Start the Big Gifts Now

More ideas and pattern links for crafting your Christmas in July.

If this is the year you plan to make something larger for a special gift then it is time to get crocheting. Larger crocheted goodies like afghans or shawls are a wonderful way to share a permanent hug with a friend or family member, no matter how far away they live.

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Is there someone on your gift list that needs an afghan? A great way to make a larger afghan, without a lot of bulk in your lap, is to work 12 inch squares, then join them together. I tend to work my throw size afghans 4 squares wide and 5 squares tall, then I crochet a wide simple (or fancy) border.

I have a number of patterns available here on the blog for 12 inch afghan squares. They are becoming a bit of an October tradition with me in celebration of my birthday.

Fans and Lace Afghan Square – This design is one of my favorite blocks, I had a lot of fun playing with working the rounds in different colors. The center is all about playing with different size fan and shell stitches. I have videos for this square and a follow up post showing how using different numbers and orders of color can really change the look.

Whirlwind Afghan Square – You might recognize the name of this square from my last post where I shared the link to my Whirlwind Hat. I first created this design, then realized I wanted to make a hat using a similar technique to the center of my square. I have 2 videos on my YouTube channel to help you make this square.

Dizzy Corner Afghan Square – More fun with spirals, this time it’s a featured corner with fun textures worked in mitered rows.

Mountain Wildflower Afghan Square – 2018’s square really showcases texture and varying stitch heights. If you’ve downloaded “4 Inspiring Crochet Coloring Pages for Adults” at FaveCrafts, you may recognize the center of this square. In my coloring book there is a stitch chart for a square that uses the same first 4 rounds.

If Afghans aren’t your thing, how about crocheting a lovely shawl for your loved ones?

Barb’s Shawl

Barb’s Shawl – This was last summer’s Testing Pool pattern for my local crochet group that meets at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. The pattern includes detailed stitch charts and a tutorial on blocking your shawl. Lots of texture in the stitches makes it a fun and challenging project to crochet. Worked in yarn with the long color changes or solid colors, you will love the resulting fabric.

Shining Day Wrap

Shining Day Wrap – This wrap was part of the CGOA Mega CAL during National Crochet Month in 2018. It is crocheted from the center out, and is a simple lace repeat to memorize. This is a great project for when you want something simple, but not boring to work on. The lacy stitch also makes this a great transition piece for wearing from season to season. Warm weather it is a shoulder wrap, when it gets colder bunch it up around your neck for a warm scarf.

2 x 2 Shawl – This pattern is available for free on my blog. It is a simple top down shawl that starts with my stacked rows foundation and has 3 increase points that give you a lovely L-shaped shawl when finished. This helps the shawl stay put when wearing. Because of the top down construction you can stop when you are happy with the size, or when you are running out of yarn.

I made my sample shawl in Lion Brand’s “Shawl in a Ball” (now called “Shawl in a Cake”) in the color Restful Rainbow. I used almost all of 2 balls. I am thinking my next one may be worked in the Half Moon color, love all the pinks, purples and blues in it. If you can’t find the Lion Brand “Shawl in a Cake” in your local stores it is available thru Amazon. Just click on the photo above to see the variety of colors.

Playing with Triangles Shawl
Vivianne Shawl

Playing With Triangles Shawl or Vivianne Shawl – These shawls are constructed using the same stitch pattern. The Playing With Triangles version is available free here on the blog with a recipe style pattern, the Vivianne Shawl has a stitch chart and photo tutorials on adding beads to the shawl. You can work either shawl in any yarn you like, top down construction means you can stop when you like the size or run out of yarn.

I hope you are having a good time planning your gift making for the 2019 holiday season. I know I am inspiring myself. Though, honestly I may be biting off more than I can reasonably make this year.

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Thinking about Christmas Crafting

Can you believe it is July already? Seems like once again the year has been moving way too fast. My oldest is preparing for a school trip to Switzerland at the same time I am preparing for my trip at the CGOA Chain Link Conference.

We took a break from travel prep to celebrate the 4th of July by attending the fireworks show in Estes Park. The weather was looking a bit iffy a couple hours before the show started, but cleared up in plenty of time. Last year we attended the show in Estes Park and it was very chilly, so this year we brought lots of blankets and our fleece jackets.

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

With July here it is time to make good on the promise I made myself last Christmas. I promised to do better about planning for my crocheted and other handmade gifts for 2019. With that in mind, I am going to take you all along with me as I work on some Christmas in July projects.

Most of my readers are currently in the midst of some of the hottest weeks of summer. That means we need crochet projects that don’t take up a lot of room on our laps to make us too warm. Some of us are traveling too, so small and portable is extra handy.

My go-to project when I want something small and quick to crochet are hats. They can be super easy or involved with complex stitch patterns. I really love to make plain solid color hats that can be the base for fun embellishment. They are also a very popular gift in my household, I skipped doing them one year and there was a loud protest.

Simple Double Crochet Hat

I have a free hat pattern here on the blog for a simple top-down double crochet hat. This hat is great for using a colorful yarn, or one of the gradient color changing yarns. This hat is an easy skill level, so even if you are just starting out crocheting you can complete it.

Whirlwind Hat

If you prefer a more challenging hat my Whirlwind Hat is another free pattern here on the blog. This is a perfect hat for using up smaller balls of yarn in your stash. It takes only 28 yards of worsted weight yarn for 3 of the colors and 46 yards for the color that will go into your brim.

Spiraling Stripes Hat

If you want to work a hat that uses only a 2-arm spiral you might like my Spiraling Stripes Hat, the pattern is available for purchase in my Ravelry shop. The pattern includes a detailed stitch chart of the crown and a step by step photo tutorial.

The fun thing about a 2-arm spiral is that the spiral is more distinct. I used a combination of colorful and semi-solid tonal hand-dyed yarn to really bring out the spiral in the project I made for this pattern. You could even work this hat as a gift for a sports fan and use the team colors.

Spiraling Crosses Hat

My Spiraling Crosses Hat makes use of textured stitches. It is a project using the staggered X-st in the round, the stitches create subtle spiraling ridges around the hat. The taller stitches also allow you to crochet it up quickly, ideal for a last minute gift. The pattern includes a stitch chart to help you understand how to work the increases.

Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat

If you are looking for a pattern that will help you understand how to adjust a crown-down hat to get the right size for your giftee, then my Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat pattern is worth the investment. It is like having a crochet class with me at a fraction of the cost. The best thing about this pattern is you can use any weight yarn to get a hat that is just the size you want. The tips for sizing a hat can also be applied to other crown-down hat patterns you might want to adjust.

Mountain Top Beanie

My very favorite hat design is my Mountain Top Beanie. It is a little more challenging to crochet, but the resulting fabric is well worth it. I include a stitch chart in the pattern that will help you with increases and when to turn the rounds. The pattern is available in my Ravelry Shop.

You want to make sure you have some good stitch markers handy when working on hats. They can help you keep track of your increases and the end of your rounds.

Most of my favorite stitch markers are made by the Clover Company. They make all of their products with a durable plastic that doesn’t break easily and has just enough “give” to be flexible. The newest stitch markers they have out “Quick Locking Stitch Markers”, come in a set that has 3 different sizes, 6 different colors and a nifty storage container. If you can’t find them in your local shops, click on the photo above and it will take you to them on Amazon.

If you prefer a stitch marker that doesn’t lock, I have found these Split Ring markers to work well. The little point at the opening makes them easy to slide onto your stitches. I don’t recommend using this style of marker if you are going to be pulling your project in and out of a bag. They will work their way out of your stitches. But if you are sitting and working in the same spot, and your project will only be disturbed when you pick it up, then they can be a great choice. Especially if you are a speedy crocheter.