The Secrets to Crocheting the X-stitch

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

There was a little delay getting this post finished because we were preparing for adding a new family member. The little sweetie in the photo above. We have been wanting to get a kitten for about 7 months and this week everything came together for Ms. Areya (R-ree-Yah) to join us. I confess, part of the delay is because I am having way too much fun getting kitten cuddles. This is our first baby kitten in 14 years, so we are all enjoying her tiny time, she is just 8 weeks old. You will probably see her photo-bombing the blog a bit over the next couple of months.

Now back to learning about crocheting the X-stitch…

The X-stitch is one of my second favorite stitches to use in my crochet designs. The fabric you can create with it is stretchy and has a pleasing texture. I often think that crocheting it is a little like dancing the two-step; 2 steps foward, 1 step back.

One thing I have noticed about this stitch (and a lot of crochet stitches) is that the written directions for working the stitch can sound very intimidating, when actually working the stitch is fairly easy.

Because there are not standardized terms for the name of all crochet stitches you can encounter a lot of different X-stitches. There are versions of the X-stitch out there that use taller stitches and more skipped stitches, so remember to check the stitch definitions in the pattern you are working to be sure that you know which version is being used.

My favorite version of this stitch is very simple. It is 2 double crochet stitches, worked into 2 stitches, with the second stitch worked over and around the first one. After reading that you are likely thinking I’m nuts to say it is simple.

In my Cliffhouse Cowl pattern I defined the X-stitch as: Skip 1 un-worked st forward, dc in next st, working around 1st dc, dc in skipped st.

Let’s break it down with an illustration.

Step 1: Skip 1 un-worked st forward (indicated by pink arrow),

Step 2: dc in next st (indicated by green arrow),

Step 3: working around first dc, dc in skipped st (indicated by pink arrow).

In this step you are crocheting around the post of the first stitch at the same time as you are working your double crochet in the top of the previously skipped stitch. The first stitch is surrounded by the second stitch.

Stacked or Staggered X-stitches

Stacked X-sts
Staggered X-sts

When you are working rows or rounds of the X-st you can stack them or stagger them. You’ll get 2 very different looks to your fabric depending on which you choose.

Cliffhouse Cowl –
Andee Graves M2H Designs

For my Cliffhouse Cowl the X-sts are stacked and worked in the round.

Spiraling Crosses Hat –
Andee Graves M2H Designs
Spiraling Crosses Gauntlets –
Andee Graves M2H Designs

In my Spiraling Crosses Hat and Spiraling Crosses Gauntlets the X-sts are staggered and worked in the round.

The stitch chart above shows both stacked and staggered X-sts worked in the round. The purple stitches are the 2nd dc of each X-st. When working staggered X-sts your join for each round will move to the right if you are right-handed, and to the left if you are left-handed (assuming you hold the hook in your left hand).

At the start of each X-st round the beginning chain 3 acts as your first dc of your first X-st. The lovely part of this is that your join in the finished project will not be as obvious as it can look with other stitch patterns.

Second X-st of Round

It can be a little tricky to see where your next X-st should be worked after working that starting X-st in your first round. The stitch that you joined to for your foundation looks like it should be your first skipped stitch (indicated with yellow arrow this is the stitch that the slip stitch join was worked into for the previous round or foundation), but it is the next stitch over (indicated with pink arrow) and the first dc will be worked in the next stitch (indicated with the green arrow).

When you get to the end of your round you will finish your last X-st and then slip stitch tightly in the third chain of your beginning chain 3. I find it really helps to place a locking stitch marker in that third chain at the beginning of the round, then when I get to the end of the round it’s very easy to see where to join to.

My favorite locking stitch markers are made by the Clover Company. They are flexible and durable and come in a couple of sizes, colors and styles. I have lots of the orange and green ones that I’ve added to my project bag over the years. If you can’t find them locally you can purchase them on Amazon, just click on the photo above and it will take you right to them.

The new stitch markers from Clover that I have been falling in love with are the “Quick Locking Stitch Markers”. They come in sets of 2 colors for each size, or you can get the variety pack that has a nifty carrying case with 3 different sizes. I really love these markers because they are super flexible and they are little sheep shapes. If you can’t find them locally just click on the photo above and it will take you right to them on Amazon.

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Cliffhouse Cowl

Just last Thursday I released my latest design in my Ravelry Shop: Cliffhouse Cowl. This is a fun textured cowl worked using 2 colors. It’s name is a tribute to Mesa Verde National Park. Some of my readers may remember my family and I made a trip there in 2017.

I wanted to design a cowl that reminded me of the alcoves where the various cliff dwellings were built. To get the feel of the buildings in the alcove I used X-stitches. I also used X-stitches as the mesh for the main body of the cowl, for a stretchy and breathable fabric in the final project.

I’ve shared often about my favorite stitch the “V-stitch” on my blog regularly. It is a fairly simple stitch that offers a lot of choices in how it is worked.

The X-stitch is my favorite “trickier” stitch. There are still a lot of options in the fabric that can be made using the X-stitch, but the instructions can be a bit challenging to understand, especially if you are newer to crochet. In this project it is worked in turned rounds and the Xs are “stacked” on top of each other.

I am currently working on a photo tutorial for working the X-stitch both as a “stacked” stitch and as a “staggered” stitch, so if you are having a hard time with this stitch help is coming soon.

Floating Diamonds Shawlette

I’m excited to be participating in the 2019 Celebrate Mom Blog Hop hosted by Pattern Paradise! Each day in May, a different crochet designer will be featured and share a new free pattern with you! There are lots of fun prizes too, so come join the fun! For the list of designers and all the details, go to this post => 2019 Celebrate Mom Blog Hop & Giveaway

My kids and I have a daily tradition that we start and end our days with a hug. But what do you do when your mom (or other dear friends) are far away? You can make them this lovely shawlette that can be a hug for the times you are out of arms reach.

It uses just one ball of Berroco’s “ReMix Light” yarn. Which is a perfect weight and fiber mix for a summer wearable. The open mesh and lace work also make for a very breathable fabric.

This is a little bit more challenging crochet project as you need to keep track of the changes for the diamond pattern. It is definitely one of those projects where you want to check your count at the end of each row to be sure you didn’t add or miss a stitch.

Floating Diamonds Shawlette

Designed by Andee Graves / M2H Designs

Skill level:  Intermediate

Finished Size: 59” (149.9 cm) wide x 11” (27.9 cm) tall after blocking

Materials

Yarn: Berroco “Remix Light” 30% Nylon, 27% Cotton, 24% Acrylic, 10% Silk, 9% Linen (3.5 oz/100 g, 432 yd/400 m), 1 Ball of Color # 6977

Hook: 7 / 4.5 mm (or size needed to obtain gauge)

Notions: Yarn/tapestry needle, Stitch markers

Gauge: In V-st pattern 16 stitches and 9 rows = 4” (10.16 cm)

Special Stitches or Abbreviations

PM – Place stitch marker

V-st – V Stitch: (dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated place

Pattern Notes

Shawl is worked top-down from a stacked rows foundation with a center increase point and decreases at ends of rows. Once body of shawl is finished, yarn is cut and rejoined at end of foundation to work edging along sides and bottom edge.

The majority of the body of this shawl is worked in staggered V-stitches. This means the 2 legs of the V-stitch are worked in the space between two V-stitches.

Instructions:

Foundation Rows

Row 1: Ch 2, sc in second ch from hook.

Row 2 (RS): Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in sc.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in first dc.

Rows 4 – 157: Alternate repeating Rows 2 and 3 (ending with a Row 3). PM in Row 79. [78 “scallops”]

Shawl Body

Row 1: Ch 2, turn to work along flat side of foundation rows, slip st in side of first sc row, ch 3 {counts as dc}, *skip next dc row, V-st in next sc row*, Repeat from * to * until work in sc row before marked sc row, (V-st,  ch 2, V-st) in marked sc row, move st marker to ch-2 sp just made, Repeat from * to * until work in next to last sc row, skip last dc row, dc in final sc row. [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 78 V-sts]

The marked ch-2 space is the increase point for the rest of the body of the shawl.

Row 2: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * until reach marked ch-2 sp, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, Repeat from * to * until 1 V-st is left in row, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 78 V-sts]

Rows 3-9: Repeat Row 2. Count at end of Row 9 – [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 78 V-sts]

Row 10: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 6 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 10, skip next 2 V-sts, Repeat from * to * 5 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 10, skip next 2 V-sts, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 10, skip next 2 V-sts, Repeat from * to * 5 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 10, skip next 2 V-sts, repeat from * to * 8 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 10 ch-10 sp, 68 V-sts]

Row 11: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 5 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in ch-10 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in ch-10 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st,  [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in ch-10 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to *4 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in ch-10 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 7 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 10 sc, 58 V-sts]

Row 12: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 4 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 6 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 30 sc, 48 V-sts]

Row 13: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 3 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 5 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 50 sc, 38 V-sts]

Row 14: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 2 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 5 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 5 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 5 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 5 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 70 sc, 28 V-sts]

Row 15: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 7 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, V-st in space before next V-st] 4 times, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 7 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, V-st in space before next V-st, [ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 7 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, V-st in space before next V-st] 4 times, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 7 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to* 3 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 90 sc, 18 V-sts]

Row 16: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 70 sc, 28 V-sts]

Row 17: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 5 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 5 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * 2 times, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 5 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 5 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 50 sc, 38 V-sts]

Row 18: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * 3 times, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 30 sc, 48 V-sts]

Row 19: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * 4 times, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 10 sc, 58 V-sts]

Row 20: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in first ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next sc, V-st in last ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times] 4 times, V-st in first ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next sc, V-st in last ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 5 times, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * 5 times, [V-st in first ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next sc, V-st in last ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times] 4 times, V-st in first ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next sc, V-st in last ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 68 V-sts]

Rows 21 – 23: Repeat Row 2. Fasten off at end of Row 23. [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 68 V-sts]

Edging: With RS of foundation facing attach yarn with slip st in ch-2 at beginning of Row 1 {indicated by pink arrow in photo above}, working along side of Shawl body Rows, (ch 2, dc) in same ch-2 sp as slip st join, [(slip st, ch 2, dc) in top of next row] 22 times, slip st in last st at top of Row 23, turn to work along top of Row 23 stitches, ch 3, dc in first dc of first V-st, skip 2 sts, *[(slip st, ch 3, dc) in first dc of next V-st, skip 2 sts]* 33 times, (slip st, ch 3, dc) in marked ch-2 sp, remove st marker, Repeat from * to * 34 times, (slip st, ch 2, dc) in last dc of Row 23, turn to work along side of Shawl Body rows at last end, [(slip st, ch 2, dc) in top of next row] 22 times, slip st in sc at end of foundation rows,Fasten off. [23 small scallops at each end, 69 scallops along top of Row 23]

Finishing

Before weaving in ends, wet block work to open lace. Once shawlette has completely dried, weave in all loose ends.

The stitch markers in my project photos above are my favorite newest Clover stitch markers. They are light weight and come in a variety of colors and sizes. If you can’t find them locally you can click on the product photo below to find them on Amazon.com. This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.

I hope you have a fun time crocheting this shawlette. If you make it and want to share photos with me of your finished project tag me on Instagram. You can follow me there using the icons at the top of the sidebar. Or just search for me as Andee.Graves.

Things are Changing

Snow loaded pine trees on a snowy hillside with swing set in foregrounds with snow on seats.

Last week I posted about Spring arriving, 2 days later my backyard was full of snow again and the temperatures dropped below freezing.

Shrub branches with ruffled bright green baby spring leaves.

Today on my walk thru the woods I noticed that some of the brave little shrubs were putting out leaves and my Aspen trees are getting buds.

Along with the change of seasons up here, my blog is undergoing some changes. You may have noticed it has a different look these days. I am updating my theme after 10 years of blogging. I hope to create a great experience for my readers, making it easy for you to find the posts that interest you most and maybe even discover ones you didn’t realize were there.

This new theme is called “Floral”, it has a lot to offer and it may take me a little while to figure out all the new options for both my blog layout and the accompanying pages. I’m also debating on the background color, so please bear with me while I find my way.

You may have also noticed that I haven’t been posting much about lambs or sheep the past 6 months. That is because my farm partner and I have decided to down-size our flock. We didn’t have lambs this spring as some health issues in her family made that unworkable. Many of our flock are finding new homes in the coming months.

I am still working with our wool crops of the past 2 years and hope to be offering yarn, fleeces and needle-felting kits for sell both online and at some festivals this Summer and Fall. We hope to continue to work with wool products in the coming years, but are still deciding how we will structure that.

Meanwhile stay tuned here on the blog for more Crochet designs, fun crafting how-tos and coloring pages. The joy of a creative life is finding flexibility even when there are roadblocks and surprises.

Spring is Here!

It is finally feeling like spring time up here on my mountain. I can almost believe that summer is just around the corner. Down in town I’ve been seeing lots of butterflies, so I thought this coloring page would be perfect for celebrating the change in seasons.

For those of you that are more interested in crochet than coloring, you will be happy to know I have a new design published in the June 2019 issue of “I Like Crochet” online magazine.

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

This is the “Shoreline Cold Shoulder Tee” worked in King Cole’s “Vogue” cotton yarn. Available in a wide range of lovely colors this yarn worked up great for this sweet little girl’s tee. Though worked in a simple linen stitch this is an advance level project.

You can subscribe to the “I Like Crochet” magazine and get this and many other wonderful crochet patterns as well as informative “how to” articles and other crochet themed content. Click here to go to the “I Like Crochet” subscription page.

I crocheted the sample with my Clover Amour hook. These are some of my favorite hooks to work with. I spend a lot of hours crocheting and find this to be a good match for my hands. If you can’t find them locally you can purchase them on Amazon.com, just click on the photo above and it will take you right to them.

Needle Felting for Repairs

One of my least favorite things in crochet or knitting is dealing with the loose ends once a project is finished. Needle felting can be a big help in securing those ends though, especially if your project is worked using a wool blend yarn.

Recently one of my friends had an issue with some mittens she had knit. When weaving in ends she had some extra strands on the outside of her fabric. We looked at the mittens trying to figure out how she could weave in the ends. They were going to be super short and there was a good chance they would pop loose.

Needle-felting to the rescue! I grabbed my size 40 felting needle, my “egg” felting surface, and a small steel crochet hook (not shown).

I cut the strand in the center, and had 2 short ends.

I then pulled the 2 loose ends to the wrong side of the fabric by inserting a small crochet hook in from the side.

I turned the mitten inside out and gently pulled on the ends to be sure I didn’t have any excess yarn on outside of mitten. I inserted my felting surface behind the fabric and snugged the fabric where I would be needling tight to the surface.

I then gently needled the ends close to where they came thru the fabric. I checked the outside (right-side) of the fabric regularly to make sure my work wasn’t visible. I wanted to secure the ends but not decrease the stretch of the fabric. Once I was sure the ends were well secured I trimmed off any excess yarn.

You can use this same method with any knit or crochet project. Especially if the project is worked in a wool or other animal fiber yarn. Needle felting can secure other types of fiber, but you may want to test it out before relying on it for your final project.

Needle felting can even be a great way to secure the cut end of longer tails that have been woven in. Especially helpful on items that get a lot of use like hats, mittens, scarves and blankets.

For longer tails, weave in like you usually do, but before cutting the yarn use your felting needle to secure the end. Then cut close to the needle felted spot to remove excess yarn.

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

One of my favorite tools is Clover’s Single Needle Felting Tool. It is much easier on my hand than just holding the plain needle. The ergonomic shaping also allows for more control of the needle while working.
If you can’t find this tool locally it is available online at Amazon.com. Click on the photo below to go straight to it.

Festival and Conference Season Begins

A couple weeks ago I spent my Saturday at YarnFest in Loveland, Colorado. This is a great festival that is “local” for me. There are loads of classes and a fun marketplace celebrating yarn and other fibery fun.

I got to see a number of friends and had a little retail therapy time. My first stop and purchases were with the folks at Brown Sheep Company. I’m looking forward to making something summery with the pink yarn. Hopefully I can finish it before the CGOA conference in July.

I had lunch with my good friend Karen Whooley, she taught 4 classes at the festival. We had a great time catching up. Once she had to head back to teach her afternoon class I met up with my friend Susanna.

Turns out Susanna is nearly as dangerous an enabler to shop with as my dear friend Jan. I ended up purchasing a few more items than I had originally planned on. The gorgeous yarns below were too tempting.

This lovely fluffy dark yarn is a Cashmere/Wool blend. There is a little over 320 yards in the 2 balls, so I am hoping to create a lacy cowl or a shawlette. The fluffy halo of the yarn will make for a warm fabric even if it is created with very open stitch work.

Susanna had to bring me to see the yarns at the “Knit Stitch” booth. She had made a hat using some of their lovely hand-dyed yarn. I couldn’t resist this pink and lavendar yarn with it’s bit of sparkle, the color name is “Doodlebug”. I am planning to make myself a beautiful hat for next winter. I think it will look terrific with my silver hair.

A YarnFest tradition for me is to visit glass artist Jodie McDougall’s booth. She always has wonderful glass buttons and goodies. This year I had to adopt some adorable sheep earrings. I’ve been wearing them a lot since the festival. I especially love their little feet.

I was thrilled to see my friend Paula of KnitBaahPurl was at YarnFest again. I had to purchase one of her T-shirts for a new sleep Tee. I really loved this “now I lay me down to sheep” shirt, and it’s in a lovely lavender purple color.

Paula creates all sorts of fun sheep and yarn themed artwork that she sells on T-shirts, mugs, wine glasses, cards and other fun items. I especially love the ecumenical nature of most of her illustrations. No matter what your yarnie art…her artwork will fit the bill.

My final purchase of the day were some cute little stitch markers from the Longmont Yarn Shoppe booth. Who hasn’t played “yarn chicken” when finishing a project? The chicken may actually be inspiration for a crochet or needle felted sculptural piece in the future. I also found the little squirrel to be too cute to resist.

Looking back over all my goodies from YarnFest I’m realizing that I actually exercised some restraint. I stood strong against many of the temptations. Now I just need to crochet like the wind with all this yarn in my stash so I can get more yarn at the other Festivals and Conferences coming up.

In mid-June the Estes Park Wool Market will be here, that could be dangerous to my budget. I’m planning on joining some friends there to tour the vendor barn as well as check out the various critter barns.

The second week of July will be the CGOA conference, which includes a lovely boutique Marketplace. This year’s conference will mark the 25th anniversary of CGOA so there will be extra fun things happening there. If you haven’t had a chance to register for the show it isn’t too late. You can check it out at Crochet.org.

I hope to see some of you at a Festival or Conference this year. But even if you can’t join me at the ones I’m at, do a little research in your area to see if there is one going on near you. It’s a great place to meet fellow yarnies and take classes to expand your crafting skills.