Heart Centered Granny Square Clutch

Heart Centered Granny Square Clutch

Heart Granny Square Clutch

Crochet a heart centered granny square clutch for your crochet hooks and accessories!

Crochet More 2014 CoverThis adorable little bag first appeared in Love of Crochet summer issue Crochet More 2014. We have the rights back to this pattern and have added this design to our shop.

For the magazine, Deborah crocheted the Heart Centered Granny Square Clutch in Knit Picks Shine yarn in greys and black. The prototype was crocheted in bright colors using Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn (see photos in the shop). The is a quick and easy weekend project and would be a great stash buster.

Perfect purse for crochet hooks

Deborah uses this to store all her crochet tools. She added magnetic snaps to keep the front flap securely in place. It’s keeps her crochet hooks and tools securely inside and the little hands of her toddler out. The clutch is also small and portable for when Deborah wants to work on her crochet projects on the go.

Heart Centered Granny Square Clutch – Available in the Store

The crochet pattern includes lots of photos, written instructions, checkboxes to mark your progress and more.

Available in the Store

Learn more about the Heart Centered Granny Square Clutch and see color photos in the shop.

Behind the Scenes: Houndstooth Shrug

Behind the Scenes: Houndstooth Shrug

The Houndstooth Shrug won by a landslide in the Twins Face Off Shrug design challenge. But it wasn’t always stunningly beautiful. It went through a couple of redsigns on it’s way to greatness.

“Shrugly” was how Deborah’s husband described the shrug at one point. Yep, combine the word shrug with ugly and you get one shrugly garment.

Behind the Scenes Hood Frogged Voted Favorite

I think Deborah lost 50 pounds by getting rid of the hood!
Collar that was to join in the front because a lapel

Deborah and I talked on the phone throughout the design process and at one point I encouraged her to google images for Cruella Deville (cartoon character in 101 Dalmations). She liked the idea of splitting black and white on the outfit.

Deborah also mentioned that the collar was a happy accident. “I originally designing the collar so that it would join and buttoned in the center front,” she explaiend. “But, when I folded the collar back it created a stunning lapel”. The back of the collar looks great folded flat (as pictured above) or up (pictured right).

Kudos to Deborah for working and reworking her design until she got it just right. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

She held strong to her convictions to create a beautiful garment and  her hard worked paid off.

stay strong

You can see more pictures of the Houndstooth Shrug in the shop.

 

Published in Love of Crochet Spring 2015

Published in Love of Crochet Magazine Spring 2015

Garden Buddies in Love of Crochet Magazine

I caught the bug…the itch to crochet some pet rocks that look like insects and flowers! Even if there’s snow outside, it can be Spring inside with these cute Garden Buddies.

Love of Crochet Magazine Spring 2015These cheerful little guys are a great way to bring the outdoors in. I love to have them sitting at my desk as paper weights. They are also cute sitting in potted indoor plants.

These patterns are available in Love of Crochet Magazine Spring 2015 issue now in craft stores and newsstands. Yarn is Handicrafter Crochet Thread 5 by Bernat.

Welcome Spring!

Review: Red Heart Soft and Boutique Sashay Sequins

Review: Red Heart Soft Yarn and Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins

We used two different yarns from Red Heart for the Twins Face Off Shrug
Design Challenge this month. We thought we’d share with you our thoughts on both Soft and Boutique Sashay Sequins.

Review: Red Heart Soft Yarn

Review Red Heart Soft Yarn

We loved working with Red Heart Soft…we’ll just say that right off the bat. It deserves it’s name because it really is soft. It glides through your fingers and across the hook so smooth you’d think it was silk. Coarser yarn can chafe the tension finger, but this soft yarn does not irritate the skin. It also has really nice drape which is surprising for a worsted weight yarn. That makes it great for garments like scarves and sweaters, or in this case, shrugs. Not only is it gentle on the tension finger, as a finished project, it also feels soft and smooth.

Red Heart Soft also has a shiny sheen. That makes the finish item vibrant. The color is stronger and richer as a result.

This yarn can split a bit when working with it. Not too much, but enough to comment on it. If you run into this problem, you might want to try using an inline hook like Susan Bates which will minimize the snagging.

Red Heart Soft Yarn is delightful to work with. We don’t use it as often as we’d like because the color selection is limited. As of today, there isn’t a yellow in the mix. You don’t notice how often you use yellow until it’s not available! The colors that are available, however, are rich and vibrant. We love them all!

Red Heart Soft Pros:

  • Soft and comfortable to work with
  • Beautiful drape
  • Nice shiney sheen making colors vibrant

Red Heart Soft Cons:

  • Splits a little bit
  • Limited color selection

Review: Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins

Review Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins

Though lace and ruffles aren’t our usual style, we have to give two thumbs up to Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins for being a great yarn to work with. Working with lace does take a little extra time because you have to open it up and spread out the lace to find your next loop. Once we slowed down and realized this wasn’t a timed contest, we were able to enjoy the process of working with the lace. The Boutique Sashay Sequins opens easy and stays open so you can find the loops you want to work with. It really was a delight to incorporate into our shrugs.

Of course, the Boutique Sashay Sequins is probably most notable for it’s drape. It makes a beautiful ruffle. The lace part of the yarn is very holey, which allows for the crocheter to skip holes to create a more curly ruffle. Likewise, you can create more or less of a ruffle by crocheting more or less rounds with the lace. We like that the fabric gives us some control over how big the ruffles will be.

We crocheted the Sashay right into the project with the Red Heart Soft yarn. Imagine doing a single or double crochet with the Soft yarn. To incorporate the Sashay, we simply inserted the hook into the Sashay before inserting the hook in the next stitch of the project. Finish the single or double crochet with the Soft yarn and the Sashay is locked in.

The only thing we didn’t like about working with Boutique Sashay Sequins was so minimal it’s hardly worth mentioning. But for those who are curious, we did find it a little annoying that the yarn twists a bit as it comes off the skein. So you’ll have to stop and rotate the skein to get rid of the twist. But really, that’s to be expected on this type of yarn. See, we shouldn’t have even mentioned it!

Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins Pros:

  • Makes beautiful ruffles
  • Easy to open
  • Lots of options for making small or large ruffles
  • It has sequins…always fun in a yarn!

Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins Cons:

  • Twists as it comes off the skein

So, as you may have noticed, the pros totally outweight the cons! We enjoyed working with both yarns and know you will too.

Winners in Twins Face Off Shrug Challenge

Winners in the Twins Face Off Shrug Design Challenge Sponsored by Red Heart

Deborah BagleyCongratulations Deborah Bagley for designing the winning Houndstooth Shrug. It received 70% of the votes!

We received lots of fun comments from friends in person and in social media about how fun the design challenge was. Several people complimented the sleeves of the Houndstooth Shrug in particular. One person said she loved the unexpected lace at the cuff. We do too!

Winners of the Giveaway

Drumroll please for the two winners in the Red Heart Giveaway.

Red Heart Yarn Prize PackageFirst Place: CraftyOne

CraftyOne wins 8 skeins of Red Heart yarn and the patterns for both black and white shrugs.

Second Place: Jodi Sheehan

Jodi wins both patterns for the black and white shrugs.

A big thank you to everyone for participating in the first Twins Face Off Design Challenge. We are so thankful to Red Heart for providing the yarn for the challenge and giveaway.

Houndstooth Shrug

The crochet patterns for both the Houndstooth and Black with White Stripe shrugs are available in the store. Learn more about the Black and White Shrugs.

Tiger Print Scarves

White and Bengal Tiger Stripe Scarves – Crochet Pattern

Tiger Striped Scarves Crochet Pattern

Bring out your wild side with these two tiger striped scarves. This pattern includes both the V stripe and Diagnal stripe option.

Trendsetter Merino 6 is paired with La Furla to create a pair of ultra plush scarves. Your kids will want to wear these to school. That’s ok. So long as they let you borrow them back for your nights out.

White and Bengal Stripe Scarves – Available in the Store

Available in the Store

There are more pictures of these scarves and how they can be styled in the store. Learn more about the White and Bengal Tiger Scarves.

White and Bengal Tiger – Photo Shoot

The tiger stripe scaves are flirty and fun. Here are some are a few of our favorite pictures from the photo shoot. A big thank you to our friend Lorien for modeling these wild scarves.

Bengal-Wrapped

Cute and Contemplative

Tiger-Scarf-as-Wrap

Sultry and Sexy

Scarf-Looped-Around-Back

Flirty and Coy

 

Scarf-folded-in-half

Charming and Sweet

Behind the Scenes: SC Photo Tutorial

Behind the Scenes: How to Single Crochet Photo Tutorial

I, Dana, have a love / hate relationship with the single crochet. On the one hand, it is the work horse of crochet. On the other hand, it get’s used a lot…so much so that it often leaves me uninspired. I especially hate how single crochet looks when crocheted in rows.

4 dishies spread outAs a crochet designer, I know there are a myriad of textures that can be created with just a single crochet and a chain and I don’t know why those textures are used more frequently. So I created a pattern and photo tutorial to showcase just how beautiful single crochet can be.

My other goal was to teach new crocheters and those needing to brush up their skills the basics. Not only that, I want to help them get over the learning curve as quickly as possible. It doesn’t seem like there are a lot of patterns on the market for beginners. So this tutorial was designed to teach the core principles that are seen in easy and advanced patterns.

After completing all 7 dishclothes in this pattern, new crocheters will be able to single crochet like pros.

I chose dishcloth patterns for a couple of reasons. 1) Creating square swatches is boring (to me anyway) even though they do a great job of showing us texture. By crocheting dish clothes, not only will newbies learn how to crochet, they can use their hand made items! 2) Dish clothes are small and can be completed quickly. It’s nice to have a feeling of accomplishment with each dishcloth completed.

Check out the How to Single Crochet Photo Tutorial.

Review: Cafe Press Water Bottle

Review: Cafe Press Water Bottle

When Deborah and I opened our Cafe Press shop, we selected items that we would want to use. I was excited to see that a 1 liter metal water bottle was an option for plastering fun crochet and knitting sayings on, cause I drink a lot of water. I love it!

Cafe Press Water Bottle

I bring this bottle to my office while I work on crochet patterns. Here’s my review of my new Cafe Press Water Bottle:

Pro:

  • Holds 1 liter
  • Has gasket to prevent leaks
  • Has a hole in lid should I want to tie a string through the lid and around the neck of the bottle
  • Has easy grip bumps on the lid for easy opening
  • Wide mouth for putting ice cubes in
  • Stainless steel, no toxins like BPA

Cons:

  • Hand wash only
  • Bottle takes on the temperature of the liquid inside
  • Can’t tip head back too fast when drinking directly from it because water pours out quickly

My husband and I joke about how I drink. When most people ask for a sip, they are asking for a taste of something. I use the word a bit more loosely. I could want a taste, but more likely I want a good healthy drink…one that makes you say “ahhh” at the end.

With this water bottle, I need to tip it back a bit slower than I’m use to. But I think it’s worth it. I love the convenience of it. It’s the perfect amount of water for short hikes in the park, for taking with me to crochet group or just keeping near me while I work.

Of course, the best part is that it showcases my love of crochet!

Vote in the Shrug Challenge and Giveaway

Vote for Your Favorite Shrug and Enter to Win the Giveaway

Crochet hooks are down, now it’s time for you to vote. If you’d like to win the beautiful Red Heart yarn used in these projects and a copy of these sassy crochet patterns, enter after you vote!

Vote and giveaway close at midnight March 23, 2015.

Twins Face Off Shrug Challenge

Left: Houndstooth Shrug vs. Right: Black Cluster with White Stripe

We’ve asked a friend to model these two beautiful designs, so there’s no telling which twin designed which shrug. Don’t worry about hurt feelings; the vote is anonymous. We’re more curious to know which style is your favorite. So go ahead, cast your vote below.

If you’d like to see more photos, visit the Black and White Shrugs Pattern in the shop.

Vote

Which Shrug Design is Your Favorite

  • Left - Houndstooth Design (70%, 117 Votes)
  • Right - Black Cluster with White Stripe (30%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 168

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How to Single Crochet Photo Tutorial

How to Single Crochet Photo Tutorial – with 7 Easy Crochet Dishcloth Patterns

How to Single Crochet Photo Tutorial

If you or a friend want to learn how to single crochet, this photo tutorial is the perfect guide. It includes step-by-step photos and step-by-step written directions, making it a great reference tool.

Tutorial includes:

  • How to create a slip knot
  • How to Yarn Over (YO)
  • How to Make a Chain
  • How to Single Crochet
  • How to Crochet in Both Loops
  • How to Crochet in Front Loops
  • How to Crochet in Back Loops
  • How to Change Color at the end of a Row
  • Includes 7 Crochet Patterns that Use ONLY Single Crochet and Chain Stitch

This photo tutorial is perfect for people just learning to crochet as well as those wanting to brush up on their skills. When you finish these 7 crochet patterns, you’ll single crochet with confidence…you’ll crochet like a pro!

Yarn pictured is Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton.

Available in the Store

How to Single Crochet Photo Tutorial Available in the Store

7 Dish Clothes in the SetLearn more about this Photo Tutorial on How to Single Crochet in the store.

It includes 7 fun crochet patterns.
Step-by-Step Photos.
Step-by-Step Written Instructions.

Single Crochet like a pro!