Posted by: mamas2hands | April 16, 2019

Springtime Bunny

Easter is next weekend and I’ve always loved it as a celebration of Spring. Even though up here on the mountain it is usually still cold and even snowy, down in town there are signs of springtime everywhere. Trees getting green buds or even leaves, tulips and daffodils popping up and showing off their colors.

We will be keeping our eyes and ears open for the arrival of the first hummingbirds as the Easter bunny comes for a visit. We have already seen a few wild bunnies in our yard as they venture out of their warm burrows on the milder days.

Meanwhile I have a new fun coloring page for my readers. This bunny is celebrating springtime with his coat of flowers and greenery. You can download the full page PDF of the coloring page using the link below.

As a special treat for those of you preparing for the upcoming holiday I also have a card version of the bunny.

This page will print out with the bunny on half of a 8.5″ x 11″ page. Color your image then fold the paper into a 5″ x 8.5″ card. You can download the card coloring page PDF using the link below.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter together.

I colored the images in this post using my Chameleon Color Tones pencils. They are a densely pigmented pencil so even a light touch to the paper can give you beautiful color. If you can’t find them locally they are available online at Amazon.com. Click on the photo above to go straight to them.

If you prefer to color with markers, some of my favorites are the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners. If you can’t find them locally they are available on Amazon.com. Just click on the image below to go straight to them.

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

Posted by: mamas2hands | April 9, 2019

Time for an Easter Basket

Easter is coming up in just a few weeks and I have a fun little pattern for you to crochet a basket for Easter goodies. This basket is small enough to be perfect for toddlers or as a special gift container.

The trickiest stitch in this project is the Back Post Single Crochet (BPsc). The single crochet isn’t a stitch you usually think of as having enough of a post to work this stitch. You are working it using the top loops of your stitch so that the newly made stitch is sitting on the back side of the stitch. Following is a photo tutorial to help you make this stitch.

Step 1 – BPsc
Step 2 – BPsc
Step 3 – BPsc
Step 4 – BPsc
  1. Insert the hook from back to front of stitch working into.
  2. Insert the hook from front to back of next stitch.
  3. Yarn over and pull up a loop thru both stitches (2 loops on hook).
  4. Yarn over and complete single crochet, Back Post single crochet made.

All rounds in this project are worked concentrically. Each round ends with a tight slip stitch to join. The next round will start with a chain stitch to get to stitch height. For best results you want to be sure that your slip stitch is very tight and that your beginning chain stitch is a little smaller than typical.

Tight Slip Stitch – Step 1
Tight Slip Stitch – Step 2

  1. Make slip stitch as usual.
  2. Without letting working yarn feed out, pull on hook to take out slack from slip stitch.

Happy Spring Basket

designed by Andee Graves / M2H Designs

Skill level:    Intermediate

Finished Size: 4.5” diameter at base, 3” tall in basket, and 6.25” with handle.

Materials:

Yarn 

Red Heart “With Love” (100% Acrylic), 7 oz/198 g; 370 yds/ 338 m, Color #1502 Iced Aqua

Red Heart “With Love – Stripes” (100% Acrylic), 5 oz/141 g; 223 yds/ 204 m, Color #1973 Candy Stripe

Hooks

I-9 / 5.5 mm

Notions

Yarn/tapestry needle

Stitch markers

Gauge:

Barely over 3″ at end of Rnd 4

Special Stitches or Abbreviations:

BPsc — Back Post Single Crochet

PM – Place stitch marker

Pattern Notes:

Basket is worked double-stranded with a smaller than usual hook to create a stiff fabric. It begins with a flat circle worked in joined rounds for the base, then the first round of side is worked as back post stitches to create a sharp edge to bottom of basket.

Handle is worked without cutting the yarn. A couple rows of single crochet are switched to working in joined rounds for length of handle, then a couple more rows of single crochet. Work is fastened off and then sewn to the opposite side on top edge of basket.

Instructions:

Base

Rnd 1: Working with 2 strands at same time, make an adjustable slip knot, ch 2, 7 sc in second ch from hook, slip st to first sc of round. [7 sc]

Rnd 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st around, slip st to first sc of round. [14 sc]

Rnd 3: Ch 1, (sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) 7 times, slip st to first sc of round. [21 sc]

Rnd 4: Ch 1, (sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st) 7 times, slip st to first sc of round.  [28 sc]

Rnd 5: Ch 1, (sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st) 7 times, slip st to first sc of round. [35 sc]

Rnd 6: Ch 1, (sc in next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st) 7 times, slip st to first sc of round. [42 sc]

Side

Rnd 1: Ch 1, BPsc in each st around, slip st to first st of round. [42 BPsc]

Rnd 2 – 8: Ch 1, sc in each st around, slip st to first st of round. [42 sc]

Handle

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in next 5 sts.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in next 5 sts.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn sc in next 5 sts, slip st to first st of row.

Rnd 4 – 25: Ch 1, sc in each st around, slip st to first sc of round.

Row 26: Ch 1, sc in each st.

Row 27: Ch 1, turn, sc in next 5 sts.

Row 28: Repeat Row 27. Fasten off with 10 inch tail

Finishing

Count over 19 sts from both sides of the start of handle along top edge of basket. Sew loose end of handle to top edge of basket with a whip stitch to the remaining stitches opposite the handle start. Weave in all loose tails.

I hope you have a wonderful time making some baskets. Pop on over to my guest post at Mooglyblog.com for the pattern for crocheting the grass shown in the basket.

If you were wondering about the stitch marker I was using in the post for the grass pattern it was from this set of Clover stitch markers. I really like these markers because they are light weight, come in a variety of sizes and best of all…they are shaped to look like little sheep. The image above is a link to where you can see 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.

Posted by: mamas2hands | April 2, 2019

Crochet Inspired Coloring

I’m so excited to share with my readers my latest project.

My Crochet themed E-Coloring Book with FaveCrafts.com. Today is the first day it is available on the FaveCrafts website. It is a free downloadable PDF. Click here to get your copy.

The book contains 4 coloring pages for you to print out and color. The front and back covers are some examples of how I colored 2 of the pages using color pencils and fine line markers.

On 2 of the pages I included a stitch chart pattern for making motifs. One is the flower from the “Flowers & Vines” page. The other is a Round-to-Square blanket square from the “Gorgeous Granny Square” page. Both pattern pages also have a drawing of a crocheted motif (the square has 3) so you can play with color on the page to see what colors of yarn you might want to use.

I worked the motifs above with Red Heart’s “With Love” worsted weight yarn and a size I (5.5mm) hook. You can see on the squares that switching colors at the ends of round 1 and 2 creates a floral look. Especially when the last rounds are worked in green.

I hope you enjoy this collection of coloring pages. Please share your colored pages and crocheted projects with me on Instagram (andee.graves) or my Facebook business page (Andee Graves / M2H Designs).

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

Posted by: mamas2hands | March 29, 2019

Spring Break Rocks

I’m a little behind this week with posting. My family and I were traveling for a few days since this week is my kiddos’ Spring Break from school. We drove across Colorado and spent 2 full days exploring Arches National Park. Wow! It was amazing.

I only had a little crochet time during the road trip part of this trip. It was just a 4.5 hour drive for us from home. We stayed in Grand Junction, Colorado and then drove to the park each day since we brought our dog with us. The photo above was one of our first adventures at the park. This is at the trailhead for the Park Avenue Trail.

We had a great time hiking this mile long down hill trail. My husband hiked half way with us, then went back to the car to meet us at the end of the trail. He hiked in from the end when we were about a quarter mile from the end. The rock formations to either side of the trail were amazing and we were surprised by the amount of greenery in this arid landscape.

We next headed to the North and South Window formation. Seems like everyone was there and it took a little time to find parking. We hiked up to the North Window first. A couple years ago my family went to Arches without me and they were really looking forward to showing me this formation.

They loved climbing all over the rocks thru the arch. That is them inside the pink circle. The photo below is a close up of them, though a little grainy.

My favorite arch was on the 2nd day of our trip. Sand Dune Arch. It was really a surprise.

The path to get to this arch is relatively flat. You approach a massive formation of “fins” and walk thru a sandy pathway between them.

There are boulders and smaller formations all around and it was nice and cool at 3 in the afternoon.

Finally you reach the arch. It is a small and beautiful sculptural looking arch. There are nooks and crannies all around it that my family had fun exploring. We explored a few more arches before the sun was setting, but decided we would have to make more trips to this park.

I hope you are all having a great start to your spring. I’ve got Easter on my brain right now and hope to have some fun things to share with you soon.

Posted by: mamas2hands | March 19, 2019

Half Shell Summer Cowl

This is my newest pattern release from M2H Designs: Half Shell Summer Cowl. I wanted to create a cowl with beautiful drape that could be a fun summer layer. Summers up on my mountain are a bit cooler than in some parts, but even when I travel to warmer climes I like having a layer to wear in hotels and other air-conditioned venues. The cool and colorful “Vogue” cotton yarn from King Cole was the perfect match for this design.

This design takes advantage of the natural tendency of crochet fabric to bias to the right (for right-handed crocheters). It is worked in the round off of my favorite foundation: stacked rows. If you get confused by this foundation I have a video tutorial on my YouTube channel.

I’m participating in the International Crochet Month Designer Showcase with Underground Crafter. Come join the fun! Every day in March, 2019, we’ll highlight a different crochet designer who is also a member of the Crochet Guild of America. Each designer will share a free crochet pattern or a 25% discount on a premium pattern.

I’m sharing a coupon to get the “Half Shell Summer Cowl” for free in my Ravelry Shop. The coupon is only good until 11:59 p.m. (Mountain Time) April 11, 2019. Enter ICMDS2019 in the shopping cart to get your free copy before April 11, 2019. Please don’t post this coupon anywhere else, instead encourage others to come visit my blog.

We’ve also partnered with some of our favorite companies to get some great prizes for you — including yarn, crochet hooks, notions, pattern books, and more! Find out more information about other participating designers, the schedule, and how to enter to win the prizes on Underground Crafter.

Posted by: mamas2hands | March 12, 2019

Going Round and Round

This Thursday, 3/14, is one of my favorite days of the year: Pi Day! I love geometry and Pi is an important number to many of the calculations I use as a designer. Most of the time it is all about the circles.

For those of you that love to do some coloring, I have a new coloring page for you. You can download the page right here.

Since March is Crochet Month I thought we could revisit my blog post on crocheting circles from Pi Day 2017. In that post I gave you the basic formula for crocheting flat circles in single, half-double, double and treble crochet stitches.

Let’s talk today about some other helpful tips when crocheting circles. First off: crocheting continuous rounds. For me these are all about the stitch markers. I use stitch markers in each increase stitch, with a different color stitch marker for my final increase stitch (it also marks the last stitch of the round). After I make 2 stitches in the marked stitch I move the stitch marker up to the 2nd stitch made.

I think the trick that I geeked out about the most was how to keep track of which round I am in when crocheting continuous rounds. The number of stitches worked in each increase section will be the same as the number of Round. For example: in Round 5 I would work 3 plain stitches, then 2 stitches in the next (marked) stitch, 5 stitches total.

You can experiment with both of these techniques in my “Simple Double Crochet Hat” pattern here on the blog. Work it in a worsted weight yarn for a fun quick basic hat to chase away Springtime chills. Worked in a plain solid color this hat makes a great base to add decorative crocheted embellishments to.

If you want to experiment with making sure your hat fits who it is intended for, you can use Pi to help you. I have a detailed tutorial from 2011 here on the blog on making a hat fit using my “Pi Recipe”.

Have a wonderful Pi Day and celebrate all things Round this Thursday. I’m hoping to have some actual pie as part of my celebration.

Posted by: mamas2hands | March 5, 2019

Springtime is almost Here!

It’s the first week of March and it is time to celebrate NatCroMo again. All over the internet you can find folks holding their hooks high and talking about all the ways they enjoy crochet.

On the CGOA website members can sign up to join in our First CAL of 2019. This time the pattern is my “All Buttoned Up Neck Cozy”. There will be yarn giveaways and lots of fun as everyone shares the journey as they crochet up their neck cozies.

This is my original cozy, but unfortunately the yarn I used was discontinued. I designed it to be an easy project for beginning crocheters. The cozy is crocheted using only single crochet and chain stitches. But it is also a great project for more experienced crocheters for some relaxing crochet time.

As you can see, changing the yarn you use can also keep it entertaining. Hop on over to Crochet.org to join in the fun and see all the variations everyone is coming up with.

I also have a new design out in the April Issue of “I Like Crochet” that is available online. This sweet little dress for baby is called “Spring Playdate Dress” and you can see the pattern now online. The pattern is written in 3 sizes: Small (3-6 months), Medium (6-12 months) and Large (12-18 months).

The dress is worked top down in a combination of open lace and solid shell stitches. The back opening is secured with a button at the back of the neck to make it easy to dress a little one in it. Worked in Lion Brand’s Coboo yarn it is a perfect layering piece that can be worn on it’s own as the weather warms up.

How are you celebrating International Crochet Month?

Posted by: mamas2hands | February 26, 2019

Reading the Pattern

Sierra Swoncho – I Like Crochet – February 2019

This past week I seem to be getting a few messages about my “Sierra Swoncho” pattern that was published in the February 2019 issue of “I Like Crochet”. It is marked as an intermediate skill level pattern, and uses a simple stitch pattern and increases for the majority of the garment.

One thing that is really key in working this pattern (and any pattern for that matter) is reading carefully thru the information at the beginning of the pattern like abbreviations, special stitches, and pattern notes before jumping into the pattern instructions.

For this design in particular, I used stitch marker placement to simplify the pattern instructions. So reading carefully for where you place the stitch markers is very important.

I also designed it with the option of changing the bust sizing. Often in garment patterns it is assumed that a small sized garment is for a small bust, and that a large size garment is for the largest size bust. As my readers know women’s bodies come in an endless variety of sizes, including large busted small women and small busted large women. I wanted this design to reflect that variety.

The other thing that seems to be confusing some folks is my stacked rows foundation that creates the neckline. For those of you that are struggling with that my blog post: “2 by 2 Cowl pattern” may be of some help. I also have a video on my YouTube Channel that demonstrates working a stacked rows foundation.

I hope these tips will help those of you that may be struggling with this pattern.

Posted by: mamas2hands | February 19, 2019

The Joy of Stitch Charts

Many of us that love to crochet are very visual people. It’s the reason I love stitch diagrams also know as stitch charts. I find them easy to understand and I can get a feel for what a stitch pattern will look like just from looking at the stitch diagram.

When I design I often draw rough stitch charts for my notes. I find it easier to make changes as needed without having to worry that I missed changing something in the text directions. Once I have it all figured out between swatching and stitch charts I am ready to write the text directions for the pattern.

Even before I knew about stitch charts I drew my design notes, using images and brief notes about the stitch order. So the first time I saw a stitch chart I was enthralled. They were exactly what I had been looking for all along.

Before I started designing professionally I was always on the hunt for patterns that included stitch charts. My favorite patterns use both text and charts for the instructions. Now that I am designing, most of the crochet books I purchase are stitch dictionaries, and my favorites are the Japanese published books.

Some Japanese Pattern books I bought in 2014.

Another reason I love stitch charts, they can be understood by everyone, no matter what languages you speak or read. I can’t read the Japanese writing, but the stitch charts and swatch photos overcome the language barrier. There is an element of educated guessing when working this way.

This coming Saturday I will be teaching a class at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe called “Stitch Chart Boot Camp”. In the class students will be working from stitch charts only, learning tips and tricks in how to make decisions about the final project. In this class students will work from a stitch chart to create a lovely motif. You’ll learn what the all the symbols in the chart mean and how they can vary depending on the country of origin.

If you are in the greater Denver area, please come join me for this class. You can enroll online at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website.

Posted by: mamas2hands | February 13, 2019

Did You Miss These?

Wow! 2019 is already zipping along with February nearly half over. I hope all my readers are prepared for Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

I have been so busy the past year that I realized I may have not shared all the new crochet designs I have out there. Seems like today is a good day to catch up with that.

Ring Around the Posies Skirt – “I Like Crochet” April 2018 issue

This is a fitted zippered pencil skirt with an intricate flower motif hemline. This is for the more advanced or the intrepid crocheters out there. A true skill builder project that is worked in Designing Vashti’s “Lotus” bamboo/cotton yarn.

Pronto Poncho – “I Like Crochet” August 2018 issue

This lovely poncho was on the front cover of the August 2018 issue. I designed it in a Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic and mesh stitch for a perfect summer layer. Throw it on over your favorite tank top when the evening cools down, or you are headed into air-conditioning.

Barb’s Shawl – M2H Designs (available in my Ravelry Shop)

This design was the testing pool shawl with the Longmont Yarn Shoppe Casual Crochet group last summer. Some folks worked the shawl in a multiple color yarn like my sample and a few worked it in a solid color. Anne K. worked her shawl in a beautiful aqua color and added beads in the final 3 rows.

Tied & True Cardigan – “I Like Crochet” October 2018 issue. This design you may have remembered seeing here on the blog in October.

One Skein Joy Slippers – “I Like Crochet” December 2018 issue.

Slippers are a great quick gift project and these slippers were not only in the December 2018 issue of “I Like Crochet”, but they were picked for the Best Crochet Patterns of 2018. Worked without cutting your yarn, you start at the toe in the round, switching to working in rows for the foot opening and heel shaping, then working in rounds for the ribbed cuff. One little seam to close up the back of the heel and you are finished.

Sierra Swoncho – “I Like Crochet” February 2019 issue

This is my most recent design and currently one of my favorites. A relaxed fit makes this an easy layering piece. I designed it so that it is easy to get the bust size that is best for your body. I’ve always disliked when ponchos and sweaters hike up in the front because there isn’t enough room for the wearer’s bust, or the front hem droops because the wearer has a small bust, with this pattern you can the perfect fit.

Want to get access to all the wonderful crochet patterns at “I Like Crochet”, click here to subscribe.

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