Little Looms 2017 Patterns

Two New Pin Loom Patterns

Two of my pin loom patterns appear in the 2017 Little Looms magazine by Handwoven. You are going to love them.

Pin Color Flow Rug

First, the Color Flow Rug. I call it Color Flow because the colors transition nicely due to the quadrant squares between the solid squares. Because you change colors during the warping and weaving process, part of the square is solid, and part of the square is a mixed color. The twisted cord tassels really finish off the rug nicely.

Pin Geo Waves Scarves

Second, the Geometric Waves Scarves. These striking scarves are actually just solid squares sewn with a dark color on one half and a light color on the other. The lines are all embroidered on. If you use wool, it can be felted. Just be sure to make it extra long as it will shrink in the felting process!

Check out these and more great patterns in the 2017 Little Looms magazine.

What are you weaving?

Pin Loom Woven Gift Bags

Weave your own gift bags!

 

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Christmas is four days away and I decided today that I just had to weave 8 little drawstring gift bags for family members! Shouldn’t be too hard with a toddler and preschooler around. Not to mention that there is paint involved. What could go wrong?

I love these bags because they can be personalized to match the recipient and can be made for any season or reason. The color of yarn and stencil do all the work!

What you need:

Yarn

4 inch pin loom (I use the Zoom Loom)

Stencil and paint brush

Paint and some form of paint tray

Scissors, yarn needle

How-to Make a Drawstring Gift Bag

Plain weave 8 four inch squares per gift bag. I sewed the squares together so they were 2 x 4, then folded it in half so it was 2 x 2 with the top open. I always sew on the inside and use the double overcast method. It seems to make the nicest looking join on the front (in my humble opinion) and is sturdy for holding things in the bag.

Next I made a twisted cord. (I started with about 16 feet of yarn, twisted it, folded it in half and let it twist on itself.) Then I turned the bag inside out, folded the top of the bag over the cord, and sewed it to the bag making sure not to sew through the cord. I centered the cord in the bag and tied a knot about eight inches from the bag and trimmed off the rest.

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I bought several stencils at the store making sure they were small enough to fit on a project 8 inches square. I turned the bag right side out, inserted a piece  of paper in the bag (so the paint wouldn’t soak through to the other side), and painted the desired scene. To give it extra pizzazz, I used a Sharpie marker to add shading.

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And voila, I was on my way to making the gift bags I needed. Excuse me now, I need to weave more squares for the rest of the gift bags!

 

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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).

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.

Tips and Tricks: Color

Color Tips

One of the simplest and easiest ways to adjust a knit or crochet pattern is to change the color. There are several things to keep in mind before changing the color.

Flame Beanies

Flame Beanies

Substitute Yarn. Use the colors suggested by the designer. If the exact yarn is not available, be sure to substitute with the same weight yarn. If the pattern calls for a light weight yarn (3), try to find another light weight yarn. Substituting with a medium could significantly change the size of the finished project. In the case of beanies pictured above, if the yarn used is larger / heavier than suggested, the hats may end up too big. If gauge is not important, feel free to substitute with any weight and adjust the crochet hook accordingly.

Turtle Family

Turtle Family

Fit a Theme. You might want to change colors to fit a theme. Sometimes you want to change the color to a person’s favorite color or you want to match the colors of a person’s room, like a nursery. Notice where the darker colors are used. If you like the original pattern, try to keep the darker colors where the darker colors are used. Keep in mind, some patterns will look fabulous in a different order as well. The turtles pictured above show the same pattern with various color schemes. I went for traditional, then attempted to make one similar to the blue and white porcelain of the 14th century.

Houndstooth Shrug

Houndstooth Shrug

Notice Stitch Patterns. Some patterns don’t look good in all color schemes. Sometimes a solid color will look better than a variegated color and vice versa. Sometimes the designer chose odd colors but the pattern is beautiful. Look at the stitch work itself and decide if it’s something you like. Houndstooth is often done in black and white, but it would look equally stunning in various colors. I did see a project in lavender and grey. Because the colors were so close, the houndstooth pattern was almost invisible. The stitch work is great, but more contrasting colors would be better.

Owl Bean Bag Set

Owl Bean Bag Set

Go Whimsical. Realism has its place, but sometimes fun and fanciful color schemes can work just as well.

Perfect purse for crochet hooksGo Tonal. Working in tones can make for striking projects. Work from light to dark or dark to light, or vary the tones for more stunning transitions.

Hiking Buddy

Hiking Buddy

Notice the sheen of the yarn. Some yarn has a matte look while others are shiny. This can impact the appearance of the final project as well. Would a doll look better shiny or dull? Perhaps the doll would look better in matte colors while the dress is shiny. This hiking buddy pictured above was done in shiny Caron Simply Soft.

Frog it! Sometimes one color doesn’t look as good as we’d like. It might be worth ripping out and trying another color.

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.

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

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!