Tag Archives: blanket

Interview with Susan Carlson from Felted Button

Interview with Susan Carlson from Felted Button on Underground Crafter

I’m continuing my series of highlighting crochet designers as part of my celebration of (Inter)National Crochet Month by sharing an interview with Susan Carlson from Felted Button. Her colorful designs have been spreading joy online for several years, and she has also been a Design Wars Challenger!

This post contains affiliate links.

You can find Susan and her colorful crochet patterns online on the Felted Button website, and on Craftsy, Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Ravelry (as FeltedButton and on her designer page), and Twitter. All images are copyright Susan Carlson and are used with permission.

Interview with crochet designer Susan Carlson from Felted Button on Underground Crafter

Susan Carlson.

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

Susan: I was taught to crochet by my left-handed granny. Since I’m a righty, I’m still not certain how she pulled it off with a distracted and squirmy 9 year old, but I’ll admit I found the process intriguing. From there I made only one thing that I can really recall…a hideously long, squeaky black scarf for my dad. See, my granny never taught me how to fasten off, so I just kept going until the entire skein was gone. That whole “not knowing when to stop” was a problem I faced in school, too, as my teachers confirmed. Indeed, I immediately got distracted–for over 30 years–with things like running hurdles, teaching high school sciences, and learning a lot about other crafty things. But then, being inspired by a number of crochet blogs, I found the hook my granny had given me and bought A LOT of yarn. Again, not knowing quite when to stop, I made the most ginormous blanket! But I was “hooked” and have been crocheting ever since!

Rainbow Sprinkles Blanket, a crochet pattern by Felted Button.

Rainbow Sprinkles Blanket, a crochet pattern by Felted Button.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Susan: I have what I call a very “noisy” brain. I crochet because it quiets the noise. And I remember as a child feeling the NEED to create something…anything. With crocheting, not only do I get a quiet mind, but also a wonderful, colorful, original handmade item to enjoy or share. Plus, do you realize how many colors of yarn there are? Why designing and writing patterns? To have someone with their own hands translate and make a tangible creation from what started out as only an idea in my head, well, it’s magical!! Plus, I never have to make the same thing twice—it’s that distraction/focus issue again.

Pointillism Posie, a crochet pattern by Felted Button.

Pointillism Posie, a crochet pattern by Felted Button.

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

Susan: For me, I tend to be more focused on the art of the design than the current style or trend. That’s probably why I am drawn to blankets and rugs as they are essentially a huge canvas on which to “paint” or “draw” with colorful yarn! Like the Painted Pixels Blanket which is made with 7 colorways of a self-striping yarn. This one was taken on as a challenge to myself to see if I could make these 7 disparate balls of yarn actually look good together.

Painted Pixels Blanket, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

Painted Pixels Blanket, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

UC: Crocheters and afghans (and crocheted afghans) sometimes get a bad rep. When you’re designing blankets, do you feel additional pressure to break those stereotypes?

Susan: I often get sweet comments from Felted Button fans that my work is “not granny crochet.” Although I don’t necessarily consider that when I am designing, I am drawn to bold colors, lots of texture, interesting stitch placements and sometimes graphic, modern designs. Although I have a few traditional designs, I really enjoy trying to think outside of the box and create something brand new—but not trendy.

Monet's Garden Throw, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

Monet’s Garden Throw, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

UC: Color is prominent in your designs. What suggestions do you have for crocheters who are feeling nervous about experimenting with colors?

Susan: Texture and color are vital elements in my designs, but never at the expense of crocheting that is pleasurable, as I believe the fun is in the action of hook and yarn in hand, not merely the finished product. So I strive to make my patterns friendly for various skill levels with any unusual stitches and techniques shown in detail. It has to be fun to make, right?!

Although I always suggest to folks to choose colors that speak to them—otherwise they get bored or discouraged and lose interest in the middle of a project–I also try to persuade them that getting a little daring can be surprisingly fun. I think I have been blessed with “an eye for color” so selecting colors is pretty easy for me. But, I have rounded up a number of sites for reference when looking for color inspiration. You can find them here on my blog.

Mariposa Throw, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

Mariposa Throw, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?

Susan: Everywhere! Sometimes it is the yarn itself, sometimes the colors I see around me, sometimes a photograph, sometimes just playing with hook and yarn in hand to see where it takes me.

I also find myself wandering Pinterest and the web for graphic designs in other mediums that I can translate to crochet. That’s how I came up with my Pointillism Posie Blanket. It started with a picture of a single bloom, which led to reminiscing upon my sixth grade art class where we learned about pointillism. Each of the 29 colors of motifs—busted from my stash–makes a little spot of color that adds to the image of the huge flower.

Craftsy

I came up with the Rainbow Sprinkles Blanket after finding a print of little sprinkles of color falling against a neutral background gaining more color as they fall into a colorful pile!

Infinity Blossom Cowl, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

Infinity Blossom Cowl, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

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

Susan: Right now, I am having a ball playing with various stitch patterns from The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda P. Schapper. It may sound less than exciting to some folks, but it inspires me to use my creativity with color, texture and stitch placement and allows me to really experiment with my hook and yarn.

UC: You have over 5,100 sales on Etsy. Do you have any tips for new Etsy sellers?

Susan: I feel like such an amateur in the business world, but these are a few suggestions:

  • Photos—take good ones with natural light!!!
  • Shop Appearance—strive for a uniformity in your shop “look” so when people see your work they recognize it as yours and know precisely what they will find when they are in your shop
  • Know your audience–exactly who you are marketing to? Age range? Gender? Skill level? Style?
  • Value of your work—don’t undervalue your work or everyone else will, too.
  • Take advantage of Etsy’s tips and suggestions for success.
  • Look at other’s shops, but don’t look too hard. Comparing yourself to them, or worse yet, trying copy them, is not genuine and will not bring success. You must be true to yourself and your style. Create a strong brand that screams YOU!
  • Flood the earth—Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. If your product is quality, financial success is dependent on “eyeballs.”
Let"s Twirl Baby Blanket and Rug, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

Let”s Twirl Baby Blanket and Rug, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

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

Susan: All of these sites provide delightful and colorful eye-candy, crochet patterns, inspiration and learning:

Interview with crochet designer Susan Carlson from Felted Button on Underground Crafter

Circle Takes the Square Blanket, crochet pattern by Felted Button.

UC: How are you celebrating NatCroMo this year?

Susan: I’m planning on celebrating in a small way but probably should start planning some fun business events! I have a small crochet group—The Happy Hookers—in my area, and I’m hoping to have a simple celebration full of crochet, chatting, giggling and yummy treats.

That sounds like a very fun way to celebrate NatCroMo, Susan! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your enthusiasm for crochet with us.

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.

This post contains affiliate links.

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.

Add to Ravelry

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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.

Add to Ravelry

© 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!

Giving Tuesday – The Crochet (and Knitting) Way

Today is Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving. I’m sharing some of my favorite crochet and knitting related charity links today in honor of this event, which encourages us to put aside the shopping for a moment during the holiday season. I hope this roundup with inspire you to share your talent (or money!) with charities that are important to you.

If you’re looking for a crochet-a-long, Sunset Family Living is hosting the annual 12 Days of Christmas Charity Challenge (also known as the NICU charity challenge). She is challenging people to crochet 12 hats for preemies in their local neonatal intensive care unit. Last year, over 26,000 (!) hats were donated as part of the challenge, which runs through January 6, 2015. 20 crochet designers have donated hat patterns, and if you’d like to sign up to participate, you can read more about the project here.

Dozen Baby Hats (in the round), a free knitting pattern by Denise Balvanz. Image (c) Denise Balvanz.

Dozen Baby Hats (in the round), a free knitting pattern by Denise Balvanz. Image (c) Denise Balvanz.

If you’re more of a hat knitter, check out Denise Balvanz’s free patterns, Dozen Baby Hats (in the round) and Dozen Baby Hats (knit flat). Both patterns were inspired by the Afghans for Afghans June-July Baby Shower, and are great projects to donate to a local charity, too.

Some designers sell specific patterns to raise funds for a favorite charity. Some of my favorites are the Mitered Cross Blanket (knitting) by Kay Gardiner. All proceeds from the sale of this pattern are donated to Mercy Corps, an international emergency response/disaster relief organization.

Mitered Crosses Blanket by Kay Gardiner. Image (c) Kay Gardiner.

Mitered Crosses Blanket by Kay Gardiner. Image (c) Kay Gardiner.

Dawn Hansen donates a portion of the proceeds from the sales of her Autism Awareness Puzzle Hat (knitting) pattern to the Autism SocietyCharity Windham’s Ten Stitch Twist for loom knitters pattern raises funds for Frankie Brown’s (interviewed here) favorite charity, the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.  And speaking of Frankie Brown, she has has over 240 (!) free crochet and knitting patterns. She would greatly appreciate a donation to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation through her Just Giving page.

Wheels within Wheels, one of my favorite patterns by Frankie Brown. Image (c) Frankie Brown.

Anastacia Zittel uses the same model, and appreciates a contribution to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America in exchange for her free knitting pattern, Armwarmers, or for any of her over 65 free crochet patterns. (I also interviewed Anastacia here.)

Alexis Winslow’s Caring Cowl (knitting) is another fundraiser pattern. Alexis donates proceeds from this pattern to the American Red Cross.

Caring Cowl by Alexis Winslow. Image (c) Alexis Winslow.

Caring Cowl by Alexis Winslow. Image (c) Alexis Winslow.

I donate $1 from each sale of my 30 Purrfect Stitches for Pet Blankets ebook, which includes 20 crochet and 10 Tunisian crochet patterns that are great for pet blankets, to a local no-kill pet charity each year.

A selection of stitches included in 30 Purrfect Stitches for Pet Blankets.

A selection of stitch patterns included in 30 Purrfect Stitches for Pet Blankets.

I also donate pet blankets in the sizes suggested by the Snuggles Project. (I interviewed Deborah Green from Bideawee about blanket donations here, if you’d like to hear how local shelters use these blankets.) The website allows you to search for a local pet charity that accepts handmade blankets. The Snuggles Project is a program of Hugs for Homeless Animals.

Another organization that accepts handmade goodies is Project Linus. Their mission is to “provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers.'”You can find out more about donating a crocheted or knit (or sewn) blanket to a local chapter, contributing funds to help defray shipping costs or volunteering on their website.

The Kitty Cap by Bella Crochet. Image (c) Bella Crochet.

The Kitty Cap by Bella Crochet. Image (c) Bella Crochet.

If donating an entire blanket is out of your crochet comfort zone, Warm Up America is another charity that distributes blankets and accessories to a variety of social services agencies. You can send a blanket square, or accessories such as hats or scarves to them for distribution. The Kitty Cap by Bella Crochet is a great free crochet pattern for making children’s hats for charity.

Twisted Cable Scarf and Headband, a free crochet pattern by Kim Guzman. Image (c) Kim Guzman.

Twisted Cable Scarf and Headband, a free crochet pattern by Kim Guzman. Image (c) Kim Guzman.

You might also be interested in the Red Scarf Project from Foster Care to Success. Each year, they coordinate the delivery of Valentine’s Day care packages, including handmade scarves, to young adults who have aged out of foster care as they experience life on their own at college. You can learn more about this charity in the current issue of Crochetvolution here. There are also two great free crochet patterns in this issue, Big Red and Vino Scarf, that would make great projects for the Red Scarf Project. You can also try some of Kim Guzman’s many great free winter patterns. (I interviewed Kim here.) Two of my favorites that would be perfect for the Red Scarf Project are the Reversible Pinstripe Scarf (double-ended crochet) or the Twisted Cable Scarf.

What are your favorite charities to share your crochet and knitting with?

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: Better Homes and Gardens Crocheting & Knitting

VintageNPotW 400

This post contains affiliate links

This week’s pick: Better Homes and Gardens Crocheting & Knitting

Source: Paperbackswap.com

Publication date: 1977

Status: Out of print but available online.

Condition: Smells like a basement, but in relatively good condition.

Crafts: Crochet and knitting.

BH&G C&K cover

I went on a hunt for this book after seeing Crochetbug’s version of the afghan on the cover.  (For those of you considering making your own, Crochetbug has set up a page with details about how she made hers.  You can also find more information on her Ravelry project pages for her original and reprised versions.)

BH&G C&K afghan

Jackie H. Curry’s Granny Square Sampler Afghan.

I even tried my hand at some of the blocks, which I eventually donated.

This book has a lot of fun home decor crochet and knitting projects.

Some of my favorites…

The Old Fashioned Windowpane Knitted Afghan by Winnie Juhl.

BH&G C&K scraps

Spiral Crocheted Table Toppers by Mary Walker Phillips.  (Side note: Mary Walker Phillips was a fascinating woman.  You can read more about her cultural impact in her obituary.)

BH&G C&K placemat

 

Crocheted Bed Throw.

BH&G C&K bedspreadFilet Crochet Chair Set.

BH&G C&K chair

Cozy Quilt Patterned Throw by Susan Toplitz.

BH&G C&K cozy quilt

This book is unusual for the time because it actually lists the names of the designers (in the back, but still).  Until recently, relatively few designers were actually able to include their names in their publications.  Most designs were unattributed, with the yarn company or magazine acting as the implied author.

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: Quilts & Afghans from McCall’s Needlework & Crafts

This week’s pick: Quilts and Afghans From McCall’s Needlework & Crafts

Source: PaperBackSwap.com

Publication date: 1984

Status: Out of print, but widely available online

Condition: Acceptable

Craft(s): Crochet, knitting, and quilting

This is a collection of patterns that originally appeared in McCall’s Needlework & Crafts magazine.

The book includes 14 quilt patterns, 11 crochet patterns, and 5 knitting patterns.  The last chapter includes general instructions for patchwork, applique, quilting, tufting, embroidery, crochet, and knitting.

I was amused to see that the introduction talks about the “modern interpretations of old-fashioned patterns.”  I guess that phrase never gets old.  (Naturally, the book now appears dated.)

It opens with the quilting patterns.  Some of my favorites are the Fan Quilt and the Broken Star Quilt.

The patterns are pretty detailed, but mostly use templates.  I’m guessing that many of today’s quilters might prefer strip quilting (or is that just me because I’m lazy?).  Of course, you can always convert the projects or just use the quilts for inspiration.

One major difference from many modern quilting books is that there are actual instructions for how to quilt the tops, including templates for the stitch outlines.  There are even tips for enlarging the templates (without a scanner or copy machine).

The next section is the crochet patterns.  Most are also quilting inspired.  Some of my favorites are (clockwise, from top left) Color Wheels Afghan, Star Quilt Bedspread, Florentine Afghan, and Autumn Windows Afghan.

Another sign of the times: The Florentine Afghan is made with Tunisian crochet and then there is a chart to work needlepoint over it.  Today, it would probably be charted as a crocheted (or Tunisian crocheted) colorwork pattern.

The Star Quilt looks like an awesome scrap buster, but I don’t think I could handle making all 114 blocks (each of which is made up of 12 pieces!).

Most of the knitting patterns are not really to my taste, but I did like the Argyle Afghan.  The chart could also be used for Tunisian crochet or single crochet.

Overall, this book has some nice patterns and some good tips.  I like the fact that it is multi-craftual and that doesn’t seem to be a problem as it might be today.  It has great inspiration inside, but I think many of today’s crafters would probably take some shortcuts and make adjustments to the patterns.