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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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.

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.

We’ve also partnered with some of our favorite companies to get some great prizes for you — including yarn, crochet hooks, notions, pattern books, and more! Find out more information about other participating designers, the schedule, and how to enter to win the prizes on Underground Crafter.

Spiraling Stripes Hat

I love spirals. You can probably tell that just by looking at my logo above. One of my happiest crochet moments was when I realized that I could crochet spirals, since then I have put them in many of my designs. My newest pattern is not only  a celebration of the beauty of spirals it is also a celebration of the functionality of spirals.

This is my Spiraling Stripes Hat. It is crocheted using 2 colors and a 2 – armed spiral. Spirals are another version of continuous rounds in crochet. This sort of construction makes a lovely elastic fabric for hats because you don’t have a seam of tight slip stitches joining each round.

The pattern is available for purchase in my Ravelry Shop. This pattern includes a step by step photo tutorial and detailed stitch chart to help you understand crocheting the spiral.

I used Round Mountain Fibers worsted weight Superwash Merino wool for this hat. These were 2 colors from their Ornithology Collection: Puffin Blue and California Quail. Their hank size is 174 yards in 100 grams, so this is a slightly heavier weight worsted.

The CGOA Mega CAL continues

We are still celebrating National Crochet Month, which means a new pattern is now available for the CGOA Mega CAL.

This week’s pattern is “Almost Spring Mitts” designed by Karen McKenna. Be sure your CGOA membership is current because you won’t want to miss this out on this pattern and the others being offered the rest of this month.

Shining Day Wrap as Scarf 800 - Andee Graves M2H Designs

If you missed out on my Shining Day Wrap pattern don’t worry. It is now available for purchase thru my Ravelry Shop.

It’s a Shawl, It’s a Scarf, That’s a Wrap

It’s the first of March and that means it is National Crochet Month. To celebrate crochet CGOA is having a Mega Crochet Along with 4 patterns. There will be a new pattern from a different designer every week free to CGOA members.

I’m happy to announce that the first pattern for this celebration is my “Shining Day Wrap”. This wrap is worked in 2 pieces off a center foundation to create a wide lacy rectangle that can be worn as a shawl or scarf. It looks very fancy and complicated, but it is actually an easy pattern to learn.

This pattern includes stitch charts, text instructions and a photo-tutorial on working picots. There is everything you need to successfully crochet your own wrap, even if you are new to crochet. The pattern will be available for free to both CGOA members and non-members on the CGOA website: crochet.org thru March 7th. You will be able to download the pattern PDF thru the CGOA store.

Starting March 8th my pattern will be available for purchase in my Ravelry shop and there will be a new pattern available to CGOA members each of the following 3 weeks.

 

 

Flatirons Shawl

The Flatirons Shawl is my latest independent published design. This was what I was working on during our Mount Rushmore/Eclipse road trip. It is made with Theodora’s Pearls “Auxanometer” hand-dyed yarn, dyed in Longmont. This is a lovely rayon yarn that has beautiful sheen and drape in the finished project. Each hank contains approximately 400 yards of fingering weight yarn.

It is constructed of 3 triangles crocheted continuously from one triangle to the next, creating an asymmetrical wrap that has only 4 tails to weave in at the finish. There are 2 different lace patterns used to create the triangles and 2 colors of yarn to add textural interest. The triangles inspired the name “Flatirons” because of the dramatic rock formations bordering the Boulder Valley.

Back view of Kerchief wrap

Between the yarn and the shape this is an extremely wearable shawl. I tried styling it a number of ways on Collette.

Pinned Ends Cowl style

For this wearing option I pinned the two tips of the shawl at the back of the neck and made a doubled circle across the shoulders to create a cowl look.

Fastened with Shawl Pin

Then there is always the useful shawl pin option. This style really shows off the drape of the fabric and gives great coverage of the shoulders.

The pattern is an advanced intermediate level, so a definite skill builder. It involves working 4 row repeating lace patterns, decreases, color work, and changing direction of stitches. The pattern contains stitch charts for the lace pattern in each triangle as well as a detailed schematic for the edging directions.

Foothills Sunrise

Chautauqua Moonlight

Boulder Canyon

St. Vrain Trail

Today is the launch of this project at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe.  As part of their 5th year anniversary celebration the shop is doing kits of the above 4 different color combinations for $62 each. The pre-order of the kits starts today, September 5th thru September 17th. If you pre-order the yarn during this time the shop will provide a complimentary copy of the pattern. The yarn will be delivered to customers the week of the 25th.

Then I’ll be hosting the CAL starter party Saturday, September 30th from 2p – 4p at the shop. We will also have a thread in the Longmont Yarn Shoppe Ravelry group. So even if you live far from Longmont, Colorado you will be able to participate in the CAL and the pre-order of the yarn. Just call the shop to order your kit at 303-678-8242.

The color kits will still be available after the 17th, but will not include the complimentary pattern.  You will be able to purchase the pattern thru my Ravelry shop at any time.