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * twice more, rep from * to ** once, 3 dc in first sp, ch 1, sc in top of ch-3.
  • Rnd 5: Ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 3 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * twice more, rep from * to ** once, 3 dc in first sp, ch 1, sc in top of ch-3.
  • Rnd 6: Ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 4 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * twice more, rep from * to ** once, 3 dc in first sp, ch 1, sc in top of ch-3.
  • Rnd 7: Ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 5 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * twice more, rep from * to ** once, 3 dc in first sp, ch 1, sc in top of ch-3.
  • Rnd 8: Ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 6 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * twice more, rep from * to ** once, 3 dc in first sp, ch 1, sc in top of ch-3.
  • Fasten off with long yarn tail for joining. 

Creativebug

Block A (Make 15):

  • With CA, follow Basic Block pattern.
Mod 9-Patch Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

Blocks B and D are variations of this pattern.

Block B (Make 12):

  • With CB, follow Basic Block pattern through Rnd 4. Fasten off.
  • Rnd 5: With right side facing, join CC with dc in any corner ch-2 sp, 2 dc in same sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 3 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * twice more, rep from * to ** once, 3 dc in first sp, ch 1, sc in top of dc.
  • With CC, follow Basic Block pattern for Rnds 6-8.
Mod 9-Patch Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

Blocks C and E use a variation of this pattern.

Block C (Make 20):

  • With CB, follow Basic Block pattern through Rnd 4. Fasten off.
  • Row 5: With right side facing, join CC with dc in any corner ch-2 sp, 2 dc in same sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 3 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * to **, 3 dc in ch-2 sp.
  • Row 6: Turn, ch 4 (counts as dc and ch 1 here and throughout), *(3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 4 times,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp, ch 1; rep from * to **, dc in last dc.
  • Row 7: Turn, ch 3, 2 dc in first ch-1 sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 4 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * to **, 2 dc in last ch-1 sp, dc on top of ch-3.
  • Row 8: Turn, ch 4, *(3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 5 times,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp, ch 1; rep from * to **, dc in last dc.
  • Row 9: Turn, ch 3, 2 dc in first ch-1 sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 5 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * to **, 2 dc in last ch-1 sp, dc on top of ch-3.
  • Row 10: Turn, ch 4, *(3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) 6 times,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp, ch 1; rep from * to **, dc in last dc.
  • Row 11: Turn, ch 3, 2 dc in first ch-1 sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 6 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * to **, 2 dc in last ch-1 sp, dc on top of ch-3.
  • Fasten off with long yarn tail for joining.

Block D (Make 3):

  • With CC, follow Basic Block pattern through Rnd 4. Fasten off.
  • Rnd 5: With right side facing, join CB with dc in any corner ch-2 sp, 2 dc in same sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 3 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * 2 more times, rep from * to ** once, 3 dc in first sp, ch 1, sc in top of dc.
  • With CB, follow Basic Block pattern for Rnds 6-8.

Block E (Make 4):

  • With CC, follow Basic Block pattern through Rnd 4. Fasten off.
  • Row 5: With right side facing, join CB with dc in any corner ch-2 sp, 2 dc in same sp, *(ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) 3 times, ch 1,** (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp; rep from * to **, 3 dc in ch-2 sp.
  • With CC, follow Block C pattern for Rnds 6-11.

Mod 9-Patch Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

Assembly

  • Using diagram as placement guide, join blocks with reverse mattress stitch using yarn needle and yarn tails. Weave in ends.

Dover Books

Edging

For Long Twin only, work edging in rows.

  • Row 1: With RS facing and CC, join with dc in any corner ch-2 sp. Working along short edge, 2 dc in same sp, ch 1, (3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) across to last ch-2 sp, 3 dc in ch-2 sp.
  • Row 2: Turn, ch 4 (counts as dc and ch 1 here and throughout), (3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) across to last dc, dc in last dc.
  • Row 3: Turn, ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), 2 dc in same sp, ch 1, (3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) across to last ch-2 sp, 3 dc in ch-1 sp.
  • Row 4: Repeat Row 2 once. Fasten off.
  • Repeat Rows 1-4 along opposite short edge.

For all sizes, finish with Rnds 1 & 2 below.

  • Rnd 1: With RS facing and CA, join with sc in any corner ch-2 sp, 2 sc in same sp, *sc in ea dc and ch across, working 3 sc in sideways 3 dc groups from Blocks C and E and sc in sideways dc from Blocks C and E.** 3 sc in corner; rep from * twice more, rep from * to ** once more. Fasten off.
  • Rnd 2: With CB, join with sl st to first sc, ch 1, sc in same, *sc in ea stitch across.** 3 sc in corner; rep from * twice more, rep from * to ** once more. Fasten off.
  • With yarn needle, weave in ends.

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© 2013, 2015 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern, the chart, or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2015/03/22/free-pattern-mod-9-patch-blanket. Thanks for supporting indie designers!