My regular blog readers know I have a soft spot in my heart for baby blankets. I actually love crocheting blankets in general, but by the time I get about halfway through a full sized blanket, I’m usually questioning my own sanity. Baby blankets are much faster to make, and they always seem to be cherished by parents and babies alike.
The generous folks atKing Colehad sent me quite a lot moreMerino Blend Aranthan what was required for the scarf, and I knew my friend was having a boy.
I had 9 skeins in each color left after knitting the scarf!
The white and blue seemed like just the right colors for his blanket, and the easy care of the superwash wool seemed a great fit for a newborn.
I used double-ended crochet because it looks great – but different – on both sides, and it makes a nice, thick blanket. After all, Tadley was due in late December, so I thought he might need something very warm for his stroller or car seat during the winter.
To combat the love-hate relationship I develop with all of my crocheted blankets during the last few rows, I crocheted this on the bias, increasing towards the center and then decreasing until the end. Once I reached the center, each row was shorter than the one before it, so finishing the blanket was a breeze.
Well, almost a breeze. On the last few rows, I ran out of yarn. I ordered one extra skein in each color, and by some strange miracle, both skeins were from the same dye lots as the yarn I received from King Cole almost five months before.
This blanket is very lush and thick, and works equally well as a playmat in the spring or a stroller blanket in the winter. Gauge isn’t critical, and it can be easily resized (though you may need more or less yarn).
I recently made a cowl for a swap. My partner had very specific color choices, and I didn’t see a pattern that would let the yarn’s long repeats shine. After trying a few different stitches, I came up with the Quick, Fast in a Hurry Cowl. I used just one skein of bulky yarn to make this unisex cowl. It’s perfect for a last minute gift, or just to protect your neck from a sudden cold spell. Enjoy the free pattern!
Quick, Fast in a Hurry Cowl
Crochet Pattern by Underground Crafter
Adult: 6.25” (16 cm) tall x 24” (61 cm) circumference.
Loops & Threads Charisma (100% acrylic, 3.5 oz/100 g/109 yd/100 m) – 1 skein #31 Black Raspberry, or approximately 100 yards (91 m) in any bulky weight yarn.
L/8 mm crochet hook, or any size needed to obtain correct gauge.
11 sts in pattern = 4” (10 cm) across. Exact gauge is not critical for this project.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
hdc = half double crochet
rep = repeat
sk = skip
sc = single crochet
st(s) = stitch(es)
t-ch = turning chain
* Repeat from asterisk as indicated.
Row 1: Turn, sk 2 sts (counts as hdc), *(sc, hdc, dc) in next st, sk 2 sts; rep from * across to last st, hdc in last st. (17 sts)
Row 2: Turn, ch 2 (counts as hdc), *(sc, hdc, dc) in next st, sk 2 sts; rep from * across to last st, hdc in t-ch.
Repeat Row 2 until piece measures approximately 24” (61 cm) long. Fasten off with 15” (38 cm) yarn tail. With yarn needle and yarn tail, use the reverse mattress stitch (also known as an invisible seam) to join short edges together. Finish off, weave in ends.
Use a long-repeat variegated yarn to create a “striped” look.
If you’re new here, welcome! I’m a crochet (and knitting) teacher, designer, and blogger. In addition to sharing my own projects and news on my blog, I also do a lot of interviews (I’ve even won a few awards) and book reviews. I’m really honored to be part of A Tour Through Crochet Country. To celebrate National Crochet Month and my blogiversary, I’ll be sharing a free pattern and a coupon code today. But first I’d like to talk about how important the CGOA has been to me.
As many of my regular readers know, my grandmother taught me to crochet. After she passed away in 2007, I didn’t have any important people in my real life to talk with about crochet. Through my membership in CGOA and my involvement in the CGOA Professionals listerv, I’ve had the chance to virtually meet many wonderful crocheters who share the same passion for the hook as I do.
Back in 2009, I had the honor of being introduced to a wonderful mentor, Mary E. Nolfi, through the CGOA mentoring program. When I was first exploring design, Mary guided and encouraged me. Her primer is a great intro for aspiring crochet designers. I still remember my excitement at emailing her when my firstdesigns were selected for publication. I’m also grateful to Michelle Maks, yesterday’s stop on the the tour, for taking a chance on me when she was the editor of Crochet World. I’m thrilled to have another mentor, Marty Miller (March 13′s stop on the tour), who is helping me explore tech editing.
Now I’m paying it forward by volunteering to write book reviews for the CGOA newsletter and blog, and by serving as a mentor to another designer.
And, of course, CGOA membership has other benefits, even if you aren’t a professional (or aspiring professional) in the industry. You get a subscription to Crochet! magazine and discounts at national retailers as well as on CGOA educational offerings. You can also participate in your local chapter. (I’ve been a member of the NYC Crochet Guild for years and in addition to great monthly meetings where I can hang out with fellow crocheters, they also offer classes and local discounts.)
I’d like give a shout out to a some other CGOA members I’ve met (in real life or virtually) who have been very helpful to me in the past few years.
If you’ve made it this far, your probably asking yourself, “Didn’t she promise a freebie? And a coupon code?”
Charity Crochet for Project Night Night – The Rectangular Sampler Blanket
Early in my career, I worked for an organization that provided temporary housing for hundreds of homeless families, so the tour’s featured charity, Project Night Night, is really close to my heart. I wanted to create a project that was beautiful to look at but also fun to make.
The Rectangular Sampler is a variation on the traditional granny square that incorporates a stitch sampler to keep things interesting. There’s a granny rectangle, an alternating v-stitch, staggered puff stitches, and a fun edging.
(You can also find the pattern on Ravelry or Craftsy.) This makes a great stroller blanket or play mat, or even a baby or comfort blanket. I plan to donate my sample to Project Night Night, and I hope you’ll consider making one to donate to Project Night Night or a local children’s charity.
I crocheted the sample with Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in Pacific, Cordovan, and Alaska Sky. None of these pictures really do justice to the Alaska Sky, which is a pale, sky blue. I like using non-traditional colors for children’s blankets because I think it gives them a longer life cycle when they can be displayed in more settings.
To celebrate National Crochet Month and my blogiversary, I’d like to spread the love by sharing a coupon code for my Ravelry shop. Use coupon code NatCroMo13 for a 25% discount on any pattern through April 1, 2013. Thanks for your support of independent designers!
Here’s the schedule for the rest of the tour. I’ve actually had the pleasure of interviewing several of the CGOA pros on this list, so I’ve also included the links to those interviews below. I hope you will stop by and check out all the posts (and tutorials, giveaways, and discounts) the other participants have to offer. Enjoy the rest of National Crochet Month, and don’t forget to enter my current blog giveaways here and here.
Underground Crafter’s crochet variant of the 2013 Temperature Scarf (conceived by Honey Nutbrown as a knitting project here)
First, choose a group of yarns and assign a set of temperature values to each yarn. This will vary based on how many yarns you want to use as well as how dramatic annual temperature highs and lows are in your area. Here’s my chart as an example.
Use the same yarn for the foundation chain and Row 1. For the rest of the project, change colors at the end of every row (or as often as dictated by the change in temperatures) by pulling the new color through the last slip stitch. (Tip: Don’t fasten off at the end of the row until you know the next day’s temperature. You may end up using the same yarn again, and you’ll have fewer ends to weave in!)
Abbreviations used in this pattern
blo – back loop only
ch(s) – chain(s)
dc(s) – double crochet(s)
ea – each
hdc(s) – half double crochet(s)
sc(s) – single crochet
sk – skip
sl st(s) – slip stitch(es)
st(s) – stitch(es)
Row 1: Turn, sk first ch, sl st in ea of next 2 chs. *Ch 2, sk 2 chs, sc in ea of next 2 chs.* Repeat from * across to last 4 sts, ch 2, sk 2 chs, sl st in ea of last 2 chs. (38 sts)
Row 2: Turn, ch 1, sl st in blo of ea of first 2 sts. *Sc in ea of next 2 skipped chs from foundation ch, ch 2, sk 2 sts.* Repeat from * across to last 4 sts, sc in ea of next 2 skipped chs from foundation ch, sl st in blo of ea of last 2 sts.
Row 3: Turn, ch 1, sl st in blo of ea of first 2 sts. *Ch 2, sk 2 sts, sc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below.* Repeat from * across to last 4 sts, ch 2, sk 2 sts, sl st in blo of ea of last 2 sts.
Row 4: Turn, ch 1, sl st in blo of ea of first 2 sts. *Sc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, ch 2, sk 2 sts.* Repeat from * across to last 4 sts, sc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, sl st in blo of ea of last 2 sts.
Repeat Rows 3 & 4.
I already mentioned that I may change the stitch length for each season. Since I live in New York and we start the year in the winter, I used the single crochet to represent the short length of the day. The length of the stitches will increase as the hours of darkness in the day decreases.
Spring and Fall hdc stitch pattern variation
Row 5: Turn, ch 1, sc in ea of first 2 sts. *Ch 2, sk 2 sts, hdc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below.* Repeat from * across to last 4 sts, ch 2, sk 2 sts, sc in ea of last 2 sts.
Row 6: Turn, ch 1, sc in ea of first 2 sts. *Hdc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, ch 2, sk 2 sts.* Repeat from * across to last 4 sts, hdc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, sc in ea of last 2 sts.
Repeat Rows 5 & 6.
Summer dc stitch pattern variation:
Row 7: Turn, ch 2 (counts as hdc), sk first st, hdc in 2nd st. *Ch 2, sk 2 sts, dc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below.* Repeat from * across to last 4 sts, ch 2, sk 2 sts, hdc in ea of last 2 sts.
Row 8: Turn, ch 2 (counts as hdc), sk first st, hdc in 2nd st. *Dc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, ch 2, sk 2 sts.* Repeat from * across to last 4 sts, dc in ea of next 2 skipped sts from 2 rows below, hdc in ea of last 2 sts.
Repeat Rows 7 & 8.
Here’s my progress so far!
In case you’re wondering, I’ve already used 3 colors even though we’re only 21 days into the year! That’s a little scary since each color represents 12 degrees of temperature. And, I’ve yet to use the color representing the “coldest” temperatures, even though this is winter.
If you’re working on a temperature scarf, too, I’m looking forward to seeing how all of our projects turn out next year!
Using one jumbo skein of Galler Yarns Aztec Boucle, an organic cotton yarn with just a little bit of nylon added, this cowl is a great all weather accessory. The eyelets created by the stitch patterns and the cotton yarn make it breathable in warmer weather, but the length allows you to wrap it around three times for warmth in cold weather.
This is a reversible stitch pattern that can be made even by Tunisian crochet newbies. It doesn’t hurt that the yarn texture will cover any mistakes you make ;).
The All Weather Cowl is crocheted across lengthwise and then seamed.
Since you will have 80 inches (203 cm) of stitches on your hook, I recommend using a Tunisian crochet hook with a flexible cable. If you don’t already have some on hand, I sell them in my Etsy shop here.
The Aztec Boucle works up nicely and creates a great gift for any eco-conscious person on your list. I sell a kit in my Etsy shop that includes a jumbo skein of Aztec Boucle in Ecru along with your choice of bamboo Tunisian crochet hook with a long cord.
You can also download this pattern on Ravelry here and on Craftsy here. Enjoy!
You might remember that I was working on secret projects a few weeks ago. The first one was just revealed today!
You can download the free pattern for the Ribbed Möbius Crocheted Cowl here. If you aren’t already a Kollabora member, you should check it out! It’s a great, multi-craftual maker community. (You don’t need to be a member to download the free pattern, by the way.) This is a great one skein project that works up really quickly with a bulky yarn. Enjoy!
If you love crochet ripples, you’ve come to the right place.
I’m kicking off the Ripple Mania Crochet-A-Long today. This CAL will teach you everything you need to design your own fabulous ripple projects – how to select a color palette, how to increase and decrease, how to design your own ripple stitch patterns, and how to “square up” your ripples if you want to have straight (modular) pieces.
If you just want to dive into crocheting, that’s ok, too! Each week, I’ll share new ripple stitch patterns for you to crochet.
The CAL is free to join. Each week, an updated PDF will be available to download on Ravelry, and Ravelry members can chat in the Ripple Mania CAL thread in the Underground Crafter group. (You do not have to be a Ravelry member to download the PDF.) Once the CAL ends on November 21, Ripple Mania will be converted to a “for sale” pattern ebook.
All patterns will be available using both U.S. and U.K. crochet pattern abbreviation. Although I’ll be sharing some photo tutorials for this CAL, you will need to know the chain, US single/UK double crochet, and US double/UK treble crochet stitches.
If you need some ideas, check out this Gallery of Ripple Color Inspiration! (All images are the copyright of the crocheter and are used with permission.)
I have a hard time saying goodbye to summer. Winters in the Northeast can be brutal, and, to me, the end of summer is the first part of the long haul through the shortened days and cold weather.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been passing a display of sunflowers at a local market.
Sunflowers pretty much epitomize summertime for me. When I was a kid, my grandmother grew them in her (very small but extremely fertile) garden in Brooklyn, and they were usually taller than me!
I was inspired to make a sunflower-themed project a few weeks ago. I started with just one motif, using Galler YarnsParisian Cotton in Chocolate and Mimosa. I used to hate working with crochet cotton, but since I’ve gotten some comfort hooks in small sizes, crocheting with thread has become one of my favorite summer activities. When it is really humid and hot, crochet cotton is just about all I can tolerate working with.
Then I decided to make several more and transform these little motifs into a belt.
Even after commenting about how I seem to always be wearing the same shirt in my project photographs, I couldn’t resist. After all, the brown really works with these sunflowers!
If you’d like to make your own sunflower motifs or belt, the free pattern is available as a Ravelry download.
I’m really excited to unveil my very first finished knitting pattern, the Sandworm’s Journey Beanie, today. The pattern is part of a collection for charity to support the Knotty Knitters 2013 calendar, so I thought it would be fitting to share an interview with Marsha Cunningham, the founder of the Knotty Knitters for Autism. I’ll start with my interview and then share more details about the pattern.
The Knotty Knitters calendar features women of all ages posing tastefully au naturale with some of their handmade creations. You can find the Knotty Knitters for Autism online on Facebook and Ravelry. Marsha can be found on Ravelry as marshaknits or through her Etsy shop.
Ms. September (Marsha Cunningham) from the Knotty Knitters 2013 calendar.
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started knitting?
Marsha: I got started knitting when I took a two week class at Rhodes Department Store in Tacoma,WA. I was eleven years old. My girlfriend was taking the class so my sister and I camped on. I am the only one who continued and took it to the next level.
After that, there was no stopping me. My next project was a V-neck sweater and then socks for my dad. I didn’t know much about gauge then. I knit the socks on a #4 needle. My dad wore them once, but they were too thick for his shoes. They were really nice with cables. I took to wearing them as sleep socks from the time I was about 13 to my second year of marriage when my husband asked me to quit wearing them to bed. LOL.
UC: You’re an active member of a local knitting group in Tacoma. What is it like to be involved with a knitting group, and what suggestions do you have for people who are considering joining one?
Marsha: I belong to Tacoma Knitters and we meet every Wednesday from 2:30-4:00pm at Fibers, ETC. It is an informal group. We help out where necessary, show our projects, etc. We have lots of fun and lots of laughs.
We have one rule….no religion or politics! (UC comment: I think this rule explains why you have lots of fun and laughs!)
The ladies of March (Liz Tekus, owner of Fine Points Yarn; Becca Smith, owner of bagsmith.com; and Susan Thompson, employee at both companies) from the Knotty Knitters 2013 calendar, wrapped in a Big Stitch afghan.
UC: What is the inspiration behind the original Knotty Knitters for Autism calendar?
Marsha: My grandchildren, Mollee May and Josef Andrew, fraternal twins aged 9 were the inspiration for the calendar. They both have autism. Mollee is mainstreamed in school as of last year at Skyline and Josef goes to a special class at Franklin elementary. Mollee and Josef both manifest their symptoms differently. Mollee still has “meltdowns” and a little echolalia (repeating words and sentences). Josef does not speak although he is trying very hard. He spins pieces of paper incessantly. Both children tend to wander off if not watched continuously.
Ms. June (Zoe Weber) from the Knotty Knitters 2013 calendar, wearing crocheted granny square shorts.
UC: Tell us about the process of finding designers and models to work with you for this year’s calendar.
Marsha: It was a little difficult find models for the calendar. (UC comment: It takes a brave knitter or crocheter to bare all for charity!) Some people say they will and then are no shows. So this year, I planned for some extras and had just right amount. The one requirement is that they be able to knit. We met Becca Smith of the Bagsmith.com at STITCHES last year. She brought 3 models with her. Three are returning models, 1 is the granddaughter of another model, 1 is from the Puyallup Knitting Guild, and 2 are from Ravelry.
Designers were a whole lot easier to find. I had met some on various knitting trips I had been on, some responded to the article in Yarn Market News, and some I just asked. (UC comment: You can download the patterns donated to the Knotty Knitters here.)
Ms. October (Ola Leonard Kersely) from the Knotty Knitters 2013 calendar, modeling an afghan she made to donate for auction.
UC: How can people help support the project?
Marsha: You can help support the project by purchasing a calendar and/or by purchasing raffle tickets for the afghan that Ms. October is wearing and that she knit. (UC comment: You can purchase the pattern here for $20 + $5 shipping. To purchase raffle tickets, which are $1 each or $5 for a book of six, email Marsha at marsha AT marshasells DOT com. The drawing is scheduled for December 15, 2012.)
UC: What are your have any favorite crafty website/blogs to visit for knitting inspiration?
Thanks so much for stopping by for an interview, Marsha!
I read about the Knotty Knitter’s project in Yarn Market Newslast year, and I immediately contacted Marsha about contributing a pattern. At the time, I had no idea what this pattern would be. Oh, and I had never written a knitting pattern ;). Marsha was very flexible and allowed the designers complete creative freedom in creating a pattern. Although this freedom was wonderful, I was overwhelmed by all the ideas I was thinking up in my mind and I didn’t start on the project for months.
But then, March rolled around, and Stacey at FreshStitches announced Knit and Crochet Design Week. Designing is usually an isolated experience for me, so I decided to try my hand at designing with moral support. The first version of this design was born.
From the beginning, the stitch pattern reminded me of the trail of a sandworm, the creatures who feature so prominently in the Dune series by Frank Herbert. The yarn I was using was a rich blue, like the eyes of the Fremen and Paul Muad’Dib, and so I called the projectKwisatz Haderach. Ultimately, I wasn’t very satisfied with the decrease pattern and I ended up ripping back the project since it didn’t have an intended recipient.
I was inspired to restart the design, and the orange yarn allowed me to maintain my Dune theme because it’s the same color as the desert planet of Arrakis. I finished the sample at the end of May, and shared it with the world in early June. Not only am I able to share the pattern to support a great cause, but I got to use up some stash and finish a gift from my holiday crafting list early.
You can download the PDF pattern for free from the Knotty Knitters website or Ravelry. Even though the pattern is a freebie, I hope you will consider donating to the Knotty Knitters or another autism charity in your area.
In the Northeast, we’ve been hit by a heatwave, and it has definitely reduced my desire to crochet. There’s something about having hot yarn stuck on your sweat that just doesn’t make it fun. So it seemed the perfect time to finish this beautiful bobble clutch that I was working in collaboration with Galler Yarns.
I made this using two strands of Parisian Cotton held together. The mercerized cotton has a nice feeling on the hands, especially in this weather! I had a hard time choosing the right button, but I’m happy with my selection.
I also had a lot of fun playing around with texture.
Besides the bobbles, I also crocheted in the back loop only on alternate rows.