Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com

Melissa Leapman is fiber arts royalty as a prolific and celebrated designer. Known for knitting as well as crochet, Leapman has built a robust career with over 1000 published patterns in print. Her wealth of design experience serves as a foundation for her beautiful, new reference book, Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters. Read on to find out a bit about the book, and to see how you can win a copy!






In this 176-page book, we are introduced to a comprehensive collection of crochet stitch patterns divided in to six categories: Simple Solid Patterns, Shell and Fan Stitch Patterns, Openwork and Lace Patterns, Textured Patterns, Colorwork Patterns, and Edgings. There is also a useful resource guide in the back of the book with information about reading symbols, basic stitches, and abbreviations. These features combined with Leapman’s introduction with useful tips about how to use the stitch patterns make this not only a useful, but also a fun addition to your crochet library.

I have seen (and I own) a great deal of crochet stitch dictionaries. I can say from experience that this is a very high quality reference to have on hand. There are beautiful color photos of each example, along with crochet symbol charts and written directions. The stitches move from simple to complex, so it’s a good learn-as-you-go type of book.

If you’ve pledged to increase your crochet skills in 2017, then why not let this book be your guide? If you crochet a swatch of each pattern you’ll have a huge skill boost and a collection of pretty squares to join!

In order to win your copy, enter by commenting on this post until January 31, 2016. I’ll contact the winner via email afterwords.

What about this book sounds best to you? Is there a certain type of crochet stitch you’d like to explore? Please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below.



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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Crochet Pattern: Tall Ice Cream Cone Applique My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com
Ever since I attended a craft party for the charity Sole Hope, I have been thinking about crafting with denim in new ways. During the party, we cut up old jeans into pieces to make shoes for children who need them. Thinking of old jeans as a textile, I began imagining painted denim canvases and tote bags. And a denim tote bag would look great with a crochet applique like this one on it!

Skill Level:

Finished Size: 5″ (13 cm) wide, 8″ (20 cm) tall

Materials:
Medium Weight Yarn (approximately 25 yards of each color)
Crochet Hook H (5.00 mm)
crochet yarn size 4

Gauge:
Rows 1 – 6 in pattern measure 2.5 inches (6 cm) by 2.5 inches (6 cm)

Need help understanding the abbreviations and symbols? Check out the crochet abbreviation chart.

Crochet Pattern: Tall Ice Cream Cone Applique
Row 1: with cone color, ch 11, hdc in third ch from hook and in each ch across: 9 hdc
Rows 2-8: ch 2, turn hdc in each hdc across: 9 hdc
Row 9: ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), turn, 4 tr in first hdc, hdc in each of next 7 hdc, 5 tr in last hdc: 17 tr
Row 10: change to ice cream color, turn, (ch 4, sc in next tr) 17 times: 17 sc
Row 11: ch 3 (counts as 1 dc now and throughout), turn, skip first 2 sc, dc in next sc, dc in next 11 sc, skip 2 sc, dc in last sc: 13 dc
Note: Push all “loops” to the front of work.
Row 12: ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in next 9 dc, dc2tog: 11 dc
Row 13: ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in next 9 dc: 10 dc
Row 14: ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in next 8 dc: 9 dc
Row 15: turn, skip first 4 dc, 12 dtr in next dc, skip 3 dc, sl st in last dc: 12 dtr
Finish off. To close hole made in the middle of row 14, weave matching scrap yarn through the base of dtr stitches and pull tight.

Need help while crocheting? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll help you out!



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Crochet Pattern: Reusable Gift Bow My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com
The holidays are just around the corner. How are you doing with your handmade list? Well, sometimes you’d like to add a handmade touch to your gifts, even if you have to buy the gift itself. Previously, I shared Three Ways to Incorporate Crochet into Your Gift Wrapping, and those ideas still hold up. Today I share a simple pattern to make a crocheted bow that you can use over and over. Switch up the colors to match any gift wrap or theme!

Skill Level:

Finished Size: 5.5″ (14 cm) wide, 3″ (7.5 cm) tall

Materials:
Medium Weight Yarn (approximately 10-25 yards of each color)
Crochet Hook H (5.00 mm)
Yarn Needle
Optional: Twist Tie
crochet yarn size 4

Gauge:
Rows 1 – 7 in patterns measures 5.5″ (14 cm) wide, 3″ (7.5 cm) tall

Need help understanding the abbreviations and symbols? Check out the crochet abbreviation chart.

Crochet Pattern: Reusable Gift Bow
Row 1: ch 20, hdc in third ch from hook and in each ch across: 18 hdc
Rows 2-7:ch 2, tuurn, hdc into each hdc across: 18 hdc
Finish off.

Border
With a contrasting color, single crochet evenly around. Finish off.

To form bow, using contrasting yarn, weave a loose running stitch up the middle of the rectangle (as held lengthwise). Gather the crochet fabric as it puckers in the middle. Tightly wrap yarn around the middle of the piece. Tie with a double knot to secure. Add a twist tie to the back of the piece in order to use the bow over and over.

Need help while crocheting? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll help you out!



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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Crochet Pattern: Chihuahua Ears Headband My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com
While this may be a controversial position, I believe the chihuahua is both the cutest and mightiest of dogs! I am excited to share the love by designing this cute chihuahua ears headband. The ears are constructed separately and then affixed to a store-bought, plastic headband. This could be the beginning of an easy Halloween costume.
Skill Level:

Finished Size: Each ear measures 3″ (8 cm) wide, 3″ (8 cm) tall

Materials:
Medium Weight Yarn (small amounts of white and tan)
Crochet Hook H (5.00 mm)
crochet yarn size 4

Gauge: Rows 1 – 4 in pattern measure 3″ (8 cm) wide, 3″ (8 cm) tall.

Need help understanding the abbreviations and symbols? Check out the crochet abbreviation chart.

Crochet Pattern: Chihuahua Ears (make 2)

Row 1: With white, fdc 9 times, fhdc: 10 sts

Row 2: ch 1, turn, sc in first 3 sts, hdc in next 3 sts, tr in next st, dc in next st, tr in next st, 2 tr in last st: 11 sts
Finish off white yarn, and rejoin with sl st on other side of row 1 foundation stitches.

Row 3: ch 3, dc in next 8 sts, hdc in next st, sc in next st, do not turn, ch 1, work 2 sc along side of row 1: 12 sts
Finish off white yarn. Join tan yarn to the beginning of row 3 (the row just worked), with a sl st into the top of the beginning ch-3.

Row 4: ch 3, dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next 3 sts, sc in next 3 sts, sl st in next 4 sts, sl st in ch-1 of Row 2, picot, sl st in space before Row 1, sc in next 10 sts of Row 1: 24 sts

Finish off. Weave in ends. Using 18″ of white yarn, whip stitch ears to plastic headband. The thick, tan part should go on the inside. If desired, weave in thin craft wire to give ears movement.

Need help while crocheting? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll help you out!



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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Crochet Pattern: Panda Headband My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com
Who says that kids should have all the fun? This cute and whimsical panda headband will keep your ears warm and lift your mood. Good for adults aged 18 to 108, this headband also serves as an earwarmer in the colder weather. It could be a great accessory for Halloween, or anytime you feel like rocking panda ears.
Skill Level:

Finished Size: 22 1/2″ (57 cm) circumference, fits most adults. Instructions to adjust size are included in pattern.

Materials:
Medium Weight Yarn (approximately 100 yards of white and small amount of black)
Crochet Hook H (5.00 mm)
crochet yarn size 4

Gauge: Rows 1 – 9 in headband pattern measure 4″ (10 cm) by 3 1/2″ (8 cm)

Need help understanding the abbreviations and symbols? Check out the crochet abbreviation chart.

Crochet Pattern: Panda Headband for Adults

Headband
Row 1: with white, work 15 fhdc
Row 2: ch 2, turn, working into back loop only, hdc into each hdc across: 15 hdc
Repeat row 2 until piece measures 22 1/2″ (approximately 44 rows), or the desired head circumference.
Finish off, leaving a 12″ tail for sewing. Fold piece in half without twisting so that short sides are together. With a yarn needle, whip stitch short sides together.

Ears (make 2)
Round 1: with black, ch 4, sl st in first ch made to form a loop, ch 2, 7 hdc in loop: 7 hdc
Round 2: ch 2, turn, 2 hdc in each hdc across: 14 hdc
Round 3: ch 2, turn, (hdc in next hdc, 2 hdc into next hdc) across: 21 hdc
Round 4: ch 2, turn, (hdc in next 2 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc) across: 28 hdc
Finish off, leaving an 8″ tail for sewing. Position ears by trying headband on and carefully pinning ears to the side. Please use the photo for reference. With a yarn needle, whip stitch the ears into place. If desired, weave in matching chenille stems / pipe cleaners to add stability.

Need help while crocheting? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll help you out!



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