One Skein Joy Slippers

Image of finished slippers with pom pom decoration.

Every Christmas morning when I was a child my whole family always received hand-knitted slippers from my mom. We wore them until they were nearly tattered or we had outgrown them. In honor of that memory I designed the “One Skein Joy Slippers” in crochet. The first pair I made were a gift for my mom for Christmas 2017.

Green un-decorated slippers.

You only need one skein of Berocco Worsted Weight Ultra Wool to make a pair of slippers that fit a US Women’s size 7.5/8. They were originally published in the December 2018 issue of the online magazine “I Like Crochet”, the pattern is now available for sell in my Ravelry Shop. The PDF version of the pattern includes stitch charts and photo tutorials to help you successfully crochet up some slippers for yourself.

I will also be teaching this project as a Zoom class thru the Longmont Yarn Shoppe in late October. I’ll provide the link to class registration here as soon as it is available. The class will be taught in two 1.5 hour segments to give students time to complete work between classes and will be called “Crochet Slippers 101”. I will also be teaching a follow-up class, “Crochet Slippers 102” later in November that will expand on this pattern so you can work the slippers for various sizes of feet.

Strawberry Fields Shawlette

Well there has certainly been a lot keeping me busy the past 3 months. One of the things I have been spending a lot of time on has been writing up patterns for designs that I had created over the past year.

I finished crocheting this shawlette back in November, but never got around to blocking it until now. I used some gorgeous superwash merino that I purchased at my local yarn shop, Longmont Yarn Shoppe. The yarn is from Farmers Daughter Fibers, they create gorgeous hand dyed colors that make me drool. This yarn is called “Squish Worsted” and it truly is very squishy and snuggly.

My plan for this shawlette is for a warm layer to wrap around my neck with my burgundy winter coat. I love the dramatic border for those days that are warm enough to leave my coat open.

I used almost all of the skein of variegated yarn for the body of the shawl, then all but a quarter of the solid color for the border. The pattern is available in my Ravelry shop and includes stitch charts for both the simple mesh of the body and the lace border.

This shawlette works up fairly quickly, so if you are thinking about crafting for Christmas this would be a great gift for someone special on your gift list (or something special to spoil yourself with).

Christmas is in the Bag

Last Christmas I was frustrated by the amount of wrapping paper waste in my house after all the gifts were opened. I try to use sturdy gift bags as much as possible so they can be re-used from year to year, eventually they start to fall apart. Then I had a thought, “What if I made fabric gift bags that could be re-used and even washed.”

I visited the January fabric sale at my local JoAnns and stocked up on some great Christmas quilting cotton with this goal in mind. Once I got all the fabrics home I ran them all thru the washer and dryer at high temperatures to pre-shrink them.

Since then I have played about with a couple of design ideas for bags. Today’s pattern is super simple. It can work as a gift wrap bag, but it can also work great as a shopping or project bag (for a crochet, knitting or embroidery project). Sew it up in a fun fabric for a great stocking stuffer gift. You can even slide a gift card inside the folded bag before flipping the flap closed.

This bag is a good project to develop your sewing skills. It is made in cotton quilting fabric and all raw edges are finished to prolong the life of the bag. All seams are straight. Side and box bottom seams are “french seams”.  

The pocket construction and placement are the most challenging part of the project. I wanted to be able to store the bag in it’s own pocket. The bag folds up and then flips inside the pocket, with the flap flipping over to secure the bag as a simple package to store neatly until you need it. If you just want a drawstring bag you can skip the pocket.

For ease of construction the drawstring channel and pocket are sewn in place on the single layer of the bag body before the bag side seams are sewn. Top hem of bag opening is sewn last.

Handy as a Pocket Bag Sewing Pattern

designed by Andee Graves

Finished size:

Small bag – 11 inches  x 12 inches  

Large bag – 18 inches  x 19 inches

Measurements going forward are given for small bag and measurements for large bag are in square brackets [ ].

Materials

Quilting Cotton woven fabric: 3/4 yard [1 ¼ yard]

Ribbon or Cord for drawstring: 52” [72”]

Sewing thread

Instructions

Each bag uses 4 rectangular pieces of fabric; width measurement is the across the grain of fabric, length is with the grain of fabric (parallel to selvage).

Piece A, Body of Bag: Cut 1 – 12” [17”] wide  x 30” [40”] long or 2 – 12” [17”] wide x 15 ½” [20 ½”] long

Piece B, Drawstring Channel: Cut 2 – 9 ½” [13 ½”] wide x 2” [2”] long

Piece C, Pocket: Cut 1 – 5” [6”] wide x 15 ½” [17 ½”] long (flap on pocket uses 3” [4”] of length, if you don’t want the flap to secure the bag when folded, take that amount off length)

Drawstring Channels (B):

Fold over ¼” to wrong-side of fabric along short ends and press. Fold over ¼” to wrong-side of fabric along long edges and press.

Clip corners to reduce bulk. Fold over short ends an additional ¼”. Top stitch at short ends to secure hem.

Pin in place centered wrong-side on right-side of Piece A 2” below and running parallel with top edge of bag. Top stitch 1/8” in from edge of each long side leaving short ends open.

Tip: Easy centering of drawstring channel and pocket. Fold Piece A in half lengthwise and mark center of short edges. Fold channel pieces in half widthwise and mark center of long side, fold finished pocket in half lengthwise and mark center of short ends. Align all center marking correct distance apart and pin in place.

Pocket (C): Fold pocket piece in half lengthwise with wrong-sides together, press at fold.

Fold down another 1 ½” [2”] and press. Bring the long length from the bottom over the so the right-sides are together and wrong-sides are facing out. Press at fold.

Piece of fabric will look like a tall capital M. Folded edge is top of pocket.

Pin along sides and bottom.

Sew ¼ inch seam along all raw edges leaving a 1 ½” opening in center at bottom edge.

Clip bottom corners being careful not to cut seam.

Tip: When leaving opening leave long threads.

Then pull threads to one side of seam and tie in square knot. This will keep bottom seam from coming un-done while turning pocket right-side out.

Turn right-side out, being sure to get all corners fully turned and squared up. Fold in a ¼” seam at opening. Press flat.

Pin in place flap side down centered on right-side of Piece A, 1 ½” below bottom of drawstring channel. Top stitch 1/8” in from edge of pocket down from fold, along bottom (securing turning opening) and up other side.

Body of Bag:

Fold Piece A widthwise with wrong-sides together and all edges squarely matched. Press along fold to make a crease for later reference.

French side seams: Sew slightly less than ¼” seams from fold to top edge of each side.

Turn wrong-side out and gently pull seams so stitching is right at side edges when folded with right-sides together.

Sew slightly more than ¼” seams along each side again, seam doesn’t need to go all the way to the fold.

Press enclosed seams to one side of seam so they are opposite of each other.

Turn bag right side out. You may need to trim some stray threads if your raw edges were super frayed.

Box Bottom: Shape box bottom corners by laying second side seam stitching line along bottom crease line.

Decide how wide a box bottom you want and mark line on right-side of fabric. (In sample I choose a 4” box bottom, so my line was 3 ½” wide). These will be french seams.

Sew along the marked line. Then trim off corner within ¼” of sewn line.

Turn inside out and flatten out box bottom seams. Sew slightly more than ¼” seam to finish seam.

Finished Box Bottom seam on Right-side

Opening Hem: Turn right-side out and flatten bag to check that top edge is even, if it isn’t trim it even.

Fold over ¼” to wrong-side all around opening. Then fold over an additional ½”. Press and pin in place.

Sew top stitching to secure hem (or if you prefer blind stitch the hem). This can also be a fun place to use a decorative stitch.

Drawstrings:

Cut ribbon (or cord) length in half, thread thru channels in both directions and

knot end of each ribbon together.

Storing Bag in Pocket

Folding up the bag into its pocket is easy. Lay bag with pocket facing down. Fold down top edge of bag to cover pocket,

repeat with bottom,

then each side.

Flip pocket to outside so all folded parts of bag are inside the pocket. You can now see the flap of the pocket,

flip the flap over the open end of the pocket and your handy bag is ready to be stored for later use.

As I was working on this project I made a number of mistakes and missteps, partially due to not being used to my new sewing machine and because my time for this blog post got a little squeezed. I left in the less than perfect images though because I think the imperfections are what makes us human. So be human and have fun making some colorful bags for your Christmas or just for the fun of making a special bag.

This project is part of the Christmas in July Make Along with Underground Crafter. Come join the fun! 31 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

We’ve also partnered with some of our favorite companies to get some great prizes for you. Find out more information about participating designers, the schedule, and how to enter to win the prizes on Underground Crafter. The deadline for entering the giveaway is Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

How To Join the 2020 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 #CIJMakeAlong2020 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.

Crochet Really Round Circles

Have you ever noticed how working a flat circle in larger sizes with regular increases you end up with a polygon shape. The stitches between the increase points make a flat edge. These can be fun shapes, but what if you want the pleasing curve of a really rounded edge for your circle?

Today I’m posting a pattern for a 10 round flat circle that comes out really round, as well as the tips and tricks to make even larger flat rounds that will be really round.

The simple formula to remember for working flat circles is:

Number of stitches in Round 1 = Number of increases in each following round.

You can learn more about the number of stitches recommended for the first round for different stitch heights in my post: Another Pi Day Celebration. For my example today I’m using the half double crochet stitch which needs 8 stitches in the first round.

There are 2 methods of crocheting in the round: Continuous Spiral or Concentric Rounds. For today’s pattern I am using the continuous spiral method. It eliminates the noticeable joins and chains to get to taller stitch heights each round. It does mean you need to keep track of the final stitch in each round. I use a stitch marker that is a different color than my increase stitch markers. If you prefer to work concentric rounds you can apply these same tips for getting a really round circle.

When working circles you want your increases to be evenly spaced each round. My favorite way to keep track of my increases is to use stitch markers. In the case of our half double crochet circle, I place a stitch marker in each stitch at the end of Round 1. I also add my end of round stitch marker in the last stitch.

For all the following rounds I work 2 stitches in the marked stitch then move the stitch marker to the second stitch made. When I work the next round of the circle I crochet 2 stitches in the newly marked stitch and move it up the same way. The photo above shows the end of Round 2 with 8 increase markers (orange) and the last stitch marked with a larger yellow stitch marker.

If I continue increasing in this same style after about 5 rounds it becomes noticeable how the increases line up like the spokes of a wheel. The stitches on the last round will begin to flatten out along the edge giving an octagonal shape instead of a circle. The more rounds worked the more this becomes exaggerated. The photo above shows a completed 10 round circle worked this way.

The trick to creating a really round circle is to break up those “spokes” of increases. The easiest way to do that is to move your increase points before starting the next round. The stitch markers are still really handy, especially as you work larger rounds.

When working circles, whether really round style or the traditional spoke style of increases, the number of stitches in each increase section of your circle will be the same as the Round number you are working. Example (photo above) in Round 4 you will have 3 unmarked stitches and 1 marked stitch for 4 stitches in each section. This holds true no matter what height and number of stitches you begin with in Round 1.

End of Rnd 4 before starting Rnd 5: green arrows indicate where to move Increase St Markers

To break up the spokes of increases you will need to move your increases to the approximate center of each of these sections. Example: after completing Round 4 there are 3 unmarked stitches between each marked stitch. You will shift your stitch markers over to the middle of the unmarked stitches.

Let’s get you started crocheting your first Really Round Circle. For this pattern I have included suggested hook size and the gauge I got, but you can play with hook size and even yarn size to get a fabric that appeals to you. I worked my circles with a worsted weight acrylic yarn, if you used 100% cotton these rounds make great hot pads for your table top.

Really Round Circle

By Andee Graves

Finished Size: 10 Rounds 7.25 inches/18.5 cm diameter (across center),

Gauge: 5 Rounds = 4 inches/10 cm.

Yarn: Worsted Weight Acrylic Yarn, approximately 42 yards/38.4 meters, .67 oz/19 grams for one circle.

Hook: US Size I/9 (5.5.mm) or size needed to obtain gauge

Notions: 8 stitch markers in one color (Increase stitch markers), 1 stitch marker in different color (End-of-Round stitch marker), yarn needle for weaving in ends.

Pattern Notes: Stitch counts for each round are shown in italicized square brackets at end. Once you are sure of you count at end of Round 2 or 3, you may find it helpful to weave in the beginning tail to get it out of your way. Always move End-of-Round stitch marker to last stitch of each round as completed.

Instructions

Rnd 1: Start with an adjustable slip knot (YouTube Video here), Ch 2, (sc, 7 hdc) in 2nd chain from hook. Pull gently on beginning tail to tighten center. With increase stitch markers place 1 in each stitch, place End-of-Round stitch marker in last stitch. [1 sc, 7 hdc]

Rnd 2: 2 hdc in each marked st, moving increase stitch markers to second st made in each stitch. [16 hdc]

End of Rnd 2, ready for Rnd 3.

Rnd 3: (Hdc in unmarked st, 2 hdc in marked st, move stitch marker to first st made) 8 times. [24 hdc]

End of Rnd 3, ready for Rnd 4.

Rnd 4: [Hdc in next st, 2 hdc in marked st, move stitch marker to second st made in marked st, hdc in next st] 8 times. [32 hdc]

Rnd 5: Move each Increase st marker back 2 sts from original marked st. [2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to second st made in marked st, hdc in next 3 sts] 8 times. [40 hdc]

Increase St Markers after being moved to start Rnd 6.

Rnd 6: Move each Increase st marker forward 2 sts from original marked st. [hdc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to second st made in marked st, hdc in next st] 8 times. [48 hdc]

Increase St Markers after being moved to start Rnd 7.

Rnd 7: Move each Increase st marker back 3 sts from original marked st. [hdc in next st, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to second st made in marked st, hdc in next 4 sts] 8 times. [56 hdc]

Increase St Markers after being moved to start Rnd 8.

Rnd 8: Move each Increase st marker forward 3 sts from original marked st. [hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to second st made in marked st, hdc in next st] 8 times. [64 hdc]

Increase St Markers after being moved to start Rnd 9.

Rnd 9: Move each Increase st marker back 4 sts from original marked st. [hdc in next 2 sts, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to second st made in marked st, hdc in next 5 sts] 8 times. [72 hdc]

Increase St Markers after being moved to start Rnd 10.

Rnd 10: Move each Increase st marker forward 4 sts from original marked st. [hdc in next 7 sts, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to second st made in marked st, hdc in next st] 8 times. [80 hdc]

Step Down to finish Circle: Hdc in next st, 2 hdc next st, hdc next 2 sts, sc next st, slip st next 2 sts. Fasten off and weave in ending tail.

Note: If you are wanting to crochet larger circles you may need to experiment with the length of the step-down in for your final round.

Just Wow!

I’ve been trying to write a blog post to catch you all up on what has been going on with me since my last blog post in December. But 2020 clearly has some ideas of it’s own about how this party is going to go.

Even before all the excitement with this nasty virus took off, my life was a bit fuller than usual and my energy has been pulled in a number of directions. It’s a story involving cancer, chemo, concussion and a trip to Hawaii. Read on for the rest of the story.

Cy during first days of chemo treatment at VA.
Photo courtesy of Sean Branagan

I spent most of January and the first 8 days of February in Kansas City. I was helping out my younger brother Cy who started chemotherapy treatment the first week of January.

I’ve talked about Cy here on the blog before. He is a super talented and fun guy. He made me these beautiful crochet hooks one year for my birthday. He does all sorts of amazing wood working including chain saw carving. You can check out his videos of his work on his YouTube channel: DIY with Uncle Cy. His latest video is a Woodturning a Mushroom Box

Tiny House Staircase

I was staying in his tiny house while he was staying in his old room with his housemates. The stairs in the tiny house are quite steep with an interesting space saving half step construction. Cy hadn’t put in a handrail yet and that turned out to be an issue for his clumsy sister.

On February 4th I was coming down the stairs and fell. It was basically 8 feet straight down and at the end I hit my head on the edge of this plastic 5 gallon bucket. I was pretty shook up and banged up, but fortunately I did not break any bones.

30 minutes after my fall

At first I just needed to ice all my bruises and get the pain a little under control. A few hours later one of his housemates took me to the E.R. to get my head checked. I had quite a goose egg on the left side of my forehead and the swelling was down into my left eye. Despite the ice, my left eye was swollen closed a few hours after my fall.

After talking with some astounded doctors and nurses, then having a C.T. scan the conclusion was that I had a mild to moderate concussion with no broken bones. The doctors gave me instructions on pain management and recovery from a concussion and sent me home. The doctor who read the scan told me that I was the toughest 50+ woman he had ever met.

My big concerns were how I was going to drive home to Colorado 4 days later and if I would be able to take my flight to Hawaii as planned the following Tuesday. The doctor said I should be fine to fly, especially after a week, but he didn’t recommend that I drive all the way from KC to Denver by myself.

Fortunately my sweet husband saved the day. He took a flight to Kansas City that following Saturday and we drove back to Colorado together. Truthfully he did most of the driving and I slept. The bright sunlight was pretty painful for my concussed head, so I hid under my coat most of the way.

I was feeling quite a bit better by the time I had to go to the airport for my flight on the 11th. I looked scary as heck with my colorful bruised face, but the swelling had gone down significantly. I felt a little self conscious of all the attention it drew, but I kept reminding myself how happy I was to not be hurt worse and to be alive. When people asked me about the bruise I told them I had an argument with a staircase and the staircase won.

Hawaii was a great place to recuperate. Mel’s condo is just across the street from a wonderful little rocky beach area full of tidepools. I really enjoyed exploring the tide pools and watching the waves break on the rocks.

The sound of the surf lulled me to sleep at night and for my many naps. I had some seriously dark sunglasses that I wore over my regular glasses, so the bright sun wasn’t an issue when I was outside.

It was so lovely to be somewhere warm after the freezing cold I had dealt with in KC and Colorado. I loved all the beautiful flowers like the hibiscus above and the sweet scent of the plumeria blossoms below.

I had a wonderful time watching the busy little geckos that hung out on the lanai and in the garden. Their bright colors delighted me and they were quick and curious about everything.

As Mel says, “They are cute and they eat bugs, what’s not to like?” Mel teased me that I was becoming a crazy lizard lady instead of the crazy cat lady she always thought I was.

Though there were also cats to enjoy at her condo complex. They belong to the couple that manage the complex. The cats are a non-toxic way to keep rodent and bug populations down. They also hunt the geckos, but the little lizards learn to be very quick.

My truffles from Puna Chocolate Evening

There were loads of fun things to do on the Big Island even if some of my original plans had to be scrapped due to my mishap. One of my happy discoveries was that cacao is grown in the Hawaiian islands and in particular on the Big Island. Mel and I spent my last Friday evening at the Puna Chocolate Company learning to make truffles and tasting the many chocolates they make.

I brought home a few chocolate bars to share with my family and to remind me of the wonderful time on the island.

2 whales; calf’s back and mom’s tail.

My one adventure I didn’t want to scrap was going on a Humpback Whale watching cruise. Fortunately we were able to schedule an early morning cruise a week after I got to Hawaii and it was great fun. Captain Dan McSweeney’s Whale watching cruise was both educational and inspiring. We saw lots of whales during the 3 hours we were on the water.

All too soon my visit on the island was over and it was time to return to Colorado. I was almost completely recovered from the fall. My bruises were much less painful and almost all the discoloration on my face was gone.

It’s been a slow process as far as recovering from the concussion. I am still having headaches if I spend too much time looking at computer or TV screens. But the headaches are very slight compared to what they had been like during the first 3 weeks after the fall.

I am happy to be back working on crochet and other crafting designs. My original plan for late March of 2020 was to be gearing up for teaching more classes at various venues. Of course, like most all of my readers those plans have gone thru some big adjustments due to the Covid 19 pandemic. I’ll be posting on here and on my other social media when things are a bit more clear about when those classes will be available.

Currently I’m staying put on my mountain with my family. I’ll be working on getting some new crochet designs finished and some fun coloring pages drawn. Hopefully this long period of staying at home will also allow me to get some new videos completed for my YouTube channel. I love to teach and those are a great way to continue to do that, even if I can’t be with my students in person.

Take care of yourselves and each other. Together we can keep everyone safe.

Evening Stroll Beaded Earwarmer

Christmas is just 3 days away, not counting today, and you may need to make some last minute gifts. Check out the December issue of “I Like Crochet” online for some fun quick gift projects to crochet up.

You’ll see a new version of my Morning Walk Earwarmer, “Evening Stroll Beaded Earwarmer”. This beaded version gives a festive touch for wearing when you are out looking at Christmas lights. Or a great way to add some bling to your bundled up look for New Year’s Eve.

I love earwarmers. Especially when I had long hair I would wear wide to narrow ones. I would have the wide part in front and my hair pulled thru the opening with the narrow part on the back of my neck. Was really great when I was skiing for keeping my hair out of my face and ears warm at the same time.

Earwarmers are also great when a hat would be too warm as well as fitting in your coat pocket easier than a hat.

The pictured sample took approximately 52 grams of Anzula’s “It Could Be Worsted” merino/silk blend and used 68 beads. If you are really in a time crunch or a little short on yarn you can eliminate 1 repeat (2 rounds) of the rounds for a slightly narrower band.

The pattern used both the stringing method and “hoist-on” method of adding beads. If you need help with those beading techniques you can see my tutorials here in these posts: Stringing method – “Celebrating Crochet by Teaching” , and Hoist-on Method – “Making a Pendant”.

If you are looking for some really super quick gift projects, check out my blog post from this summer about snowflakes and my little wreath pin. These projects also are a great way to decorate your holiday packages.

12 Days til Christmas

Christmas has been sneaking up on me and my family really fast this year. We went to Kansas City for Thanksgiving with family and got back home late on the Saturday after.

Our new kitty, Areya, hadn’t been feeling well before we left and when we got back she was still not doing great. So the first week of December was all about taking her to the Animal Hospital for tests and some help. The great news is she has recovered and is back to normal, getting into mischief every waking moment.

I’m a little behind with my planned holiday posts here on the blog. With only 12 days left until Christmas, I wanted to share with you a new coloring page. This is a fun whimsical nighttime Christmas tree. I’ve made it available in 2 sizes.

The first is a full page 8.5 x 11.

The second is a half page greeting card.

I had a lot of fun coloring this page and wanted to share the 4 different versions I colored to give you ideas for coloring your tree page.

For this one I used colored pencils only and picked rainbow colors for the ornaments on the tree. The tree colors are piney greens with shading at the tops of each segment. Shading around the stars with a deep blue sky and blue snow lines.

For this version I used colored pencils in blues and teals for the trees, then grays and yellows for the stars. The ornaments I used shaded lavender and purples for the ovals then a mix of salmon, yellow and pink for the others. I left the sky blank with bright blue snow lines.

This one I used colored pencils and went with a bright lime green for the main tree, with kelly green shading at the the tops of each segment. The ornaments were colored the same color for each shape using hot pink, lavender and pale yellow. The background trees are a piney green. Then shading around the stars and a bright blue sky and navy blue snow lines..

For the final version I used fine line markers for some of the details and outlines with colored pencils to add shading and soft color. Stars and ornaments were simple Red, Orange & Yellow. The trees were colored a piney green. Bright blue snow lines.

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

I used my Staedtler Noris Club 36 colored pencils on all of these pages. I love the density of color and how durable these pencils are. They have a white protective coating around the lead core that really helps decrease breakage and allows for sharpening to a clean point.

I use my Staedtler double hole Tub pencil sharpener to keep the points sharp. I love that it has a compartment to catch shavings and a cap across the holes so I can throw it in my crafting bag and there is no mess.

For the fine line marker work on the final version I colored, I used my Staedtler 20 Triplus fineliner markers. These are great long lasting markers that I can color with for hours and not have dry up on me.

If you want to add any of these products to your craft bag and can’t find them locally, just click on the images above to find them at Amazon.com for purchase.

Have fun coloring some Christmas trees.

Spirals & Lace Afghan Square

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers. I’m so thankful to all of you coming to visit my blog.

I’m sharing this latest free pattern with you. I’m having fun with spirals again this time around. To keep things even more interesting I’ve added some Join-as-You-Go edgings for making the spiral grid that is the centerpiece for this square.

For those that prefer to have a PDF with stitch charts for each element and no ads, you can purchase the pattern for less than $4 thru my Ravelry Shop by clicking here.

Spirals and Lace Afghan Square

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill level:       Intermediate

Finished Size:

12” square

Materials:

Yarn  Worsted wt (Sample uses Red Heart “With Love” 100% Acrylic (7 oz/198 g, 370 yd/338 m)

  • Color A: #1704 Bubble Gum
  • Color B: #1308 Tan
  • Color C: #1538 Lilac
  • Color D: #1969 Wintergreen
  • Color E: #1101 Eggshell

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

Hook J / 6 mm

Notions 8 locking st markers (2 in one color, 6 in another color), Yarn/tapestry needle for weaving in ends

My favorite locking stitch markers are from the Clover company, like the ones above. If you can’t find them locally click on the photo above to find them on Amazon.

This handy 6 inch ruler is great for checking your gauge, especially with the center finding measure on one side it’s perfect for measuring center out motifs, whether squares or rounds. If you can’t find one locally click on the photograph above to find it on Amazon.

Gauge 1 Spiral Square = 3 inches square

Abbreviations/Special Stitches

Loose slip stitch (sl st loosely): Insert hook in indicated place, YO, pull up a loop thru place and loop on hook keeping loose like making a chain st.

Joining slip st (sl st): Insert hook in indicated place, YO, pull up a loop thru place and loop on hook, continue to pull up on working loop until original loop is tight.

Standing Double Crochet (Standing dc): make slip knot in yarn and place loop snugly on shaft of hook, yo and insert hook into indicated st, yo, pull up a loop, (yo, pull thru 2 loops on hook) twice. If substituting for a chain start of a round, do not work the first 3 chains of the round instructions.

V-stitch (V-st): (dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated st or sp.

Join-As-You-Go (JAY-Go)

Pattern Notes:

Overall square starts with 9 2-armed spiral rounds, then spirals are joined together in a grid with Join-as-you-Go round to square edging creating a 9.5 inch square. Bordering Rounds are worked along outside edge of this grid to finish.

Start each spiral with an adjustable slip knot. Beginning tail tightens the loop on the hook. If you need help with this technique check out my video tutorial on my YouTube channel.

Stitch counts at the end of each round are shown in italicized brackets.

Instructions

Spirals – Make 9

In Sample: 4 corner spirals used Colors A & B, 4 side spirals used Colors A & C, and center spiral used Colors C & B.

Note: Round 3 of Spirals specifies “sl st loosely”, this means work the indicated slip stitches similar to a chain stitch and do not pull the working loop to tighten it as in a joining slip stitch. You will be working into those loose slip stitches in the edging rounds.

Rnd 1 (RS): Begin with first Color and adjustable slip knot, ch 2, (2 sc, 2 hdc) in second ch from hook, pull up long loop of first Color and remove hook, insert hook in same ch as previous work, pull up a loop of second Color on shaft of hook, ch 1, working over beginning tail (2 sc, 2 hdc) in same ch st, pull beginning tail of first Color to close center tightly. [2 sc, 2 hdc, in each color {8 sts total}]

Place st markers in each st using a different color marker to indicate the last st of each color section.

Rnd 2: Begin with first Color, *(2 hdc in marked st, move st marker up to second st worked) 4 times*, pull up loop of first Color, switch to second Color, Repeat from * to *. [8 hdc, in each color {16 sts total}]

Rnd 3: Begin with first Color, *(hdc in next st, 2 hdc in marked st, remove st marker) 4 times*, pull up loop of first Color, switch to second Color, Repeat from * to *, [12 hdc in each color],

Switch back to first Color, **hdc in next st, sc in next st, sl st loosely in next st, sl st in back loop of next st, fasten off and pull tail thru final sl st and snug**, switch to second Color, Repeat from ** to ** once. [10 hdc, 1 sc, 1 loose slip st, in each color of open sts]

Joining Spirals

Note: When working the sl st joins into the ch-sps of previous edgings it works better to lay the work on a flat surface and bring the working loop for the loose sl st over the top of the ch-sp and pull the working yarn thru from behind. This will give you a flat and tidy join.

Corner Spiral Squares Edging

Rnd 1:

Insert hook in any open stitch along edge of spiral round, pull up a loop of Color D, ch 1, working over beginning tail sc in same st as join, (*ch 1, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st, ch 2, dc & hdc in next st, ch 1, skip next st,* sc in next 2 sts) 3 times,  Repeat from * to * once, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd, fasten off and pull tail thru final st. [8 sc, 8 ch-1 sp, 4 ch-2 sp, 8 hdc, 8 dc]

Center Spiral Square JAY-Go Edging

Rnd 1: Insert hook in any open stitch along edge of spiral round, pull up a loop of Color D, ch 1, working over beginning tail sc in same st as join, (*ch 1, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st, ch 1, sl st tightly to adjacent ch-2 sp of a Corner Spiral edging, ch 1, return to center spiral, dc & hdc in next st, ch 1, skip next st,* sc in next 2 sts) 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd, fasten off and pull tail thru final st. [8 sc, 8 ch-1 sp, 4 ch-2 JAY-Go corner sp, 8 hdc, 8 dc]

Side Spiral Squares #1-3 JAY-Go Edging

Rnd 1: Insert hook in any open stitch along edge of spiral round that will be outside edge of square, pull up a loop of Color D, ch 1, working over beginning tail sc in same st as join, ch 1, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st, *ch 1, sl st tightly to adjacent ch-2 sp of a Corner Spiral edging, ch 1, return to side spiral, dc & hdc in next st,*

sl st loosely in nearest ch-1 sp of adjacent spiral edging, return to side spiral, skip next st, sc in next 2 sts, sl st loosely in nearest ch-1 sp of adjacent spiral edging, return to side spiral, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st,

(ch 1, sl st tightly to adjacent corner join, ch 1, return to side spiral, dc & hdc in next st, sl st loosely in nearest ch-1 sp of adjacent spiral edging, return to side spiral, skip next st, sc in next 2 sts, sl st loosely in nearest ch-1 sp of adjacent spiral edging, return to side spiral, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st) 2 times,

Repeat from * to * once, ch 1, skip next st, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd, fasten off and pull tail thru final st. [8 sc, 2 ch-1 sp, 6 sl st JAY-Go sp, 4 ch-2 JAY-Go corner sp, 8 hdc, 8 dc]

Side Spiral Square #4 JAY-Go Edging

Work same as Side Spiral Squares #1-3 JAY-Go Edging but do NOT fasten off at end. [8 sc, 2 ch-1 sp, 6 sl st JAY-Go sp, 4 ch-2 JAY-Go corner sp, 8 hdc, 8 dc]

Border

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, sc in next 13 sts, [*(sc, ch 2, sc) in corner ch-2 sp, PM in ch-2 sp just made,* sc in next 28 sts] 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, sc in next 14 sts, sl st to first sc of rnd. Fasten off. [120 sc, 4 ch-2 corner sps]

Rnd 2: Attach Color E with Standing dc in 14th st from any left ch-2 corner sp, *skip 2 sts, V-st in next st*, Repeat from * to * 3 times, skip next st, [(dc, ch 2, dc) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 just made, skip 1 st, V-st in next st, Repeat from * to * 9 times, skip 1 st] 3 times, [(dc, ch 2, dc) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 just made, skip 1 st, V-st in next st, Repeat from * to * 4 times, skip 2 sts, dc in same st as standing dc, ch 1, sl st to first dc {counts as final V-st of round}. Fasten off. [40 V-sts, 8 dc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 3: Attach Color C with a Standing dc in any ch-1 sp of any V-st, [V-st in each ch-1 sp until reach marked ch-2 sp, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in ch-2 sp, move marker up to ch-2 sp just made] 4 times, V-st in each ch-1 sp until reach beginning, dc in first ch-1 sp, ch 1, sl st to first dc of rnd {makes last V-st of Rnd}. Fasten off. [48 V-sts, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 4: Insert hook in any dc along a side, pull up a loop of Color E, ch 1, working over beginning tail sc in same st as join, [sc in each st and ch-1 sp until reach marked ch-2 sp, (sc, ch 2, sc) in marked ch-2 sp, remove st marker] 4 times, sc in each st and ch-1 sp until reach end of Rnd, sl st to first sc. [152 sc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Finishing

Block gently, weave in loose ends.

This square is block #24 of the 2019 Moogly Afghan CAL. You can find Tamara’s version of my square and links to the other 23 squares by clicking here: MooglyBlog.

The Paulette Poncho

The weather has cooled off significantly up here on my mountain. We have already had a couple of super snowy days and the snow is hanging around with the temperatures barely getting above freezing.

Last week was all about making costumes for my kiddos at the last minute. I didn’t get photos the day of, I was doing finishing touches 2 minutes before they ran out the door to their party. We took these this past Saturday after a bit of repair work. My oldest was The Grim Reaper, all I had to make was the black cloak. Everything else was created by J, including the creative white patterns on mask, scythe and tabbard.

My youngest was Spectre Knight from a video game. We did a lot of searching of images to decide on the appearance and what we could realistically get done in the short time we had. The cloak with it’s skull embellished cowl came out the best, the armour was a bit sad. He was happy with it.

Casual Crochet Group modeling their Paulette Ponchos

The last 3 summers I have created a design for my Casual Crochet Group at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. We call this our Testing Pool project. the crocheters that want to, join in work the pattern and give me feedback on changes or mistakes they find.

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

This year our project was a simple top down poncho worked in rounds using a cotton blend yarn with long color changes: Katia’s “Funny Rainbow Star”. Some of the crocheters picked the version of the yarn that doesn’t have sparkles. I, of course, went for the sparkly yarn.

This project is a great one for travel crochet and TV crochet. It’s a simple stitch pattern that is perfect for showcasing yarns with long color changes or even busier variegated colors. I use stitch markers to make it easy to keep track of when to increase and where to join at the end of each round.

For the lighter weight yarns I found myself preferring to use my Clover Quick Locking Stitch Markers. If you can’t find them in your local shops you can purchase them on Amazon by clicking on the image above.

Cotton blend yarns are great for making a summer weight garment, but if you are looking for more warmth, switch to a warmer fiber like wool or alpaca. It could be lovely in a fluffy yarn like a silk/mohair too.

The pattern has both written and charted instructions, as well as information on how to add more rounds to the poncho length. The original pattern was written for using a fingering or sock weight yarn. If you want to make it with a worsted weight or thicker yarn you will need to check if you want the neckline foundation to be shorter. The pattern is available for purchase in my Ravelry shop as the “Paulette Poncho”.

Cakewalk Beanie – Free Crochet Pattern

This past weekend was my birthday and this year I am doing something a little different. Instead of a blanket square as my birthday pattern I am sharing this fun pattern for a women’s beanie.

I designed this hat almost 10 years ago when I had just one cake of Noro Kureyon yarn leftover from another project. With only 109 yards in the 50 gram cake I knew I needed an openwork stitch that would give me enough fabric to reach my ears. But I wanted the crown of the hat to have some solid stitch work to help with warmth.

The finished hat has been one of my favorites to stuff in a coat pocket. It’s a light layer of warmth when the weather is chilly and also works as a great cover for “bad-hair” days. I’ve been wearing it again as our mornings up here on the mountain have been chilly for the past month.

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

Premier “Everyday Soft Worsted”

I decided it was time to write up the pattern and share it with my readers. In the process of writing the pattern I worked 2 new samples in different worsted weight yarns. Premier “Every Day Soft Worsted” and Berroco “Ultra Wool”. Because these yarns come in 100 gram skeins I also added some more rounds for better coverage of the ears. I used approximately 118 yards for each sample.

Berroco “Ultra Wool”

A PDF version of pattern without ads and with a Stitch chart is also available for purchase in my Ravelry Shop for $2.99.

Cakewalk Beanie

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill Level:  Easy

Stitches used – Chain (ch), Single Crochet (sc), Slip Stitch (sl st), Double Crochet (dc), Half Double Crochet (hdc)

Materials:

  • Yarn –  Worsted Weight – Category 4
    • Premier “Everyday Soft Worsted” (3.5 oz/100 g; 165 yds/165 m); color# 200-08 Parfait
    • Berroco “Ultra Wool” (3.5 oz/100 g; 219 yds/200 m); color #33123 Iris
  • Hook – size J (6 mm)
  • Notions – yarn/tapestry needle, stitch markers

Gauge:  First 7 Rnds in pattern = 4” diameter

Special Stitches/Abbreviations:

  • V-st (V stitch)– (dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated stitch or space.
  • PM – Place Stitch Marker

Pattern Notes:

Hat is worked Crown down and started with an adjustable slip knot. If you prefer to use a magic circle work only 1 chain at start of instructions and use your circle as the “2nd ch from hook”.

Each round is joined with a tight slip stitch to make the join as invisible as possible. At start of single crochet rounds make the chain stitch a little smaller than usual to keep joins less noticeable. PM in first stitch of single crochet rounds to make it easier to find at end of round.

Instructions

Crown

Rnd 1: Starting with Adjustable Slip Knot, ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st to first sc of Rnd. Gently tighten center of circle. [6 sc]

Rnd 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st around, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [12 sc]

Rnd 3: Ch 1, (sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) 6 times, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [18 sc]

Rnd 4: Ch 4, dc in same st as join {counts as first V-st of Rnd}, (skip 1 st, V-st in next st) 8 times, sl st to 3rd ch of beginning ch-4. [9 V-st]

Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, (2 sc in next ch-1 sp, sc next 2 sts) 8 times, 2 sc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [36 sc]

Rnd 6: Ch 1, (sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [42 sc]

Rnd 7: Ch 1, (sc in next 6 sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [48 sc]

Rnd 8: Ch 4, dc in same st as join {counts as first V-st} (sk 1 st, V-st next st) 23 times, sl st to 3rd ch of beginning ch-4. [24 V-sts]

Sides

Rnd 9: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, (sc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next 2 sts) 22 times, sc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [72 sc]

Rnd 10: Ch 4, dc in same st as join {counts as first V-st}, (sk 2 sts, V-st in next st) 22 times, sl st to 3rd ch of beginning ch-4. [24 V-sts]

Rnds 11 – 24: Alternate repeating Rnd 9 and Rnd 10, ending with a Rnd 10. {For a smaller beanie like my original Kureyon sample end at Round 20, then work Rnd 25 (Edging).}

Rnd 25 (Edging): Ch 1, turn, (2 sc, hdc, 2 sc) in each ch-1 sp around, sl st to first sc of Rnd. Fasten off [96 sc, 24 hdc]

Finishing – Weave in ends and block gently.