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.


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.

Crochet Cup Cozy Patterns

Crochet Cup Cozy Patterns – Something for Everyone & Every Season

We decided to make a crochet cup cozy or two. But once we got started, we couldn’t stop! As you can see, we made animals, holidays and seasons, not to mention wild, crazy and elegant. There’s literally something here for everyone and something for most every season!

Cup Cozies

28 crochet cup cozy patterns with recipe or craft included!

Every design we came up has modifications to fit cups, mugs and mason jars….cause you never know when you want the design for tappered cups or mugs with handles.

As we were creating our designs we thought it would be fun to create cute gifts in mason jars. So, every other week for one year, we created a mason jar cozy gift. We’ve consolidated all the cozies, included all three sizes (mugs, cups and jars), added the gift idea (recipe or craft) and created an 80+ page ebook!

Includes 3 NEW patterns, too! We have a vampire, dracula and blue jeans cozy not seen in the Mason Jar Series.

The ebook is now available in the store:

Available in the Store

Skill Level: Easy (with a few intermediate stitches)

Vanna’s Choice yarn – worsted weight (4) – was used for our cup cozies. We love the color options in this line. Most cozies were made using a H or J crochet hook, but we used hooks as small as a C and as large as L.

animalsCrochet Cup Cozy Patterns – Animals

When you make one animal crochet cup cozy…more are sure to follow. That was true for us, anyway. These are fun for Easter, Bosses Day, Summer, Thinking of You and Just Because

Here are the designs and their recipe or craft:

  • OWL – Soap Dispenser
  • BUNNY – Robin Eggs Candy
  • DOG – Puppy Chow
  • BEAR – Chocolate Covered Graham
  • LADY BUG – Greek Salad Dressing

Crochet Cup Cozy Patterns – Holidays

holiday-coziesSome holidays are super fun to crochet into a cozy. We’ll be decorating for several special occasions with these cozies. These are fun for traditional holidays like Christmas, Halloween, Birthday, 4th of July, Memorial Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving.

Here are the designs and their recipe or craft:

  • HEARTS – Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
  • LEPRECHAUN – Sweet / Sour Grapes
  • AMERICAN FLAG – Apple Pie
  • CUPCAKE – Turtle Cake
  • PUMPKIN – Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
  • MUMMY – Mummy Pretzel
  • SANTA – Peppermint Bark
  • TUXEDO – Chocolate Covered Almonds

Crochet Cup Cozy Patterns –Seasons & More Holidays

cup coziesIt’s fun to get into the spirit of the seasons, even sports seasons. With these cozies we’re celebrating Spring, Mother’s Day, Earth Day, Football (Baseball and Basketball) Season, I {heart} Yarn Day, Administrative Professionals Day, Chinese New Year and more!

Here are the designs and their recipe or craft:

  • DAISY – Planter
  • BASKETBALL –Caramel Corn
  • FOOTBALL – Party Mix
  • PLUM BLOSSOM – Fortune Cookie
  • FLOWER – Bath Salts
  • HEART – Yarn Ball Bowl
  • CAUSE RIBBON – Potato Soup

Crochet Cup Cozy Patterns – Wacky and Crazy

facesWe had so much fun creating cozies that we couldn’t resist making some quirky designs as well. Some of these designs are season and just for fun like Halloween, Talk Like a Pirate Day, Father’s Day, Casual Friday’s and Just Because.

Here are the designs and their recipe or craft:

  • SMILE – Sugar Cookies
  • MUSTACHE – Beef Rub
  • JEANS / PANTS – Smores
  • PIRATE – Strawberry Lemonade
  • VAMPIRE – Red Velvet Truffle
  • DRACULA – Goulish Popcorn

Crochet Cup Cozy Patterns –Available in the Store

This crochet cup cozy ebook is now available in the store. All the patterns mentioned above are included plus Fall Leaf (dirt and worms) and Radioactive (spiced tea) cozies not pictured! What a screaming deal!

The mason jar versions of these patterns are highlight free on this blog in our Mason Jar Series (except Dracula, Vampire, Mummy and blue jeans which are only available in the ebook). You can get your copy of the ebook in the store.

Available in the Store

Ebook includes 28 Designs.

  • includes Cup cozy directions
  • includes Mug cozy directions
  • includes Mason Jar cozy directions
  • includes a delicious recipe or fun craft for each design
  • 3 New designs not seen in Mason Jar Series – Dracula, Vampire and blue jeans
  • 80+ pages in ebook with step-by-step instructions

Baby Announcement in Crochet

We’re happy to announce the newest member to the Yarnovations family, crochet style! Yarnovator (and husband) welcomed the arrival of their baby boy in May 2012. Naturally, no big event like this would be complete without a little bit of crochet.

It's a Boy Pillar Cozy

What better way to announce the arrival of a baby or share some big news with your neighborhood than with crocheted pillar cozies! You can custom make cozies to fit any pillar size and announce most any occasion in letters or appliqués.

Utilizing the two pillars in front of her house, Yarnovator used classic colors and large bold letters. These cozies vividly proclaim the arrival of Yarnovator’s newborn son. Here’s how she did it.

The “It’s a” cozy was done in short rows alternating single, half double, and double crochet. The letters were crocheted separately and sewn on.

The “Boy” balloons were crocheted separately in the round using half double crochets. To help the balloons hold their shape, the circles were sewn onto plastic canvas. Like the “It’s a” cozy, the letters were crocheted separately and sewn on. Because the balloons do not wrap around the pillar, separate short cozies were crocheted that match the pillar color. The balloons were then sewn to the cozies at the desired height.

All told, this is a fun, simple and informative project.

Yarnovator Baby

Congratulations, Yarnovator. Welcome, baby!

PS: Newborn Baseball Set coming soon!

FREE Sachet Bag Crochet Pattern

sachet bagsFREE Sachet Bag Crochet  Pattern – Such Adorable Bags

Make your own Sachet Bags with this FREE Crochet Pattern and see what all the fuss is about. Why the new craze for sachet bags? Are they really all that special? Many people use them as soap savers. Do they really save on soap? Seeing is believing. Download the free pattern and see for yourself.

sachet iPod cozySoap isn’t the only thing these draw string bags are good for. They make great gift card holders! You can also use these as pouches for storing electrical devices such as an iPod and cell phones. These mini bags are most notably recognized as potpourri sachets and scented sachets or as wedding favors and bridal shower favors. These make great gift wrapping for smaller gifts like chocolates and jewelry. You’ll be so delighted with your sachet, you’ll come up with a lot of little uses for it.

FREE Sachet Bag Crochet Pattern – The Details

crown edgingYour sachet bags will vary in size depending on the size hook you use. We used hook E with Red Heart Eco-Cotton yarn and our bags measure 2 3/4 inches x 6 inches.

Skill level: Easy

This bag is crocheted using the filet stitch (dc, ch 1 skip a st). It’s topped with a beautiful crown edge and tightens with a cord draw string. It’s simple yet elegant.

The pattern includes detailed written instructions (for the bag, crown edge and drawstring). It has lots of photos, materials list, gauge info, check box to mark your progress and more.


FREE Crochet Patterns

Free Patterns Page: Download the pattern from the FREE Crochet Patterns page.
Store: Add the Filet Sachet with Crown Edge Pattern Free to your cart in the Store.

FREE Sachet Bag Crochet Pattern – There’s More!

Caution: Sachet bags are addicting to make. We made one sachet and couldn’t stop. In our case, one bag led to seven! Here is a small sampling of them.

Crochet Soap Saver Collection

Blog: See all seven of the bags on our Crochet Soap Saver Collection blog post
Store: Also available in the store at Crochet Sachet Soap Saver Collection.

This set has a nice blend of both feminine and masculine designs. Check out the bonus Mary Jane style Wash Mitt. It’s perfect for liquid soap users!


Crochet Soap Saver Collection

Crochet Soap Saver Collection – Fun and Diverse

Soap Saver CollectionCaution: this crochet soap saver collection is a lot of fun to make. Once you make one, you’ll be hooked and find that you can’t stop until you’ve crocheted them all! And each one takes only an hour or two to whip up! These are great last minute gifts. (Oh, and check out the bonus wash mitt below…)

Traditionally, soap savers are used a couple of different ways.

  1. Instead of throwing out your old leftover mini bars of soap, toss them into a soap saver and get every last ounce of clean out of them! The soap saver acts as a wash cloth with a bar of soap wrapped inside.
  2. Save on soap by putting a new bar in the soap saver. You’ll use less soap this way. When your bar runs low, just stick in another one!

The pattern includes photos of the soap savers used as a cell phone pouch and iPod cozy. But these are also great for bridal shower gift bags, Wedding Favor Sachets, Mini Draw String Gift Bags, Potpourri bags or Scented Satchets and more.

Crochet Soap Saver Collection – The Details

film strip of soap saversWhy is this crochet soap saver collection so much fun? It could be because each pattern uses a different stitch (shell, moss, filet and more). Or maybe it’s the other little details such as unique edging (heart, crown, button top and more) or the diverse types of draw strings (flower, heart, leaf and more).The collection includes both masculine and feminine designs.

  • Filet with Crown Edge Soap Saver measures 2 3/4″ x 6″. The filet is simple to crochet and the crown edging is quite elegant.
  • Heartfelt Filet Soap Saver measures 3 1/4″ x 5 1/2″. This pattern is full of love with a filet heart bag, heart edging and heart draw string.
  • Pretty Shells Soap Saver measures 3″ x 6″. The stitch is gorgeous and is topped with a crown edge and decorative draw string.
  • Leaf and Vine Soap Saver measures 4 1/4″ x 3 3/4″. It’s understated simplicity make the leaf enhanced drawstring quite striking.
  • Moss Stitch with Flower Soap Saver measures 3 1/4″ x 6″. The beautiful stitch is enhanced with a simple frill top and draw string with a pretty flower.
  • Button Top Soap Saver measures 3″ x 4 3/4″. It’s bold and simple with a button top closure and durable handle for attaching the soap saver onto your hand.
  • Reversible Ridges Soap Saver measures 3″ x 4 3/4″. Deep ridges are great for a deep clean. Or turn it inside out for a smooth surface for a simple scrub.
  • BONUS: Mary Jane Wash Mitt measures 4 1/2″ x 8″. Slip your hand under the strap and put your fingers and thumb into the pockets and you’re got a liquid soap – soap saver!

Many of these soap savers are crocheted with Red Heart Eco-Cotton blend yarn. One skein will make three or more soap savers. Some sachets were crocheted with Hemp Cord or Twine as seen in the photos.

The pattern calls for crochet in the round. The pattern includes materials list, abbreviations, special stitch instructions, photos, gauge info, check boxes to help mark your progress  and more.

Crochet Soap Saver Collection – In the Store

These crochet sachet soap savers are available now in the store. When you purchase through our website, you’ll immediately receive a receipt which includes a link to download the PDF pattern.

Order today and start crocheting right away! Bath time will be a whole lot of fun.

Holiday Gift Bags

Holiday Gift Bags – Perfect for Religious and Non-Religious Celebrations

holiday gift bagsNo doubt you’ll need a few holiday gift bags this holiday season. Add a personal touch and a bit of whimsy with some hand crocheted bags! These are perfect for gift giving, to decorate for the holidays or for use as totes and purses.

These bags are great for both religious and secular holiday celebrations. The turkey bag will help you gobble up some fun this Thanksgiving. The Bethlehem and reindeer bag will help you ring in a little Christmas cheer.

Holiday Gift Bags – Ornaments

turkey and reindeer ornamentAs a bonus, this holiday gift bags pattern includes instructions on making the turkey and reindeer appliques or as Christmas ornaments! The ornaments will look cute hanging on a Christmas tree or as decorations on gifts.

The turkey measures measures 6.5″ (width and height). The Reindeer measures 4.5″ (width and height) when crocheted with an H hook and medium worsted weight yarn (4). We used Red Heart Super Saver.

Holiday Gift Bags – The Details

all holiday gift bags and ornamentsThese holiday gift bags are easy to crochet and fun to make. The body of the bag is made with a half double crochet which makes it whip up quickly. The edging is beautiful with a reverse double crochet. Of course, the turkey and reindeer applique make the gift bags simply adorable.

The gift bags measure 6.5″ x 4″ x 9″ (not including the handles). The pattern includes:

  • Turkey bag instructions
  • Bethlehem bag instructions
  • Reindeer bag instructions
  • Applique and Ornament instructions
  • Bonus Bag: The Bethlehem bag using bulky yarn (5)
  • Photos, detailed instructions, gauge info, materials list and more…

Spread a little holiday cheer with homemade holiday gift bags now. They are now available in the store.

Crochet Snowflake Free Patterns

Crochet Snowflake Free Patterns

crochet snowflake free patternsIf you’re looking for “crochet snowflake free patterns”, we’ve got a fun one for you! Make snowflakes that are cute, quick and adorable this holiday season! This is perfect for decorating Christmas trees, a window in your house or office and perfect for sprucing up gift wrapped presents.

This pattern is great for beginners because it calls for medium worsted weight yarn (4). Something like Red Heart Super Saver White would be perfect. The pattern calls for knowledge of chains, single crochet and slip stitch.

Crochet Snowflake Free Patterns – Stiffening Instructions and more…

Included in this crochet snowflake free pattern is complete instructions on making appliques and ornaments! We provide pictures and step by step instructions on how to turn your homemade snowflake into a beautiful Christmas decoration!

The snowflake measures 3 1/2 inches with a C hook and 5 inches with an H hook. And if you want to add a little more sparkle to your project, we’ve even included instructions on how to add glitter! Oh, la, la!

Here’s what’s included in this Crochet Snowflake Free Patterns instructions:

  • 3 1/2 inch snowflake pattern
  • 5 inch snowflake pattern
  • 3 stiffening instructions
  • 1 glitter instructions
  • Ornament instructions
  • Information about snowflakes, appliques and ornaments
  • Photos, supply list, gauge info and more…

FREE Crochet Patterns

Free Patterns Page: Download the pattern from the FREE Crochet Patterns page.
Store: Add the Snowflake Free to your cart in the Store.

Want More Crochet Snowflake Patterns and Christmas Gifts Bags?

Gift Bags and Snowflake Ornaments

For the snowflake enthusiast, we’ve created a Christmas Gift Bag set that includes 4 sizes of gift bags with a different snowflake for each bag. With decorative paper gift bags costing between $2 and $4 at the store, it’s cheaper to make your own gift bags!

The Christmas Gift Bag Set is available in the store. Buy it for the bag instructions or just for the snowflakes!



Christmas Gift Bags

Christmas Gift Bags – Fun Gift Wrap and more!

Christmas Gift BagsThese fun and whimsical Christmas gift bags are cute, practical and economical! Decorative gift bags at the store run between $2 and $4 each. At that price, it’s cheaper to make your own! These Christmas bags can be used time and time again – no need to worry about wrinkles like you do when reusing cheap paper gift bags.

This Christmas Gift Bag Pattern includes 4 sizes each with a unique snowflake making them the perfect gift wrapping for any winter occassion! Use them not only for gift wrapping, but for decorating at parties, at the office and at home! Stuff the small bag with candy canes and you’re ready for the holidays! The medium and large bags make fun seasonal totes or purses. The wine bag is great for gifting a little bubbly, but they’re also the perfect size for Secret Santa gifts!

Christmas Gift Bags – Snowflake Ornaments

snowflake ornaments

The snowflakes in the Christmas Gift Bags pattern are fun appliques that can be sewn to any project. And this pattern includes directions for making ornaments out of them! Crocheted snowflakes instantly make life more festive. They can be hung on Christmas trees or in windows. And they make great accents to wrapped gifts.

Christmas Gift Bags – The Details

Here’s what’s included in the Christmas Gift Bag pattern:

  • Small Gift Bag – 3 3/4 x 3 x 5 inches
  • Medium Gift Bag – 6 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 9 inches
  • Large Gift Bag – 10 x 5 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches
  • Wine Bag – 3 3/4 x 3 x 10 inches
  • 4 snowflake patterns (depending on hook size, they measure 3 inches to 9 inches).
  • Directions for stiffening snowflakes
  • Lots of photos, gauge info, materials list, detailed instructions and more…

Bags and Ornaments

This pattern calls for use of medium worsted weight yarn (4) for both the bags and ornaments. Crocheted with a C hook, the ornaments range in size from 3 1/4 inches to 6 1/4 inches. With an H hook, the ornaments range in size from 4 inches to 9 inches.

Christmas Gift Bags – Available in the Store

The pattern for the Christmas Gift Bags and Snowflakes is now available in the store. Order today and you can start making some Christmas cheer right away.

Trick or Treat Bags

Trick or Treat Bags – The Monsters of the Stash

These classic monster trick or treat bags are great for sprucing up a costume and holding a sizable stash of candy. They are sure to be coveted by all the little ghouls and goblins this Halloween. And they make handy little treat bags for your home or office!

Make them friendly or little scary with the stitching of the mouth and the placement of the eyes. Though they are watching you, they won’t tell how many sweet treats you’ve eaten today!

Trick or Treat Bags – Crochet Pattern

The crochet pattern for each of these monster treat bags features a famous monster in history. Crocheted two strands at a time, these bags work up quickly for a ghoulish surprise.

Suck the candy from your friends and neighbors with a Dracula bag. Complete with a cape, bow tie, and fangs, you can count on the Count with your Halloween candy. He measures

The Frankenstein monster will keep things safe in this shaggy headed bag. Crocheted with Fun Fur, this fun treat bag will hold quite a stash.

Wrap up your treats in Mummy’s bandages. Crocheted as a solid bag, a separate crocheted bandage allows you to wrap it up tight, just the way you like it. The mummy measures 7″ tall  x 6 1/2″ wide by 21″ around.

Each treat bag is crocheted as a solid unit with the facial features crocheted separately and sewn on. Each bag requires color changes. The mummy has color changes at the ends of rounds while the Frankenstein and Dracula bags have changes in the middle of rounds as well as at the ends of some rounds. Directions for changing colors is included in the pattern.

Trick or Treat Bags – Available in the Store

Friendly or scary, make these bags to fit your trick or treating style. Order your pattern from the store for a monster sized good time.

Hard Hat Mining Set


Hard Hat Mining Set – A Blast to Play With

Hard Hat

The hard hat and mining set is the perfect toy to create an explosion. Crochet fire on a single stick of dynamite and throw it in a hole for a little kapow. Or set off a whole stack of dynamite with a blasting box to create a BIG BANG!

Take your imagination deep within the earth building mines to reach diamonds, gold, gems and other precious metals. Or blast through layers of rock quarrying granite and other beautiful stone.

The hard hat will keep you safe as you blast your way to adventure. Stash your dynamite in the wood crate  and bring it and the blasting box along for the big jobs.

Hard Hat and Mining Set – Fun for All the Kids

This is one hard hat and mining set you’re gonna love to crochet because this one pattern will work for all the kids (baby to adult women)!

The hard hat pattern is One Size Fits All because there’s an adjustable strap inside (just like real hard hats). Simply make the strap tighter (with use of a button) and it will fit anybody’s head (baby, toddler, child, tween, teen, adult women). Add the light, and your projects are immediately illuminated.

The dynamite is a breeze to whip up. Make a couple sticks to carry in your pocket or crochet a bunch and strap them together for bigger jobs. This pattern comes with instructions to make a wick for a single stick or blasting cap and wire to attach a bunch of dynamite to a blasting box.

mining set

The blasting box will help you get the big jobs done faster. The “plunger handle” really moves! You can pull up and down on the handle to simulate a big blast! The sides of the box are crocheted with a wavy pattern to simulate wood grain. There’s a strap on top so you can carry the box to your blast sight. Instructions for the wire, twistable wing nuts and blasting cap are also included.

The wood dynamite crate will help store your dynamite when you’re heading to the job site. This pattern calls for two shades of brown to really get an authentic wood grain look. Crochet a couple of hinges and some lettering to bring the box to life. Create some cord handles and you can carry your explosives anywhere.

Hard Hat and Mining Set – Available in the Store

Hard Hat Store ItemThe beauty of the hard hat and mining set is that you can start playing right away. Crochet the hard hart first and you’ll instantly feel like a miner. With just a single stick of dynamite you can immediately begin to blow things up. Add the blasting box and wood crate when time allows or when your stack of dynamite gets to be unmanageable!

The crochet pattern for the hard hat and mining set is available now in the store. You’ll get a bang out of this pattern!