Something New in Crochet is Coming…

Stitch Makers Live 2019 is coming soon and I’m so excited to be a part of it!

What is Stitch Makers Live?

Stitch Makers Live is a 3-day virtual event during which over 10 crochet designers and teachers (including me) are going to spend time with you – right on Facebook. 16 crochet sessions LIVE with industry experts!

Each class comes with a BONUS crochet pattern – to help you master those skills.

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

From September 19th thru September 21st , you can participate in every one of these classes. But that’s not all!

There’s even a virtual party in the evening after the last day is over!

PLUS, you’ll get full access to the recordings in the group for ONE FULL YEAR!

And YOU are invited! Click here to register to join the fun..

These are the industry professionals that will be joining me

·        Edie Eckman

·        Tamara Kelly of Moogly

·        Mary Beth Temple of Hooked For Life Publishing

·        Alexis Middleton of Persia Lou

·        Marie Segares of Underground Crafter

·        Jessie Rayot of Jessie At Home

·        Pia Thadani of Stitches ‘N’ Scraps

·        Linda Dean of Linda Dean Crochet

·        Julie Desjardins of ACCROchet

·        Courtney Whitehead of Creations by Courtney

These experts are passionate about crochet, and excited to share their knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to improve your skills in hat making, gather the bravery to begin your first sweater, or dive into short rows, our goal is to help you. The teachers and designers were handpicked to bring you the best instructors on a variety of crochet topics.

This is the first CROCHET ONLY online summit we know about – and we’re excited to launch it with you on board! 

Take advantage of Early Bird pricing and purchase your tickets before midnight eastern on Monday, September 2nd. After that tickets will go up to full price! 

So go ahead, register for Stitch Makers Live today!

I can’t wait to see you there!

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.

Floating Diamonds Shawlette

I’m excited to be participating in the 2019 Celebrate Mom Blog Hop hosted by Pattern Paradise! Each day in May, a different crochet designer will be featured and share a new free pattern with you! There are lots of fun prizes too, so come join the fun! For the list of designers and all the details, go to this post => 2019 Celebrate Mom Blog Hop & Giveaway

My kids and I have a daily tradition that we start and end our days with a hug. But what do you do when your mom (or other dear friends) are far away? You can make them this lovely shawlette that can be a hug for the times you are out of arms reach.

It uses just one ball of Berroco’s “ReMix Light” yarn. Which is a perfect weight and fiber mix for a summer wearable. The open mesh and lace work also make for a very breathable fabric.

This is a little bit more challenging crochet project as you need to keep track of the changes for the diamond pattern. It is definitely one of those projects where you want to check your count at the end of each row to be sure you didn’t add or miss a stitch.

Floating Diamonds Shawlette

Designed by Andee Graves / M2H Designs

Skill level:  Intermediate

Finished Size: 59” (149.9 cm) wide x 11” (27.9 cm) tall after blocking

Materials

Yarn: Berroco “Remix Light” 30% Nylon, 27% Cotton, 24% Acrylic, 10% Silk, 9% Linen (3.5 oz/100 g, 432 yd/400 m), 1 Ball of Color # 6977

Hook: 7 / 4.5 mm (or size needed to obtain gauge)

Notions: Yarn/tapestry needle, Stitch markers

Gauge: In V-st pattern 16 stitches and 9 rows = 4” (10.16 cm)

Special Stitches or Abbreviations

PM – Place stitch marker

V-st – V Stitch: (dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated place

Pattern Notes

Shawl is worked top-down from a stacked rows foundation with a center increase point and decreases at ends of rows. Once body of shawl is finished, yarn is cut and rejoined at end of foundation to work edging along sides and bottom edge.

The majority of the body of this shawl is worked in staggered V-stitches. This means the 2 legs of the V-stitch are worked in the space between two V-stitches.

Instructions:

Foundation Rows

Row 1: Ch 2, sc in second ch from hook.

Row 2 (RS): Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in sc.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in first dc.

Rows 4 – 157: Alternate repeating Rows 2 and 3 (ending with a Row 3). PM in Row 79. [78 “scallops”]

Shawl Body

Row 1: Ch 2, turn to work along flat side of foundation rows, slip st in side of first sc row, ch 3 {counts as dc}, *skip next dc row, V-st in next sc row*, Repeat from * to * until work in sc row before marked sc row, (V-st,  ch 2, V-st) in marked sc row, move st marker to ch-2 sp just made, Repeat from * to * until work in next to last sc row, skip last dc row, dc in final sc row. [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 78 V-sts]

The marked ch-2 space is the increase point for the rest of the body of the shawl.

Row 2: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * until reach marked ch-2 sp, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, Repeat from * to * until 1 V-st is left in row, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 78 V-sts]

Rows 3-9: Repeat Row 2. Count at end of Row 9 – [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 78 V-sts]

Row 10: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 6 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 10, skip next 2 V-sts, Repeat from * to * 5 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 10, skip next 2 V-sts, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 10, skip next 2 V-sts, Repeat from * to * 5 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 10, skip next 2 V-sts, repeat from * to * 8 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 10 ch-10 sp, 68 V-sts]

Row 11: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 5 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in ch-10 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in ch-10 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st,  [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in ch-10 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to *4 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in ch-10 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 7 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 10 sc, 58 V-sts]

Row 12: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 4 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 6 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 30 sc, 48 V-sts]

Row 13: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 3 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 3 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 5 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 50 sc, 38 V-sts]

Row 14: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * 2 times, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 5 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 5 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, [V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 5 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once] 4 times, V-st in space before next V-st, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 5 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 70 sc, 28 V-sts]

Row 15: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 7 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, V-st in space before next V-st] 4 times, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 7 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, V-st in space before next V-st, [ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 7 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, V-st in space before next V-st] 4 times, ch 6, skip next V-st, sc in next ch-6 sp, sc in next 7 sc, sc in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to* 3 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 90 sc, 18 V-sts]

Row 16: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 70 sc, 28 V-sts]

Row 17: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 5 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 5 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * 2 times, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 5 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * once] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 5 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 50 sc, 38 V-sts]

Row 18: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * 3 times, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 30 sc, 48 V-sts]

Row 19: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * 4 times, [V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 4 times, V-st in next ch-6 sp, ch 6, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 6, skip next sc, V-st in next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 20 ch-6 sp, 10 sc, 58 V-sts]

Row 20: Ch 3 {counts as dc}, turn, skip first V-st, *V-st in space before next V-st, skip next V-st*, Repeat from * to * once, [V-st in first ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next sc, V-st in last ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times] 4 times, V-st in first ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next sc, V-st in last ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 5 times, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, skip next V-st, repeat from * to * 5 times, [V-st in first ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next sc, V-st in last ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 4 times] 4 times, V-st in first ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next sc, V-st in last ch of next ch-6 sp, skip next V-st, Repeat from * to * 2 times, dc in top of previous row ch-3.  [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 68 V-sts]

Rows 21 – 23: Repeat Row 2. Fasten off at end of Row 23. [1 ch-2 sp, 2 dc, 68 V-sts]

Edging: With RS of foundation facing attach yarn with slip st in ch-2 at beginning of Row 1 {indicated by pink arrow in photo above}, working along side of Shawl body Rows, (ch 2, dc) in same ch-2 sp as slip st join, [(slip st, ch 2, dc) in top of next row] 22 times, slip st in last st at top of Row 23, turn to work along top of Row 23 stitches, ch 3, dc in first dc of first V-st, skip 2 sts, *[(slip st, ch 3, dc) in first dc of next V-st, skip 2 sts]* 33 times, (slip st, ch 3, dc) in marked ch-2 sp, remove st marker, Repeat from * to * 34 times, (slip st, ch 2, dc) in last dc of Row 23, turn to work along side of Shawl Body rows at last end, [(slip st, ch 2, dc) in top of next row] 22 times, slip st in sc at end of foundation rows,Fasten off. [23 small scallops at each end, 69 scallops along top of Row 23]

Finishing

Before weaving in ends, wet block work to open lace. Once shawlette has completely dried, weave in all loose ends.

The stitch markers in my project photos above are my favorite newest Clover stitch markers. They are light weight and come in a variety of colors and sizes. If you can’t find them locally you can click on the product photo below to find them on Amazon.com. This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.

I hope you have a fun time crocheting this shawlette. If you make it and want to share photos with me of your finished project tag me on Instagram. You can follow me there using the icons at the top of the sidebar. Or just search for me as Andee.Graves.

Springtime Bunny

Easter is next weekend and I’ve always loved it as a celebration of Spring. Even though up here on the mountain it is usually still cold and even snowy, down in town there are signs of springtime everywhere. Trees getting green buds or even leaves, tulips and daffodils popping up and showing off their colors.

We will be keeping our eyes and ears open for the arrival of the first hummingbirds as the Easter bunny comes for a visit. We have already seen a few wild bunnies in our yard as they venture out of their warm burrows on the milder days.

Meanwhile I have a new fun coloring page for my readers. This bunny is celebrating springtime with his coat of flowers and greenery. You can download the full page PDF of the coloring page using the link below.

As a special treat for those of you preparing for the upcoming holiday I also have a card version of the bunny.

This page will print out with the bunny on half of a 8.5″ x 11″ page. Color your image then fold the paper into a 5″ x 8.5″ card. You can download the card coloring page PDF using the link below.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter together.

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

I colored the images in this post using my Chameleon Color Tones pencils. They are a densely pigmented pencil so even a light touch to the paper can give you beautiful color. If you can’t find them locally they are available online at Amazon.com. Click on the photo above to go straight to them.

If you prefer to color with markers, some of my favorites are the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners. If you can’t find them locally they are available on Amazon.com. Just click on the image above to go straight to them.

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.

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.

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Mountain Wildflower Afghan Square

It’s almost time for the singing to start with my birthday just around the corner. I have been considering the idea that I will continue to celebrate my birthday every year but I won’t add any more years. Theoretically it sounds good. So starting this year I am 55 forever. It is a nice round number.

My tradition the past 4 years has been to publish a complimentary crochet pattern for an Afghan Square here on the blog as a birthday gift from me to my readers. This year’s square is my “Mountain Wildflower Afghan Square”. It is Block #20 in the 2018 Moogly Afghan CAL as well.

This year I had a lot of fun playing with 2D texture. I used ch, slip st, sc, hdc, dc and cluster stitches. I am having you turn for some rounds, each round instructions are marked either RS or WS to help you stay on track.

There are times when you will be working toward a chain space that have a hdc before them. I wanted to talk a bit about the hdc before you get started crocheting and share the following photos as a guide.

The top of the hdc can look a lot like it is part of a chain space. This is good to keep in mind when working Round 7 of this square. In the photo above, the 2 pink arrows are showing the 2 chains of the ch-2 corner sp, the yellow arrow is the top of the last hdc before the chain space, the aqua arrow is the skipped st.

Sometimes it helps to get your finger behind the hdc to guide your hook.

This is the completed single crochet before the ch-2 space.

I used 4 colors in this square with 9 color changes. I’ve also listed the amounts of each color of yarn needed for 1 square, so you can have fun using up some of your scrap yarn stash. You could even use 9 different colors if you want. I have listed the amount of yarn needed for the 4 colors and there are break-outs in curly brackets for the amounts in each of the 9 color changes.

I chose the lighter green color for the third and fourth rounds to give the feel of leaves around the center flower.

Mountain Wildflower Afghan Square

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill level:       Intermediate

Finished Size:   12” (30 cm) square

Materials:

Yarn

Worsted weight yarn in 4 colors

Sample uses Red Heart “With Love” 100% Acrylic (7 oz/198 g, 370 yds/338 m),

Color A: #1201 Daffodil (sample used approximately 18 yards/9 grams) for Rnd 1 {2 yds/1g} & Rnd 10-11 {16 yds/8g}

Color B: #1538 Lilac (sample used approximately 16 yards/8 grams) for Rnd 2 {4 yds/2g} & Rnd 12 {12 yds/6g}

Color C: #1562 Jadeite (sample used approximately 42 yards/21 grams) for Rnd 3-4{8 yds/4g} , Rnd 8-9 {17 yds/9g} & Rnd 13 {16 yds/8g}

Color D: #1621 Evergreen (sample used approximately 36 yards/18 grams) for Rnd 5-7 {17 yds/9g} & Rnd 14 {17 yds/9g}

Hook

J / 6mm

Notions

Yarn/tapestry needle

Stitch markers

Gauge

First 4 rounds of pattern = 4” across square

Abbreviations/Special Stitches

Right Side (RS): The side of fabric that will be considered the visible side of the fabric.

Wrong Side (WS): The side of fabric that will be considered the hidden side of the fabric.

Adjustable Slip Knot Start: Make your slip knot so the beginning tail tightens the loop on your hook. If you need further help with this technique I have a video, and a blog post that demonstrate it with more detail.

3 double crochet cluster st (Cl): (YO, insert hook in indicated st or sp, YO pull up a loop, YO pull thru 2 loops on hook) 3 times, YO pull thru remaining 4 loops on hook.

Beginning 3 dc cluster st (Beg Cl): Ch 2, (YO, insert hook in indicated st or sp, YO pull up a loop, YO pull thru 2 loops on hook) 2 times, YO pull thru remaining 4 loops on hook.

Loose slip stitch (loose slip st): Insert hook in indicated place, YO, pull up a loop thru place and loop on hook keeping loose like making a chain st.

Joining slip st (slip st): Insert hook in indicated place, YO, pull up a loop thru place and loop on hook, continue to pull up on working loop until original loop is tight.

V-stitch (V-st): (dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated place.

Standing Double Crochet (Standing dc): 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. If substituting for a chain start of a round, do not work the first 3 chains of the round instructions.

Pattern Notes:

Stitch counts at the end of each round and row are shown in italicized brackets at end of each round or row.

When instructions specify “sl st loosely”, this means work those slip stitches similar to a chain stitch and do not pull the working loop to tighten them as in a joining slip stitch. You will be working into those loose slip stitches.

Instructions

Rnd 1 (RS): Begin with flower center color (Color A). Starting with adjustable slip knot, ch 4, 11 dc in 4th ch from hook, sl st to top of beginning ch-4 of Rnd. Fasten off. [12 dc]

Rnd 2 (RS): Change to flower petal color (Color B): With RS facing, attach new color in any dc from Rnd 1, Beg Cl in same st as join, (ch 2, Cl in next st) 11 times, ch 2, sl st to top of Beg Cl. Fasten off. [12 ch-2 sp, 12 Cl]

Rnd 3 (RS): Change to Color C. With RS facing, attach new color in any ch-2 sp, ch 1, 3 sc in same ch-2 sp, (3 sc in next ch-2 sp) 11 times, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [36 sc]

Rnd 4 (RS): Round to Square – Continue working with RS facing, ch 1, sc next st, [*ch 2, skip next 2 sts, (hdc, dc) next st, (dc, ch 2, dc) next st, PM in ch-2 sp just made, (dc, hdc) next st, ch 2, skip next 2 sts,* sc next 2 sts] 3 times; Repeat from * to * once, sc next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd. Fasten off. [8 sc, 8 hdc, 16 dc, 12 ch-2 spcs]

Rnd 5 (WS): Change to Color D. With WS facing attach new color into next ch-2 sp to left of a marked corner ch-2 sp, ch 1, 2 sc in same ch-2 sp, [*sc in next 3 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in marked corner ch-2 sp, move up st marker to ch-2 sp just made, sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next ch-2 sp, sc in next 2 sts,* 2 sc in next ch-2 sp,] 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, slip st to first sc of Rnd. [56 sc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 6 (RS): Turn, ch 2, skip st where joined, *hdc in each st until reach marked corner ch-2 sp, (hdc, ch 2, hdc) in ch-2 sp, move up st marker to ch-2 sp just made,* Repeat from * to * 3 times, hdc in each st until reach start of Rnd, slip st to top of beginning ch-2. [64 hdc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 7 (WS): Ch 1, turn, sc in first hdc, *sk 1 st, (hdc, dc) in next st, ch 1, (dc, hdc) in next st, skip next st, sc next st**, (hdc, dc, ch 2, dc, hdc) in marked corner ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 sp just made, sc in next hdc,* [Repeat * to ** 2 times, Repeat * to * once] 2 times, Repeat * to ** once, skip next st, (hdc, dc) in next st, ch 1, (dc, hdc) in next st, skip next st, slip st to first sc of Rnd. Fasten off. [16 sc, 32 hdc, 32 dc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 8 (RS): Change to Color C. With RS facing, attach new color to a center ch-1 sp with slip st, *skip 2 sts, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next sc, skip 2 sts, slip st loosely in next ch-1 sp,* [^skip 2 sts, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next sc, skip 2 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in marked corner ch-2 sp, move st marker to ch-2 sp just made^, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 3 times, Repeat from ^ to ^ once, Repeat from * to * 2 times. [8 sc, 64 dc, 20 ch-2 sp 12 loose slip st]

Rnd 9 (WS): Turn, ch 1, *sc into ch-1 sp on Rnd 7 enclosing slip st from Rnd 8, ch 2, skip 2 sts, (sc, ch 1, sc) in next ch-2 sp, ch 2, skip 2 sts*, Repeat from * to * once, [sc in next sc, (sc, ch 2, sc) in marked corner ch-2 sp, sc in next sc, ch 2, skip 2 sts, (sc, ch 1, sc) in next ch-2 sp, ch 2, skip 2 sts, Repeat from * to * 3 times] 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, slip st to first sc of Rnd. Fasten off. [60 sc, 16 ch-1 sp, 36 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 10 (RS): Change to Color A. With RS facing attach yarn with slip st to first ch-1 sp in from right hand corner, ch 1, sc in same ch-1 sp, [*ch 1, skip next sc and ch-2 sp, V-st in next sc, ch 1,** skip next ch-2 sp and sc, sc in next ch-1 sp*, Repeat from * to * 2 times, Repeat from * to ** once, skip next sc, V-st in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker to ch-1 of V-st just made, ch 1, skip next sc, V-st in next sc, ch 1, skip next ch-2 sp and sc,^ sc in next ch-1 sp] 4 times, In 4th repeat of [ to ] end at ^, slip st to first sc of Rnd. [16 sc, 40 ch-1 sp, 24 V-st]

Rnd 11 (WS): Turn, ch 1, [*sc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next st*, Repeat from * to * 2 times, (sc, ch 2, sc) in marked ch-1 sp, move st marker to ch-2 sp just made, sc in next st, (Repeat from * to * 2 times, sc in next ch-1 sp, skip next sc,) 4 times] 4 times, slip st to first sc of Rnd. Fasten off. [116 sc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 12 (RS): Change to Color B. With RS facing attach new color with a standing dc in any sc along the middle of a side, [dc each st until reach ch-2 corner, (dc, ch 2, dc) in ch-2 corner sp] 4 times, dc each st until reach beginning of Rnd, slip st to top of first dc. Fasten off. [124 dc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnds 13 (WS): Change to Color C. With WS facing attach new color with a standing dc in any sc along the middle of a side, [dc each st until reach ch-2 corner, (dc, ch 2, dc) in ch-2 corner sp] 4 times, dc each st until reach beginning of Rnd, slip st to top of first dc. Fasten off. [132 dc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 14 (RS): Change to Color D. With RS facing attach new color with a standing dc in any sc along the middle of a side, [dc each st until reach ch-2 corner, (dc, ch 2, dc) in ch-2 corner sp] 4 times, dc each st until reach beginning of Rnd, slip st to top of first dc. Fasten off. [140 dc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Finishing

Weave in tails and block.

If you don’t want to make an entire afghan using this block pattern you can hop on over to check out the 2018 Moogly Afghan CAL and find some more block patterns to try out.