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Snowmen and Stockings in August!

Yes, I know I am sharing snowmen & stockings in August, but if you want to make something special with your own two hands then you need time — and it’s time to get started!

We are going to be learning some new stitches here at the Studio this week. Since I hate wasting effort, you can create a Stitch Sampler Afghan (complete pattern coming at a later date) or buy some inexpensive cotton yarn (Sugar and Spice is a favorite brand and they have tons of colors out these days) and create washcloths to add to a “spa basket” or “kitchen gift” for someone on your list. Simply add your favorite spa or kitchen accessories and you have one gift out of the way! You can even combine squares to create sampler scarves. The choice is up to you. Go buy your yarn now, so you won’t fall behind when the square patterns are available next week on the blog.

Textured Squares

These squares are big enough to be a nice, generous-sized washcloth, or, as mentioned, combine a bunch into a sampler blanket or scarf. The great thing is that while they are a nice generous size, they are also small enough for you to “rip it” out (frog it) if you make any mistakes.

Snowmen and Stockings in August
This is the back of the square. Isn’t that blue beautiful!

Christmas Stocking

Today we will learn how to crochet this adorable Christmas Stocking Ornament. All you need is red, white and green yarn. Remember to shop your stash first, as this project uses such small amounts of yarn. You can even crochet this in non-traditional Christmas colors for package tie-ons; slip a candy cane inside to personalize your gift even more.

Snowmen and Stockings in August

The pattern is available for a free download for those that like to have a paper copy when they are crocheting. I find it incredibly hard to follow patterns on my computer or phone. They seem to shut down just as I need to check the next step. And don’t even get me talking about balancing the computer on my lap while kids, pets, and crochet are all happening in the room! Click the link above to find the free download pattern.

Snowman Fingerless Gloves

Remember when I showed this photo to you?

Snowmen and Stockings in August

Did anyone guess what it was? Well, it belongs to the cute Snowman Fingerless Gloves.

The weeks have been flying by since I started the Snowman Fingerless Gloves last year. Procrastination has been my middle name when it comes to writing this pattern. Finally, last week I finished it and sent it to the pattern editor. She is my life saver– let me tell you. When you’ve crocheted a pattern so many times you know it by heart, and you think what you have written is easily understood, but it isn’t.

Here it is! Super cute and in so many different sizes (from Child-4 to Adult Medium) that you won’t be able to resist crocheting them for everyone on your Christmas list! Oh, and I have added the link to the cute buttons so you don’t have to do that hour-long Google search to find them.

Snowmen and Stockings in August

Snowmen and Stockings in August

The snowman rests on the back of the hand. Don’t you just love that fluffy pom pom?

You can sew on the cute snowman buttons, embroider the cute face, or mix-and-match by adding an embroidered smile to the button face. I’ll leave that up to you!

Snowmen and Stockings in August

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S.

If you crochet The Snowman Fingerless Gloves, send me a photo so I can see how cute yours turned out!

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Rainbow Fingerless Gloves and Curve Balls

Rainbow Fingerless Gloves and curve balls have ruled our house the past several weeks. Here is one of the lovely new patterns that is hot off the hook this week.

The Rainbow Fingerless Gloves

These Rainbow Fingerless Gloves are a great Christmas gift. The simple-to-follow pattern uses easily-found worsted weight yarns to complete the project. You can complete a pair for you or a friend (or both!) before Christmas. The bright colors will warm up any winter day. The best part of this pattern is that it uses such small amounts of yarn that you can use your stash yarns for this gift!

Rainbow fingerless gloves Continue reading Rainbow Fingerless Gloves and Curve Balls

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Texture: Surface Crochet and Summer Days

Add surface crochet to create texture.

Texture brings to mind all sorts of hard crochet stitches. Surface crochet can be easy or hard depending on your goals.

Surface Crochet

One of the easier ways to add surface crochet is to add single crochet or chains to an already crocheted or finished blanket, as I’ve done in the photo below. Notice how the blue lines pop out to add a dimension of texture to the background.

surface crochet Continue reading Texture: Surface Crochet and Summer Days

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Textural Stitches and the Absolute Beginner Afghan

textural stitches

Last week we discussed that texture can be a part of the yarn. Texture can also be a part of the stitches, part of the fabric of our project. So, this week we’re talking about textural stitches.

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary includes this definition of texture: Something composed of closely interwoven elements; specifically, a woven cloth.

When we crochet we are taking string and applying different knots to it with a stick. Crocheters and knitters take sticks and string and make fabric. You may have seen a meme to this effect floating around the Internet, but I think crocheters crank it up a notch as we only use one stick! I know that this is a very simplified description of what we do but think about it for a moment:

Sticks + string = fabric.

Wow, we are talented and gifted people. We have an ability shared with fisherman (who repair their nets) and weavers (who make cloth).

Let’s Get Back to the Texture Lesson

  1. Your crocheting creates a fabric.
  2. Your stitches create the texture of the fabric.

When you add in different stitches in different yarns you get an unlimited amount of texture variations.

textural stitches in blue

textural stitches

(The above photo is a beautiful C2C, or corner-to-corner, afghan I made add for my father-in-law. The stitches give it the feeling of a waffle. Below is the same stitch crocheted in a plain gray yarn.)

C2C in gray

More Textural Stitches

A basket weave crochet stitch pattern can also add interest, as seen below.

basket weave stitch

Changing yarn size and hook size can make a huge difference in the texture of various stitches. The top left photo is a  look at the scale of the stitches. You can see that the bulky yarn is much chunkier. The green lace-weight yarn is soft and the texture, while it shows up beautifully, is not as pronounced as the aqua cotton DK weight yarn.

Turning your work can sometimes have the effect of making a project reversible; you won’t have a wrong side and a right side. But, some blankets only have a right side (and the pattern will let you know which side is the right side). Many sweaters and most socks are worked in the round and there is only one right side. If you are adding surface crochet (like flower petals), then you will have a right side and a wrong side.

The Absolute Beginner Afghan

Here is what I consider the Absolute Beginner Afghan. I like this afghan for beginners as there are

  • no edges to worry about getting straight
  • less worries about gauge
  • no sewing blocks together
  • only two stitches
  • no need for an extra border unless you want one
  • no turning of your work as it is worked in rounds = less confusion

The yarn specified can be tricky and it is better to pick a different yarn for this afghan if you have never crocheted an afghan..

Absolute Beginner Afghan

Talk to you later!

Karen