Happy Halloween!

It’s looking to be another cold Halloween up here on the mountain. We’ve had frost and snow the last couple of mornings, but nothing too dreadful yet.


I didn’t bother with purchasing a pumpkin to carve this year as they always freeze and become a gross soggy mess on our front deck before we really get to enjoy them. I did get a photo of the big pile of pumpkins in front of our favorite grocery store though.

Supplies for Crafting

Thursday evening was my exciting Halloween Costume crafting evening. Seems we do this every year. There is always a last minute item needed for a costume and it’s the evening before the Halloween celebration at school.

Beginning Goggle Project

My oldest is planning on being a Steam-Punk Tech Pirate. Fairly simple costume involving Goggles and fingerless gloves with black and white theme in the rest of his attire. The goggles we had ordered off Amazon for him, but they were a bit un-comfortable and he wanted me to add some padding to the edges.

Goggles re-assembled

Goggles ready to wear

I found myself very grateful for adhesive backed crafting foam. After a bit of experimenting I had cobbled together a pretty decent solution. He picked the white color to go along with his black and white theme in the rest of the costume.

The next project was a bit more challenging, mainly because it was time consuming. My youngest had decided to be Ironman from the Marvel comics. We had found a pretty awesome costume at Costco earlier this Fall, but it was only a bodysuit with the armor created with padding and printing on the fabric and a plastic mask.

Apparently you need “repulsor gauntlets” to be Ironman. So it was up to me to create some. I thought this was going to be an easy project to tackle. Get red stretchy gloves, create a white circle on the palm all good.

Except, I couldn’t find red stretchy gloves that fit my little guy. There were stretchy gloves in Black, Grey and Navy…but no red. I found red stretchy gloves but they were too long in the fingers and pretty baggy in the palm. They were not going to meet the requirements.

Next I tried ordering some online, they were only available as a package of 12. Feeling a bit desperate I decided to order them knowing that in my family we could put 12 pairs of gloves to good use. Unfortunately when the gloves arrived on this past Wednesday there were not any red ones in the package. Pretty much every other color, but not red. To further discourage us, the gloves were all too big.

Pair of Grey Gloves

Now we were starting to get a little worried. Fortunately being a crafty mom I knew this could be fixed. I asked my son how he would feel about me painting the gray gloves with red paint to make them look like Ironman’s gauntlets. After looking at the costume for a little while he agreed to that plan.

Beginning to Paint Gloves

Which brings us to Thursday night, a handful of fabric paints and a pair of grey stretchy gloves. At about 7:15 p.m. I began painting the gloves. While I had been working on the goggles for my other son, the youngest had traced the gloves onto some light cardstock. I cut out the hand shapes and inserted them into the gloves.

Back of gloves red progressing

The black marks you see on the gloves were to help me know where my son’s knuckles were so that I could leave some blank fabric for ease of movement. The fabric paint tends to stiffen the fabric, which would be a bit of a problem for wearing.

Finished Gauntlets

I was getting pretty tired, but I finally finished painting at 11 p.m. The gauntlets came out pretty good, best of all my son was very happy with them. Which made the short night’s sleep worth it.

Halloween Boys

I’ll add Here’s a picture of the boys once they are all costumed up in preparation for Trick or Treating.

I hope you and your family have a fun and safe Halloween.


Playing with Corner to Corner

Last Wednesday was the “Causal Crochet” meet-up at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. The 3rd Wednesday of every month crocheters can get together from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to crochet and learn new crochet tips and tricks.

C2C projects M2H Designs

At last week’s meeting we started our CAL. We are making a corner to corner scarf to practice the corner-to-corner (C2C) technique.  If you have never tried making corner-to-corner project this is a good starting project that works up fairly quickly. All the crochet skills you need are Chain, Slip Stitch, and Double Crochet.

Corner to corner projects are about the direction the stitches are worked. Projects begin with a single square, following rows of squares are worked on the diagonal with increases until the desired width is reached. Then rows of squares are worked along the diagonal with an increase at one end and decrease at the opposite end until the desired length is reached. Once the desired length is obtained, decreases are worked to square off the final corner.

The C2C Basics Scarf uses 3 different squares made with a ch-3 and 3 dc. Increase, Regular and Decrease Squares.

The first square of the C2C project is basically an Increase square.

Beginning Chain 6
Beginning Chain 6

You start by chaining 6, you will want to keep all your chain stitches relaxed as you will be working back into the actual chains.

First Square completed
First Square completed

The first square is counted as your Row 1 for this pattern.

Beginning Row 2
Beginning Row 2, Ch 6 work in 4th, 5th, & 6th chain stitches from hook.

To begin Row 2 you start with an Increase Square again.

Finished 1st block of Row 2, flip up Row 1 block
Finished 1st square of Row 2, flip up Row 1 square

Once you have made that square, you flip up the first square to work in it’s begining chain 3. Marked in the photo above with yellow dots.

Row 2, Regular Square completed.
Row 2, Regular Square completed.

The second square for Row 2 is a Regular Square. This involves working a slip stitch, ch 3, dc all in the first chain stitch (first yellow dot on the right), then working a dc in each of the next 2 chains of that same square.

I prefer to crochet all my C2C squares by working into the chains. You can also work the Regular and Decrease squares by working into the space below the Ch-3, but this does give you a very different look to the overall fabric and the edges.

Once you have worked the number of increase rows you want for the size of your project, you will need to start decreasing along one side to keep your rows the same length (working “even”). Sometimes you will create your increase by working on top of the last square in the row and your decrease by not working on top of the last square in the row.

10 - Dec Sq part 1

When you need an actual Decrease square will be when your last square in the previous row ends next to the completed fabric. You will use a ch-3 to get your hook back to the right spot. The solitary yellow dot in the photo above is where you work the connecting slip stitch at the end of the previous row.

Sl st & Ch 3 in first ch of next ch-3.
Sl st & Ch 3 in first ch of next ch-3.

Your ch-3 will be connected to the first chain of the next ch-3 (marked with 3 yellow dots) with a slip stitch followed by a chain 3.

12 - Dec Sq part 3

You then work the same as you would for a Regular Square. Continue working regular squares in the chain-3s marked with yellow dots.

Your next “even” row will begin like Row 2, with an Increase square, but will end with a square worked into the ch-3 of the next to last square of the previous row.

Beginning Decreases for 2nd Corner
Beginning Decreases for 2nd Corner

Once you’ve crocheted the “even” rows to the length you want your project you need to make your second corner by decreasing at both ends of  each row. The red square in the above photo is where the last square is worked for that row.

14- Corner Dec R2

Next to last row of corner decrease.

15 - Corner Dec Final Sq

Final square for corner decrease, the last sl st is worked into the chain indicated with a blue dot in the above photo.

Now you are ready to make your own C2C project. Be sure to read thru the pattern thoroughly before starting, and refer to the tutorial above if you get stuck.

C2C Basics Scarf

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill level:       Easy

Finished Size:

Approximately 6”wide x 48” long



Ella Rae Seasons (76% Acrylic, 14% Wool, 10% Polymide; 3.52 oz/100g, 219 yds/200m) 1 ball


J-10 / 6mm


Yarn/tapestry needle

Stitch markers


5 squares = 4 inches

Abbreviations/Special Stitches

Increase Square: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs

Decrease Square: Ch 3, (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3.

Regular Square: (Sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3.

Pattern Notes:

When working into chain stitches go under 2 strands of yarn.

Your beginning tail will help you identify the bottom right hand (or left hand) corner of your scarf when you begin working even rows. It is also helpful to mark the bottom (first) end of your scarf with a stitch marker.



Row 1/First Square: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs. [1 ch-3, 3 dc]

Row 2: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, flip work up to (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of 1st square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3. [2 ch-3, 6 dc {2 squares}]

Row 3: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, flip work up to* (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * once. [3 ch-3, 9 dc {3 squares}]

Row 4: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, flip work up to* (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * until work in ch-3 sp of last square in previous row. [4 ch-3, 12 dc {4 squares}]

Rows 5-7: Repeat Row 4. Count at end of Row 7  [7 ch-3 sp, 21 dc {7 squares}]


Row 8: Ch 3, flip work up, *(sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of first square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * until work in ch-3 of last square in previous row.

Row 9: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, turn work to* (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * until work in ch-3 of next to last square in previous row, sl st in top of ch-3 of last square in previous row. [7 ch-3 sp, 21 dc {7 squares}]

Rows 10 – 60: Alternate repeating Row 8 and Row 9.


Row 61: Ch 3, turn, (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of first square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * until work in ch-3 of next to last square in previous row, sl st in top of ch-3 of last square in previous row. [7 ch-3 sp, 18 dc {6 squares}]

Rows 62 – 66: Repeat Row 61.


Fasten off, Weave in tails and block if desired.

A new look and more

I had a birthday last week, it wasn’t a surprise since it shows up like clock-work on the same day every year. Though I am of the opinion that the years have gotten significantly shorter between birthdays lately.

This past year has been marked with events that have really woken me up and made me very aware that it’s time to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. On that note I decided to do something that I have thought about for over 2 years.

Andee 102015 web

The Friday before my birthday I had my hair stylist put big chunks of bright pink and purple all over the top of my head. I really love it. It’s a freedom I thought I would never allow myself. I’ve spent so much of my adult life pretending to be well-behaved and really somewhat boring. I have been chipping away at that image for the past 5 years, and those of you that are close friends know my true outrageous nature.

C2C projects M2H Designs

I am also challenging myself with learning new things in crochet.  Amazingly enough in all my years crocheting I had never crocheted a corner-to-corner project, though I had seen lots of them. This past July I decided it was time to learn this technique and now I’m sharing that excitement with fellow crocheters. Tomorrow (October 21st) during the “Causal Crochet” get together at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe we are going to be starting a Crochet-Along (CAL). I’m going to be demonstrating working a Corner-To-Corner scarf.

There are lots of other big things that I am working away on the next couple of months, so keep dropping by here at the blog to learn what I’m up to.





I Love Yarn Day

Head and Heart full of Yarn
Head and Heart full of Yarn

Saturday October 17th is “I Love Yarn Day”. This is a day that is very aptly named for the life I lead. Of course, that is sort of my day everyday, since a love of all things yarn is what put my feet on this journey as a designer and teacher.


I was thrilled that the theme this year is “Stitch it Forward”, which is all about teaching others how to craft with yarn.

Playing and Crocheting w Andee

Very appropriate as I want to introduce you to my latest teaching tool. My YouTube Channel. I’ll be doing a series of videos titled “Playing and Crocheting with Andee”. The first 2 videos are now available and I plan to be adding to them frequently. I’ll be announcing here on the blog (and on my Facebook page and Twitter feed) whenever I have a new video up. Next month you will also be able to find a directory of my videos and the links to them on my “YouTube Channel” page here on the blog.

The first video is a tutorial on working the Adjustable Slip Knot.

The second video is a tutorial on making the Foundation Single Crochet.

I hope you have a wonderful “I Love Yarn Day” and hopefully an opportunity to teach someone else the love of yarn.

Spirals and Squares

Fire Pit


October 29, 2015: Hello dear readers and new visitors just a little update to this post.

My Whirlwind Afghan Square is block #22 in the 2015 Moogly Afghan CAL.

If you hadn’t heard about the Moogly Afghan CAL it’s not too late to join the fun. You can hop on over to Mooglyblog.com to get all the details and see Tamara’s interpretation of my Whirlwind.

Thank you so much to Elke Wellens for providing a Dutch Translation of this pattern on her blog you can find her blog here.

Het Nederlandse patroon, vertaald door HET HAAKBEEST, kun je hier vinden. 

Check back on the blog next Tuesday, November 3, 2015. I’ll have the link to my YouTube video that will demonstrate how to crochet the first 12 rounds of this square.


Yesterday was my 52nd birthday and I celebrated by spending most of my day goofing off, especially in the evening with my boys.  We built a fire in our outdoor fire pit and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows like we were camping out. Then I opened my cards and presents by firelight.

Today I’m continuing the celebration by sharing a new design here on the blog for all my lovely readers. This one is a little more complex than I usually share. In fact, one might call it a skill building pattern.

After all, we are celebrating my birthday so this pattern is going to be about many of the things I love in crochet. It uses a center-out construction, one of my favorite styles of design as the outside edges are all the tops of your stitches. It is also constructed round-to-square, which I find visually interesting. And of course, Spirals.

2 hands logo small

I love Spirals. You might be able to tell that just looking at my logo. I find them fun and intriguing. When I was in massage school I was very happy when I learnt that spirals are an common symbol for healing. Which is why I choose to use them in my logo.

Back in 2008, when I first became interested in free form crochet, I started exploring creating spirals in my crochet. Suddenly I was seeing spirals in so many of the crochet designs being published at that time.

Some of the instructions I found for working spirals were a bit wishy washy, which is more than fine for freeform work, but not so great for writing a pattern that others would want to replicate and get the same result. Thus my mathematical brain decided to enter the party.

Spirals are related to circles and circular geometries are always fun for me. Fortunately for those of you that might be a little math-adverse, you don’t have to understand all the numbers behind this design in order to crochet it.

One of the things I wanted to do was come up with a way to make working spirals easy for anyone to do. Especially when you are working with multi-arm spirals. For this pattern I started with a 4 armed spiral in the center this creates that round-to-square progression that I also like. I used the half-double crochet (hdc) stitch for my spirals because it takes 8 hdc to create a flat full circle which helps me take the circular spiral to a 4 cornered square.

When working spirals you need to work in continuous rounds.  This is generally the method of construction used for amigurumi and hats because it allows for a seamless appearance. That does mean that it can be easy to lose track of which round you are working on and if you have reached the end of your round. The solution for this is to use stitch markers.

8 Stitch markers

For the construction of the first 8 rounds of this design I used 8 stitch markers. Having the 3 colors is really helpful. I love my Clover Locking Stitch Markers, but if you don’t happen to have any like that on hand you can use paper clips or coil less safety pins. Some folks like to use a spare bit of yarn for a stitch marker, but I find those tend to get pulled out of my work too easily.

First 5 rounds w Markers

This photo shows the first 5 rounds of my square completed and the placement of the stitch markers. The large yellow marker is marking the last stitch of the full round, as well as the last stitch of that section of color and the increase point. The other orange markers are marking the last stitch of that section of color and the increase point. The green markers are marking the first increase point in the various color sections. Whatever type of stitch markers you use you need ones that allow you to distinguish between the end of round/increase (1), end of color section/increase (3) and the first increase in each color section(4).

Whirlwind Square - M2H Designs

Whirlwind Afghan Square

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill level:     Intermediate

Finished Size:

12” square



Worsted wt (Sample uses Lion Brand Yarns “Heartland” 100% Acrylic (5 oz/142g, 251 yd/230 m)

I picked the colors of October up here on my mountain, but you can choose any 5 colors that you like together. Alternating light and dark will make the spiral in the center stand out more.

Color A: #169 Shenandoah (sample used approximately 8 yards)

Color B: #180 Kings Canyon (sample used approximately 12 yards)

Color C: #158 Yellowstone (sample used approximately 10 yards)

Color D: #173 Everglades (sample used approximately 10 yards)

Color E: #124 Big Bend (sample used approximately 9 yards)


I / 5.5mm


Yarn/tapestry needle

8 Stitch markers in 3 colors (1 in first color, 3 in next color, 4 in last color)


First 5 rounds of pattern = 4” in diameter

Abbreviations/Special Stitches

PM – Place stitch marker

Standing Single Crochet – make slip knot in yarn and place loop snugly on shaft of hook, insert hook into indicated st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull thru both loops on hook.

Standing Double Crochet – 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.

Pattern Notes:

Start square with an adjustable slip knot. Beginning tail tightens the loop on the hook. If you don’t know how to do an adjustable slip knot you can see a tutorial on my blog here, or watch this video on my YouTube channel.

First 9 rounds use 4 colors. Each color is 1/4 of the total stitches in the round, you will need to insert your hook back into the dropped loop as you come to the new color, snug that loop up to the shaft of your hook and begin working the stitches as instructed in the new color. Follow instructions for using stitch markers so you don’t lose your place.

Color 1 of stitch markers is used to mark last stitch of entire round as well as last stitch/increase point of that color section.

Color 2 of stitch markers is used to mark the other 3 last stitch/increase point of color sections.

Color 3 of stitch markers is used to mark the first increase point in each color section.

When working the first 9 rounds move stitch markers up to 2nd stitch worked in each increase point.

When ending Round 9, the 2nd sl st is a tight one for final “step-down” of spirals, you will not be working into this stitch in Round 10.

For concentric rounds where changing colors attach yarn with a standing stitch.

If you have an easier time understanding a video then reading a pattern, visit my YouTube Channel to watch:

Whirlwind How-to Part 1 and Whirlwind How-to Part 2


Rnd 1: Starting with color A make an adjustable slip knot, ch 2, (sc, hdc) in 2nd ch from hook, pull up a long loop and remove hook, with color B *insert hook in center/first ch of round, pull up a loop on hook, ch 1, (sc, hdc) in same center/ch, pull up a long loop and remove hook,* ; Repeat from * to * with Color C and D. PM in each hdc w/end of color/round markers (placing single color marker in hdc of Color D), PM in each sc with first increase markers. [4 sc, 4 hdc]

Rnd 2: *2 hdc in next 2 sts, move st marker to 2nd st worked in each st, pull up long loop and remove hook**, insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. [16 hdc]

Rnd 3: *(Hdc in next st, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to 2nd st worked) 2 times, pull up long loop and remove hook, insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. [24 hdc]

Rnds 4 – 8: *(1 hdc in each unmarked st, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to 2nd st worked in marked st) 2 times, pull up long loop and remove hook,** insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. Stitch count for end of Rnd 8 [64 hdc]

Rnd 9: *hdc in next 7 sts, 2 hdc in next marked st, move st marker to 2nd st worked in marked st, hdc next 6 sts, sc next st, sl st next st, ** insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. Make 1 additional sl st in next st for each color, fasten off yarn, remove end of round markers. [8 sl st, 4 sc, 60 hdc]

End of Rnd 9

Rnd 10: Attach color E with a standing sc along any side in same st as the second slip st of any color section from Rnd 9, sc next st, *Hdc next 3 sts, dc next 2 sts, 2 dc next st, (Tr, ch 1, Tr) in marked st, 2 dc next st, dc next 2 sts, hdc next 3 sts**, sc next 4 sts*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once, sc next 2 sts, sl st to first sc of round. Fasten off current color. Move increase st markers to ch-1 sp. [16 sc, 24 hdc, 32 dc, 8 tr, 4 ch-1 sps]

Rnd 11: Attach new color along any side in 11th st from marked ch-1 sp in direction of work, with a standing sc, sc next 2 sts,*hdc next 3 sts, dc next 3 sts, 2 dc next st, (Tr, ch 2, Tr) in marked ch-1 sp, 2 dc next st, dc next 3 sts, hdc next 3 sts**, sc next 6 sts*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once, sc next 3 sts, sl st to first sc of round. Fasten off current color. Move up increase st markers to ch-2 sps at corners. [24 sc, 24 hdc, 40 dc, 8 tr, 4 ch-2 sps]

Rnd 12: Attach new color along any side in 11th st from marked ch-2 sp in direction of work, with a standing dc, *dc in each st until reach next marked ch-2 sp, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in marked ch-2 sp*; Repeat from * to * 3 times, dc in each st until reach beginning of Round, sl st to first dc. Fasten off current color. Move increase st markers to ch-2 sps at corners. [112 dc, 4 ch-2 sps]

Rnds 13 – 16: Repeat instructions from Rnd 12. Fasten off. Stitch count at end of Rnd 16 [176 dc, 4 ch-2 sps]


Weave in tails and block.

A big Thank You to the folks at Lion Brand Yarn for supplying the yarn for this design. I really love the colors that their Heartland yarn comes in. Hop on over to their website to check it our for yourself.

Something Simple yet Beautiful

I’ve blogged before about using pretty beads and yarns to create simple beaded chains for necklaces and bracelets.

Recently I realized that my favorite beaded necklace had taken quite a beating and it was time to recycle those beads into a new necklace.

First I removed the beads from the old necklace. This wasn’t as simple as unraveling the old chain because the yarn had slightly felted to itself. I spent an evening gently pulling it apart and sometimes resorting to scissors. I should have taken a photo of the little pile of beads I ended up with. I was startled that there were so few in what had seemed like a fairly long necklace.

Supplies for beaded chain.

Being that I do not belong to the “less is more” school of thought when it comes to beads, I felt I should add more beads to those that I had used in the old necklace. I took out my bead box and looking at the colors in the yarn picked out additional beads for this project.

Then I needed to string the beads on the yarn in preparation for creating my beaded chain. This is really the longest part of this project. I used my handy-dandy dental floss threader to place the beads on the yarn. The nice big “eye” of the threader makes it super easy to thread the yarn onto this “needle”. And the flexibility of the nylon material helps it contract for getting thru the holes of the beads with the yarn.

20 inches beads strung

I wanted a rather random appearance to the order the beads were strung. Mixing up large and small beads as well as the different colors. I ended up separating out all the beads into 4 different groups to create a sort of patternless pattern while stringing them.

I strung the beads until I had approximately 20 inches of beads on the yarn. I knew I was going to work a beaded chain separated by 2 plain chain stitches. That lead me to calculate that 20 inches of beads would get me to the 60 inch length I wanted. My finished necklace actually came out to nearly 80 inches around.

Now things proceeded much more easily. I moved the beads down the yarn to create a stretch of empty yarn to work with. Then I crocheted 2 chain stitches, pulled up the first bead and made a beaded chain stitch.

Slide bead up close to hook.
Slide bead up close to hook.
Chain 1 and capture bead.
Chain 1 and capture bead.

The above images show you the basics of making a beaded chain stitch. These are from another beaded project I taught at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe for our National Crochet Month celebration. You can find the blog post about it here.

3 loops on rock

And this is my simple and beautiful beaded necklace. This is one long loop that I can wrap and wear in a variety of ways.

lariat style on rock

As a Lariat.

Spiral pendant on rock

Using a fastener as a decorative pendant.

Twisted strands w Spiral fastener on rock

Or Twisted with the fastener connecting it. Below is a quick little how-to on creating the above look.

Twisted strands w Spiral fastener how to 1

Fold beaded chain loop in half and insert fastener thru fold.

Twisted strands w Spiral fastener how to 2

Gently twist the strands to create a “rope” look. Place rope around neck and insert fastener to close.

Now it is your turn my dear readers. It only takes about 5 yards (if that) of fingering weight yarn to create a nice long beaded chain. So it’s a great project to use up those bits of yarn we all have accumulated from other projects. Especially nice for those expensive yarns that you don’t what to toss the 10 yards left over.

Gather a variety of quality glass beads in different sizes and colors, just stick to ones that have a decent sized hole and no sharp edges on the hole (cause they will cut thru your yarn). String the beads on your yarn and you are ready to make your own necklace loop.

2 Heads are Better

Just giving you a little peek behind the scenes of a crochet designer’s life.

Today I received some new props for the photography of my designs. Now that I am doing more indie-publishing of crochet designs I want to be able to take interesting photographs. And that means having the backgrounds and props to display the items without distracting from them.

It’s great when I can manage to get a neighbor or friend to be my model, but with my crazy schedule running my boys about and everyone else’s commitments, it is often very challenging to arrange a few hours for photography. It’s ideal to have mannequins that can be a good stand-in.

2 Glass Heads

Meet my new glass heads. I am really excited about using these for modeling hat designs. They will also very likely make appearances in other ways as props on my blog and in videos. Best thing about them is they are actual size. In the past I’ve purchased Styrofoam heads from craft stores, but they were all smaller than the average head size for an adult. They are fine for modeling children’s hats, but my adult size hats were way too large on them.

Update: For those of you that wanted to know how I found these heads, I followed a link from Crochet Envy. You can hop on over there and see if the offer is still available.

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks and I can hardly wait to show you the rest of what I’ve been up to. I spent the last weekend with my family driving across Colorado and Kansas to visit my Dad and brothers near Topeka. It was 2 days of driving (1 there and 1 back) and one day to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. Totally worth it, but definitely cut down on my work hours. So I am feverishly working on the finishing touches for some new projects to share with all of you.

I hope you’ll be back to visit soon as all will be revealed this month.


The lovely Adjustable Slip Knot

Hot Spot Square copyright 2015 M2HDesigns/Andee Graves
Hot Spot Square
copyright 2015 M2HDesigns/Andee Graves

If you have worked one of my hat or motif patterns you may have seen me reference the Adjustable Slip Knot at the beginning of my pattern instructions. I’ve blogged about it before, but I wanted to review it with you today.

I first encountered this technique in a class with Dee Stanziano, but it took me awhile to really understand how I was doing it. Most of my successes came around by happy accident.

The Adjustable slip knot method allows room to work the first round of stitches and yet end up with a snug center. The most important thing to remember: when you’ve made this slip knot correctly the beginning tail tightens the loop around your hook.

Typically when we make a slip knot to start a crochet project we create the working loop (the loop on our hook when we start) from the working yarn (the yarn coming from the ball of yarn). This creates a very stable first chain loop.

An adjustable slip knot creates the working loop from the beginning tail of your yarn. This allows the size of your first chain loop to be adjusted even after working into it with subsequent stitches.

Beg Tail over working yarn web

1. Hold the working yarn across your palm, wrap beginning tail around 2 fingers making an X over the top of the working yarn.

Insert hook under working yarn web

2. Insert hook under both strands of yarn and hook the beginning tail,

Pull up loop under wrkg yarn web

pull up a loop under the working yarn strand.

Sliding knot loop off fingers web

3. Holding the yarn strands, slide the loop off your fingers.

Loop on hook web

4. Holding the beginning tail end and working yarn continue to pull up a loop and gently snug the yarn to create the slip knot.

Round 1 expanded sl knot with labels

Begin working your first stitches according to the pattern. Tip: when working into the first chain loop, work under one of the “legs” of the V to get the best result.  Leave a long enough tail for your first round to expand the slip knot.


Once you’ve finished working into the first chain, gently pull on the beginning tail to tighten the center of your round.

I’ve used this start in a number of the patterns I have here on the blog.

Annetta Square

Hot Spot (Annetta Square #2)

Sparkly Jar Cover (doesn’t specify using the Adjustable Slip Knot, but it’s a lot easier with it)

The Humble Granny Square

Simple Sweetheart (again doesn’t specify it in the directions, but it is how I worked that first round)

Little Snowflake Ornament (this pattern is a stitch diagram only, but that big circle in the middle is your first chain, and it’s much easier to work into if it’s an Adjustable Slip Knot)

Summer Shower Scrubbie

Spiral in a Heart (doesn’t specify in the directions, but again it is how I worked that first round)

Little Bitty Noggin Cap (same as some of the others, the Adjustable Slip Knot isn’t specified, but it is how I worked it)

Pretty Petunia (as above, not specified, but much easier to work the first round using an Adjustable Slip Knot)

So try out the Adjustable Slip Knot for yourself and see how you like it. You may find it becomes your favorite start for a project.

Update: I now have a video on my YouTube channel that shows how to make this slip knot for those of you that find that an easier way to learn. Adjustable Slip Knot Video.