12 Days til Christmas

Christmas has been sneaking up on me and my family really fast this year. We went to Kansas City for Thanksgiving with family and got back home late on the Saturday after.

Our new kitty, Areya, hadn’t been feeling well before we left and when we got back she was still not doing great. So the first week of December was all about taking her to the Animal Hospital for tests and some help. The great news is she has recovered and is back to normal, getting into mischief every waking moment.

I’m a little behind with my planned holiday posts here on the blog. With only 12 days left until Christmas, I wanted to share with you a new coloring page. This is a fun whimsical nighttime Christmas tree. I’ve made it available in 2 sizes.

The first is a full page 8.5 x 11.

The second is a half page greeting card.

I had a lot of fun coloring this page and wanted to share the 4 different versions I colored to give you ideas for coloring your tree page.

For this one I used colored pencils only and picked rainbow colors for the ornaments on the tree. The tree colors are piney greens with shading at the tops of each segment. Shading around the stars with a deep blue sky and blue snow lines.

For this version I used colored pencils in blues and teals for the trees, then grays and yellows for the stars. The ornaments I used shaded lavender and purples for the ovals then a mix of salmon, yellow and pink for the others. I left the sky blank with bright blue snow lines.

This one I used colored pencils and went with a bright lime green for the main tree, with kelly green shading at the the tops of each segment. The ornaments were colored the same color for each shape using hot pink, lavender and pale yellow. The background trees are a piney green. Then shading around the stars and a bright blue sky and navy blue snow lines..

For the final version I used fine line markers for some of the details and outlines with colored pencils to add shading and soft color. Stars and ornaments were simple Red, Orange & Yellow. The trees were colored a piney green. Bright blue snow lines.

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

I used my Staedtler Noris Club 36 colored pencils on all of these pages. I love the density of color and how durable these pencils are. They have a white protective coating around the lead core that really helps decrease breakage and allows for sharpening to a clean point.

I use my Staedtler double hole Tub pencil sharpener to keep the points sharp. I love that it has a compartment to catch shavings and a cap across the holes so I can throw it in my crafting bag and there is no mess.

For the fine line marker work on the final version I colored, I used my Staedtler 20 Triplus fineliner markers. These are great long lasting markers that I can color with for hours and not have dry up on me.

If you want to add any of these products to your craft bag and can’t find them locally, just click on the images above to find them at Amazon.com for purchase.

Have fun coloring some Christmas trees.

Cooling off with Snowflakes

A New Snowflake Crochet Pattern and Coloring Page

For those of you living in the Northern hemisphere like myself, you may be feeling the August heat. The other day it was 103F in Boulder when I took my youngest to the check-in day at his middle school. We were very happy to escape back up the mountain where it was significantly cooler.

With the summer heat, this is a great time to be thinking about the cooler temperatures of winter time. Especially snowflakes. What better way to contemplate snowflakes than to crochet or color some?

In my last post I promised you a new snowflake pattern and coloring page. The written instructions are below, and for those of you that prefer stitch charts you will find the chart in my latest coloring page.

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

In the image above I used every blue color pencil I had to create a cool themed page full of snow. When you are coloring a page like this, where all the spaces to color are fairly small or thin, it is handy to use a really sharp pencil.

My favorite sharpener to keep with my color pencils is this duo one made by the Bostitch company. It is easy to control so I don’t over-sharpen my pencils and the duo hole option allows you to sharpen jumbo pencils as well as regular pencils. If you can’t find this sharpener locally click on the photo above and it will take you to where you can purchase it at Amazon.com.

This snowflake pattern creates a fairly solid snowflake. If you work the 4th round join-as-you-go, you can create a fun fabric of snowflakes. I’ve shared my method for this joining after the pattern below. My sample above was worked in Aunt Lydia Metallic #10 Cotton Crochet Thread with a 1.75mm hook.

If snowflakes aren’t your favorite thing, this pattern will also work well for making floral motifs to join together. I worked these floral motifs using worsted weight yarn in a variety of colors from my stash with a size I / 5.5 mm hook. I changed colors after Rnd 1 and 2, then completed the motif with my green color for Rnds 3 and 4. This is a great way to use up bits and pieces of yarn you have left over from other projects.

For this pattern I am not telling you what size thread or yarn to use, nor what size hook. I have instead shared what size hook and the thread or yarn I used. I strongly recommend that you make a couple of snowflake motifs with different hook sizes to find the result you like best with the yarn or thread you have selected.

The 3 snowflake motifs above were each crocheted with DMC Cebelia Crochet Cotton using a different size hook.

The motif on the left was made with a size 4/1.25 mm hook. This made for a fairly tight fabric, which would work well for attaching with glue or sewn as an embellishment on a card or gift box, it wouldn’t be good for stiffening with an PVA solution like “Stiffy” because the solution would tend to fill in the small spaces between the thread and stitch definition might be lost.

The motif in the center was made with a size 2/1.50 mm hook. The fabric is a little softer, but still has a lot of definition to it. It would work really well to sew to a stiff fabric base like a felted hat or bag. Could also work well as a sewn or glued embellishment for a card or gift box. If a PVA solution was brushed on it could be stiffened to hang as a stand-alone ornament. Slightly more space between the threads means the solution can penetrate further and not obscure the overall stitch definition.

The motif on the right was made with a size 0/1.75 mm hook. This fabric is very soft. This motif would work great to be sewn onto a loose knit or woven fabric like a shirt, stocking hat, or mittens. It is also ideal for blocking and stiffening to hang as a stand-alone ornament. The loose fabric will allow the PVA solution to be absorbed well into the fabric, there should be minimal loss of stitch definition.

COOL SNOWFLAKE MOTIF

Designed by Andee Graves

Special Stitches

(Beg CL) Beginning Cluster Stitch: Ch 2, [Yarn over (YO), insert hook in st, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull thru 2 loops on hook] 2 times, YO, pull thru 3 remaining loops on hook.

(CL) 3 DC Cluster Stitch: [Yarn over (YO), insert hook in st, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull thru 2 loops on hook] 3 times, YO, pull thru 4 remaining loops on hook.

Pattern Notes

This snowflake begins with an Adjustable slip knot. If you need help with this technique check out my YouTube video.

Instructions

Rnd 1: Starting with an adjustable slip knot, ch 4, {counts as first dc and center}, 11 dc in 4th ch from hook, tighten center, slip st to top of beginning ch. [12 dc]

Rnd 2: Work a Beg CL in same st as join, [ch 3, CL in next st, ch 2, CL in next st] 5 times, ch 3, CL in next st, ch 2, slip st to top of Beg CL. [12 CL, 6 ch-3 sp, 6 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 3: Ch 1, [(3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-3 sp, skip next CL, sc in next ch-2 sp]6 times, slip st to first dc of rnd. [36 dc, 6 sc, 6 ch-1 sp]

Rnd 4: Ch 1, [sc in next 3 sts, (sc, ch 2, sc) in next ch-1 sp, sc in next 3 sts, skip next sc] 6 times, slip st to first sc of rnd. Fasten off [48 sc, 6 ch-2 sp]

Weave in all ends.

Join-as-you-Go method for making a fabric of Motifs

When working Rnd 4, at each point where you want to join your new motif to a finished motif, instead of chaining 2: ch 1, slip st in ch-2 sp of motif you are joining to, then ch 1 and continue working Rnd 4 on your current motif as needed to finish. The Chart above illustrates this joining method.

When you are joining where 2 motifs are already joined it can be a little tricky. You can try inserting your hook into the slip stitch that is already there, or slip stitch snugly around the join point. Just be consistent in how you do those joins and it will work out fine.

If you need help on how to to stiffen your snowflakes for ornaments, check out my blog post: Sparkling Ice Snowflake.

Is it Summer Yet?

New Crochet Lace Cowl Design and a Free Coloring Page

I keep thinking our mountain summertime has really started, then the weather proves me wrong. This past week included 3 inches of hail, 45F temperatures and snowflakes in the air Sunday morning. Fortunately our mob of hummingbirds at the feeders every evening reassures me that they think it is summer. The bear has been visiting us too, so he definitely thinks it is summertime.

I haven’t been blogging as much because I have been a crazy busy woman getting ready for the CGOA conference (ChainLink) in Manchester, New Hampshire. Being on the Board of Directors means I am involved in a lot of behind the scenes planning of events. This is especially so as a couple of my chairs for committees have had to cancel coming to the conference.

With ChainLink only 2 weeks away I’m also figuring out what to pack. I always over pack on crochet projects, but I hate to not have something to work on, especially on my travel days. Getting to Manchester and back home is a pretty full day of travel from Colorado. Long lay-overs are much better when one has crochet to play with.

What is your favorite go-to project to work on when traveling? I like smaller projects like hats, cowls, slippers or mittens. They don’t require a lot of yarn, so it’s not too big a project bag. Speaking of cowls….

My latest published pattern is a lovely lacy cowl. I was given the gorgeous Suri Alpaca blend sock yarn above to design with at TNNA by the LGF Suris folks a couple years ago. Life happened (like it does) and it took me a little time to complete, but I am really happy with how it came out.

This is my Rhythm of Shells Cowl, published in my M2H Designs pattern line and available for purchase in my Ravelry shop. It is an interesting 4 row stitch pattern that is easy to memorize, but not so dull that it will put you to sleep. It starts with one of my Stacked Rows Foundations and ends with a pretty pointed border. The pattern instructions include a stitch chart. My sample took only 1 hank of the LGF Suris yarn to make and worked up light and warm.

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

I also have a new coloring page for you to enjoy. Hopefully where you live it is actually feeling like summertime. Mandalas are very relaxing to color as well as draw. You can even have fun adding your own doodles to this mandala to add to your coloring relaxation.

If you would rather color some crochet themed coloring pages remember to check out my E-coloring booklet with FaveCrafts: “4 Inspiring Crochet Coloring Pages for Adults”. You can download them for free.

My current favorite pens for drawing my coloring pages with are my Staedtler Pigment Liners. This set of 8 different line widths is perfect for carrying with me whenever I want to draw. I tend to use the 0.3 size the most, so I’ve purchased extra pens in that size to add to my drawing supplies. If you can’t find them in your local shops click on the photo above to find them on Amazon.

For coloring this page today I used both Staedler Triplus fineliner markers and Staedler Noris Club Colored pencils. I like using fineliner markers for the small details when coloring to ensure that I get the intensity of color that I want. Where the colored pencils are good for laying out larger sections of color in a softer tone.

The Noris Club pencils are great for traveling with, the white layer around the core makes the colored leads more durable. They also seem to hold up better to being sharpened. The more durable leads do draw a little lighter, so I find I want to layer my colors more than with some of my softer pencils. You can click on the photo above to look at the variety of Staedtler Noris Club pencil sets available at Amazon. My set has 36 colors, which gives me a number of options when I am coloring and drawing on the go.

I’ve shared about the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners before, but it bears repeating. These are wonderful markers for both drawing, coloring and journaling. The colors are intense and I can use them for hours without the marker drying up. They are labeled “Dry Safe: can be left uncapped for days without drying up”. I haven’t tested that personally, since I live in a very dry environment. I have had other markers dry up on me while I am working, and that has never been an issue with these.

Whether you are crocheting or coloring I hope you are having a wonderful summer. I’ll try to get another blog post up before I leave for ChainLink, but no guarantees.

Spring is Here!

It is finally feeling like spring time up here on my mountain. I can almost believe that summer is just around the corner. Down in town I’ve been seeing lots of butterflies, so I thought this coloring page would be perfect for celebrating the change in seasons.

For those of you that are more interested in crochet than coloring, you will be happy to know I have a new design published in the June 2019 issue of “I Like Crochet” online magazine.

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

This is the “Shoreline Cold Shoulder Tee” worked in King Cole’s “Vogue” cotton yarn. Available in a wide range of lovely colors this yarn worked up great for this sweet little girl’s tee. Though worked in a simple linen stitch this is an advance level project.

You can subscribe to the “I Like Crochet” magazine and get this and many other wonderful crochet patterns as well as informative “how to” articles and other crochet themed content. Click here to go to the “I Like Crochet” subscription page.

I crocheted the sample with my Clover Amour hook. These are some of my favorite hooks to work with. I spend a lot of hours crocheting and find this to be a good match for my hands. If you can’t find them locally you can purchase them on Amazon.com, just click on the photo above and it will take you right to them.

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.

Crochet Inspired Coloring

I’m so excited to share with my readers my latest project.

My Crochet themed E-Coloring Book with FaveCrafts.com. Today is the first day it is available on the FaveCrafts website. It is a free downloadable PDF. Click here to get your copy.

The book contains 4 coloring pages for you to print out and color. The front and back covers are some examples of how I colored 2 of the pages using color pencils and fine line markers.

On 2 of the pages I included a stitch chart pattern for making motifs. One is the flower from the “Flowers & Vines” page. The other is a Round-to-Square blanket square from the “Gorgeous Granny Square” page. Both pattern pages also have a drawing of a crocheted motif (the square has 3) so you can play with color on the page to see what colors of yarn you might want to use.

I worked the motifs above with Red Heart’s “With Love” worsted weight yarn and a size I (5.5mm) hook. You can see on the squares that switching colors at the ends of round 1 and 2 creates a floral look. Especially when the last rounds are worked in green.

I hope you enjoy this collection of coloring pages. Please share your colored pages and crocheted projects with me on Instagram (andee.graves) or my Facebook business page (Andee Graves / M2H Designs).

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.