Coloring with Pencils, and with Yarn

I’ve made some progress on the page I was coloring in Franklin’s “I Dream of Yarn” book. For those of you that have asked, you can purchase this wonderful coloring book online or in some brick-n-mortar stores. When I Googled: “Franklin Habit, I Dream of Yarn” I found it available thru Target, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Knitpicks. You also might want to check your local yarn shop to see if they are carrying it.

I’ve also been doing a little coloring with yarn this week. I’ve been playing with some Free Form crochet.  Some of these are going to a new home with a yarnie friend, once I figure out which ones make the cut. The others will become a pillow for my big comfy papasen chair in my design office. A few of you may recognize the yarn from my post about picking colors for Free Form.

Tomorrow I’ll show you what I do about the mess of tails that is part of the Free Form creative process.

Beads in the Middle

I love adding beads to my crochet projects, both large and small. They add wonderful sparkle and give the fabric a lovely fluid drape.

Sophisticated Simplicity Necklace


Here on the blog, I’ve shown you beads strung on your yarn (or thread) then crocheted;


I’ve shown you beads “hoisted on” to embellish the edging of an earring, headband or shawl;

Springtime Cowl – Small PWT Shawl

Most recently I have shown you beads “hoisted on” within the fabric of a shawl, as well as on the edging.

When deciding on bead placement into the body of your fabric, think about where your next row (or round) of stitches will connect with the beaded row. You don’t want the bead to be covered or obscured by another stitch.

You also want to consider if the bead will be visible from both sides of the fabric. I like to place my beads in the fabric so they are framed in an opening in the stitch pattern. This helps make them show up no matter which side of the fabric is worn as the “right-side”.

In my latest project, the little PWT Shawl that I’m calling Springtime Cowl, I made sure that all my beads were on an even number row. Crochet stitches bias slightly, this isn’t as noticeable when working in rows, but it makes a difference in how the bead sits on the top of the stitches.  By adding my beads to the even numbered rows I was specifying those as the “right” side of my fabric.

You can add beads to any crochet project, it’s up to you to decide which will be the “right” side of your project for showing off your beading. If you are adding beads to a pattern that didn’t include them, you will want to be sure that the beads are added to rows that correspond with the “right” side of the fabric as written in the pattern.

I hope this inspires you to try adding beads to some of your crochet projects. If you need help with the “hoist-on” method of adding beads hop on over to my blog post: “Making a Pendant” for a photo tutorial on using the “hoist-on” method.



Time out to Color

Today was a very busy day. Sadly there was not much crochet in it. There was yarn, the sorting of and moving of, but no yarn with hook action. Sometimes in the life of a crochet designer and busy mom, the background grunt-work has to take over a day. Even if that day is during National Crochet Month.

I took a little time to relax this evening though and play. Instead of hook and yarn I decided to play with color pencils and my lovely Franklin Habit book “I Dream of Yarn”. This was my first time actually coloring in it. I’ve sat down with it numerous times since acquiring it, just looking at all the lovely drawings has been happy making for me.

But to be honest I have been a bit afraid to put color to them because then they would be done. Or, gasp, I might “ruin” them. Yup, even I have that nasty little voice sometimes that beats me up and tells me I’ll do it “wrong”. Today I told the little voice to pack her bags and go on a long trip. With everything that has been going on for me and my family the past month I needed some soothing coloring time with my buddy Franklin.

I decided to start with this wonderful drawing of lots of people knitting and crocheting. It reminded me a bit of crochet motifs with just the shaping of it, and the wonderful support I have from other yarnie friends from all around the world.

I think this picture will end up being extremely colorful, I want to make each of the little people have different color garments and projects.

If you haven’t gotten into the whole adult coloring book scene I understand. I haven’t been doing a lot of it, I usually want to draw my own pictures to color. But there is something very relaxing about taking a half hour to color a picture that is already there. I enjoy making color choices and playing with how I will texture and shade my colors.

Of course, when the drawings are fun fantastical versions of Franklin’s dreams of yarn (that really could be mine as well, though mine would have loads more crochet hooks) it is even more fun. Afterall, yarn is our common thread.

Congratulations to the Winner

I had meant to get a blog post up yesterday but I was enjoying the day with my boys. We had a nice hike in our neighborhood that included a good chuckle at our neighbors sign on their gate. We had noticed all their chickens running around in the yard first, so the sign was particularly funny to us.

Copyright Karen Whooley – Photo by Anne Podlesak

Sunday evening I pulled all the names for the entries into the drawing for an Ebook copy of Karen Whooley’s beautiful new shawl book “A Garden of Shawls”.

The winner is Judy L. She said she has just started crocheting shawls, so this book will be a great start to her shawl pattern library. Congratulations Judy!

For those of you that didn’t win, you can still order the book on Karen’s website and orders placed before the end of March (and the end of NatCroMo) are entered into a drawing for some gorgeous yarn giveaways. You can find all the links to Karen’s site and read my review of the book (if you missed it the first time round) at this blog post.

I hope you are all having a good start to your week and you’re able to get some crochet time in too.

Meet Collette

This is Collette. I actually purchased her awhile back, but our weather had been so cold and snowy I couldn’t get outside to photograph her.  After the past weeks 60-70F temperatures I finally got outside and did a photo shoot with her. She is going to be my model for a number of my M2H Designs patterns, so you will be seeing her a lot.

This is just a quick post today. But I wanted to remind you that you have until 8 p.m. Mountain Time (Denver, Colorado) to enter the drawing to win an E-book version of Karen Whooley’s new shawl book, “A Garden of Shawls”. Hop on over to my review of the book and comment to get your name in the drawing, I’ll be announcing the winner on my Monday March 20th post.

The Luck of the Irish

Today is Saint Patrick’s Day, and my family has a little Irish heritage (we are a classic American family with a big mixture of ancestry from all over Northern Europe and the British Isles), so I thought I would come up with a fun little crochet pattern for making a lucky 4 leaf clover.

Funny enough, none of us have much in the way of green clothing, every year I think that I really should at least get the boys some green clothing. That thought has not translated to my shopping brain yet. I tend to purchase whichever shirts are on sale, since both of my boys are a bit rough on their clothes.  Instead I crocheted up lucky clovers and made them into pins the boys could wear.

For those of you that are wondering about Shamrocks versus 4 Leaf Clover. The typical Irish symbol is the 3 lobed clover and is called a shamrock. 4 lobed clovers are much rarer and are not “officially” considered a symbol of Ireland or Saint Patricks day. The shamrock with it’s 3 lobes is said to have been used by St. Patrick to demonstrate the holy trinity of Christian faith. The 4 Leaf Clover is said to symbolize luck because they are so rare.

I had a lot of fun playing with a way to create a 4 Leaf Clover that could be worked in just 2 rounds. This project is rated at the intermediate level, because I used some more advanced techniques like Clusters and working in the back bump of chains.  If you need help with working clusters I have a photo tutorial in the Special Stitches section of the pattern.

Luck of the Irish Clover

Design by Andee Graves

Skill level: Intermediate


Yarn – Lion Brand “Vanna’s Choice”, 100% Acrylic (3.5 oz/100g, 170 yds/156m) Color #171 Fern

Hook – I/9 – 5mm hook

Pin back or safety pin to attach to back of clover.

Special Stitches

3 DC Cluster (Cl):

Photo A

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

Photo B

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

Photo C

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


Round 1: Start with an Adjustable slip knot, ch 3, 7 hdc in 3 ch from hook, gently pull beginning tail to close center,

slip st under 2 loops (the “V” front of the ch st) at top of beginning ch-3 to join the round.

Round 2: {Thanks to Edith for the correction.}  Ch 3, *(Cl, ch 3 and slip st) in next st,** (slip st, ch 3) in next st*;

Repeat from * to * 2 times, Repeat from * to ** once,

Stem: Ch 6, working in back bumps, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 3 ch sts, slip st in last ch, cut yarn with 4-5 inches of tail. Stem will curl, it is supposed to.

Weave ending tail toward center, use tails to sew on a pin backing.

I hope you have a very lucky Saint Patrick’s Day, and some fun wearing a 4 Leaf Clover.

Goodbye Baba, We Love You.

A warm thank you to all my friends and readers that have sent my family and I well wishes and prayers. It has been a hard week, but today Baba passed peacefully from life. My husband, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law were all with him.

Baba as Best Man with Linc and his Groomsmen

I have spent a little time each day this week looking at photos from over the years and remembering what a blessing Baba was to my life and that of my children. I thought I would share a few of them with you. The photo above was taken at Linc and I’s wedding in June 1998. Baba was Linc’s Best Man, though I was still calling him “Bob” at that time.

Baba and J playing
Baba and J laughing
3 generations
Baba, me and Bean
Baba and Bean talking
Bean inspecting Baba’s Beard

Bob loved being a grandfather. I’m so happy I caught some of the funny and sweet moments of him with the kids when they were tiny. They don’t remember these moments, but they love the photos too.

Baba and Cindy dog

This was a photo of Bob with his dog, Cindy. She was a stray that went thru quite a tough time before she found Bob and my mother-in-law.

Building the Play-set

This photo was taken the same day as the one with Cindy. We were all in our backyard building a play-set for the kids. This was the day that Bob became Baba. My oldest named him Baba that day and Bob liked it so much that from that day onward he was Baba for his grandkids.

Funny thing is, many months later, we found out that “Baba” is the word for father or grandfather in Turkey. My mother-in-law was Nana from the moment the first baby arrived, but Bob had just been “grandpa” until then. From that point onward they were Nana & Baba and the 2 of the most important people in my children’s lives.

Thank you Baba for all the wonderful memories and all your love. We love you and will miss you.