Learning Some New Stuff

I’m excited to announce that I will be teaching 3 crochet classes and 1 Needle-felting class via Zoom for the Longmont Yarn Shoppe this fall. I’ve been learning about teaching on Zoom and am really looking forward to this opportunity. Especially as this gives my readers that aren’t local a chance to take a class with me from the comfort of their own home. Keep in mind that I am in Colorado so the times listed below are Mountain time zone.

The 3 Crochet Classes are:

Strawberry Fields Crochet Shawlette: Class will be held in two sessions, the first will be Friday, October 2nd from 9 – 10 a.m., the second will be Friday, October 16th from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.  In the first session of class, you will learn how to work the mesh body of the shawl, then the 2nd session of class will be adding the lace border. This will include tips and tricks on how to keep track of your lace repeats, using wet blocking to really “open” the fabric of your shawlette, and tips on how to make a larger shawl if desired.You can register for this class on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website here.

Crochet Slippers 101: Class will be held in two 1.5 hour sessions on Friday, October 23rd & 30th from 9:30 – 11 a.m. This class is project centered and uses my One Skein Joy Slippers pattern to introduce students to making crocheted slippers. In class you’ll learn the tricks for completing your slippers without tears, crocheting 2 at a time, a handy elastic crochet ribbing, and some fun tips for personalizing your slippers as well.You can register for this class on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website here.

Crochet Slippers 102: Class will be held in two 1.5 hour sessions on Friday, November 13th & 20th from 9:30 – 11 a.m. In this class students will learn how to modify One Skeins Joy Slipper pattern to use it with any weight of yarn with an appropriate hook to make slippers that will fit every time. You can register for this class on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website here.

Needle Felting Class

Itty Bitty Angel: Class will be held in one session on Sunday, November 15th from 10a – Noon. Come learn how to create these adorable compact angels that can be jewelry, toys or little ornaments. They are perfect for using up bits of wool yarn and loose fiber from other needle felting projects. You can register for this class on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website here.

Happy Handy Half Double Crochet

The half double crochet stitch (UK terminology = Half Treble Crochet HTC) is one of the most versatile stitches in your crochet toolbox. Whether worked in rows or in the round the fabric you create has the solidness of single crochet stitches with the stretch of double crochet stitches. It is my preferred stitch to use for hats and slippers because of the stretch and cushioning quality of the finished fabric.

How to make the Half Double Crochet stitch

To make a half double crochet you wrap the yarn over once, then insert you hook in the indicated stitch, yarn over again,

pull up a loop thru the stitch you are working into, you now have 3 loops on your hook,

yarn over and pull thru all 3 loops on the hook.

Sometimes it can be a little difficult to get thru all 3 loops, one trick I use is to gently hold the loops between my thumb and forefinger of the yarn-holding hand. This allows me to ease thru the loops as I pull the final loop thru.

The completed half double crochet stitch from the front is pictured above. The yellow loop is the top of your stitch, the orange loop is the first yarn-over, the red loop is the second yarn-over, the loop on the hook is the final yarn-over.

The completed half double crochet from the back is pictured above. This is the way the stitches look to you when you are working turned rows. That first yarn over creates a floating “back bar” on the back of each stitch. Because of this back bar there are many different ways to work securely into the hdc to create subtle textures, and to take advantage of the shaping options in fabric worked with hdc.

When worked in the round the back of the fabric with have an almost flat smooth texture making it very comfortable to wear next to the skin. It is also great to use as the “right-side” of your fabric for a less textured appearance.

HDC Textures Swatch Patterns

  • The following patterns will help you experiment with the ways you can work into the hdc. These little swatches make handy coasters for your cold drinks while the weather is so hot here in the states.
  • For the swatches worked in rows do NOT work into the turning chain, instead let the turning chains “float” along the side of your work.
  • All swatches were worked using worsted weight yarn with a size I-9 (5.5mm) hook. Play with different yarn weights and hook sizes to see what kind of fabric you can create.
Swatch 1 Front View (RS)
Swatch 1 Back View (WS)

Swatch 1 – Standard HDC rows

Row 1: Ch 16, hdc in back bump of 3rd ch from hook, hdc in back bump of each ch to end of row. [14 hdc]

Row 2: Ch 2, turn, hdc in top of each st to end of row.

Rows 3 – 11: Repeat Row 2.

Swatch 2 Front View (RS)
Swatch 2 Back View (WS)

Swatch 2 – Alternate regular rows with back bar & front loop rows

Row 1: Ch 16, hdc in back bump of 3rd ch from hook, hdc in back bump of each ch to end of row. [14 hdc]

Working into back bar and front loop of stitches

Row 2: Ch 2, turn, hdc in back bar and front loop of each st to end of row.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn, hdc in top of each st to end of row.

Rows 4 – 11: Repeat Row 2 and 3, ending with a Row 3.

Swatch 3 Front View (RS)
Swatch 3 Back View (WS)

Swatch 3 – Alternate using top of st and back bar & front loop of st

Row 1: Ch 16, hdc in back bump of 3rd ch from hook, hdc in back bump of each ch to end of row. [14 hdc]

Row 2: Ch 2, turn,* hdc in top of next st, hdc using back bar and front loop next st*; repeat from * to * til reach end of row.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn,* hdc using back bar and front loop next st, hdc in top of next st*; repeat from * to * til reach end of row.

Rows 4 – 10: Repeat Row 2 and 3, ending with a Row 2.

Row 11: Ch 2, turn, hdc in top of each st to end of row.

Swatch 4 Front View (RS)
Swatch 4 Back View (WS)

Swatch 4 – Rows worked in front loop

Row 1: Ch 16, hdc in back bump of 3rd ch from hook, hdc in back bump of each ch to end of row. [14 hdc]

Working into Front Loop only

Row 2: Ch 2, turn, hdc in front loop of each st across row.

Rows 3 – 11: Repeat Row 2.

Swatch 5 Front View (RS)
Swatch 5 Back View (WS)

Swatch 5 – Continuous rounds with standard increase

Rnd 1: Ch 2, sc and 7 hdc in 2nd ch from hook. [1 sc, 7 hdc]

Rnd 2: 2 hdc in next 8 sts. [16 hdc]

Rnd 3: *hdc in next st, 2 hdc next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [24 hdc]

Rnd 4: *hdc in next 2 sts, 2 hdc next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [32 hdc]

Rnd 5: *hdc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [40 hdc]

Rnd 6: *hdc in next 4 sts, 2 hdc next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [48 hdc]

Step down: Hdc next st, sc next st, loosely slip st next st, slip st next st. Fasten off.

Swatch 6 Front View (RS)
Swatch 6 Back View (WS)

Swatch 6 – Continuous rounds worked in back loop and back bar with standard increase

Rnd 1: Ch 2, sc and 7 hdc in 2nd ch from hook. [1 sc, 7 hdc]

Rnd 2: 2 hdc in first st, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar in next 7 sts. [16 hdc]

Rnd 3: *hdc using back loop and back bar in next st, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [24 hdc]

Rnd 4: *hdc using back loop and back bar in next 2 sts, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [32 hdc]

Rnd 5: *hdc using back loop and back bar in next 3 sts, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [40 hdc]

Rnd 6: *hdc using back loop and back bar in next 4 sts, 2 hdc using back loop and back bar next st*; repeat from * to * 7 times. [48 hdc]

Step down: Working in back loop and back bar, hdc next st, sc next st, loosely slip st next st, slip st next st. Fasten off.

When using the same size yarn and hook for both Swatch 5 and 6 you can compare the sizes of the 2 swatches. Working into the back loop and back bar creates a smaller circle, and a slightly denser fabric.

If you are interested in trying more of my designs that use the half double crochet stitch check these out…

Spiraling Stripes Hat – M2H Designs Ravelry Shop

One Skein Joy Slippers

Image of finished slippers with pom pom decoration.

Every Christmas morning when I was a child my whole family always received hand-knitted slippers from my mom. We wore them until they were nearly tattered or we had outgrown them. In honor of that memory I designed the “One Skein Joy Slippers” in crochet. The first pair I made were a gift for my mom for Christmas 2017.

Green un-decorated slippers.

You only need one skein of Berocco Worsted Weight Ultra Wool to make a pair of slippers that fit a US Women’s size 7.5/8. They were originally published in the December 2018 issue of the online magazine “I Like Crochet”, the pattern is now available for sell in my Ravelry Shop. The PDF version of the pattern includes stitch charts and photo tutorials to help you successfully crochet up some slippers for yourself.

I will also be teaching this project as a Zoom class thru the Longmont Yarn Shoppe in late October. I’ll provide the link to class registration here as soon as it is available. The class will be taught in two 1.5 hour segments to give students time to complete work between classes and will be called “Crochet Slippers 101”. I will also be teaching a follow-up class, “Crochet Slippers 102” later in November that will expand on this pattern so you can work the slippers for various sizes of feet.

Strawberry Fields Shawlette

Well there has certainly been a lot keeping me busy the past 3 months. One of the things I have been spending a lot of time on has been writing up patterns for designs that I had created over the past year.

I finished crocheting this shawlette back in November, but never got around to blocking it until now. I used some gorgeous superwash merino that I purchased at my local yarn shop, Longmont Yarn Shoppe. The yarn is from Farmers Daughter Fibers, they create gorgeous hand dyed colors that make me drool. This yarn is called “Squish Worsted” and it truly is very squishy and snuggly.

My plan for this shawlette is for a warm layer to wrap around my neck with my burgundy winter coat. I love the dramatic border for those days that are warm enough to leave my coat open.

I used almost all of the skein of variegated yarn for the body of the shawl, then all but a quarter of the solid color for the border. The pattern is available in my Ravelry shop and includes stitch charts for both the simple mesh of the body and the lace border.

This shawlette works up fairly quickly, so if you are thinking about crafting for Christmas this would be a great gift for someone special on your gift list (or something special to spoil yourself with).