Tag Archives: free pattern

Free Pattern: Tadley’s Diagonal Blanket

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.

Last year, one of my dearest friends was expecting her first born, and I knew I had to make something special. I had recently finished the sample for the Checkerboard Cable Scarf that was published in Love of Knitting‘s Holiday, 2013 issue.

blog LoK Checkerboard Cable Scarf

Photo (c) Creative Crafts Group, LLC.
The generous folks at King Cole had sent me quite a lot more Merino Blend Aran than what was required for the scarf, and I knew my friend was having a boy.
King Cole Merino Blend Aran
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.
blog Tadley blanket folded1
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.
blog Tadley blanket blue1 edit
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.
blog Tadley blanket white1
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.
blog Tadley blanket triangle on chair blue

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).
blog Tadley blanket triangle on chair white edit
I used a flexible double-ended crochet hook made from my Denise 2go interchangeable crochet hook set, but my pattern testers used other types of double-ended crochet hooks, including long, straight hooks.

You can download the free pattern for Tadley’s Diagonal Blanket here.

You can also find the pattern as a Ravelry download here, or on the Knitter’s Pride Blog here (along with a giveaway through May, 2014). I hope you have as much fun making this blanket as I did!

Free pattern: Quick, Fast in a Hurry Cowl

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!

Quickie fast in a hurry cowl

Quick, Fast in a Hurry Cowl

Crochet Pattern by Underground Crafter

02-easy

Finished Size

Adult: 6.25” (16 cm) tall x 24” (61 cm) circumference.

Materials

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.

Yarn needle.

Gauge

11 sts in pattern = 4” (10 cm) across.  Exact gauge is not critical for this project.

Abbreviations Used in This Pattern

US terms

 

 

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.

Quick fast in a hurry cowl2 close up edit.jpg

 

Pattern Instructions

Ch 18.

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.

Quick Fast in a Hurry Cowl flat

Tips

Use a long-repeat variegated yarn to create a “striped” look.

Leonie Morgan has a great reverse mattress stitch tutorial here.

 

© 2013 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 the pattern.  If you would like to teach a class based on this pattern, please contact Marie at marie AT undergroundcrafter DOT com to purchase a commercial-use pattern.  Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group, without her written permission.

Blogiversary and A Tour Through Crochet Country!

Today marks my two year blogiversary, and I’m one of the stops on A Tour Through Crochet Country!  If you haven’t been following along, this is a wonderful blog tour organized by Crochetville.  The tour features over 50 Associate Professional or Professional members of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA).

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.

Me and my grandparents, at about the age when I learned to crochet.
Me and my grandparents, at about the age when I learned to crochet.

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 first designs 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.

My first designs, published in Crochet World in 2010.

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.

Vashti Braha (interview) has taught me so much through her Crochet Inspirations newsletter, which has also inspired me to keep experimenting! Kim Guzman (interview) is so generous with her knowledge online and is a great teaching author.  Juanita Quinones (interview) is a wonderful tech editor that is volunteering on the Home work project on Ravelry, which is giving a second life to vintage designs.  Mary Beth Temple (interview) is a very strong advocate for crochet and has been a professional inspiration.  Charles Voth (a.k.a. Stitch Stud) (interview) is a talented – and nice! – designer and tech editor who always shares so much of his knowledge with his fellow hookers online.

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.

blog Rectangular Sampler angle view

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.

blog Rectangular Sampler flat

Download the Rectangular Sampler Blanket PDF Pattern

(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.
Rectangular Sampler V st detail

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.

blog Rectangular Sampler on chair

Coupon Code

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!

Besides here on my blog and on Ravelry, you can also find me on Etsy, Facebook, Goodreads, Kollabora, Pinterest, and Twitter.

And now back to a A Tour Through Crochet Country

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.

March 1 Shelby Allaho

March 2 Ellen Gormley (interview) and Nancy Nehring

March 3 Phyllis Serbes and Mona Muhammad

March 4 Amy O’Neill Houck and Akua Hope

March 5 Mary Jane Hall and Lindsey Stephens (interview)

March 6 Edie Eckman and Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby

March 7 Jennifer Cirka and Annette Stewart

March 8 Andrea Graciarena and LeAnna Lyons

March 9 Dawn Cogger and Angela Whisnant

March 10 Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten and Renee Rodgers

March 11 Joy Prescott and Donna Childs

March 12 Pam Daley and Deb Burger

March 13 Tammy Hildebrand and Marty Miller

March 14 Jocelyn Sass and Jennifer E Ryan

March 15 Andee Graves and Kimberly McAlindin

March 16 Laurinda Reddig

March 17 Brenda Bourg and Susan Lowman for CGOA

March 18 Rhonda Davis and Tammy Hildebrand for CGOA

March 19 Julie Oparka and Cari Clement for CGOA

March 20 April Garwood and Mary Colucci for CGOA

March 21 Alaina Klug

March 22 Erin Boland and Jenny King

March 23 Margaret Hubert (interview) and Jane Rimmer for CGOA

March 24 Bonnie Barker and Marcy Smith for CGOA

March 25 Kim Guzman (interview) and Susan Huxley (interview)

March 26 Susan Lowman and Michele Maks

March 27 me! and Brenda Stratton

March 28 Kathy White and Lori Carlson

March 29 Amy Shelton (interview) and Donna Hulka

March 30 Linda Dean and Kristin Dragos

March 31 Karen CK Ballard and Gwen Blakley-Kinser (interview)

 

My 2013 temperature scarf pattern

Apparently, Honey Nutbrown‘s whole temperature scarf concept has really taken off.  Even Bernat, one of the larger North American yarn companies, has jumped on board with a year long KAL/CAL.

I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the stitch pattern I’m using for my crochet version, so I thought I’d share it.  I wanted the number of stitches (38) to match my age this year, so I combined elements of two different stitch patterns I liked in Margaret Hubert‘s The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.

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.

Click to enlarge.
The yarns I'm using, arranged in temperature order, from top left to right and bottom left to right.

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)

Pattern stitch

Ch 39.

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!

For more Works in Progress, visit Tami’s Amis.

Free pattern: All Weather Cowl

I’m excited to announce another free pattern in collaboration with Galler Yarns.

Download All Weather Cowl Pattern PDF.

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!

Free Pattern Alert: Ribbed Möbius Crocheted Cowl at Kollabora

You might remember that I was working on secret projects a few weeks ago.  The first one was just revealed today!

Teaser revealed!

 

(c) Kollabora

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!

Calling all ripple lovers: Announcing the Ripple Mania CAL!

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.

Ripple Mania CAL Schedule

Wednesday, 10/17 – Ripple Mania Kick Off!

Ripple Mania CAL Chat on Ravelry

Week 1 Chat on Ravelry

  • Supply list and project suggestions
  • Colorize Your Ripple: Choosing a Palette for Your Project

Wednesday, 10/24 -Ripple Basics

Week 2 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 10/31 – Ripple Variations

Week 3 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 11/7 – Squaring Up Your Ripple

Week 4 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 11/14 – Adding ripples to hexagon and square motif patterns

Week 5 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 11/28 – The Big Reveal!

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.)

Rainbow Brite Ripple Blanket by dlander340 on Ravelry.  Pattern: Crochet Ripple Baby Blanket by Judy Hice.

 

Granny Ripple by Wylderghost.  Pattern from Nursery Favorites.

 

Neopolitan Ripple, pattern and sample by Michelle from Greeting Arts blog.

 

Blue Waves by Elizabeth Nardi in Charlotte, NC (izybit on Ravelry).  Pattern: Sunrise Ripple by Carole Prior from Afghans for All Seasons Book 2.

 

Pattern: Neat Ripple by Lucy of Attic 24.  Projects from left to right: Baby Ripple Blanket by kennedysm1th on Ravelry, Baby Ripple Blanket by Littleberry on Ravelry, Henry’s Big boy bed blanket by Tubb on Ravelry, Ripple Baby Blanket by allee-ballee on Ravelry, and Sofadecke by nadias on Ravelry.

 

Autumn Ripple by Anita Edmonds (kirbanita on Ravelry).  (More details in this blog post.)

Wintery Ripple Afghan by Tinochka7 on Ravelry.  Pattern: Wells Ripple Afghan by Anastacia Zittel.

 

Watermelon Ripples by Karen Baisley (KarenRedBaron on Ravelry).  Pattern: Easy Ripple Pattern by Susan B.  Karen took her color inspiration from this project by Linda74.

 

Ripple Afghan by Tamara Gonzales, who blogs at Crochet with Tamara.  (I interviewed Tamara in 2011 here.)

 

Linda74 on Ravelry, who blogs at alottastitches, has created many variations of the Rustic Ripple by Terry Kimbrough.  The pattern is available in several Leisure Arts publications, including Afghans for All Seasons.  Top row projects (from left to right): Lime Candy Cane, Corduroy Colors (Scrappy), The Midas Touch, and Wisteria.  Bottom row projects: Rugby Ripple, Game Day, Ripplin’ in the Wind, and Surf and Sand.

 

Thanks to all of the wonderful Ravelry members and bloggers who allowed me to share their ripple projects to spark your creativity!  Visit Ravelry to get started with the Ripple Mania CAL!

 

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

FO Friday: Sunflower belt

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 Yarns Parisian 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.

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

FO Friday: My first ever knitting pattern and an interview with Marsha Cunningham

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.

The Interview

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.

 

Ms. May (Barbara Weber) and Fluffy from the Knotty Knitters 2013 calendar, wearing Quincy by Jared Flood in Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick.

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?

Marsha: I visit Ravelry every morning to view the new knit patterns and I get lots of emails from yarn stores.  I also subscribe to Vogue Knitting, Knit Simple, and Rowan magazines.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by for an interview, Marsha!

 

The Pattern

I read about the Knotty Knitter’s project in Yarn Market News last 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 project Kwisatz 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.

In April, during Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, I uncovered this wonderful orange yarn in my stash.

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.

The finished hat, from the back.

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.

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

FO Friday: Diagonal Bobbles Clutch

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.

And I like how the seams came out, too.

If you want to make one yourself, the pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.

 

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis.  Stay cool this weekend!