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Organize Your Patterns and two New Patterns

Patterns, Patterns- there are so many good patterns on the internet, how do you organize your patterns? How do you store your patterns or keep track of good crochet patterns, crochet ideas or even  patterns in process?

Pinterest

How can you organize your crochet pattern links? Pinterest is an excellent storage place for internet links and you get a great visual of each pattern as you open the board.  Quite frankly, it is my favorite place to keep track of patterns or patterns that spark new ideas for my projects.  Make a secret board and you will have a wonderful place to keep patterns for gifts and ideas of things to crochet for friends and family. Filtering through all the ideas is easy and you can delete or add at will and no one can see what you are thinking about.

You can also use your bookmarks function on your computer. Mine is so cluttered right now that I am not sure which project is in which link. Organizing these links into different files would be helpful.

Composition book

If you prefer an old school approach, then a composition book or binder is a great way to keep track of ideas that you come across. You can even note down any web addresses that you come across. When the kids finished their schooling, we had an overwhelming amount of unused or partially used school supplies. I cut out the old pages, slap a label on the cover and get started.

How do you organize your patterns

 They are handy and have hard back covers. Small enough to fit in my project bags and lightweight enough to carry everywhere. The sticky tabs and sticky notes work great as labels and make it easy to find the new information. Leave the first 4 pages blank for a table of contents.

How do you organize your patterns

 

Tape in yarn labels and color ideas, gauge, stripe samples, drawings, and any other information in the creation of a pattern, or item.

How do you organize your patterns   How do you organize your patterns   How do you organize your patterns   How do you organize your patterns   How do you organize your patterns

 

You need to do this, it will be such a help to you. How many times do you think back and wonder what kind of yarn, brand or color did you crochet that hat out of? If it is written down you can flip back and see exactly what you did and how you did it.

www.Ravelry.com does this for you online but sometimes you want to keep things secret from nosy friends, family or even strangers. I know that these two ideas will help you organize your patterns and keep track of your projects!

New Patterns

Here are two new patterns coming out in the shops this week. They are very similar in pattern so don’t be surprised when you buy them. The Red Eyelet Blanket is a bit easier than the Purple Eyelet Blanket. There is also the Eyelet Blanket bundle which includes the Baby Eyelet Blanket pattern. The Red and the Purple Blanket use chunky yarns and crochet up so quickly that you can probably finish 1 if not both between now and Christmas!

      

There are so many great projects on the horizon. Next week there is the free tutorial coming out to help you use many of your scrap yarns! I love to use up yarn scraps and make space for new skeins. I can’t wait to show you.

 

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. How do you organize your patterns? Let me know, I am always looking for a better way to organize.

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Fear and Crocheting

Ridged Square Pattern

You may be asking yourself what fear has to do with crocheting. So much more than you can ever imagine! Fear keeps us in a rut: using the same yarns, shopping the same paths, befriending the same kinds of people. Refusing to change our perspectives and viewpoints is much like using the same colors of yarn with the same stitch. Quite frankly, it is boring, wrong, and keeps us trapped. As artists, we know that variety, changing things up, having a new viewpoint, and trying a new medium can all totally change the end result, enriching our work and propelling us forward into new ideas.

For the past month, I have been crocheting in monotone colors, first blue and now white. I am so incredibly bored. Even though, texturally, the stitches are interesting, monotone crochet is not my cup of tea. Put all of the textured squares together, and it is quite exciting. But right now, in the middle of this afghan, it is mind-numbing and plain hard work. I know, I know, you never hear me say that about yarn, crochet or afghans.

Fear and Crocheting

The fear of changing my mind has kept me here in this monochrome rut, but I am close to the end of this crochet blanket.

 (Actually, it is the overabundance of white and blue yarn in Yarntopia that is keeping me on track — and the fear of having to buy more yarn. I just hope I can finish both of these afghans without needing to buy any more yarn!)

Stepping Out of My Box

Your fear may be different. It may be fear of color, fear of new stitches, fear of commitment to crocheting an afghan, fear of trying something new, or fear of being seen as different. Kick that fear out of your life and move on! Just start step-by-step, and you will soon overcome it.

I am a person that likes the same things, same foods, and same restaurants. I know this is because I have some food issues that result in migraines. Fear of migraines has kept me from trying new foods and new restaurants. But, I have been making myself try new places and order new food. I will say that some of the food I’ve tried is not my thing or too incredibly spicy-hot. But, some has been wonderful. So, my thought is this: be prepared for a little disappointment when you try something new — it might not work out for the best the first time around.

A Different Kind of Creating

I have also been painting some wood planks we have for wall decorations. The first three turned out great, number four was good, and number five… well, take a look and see what you think.

Fear and creativity
Here are planks 1, 2, and 3.
Fear and creativity
Here are planks 4 & 5.

Yes, I passed grade school, and I do know how to spell ‘Merry.’ The next one is going to be ‘Christmas.’ I guess I was tired, so I quit while I was ahead. I will take another shot at it this next weekend.

So the thought I leave you with is to try something new; don’t be afraid, keep trying, and don’t give up!

Creating Washcloth Patterns

I have been on a binge creating new square patterns for washcloths or an afghan or two, and it has been disappointing. It is just plain hard work to jump the tracks and create a different rhythm in my crochet. I have frogged more than crocheted lately, but the two crochet patterns below are easy and small enough to frog without feeling like a failure.

What I am excited about is the washcloth patterns that I just released.

The first is this Ridged  Stripe. It uses front post crochet so you can get used to the stitch, along with half double crochet.Ridged Stripe Square Washcloth Pattern

Here is the Textured Stripes washcloth pattern.textured stripe washcloth patternBoth are free downloads in the blog shop. Whip one up, place in a gift basket, add some beautiful spa products, and you have a lovely gift! There will be a total of four washcloth patterns for you to add to the basket. The two patterns mentioned above are free in the shop today and every day. Just download them and start crocheting!

Age-old Wisdom

I will say that crocheting with the full spectrum of color is far more exciting and enriching than staying with monochrome. But, as my Gran would say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S.

There will be another set of washcloth patterns coming in the next couple of weeks so keep coming back — and yes, they aren’t blue!

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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