Vote in Witchy Twins Face Off with Anne Geddes

Vote in the Twins Face Off Crochet Design Challenge with Anne Geddes Baby

For this Twins Face Off crochet challenge we used Anne Geddes Baby yarn. It’s up to you to choose, which crocheted Witch Accessory you like better. After you vote below, scroll down to enter the giveaway for your chance to win 4 skeins of Anne Geddes Baby from Red Heart and a copy of both crochet patterns.

Giveaway ends September 21, 2015 at midnight.

Twins Face Off Witch Hat and Scarf

Left: Witch Hat with Dangling Spider    Right: Extra Long Striped Scarf with skull and spider web applique. See more photos.

crochet witch accessories

The hat and scarf were designed this month to coordinate with some gloves and leg warmers that we crocheted earlier this year. See more photos of the Witch Way, This Way crochet pattern.

The vote is annonymous, so vote with confidence.


Which Witch Accessory Do You Like Better?

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Enter Anne Geddes Baby Giveaway

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Vote on Baby Challenge and Giveaway

Vote on the Baby Design Challenge and
Enter the Bernat Softee Baby Yarn Giveaway

It’s up to you to choose, which baby set you like better. After you vote below, enter the giveaway for your chance to win the yarn used in this month’s challenge as well as the patterns for both baby sets.

Giveaway ends May 25, 2015 at midnight.

Vote on Twins Face Off Baby Sets

Left: Baby Pink Shelly Baby Set Right: Baby Blue HDC Faux Stockinette Baby Set

Below are more photos of the baby sets. You can see more photos in the shop: Baby Pink Shelly Baby Set and Baby Blue HDC Faux Stockinette Baby Set.

Pink Shell Baby Sweater Hat Booties

HDC Baby Sweater Hat Booties

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Bernat Softee Baby Giveaway

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Behind the Scenes: Chutes and Lattice

chutes and lattice with twist and tuckBehind the Scenes:
Chutes and Lattice Scarf

Inspiration comes from lots of different places. In the case of the Chutes and Lattice Scarf, it was a combination of having a beautiful yarn on hand at a time when I was browsing through a stitch dictionary.

First: The Yarn

I attended the Estes Park Wool Festival a few years ago with my friend Jean (from Desert Rose Designs). There were lots of beautiful yarns at the show, and I was overwhelmed by it all (what did I know…I crocheted with acrylic most of the time). Jean had a lot of great things to say about the yarn we saw in the booth of Brooks Farm. So I decided to buy a skein. I selected Acero because I loved the rich color, the soft fiber (wool/silk/viscose blend) and that one skein had 420 yards. Of course, I had no idea what I was going to do with it!

Second: The Stitch Dictionary

donna kooler's encyclopedia of crochetAbout a year after attending the wool festival, I found myself browsing through Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet. I was inspired by a lot of the designs in there, particularly those in the “Lace Patterns” section.

So, out came the Acero yarn. I began crocheting a few swatches and soon realized that my projects didn’t always look like the pictures in the book. I learned a valuable lesson: the material the yarn is made of will impact the look, drape and feel of the finished project! I was bound to stumble upon this widely known truth sometime. I’m glad it was when I had a beautiful yarn and a great book to refer to.

Third: The Scarf

To me, the “Chain Lace” on page 149 of Donna Kooler’s book looked like flowers or chutes. Although I loved it, I didn’t want that pattern to make up the entire scarf. So I added some lattice; open ladder like chain work which I sprinkled throughout and added to the ends. And since the chutes are directional, I created the scarf in two panels.

I loved it. My sister and mom did, too. My mom has even hinted that she’d love it if I’d accidently leave it at her house when I come visit. Since she’s a crocheter herself, I think I’ll just leave her the pattern!

Coral BloomsFourth: Publication

I was so happy with the scarf, I decided to submit it to Love of Crochet magazine and they accepted it! They requested a lighter color yarn, so I recrocheted it in Knit Picks Gloss in Guava (color discontinued). Renamed “Coral Blooms”, my scarf appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of the magazine.

Fifth: Self Publishing

The magazine had exclusive rights to the design for several months, meaning I couldn’t sell it on my website (or blog or share photos of the design I loved so much).

Now I can…thus my Behind the Scene’s article. One of the fun things about self publishing is the ability to show more photos. Earlier this week I posted the pattern in the shop and shared lots of styling options on the blog, which were modeled by my friend Lorien (from Lady Lorien Designs).

This is a really fun lacy design. If you make one for yourself, please share photos on Ravelry! We’d love it.

Behind the Scenes: Bohemian Handbag

Behind the Scenes: Bohemian Handbag

The Bohemian Handbag won by a very healthy margin in the Lion Brand sponsored Twins Face Off purse design challenge in April. I, Dana, am thrilled that so many people liked it.

Bohemian Handbag Collection

I have a confession to make, this simple handbag was not one of those projects that come to fruition in one sitting. In fact, I talked about it with the ladies in my crochet group, looked at projects online, and visualized a myriad of designs before settling on this basic construction.

There were several types of bags I considered for the challenge.

  • 1st I was contemplating a backpack, something cutesy that a child might wear. I was even calculating how to incorporate a small padded pocket to store a computer tablet.
  • 2nd I decided on a stitch sampler bag with lots of different pieces sewn together almost like a free form project. I even worked up a small swatch with the star stitch (which looked beautiful, by the way)
  • 3rd I began working on a round bag with the spiral that would be on the front and back panel. I envisioned a long shoulder strap and a gusset with a zipper.
  • Bohemian Handbag Crochet PatternFinally, after carefully frogging the previous designs, I settled on a spiral based bag with two skeins of yarn that would chase each other around the bag. I decided to let the color be the main feature of the bag and double crocheted in the round. Once the main shape of the bag was finalized, items like the handle and flower closure quickly took shape.

This entire project makes me chuckle becaues I rarely use a purse. Those rare instances where I do use a purse, it’s generally so small that it only fits my phone, wallet and car keys. That being said, this challenge was quite fun. I enjoyed both the project category and the vibrant Landscapes yarn.

Chutes and Lattice Scarf Crochet Pattern

Chutes and Lattice Scarf Crochet Pattern

chutes and lattice scarf crochet pattern

Chutes and Lattice is a lacy scarf crochet pattern that beautifully showcases that crochet can create a delicate fabric.

This is one of my favorite scarves to wear. It’s also one that my mother wishes I would accidently leave at her house when I visit. So far, I’ve remebered to wear or bring it home with me. =)

The fingering weight yarn used in these photos is:

  • Purple Scarf: Brooks Farms: Acero in purple (1 skein)
  • Coral Scarf: Knit Picks: Gloss Fingering in Guava (2 skeins)

Chutes and Lattice Crochet Pattern

Coral BloomsThe motif is created with floral chutes interspersed with lattice work. It’s constructed primarily with chain work.

This pattern first appeared in Love of Crochet magazine Spring 2014 with the name “Coral Blooms”. Chutes and Lattice is now available for direct purchase in our shop.

Available in the Store

Learn more about Chutes and Lattice in our shop.

Chute and Lattice Styling Options

This lacy scarf is a lot of fun to style.

chutes and lattice wrapped twice

Scarf wrapped twice around the neck with a beautiful drape.

chutes and lattice as choker

Cinched tight around the neck with long tails.


Scarf folded in half with ends tucked through fold.

chutes and lattice with twist and tuck


Scarf folded in half with a single twist on the folded edge. One end is tucked up from below and one down from above.


Tips and Tricks: Faux Fur

Working with Faux Fur Yarn

There is no doubt that a little faux fur yarn can add a lot of pizazz to a hand crafted project. And with a little practice, one can learn to crochet or knit with it a little easier.

Tip #1: Crocht Double Stranded

It is nearly impossible to see the stitches when crocheting with faux fur. The furry strands nearly completely hide the stitches. That’s great on a finished product, but not so great when you have to work in those stitches. The problem is not as pronounced when knitting since the stitches are on the needle. If stitches have to be picked up, it will be difficult to find them.

Solution: Crochet with two strands at once, one faux fur and one non-furry yarn. It makes each stitch thicker and a little easier to see. If the non-furry strand is the same color (or nearly the same) as the fur, it almost disappears. The thicker stitches may still be difficult to see, but it is also possible to feel the stitches as you work.

A Furry Sitting

Crocheting with Vanna’s Choice and Fun Fur yarn made finding the stitches in this panda set much easier to find.

Tip #2: Count every row.

Counting the number of stitches at the end of every row or round is generally a good idea, but it is almost critical when using faux fur. It is very easy to drop a stitch or lose  track of a stitch because it can be difficult to see. You might even add a stitch because it’s not always easy to tell if a stitch has been worked in already.

Tiger Striped Scarves Crochet Pattern

Keeping track of the number of stitches per row is crucial to keeping a neat edge in projects like the tiger striped scarves.

Tip #3: There is a Right Side and a Wrong Side.

The little furry strands often get trapped within the stitches as they are worked. When working back and forth in rows, both sides will generally be equally furry. When working in the round, the inside tends to be furrier. For a furrier look, turn the project inside out when appropriate so that the furrier side is out.

A hat can often be turned inside out after it’s finished. Some items may need to be turned inside out before they are sewn together. Just note how furry the sides are before completing the project.

Monkey Hanging in Palm Tree with Banana

The parts of the monkey are turned inside out to keep the furrier side on the outside. A little faux fur on the tree makes the palm tree look more authentic too.

Tip #4: Not all faux fur is equal.

Faux fur comes in varying lengths. The furry strands can be short or long, coarse or smooth. The type of fur can significantly impact the look and feel of the finished product. Projects with the longer strands of fur tend to look fuller and are softer than the shorter stranded fur. The size and nature of the project may determine which fur to use. Generally speaking, the longer stranded fur costs a little more.

Houndstooth Trio

 La Furla from Trendsetter Yarns is long and soft making this houdstooth trio very luxurious.

Tip #5: Notice yardage.

Some faux furs come in small skeins. Generally speaking that means more skeins of fur yarn will be needed than non-furry yarn. Projects with smaller stitches will use more faux fur than larger stitches. For instance, a project  crocheted using single crochet will use more than the same project done in double crochet. Because the faux fur hides stitches anyway, you might want to change the stitch to a taller stitch to save on yarn. The project will get done faster and still look good.

Halloween Trick or Treat Bags

One skein of faux fur will work for small projects like the trick or treat bags.

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf – Crochet Pattern

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Crochet Scarf

This Mulberry Stitch Sampler is a fabulous scarf! The extra length makes it fun to style (see photos below).

We refer to it as a stitch sampler because of all the fun crochet techniques it uses:

  • Star Stitch at the ends and middle
  • Horizontal cable created with reverse single crochet
  • Vertical cables made with front and back post work
  • Shell Stitch creates a lacy middle section
  • Chain work creates an edge to attach tassles
  • Working in front loop only allowed for another row of crochet to be worked in the back loop

scarf closeup

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Crochet Pattern

Summer 2014 Love of Crochet MagazineThe Mulberry Scarf first appeared on the cover of Love of Crochet magazine Summer 2014. It’s now available in our shop: Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf.

The pattern includes lots of photos, written directions, checkboxes to mark your progress, gauage and materials info, etc.

Available in the Store

Learn more about the Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf in the shop.

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf – Styling Options

Here are a few fun ways to style the Mulberry Stitch Sampler:


Long Pink Scarf

Star Stitch Scarf Woven in Front


Vote on Purse Challenge and Giveaway

Vote on Twins Face Off Purse Design Challenge &
Enter Lion Brand Landscapes Yarn Giveaway

It’s up to you to choose, which bag / purse you like better. After you vote below, enter the giveaway for your chance to win the yarn used in this month’s challenge as well as the patterns for both purses.

Giveaway ends April 20, 2015 at midnight.

Vote on 2 Purses using Lion brand Landscapes Yarn

Left: Flower Power Satchel     Right: Bohemian Handbag

Here are some close-ups of the bags. You can see larger photos in the shop.

Bohemian Handbag Collection

Flower Power Satchel Collection

Now it’s up to you. Your vote is anonymous, so you can vote with confidence.


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Lion Brand  Landscapes Yarn Giveaway

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Newborn Turtle Outfit Crochet Pattern

Newborn Turtle Outfit Crochet Pattern – Lil Snapper

Newborn Turtle Outfit Crochet Pattern

You’ll get lots of oooh and aaahs with this adorable little turtle newborn outfit. It’s a fun photo prop and fabulous baby shower gift!

Newborn Turtle Set - hat, diaper cover, cape, baby blanketThis newborn pattern set includes:

  • Baby Blanket
  • Cape
  • Diaper Cover
  • Hat

The baby blanket and hat are practical items that baby can be uses for months/years. The cape and diaper cover are sweet little photo props to capture a moment in time. We’re not sure which is cuter…the tail on the diaper cover or the decorative shell pattern that uses the spike stitch.

Baby Turtle Photo Prop Crochet Pattern

Lil Snapper Crochet Pattern Available in the Store

Love of Crochet Fall 2014The Lil Snapper crochet pattern is available in the Store.

This newborn turtle set first appeared in Love of Crochet magazine Fall 2014. We have the rights back to this pattern and it’s now available in our shop.

Available in the Store

Learn more and see more photos of the Lil Snapper.



Behind the Scenes: Granny Heart Clutch

Would you rather keep your hooks and supplies in a plastic sandwich baggie, or in a crocheted granny heart clutch?

For the longest time I used a zippered plastic bag. It was actually quite convenient. It could be rolled up and put in my crochet bag or sit beside me as I worked. But I had to use the gallon size bag and it seemed slightly bulky.

A Owl Bean Bag Deb Blanket

After making a few heart granny squares for the Granny’s Tree of Love afghan for the Owl Set (pictured above), I decided to try to make a little clutch. I decided to make a bright and colorful one first. Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice has many lovely colors and made a delightful clutch. I lined it so I could keep my hooks and supplies in it.

This clutch appeared in Love of Crochet magazine. The editor suggest monochromatic colors and this grey and black version was created (pictured below in Knit Picks Shine).

Perfect purse for crochet hooks

I put a couple of magnetic clasps on it to keep my items safe inside. It has quickly become one of my favorite projects. It is beautiful and practical.

Learn more about the Heart Centered Granny Square Clutch.