Tag Archives: Tunisian crochet

#FlashbackFriday Crochet Link Blast: Week 10: Baby Blankets & Layettes

#FlashbackFriday #crochet #linkblast - roundup of 15 free patterns for baby blankets & layettes on @ucrafter
On Fridays, I share a link blast on Twitter and Facebook to get you excited about crocheting all weekend! Keeping with the #FlashbackFriday meme, I’m sharing patterns were first released at least 12 months ago.

Today, I’m sharing a roundup of more than 15 free crochet patterns for baby blankets and other items for a layette set. Baby projects are small and easy to carry around when the weather gets warmer. All photos are used with permission and are copyright the respective designers. Unless otherwise noted, all patterns are free.

This post contains affiliate links.

Roundup of 15 free #crochet patterns for baby blankets & layettes on @ucrafter

Rectangular Sampler Baby Blanket (picture #6) by me!: This variation on the “granny square stitch” is easy to customize.

Rectangular Sampler Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares.

Rectangular Sampler Blanket, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares.

Celtic Weave Blanket (picture #4) by @PatternParadise: This delightful blanket includes a photo tutorial and a link to a video tutorial.

TCBB cover (Medium)

Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets (for sale) by Sharon Silverman: Explore Tunisian crochet with through these 8 patterns. You can read Sharon’s guest post about the booklet here.

White Baby Bolero by Marumin Crochet: This adorable pattern is available in both Spanish and English. You can read my interview with Maru Minetto here.

Call the Midwife Inspired Baby Blanket (picture #5) by @LittleMCrochet: This baby blanket has a classic vintage look. You can read my interview with Rebecca Langford here.

Honey Sweet Baby Blanket (picture #10) by @CrochetKim: This striking cabled Tunisian crochet blanket pattern includes links to video tutorials for both right- and left-handed crocheters. (If you like Tunisian cables, read my review of Kim Guzman’s Tunisian Cables to Crochet on the CGOA blog here.)

Car Seat Blankets

Car Seat Blankets (for sale) by Becky Stevens: This booklet includes 8 car seat blankets. You can read my complete review on the Crochet Guild of America’s blog here.

Sugar Candy Stripes Newborn Dress (picture #12) by @erangi_udeshika: This pattern is part of a coordinated layette set including patterns for a hat, booties, and blanket.

Woven Rainbow Baby Blanket (picture #8) by @MazKwok: This vibrant basketweave blanket is also a great stash buster!

 

Crochet Daisy Afghan (picture #1) by @RepeatCrafterMe: The adorable daisy appliques add texture to this simple blanket.

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A Year of Baby Afghans (for sale): This booklet includes 12 crochet patterns by various designers.

Calming Seas by @KatiesCrochet: This unisex striped blanket is a great beginner-friendly project.

Chevron Lace Romper (picture # 2) by @MelodysMakings: This downloadable tutorial pattern includes instructions for making this adorable romper in 5 sizes from newborn through 2 years old.

Joseph’s Puff Stitch Blanket (picture #3) by @Jessie_AtHome: This unisex textured blanket pattern includes both video and photo tutorials.

Baby Hats

Baby Hats (for sale) by Annastasia Cruz: This pattern booklet includes 10 crochet hats, each sized for 3, 6, and 12 months.

Shell Stitch Baby Blanket (picture #7) by @stitchin_mommy: This classic baby blanket style is updated with contemporary colors.

crochet-along

Summer Shells Dress (picture #11) by @BustingStitches: This adorable pattern is available in four sizes from 3 months through 18 months.

Leaping Stripes and Blocks Blanket (picture #9) by @mooglyblog: This colorful pattern includes a photo tutorial and links to a video tutorial. You can read my interview with Tamara Kelly here.

Sweet Potato Baby Sweater by Erica Jackofsky via @aboutdotcom: This cute unisex sweater is part of a layette set including patterns for a beanie, blanket, and slippers.

If you enjoyed this roundup, follow my Crochet and Knitting for Kids board on Pinterest!

Follow Underground Crafter’s board Crochet and Knitting for Kids on Pinterest.

#Crochet #TipsTuesday: 6 ways to restore your lost #crojo

6 ways to restore your lost #crojo (crochet mojo) - #Crochet #TipsTuesday by @ucrafter

Have you ever lost your crojo?

Crojo is a term many crocheters use to describe the combination of crochet skills and enthusiasm with mojo, an intangible, magic power that includes creative inspiration.

Whether you always experience a little dip in your crochet enthusiasm as the weather gets warmer, or a difficult project is making crochet seem like a chore, or life stressors have you thinking that picking up a hook is too challenging, I’m sharing 6 ways to bring back your crojo.

This post contains affiliate links.

1) Choose a “comfort” project

Most crocheters have favorite “go-to” projects. For some, these are “mindless” projects like a favorite pattern, a freeform project, or anything that can be done while watching streaming shows on Amazon Prime. Other crocheters prefer challenging projects that expand their skills and make them feel accomplished.

When your crojo is lost, try picking up your favorite type of project.

2) Look for inspiration online

Sometimes, you just hit a wall creatively with crochet. Looking at all the possibilities can be very inspiring!

Some of my favorite sources of crochet inspiration are…

If you’re more of a book person, browse Amazon’s regularly updated list of crochet bestsellers. You might be introduced to an interesting crochet trend!

Seeing all of these pretty images can get me excited all over again, or start me thinking about great color combinations I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise!

3) Mix things up!

Sometimes you just get stuck in a rut. Shaking up your crochet world can be just the thing that you need to find your crojo again.

  • If you always crochet for other people, try being a “selfish crocheter” on for size. Make a project just for you!
  • Or, if you always crochet for yourself, try making a gift for a crochet-worthy friend or a project to donate to charity.

You may find that crocheting a few rows outside of your comfort zone is just what you need to inspire you to return to your favorite type of crochet!

4) Pick up a new crochet technique

Maybe you’ve mastered so much with crochet that it has become repetitive and boring. In that case, learning a new technique can be exciting!

Learning something new may be just the thing you need to fall back in love with crochet!

5) Participate in a crochet-a-long

Sometimes crocheting with other people – whether face-to-face or virtually – can be so fun that it gets you excited all over again. Ravelry’s KAL Fanatics group is a great way to find out about online crochet- and knit-a-longs. You can also search Pinterest for “crochet-a-long YEAR” to find current CALs. (Here’s the 2015 search results.) Check with your local crochet guild or local yarn shop to find out about CALs in your local community.

6) Just take a break

Sometimes, a short break is really all that’s needed to bring your crojo back. If you’ve tried everything else and you just aren’t feeling the crochet love, take some time away from crochet. When you aren’t looking for it, your crojo will probably sneak up right behind you!

What are your tips for restoring your crojo?

Craftwich Creations: Interview, Crochet Hook Review, and Giveaway!

Interview with Monica Lowe from Craftwich Creations with crochet hook review and giveaway on Underground Crafter

Today is the last in a series of weekly (Inter)National Crochet Month 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 necklace!

Craftwich likes to add a touch of mystery to the packaging.

Craftwich likes to add a touch of mystery to the packaging.

This post contains affiliate links.

Today’s post features Monica Lowe of Craftwich Creations. Monica can be found online in the Craftwich Creations Etsy shop, and on Facebook, Instagram, Ravelry, and Twitter. Today, I’ll be sharing an interview with Monica, followed by a review of her crochet hooks, and a giveaway for you to win your very own Craftwich portable crochet hook necklace! Read on for more details.

Left: My custom Craftwich hook. Right: The giveaway prize!

Left: My custom Craftwich hook. Right: The giveaway prize!

Interview

All images in the interview are copyright Craftwich Creations and used with permission.

Interview with Monica Lowe from Craftwich Creations with crochet hook review and giveaway on Underground Crafter

Underground Crafter (UC) How did you first get started working with wood?

Monica: I tried making my first hook a few years ago, and boy did it SUCK. HA! I used an oak dowel, which was so hard to hand carve with an Xacto blade. But I really got the hang of it after taking a class on hook carving with Jimbo (of Jimbo’s Front Porch) at Crochet@Cama four years ago. Once I started, I couldn’t seem to stop, and soon my husband was asking me WHAT was I going to do with all those hooks? Worked out how I liked to make my hooks, what worked best for me, and a business was born.

Craftwich Creations Studio.

Craftwich Creations Studio.

UC: What initially inspired you to make handmade crochet hooks?

Monica: In my crafting, I always have enjoyed the process more than the finished piece. It’s always a bit disappointing when it’s finished, no mater how cool it is. SO, when I moved to the Pacific Northwest, and was able to stay home with the kids, it was a natural progression to first wanting to know how to make my own yarn, and then my own tools. I want to know my craft from the beginning to end.

Craftwich Creations shawl pins, crochet hook necklaces, and other and accessories

Craftwich Creations shawl pins, crochet hook necklaces, and other and accessories

UC: Do you crochet yourself? If not, who tests out your new hook designs?

Monica: I crochet every night, on the couch, with my Ott light and my pillow, LOL! I’m a more advant-garde hooker, so I like unusual designs, and since I tend to have crafting Short Attention Span, I like to make shawls (asymmetrical are my faves) and other patterns with a variety of stitches. I do like to have anyone I see in person test my hooks – one can never have enough feedback.

Craftwich Creations knitting needles.

Craftwich Creations knitting needles.

UC: Many crocheters have never owned a handmade hook before, and you prefer to make custom hooks. Talk us through the process of working with a customer to create a great hook.

Monica: Well, my goal with my business is to make a piece of art for everyone, that is a useful tool also. If I don’t make something with someone in mind, then I want to make something that the wood tells me it wants to be. If someone is interested in my hooks, but doesn’t see one that leaps out at them (don’t laugh, it has literally happened at a craft show!) then they can request a custom order, which is SO much fun.

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First, I need to ask what kind of grip they have, small or larger hands, and whether they use a thumb, forefinger, etc. Any quirks they might have in their hook hold. For example, I have a knife hold in my left hand, and I use my fingers to throw off the yarn. (it was dubbed the “spider crawl” by Julia M. Chambers, who wrote an excellent series of articles in Interweave Crochet on hook holds). Since crochet hooks are held differently by literally each person, some of my natural hooks will NOT work for some people, and others will be PERFECT. I want to match people up with THEIR hook. Nothing makes me more pleased than hearing someone tell me, “it fits like it was made for my hand,” or “it caught my eye right away and I love it.” That means more to me than the money (although getting paid to make people happy is nice too).

I send pictures of the hook in progress as needed. It’s a small step to take, to make sure someone loves what they get.

Craftwich Creations kits and more.

Craftwich Creations kits and more.

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

Monica: I wish I had more time to visit all the blogs i WANT to! I spend most of my time on Facebook, I’m afraid. But some of the blogs I have visited, besides yours, include Moogly, ReCrochetions (Laurinda Reddig, the crochet designer, is a good friend of mine), Cre8tion Crochet, Crochet Concupiscence, Fresh Stitches, and….there’s more but my brain is not working.

Craftwich Creations crochet hooks and knitting needles.

Craftwich Creations crochet hooks and knitting needles.

UC: How are you celebrating NatCroMo this year?

Monica: I am actually going to keep doing what I am doing! I have sold most of last year’s hooks, so March will be a big carving month for me – more gorgeous crochet tools for all my fellow hookers!

UC: What’s coming up for Craftwich Creations?

Monica: I will be at a few craft shows this year around the Pacific Northwest, so watch my Facebook page for details.

I always like to explore fun new fiber crafting ideas that I can make for people…at the end of last year, I really got into the large Tunisian hooks, so I’m gong to be making more and trying to get more people to try it! What a blast.

Most exciting of all for me, I’m partnering up with Laurinda Reddig of Reversible Color Crochet book fame, to create an exciting new tri-monthly crochet kit. We’ll have top notch hand painted yarn, an exciting pattern, an accessory that goes with them that I make (AND an option to get a custom hook to go with!), and best of all – a story that ties everything together and adds excitement to the kit. We’re putting together the details now, and I can’t wait to introduce the kits to everyone! Watch for details on the Ficstitches Yarn website!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Monica, and sharing your love of creativity with us!


Craftwich Creations CrochetHook Review

My custom crochet hook from Craftwich Creations.

My custom crochet hook from Craftwich Creations.

I had a great conversation with Monica via Etsy convo and email. The process was just as she describes in the interview above, where I shared my preferences (for a tapered hook), my grip (knife hold), my eccentricities (using my forefinger heavily), and my favorite hook sizes (I through K). After back and forth discussion, I even sent her a video of me crocheting, and ultimately, she created a custom US K-10.5 (6.5 mm) crochet hook for me to review. You can see the hook in action and hear my full review in the video below.

What I like about this hook:

    • It’s visually appealing.
    • It’s very smooth.
    • It’s extremely lightweight.
    • It has 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.
    • The hook has a tapered throat, which I prefer to an inline hook.
    • It has a wider circumference on the handle, allowing for a more relaxed grip while crocheting.
    • It’s custom made and it actually feels custom made. It’s like Monica jumped into my mind and knew exactly what I wanted! What an awesome conversation starter.

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What might take some getting used to about this hook:

  • Crocheters who prefer hooks with inline throats to tapered hooks may find it harder to pull the yarn through their loops with this hook – but I’m sure Monica could make another one that suits inline hook lovers.
  • Neither the company name nor the hook size are indicated on the hook, so you may not remember where to order from again. Similarly, you will need a Susan Bates Knit-Chek (or something similar) to check the hook size if you have multiple Craftwich hooks.
  • The hooks has a non-standard shape, so it may not fit into your existing hook holders.

Craftwich Creations crochet hooks currently sell for $18 – $26, depending on the size, style, and wood used. You can find more of Monica’s hooks and her other products, including wood buttons and knitting needles, in the Etsy shop here.

Full disclosure: A free review sample was provided by Craftwich Creations. 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.

I Like Crochet April 2015 banner

Giveaway

Monica from Craftwich Creation is offering up a portable crochet hook necklace for one lucky U.S. reader!

This could be yours! Perfect for crocheting on the go, or to pick up dropped stitches in knitting!

This could be yours! Perfect for crocheting on the go, or to pick up dropped stitches in knitting!

So stop by Craftwich Creations 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 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Only entries logged through the widget will be eligible to win. Good luck!

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