Happy National Crochet Month 2015

Happy National Crochet Month 2015!

Victorian Lace Gift Card HolderMarch is one of our favorite months of the year…because we are crochet addicts! To celebrate National Crochet Month we are sharing this crochet pattern for a Victorian Lace Gift Card Holder. This is an elegant way to dress up gift cards for your favorite crocheters or those who love all things Victorian.

This pattern first appeared in Love of Crochet magazine Summer 2014 issue. We have the rights back and are happy to share the pattern with you for free to celebrate National Crochet Month this year.

Free Pattern for National Crochet Month 2015

I used some cotton thread I picked up at a garage sale. This project would also be lovely in Aunt Lydia’s, Knit Picks Curio or Bernat Handicrafter threads. You’ll note that I use a D hook and crocheted with 2 strands held at once. This makes the project whip up faster and allowed me to use a larger hook.

SUPPLIES:

  • Bucilla Super Mercerized Wondersheen 100% Cotton: 400 yards/75 g – Color 9
  • US size – D/3/3.25 (mm) crochet hook, or size required for gauge
  • Needle for sewing
  • colored chalk

Gauge: 2 strands held at once – 5 rows and 10 dc = 2″

Victorian Crochet Gift Card Holder

GIFT CARD HOLDER INSTRUCTIONS:

2 strands held together (double stranded)

Ch 21

Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook (count as 1st 2 sts), dc. *ch 1, skip a ch, 3 dc* across. (19)

Row 2-6: Ch 3 (count as 1st st), turn. 2 dc. *ch 1, skip ch, 3 dc* across. (19)

Row 7: Ch 3 (count as 1st st), turn. Working in the front loop only this Row: 2 dc. *ch 1, skip ch, 3 dc* across. (19)

Row 8-12: Repeat Row 2

Gift-Card-Holder-ProfileFinish off and weave in ends.

Fold gift card holder in half.

Attach thread (double stranded) to bottom right corner.

Rnd 13: Working across the ends of Rows 1-12, join sides together with sl st: work 2 sl st in each Row (12). Turn to back panel, 7 sl st, ch 17, skip 3 sts, sl st across. (27). Turn to Sides of Rows 1-12. Work 2 sl at the end of each Row. (12)

Finish off and weave in ends.

Gift Card Holder OpenROSE INSTRUCTIONS

2 strands held together

Ch 2, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Rnd 1: 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Join with a sl st. (5)

Rnd 2: Working in the front loop only this Rnd: *In next st work: sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc* around. Join with a sl st to the unused loop behind the pedals just worked. (25)

Rnd 3: Work in the unused loop behind Rnd 2. *Ch 3, sl st* around. (20)

Rnd 4: *In the ch-3 sp work: sc, hdc, 3 dc, hdc, sc* around. Join with a sl st. (35)

Finish off leaving and weave in ends.

ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Chalk Rose as desired.
  • Sew Rose to Row 3 & 4 below the loop made in Rnd 13. Sew just the center of the Rose to the Gift Card Holder so that it acts as a button.

Ball and Chain Crochet Pattern

Ball and Chain Crochet Pattern

Ball and Chain Crochet Pattern

 

Do your burdens feel like the old ball and chain?

We couldn’t resist having a little fun with the many references to the ball and chain. This is a funny gift to give at a bridal shower (yes, we have done that). It’s also a fun prop for use in plays like “A Christmas Carol” for the ghost of Christmas past.

Ball and Chain Wedding

Whatever your burden, this ball and chain was designed with comfort in mind. It has a faux leather lined cuff for when your burden seems extra heavy to carry.

Pictured above, the scarf is 5′ long. Add more or less links to change the length.

Available in the Store

This Ball and Chain crochet pattern is available in the store.

 

Review: Artists & Makers Magazine

Review: Artists & Makers Magazine

Artists and Makers MagazineWhen a friend gave me a copy of Artists & Makers magazine Winter 2015, I was thrilled. I secretly love art but most people don’t know it. I rarely go to art shows and I don’t read up on anything other than crochet. So this was a treasure. One that I wanted to savor and read while undisturbed. So when I had the house to myself, I fixed myself a drink, settled comfortably on the couch and cracked open the magazine.

It was, in a word, delightful. I received a glimpse into the lives of lots of creative people who shared both their successes and struggles. There were book reviews, tips for the business side of art and snapshots of a wide variety of art forms from letterpress to painting to woodworking, etc. There was even a small story about a yarn company!

My favorite section was “Essentials”, a review of products, supplies or organizational tools that artists might like. This 2 page spread made me laugh out loud! It reminded me of the Seinfeld episodes where Elaine works for J Peterman and writes catalog copy that is more story than actual description/review of products. After reading Essentials, I was tempted to buy one of everything. Ok, I exaggerate. I wasn’t tempted to buy anything, but this section alone makes the magazine a must read!

The quality of the magazine is top notch. It has a nice thick cover with beautiful glossy layouts. The artists highlighted are diverse in textiles and in personalities which I really appreciated. There were a lot of practical tips that all artists can use regardless of art form. When I finished reading the magazine, I was encouraged and my spirit uplifted. I was energized.

I would recommend this magazine to creative people who are passionate about their art and have an entrepreneurial spirit. Though it may be geared more for people who want to make a full or part time living with art, anyone who sees arts and/or crafts as a form of expression will enjoy this magazine.

Craftsy References and eGuides

Craftsy References and eGuides

To-Do-ListWe don’t blog about it much, but we are fans of Craftsy. It’s a wonderful place for online classes. The videos are high quality, the teachers are knowledgeable and there are lots of subjects to choose from. I (Dana) recently learned that they have a bunch of free references and eGuides. Oh, yeah…sign me up!

The References are like mini classes packed with nuggets of wisdom. They can be downloaded to your computer or viewed on a browser. Here are a few of their eGuides:

Photography
eGuide: Understanding Exposure for Better Photos Now: Beginner Photography Tutorials
Cake Decorating
eGuide: Not-So-Basic Buttercream Decorating Ideas
Food & Cooking
eGuide: Delicious Doughnut Recipes You Can Make at Home
Paper Crafts
eGuide: 6+ Stash-Busting Paper Craft Projects
Drawing
eGuide: Drawing the Human Face: A Primer
Painting
eGuide: Beginner’s Guide to the World of Watercolor
Gardening
eGuide: Success With Container Gardening
Woodworking
eGuide: Woodturning Basics for Beginners

Being a former paper crafter, the eGuide for 6+ Stash Busting Projects is one of my favorites. And as someone who needs to take better pictures, the photography  eGuide is one I’m going to be memorizing. Of course, they have eGuides for crochet and knitting, too. I really like their Metrics Conversion Guide! I’m definitely going to print that out and put it by my work station (ok, it’s going on the coffee table in front of my couch).

Fun References on Craftsy

There are other fun (and free) references on Craftsy, too. As someone who likes to plan, the To Do List and Project Planner definitely resonate with me.

The easiest way to access the Craftsy References is to visit their blog and click on references in the left sidebar.

Enjoy!

 

Houndstooth Ladies Crochet Winter Accessories

Houndstooth Ladies Crochet Winter Accessories

Photo: Love of Crochet

Photo: Love of Crochet

This delightful and warm Houndstooth Trio first appeared in Love of Crochet magazine Holiday 2014 issue. It is now available in our shop.

The crochet pattern includes a fur brimmed hat, fur brimmed cowl and fur lined muff. The trio fits ladies 8 years old and older.

The Houndstooth print is created with stitches of various heights and the spike stitch. It’s surprisingly easy to create. The most difficult part will be working with fur. But it is sooo worth it because it is super soft, very warm and absolutely gorgeous.

Pictured here is yarn from Trendsetter Yarns. This set used Merino 8 and La Furla. Both are super soft and delightful to work with.

Available in the Store

Learn more about the Houndstooth Trio in the Shop.

Behind the Scenes: Panda Set

Behind the Scenes Panda Set-SmileIt wasn’t all smiles at the photo shoot for the Panda Set. Here’s a peek Behind the Scenes.

Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself: you place your adorably dressed child at just the right spot for a picture but he moves or cries or spits up. At 1 year old our model was much more interested in taking off the hat and peeling down the pants than staying dressed, sitting quietly and smiling at the camera. Hmmm…thankfully he also enjoyed roaring like a bear. So we were able to grab a few snapshots of him fully clothed and roaring.

Panda Roar

The roaring only lasted so long before the hat was whipped off again. We coaxed it back on and encouraged him to sit next to the Panda bean bag chair…again. A few funny faces and silly noises later and we caught a smile or two.

Panda Hat Coming Off

But then, time was up and the tears came out. Our model was done. The photo shoot lasted all of 10 minutes. So, we hoped for the best and let the little tyke run and jump on the Panda bean bag chair, which is what he wanted to do from the beginning.

Panda Cries

Mom may have been a little frazzled by the production, but everyone seemed happy in the end. We got some cute photos and the little tyke got to play with some new toys.

playing with panda

Learn more about the Panda Set in the Shop.

Crochet Technique: Broomstick Lace

Broomstick Lace – Easier Than You Think

Traditional Broomstick LaceMy (Dana) first impressions of broomstick lace were 1) it creates a gorgeous texture and 2) it will be difficult to learn. I may have been right on the first point, but I was oh, so wrong on the second.

At first, it felt a bit clunky working with a knitting needle while crocheting (especially one with the diameter of a broomstick handle). But in a short amount of time it became easy and even relaxing to create broomstick lace. In fact, I taught a friend how to broomstick lace in her second crochet lesson ever! Once she mastered the single crochet, she had all the skills she needed to create a beautiful broomstick lace scarf.

The Crimson Cowl pictured here was made with traditional broomstick lace. It originally appeared in Love of Crochet magazine and is now FREE in the shop.

Broomstick Lace – The Basics

Broomstick is created without turning your work, in two stages. First, there is a loop row where loops are put on a knitting needle (#50 is traditionally used). Then, there is a crochet row where crochet is worked around the loops (sc is traditionally used).

traditional broomstick lace

Below are the stages used to create traditional broomstick lace:

Start Your Project

  • Chain the length you want (i.e. 26 ch)
  • Sc in 2nd ch and each ch across. Do not turn work. (25 sc)

Stage One: Loop Row
Work from Left to Right (for right handed crocheters)

  • Make the loop on your hook larger and transfer it to a knitting needle.
  • Put your hook through the back loop of next st, yo (yarn over), draw up a loop and transfer it to a knitting needle. Repeat across work. Do not turn work. (25 loops on knitting needle)

Stage Two: Crochet Row
Work from Right to Left (for right handed crocheters)

  • Carefully remove knitting needle from loops. Be mindful not to tug on the loops because they are all connected.
  • Starting at the right side, put the first five loops on your hook and ch 1 around the loops. This brings your working yarn to the top of your work.
  • Work 5 sc around the first 5 loops. Insert hook through next 5 loops, work 5 sc around them:repeat across the row. (25 sc made: 5 sc around 5 sets of 5 loops)

Repeat Stage One and Two to desired length.

Broomstick Lace Variation – Similar to Knitting Drop Stitch

One of my favorite variations is to work one sc in one loop. This creates something that looks similar to drop stitch in knitting. I call it single stranded broomstick lace.

This technique is worked just like traditional broomstick lace but with only one stitch per loop. So, following the instructions above, you would still have 25 loops on your hook and 25 sc at the end of each row.

Single Stranded-2 needles

This technique also looks great with various sized knitting needles. Use a #17 and a #50 alternately to create different lengths of single stranded broomstick lace.

There are lots of other variations that can be worked with broomstick lace. You can twist the loops prior to working sc around them. You can work other stitches besides sc around the loops such as hdc and dc. You can grab more or less than five loops at a time.

Broomstick Lace – Video

I’ve created a short video on broomstick lace: both traditional and single stranded are highlighted.

Broomstick Lace – Yarn Selection

Milky Whey YarnIf you want your broomstick lace texture to stand out, select a yarn with good drape. Yarns like silk, bamboo or linen work great. I also recommend lighter colors.

Pictured on the right is Milky Whey yarn by Kollage Yarns. This pattern was made with stranded broomstick lace on knitting needles #17 and #50. There is also a section of puff stitch and sc work.

This broomstick lace cowl pattern is available in the store.

Textured yarn like boucle or thick yarn like wool and acrylic will hide the texture of broomstick lace, so I wouldn’t recommend them if you want good stitch definition.

Single Stranded ChangesThat being said, a yarn that has multiple textures may look quite nice. The stitch definition may suffer, but the various yarns will showcase broomstick lace stitches differently making the whole project very interesting.

Pictured on the right is a single stranded broomstick lace cowl using yarn that has six different textures in one skein. This followed the same instructions as the crimson cowl above only working one sc in each loop.

If you haven’t tried broomstick lace, I hope this article has helped you understand a bit more about it and offered you some encouragement to try it. Find us on Facebook and G+ to let us know.

Panda Set

Panda Set Crochet Pattern

Panda Set

Love Panda’s or know someone who adores these exotic bears?

The Panda Set has something for everyone – newborn to adult men!

Panda Set Includes:

Panda Set – Crochet Details

The spike stitch is used where colors change to give the illusion of fur. We’ve included information on how to make a furry panda bean bag using Fun Fur.

Everything in the pattern is surprisingly easy to make. We rate the pattern intermediate because of the foundation ch (sometimes called no foundation chain stitches) used in the leaves of the bamboo.

You may have seen this pattern before. It first appeared in Love of Crochet magazine Holiday 2014 issue. Now it’s available in the store!

Panda Set – Crochet Pattern Now Available

The Panda Set is now available in the store as a crochet pattern. The pattern includes supplies list, lots of photos, step by step instructions, check boxes to mark your progress and more.

Available in the Store

Considering a Membership Site Option

We’re Considering a Membership Option

Poll for MembershipFor our fellow yarnies that love our quirky and fun style, we are considering offering a membership option to Yarnovations. Would you be interested?

Membership would include:

  • Access to our entire library of patterns
  • A new pattern delivered to you every Friday

We would still make our patterns available for individual purchase for those not interested in a membership, but are considering an offer that makes it affordable for you to gain access to everything in our shop while promising to deliver you a fun and quirky crochet pattern at least once a week.

Would you be willing to join a Yarnovations Club for $10 a month?

Please take our poll and let us know what you think.

Would you be interested in being a Yarnovations Club Member for $10/mo - with access to all Yarnovations patterns and a new design emailed to you every Friday?

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Crochet Gifts on Cafe Press

Crochet Gifts (and Knitting ones, too) on Cafe Press

Crochet-is-Wicked-Fun-tshirtWe are crochet addicts. One sure way to tell is that we love to give and receive crochet related gifts. There aren’t a lot of tools needed beyond a hook (or needle) and yarn. But fun items with crochet sayings on them are equally appreciated.

For Christmas 2014, I (Dana) was on the hunt for a crochet related gift item for my twin sister. When I couldn’t find one, I asked my good friend Lorien if she could draw something for me. I love what she came up with. Check out her Crochet Crush!

The gift was quite inspirational. So much so, that at the beginning of the year Deborah pulled out some markers and began a little doodling of her own. We’ve plastered these drawings on lots of different gift items and you can order one or as many as you like on Cafe Press.com.

A-Good-Yarn-is-Wicked-Fun-to-Crochet-Canvas-Bag

There are a handful of designs on our Cafe Press page. More will be added soon, so be sure to check back!