Evelyn Cowl - A FREE Pattern!

Today I have the great pleasure of announcing my first-ever Free Crochet Pattern!

Broomstick Lace!

Keep up with my New Years Resolution of learning Broomstick Lace!

Pleiades Shawl - Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012

Have you ever had a secret you wish wasn't a secret? That's how I always feel about my designs that are in the transit period between acceptance and publication!

Free Crochet Snowflakes

Snowflakes, Snowflakes, Snowflakes!! I'm seeing snowflakes in my sleep we have so much snow. So, what's a girl to do? Why......crochet snowflakes of course..

April 30, 2008

Yarn Thing Podcast - Cardi Wrap Progress!

Marly of the YarnThing podcast is having a super cool contest right now!! If you go take a peak at her blog, YarnThing Podcast, you can read all about it! Her podcast is one of my favorites, BTW!

Now, to fill in on some of the missing details concerning my Cardi Wrap! I only have about 3 inches left on the LAST panel!! HURRAY!! I'll finish it up tonight on a good movie, and sew it together tomorrow morning or afternoon.

Not much else new, BUT, I did send in an audition for Cathie Filian's new Untitled Teen Craft Show! If you want to read more about the casting, read HERE! What did I audition for?? Well, crochet of course!!

I have my first Fiddler on the Roof practice tomorrow evening, hurray! I'm very excited about it.

Happy Crocheting!

April 24, 2008

How to Crochet for Kids

I taught my kids to crochet in steps. I have found that teaching kids how to hold their yarn for proper tension is pretty difficult. But kids can have fun learning to control and maneuver their crochet hook with an adults help and have great success without frustration.

How to crochet for kids involves an adult who is willing to sit alongside a child. The adult must hold the yarn for the child while they learn how to use the crochet hook. I usually recommend using a G or H hook and worsted weight yarn for a beginner. Once the child has mastered a chain stitch there are a few projects they can work on with an adults help.

One project would be a hair scrunchy. The child can crochet all the chain stitches, and the adult can make the single crochets onto the hair band. This example uses 10 chains, but yours can have more or less chains. You can even vary the lengths of the chains or use a variegated yarn if you wish. I would avoid novelty yarns (unless it is a ribbon yarn) because they are harder for a new beginner to work with.

You will squish the single crochet stitches together (really squish them on tight) and finish off when you have the number of single crochets on the hair band that you want.

Another simple crochet project for a beginner is a book mark.

Leaving about 5 inches of yarn to work with on your ends, allow the child to make 6 or 8 or 10 inches of chain stitches. Then thread beads on your ends and tie off with knots.

This example only demonstrates one bead, but it is nice with several beads on the ends. How to crochet for kids means teaching them in steps and allowing them to create something simple they can be proud of. The yarn holding generally comes when they are movitated to crochet more than the adult has time to sit with them, Just be sure to demonstrate how you are holding your yarn everytime you put the yarn on your hand. They will eventually get it!

Another idea is to chain a necklace. You can thread beads onto the yarn before you begin and scatter them evenly through out the necklace. Or you can just crochet a long chain and add a pendant to it. I know you are probably more creative than I am and can come up with more ideas than I have listed here.

Please leave me a comment if you have found this crochet tip helpful and if you have other useful patterns for very very beginning crocheters (mostly chain stitch!)

Our new website will be up and running soon. You can view it at Crochet Collection

April 15, 2008

Crocheting with Fabric Strips

I went to the Rosemont Quilt Show this past weekend and saw something there that inspired me to crochet with fabric strips. I saw a purse that was knitted with 1/2 inch batik fabric strips. I thought.........hmm......I could make something like that with crochet -- only I didn't want a purse, I really wanted something more like a tote bag.

So, when I got home I dug out all my batik fabric and started cutting strips. I began with a few fabric selections. Then added more and more and more. I used most of what I had on hand. I was surprised at how much fabric I needed. Using quality batik fabric doesn't make this an inexpensive project, unless you can get a great deal on theprice of the fabric.

I haven't decided if I want to line the bag or not because I love how the inside looks so much and the weave is pretty tight.

You really want to use batik fabric for a project like this for a couple of reasons. First, the quality of the fabric is very good. It has a high thread count to hold up through the batiking process. Because of this, the fabric frays much less than other cotton fabrics.

Also, the dye penetrates the entire fabric and batiks look just as vibrant on the back as on the front.

You need to use a metal crochet hook to work with fabric strips. Plastic will break (ask me how I know!) Also, it requires a little more muscle to crochet with fabric, so be prepared to have sore hands/fingers if you are not used to working with fabric.

Lastly, crocheting with fabric strips could become a long term thing.......

My Mom saw my bag and promptly asked me to make her one. I know when I have it finished and people see my bag, I will get more requests. It's very cool and unusual. That's why I made one for me!

Leave me a comment about what you think of this bag. I am thinking about adding the pattern to the Crochet Collection website and possibly offering it as a kit. The kit would most likely need to retail for about $39.95, but all the fabric strips would be cut for the project. If I include fabric for lining the bag and a manufactured handle, then the kit would probably run more in the $49.95 range.


You can visit the website at Crochet Collection.

April 14, 2008

Still in Progress: Cardi-Wrap

Hey Everyone,

You may have wondered what ever became of that wonderful Cardi-Wrap that was supposed to be done by Feb 24th. Well, Today's the day I've come to you with an answer! I am about 85% done with it now. It has been much more labor intensive than I ever thought it would be, and I am itching for it to be done! I have finished the back, 1 front panel and 2 sleeves. I am currently about 1/5th of the way done with the 2nd front panel. After that is finished, all I have left is to sew in my loose ends, stitch it up and add the sleeve ruffles. Here are pictures of what I have completed at this point:

Front Panel
Sleeves (what?! You say they look short?! No, they're supposed to be that way)

Back Panel

2nd front panel - Still a WIP

In the past week I also tore out all progress that I had made in my Crochet Today Sweater Coat. I was very unhappy about it, as the pattern wasn't as clarified as I would have liked it to be, which made my row ends uneven. I knew if I didn't tear it out and fix it, I'd never wear it, be proud of it, or win a blue ribbon at the fair! So now as soon as my darling wrap is finished, I'll be plugging away with it!

I've been underway with planning for my Make it With Wool entry! I'm still staying on the plan of my last MIWW post, but I'm finding many more patterns to my suiting now! I've been looking for the "perfect" fabric for my sewing parts (boy, do you know how hard it is to find really pretty wool fabric? It's nearly impossible!), and thinking about the top that I can't decide on for my Sweater Coat Ensemble. I've had much fun and frustration in this process!

I also have more exciting news! Today while I was on Ravelry, I stumbled across a post in the Teen Knit and Crocheters group. The young lady who posted it was looking to expand the knitting magazine that she had created in the past. She was looking for other teens to submit patterns, be editors, and be column writers. I volunteered to be the crochet column writer, and crochet pattern editor. Who knows, this could be my crochet magazine career launcher =)

So things have been very busy in my part of the world! And we finally have beautiful spring weather here, we're supposed to be in the mid 60's tomorrow!! Hurray!

Happy Crocheting!

April 10, 2008

How to Crochet a Dishcloth

If you want to learn how to crochet a dishcloth, you only need to know a few simple crochet stitches and you will be on your way to creating a great gift or home project for yourself. I like a dishcloth that is created by making your stitches in the back loops of your previous row. I have a few pictures demonstrating this here. The reason I like this, is that it creates texture in your dishcloth. Texture makes it easier to scrub your dishes clean.

How to Crochet a Dishcloth
Basic instructions:

You will need worsted weight cotton yarn and a crochet hook (H, I, or J are fine)

Make a chain about 12 inches in length.
You can decide if you want your dishcloth to be single crochet, half double crochet or double crochet. Just pick one and stick to it.

Row 1: if you pick sc, begin in your first stitch -- if you pick hdc, begin in the third stitch from your hook -- if you pick dc, begin in the fourth stitch from hook
Make your stitches all the way across, then ch 1 for sc, or ch 2 for hdc, or ch 3 for dc, turn

Row 2: In BACKLOOPS ONLY, If you are using sc stitch, then begin sc stitching in the very first stitch and go all the way across, if you are using hdc stitch, or dc stitch, then your chain counts as your first stitch and you begin crocheting in the second stitch (remember BACKLOOPS ONLY)

Continue making Rows identical to row 2 until your washcloth measures 12 inches.

You could adjust this pattern to make your dishcloth bigger or smaller, but I like to make them a bit bigger because I throw towels in the dryer and my cotton dishcloths tend to shrink.

I hope you enjoy learning how to crochet a dishcloth. Bookmark my page and let me know how your dishcloth turns out!

Visit our website at Free Easy Crochet Patterns

April 09, 2008

Crochet Market Bag Pattern Coming Soon!

Yes, you can crochet your own market bag!

This crochet market bag pattern will give you ideas for variations in your bag which will inspire you to create one-of-a-kind bags for yourself. The basic premise: to create a flat circle for the base, then extend your base upward an inch or so, and fill the rest of your bag with a mesh that will stretch with your bag's contents. It will be pulled back together at the top with handles added. There are several techniques to do this. I have experimented with many different techniques and will give you what I think works the best for me. (I'm in the process of getting this written out.)

First though, the benefits of using a crochet market bag.

  • You are saving natural resources by going "green" and not adding more plastic bags to our country's landfills.
  • Wide handles distribute the weight of your bag and do not cut into you hands like plastic does.
  • The mesh bag sides expand with your contents.....perfect for adding a couple more items to your bag!
  • Weave in the bag is small and most grocery store items will fit in this bag without falling out of the holes
  • Weave in the bag allows you to fold these bags up tight and carry many along with you to the store
  • Flat base allows for easier bag filling
  • Flexibility.....can be used for the market, the pool or beach, your carry along crochet project, and so much more!
  • Washable bags
  • Unique! People will definitely notice your bags!

We will post the pattern as soon as it is finished!

April 08, 2008

Cotton Yarns for Knitting and Crochet

Our order for 20 grab bag cotton yarns for knitting and crochet from Peaches and Creme

came yesterday. It was like Christmas in April!

Below is pictured just one of the grab bags. The cost for each grab bag was only $2.19 and with postage was approximately $3.00. We figured each item (including postage) cost about 50 cents. Everything looks very nice to work with.

We are planning to use this yarn for making eco-friendly market bags to sell at craft shows. We are also planning to use these yarns, along with Lily Elite Cotton yarn, pattern, and crochet hook to make up "Make your own Market Bag Kits." We plan to sell them on our website, Crochet Collection, and at craft shows. I did a little research earlier on themed gift baskets (which are very popular) and plan to put several of those together this year!

This is our first big effort using cotton yarn for knitting and crochet. Usually we use acrylic yarn, or 100% wool yarn, so it is a nice change.

April 04, 2008

Grocery Mesh Bag

I spent the day crocheting yesterday. My mother-in-law and I were talking about what the "new" item for craft show sales should be for this year. We determined that a crocheted grocery mesh bag would be perfect as people go from using the disposable plastic bags to a more eco-friendly option. Currently, grocery stores are beginning to offer sterile, boring canvas bags for sale. But a handmade crocheted grocery mesh bag has "purse"onality. I think the grocery mesh bag will reflect the taste and style of the individual.

We looked on-line for a pattern that would be fast and easy to make, but determined we would design our own. Wow, did we learn a lot about working with mesh. This is my first bag (at left) and I had it finished two times only to tear more rows out each time. Did that bag STRETCH!
We used old cotton-blend yarn that had been given to her and she had stored for a "someday" project. We ordered several grab bags from Peaches and Creme to use for making these bags.
My first bag, once loaded with what I thought would be a normal bag load from the grocery store, stretched to the ground. My husband said it would work for someone who was 6'6" tall. I tore out about 4 rows and it still hit the ground when I picked it up. So what we have now, is a perfect size. Although the bag looks smallish when unloaded, it expands and stretches perfectly for a load of groceries.

The handles I didn't want too long, because I didn't want that to contribute to the stretch of the bag. I like these handles because a heavy load of groceries in a plastic bag, cuts into your hand and hurts. These handles are wide enough to help distribute the weight of groceries.

Really, designing your own grocery mesh bag is easy. Make a circle for your bottom, and then chain mesh sides, and bring it back together at the top.

How unique will your next shopping experience be?

April 02, 2008

Floral Crochet Motifs

Today was the first spring -like day we have had in Wisconsin. The sun warmed the air, the grass turned greener and the birds sang gleefully. I found this free pattern that features one of many Floral Crochet Motifs. It so expressed the spring-like day that I thought I would link to it for your enjoyment. It features a bright floral square. The pattern is made in a placemat, but you could turn this into an afghan, or pillow, or use thread for a tablecloth or pillowcase edging -- you get the idea -- it's versatile!

Floral Crochet Square

I will look for more great floral crochet motifs to add to this post!

Please visit our website at Free Easy Crochet Patterns

April 01, 2008

Crochet and Knit for Charity

This is my finished charity item.

My daughter and I joined our new local crochet guild. They constantly receive donated yarn that members can take home to crochet and knit for charity. The last meeting I fell in love with this green TLC Wiggles Yarn. I knew it would make the cutest hat!

I had some left over bright variegated yarn from another project and decided to use it for the top and bottom edging. I have enough yarn left to make an accompanying scarf. I wish I could see the look on the face of the youngster who will get this!

Please visit our website Crochet Collection.

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