Dishcloth and Plant Holder Pattern

Who says dishcloths have to be square? This month’s dishie pattern is a beautiful pentagonal cloth made from FibraNatura Good Earth distributed by Universal Yarns. Though I stopped with an 8″ dishcloth, it could be made in any size. It’s the perfect dishcloth for washing and scrubbing as well as gift giving.

This lovely dishcloth would also be great as a doily or as a hot pad.


I fell in love with this design so much, I decided to turn it into a plant holder! The plant holder starts with a pentagonal base, with the side supports crocheted around that. Because of the design, it can hold various sized pots a little smaller or larger than 1.46 quarts.


Plants make a house so homey. Plant some ivy or perhaps some spices. Turn your kitchen into a living space!

Dishcloth: 8″

Plant Holder: 26 x 4 1/2″, holds a 1.46 qt pot

Halloween Pin Loom Projects

The Dishcloth+ Series: Pentagonal Dishcloth and Plant Holder is now available in the store.

Christmas Pin Loom Project Set

Pin Loom your Christmas decorations and gifts this year!


These festive woven projects have you and your friends’ names written all over them. Who doesn’t love a gnome? Add a little snowman to your indoor collection. Decorate with a beautiful wreath and garden flag. Relax on these lovely pillows. It truly is amazing what you can create with squares with a little shaping and sewing.


Each project is made with 4″ squares done in plain weave. (The pattern does NOT include how to plain weave.) Projects range from 1 to 38 squares, making them quick and easy to make.

The pattern includes:

~11 unique designs

~Step-by-step photos

~Templates for the felt pieces


Pattern also includes instructions on how to turn some of these things into magnets, little gift bags, greeting cards, and more.

Projects shown here are made with Red Heart Soft yarn. Not only is it soft, it also has a nice sheen. This is a great yarn for pin looming.

The pattern and templates for the Christmas Pin Loom Projects are now available in the store. Learn more about the Christmas Pin Loom Pattern Set here.

Halloween Pin Loom Projects

Pork Chop Pig Crochet Pattern

Hunting for Bacon?

Whether you need more bacon in your life or want to go on a boar hunt, this crochet pattern is PETA approved!

pig with collar

This pig can be accessorized with a sweater and a medal. He can be Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, or a trophy piece for the hunters out there. We even made it in red for the Razorback fans!


I made several of the mounted pig heads for my students after we read Animal Farm. They loved them!


Pig Crochet PatternBe sure to download the free accessories pattern for the fun variations.

Pork Chop crochet pattern.

Pork Chop accessories pack (sweater, medal, Razorback).

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.

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.

Crochet Abbreviations

Crochet Abbreviations

Sample Abbreviations ChartReading a pattern full of abbreviations can feel a bit overwhelming. It can also be very entertaining. Some girlfriends asked me to teach them how to crochet and I started by having them look through a magazine to show them how diverse the craft is. They started to phonetically read the patterns and we all laughed at how strange it sounded.

It’s easier than you might think to read a pattern. Patterns try to abbreviate wherever possible to keep the instructions short and compact so that the instructions aren’t a bazillion pages long (yes, I exaggerate a bit). If you know the basic stitches (chain, slip stitch, single, half double, double crochet), then reading a pattern will be easier.

Abbreviating Crochet Terminology

Crochet language is abbreviated a couple different ways.

  • The first letter of each word is used. 
    For example: “sc” is the first two letters of “single crochet”
  • The first few letters of a single word are used.
    For example: “beg” is the first three letters of the word “beginning”
    For example: “inc” is the first three letters for the word “increase”
  • There are some instances of compound abbreviations…but again, they use the principles mentioned above.
    For example: “sc2tog” means single crochet 2 stitches together.

Though abbreviations have been standardized, no two designers write the same. It’s up to each designer to choose how much instruction to give and how much to condense. I’ve seen patterns that are nothing more than numbers that look like ratios (i.e. 1:7, 2:14, 3:21). My sister and I tend to write more, not less. We write step-by-step instructions so that you can duplicate our process, using common abbreviations so that our patterns are too lengthy.

Many patterns will also have an abbreviations list. Refer back to that when you get stuck with an abbreviations. Deborah and I include an abbreviations list in all our patterns.

For a list of commonly used abbreviatons, visit our Crochet Abbreviations page.

US vs. UK Terminology

Just when you think you have the language of crochet all figured out…you run into one big snag: US and UK Terminology is not the same! They may sounds the same…but they’re not.

A single crochet in US is called a double crochet in the UK.

Here is a conversion chart for US vs. UK Terminology:

US UK Abbreviations Chart

Deborah and I write all our patterns in US terminology.

Problems Reading a Pattern

If you are having problems reading a pattern, you have a few options:

  1. Ask for help from a knowledgeable crocheter.
    This could be a friend, relative or someone from a yarn shop or crochet group.
  2. Find a different pattern for the same thing.
    It could be that the writing style of the designer doesn’t work for you. See if someone else has a pattern that is easier to understand.
  3. Educate yourself on YouTube.
    You may need help with a specific stitch like the crocodile stitch. Watching videos to learn crochet stitches will make it easier to read your specific pattern.
  4. Ask the designer.
    If you are struggling with a particular spot in a pattern, you may want to touch base with the designer. There could be a problem with the pattern or with the way the instructions were written.

The best way to learn is by doing. Find a pattern for something you want to crochet and give it a try. If you need patterns, we recommend browsing through

Fair Isle vs. Intarsia

Fair Isle vs. Instarsia

Many knitting patterns involve color changes while most crochet patterns do not. Why is that? Having changed colors in knitted and crocheted projects I will say that it’s not because it’s easier to do when knitting. I actually found it easier to change colors while crocheting. There are two ways to change colors when knitting or crocheting, Fair Isle and intarsia. I have used both methods and the method I use depends on the project being made.

Fair Isle

Fair Isle, also called “stranded colorwork”, has several characteristics.

  1. It’s usually done in the round, like hats and sweaters.

    Flame Hats and Mittens

    Flame Hats and Mittens

  2. It traditionally uses only two colors per round. Other rounds may use two different colors, but each round uses two.
  3. The yarn is not cut but is crocheted over or dropped (to the back/wrong side)and picked up when needed. This leaves a strand of yarn on the back. For mittens, it is easy to snag the strands on the inside with a finger when putting the mittens on.
  4. The Flame Hat and Mittens are great for learning Fair Isle as the color work is only along the brim of the hat or the fingers of the mittens.


Pictured left is a pair of mittens from our Flame Beanies and Mittens Set. The mitten on the right shows the wrong / inside of the mitten. Strands of yarn are carried along the inside until it is needed again.

As mentioned above, these are crocheted in the round. The beanies have a similar stranded look inside.


Intarsia has several of its own characteristics.

  1. It’s usually done in rows on flat pieces.

    Panda Set

    Panda Set

  2. A ball or bobbin of yarn is used for each color section and is dropped and left dangling until is it picked up and used on the way back.
  3. The yarn is always dropped to the project’s wrong side. Because it is worked in rows, sometimes it is dropped to the back and sometimes it’s dropped to the front.
  4. The Bamboo Blanket has only two color sections, black and white, making it a great beginner piece for Intarsia work. That means there are only two skeins or balls to keep track of when crocheting. The bamboo stalks are crocheted separately and sewn on.

Both Fair Isle and Intarsia use charts/graphs instead of written out instructions. Generally one box in the graph equals one stitch. Graphed work looks best in single crochet though half double crochet can work, depending  on the graph. Keep in mind, stitches in crochet do not line up one on top of another like knitting does. When trying to make vertical lines and things like letters, they will end up looking a little wavy. The stitches will line up a little more when working in rows. A vertical line will tend to lean right when working in the round.

There are just a few other tips for creating a successful piece of color work.

  1. When changing colors, you should use the new color for the last YO that is pulled through the loops on the hook.
  2. Tension can be a problem. If part of the project changes colors and part of it does not, sometimes one section is tighter than another. Be aware that you may need to relax during the color changing section.
  3. It is also easy to make a tighter section if there are long sections where a color isn’t used in Fair Isle. Crocheting over the unused yarn every 2-3 stitches helps keep the tension relaxed. Imagine trying to put on a hat that has no give because the strands are too tight.

My first projects were hats and scarves. They were small enough to practice on and I could pull them out and try again if something wasn’t quite right. With a little practice, it is possible to get into a rhythm with dropping and picking up the different colors. There is no reason Intarsia and Fair Isle can’t be just as popular in crochet as it is in knitting.

For a fun Fair Isle project, try the Flame Hats and Mittens.

For a fun Intarsia project, try the Bamboo Blanket.

Behind the Scenes: Designing a Houndstooth Pattern

Behind the Scenes: Designing a Houndstooth Crochet Pattern

How is it my husband knew what houndstooth was and I did not? A friend of mine said she was going to try to come up with a crocheted houndstooth pattern.  I had seen this pattern many times before but never knew what it was called. Trying to come up with a pattern intrigued me and I, too, made several attempts at getting an approximate pattern.

Lion Brand Fun Fur

Lion Brand Fun Fur

First I had to decide if I wanted a small houndstooth pattern or a large one. There are several lovely small patterns available online often using an alternating pattern of single crochet and double crochet. I wanted to come up with a larger pattern, one that really incorporated the diagonal lines of the houndstooth. However, the diagonal spike stitch patterns I came up with seemed jumbled and messy. I finally decided to use a spike stitch that went straight down. The effect was quite lovely.

Trendsetter La Furla

Trendsetter La Furla

I first proposed the houndstooth trio to a crochet magazine with Lion Brand’s Fun Fur. Paired with Vanna’s Choice yarn it made a lovely set. The magazine’s editor suggested I redo the set in Trendsetter’s Merino wool and La Furla. These are quite luxurious yarns. They are both incredibly soft and warm. The La Furla is thicker and softer than Fun Fur. They are stylish and functional for even the coldest of weather. Lion Brand has since come out with an equally soft and thicker fur like called Romance. Both yarn brands make for a beautiful houndstooth set.

So, just how did my husband know what houndstooth was? From football, of course. College football coach Paul Bryant was often seen at games wearing a houndstooth hat!

Learn more about the Houndstooth Trio in the shop.

Cell Phone External Battery Pack Bag

Cell Phone External Battery Pack Bag

battery pack bag

Recording video on your phone? You’ll need a cell phone external battery pack because video will drain your power fast. We’ve created a great little bag to stow your battery that can clip to your belt loop, backpack or a tripod.

We’ve dressed up the bag with a “Hangout” appliqué that doubles as a business card holder. “Hangout’s” are a free video conferencing feature of Google Plus. As of today you can video conference with up to 10 people at once. Pretty sweet!

Cell Phone External Battery Pack Bag  – Crochet Pattern

bag on tripodI designed this external battery pack bag for my husband to take on business trips where he might do a lot of recording on his cell phone. I didn’t have black yarn…so used blue for the bag. Probably not the best choice since many people associate blue with Facebook!

Skill Level: Easy

Stitches Used: Chain, Slip Stitch, Single Crochet, Half Double Crochet, Double Crochet, Treble Crochet

Techniques Used: Crochet in Rows and in the Round. Increase and Decrease

Size: 3 ½” wide x 1” deep x 4” tall

Get the Pattern

The external battery pack bag pattern is available on the Free Crochet Patterns page or in the Store.

FREE Patterns

Crochet Bunny and Easter Snacks for Kids

Crochet Bunny and Easter Snacks for Kids

A crochet bunny is the perfect accent for a mason jar full of Easter snacks for kids.

crochet bunny

It’s a strange phenomenon that the Easter bunny lays eggs. But who are we to question such a thing. We’re having fun with it and the kids will too. They’ll have a blast making and eating these chocolate snacks.

Let’s start with the Easter Snacks for kids because the chocolate will need time to cool and harden before it can be placed in the mason jar for storage (assuming you and the kids don’t eat them all first!).

Easter Snacks for Kids

If you’re looking for fun Easter snacks for kids…this is an easy and delicious one! It’s great for kids of any age.

easter snacks for kidsSo, we present to you…Easter eggs in a nest. It looks a bit like a bird’s nest. In fact, both birds and rabbits have their young in a nest. Rabbits build their nests in the dirt. The chocolate makes the eggs look like they are nestled in the dirt…so, we’re calling this snack an Easter Bunny Nest.

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 bag rectangular pretzels (Snyder’s of Hanover Butter Snaps)
  • 1 bag Hershey’s Kisses
  • 1 bag M&M’s – Easter colors
  • 1 cookie sheet

kisses on pretzelsDirections:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°.
  2. Spread pretzels flat on cookie sheet (about 50 of them).
  3. Unwrap and place one kiss centered on each pretzel.
  4. Bake for 7 minutes to soften Kisses.
  5. Immediately press 1 to 3 M&M’s into each Kiss to form nests.
  6. Allow to cool and harden for a couple of hours.

Note: Young children will only be able to place 1 M&M in the nest. Older children can place 2 or more in each nest.

FYI: I Googled “Easter Snack” and found this snack on Jamy Fisher’s website. Thanks, Jamy for sharing!

Crochet Bunny for Easter

For Easter (and bunny lovers everywhere) we have a crochet bunny mason jar cover. This is adorable as a cup cozy, too. We’re showcasing it as a cute (and delicious) gift idea for the holidays. One that the kids can get involved with as well.

crochet bunny in four color combinations

This is a great stash buster. We’ve used Vanna’s Choice. The colors can be as soft and neutral as a real bunny or as bright and colorful as your heart desires.

Skill Level: Easy

Stitches Used: Chain, slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet

Techniques Used: Crochet in Rows & Rounds, Increase

Crochet Bunny Supplies:

  • Vanna’s Choice Yarn (Worsted Weight – 4)
    (Brown Bunny: Taupe Mist, Rose Mist, Radiant Lime, Black)
    (Purple Bunny: Purple, Dusty Rose, Raspberry)
    (Rainbow Bunny: Scarlet, Radiant Lime, Radiant Yellow, Radiant Orange, Colonial Blue, Aqua, Raspberry, Black)
  • Crochet Hook: H / 8 / 5.00mm
  • Yarn Needle for Sewing
  • 1 Mason Jar

Crochet Bunny Instructions


Ch 34, join with a sl st.

Rnd 1-9: Sc around. (34)

Join with a sl st. Cut yarn; weave in end.



Ch 9

Rnd 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook. 6 sc. Work 3 sc in last st. Turn to other side of foundation ch. 6 sc, sc inc in last st. (18)

Rnd 2: *Sc inc, 8 sc* twice. (20)

Rnd 3: *2 sc inc, 8 sc* twice. (24)

Rnd 4: 2 sc inc, 3 sc, 2 sl st. Leave remaining sts unworked. (9)

Finish off leaving a long tail for sewing.

So, we present to you…Easter eggs in a nest. It looks a bit like a bird’s nest. In fact, both birds and rabbits have their young in a nest. Rabbits build their nests in the dirt. The chocolate makes the eggs look like they are nestled in the dirt…so, we’re calling this snack an Easter Bunny Nest.BOW INSTRUCTIONS


Ch 9

Rnd 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook. Sc, sl st, sc, dc, ch 2, sl st in last st. Turn to other side of foundation ch. Ch 2, dc, sc, sl st, sc, dc, ch 2, sl st into last st. (12)

Finish off leaving a long tail for sewing.


  1. Embroider “V” shaped Nose across Rnd 4 with Pink.
  2. Embroider two Eyes across Rnds 6 & 7 with Black.
  3. Sew Ears 2 sts away from each eye on Rnd 9. Fold ear a bit at top if desired.
  4. Sew Bow to top of Ear as desired.

More Cozies in Store

coffee cup cozy patterns ebookLove this bunny cozy? There are more seasonal, holiday and just for fun cozies in the store in our Crochet Cup Cozy eBook. We’ve created an entire collection with 28 designs one ebook.

Looking for the cup and mug version? They’re in the ebook.

Each design in the ebook has instructions to fit Mugs, Cups and Mason Jars. Every design has a delicious recipe or fun craft.

All 3 bunnies pictured at the beginning of this post are in this ebook! AND the ebook includes 4 new designs – Dracula, Vampire, Mummy and Blue Jeans.

Available in the StoreRead more about the set:

Blog: Coffee Cup Cozy Collection

Store: Coffee Cup Cozy Collection