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.

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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.

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.

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?