Spirals & Lace Afghan Square

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers. I’m so thankful to all of you coming to visit my blog.

I’m sharing this latest free pattern with you. I’m having fun with spirals again this time around. To keep things even more interesting I’ve added some Join-as-You-Go edgings for making the spiral grid that is the centerpiece for this square.

For those that prefer to have a PDF with stitch charts for each element and no ads, you can purchase the pattern for less than $4 thru my Ravelry Shop by clicking here.

Spirals and Lace Afghan Square

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill level:       Intermediate

Finished Size:

12” square

Materials:

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

  • Color A: #1704 Bubble Gum
  • Color B: #1308 Tan
  • Color C: #1538 Lilac
  • Color D: #1969 Wintergreen
  • Color E: #1101 Eggshell

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

Hook J / 6 mm

Notions 8 locking st markers (2 in one color, 6 in another color), Yarn/tapestry needle for weaving in ends

My favorite locking stitch markers are from the Clover company, like the ones above. If you can’t find them locally click on the photo above to find them on Amazon.

This handy 6 inch ruler is great for checking your gauge, especially with the center finding measure on one side it’s perfect for measuring center out motifs, whether squares or rounds. If you can’t find one locally click on the photograph above to find it on Amazon.

Gauge 1 Spiral Square = 3 inches square

Abbreviations/Special Stitches

Loose slip stitch (sl st loosely): 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 (sl 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.

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.

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

Join-As-You-Go (JAY-Go)

Pattern Notes:

Overall square starts with 9 2-armed spiral rounds, then spirals are joined together in a grid with Join-as-you-Go round to square edging creating a 9.5 inch square. Bordering Rounds are worked along outside edge of this grid to finish.

Start each spiral with an adjustable slip knot. Beginning tail tightens the loop on the hook. If you need help with this technique check out my video tutorial on my YouTube channel.

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

Instructions

Spirals – Make 9

In Sample: 4 corner spirals used Colors A & B, 4 side spirals used Colors A & C, and center spiral used Colors C & B.

Note: Round 3 of Spirals specifies “sl st loosely”, this means work the indicated slip stitches similar to a chain stitch and do not pull the working loop to tighten it as in a joining slip stitch. You will be working into those loose slip stitches in the edging rounds.

Rnd 1 (RS): Begin with first Color and adjustable slip knot, ch 2, (2 sc, 2 hdc) in second ch from hook, pull up long loop of first Color and remove hook, insert hook in same ch as previous work, pull up a loop of second Color on shaft of hook, ch 1, working over beginning tail (2 sc, 2 hdc) in same ch st, pull beginning tail of first Color to close center tightly. [2 sc, 2 hdc, in each color {8 sts total}]

Place st markers in each st using a different color marker to indicate the last st of each color section.

Rnd 2: Begin with first Color, *(2 hdc in marked st, move st marker up to second st worked) 4 times*, pull up loop of first Color, switch to second Color, Repeat from * to *. [8 hdc, in each color {16 sts total}]

Rnd 3: Begin with first Color, *(hdc in next st, 2 hdc in marked st, remove st marker) 4 times*, pull up loop of first Color, switch to second Color, Repeat from * to *, [12 hdc in each color],

Switch back to first Color, **hdc in next st, sc in next st, sl st loosely in next st, sl st in back loop of next st, fasten off and pull tail thru final sl st and snug**, switch to second Color, Repeat from ** to ** once. [10 hdc, 1 sc, 1 loose slip st, in each color of open sts]

Joining Spirals

Note: When working the sl st joins into the ch-sps of previous edgings it works better to lay the work on a flat surface and bring the working loop for the loose sl st over the top of the ch-sp and pull the working yarn thru from behind. This will give you a flat and tidy join.

Corner Spiral Squares Edging

Rnd 1:

Insert hook in any open stitch along edge of spiral round, pull up a loop of Color D, ch 1, working over beginning tail sc in same st as join, (*ch 1, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st, ch 2, dc & hdc in next st, ch 1, skip next st,* sc in next 2 sts) 3 times,  Repeat from * to * once, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd, fasten off and pull tail thru final st. [8 sc, 8 ch-1 sp, 4 ch-2 sp, 8 hdc, 8 dc]

Center Spiral Square JAY-Go Edging

Rnd 1: Insert hook in any open stitch along edge of spiral round, pull up a loop of Color D, ch 1, working over beginning tail sc in same st as join, (*ch 1, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st, ch 1, sl st tightly to adjacent ch-2 sp of a Corner Spiral edging, ch 1, return to center spiral, dc & hdc in next st, ch 1, skip next st,* sc in next 2 sts) 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd, fasten off and pull tail thru final st. [8 sc, 8 ch-1 sp, 4 ch-2 JAY-Go corner sp, 8 hdc, 8 dc]

Side Spiral Squares #1-3 JAY-Go Edging

Rnd 1: Insert hook in any open stitch along edge of spiral round that will be outside edge of square, pull up a loop of Color D, ch 1, working over beginning tail sc in same st as join, ch 1, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st, *ch 1, sl st tightly to adjacent ch-2 sp of a Corner Spiral edging, ch 1, return to side spiral, dc & hdc in next st,*

sl st loosely in nearest ch-1 sp of adjacent spiral edging, return to side spiral, skip next st, sc in next 2 sts, sl st loosely in nearest ch-1 sp of adjacent spiral edging, return to side spiral, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st,

(ch 1, sl st tightly to adjacent corner join, ch 1, return to side spiral, dc & hdc in next st, sl st loosely in nearest ch-1 sp of adjacent spiral edging, return to side spiral, skip next st, sc in next 2 sts, sl st loosely in nearest ch-1 sp of adjacent spiral edging, return to side spiral, skip next st, hdc & dc in next st) 2 times,

Repeat from * to * once, ch 1, skip next st, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd, fasten off and pull tail thru final st. [8 sc, 2 ch-1 sp, 6 sl st JAY-Go sp, 4 ch-2 JAY-Go corner sp, 8 hdc, 8 dc]

Side Spiral Square #4 JAY-Go Edging

Work same as Side Spiral Squares #1-3 JAY-Go Edging but do NOT fasten off at end. [8 sc, 2 ch-1 sp, 6 sl st JAY-Go sp, 4 ch-2 JAY-Go corner sp, 8 hdc, 8 dc]

Border

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, sc in next 13 sts, [*(sc, ch 2, sc) in corner ch-2 sp, PM in ch-2 sp just made,* sc in next 28 sts] 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, sc in next 14 sts, sl st to first sc of rnd. Fasten off. [120 sc, 4 ch-2 corner sps]

Rnd 2: Attach Color E with Standing dc in 14th st from any left ch-2 corner sp, *skip 2 sts, V-st in next st*, Repeat from * to * 3 times, skip next st, [(dc, ch 2, dc) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 just made, skip 1 st, V-st in next st, Repeat from * to * 9 times, skip 1 st] 3 times, [(dc, ch 2, dc) in marked ch-2 sp, move st marker up to ch-2 just made, skip 1 st, V-st in next st, Repeat from * to * 4 times, skip 2 sts, dc in same st as standing dc, ch 1, sl st to first dc {counts as final V-st of round}. Fasten off. [40 V-sts, 8 dc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 3: Attach Color C with a Standing dc in any ch-1 sp of any V-st, [V-st in each ch-1 sp until reach marked ch-2 sp, (V-st, ch 2, V-st) in ch-2 sp, move marker up to ch-2 sp just made] 4 times, V-st in each ch-1 sp until reach beginning, dc in first ch-1 sp, ch 1, sl st to first dc of rnd {makes last V-st of Rnd}. Fasten off. [48 V-sts, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 4: Insert hook in any dc along a side, pull up a loop of Color E, ch 1, working over beginning tail sc in same st as join, [sc in each st and ch-1 sp until reach marked ch-2 sp, (sc, ch 2, sc) in marked ch-2 sp, remove st marker] 4 times, sc in each st and ch-1 sp until reach end of Rnd, sl st to first sc. [152 sc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Finishing

Block gently, weave in loose ends.

This square is block #24 of the 2019 Moogly Afghan CAL. You can find Tamara’s version of my square and links to the other 23 squares by clicking here: MooglyBlog.

The Paulette Poncho

The weather has cooled off significantly up here on my mountain. We have already had a couple of super snowy days and the snow is hanging around with the temperatures barely getting above freezing.

Last week was all about making costumes for my kiddos at the last minute. I didn’t get photos the day of, I was doing finishing touches 2 minutes before they ran out the door to their party. We took these this past Saturday after a bit of repair work. My oldest was The Grim Reaper, all I had to make was the black cloak. Everything else was created by J, including the creative white patterns on mask, scythe and tabbard.

My youngest was Spectre Knight from a video game. We did a lot of searching of images to decide on the appearance and what we could realistically get done in the short time we had. The cloak with it’s skull embellished cowl came out the best, the armour was a bit sad. He was happy with it.

Casual Crochet Group modeling their Paulette Ponchos

The last 3 summers I have created a design for my Casual Crochet Group at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. We call this our Testing Pool project. the crocheters that want to, join in work the pattern and give me feedback on changes or mistakes they find.

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

This year our project was a simple top down poncho worked in rounds using a cotton blend yarn with long color changes: Katia’s “Funny Rainbow Star”. Some of the crocheters picked the version of the yarn that doesn’t have sparkles. I, of course, went for the sparkly yarn.

This project is a great one for travel crochet and TV crochet. It’s a simple stitch pattern that is perfect for showcasing yarns with long color changes or even busier variegated colors. I use stitch markers to make it easy to keep track of when to increase and where to join at the end of each round.

For the lighter weight yarns I found myself preferring to use my Clover Quick Locking Stitch Markers. If you can’t find them in your local shops you can purchase them on Amazon by clicking on the image above.

Cotton blend yarns are great for making a summer weight garment, but if you are looking for more warmth, switch to a warmer fiber like wool or alpaca. It could be lovely in a fluffy yarn like a silk/mohair too.

The pattern has both written and charted instructions, as well as information on how to add more rounds to the poncho length. The original pattern was written for using a fingering or sock weight yarn. If you want to make it with a worsted weight or thicker yarn you will need to check if you want the neckline foundation to be shorter. The pattern is available for purchase in my Ravelry shop as the “Paulette Poncho”.

Cakewalk Beanie – Free Crochet Pattern

This past weekend was my birthday and this year I am doing something a little different. Instead of a blanket square as my birthday pattern I am sharing this fun pattern for a women’s beanie.

I designed this hat almost 10 years ago when I had just one cake of Noro Kureyon yarn leftover from another project. With only 109 yards in the 50 gram cake I knew I needed an openwork stitch that would give me enough fabric to reach my ears. But I wanted the crown of the hat to have some solid stitch work to help with warmth.

The finished hat has been one of my favorites to stuff in a coat pocket. It’s a light layer of warmth when the weather is chilly and also works as a great cover for “bad-hair” days. I’ve been wearing it again as our mornings up here on the mountain have been chilly for the past month.

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

Premier “Everyday Soft Worsted”

I decided it was time to write up the pattern and share it with my readers. In the process of writing the pattern I worked 2 new samples in different worsted weight yarns. Premier “Every Day Soft Worsted” and Berroco “Ultra Wool”. Because these yarns come in 100 gram skeins I also added some more rounds for better coverage of the ears. I used approximately 118 yards for each sample.

Berroco “Ultra Wool”

A PDF version of pattern without ads and with a Stitch chart is also available for purchase in my Ravelry Shop for $2.99.

Cakewalk Beanie

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill Level:  Easy

Stitches used – Chain (ch), Single Crochet (sc), Slip Stitch (sl st), Double Crochet (dc), Half Double Crochet (hdc)

Materials:

  • Yarn –  Worsted Weight – Category 4
    • Premier “Everyday Soft Worsted” (3.5 oz/100 g; 165 yds/165 m); color# 200-08 Parfait
    • Berroco “Ultra Wool” (3.5 oz/100 g; 219 yds/200 m); color #33123 Iris
  • Hook – size J (6 mm)
  • Notions – yarn/tapestry needle, stitch markers

Gauge:  First 7 Rnds in pattern = 4” diameter

Special Stitches/Abbreviations:

  • V-st (V stitch)– (dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated stitch or space.
  • PM – Place Stitch Marker

Pattern Notes:

Hat is worked Crown down and started with an adjustable slip knot. If you prefer to use a magic circle work only 1 chain at start of instructions and use your circle as the “2nd ch from hook”.

Each round is joined with a tight slip stitch to make the join as invisible as possible. At start of single crochet rounds make the chain stitch a little smaller than usual to keep joins less noticeable. PM in first stitch of single crochet rounds to make it easier to find at end of round.

Instructions

Crown

Rnd 1: Starting with Adjustable Slip Knot, ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st to first sc of Rnd. Gently tighten center of circle. [6 sc]

Rnd 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st around, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [12 sc]

Rnd 3: Ch 1, (sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) 6 times, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [18 sc]

Rnd 4: Ch 4, dc in same st as join {counts as first V-st of Rnd}, (skip 1 st, V-st in next st) 8 times, sl st to 3rd ch of beginning ch-4. [9 V-st]

Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, (2 sc in next ch-1 sp, sc next 2 sts) 8 times, 2 sc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [36 sc]

Rnd 6: Ch 1, (sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [42 sc]

Rnd 7: Ch 1, (sc in next 6 sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [48 sc]

Rnd 8: Ch 4, dc in same st as join {counts as first V-st} (sk 1 st, V-st next st) 23 times, sl st to 3rd ch of beginning ch-4. [24 V-sts]

Sides

Rnd 9: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, (sc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next 2 sts) 22 times, sc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next st, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [72 sc]

Rnd 10: Ch 4, dc in same st as join {counts as first V-st}, (sk 2 sts, V-st in next st) 22 times, sl st to 3rd ch of beginning ch-4. [24 V-sts]

Rnds 11 – 24: Alternate repeating Rnd 9 and Rnd 10, ending with a Rnd 10. {For a smaller beanie like my original Kureyon sample end at Round 20, then work Rnd 25 (Edging).}

Rnd 25 (Edging): Ch 1, turn, (2 sc, hdc, 2 sc) in each ch-1 sp around, sl st to first sc of Rnd. Fasten off [96 sc, 24 hdc]

Finishing – Weave in ends and block gently.

Don’t Miss Out on Early Bird Pricing

UPDATE September 13, 2019 – If you missed the Early Bird Price and are sad because $80 seems like more than your budget will bear don’t despair. I have a coupon code for $20 off the ticket price for Stitch Makers Live. The code is: 2019SML20off. The code is only good until Monday August 16th at 11:45 p.m. Eastern time. Click here to buy your ticket now and join me and all the other teachers for an awesome online conference.

My latest finished design is the Whirling Ends Scarf and the pattern will only be available for the next year to attendees of the Stitch Markers Live 2019 online conference. The pattern contains my usual detailed photos, stitch charts and written instructions to help you successfully complete this project.

With your ticket to the conference you be able to take an online lesson with me where I demo my tricks for making spirals, including some secrets I’ve never shared before. As well as being able to ask questions and get help from me the whole 3 days of the conference.

But that is not all! You get all 15 patterns from the 11 designer/teachers and the opportunity to attend 15 different live lessons. Plus the same live access to all the teachers. You don’t have to worry about the agony of deciding between one lesson over another, because each class will be offered one at a time. You can attend each live lesson if you want, all for the single ticket price, no paying a separate fee for each lesson.

Even better, you will have 1 year access to all the lessons from the conference. Which means if you don’t get to one of the projects right away, you can have a refresher by reviewing the lessons.

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

I’m reminding you that today is the last day of Early Bird pricing for Stitch Makers Live 2019. Early Bird Tickets are $55. After midnight eastern tonight (Monday, Sept 2nd) tickets will go up $25 and will be $80. That comes down to less than $1.85 per pattern or lesson.

Don’t miss out on your chance to take classes with these marvelous teachers for such a great price!

Click here to get your ticket NOW!

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.

Cliffhouse Cowl

Just last Thursday I released my latest design in my Ravelry Shop: Cliffhouse Cowl. This is a fun textured cowl worked using 2 colors. It’s name is a tribute to Mesa Verde National Park. Some of my readers may remember my family and I made a trip there in 2017.

I wanted to design a cowl that reminded me of the alcoves where the various cliff dwellings were built. To get the feel of the buildings in the alcove I used X-stitches. I also used X-stitches as the mesh for the main body of the cowl, for a stretchy and breathable fabric in the final project.

I’ve shared often about my favorite stitch the “V-stitch” on my blog regularly. It is a fairly simple stitch that offers a lot of choices in how it is worked.

The X-stitch is my favorite “trickier” stitch. There are still a lot of options in the fabric that can be made using the X-stitch, but the instructions can be a bit challenging to understand, especially if you are newer to crochet. In this project it is worked in turned rounds and the Xs are “stacked” on top of each other.

I am currently working on a photo tutorial for working the X-stitch both as a “stacked” stitch and as a “staggered” stitch, so if you are having a hard time with this stitch help is coming soon.