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Christmas Chains, Yarn and Crochet

Christmas chains, yarn and crochet; there isn’t much painting this week. The studio is full of soft goods right now, quilts for small grandkids, yarn from Black Friday shopping, products to ship and projects to finish. Are you ready for a small breather in your hectic schedule? I know that we are. Some time off doing what we love, maybe a little home repair, a little deep cleaning, a ton of family time, church time and time to reflect. Like you, we live a rather normal life; well, as normal as it can get. Family time has been a little more intense the past several months. It is good to see that some crochet is starting to happen again. It fills a deep need to create and is more portable than painting and it keeps me balanced.

Yarn Shopping

Crochet has been filling my time more since Black Friday shopping. My crochet momentum is back, finally! The family knew when the soft squishy packages started arriving that Black Friday shopping had been a serious occupation for the Studio. Good thing that some of these projects have used up a little of the yarn. Hopefully, the projects planned for the yarn will work up quickly and fill the Etsy shop. A few photos of the beautiful colors soon to be coming your way with new patterns (hopefully) or remakes of older patterns in new colors.

Christmas Chains

Christmas Chains

Christmas Chains

Crochet

Here is a little of what I have been working on these days.

Christmas Chains

The Baby Hexi which seemed to take all summer.

Christmas Chains

A new take on the Ruby Red with Lion Brand Landscapes “Twilight” just to give folks another viewpoint of the Ruby Red in colors other than pink/red.

I also worked on a cute crocheted paper chain style garland for the Christmas tree. Super simple to crochet. I used all of the silvery yarn on hand and created two separate chains. The instructions are included below.  Here they are in process. These chains were fairly quick and I crocheted a bunch in one color and then joined them with the other color. Super fast and easy, great for beginners or children for learning to crochet. Also great for using up small bits of scrap yarn!

Christmas Chains

Here they are on the tree.

Christmas Chains

A few more more links will be added when there is a little more time. They were crocheted out of silvery grey and red Stylecraft Special DK but they would be beautiful out of bright cotton yarns or all white, even tropical colors would be beautiful. Crochet them any color and it will still add a fun look to your Christmas tree.

Christmas Chains Garland Pattern

Supplies

  • DK weight yarn in Red and silvery grey,
  • Size G crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Large eye needle for sewing links.

Link:

Chain 25,

First row: HDC in the third chain from hook and HDC across the chain, keeping the chain untwisted.

Second row: chain 2 HDC in each stitch across the the previous row. Tie off and cut with a long tail.

Sew one end to the other using whip stitch.

Finished one chain. Continue creating links being sure when sewing to link the chains together to create a Christmas Garland.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone. All online shops are open this year for the next several  weeks. We have family visiting and hubs in off work for weeks between December 17 and January 1st. Should you need any help on any crocheting or orders, please bear this in mind. I will be stopping by to check on things but not as often. The last day to order from Etsy and Amazon for Christmas delivery is Tuesday Dec. 11th.

Merry Christmas and Talk to you later,

Karen

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The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Here is the next crochet washcloth/dishcloth pattern; The Adapted Lemon Peel dishcloth.

The super easy  Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth is fun to crochet. It creates a lovely nubby texture without too much thinking about repeats or counting. It has a soft bumpy look which is great in a dishcloth. This pattern would also make a wonderful spa washcloth for an easy crochet Birthday or Christmas gift. Crochet 2-3 in different colors, add the washcloth to a few lovely soaps and you have an inexpensive and lovely gift for a new mother or a special friend.

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Here is the washcloth first finished.

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

 

Supplies

  • Cotton dishcloth yarn
  • Size G crochet hook
  • Scissors

Skills Needed

  • single crochet = SC
  • chain
  • double crochet = DC
  • Weave in ends

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Crochet 32 stitches in your cotton yarn.

Foundation Row

SC across the chain to create a foundation for your washcloth. (I am using a different color cotton yarn for these instructions.)

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Row 1

 

Single crochet in the  2nd chain from the hook. Double crochet in the next chain,

sc in the next 4 chains.Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Alternate between the double crochet and  4 single crochets across the washcloth.

Chain 1 turn

(The double crochets will  to need to be on one side of the washcloth, poke them through to whichever side you pick for the front.)

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Row 2

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Sc in the  first stitch of the previous row.

3 sc in next  3 stitches, DC in the next stitch

Alternate 4 sc, 1 DC across the washcloth.

Alternate row 1 and row 2 until the washcloth is square.

 

I like to unplug and have paper patterns at times, so there is a free download  for The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth in the shop.

 

Other Stuff

We have been helping a chick fly out of the nest this week and build another nest in a first apartment. Part of me is so excited and the other part of me is a tiny bit anxious. Mom’s tend to do this; be anxious, happy and excited all at the same time. The other part of the excitement is that the studio will finally get to move into a more permanent home with a door and nothing but studio items inside. I truly can’t wait but feel wrong to be too excited. Is it wrong to want your chicks to leave the nest?

 

I spent some time watercolor painting with a friend as we both needed the nudge to do something out of our normal routine. I attempted to paint roses again. These are really simple and today they look much better than they did yesterday. I need to go and look at the other paintings I finished. They might look better as well.

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth I’ve been working steadily on this afghan but have had to take a break on it due to the busyness of life and some arthritis issues this week.

Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth

Take care and enjoy your week. The sun is shining here even though the temps dipped a little lower earlier this week.

This beautiful daffodil is blooming in my garden and bring a great touch of spring to the yard.

The Adapted Lemon Peel Dishcloth Tutorial

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. I would like to think that I invented The Adapted Lemon Peel stitch, but I am pretty sure that I didn’t. If you know the name of it, let me know and I will change the title and credit the stitch. The nearest I could find was the Lemon Peel stitch. There are so many outlets for finding new crochet stitches; from magazines, books and the internet that it is difficult to search back and find the source of your inspiration.

 

 

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How to Multi-Strand Crochet and the Table Runner

How to Multi-Strand Crochet!

I love multi-strand crochet. The projects work up quickly and is a great stash buster. You can crochet everything from a pillow cover to an afghan or a rug. It just depends on how many strands of yarn you use at one time and how big a hook you use. The most difficult part of Multi-Strand crochet is keeping the yarns from tangling, but if you pull the skeins from the center and use a bowl for all little balls of yarn, the tangling can be kept manageable.

The Fall Table Runner

The pattern for this table runner is more like a list of guidelines. It uses some of my stash and scrap yarns that I NEEDED to use up as they are taking up valuable storage space. They are also colors that I do not use all the time and were not going to be used, unless I made a special effort. When you take multi-strands + creating it to fit your table + picking through your own yarns = a multi-step process. Not hard but more complicated than I usually write.

Motivation 

 This is a perfect project to use up some yarns in your stash and also all those little tiny scrap balls of yarn.

This is also a great home decor project as you can match the colors in your home. You will need at least three skeins of yarn and a large plastic or wooden hook. The large hook is the key to the whole thing! It will make the project quicker than you can imagine and also grab all those strands of yarns. Pick colors that you will want to have in your house, or to give as a hostess or Christmas gift. It can even be a mix of fiber content, but be sure to tell your gift recipient how to care for the table runner.

What follows is more of an outline rather than a pattern. Feel free to adapt these guidelines to create anything from mug mats to rugs for your home. 

 

Multi-Strand Crochet

Yarn Choices 

  1. Pull out all the yarns you never use. Hunt out the little bitty balls of leftover yarn from previous projects. Pick a color range. Since this is a Fall table runner. I was looking for browns, beige, oatmeal,  creams, orange, yellows, and any yarns with mostly those colors in them
  2. Sort the yarn into weight groups; worsted, bulky, fingering, laceweight, dk, home dec. t shirt yarn.
  3. Then I weighed it to see how much of each type of yarn I had.  I had more than 20 oz of yarn.

You can see that I have

  • tiny balls of yarn
  • some t shirt type yarn
  • almost three full skeins of lion brand yarn
  • some really Bulky brown yarn
  • the yellow granny square
  • camo look yarn
  • enough creams/ beige yarns to use these as the base yarn to keep it harmonized. (These didn’t make it to the photos  and I didn’t end up using the really thick brown yarn.)

 

The Rules

  • Use off white, cream or oatmeal yarns throughout the crocheting.
  • The overall gauge (or thickness) of the yarn group is more of a concern than the number of strands-try to keep this gauge consistent.
  • Try to crochet roughly half of each accent (orange, yellow and camo) yarn and then use in the 2nd half of the table runner. This adds continuity in the overall color of the crocheted item.
  • finish one tiny yarn ball then just tie on the next yarn ball
  • try to stagger tying on new yarns to help hide knots
  • only add one new yarn at a time. Which also helps to hide the knots.
  • crochet about 2 rows of accent color before changing to another accent color
  • Use a plastic hook large enough to easily hold all the different strands at one time. (I used a large plastic P hook with this project.)

Note: These are my rules – but you can change them to fit your yarns.

The Colors

 

  • Primary color: beige, off white, cream- used throughout the table runner.
  • Accent colors: yellow, camo, dark brown, cranberry, orange,
  • 2nd accent colors: variegated yarns, variegated string yarns
  • Put the yarns in your lap or a bowl and get started.

(Adding in a very small fingering gauge or crochet cotton doesn’t add much to the gauge of the yarn group and I was trying to use those up as they have been in the stash for far too long and I don’t use them often enough to warrant keeping them.)

 

 

Multi-Strand Crochet

 

Instructions

Using three or more yarns and your large crochet hook crochet a chain the length needed to fit your table minus 6 inches (3 inches each side for the fringe).When our family gathers for meals we have two leaves in our table which makes our table is 84″ long. The table runner is 62″ long. The table runner uses 14.1 oz of yarn.

Single crochet with all three or more yarns across the chain. Adding or changing yarn as necessary. Chain one and turn at each end of the table runner continue in SC the length of the table runner.

Continue adding rows until your table runner is the width you want. You will want to reserve roughly half of each accent color of yarn for the other half of the table runner. (This keeps the table runner color balanced.)

Crochet an odd number of rows to achieve the width that looks best on your table. My table runner is seven rows wide but would look good with 9-11 rows. Tie off and cut the yarns.

Fringe

Cut six inch lengths of the leftover yarns and using the larks head knot attach one group of five yarns each to each stitch at the end of each row on both ends of the table runner. Mix up colors and textures of the yarns to get a similar look to the table runner. Trim the fringe level across the ends to get a straight edge if needed.

Multi-Strand Crochet Inspiration

Just to inspire you, I found a couple of photos of my favorite multi strand crocheting using yarns of different weights. This poncho was crocheted using an Etsy friend’s scrap and stash yarns. She was selling them and I fell in love with all of the colors and textures. I added more of the yarns I had on hand  + the Basketweave stitch and this was the result.

Multi-Strand Crochet

Multi-Strand Crochet

The blue afghan shown here uses three strands of the same weight yarn to create an ombre effect. You do have to be careful not to create an item with such heavy fabric that it is not useable.

 

____________________________________________________________

We are nearing the end of September and Fall is really here! I am excited about the next few months as the Holidays are coming up and life gets busier. Take time out to enjoy the beauty of the season and the yarn in your basket. I am also getting ready to put this table runner and Autumn decorations out.

 

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. I think Multi-strand crochet would be wonderful for the pet beds people make for the animal shelters- just be sure to use washable yarns.

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3 Super Easy Crochet Borders: The Reverse Single Crochet Border

reverse single crochet border

I avoided this border for years; the reverse single crochet border. I mean, does anything sound more complicated?

Reverse crocheting – isn’t it hard enough to do going forward? I mean, really, who would want to crochet in reverse?!

To be honest, this is really a very simple border. It uses so little yarn. It’s the perfect edging for an already busy afghan. It is quite the perfect finish and ends up looking like a braid.  Continue reading 3 Super Easy Crochet Borders: The Reverse Single Crochet Border