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.

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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.

For the Love of Crafting

Valentine’s Day is only 9 days away. So it is time for some quick crafting projects to show the special folks in our lives how much we love them.

Today I’m going to be sharing ideas for crafting a bit of love for your family and friends. First off, I have a new coloring page for everyone. You can download this PDF to print and color-in however you want.

20190205 Valentines Coloring Pg – Andee Graves M2H Designs

I have been enjoying coloring books and pages for some time and have decided that I really love having the option to print out the pages I want to color. I have to confess many of my physical coloring books remain uncolored because I didn’t want to “ruin” the images.

Having the option of printing out the pages I am going to color means I can color without worry that I’ll be unhappy with the outcome. It also gives me the chance to play with different coloring styles and mediums. One time I might use only color pencils, the next I’ll get out my Chameleon color-tones markers, or maybe I’ll use both.

When printing out the page from a PDF you can also play with the size of the page. For this Valentines design you can print it out smaller to make the image fit on a regular size greeting card base, or color the page and then cut out the individual elements to use on a smaller card.

The two little cards in the photograph were made using that technique, I used 3 Glue Dots to adhere each heart to a plain card that I had added color to with a marker. I really like using the Glue Dots, no mess on my table and super quick to craft with. The package in the photo was one that I got on my recent trip to the AFCI Creativation show in Phoenix a couple weeks ago. 

For those of you that may not be as much into coloring as crocheting, today’s coloring page includes a stitch chart for the heart motifs that are drawn on the page. This heart may be familiar to those of you that have been visiting my blog for awhile.

It is an update of my “Crocheted Love” heart from 2013 that I revisited last year in my pattern “A Pocket Full of Love”. If you need help with the picot stitch that forms the point at the bottom of the heart you can find a tutorial on my post “The Greatest of these is Love”.

The third craft I am looking at for making fun gifts for Valentine’s Day is needle felting. I’ll be teaching a quick class this Sunday from Noon – 1:30p at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe on how to make these adorable little heart pins.

Students will be provided with a kit of materials that will include a crocheted heart and the fiber to felt a 3-D heart in a contrasting color. The handout for the class will also include the pattern to crochet your own little hearts to needle felt onto.  You can visit the Longmont Yarn Shoppe’s website to enroll in the class.

Update February 8, 2019: My crochet heart coloring page is featured on FaveCrafts. If you are in search of more coloring pages check out their site, but be prepared to get lost on there in the fun of looking at everything.

My First Coloring Page

Along with the lettering/calligraphy practice and all the playing with yarn, I’ve been turning my hand again to illustration and drawing. When the coloring book craze first started off I kept thinking, “I could draw those.” I’ve always drawn and doodled. According to my parents, since I was old enough to hold onto anything to make marks with.

I gathered up my paper and drawing implements and began doodling some ideas. I’ve always loved using templates to create basic shapes then filling in the shapes with lines or organic shapes. I purchased many of these templates during my college days when I was taking graphic arts classes. You can find similar templates thru art and hobby supply shops.

Geo 515 Coloring Page – 2017 – Andee Graves/M2H Designs

For those of my readers that would like to try their hand at coloring my finished page I’ve attached a PDF that you can download and print out to this blog post. Geo 515 Coloring Page 2017 – Andee Graves M2H Designs

I recommend using a nice heavy weight printer paper. If you are going to be coloring with pencils, look for a paper that has a bit of “tooth” to it. I purchased this ream of Neenah “Exact Vellum Bristol” a few months back and have been very happy with it. It is great for dry media like colored pencils, crayons, pastels and ball-point pens. I haven’t tried any of my color markers with it yet.

My pigment illustration pens work well with it too, as long as I don’t let the pen point sit on the paper surface too long. These pens are quickly becoming my favorites for final drawings. The variety of nib widths give me a number of options for thickness of lines and the ink supply is generous.

For this first drawing I drew a pencil sketch using my templates, then drew over the pencil drawing with my black ink freehand. A few of my lines came out a bit thicker than I wanted, but I wasn’t too concerned. I then scanned the drawing into my computer and used my graphics program to clean it up a bit. I printed it out on some of the cardstock and refined it with the pens, adding thickness to some of the other lines to balance out the original heavy lines.

I then copied this refined drawing on the heavy cardstock. I made a number of copies so I can try various “fill” drawings for the shapes. The drawing in the PDF is just my first try.

For those of my followers whose focus is on crochet and yarn crafts, don’t worry, I’m still designing and creating lots of fun crochet patterns. If all goes well the next month I’ll have a lot of exciting crochet designs and videos to show you very soon.