Quick Stitch Chart Book Review

This month as been the CGOA Virtual Chain Link Conference, and as you saw earlier this summer, I taught 4 classes. The final class I am teaching is July 23, 2021, “Stitch Chart Bootcamp”. I wanted to share on here some of my favorite books from my library that have stitch charts in them. I thought all my readers might enjoy learning about these books as well, especially if you are already comfortable with reading stitch charts.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. Each of the individual photographs are links to where you can see the purchase options for these books on Amazon.com. Some of the titles shown here are also available in Amazon Kindle editions. I personally prefer to have hard copies of my craft books, but if you are on the go a lot, you might want to get the Kindle version. I have not reviewed the Kindle version, so can’t speak to how easy it is to use for the various titles.

English Language Published Books

All of Edie Eckman’s books written for Storey Publishing are fabulous investments for your crafting shelf. Each one contains both written instructions and detailed stitch charts for all the components.

“Around the Corner Crochet Borders” by Edie Eckman is one of my favorites because of how Edie really explains fitting your crocheted border around the corners of projects like afghans. This is especially nice if you like to crochet edgings on fleece blankets. The book contains clear stitch charts and written directions for each border. The start of the book has great tips and tricks for successfully using the patterns in it.

“Every Which Way Crochet Borders, 139 Patterns for Customized Edgings” by Edie Eckman is like taking a master design class with Edie. If you can only purchase one border book, this is the one I would recommend. Once you have read and worked thru the design ideas that appeal to you, you will feel confident creating borders and edgings on all your crochet projects.

“Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs” by Edie Eckman was my first Edie book and my copy is showing how well loved it is. One of my favorite aspects of the book is in the Appendix there are 3 graphs to help you design your own motifs, I use those all the time to help me draw motifs that I want to use in a design. If you are interested in designing your own motifs this is a super book to learn from.

“Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs, Creative Techniques for Joining Motifs of All Shapes” by Edie Eckman is another master class with Edie. This time she is introducing you to the multitude of ways to make and join motifs. The “Getting Started” and “Getting it Together” chapters at the beginning of the book are an amazing workshop on creating motif based crochet fabric. The chapters following with different motifs and how to join them together have some old friends I recognized from “Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs”. The breakdown about how different shapes are created in each stitch style is marvelous. At the end of the book are actual patterns using motifs from the book. Detailed diagrams and schematics help you understand how to put the motifs and joins you learned earlier in the book to work.

“The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet; 2nd Edition” by Margaret Hubert. Honestly, Margaret has probably forgotten more about crochet than most of us will ever learn. In this book she shares a wealth of crochet knowledge. There are great stitch charts for the various stitch patterns and motifs, but even more than that. If you are a new crocheter or teaching beginning crochet this is a fabulous resource to have in your library.

“The Granny Square Book; Timeless Techniques & Fresh Ideas for Crocheting Square by Square” by Margaret Hubert. This book is a lovely spiral bound volume from Creative Publishing International that is beautifully photographed and illustrated with clear stitch charts for each square. Margaret doesn’t just provide 75 square patterns, the last third of the book explains clearly and with multiple examples how to put those squares together into a variety of designs.

“The Hamony Guides 220 more Crochet Stitches Volume 7” was one of the first stitch dictionaries I purchased. It is packed with a variety of stitch diagrams for All-over stitch patterns, Filet crochet, Motifs, Irish-style crochet and Edgings. Each page is filled to capacity, yet the stitch charts are clear and well illustrated.

“The Crochet Stitch Bible; The essential illustrated reference: over 200 traditional and contemporary stitches with easy-to-follow charts” Betty Barnden. This was my second stitch dictionary to add to my library. The photo link above is for a newer edition that came out in 2013, so may have additional information and editing changes to the version I have. It is a good solid stitch reference that can help you when you are puzzling out stitch charts from non-english language sources. It doesn’t follow all the same conventions of Japanese stitch diagrams, but having the text to refer to helps clarify.

“The new Crochet Stitch dictionary; 440 Patterns for Textures, Shells, Bobbles, Lace, Cables, Chevrons, Edgings, Granny Squares, and MORE” Nele Braas and Eveline Hetty-Burkart. This is my newest stitch dictionary. It is from Stackpole Books and written by 2 German designers. I have been delighted by the content and the quality of the overall book. Each page in the various stitch chapters has a combination of written instructions, stitch charts and a key for the symbols used in the chart. There is even more detailed information for the more complicated stitch symbols used, which is super helpful. The version I have uses US Crochet Terminology, so that is also very handy.

“Crochet Stitch Dictionary; 200 Essential Stitches with Step-by-Step Photos” Sarah Hazel, published by Interweave Press. This is a nice solid dictionary and a good starter book for your crafting shelf. It has excellent information for those starting out crocheting, or those that might need a refresher on some of the stitches. The step-by-step illustrations are really helpful for figuring out how to crochet stitches you may be unfamiliar with, and the step-by-step stitch charts that go along with them are great. Answers that age old question, “Where do I put my hook”. The photos are crisp and clear, so it is easy to see what the finished texture of the fabric should look like.

Japanese Stitch Chart books

“Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts; Lacy Crochet” this slim volume is a great introduction to Japanese pattern styles. There are extensive stitch diagrams and construction illustrations. Since this is a translation of the original Japanese book all the instructions are written in English, making it easier to follow the patterns. It is full of fun small projects crocheted in size 10 thread, but many could be adapted to work in yarn with some ingenuity.

This Japanese book has an English subtitle of “Knitwear with Pineapple Pattern”, but it is all crochet not knitting. It is a really lovely book showing elaborate diagrams of stitches for crocheting various pineapple garments. Included is a large fold out of full pieces of the garments. Unless you can read Japanese Kanji though, you will have to figure out sizing changes and shaping on your own.

This is another Japanese pattern book. It is full of patterns using motifs to crochet all sorts of projects. The construction diagrams and stitch diagrams are ingenious and so fun. It is fully accessible even if you can’t read the Kanji symbols. Between great photos of the finished items and the diagrams you can easily complete the projects.

This Japanese Craft Book has the English subtitle of “262 Crochet Patterns” and is one of my favorite Japanese stitch dictionaries. I was excited to see that this book is available on Amazon. These books tend to be a bit pricey, but you will be guaranteed years of crocheting fun. As a designer I find inspiration in the pages of my Japanese stitch dictionaries whenever I’m hitting a slump.

Another wonderful Japanese Craft Book “Crochet Patterns Book 300” that I use frequently. This one is currently showing at around $26 on Amazon, which is a great price.

This Japanese Craft Book has the English subtitle of “Crochet Patterns Book, Motifs and Edgings”. It really is full of so many motif patterns. All are shown worked in yarn as a single motif and in a joined group. There are stitch charts for the individual motifs and a more complex schematic diagram showing how to join the motifs. Some even include a stitch chart for a “filler” motif when joining the larger motifs.

This Japanese craft book has the English subtitle of “Crochet Lace Doily”. It is full of a variety of doily patterns. Many of the doilies use filet crochet and the stitch diagrams are shown using the traditional graph style for filet, but there are also a large percentage of the stitch diagrams are shown using stitch symbols. Nearly all the Filet crochet patterns use a combination of stitch symbol illustrations to clarify the graphs. Some of the larger round doilies show a “pie wedge” of the stitch symbols to work from the center out.

Thanks for browsing thru these books with me. You can discover more about all of them by clicking on the photographs to go to Amazon. Some of the Amazon listings even show you a few of the inside pages.

Braided Ribs Neck Cozy – Crochet Pattern

I’m excited to share with you that I’m participating in the Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter. Be sure to join the fun! 28 bloggers have teamed up to bring you a month full of free patterns to kick start the handmade holiday season — including crochet, knitting, sewing, and crafting projects. There’s something new to make every day in July. Each week will have a theme.

Week 1 (July 1-7): Babies, Kids, and Teens
Week 2 (July 8-14): Women
Week 3 (July 15-21): Gifts for Anyone
Week 4 (July 22-28): Home
Week 5 (July 29-31): Pets

My Braided Ribs Neck Cozy pattern is a fun to crochet and quick gift for anyone on your gift making list. Just use an appropriate color for the person you are giving it to. As a neck cozy it uses approximately 200 yards of worsted weight yarn. Or add another skein of yarn to make it longer, leave off the button holes and you have a warm scarf.

Buttoned along front edge

You can style your finished cozy 2 different ways. 1) Bring the button end over the left shoulder and button along opposite end, or…

Overlapped ends and buttoned

2) Bring the button end over right shoulder and overlap ends to button.

Braided Ribs Neck Cozy by Andee Graves

Skill Level: Intermediate

Finished size: 6.75 inches (16.8 cm) wide x 30 inches (75 cm) long

Stitches used:  Foundation Single Crochet (fsc), Chain (ch), Single Crochet (sc), Double Crochet (dc)

Materials:

Yarn – Berroco “Ultra Wool” worsted weight, 100% superwash wool, 219 yds/200 m, 3.5 oz/100 g

1 skein Color #3318

Hook – I-9 (5.5 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge

Notions – yarn/tapestry needle, 5 – 1/2” Buttons

Gauge: In X-stitch pattern 15 stitches and 8.25 rows = 4” Gauge is not critical, you want a soft fabric.

Special Stitches/Abbreviations:

X-st – Cross Stitch: Skip 1 st, dc in next st, working around the first dc made dc in the previous skipped st. if you need help making this stitch I have a tutorial on my blog post: The Secrets to Crocheting the X-stitch.

Pattern Notes:

All double crochet rows start with a modified turning chain. Turn and work a single crochet in first stitch, chain 2. Counts as first double crochet of the row.

Instructions

Row 1 (RS):  Work 26 fsc.

Row 2: Turn, (sc, ch 2) in first st {counts as first dc here and thru-out pattern}, [X-st using next 2 sts] 12 times, dc in last st. (12 X-sts, 2 dc)

Row 3: Turn, (sc, ch 2) in first st, dc in next st, [X-st using next 2 sts] 11 times, dc in last 2 sts. (11 X-sts, 4 dc)

Rows 4 – 63: Alternate repeating Rows 2 and 3.

Row 64: Ch 1, turn, sc in first 2 sts, [ch 2, skip 2 sts, sc in next 3 sts] 4 times, ch 2, skip 2 sts, sc in last 2 sts.

Buttonholes created in Row 64 and 65.

Row 65: Ch 1, turn, sc in first 2 sts, [2 sc in next ch-2 sp, sc in next 3 sts] 4 times, 2 sc in next ch-2 sp, sc in last 2 sts. Fasten off. (26 sc)

Finishing

Button placement.

Gently Block and weave in ends. Sew buttons on Right side of fabric at beginning of neck cozy along righthand edge of fabric to align with buttonholes from Row 64.

I hope you enjoy this pattern, feel free to tag me @andee.graves on Instagram with photos of your finished projects. Make sure you check out all the other fun designs from the 28 other crafty bloggers thru the rest of July. We’ve also partnered with some of our favorite companies to get some great prizes for you, scroll on down for more information.

Learn more about participating designers, the schedule, and how to enter to win the prizes on Underground Crafter. The deadline for entering the giveaway is Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

How To Join the 2021 Christmas in July Make Along

  • You can join in by crocheting, knitting, sewing, or making the projects as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #CIJMakeAlong2021 on all social media.
  • If you’d like to chat with other crafters, join the Underground Crafters Facebook group
  • By the end of the Make Along, you’ll have up to 31 awesome projects. Get ready for the handmade holiday season while having fun with us!

Visit Underground Crafter to learn more about the prizes, enter the giveaway, and to get links to each Christmas in July Make Along post as it is released.

Skinny Post Stitch Ribbing

It has been super hot even here in Colorado, so I am looking for small projects to work on and hats are one of my favorites. I’m teaching a class next week “Spiraling Stripes Hat” that is a great way to add stripes to your hats without any seams. You can still register for this class until 8 a.m. Central time this Sunday, July 18, 2021.

I like the look of ribbed brims in knit hats, but since I crochet much faster than I knit, I wanted a version for when I was wielding my hook. After a lot of experimenting over the past 15 years I have settled on using “skinny” half double crochet post stitches as my all time favorite method.  You will see this ribbing in a lot of my hat patterns (like the Spiraling Stripes Hat).

For those of you that have never worked post stitches, their name comes from the fact that they are worked around the “post” of a stitch instead of under the top 2 strands of a stitch. This gives them much more of a textured look and changes how the fabric behaves.

With a taller stitch like the double crochet it is quite easy to see the “post” of the stitch and to work around the center of this post when working post stitches. For a stitch like the Half Double or Single crochet that becomes a bit more fiddly to find.

The first time I tried using post stitches for my ribbing I decided to do what I call “skinny” post stitches. Instead of working down into the stitch, I use the very top of the post just under the “v” that makes the top of the stitch (the bit of brown yarn the arrow is pointing to in the photograph above). This creates a slimmer looking stitch because the base of the post stitch isn’t stretched around the thickest part of the other stitch.

By the way this tutorial is showing the post stitches and finished work for right-handed crocheters. If you are left-handed and crochet with your hook in the left-hand, then reverse what I’m doing here.

For the ribbing affect I alternate my post stitches, so I needed an even number of stitches. I generally start with a FPhdc, and end the round with a BPhdc. The first round of ribbing is the trickiest.

Once you have finished that round it just becomes a matter of working FP stitches into FP stitches and BP into BP. In the photo above you can see both the appearance of the ribbing from the front and back.

For a Front Post half double crochet (FPhdc): Insert the hook from front to back to the right of the post you want to work around, then bring the hook from the back to the front under the top of the stitch to the left of the post (indicated by arrow in photo above).  Yarn over and pull up a loop thru all the stitches, yarn over and complete your hdc. The post of this new stitch will be sitting on the front of your fabric.

For a Back Post half double crochet (BPhdc): Insert the hook from back to front to the right of the post you want to work around, then bring the hook from the front to the back under the top of the stitch for the left of the post (indicated by arrow in photo above).

Yarn over and pull up a loop thru all the stitches, yarn over and complete your hdc. The post of this new stitch will be sitting on the back of your fabric.

Finished Back Post Half Double Crochet

This is how I make my “skinny” front post and back post half double crochet stitches. You can modify this technique with any crochet stitch, but the half double crochet is my favorite. Practice working your skinny post stitches with this quick and easy headband pattern.

Summer Stretch Headband

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill level: Intermediate

Special Stitches

Materials:

Yarn – Berroco “Ultra Wool” worsted weight, 100% superwash wool, 219 yds/200 m, 3.5 oz/100 g

Color A – #3346, Color B – #3312, Color C – #3315

Hook – H (5 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge

Notions – yarn/tapestry needle

Gauge: 8 FSC = 2”

Special Stitches/Abbreviations:

fsc (Foundation Single Crochet)

FPhdc (Skinny Front Post Half Double Crochet)The post stitch is worked under the top 2 strands of the stitch. YO, insert hook into top of previous st from front  to back, then bring hook from back to front thru top of next st (this is working around post of st), YO, pull up a loop thru both st tops, YO, pull thru all 3 loops on hook. 

BPhdc (Back Post Half Double Crochet)The post stitch is worked under the top 2 strands of the stitch. YO, insert hook into top of previous st from back to front, then bring hook from front to back thru top of next st (this is working around post of st), YO, pull up a loop thru both st tops, YO, pull thru all 3 loops on hook.

Picot – ch 3, insert hook thru front loop and top side loop of indicated st, YO, slip st tightly.

Cl (2 dc cluster) – (YO, insert hook in indicated place, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull thru 2 loops) 2 times, YO pull thru remaining loops on hook.

Exdc (Extended double crochet) – YO, insert hook in indicated place, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull thru 1 loop, [YO, pull thru 2 loops] twice.

PM (Place Marker)

Pattern Notes:

Headband is worked in a 1×1 rib using skinny front and back post half double crochet stitches, then flower is worked in 2 parts and sewn to headband.

Instructions

Headband

Rnd 1: With Color A, crochet 96 fsc, without twisting join with a sl st in first fsc.(96 fsc)

Rnd 2: Ch 2, FPhdc around post of first st, [BPhdc around post of next st, FPhdc around post of next st] 47 times, BPhdc around post of last st and base of beginning ch-2, sl st to top of first FPhdc. (48 FPhdc, 48 BPhdc)

Rnds 3 & 4: Repeat Rnd 2.

Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in next 96 sts around, sl st to first sc to join. Fasten off. (96 sc)

Use beginning tail to close gap at beginning of Rnd 1, weave in all loose ends.

Flower 1

Rnd 1: With Color B, ch 2, 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook, tighten center of circle, join with sl st to first sc of Rnd. [5 sc]

Rnd 2: Ch 3, Cl in same sc as join, picot in Cl, ch 3 [(sl st, ch 3, Cl) in next sc, picot in Cl, ch 3,] 4 times, sl st in first sc again. Fasten off.

Flower 2

Rnd 1: With Color C, ch 2, 10 sc in 2nd ch from hook, tighten center of circle, join with sl st to first sc of Rnd. [10 sc]

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in same sc as join, [ch 2, sc in next st, ch 1, sc in next st] 4 times, ch 2, sc in next st, ch 1, join with sl st to first sc of Rnd. [10 sc, 5 ch-1 sp, 5 ch-3 sp]

Rnd 3: Ch 1, [(sc, dc, Exdc, picot, Exdc, dc, sc) in ch-2 sp, skip next st, sl st in ch-1 sp, skip to next ch-2 sp,] 5 times, join with sl st to beginning sc of Rnd. Fasten off

Finishing

Weave in tails on flowers, then use remaining tails to sew Flower 1 to Flower 2, then both flowers on headband. Best spot to sew them is over joining seam. When weaving in ends follow the “columns” of your post stitches so you don’t lose the stretchiness of your ribbing.

LaJolla Swoncho

For those of you that haven’t seen it yet, my latest design for the online crochet magazine “I Like Crochet” is available in their June 2021 issue. In fact it is the design on the cover of this issue. This is the “La Jolla Swoncho” made with King Cole Yarns “Finesse” a lovely blend of cotton and silk for the perfect summer layer.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.

I loved designing this swoncho, the lace work is interesting yet simple enough that you’ll have the repeats memorized quickly. The shaping is a more classic poncho with the sleeves worked off the bottom edge. This makes for a flowing fit that works for many body types.

You can find the pattern at the “I Like Crochet” website here.

CGOA Virtual Conference Classes

I’m so excited to share with all my readers that I will be teaching 4 classes during the month of July for the Crochet Guild of America’s Virtual Conference. Like many of my followers that had hoped to go to the conference in Denver this year, I will miss seeing everyone in person. The silver-lining though, for those that can not usually make it to the conference, you can still participate in the classes because I (and all the other teachers) will be presenting our classes via Zoom.

Go to the CGOA website to Register for any of my classes. Keep reading to see the details on the 4 classes I’ll be teaching. Updated June 25, with changes to class times for classes on July 7th and 21st.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.

Playing with Triangles Shawl

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Central Time)

Playing with Triangles Shawl

All skill levels, best if students are comfortable with making chain, sc, dc stitches.

Simple and sophisticated this shawl will become a favorite project for you to work on over and over. Choose any yarn with an appropriate size hook to crochet any size shawl. Class will focus on tips and tricks for working a top-down triangle shawl from the yarn you have available. You’ll learn how to take the basic triangle shawl and change it up with a variety of stitch patterns and border options.

No Homework before class. Supplies students will need: Approximately 100+ yards smooth light colored sport or worsted weight yarn for class project, Basic Crochet Kit: Hooks Size G (4mm) thru K (6.5mm) crochet hooks, Scissors, appropriate sized yarn needles, 3 locking stitch markers, Calculator.

Crochet Hats that Fit!

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Central Time)

Crochet Hats that Fit!

Intermediate skill level, best if students are proficient with making chain, sl st, sc, hdc, dc crochet stitches, reading stitches and fabric.

Hats are great gifts and fun portable projects to work on, but nothing is more frustrating that a hat that doesn’t fit. Wouldn’t you love to be able to always crochet a hat that fits and be able to use whatever weight yarn you have handy in your stash? In this technique class you will learn how to pick the right hook for your yarn, the measurements you need, plus tips and tricks for making a hat that will always be just the fit and size you want. In class you will also learn the Adjustable Slip Knot start, working tall stitches in continuous rounds, 2 different increase methods, and tips for a snug ribbed brim/cuff to finish off the hat. All these techniques will be practiced on the class project, a new born sized hat.

No Homework before class. Supplies students will need: Approximately 80+ yards smooth light colored worsted weight yarn, Size G (4mm) thru J (6mm) crochet hooks, 8 locking stitch markers (7 in one color, 1 in a different color), Scissors, appropriate sized yarn needles, Measuring tape, Calculator, a 11 or 14” baby doll (can substitute a tennis ball or softball). The doll (or ball) is to give you a small head to measure for the class project.

I have a couple of baby dolls that I use for teaching this class. A nice inexpensive one is the 14″ baby doll from Bumbleberry Babies that I found on Amazon.com. Click on the photo below to purchase yours.

Spiraling Stripes Hat

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Central Time)

Spiraling Stripes Hat

Intermediate skill level, best if students are proficient with basic crochet stitches (ch, sc, hdc, slip st) and reading crochet fabric.

Spirals are a great way to crochet a seamless striped hat. You can use 2 contrasting colors or even mix a hand-dyed multi-color with a solid for beautiful blending. In this class you will learn the tips and tricks for working head-ache free spirals for top down hats, a fun and elastic crocheted ribbing, and how to modify the pattern to work with different weight yarns.

No Homework before class. Supplies students will need: 2 colors of smooth worsted weight yarn approximately 100 yards each, Crochet hooks – Size H (5mm) and I (5.5mm), 8 Locking Stitch markers in 2 colors (4 of each), Blunt yarn needle for weaving in ends, Measuring tape and scissors.

Stitch Chart Bootcamp

Friday, July 23, 2021 9 a.m. – Noon (Central Time)

StitchChart Bootcamp

All skill levels, best if students are comfortable with basic crochet stitches: ch, sc, hdc, dc, slip st.

You’ve seen crochet stitch charts and you may have even referred to them in a crochet pattern that uses both text and chart. But are you ready to work from only the chart? There is a whole world of international patterns open to you when you can decipher stitch charts, even if you can’t understand the written language that accompanies them. In this class you will work solely from a stitch chart to crochet a lovely motif. You’ll learn what the various symbols in the charts stand for, how they may change depending on the country of origin, and the skill to get results that please you when working from charts alone.

No Homework before class. Supplies students will need: Smooth Worsted weight yarn in light/medium colors approximately 100 yards, Range of sizes of Crochet hooks 3mm thru 6mm, Locking Stitch markers in 2 colors, Blunt yarn needle for weaving in ends.

You can check out the other classes being offered at Crochet.org.

Ready for Summer Crocheting?

I know I’m really ready for the warmer season to be here. But what does that mean for crocheting?

Definitely isn’t the time for crocheting big afghans, fortunately the June 2021 issue of Crochet World Magazine has some great ideas for summer crocheting.

Included in this issue is my “Shells by the Sea Wrap” design. This design uses solid and lacy shell stitches to create a fun wrap that can be tied around your hips as a swimsuit cover-up, or wrapped around your shoulders when the air-conditioning is a little too chilly.

I love Universal Yarns “Bamboo Pop” for this wrap. It is a great weight yarn that combines bamboo rayon and cotton for terrific stitch definition and breathable drape. The contrast between the 2 fibers gives a lovely subtle light play between the matte and shiny.

Update May 7, 2021: I discovered there was a misprint in the magazine in Row 1 of the Body of the Wrap. The instructions for the row say: “Row 1: Turn to back of work along flat side of Foundation Strip,” 
It should say: “Row 1: Turn to work back along flat side of Foundation Strip,” 

What’s in the Crochet for Me Lace Bundle?

BUY NOW

Many folks have asked me what patterns are in the Crochet for Me Lace Bundle? So I decided to make a blog post showing you photos of all the other designs. Remember this offer goes away at 11:59 PM Eastern time on Wednesday, April 21.

1 Pillow
1 Table Runner
5 Jewelry Pieces
4 Garments
4 Head wraps & 2 Hats
10 Scarves and Cowls
16 Shawls and Wraps

This is a limited time offer and the clock is counting down to 11:59 PM Eastern time on April 21, so act now and welcome the new season with a gorgeous, lacy project!

Buy Your Crochet for Me Lace Bundle NOW!

For those of you wondering how to purchase the Knit for Me Lace Bundle as well. When you click on the link above and put the Crochet for Me Lace Bundle in your cart, you will see the option to add the Knit Bundle for a discounted price. If you are only interested in purchasing the Knit for Me Lace Bundle use the link below.

Buy Your Knit for Me Lace Bundle NOW!

Springtime Crocheting!

Well it might not look like it at my house, but Spring has sprung. Soon the warmer weather will find us, even up here on the mountain, and when it does I’ll be looking for cool projects to work on. So my thoughts turn to lace! Lace to make – challenging stitches, airy patterns, gorgeous lightweight yarns – and lace to wear – the perfect items to get me from Spring to Summer or Summer to Fall.

In honor of Spring I joined 34 of my crochet designer colleagues and created the Crochet for Me Lace Bundle. It’s chock full of 46 individual patterns, never before offered in a bundle or for free, that will give you a wide range of patterns that will suit your lacy fancy.

All sorts of patterns are included from hats and headbands, to tees and shawls, to a dress and jewelry, and even a lacy pillow for your lounging pleasure.

I’ve contributed 2 never before released patterns to this gorgeous lace collection: Arrows Lace Wrap and Lace is the Point Cowl.

For the Arrows Lace Wrap I wanted to explore this fun 4 Row lace repeat. I used a central foundation with the wrap worked off each side and ending with an elaborate pointed border. The beginning and end of each row finishes the edge as you go, so once you are done all you have to do is block and weave in a few ends. This pattern is also available in my Ravelry Shop for $5.99.

For the Lace is the Point Cowl I was having some fun with the gorgeous “Folio” yarn from Berroco. The drape and soft fluffy feel of this yarn make it perfect for a cozy lacy layer for a cowl that can see you into the cooler weather. It takes less than 1 ball of yarn, so it’s a great project to splurge on yourself with. This pattern is also available in my Ravelry Shop for $4.99.

You get all 46 patterns featured in this bundle for only $25. That’s less than 55 cents per pattern! But the offer is only available through April 21, 2021, 11:59 PM Eastern, and it absolutely will not be extended nor repeated.

Click here to purchase your Bundle before time runs out!

If you purchased these patterns individually they would cost you well over $200. And by buying from a coalition of designers like this instead of a huge publisher, you know that your money is going where it’s needed – into the pockets of your favorite designers so they can keep on creating the patterns you love to make.

BUY NOW

If all of that is not enough to convince you you need this bundle here’s one more great thing. Once you gain access to the patterns you ALSO get a file with extra discount codes for additional products offered by some of our amazing designer friends. And there’s a 15 day money back guarantee so you have absolutely nothing to lose.

Knit For Me Lace Bundle Pattern

For those of my readers that also love to knit there is a Knit for Me Lace Bundle too! The Knit for Me Lace Bundle has 33 patterns for only $17. That’s less than 52 cents per pattern. If you purchased these patterns individually they would cost you well over $170. But the offer is only available through April 21, 2021, 11:59 PM Eastern, and it absolutely will not be extended nor repeated.

If you purchase both bundles together you get an even better discount.

So support the community that you love, rejoice in the fact that you are a clever bargain hunter, then put your feet up and crochet (or knit) something light and lacy as you watch the flowers bloom! Enjoy all of these things – and the lovely Spring weather – while they last.

Master Crocheting Clusters

What is a Cluster Stitch? The general definition is a group of stitches worked in one stitch or space that only counts as one stitch itself. Clusters are a great way to add texture and visual interest to your crochet projects.

There are a lot of different sizes of cluster stitches in crochet. One simple rule to keep in mind when clusters are in a pattern, is to know what stitches are the basis of the cluster. Most commonly a cluster stitch uses double crochet stitches, but sometimes you will see patterns that use treble or even taller stitches. The special stitches section of your pattern should clearly define the cluster stitch telling you which stitch and how many will be in clusters in the project you are making.

If you are a fan of stitch charts the stitch symbols used for the cluster stitch will give you a lot of information. Not only will they show where the cluster stitch is to be worked, they also show how many and what sort of stitches are to be used in each cluster.

Cool Snowflake Motif

My favorite cluster stitch uses 3 double crochet stitches. It is the cluster stitch I used in my “Cool Snowflake Motif” pattern that you can see here on the blog or purchase an Ad-free PDF version in my Ravelry shop.

Cluster Stitch Tutorial

When you are working cluster stitches you want to pay attention to keeping the working loop (first loop on hook) snug to the shaft. This loop can become over extended making your stitch top wider than other single stitches in your project. For smooth looking cluster stitches you want your tension to be even and consistent. If your tall stitches like doubles and trebles tend to get leggy and loopy you may find your cluster stitches to be disappointing.

In a 3 dc cluster stitch you make the base of the 3 dcs being used, then work the final dc step for all 3 in one go. This same method applies to working any dc clusters, no matter the number of stitches. For cluster stitches using taller stitches like trebles you will work each step of the stitch up to the final “pull thru 2 loops”, that final step will be completed once you have worked the bases of all the stitches in the cluster.

Image D
Photo A

To make a 3 dc cluster st, yarn over (yo) like making a double crochet and insert in st or sp, yo, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yo {Photo A},

Image E
Photo B

pull thru 2 loops on hook (2 loops remaining on hook, 1st base made), yo, insert in same st or sp, yo, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook), yo {Photo B},

Image F
Photo C

pull thru 2 loops (3 loops remaining on hook, 2nd base made), yo, insert in same st or sp, yo, pull up a loop (5 loops on hook), yo, pull thru 2 loops (4 loops remaining on hook, 3rd base made), yo {Photo C}, pull thru remaining 4 loops on hook.

Pebbled Star Afghan Square – Andee Graves / M2H Designs

I also like to use cluster stitches to create “bobbles” on my work. A good example of that would be my “Pebbled Star Afghan Square” pattern. The cluster stitches are worked on wrong-side rounds with single crochet stitches framing each cluster so that they are pushed out creating an exaggerated bump on the right side of the fabric. The clusters in this pattern are 3 dc clusters, a 5 dc cluster gives a larger “bump”.

A cluster stitch doesn’t need to be all the same kind of stitches. You can combine stitches like double and treble crochet, this can be especially useful if you are making bobbles and want to make them stand up even more without creating holes in your fabric.

For example…make a cluster that uses (dc, 2 tr, dc). When framed with single crochets you get a bobble that stands out dramatically from the fabric. I used clusters in this way for the feet of my “Luv Bug” amigurumi pattern.

Some of my other patterns that use the cluster stitch are listed below:

Now it is your turn to play with cluster stitches and see if these tips will help you master this fun stitch.

2021 National Crochet Month CAL

Another National Crochet Month is here and I am helping the Longmont Yarn Shoppe celebrate by doing a Virtual Crochet Along project. I’ll be helping folks crochet my “Cool Snowflake Motif” via FaceBook Lives on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe page. The first session will be this Wednesday, March 3 starting at 1:45 p.m.

3 hexagonal crocheted motifs, 1 in single color of light blue, 1 in 2 colors of light blue in center with violet outside, 1 with yellow center surrounded by peach colored petals finished with bright green as leaves.

The pattern is available for free here on the blog or you can purchase an Ad-Free version in my Ravelry Shop that also includes some extras for planning your motif projects.

I made a fun spring time wrap using all the colors in the above photo. I’ll be unveiling it during the FB Live and later here on the blog.

2 motifs side by side. Darker blue one on left larger than light blue one on right.

I used Ella Rae “Cozy Worsted” yarn for this project, my motifs were a little smaller than the ones I worked in Red Heart “With Love” yarn. The Cozy Worsted is 75% Acrylic and 25% Wool, so the fibers are a little easier to block. I used my steamer to block the finished motifs and wrap. For the individual motifs I pinned them out then steamed. For the wrap I used wires to pin out the edges and steamed.

2 motifs worked in blue colors stacked on top of each other. Light blue one is smaller.

I’ll be sharing more tips and tricks thru-out the month here on the blog, including a photo tutorial on the Join-as-you-Go method I use in this pattern. Be sure to check back. Meanwhile I hope your NatCroMo is full of lots of crochet fun.