“Wraps for All Seasons” Blog Tour – Stop #4

Hi everyone. My book “Wraps for All Seasons” is going on a blog tour. We will be making 6 stops for this tour. Each of the bloggers will be giving away a copy of the book, so be sure to visit them to see what they have to share with you about my book.

tamara-photo-2016

Stop #4 is with the amazing Tamara Kelly of Mooglyblog.com. Tamara and I met for the first time in real life at the 2014 CGOA conference in Manchester, NH. Since then we have gotten to be good friends and enjoy talking crochet and kids together. Tamara is a genius at designing simple fun projects that work up quickly, check out her blog for all kinds of patterns and crochet information.

tidal-wave-shawl-sm

I think this Tidal Wave Shawl is so fun. It is crocheted with simple stitches and shaping that even a beginning crocheter can tackle. The added drama comes from the color changes you work in the last half of the project. Think of all the beautiful color combinations you could use! I’m thinking it could even be a great “stash buster”, since who says you need to stick to 2 colors only.

happiest-blanket-ever-e1475030783225

For those of you that prefer making afghans and blankets, you’ll love the Happiest Blanket Ever. This is another fun “stash buster” project that you can play with color in. Tamara has provided sizing information in the pattern, so you can make the size that is just right for you.

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The next stop for the “Wraps for All Seasons” blog tour will be this Friday, November 11th.

You can purchase my book at the Annie’s Craft Store or on Amazon.com.

“Wraps for All Seasons” Blog Tour – Stop #2

Hi everyone. My book “Wraps for All Seasons” is going on a blog tour. We will be making 6 stops for this tour. Each of the bloggers will be giving away a copy of the book, so be sure to visit them to see what they have to share with you about my book.

kathy-lashley-elk-studio

Stop #2 is with the lovely Kathy Lashley of ELK Studio Handcrafted Crochet Designs. Kathy is not only a talented designer she is also a left-handed crocheter and is the teacher on “Learn to Crochet for Lefties” from the Annie’s folks.

sweet-roll-hat-project-by-kathy-lashley-elk-studio

Check out Kathy’s awesome hat pattern “Swirling Pebbles”. This hat is part of her Christmas Present CAL that she has put together to help her readers get a jump on holiday gift making. A quick project with a fun yarn that does all the color changing for you.

the-woodman-super-scarf-by-elk-studio

If you’ve been wanting to try out a pattern for a super scarf you’ll love her pattern for “The Woodman Super Scarf”. This design has a load of texture worked in 3 different colors of Red Heart Soft Yarn. Kathy chose Black, Charcoal and White for her sample, but with the wide range of colors in the Soft Yarn line you’ve got all sorts of options.

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The next stop for the “Wraps for All Seasons” blog tour will be next Friday, November 4th.

You can purchase my book at the Annie’s Craft Store or on Amazon.com.

Fans & Lace Afghan Square

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October 13, 2016: Hello dear readers and new visitors just a little update to this post.

Happy Birthday to Me! I’m 21 today! No, not 21 years old, my Fans & Lace Afghan Square is block #21 in the 2016 Moogly Afghan CAL.

If you hadn’t heard about the Moogly Afghan CAL it’s not too late to join the fun. You can hop on over to Mooglyblog.com to get all the details and see Tamara’s interpretation of my square.

My video tutorial “Fans & Lace Square – Part 1” for this pattern will be is up on my YouTube Channel this Saturday.

Thank you so much to Veronique HoRaive for providing a French Translation of this pattern, you can find the PDF of the pattern here. fans-and-lace-afghan-square-french-1

Check out today’s blog post to find for some fun ideas on playing with color choices and the number of colors used in the square. “Changing Color, Changing the Look”.

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It’s October again and the first week has gone flying by! I’ve less than a week before I celebrate my birthday, but I thought I would get an early start with my present to all my lovely readers.

fans-n-lace-square-3-andee-graves-m2h-designs

This is my newest afghan square. I was playing with changing the height of stitches within the rounds. This is a skill building pattern with techniques that some may find challenging. Next week I’ll have a video on my YouTube channel that will walk you thru the pattern and the tricky bits.

I worked my sample square with just 3 colors, but you can use fewer or more than that. Next week I will also have a post showing you how changing the number of colors and when you change colors can dramatically change the appearance of your square.

FANS & LACE AFGHAN SQUARE

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill level:       Intermediate

Finished Size:

12” square

Materials:

Yarn

Worsted wt (Sample uses Lion Brand Yarns “Vanna’s Choice” 100% Acrylic (5 oz/142g, 251 yd/230 m)

Color A: #142 Rose (sample used approximately 52 yards)

Color B: #101 Pink (sample used approximately 48 yards)

Color C: #146 Dusty Purple (sample used approximately 38 yards)

Hook

I / 5.5mm

Notions

Yarn/tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Gauge

First 2 rounds of pattern = 2” across square

Abbreviations/Special Stitches

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. *If you need some help with this stitch check out my blog post: Working the Standing DC Stitch.

3 double crochet decrease (3dc Dec): YO, insert hook in first st, YO pull up a loop, YO pull thru 2 loops, (YO insert hook in next st, YO pull up a loop, YO pull thru 2 loops) 2 times, YO pull thru all remaining loops on hook.

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

10 Treble Fan (Fan): (5 Tr, ch 1, 5 Tr) in indicated st or sp.

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

8 Treble Shell (8T Shl): (4 Tr, ch 1, 4 Tr) in indicated st or sp.

Granny Shell (Gr Shl): 3 dc worked in indicated st or sp.

Pattern Notes:

Start square with an adjustable slip knot. *If you haven’t ever used an Adjustable Slip Knot this video shows you how. Beginning tail tightens the loop on the hook.

Round 2 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 them as in a joining slip stitch. You will be working into those loose slip stitches in Round 3.

Instructions

Rnd 1: Starting with Color A, ch 4 (counts as center and first dc), (11 dc) in 4th ch from hook, sl st to top of beginning ch-4. Gently pull on beginning tail to tighten center. [12 dc]

Rnd 2: (Sl st loosely before next dc in space between stitches, Ch 3, 3dc dec worked across next 3 sts, ch 3) 4 times, sl st tightly into first sl st. Fasten off. [4 3dc dec, 8 ch-3 sps]

Rnd 3: Change to Color B. (Standing dc, ch 1, dc) in any sl st, (counts as first V-st), (*ch 2, sk ch-3 sp, {sc, ch 3 sc} in top of Dec, ch 2, sk ch-3 sp,* V-st next sl st) 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, sl st to first V-st. Fasten off. [8 sc, 8 ch-2 sps, 4 ch-3 sps, 4 V-sts]

Rnd 4: Change to Color C. Begin as with Standing dc, YO, insert hook into ch-1 sp of any V-st in Rnd 3, yo, pull up a loop, YO, pull thru 2 loops on hook, (YO, insert hook in same ch-1 sp, YO pull up a loop, YO pull thru 2 loops) 2 times, YO pull thru remaining 4 loops on hook (counts as first Cl), (*skip 4 sts, Fan in next ch-3 sp, skip 4 sts,* Cl in next ch-1 sp) 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, sl st to beginning Cl. Fasten off. [4 Cl, 4 Fans]

Rnd 5: Change to Color B. Standing dc in any Cl from Rnd 4, ch 1, dc in same st (counts as first V-st),(*Ch 2, skip 2 sts, sc next st, ch 3, skip 2 sts, (sc, ch 3, sc) in next ch-1 sp, ch 3, skip 2 sts, sc next st, ch 2, skip 2 sts,* V-st next st) 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, sl st to first V-st of round. Fasten off. [16 sc, 4 V-sts, 12 ch-3 sps, 8 ch-2 sps]

Rnd 6: Change to Color A. Standing dc in ch-1 sp of any V-st in Rnd 5, (ch 1, dc) 2 times in same ch-1 sp, (*skip ch 2 sp, {dc, ch 2, dc} next sc, skip 1 ch-3 sp, 8Tr Shl in next ch-3 sp, skip next ch-3 sp, {dc, ch 2, dc} next sc, skip ch-2 sp,* {[dc, ch 1] 2 times, dc} in next ch-1 sp) 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, sl st to first dc of round. Fasten off. [28 dc, 32 Tr, 12 ch-1 sp, 8 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 7: Change to Color C. Standing dc in first ch-1 sp in direction of work from corner ch-1 sp, dc in same ch-1 sp, skip one st, 2 dc next ch-1 sp, (*skip 2 sts, Gr Shl in next ch-2 sp, skip 2 sts, Gr Shl next st, skip 2 sts, {Gr Shl, ch 2, Gr Shl} in next ch-1 sp, sk 2 sts, Gr Shl next st, sk 2 sts, Gr Shl in next ch-2 sp, sk 2 sts,* {2 dc in next ch-1 sp} 2 times) 3 times, Repeat from * to * once, sl st to first dc of round. [24 Gr Shl, 16 dc, 4 ch-2 sp]

Rnd 8: Ch 3 (counts as dc), *dc in each st along side until reach corner ch-2 sp, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in corner ch-2 sp, Repeat from * until work last corner of square, dc in each st until reach first dc of round, sl st to first dc. Fasten off. [104 dc, 4 ch-2 sp] 26 dc each side

Rnd 9: Change to Color A. (Standing dc, ch 1, dc) in 12th dc in direction of work from ch-2 corner sp, (counts as first V-st), (*skip 2 sts, V-st next st,* Repeat from * to * until 2 dc remain before corner ch-2 sp, {V-st, ch 2, V-st} in corner ch-2 sp) 4 times, Repeat from * to * until 2 sts are left before first V-st of round, sl st to first st of V-st. [40 V-st, 4 ch-2 sp] 10 V-st each side

Rnd 10: (Loosely sl st, ch 3, 2 dc) in first ch-1 sp (counts as first Gr Shl), (*Gr Shl in ch-1 sp of each V-st* until reach ch-2 sp at corner, {dc, ch 2, dc} in corner ch-2 sp) 4 times, Repeat from * to * until reach first Gr Shl of round, sl st to first st of Gr Shl. Fasten off. [40 Gr Shl, 8 dc, 4 ch-2 sp] 10 Gr Shl each side

Rnd 11: Change to Color B. (Standing dc, ch 1, dc) in middle st of any Gr Shl along a side (counts as first V-st), (*V-st in middle st of each Gr Shl *until work in last Gr Shl before corner ch-2 sp, {V-st, ch 2, V-st} in corner ch-2 sp) 4 times, Repeat from * to * until reach first V-st of round, sl st to first st of V-st. [48 V-st, 4 ch-2 sp] 12 V-st each side

Rnd 12: Repeat Rnd 10. [48 Gr Shl, 8 dc, 4 ch-2 sp] 12 Gr Shl each side

Finishing

Weave in tails and block.

Modifying a Pattern

daisies-in-vals-garden
Daisies in Val’s Garden

My friend Val and I get together most Tuesday mornings to crochet and visit. This Tuesday she was determined to finish up some small projects that she had in her basket. One of those projects was a headband she was making from my “Springtime Headband” pattern.

headband-open

She wanted the headband to be adjustable, so I came up with a modification to add a button band and buttons to it. We were both pleased with how the finished headband looked and Val was really happy to have one of her projects completed.

Blog Headband alone

 

I thought some of my readers might enjoy using this modification as well. I’m posting the changes we made. The original pattern can be found on my “Crochet and Springtime” post from March 2015. The post also includes a photo tutorial on making cluster and puff stitches.

buttoned-up

SPRINGTIME HEADBAND w/BUTTONS

modifications and design by Andee Graves 

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Headband is approximately 3.25”/8.125cm wide x 23”/55cm long.

YARN

Worsted weight yarn – approximately 35g or 82 yards

Val was using Lion Brand Yarns, Vanna’s Choice, I used Lion Brand Yarns, Wool-ease for my original project.

CROCHET HOOKS

Size US 7 / (4.5mm)

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS

2 – buttons 3/4 inch diameter

Stitch markers

Yarn needle

GAUGE

6 rows & 9 sts in hdc = 2” 

SPECIAL STITCHES

3 DC Cluster Stitch (Cl): (Yo, insert hook into indicated st or sp, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull thru 2 loops on hook) 3 times, yo, pull thru 4 loops remaining on hook.

Puff Stitch (Puff): (Yo, insert hook into indicated st or sp, yo, pull up a loop to desired height) 5 times, 11 loops on hook, yo, pull thru 10 loops on hook, 2 loops left on hook, yo, pull thru remaining 2 loops on hook.

Half Double Crochet 2 Together (hdc2tog): Yo, insert hook into indicated st or sp, yo pull up a loop, insert hook in next st, yo pull up a loop, yo pull thru all 4 loops on hook.

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

NOTES

The Cluster stitches and Puff stitches in this project have more texture because they are “squished” between 2 shorter stitches. The texture is created on the back of the rows. The finished project will have the textured side as the right side of the fabric.

Once the first 65 rows of the headband are crocheted button band row is added and edging is worked all the way around with the right side of fabric facing you.

INSTRUCTIONS

For the buttoned version of this headband work Rows 1 – 65 in original pattern.

 

 

Button Band:

buttonband-reading-sts

Row 66: Turn, DO NOT CHAIN, sc in first st, ch 2 (counts as first dc), *sk 1 st, V-st next st, sk 1 st, dc next st, Repeat from * once. [3 dc, 2 V-st]

buttonband-st-diagram

EDGING 

Ch 1, with RS facing turn band to work along first long edge, *work sc spaced evenly along edge in ends of rows (3 sc in the ends of the every 2 rows), ch 2, turn to work along end of headband, sc in next 9 sts, ch 2*, turn to work along second long edge, Repeat from * to *, sl st to first sc in round.

FINISHING

Weave in ends. Block lightly, if desired.  Sew buttons to right side (textured side) to align with openings in V-sts.

With the colder weather we are beginning to have up here on the mountain it is time to have some extra layers of warmth handy when I’m walking the dog or taking the boys to school. I may be putting an ear warming headband in the glovebox of my car, just in case.

They are also great quick gift projects for those of you thinking about your holiday gift-giving lists.

 

The Dilemma of Naming Designs

As I have said before, trying to think up names for my designs can be one of the most challenging aspects of my work. It’s not just me though it turns out. Thursday this week I was facing the naming struggle once again and decided to tweet about it.

“Sometimes the hardest thing about being a #crochet designer is coming up with a name for my designs.”

My tweets show up on my Facebook page and I had a chuckle today when I finally looked at my page today and read the many responses from loads of my yarnie friends.

Some of my designer friends had funny stories about how they came up with a name. My friend, Bonnie Barker, had some help from family recently.

“Yep. I get that! That’s why when I was out of ideas (while working on my latest book), I spoke out loud wondering and my son replied with a silly (but catchy) name, and I ran with it! That’s how the Fergus Shrug got its name.”

My friend Kathryn White shared her solution, that sometimes creates it’s own problems. Turns out the talented Vashti Braha has this same solution and problem.

“Oh I know that problem. Whenever I see or hear a possible name I try and jot it down. But then I have to remember where I put the note….”

There were a number of designer friends who had some very helpful advice that I will be taking note of.

My good friend April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio says,

Lately if I can’t think of one easily I use city names in Oklahoma. There is a list of all of them on Wikipedia. Maybe choose a theme: flowers, birds. I also once used part of a scientific name. The color of the scarf reminded me of purple cabbage, so I looked up the scientific name for the plant. That became Brassica Scarf.”

The talented designer and editor of “Crochet! Magazine” for Annie’s Publishing, Ellen Gormley had this helpful advice,

“Street names, city names, flower names, rock/gems, color names, simple words in other languages… I look at all of these to help.

My dear friend, Brenda Bourg shared her favorite resource,

I have a site with over 20,000 names in all different languages. It makes it pretty easy to find names. If I can pronounce it, and I like the meaning, I run with it.

I think the suggestion that made me smile the most was from Elfie, one of my good crocheting buddies from Kansas City,

“Name then after your friends… for instance a hooded oversize sweater made with dark and sparkley with hints of green yarn would be an Elfie in the woods ..lol…or a purple butterfly shawl Erin about town..”

I still need to come up with a name for this latest design, in fact I’m working on 6 designs right now that are in need of a name. I tend to like “geeky” names or names that have a pun to them.

Playing with Triangles Shawl
Playing with Triangles Shawl

Recently I named this series of blog posts and the resulting shawl pattern “Playing with Triangles” which is a bit of a geeky inside joke.

Sophisticated Simplicity Necklace - Andee Graves/M2H Designs 2

And there was my alliterative and contradictory “Sophisticated Simplicity Necklace”.

Mountain Whisper Shawl
Mountain Whisper Shawl

Last fall when I was stumped for a name for this light and lacy shawl, I asked visitors to the blog to vote on a name. “Mountain Whisper Shawl” was the name that won. I tend to stick “mountain” into names as a nod to where I live.

One thing is clear, naming my designs may not get easier. Fortunately that won’t stop me from dreaming up new ones all the time. Have a great weekend dear readers. I’m off to see a special exhibit at the Denver Art Museum tomorrow and then I’ll be teaching crochet to knitters on Sunday at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe.

 

 

 

Crocheting in Longmont

Today I was at my crochet group in Longmont at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe, “Causal Crochet”. We had been getting together on the third Wednesday of each month for 2 hours starting at 10:30 a.m. This was our first meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, and we will be having 2 meetings a month from now on.

If you are in the area you can join us at “Causal Crochet” for at least the next 8 months on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday of the month. We will see if the schedule still works for everyone once summer rolls around.

Our group today discussed what our fall “Crochet-A-Long” project is going to be. Looks like we will be working on a blanket square. I’ll be putting the pattern up here on my blog and my YouTube Channel during the first week of October. That’s just 3 weeks away!

teaching-swatch-2

I was teaching a private crochet lesson today after the group met. This weekend I am teaching a “Learn to Crochet for Knitters” class, but one of the knitters that wanted to take it wasn’t going to be able to make the class. Instead we made arrangements to have a one hour lesson together at the shop. I think it went very well and she is well on her way to being able to add crochet to her knitting projects.

hank-of-green-berroco-vintage

It’s always so fun to see a crafter get the hang of a new skill. This was my little practice piece for demonstrating the stitches to my student. I was working with Berroco “Vintage” yarn. I have 3 hanks of the green color in my stash, left-over from another project and I decided I needed to add some new colors for a project percolating in my brain.

sunflower

Fall is definitely in the air up here on the mountain, even though it is late summer most days down in town. I’ve been seeing lots of sunflowers blooming everywhere. They are one of my favorite flowers, maybe that’s because I grew up in Kansas (The Sunflower State).

pile-of-berroco-vintage-yarn

I picked the 2 yellows and the brown to go with the green I already have. They really put me in mind of sunflowers. Will have to see what they grow up to be. Berroco’s “Vintage” is a great machine washable work-horse yarn that is a blend of 52% Acrylic, 40% Wool, and 8% nylon. The nylon makes it very durable, which is really nice for afghans, blankets and hard working hats or scarves for the family.

If you are feeling too impatient to wait for my new afghan square, you can check out some of them I’ve already published here on the blog.

Whirlwind Square - M2H Designs

Whirlwind Afghan Square: the pattern is here on my blog, and I have 2 videos to help you work it here on my YouTube Channel: Whirlwind How-To Part 1 and Whirlwind How-To Part 2.

My 2 squares today

Annetta Square: the pattern is here on my blog.

Hot Spot (Annetta Square #2) : the pattern is here on my blog.

Rnd 5 finished_edited-1

The Humble Granny Square: the pattern is here on my blog.

I hope all my US readers are enjoying some cooler temperatures and enjoying the last bits of summer. Soon we will have snow up here on the mountain. I’ll be digging out my warmer clothing in the next couple of weeks. The good news is, I will have lots of opportunities to wear some of my favorite scarves, shawls and hats again.

 

Prize Winner!

C2C Scarf 1

Last Autumn I facilitated a Crochet-A-Long at my local yarn shop: Longmont Yarn Shoppe. I introduced our Causal Crochet group to the “Corner to Corner” crochet technique. Each crocheter picked a yarn in the shop that they wanted to try, and we each made a scarf.

One of the participants was Margie C. She enters the Boulder County Fair each year, submitting a number of crochet projects and this year she decided to enter the scarf she made. Last month when we all got together she shared the following photo with the group.

margie-cs-cty-fair-ribbons

Her scarf had garnered 3 ribbons! Yay Margie!

If you would like to try your hand at the corner-to-corner technique you can find my tutorial and pattern on my blog post: Playing with Corner to Corner.

C2C projects M2H Designs

Corner to Corner is a really fun crochet technique. My favorite aspect of it is that you have that “small start” that I love to use. When you use a yarn with long gradual color changes you can get a truly impressive looking piece of fabric with minimal ends to weave in.

pwt-shawl-rose

I’m heading off this weekend to Scotts Bluff, Nebraska for the Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair. I’ll be teaching 2 classes on Saturday, my “Playing with Triangles Shawl” in the morning and my “Don’t Let Your Hobby Hurt” in the afternoon.

pwt-unforgettable-rose-2

I’m really excited about teaching the shawl class, I’ve added some fun variations to the basic shawl pattern and I’m hoping to inspire my students creativity. If you are in the area you can still enroll for the Saturday classes, just visit the website for more information on how and where to register.

If Scotts Bluff is too far away for you, you can find the pattern for the shawl here on my blog in my post: Playing with Triangles (the post also includes a link to an animated tutorial version of the pattern).

Hopefully I can get some pictures of the beautiful landscape around Scotts Bluff to share with you all next week. And some cute fiber critters as well.

“Uncle!”

Sometimes getting back into the routine of school days is a rough transition. That would definitely be the case this week. This is the first full week my boys are back in school and to add to the fun (not): my husband is out of town for work and there are major construction delays on the 2  shortest routes down the mountain to school.

I am really glad that we are getting our roads back to better-than-before. If you all remember back in September 2013 there was a nasty flood here and we had extreme damage to numerous roadways in Colorado, especially in the mountains. The construction has been on-going for the past 3 years, with the big job starting last year about this time.

What all this means for me though, is less time in my office at home. Being on the go isn’t too bad when I’m crocheting away on a pattern, but it gets a bit tricky when I need to do photography and video work.

I had planned to have an awesome Tuesday post for all my dear readers. Unfortunately, I finally had to accept reality since it is now Wednesday evening and I still don’t have the awesome post completed. I’m crying “Uncle” this time. Awesome post is being moved to my Saturday post instead.

But I won’t leave you with a completely empty plate. No starving children in Mama Andee’s house!

One of the good things about being trapped down in town this week, I had the opportunity to get lots of shopping errands out of the way. Seems like there are always little errands that get pushed off the day’s list when I come down during summer break.

This past Tuesday I took care of all my grocery errands, but I also made some time for errands that were a bit more fun. Like stopping by JoAnn’s and Michaels.

RH WaterLily

I needed some foam cushions for a project and knew that JoAnn’s would have the ones I wanted. I spent a few minutes having a wistful browse of all the lovely Ott-Lites they have in stock. I did resist that temptation, but a skein of yarn said it needed to come home with me.

RH Friends

I really like crocheting with Red Heart’s “With Love” yarn (very aptly named as well). It is nice and soft with a lofty springy twist to it. Great for making home décor or even wearables. I picked the Water Lily color because I thought it would play well with some purple that I had in my stash. Don’t they look nice together? Will be coming back to them later this winter.

There has been a lot of posting in social media about Caron Yarn’s newest product “Caron Cakes”. They are only in Michaels stores from what I understand. They did have them online at the Michaels website, but as of this writing they are out-of-stock. You can take a look at the various colors online though and see if there is a store near you that carries them.

Caron Cakes at Michaels

I wanted to see if I could find them in my local Michaels. The store I go to is located in Superior, Colorado in the same shopping area as my nearest Costco.  I decided I had time for a stop in Michaels before heading to Costco for groceries. I was pleased to see the yarn there, though they had already sold quite a bit of it.

My Caron Cakes

I had to adopt a few balls for myself. I decided on 2 balls of the purple toned “Bumbleberry” and 1 ball of the “Blueberry Cheesecake”. The yardage in each ball is very generous at 383 yards. It is a yarn that requires a bit more care, the instructions on the label say “Hand Wash. Lay flat to dry.” A little surprising as the fiber content is 80% Acrylic/20% Wool. The yarn is very soft in the ball and doesn’t have that slight scratchiness you sometimes get with wool blends.

Jessies Cakes Round-Up

I’m looking forward to working with this yarn and seeing what new designs it inspires for me. Meanwhile my good friend and fellow yarnie blogger Jessie has put together a Round-up of pattern suggestions for folks that are wondering what they can crochet with this yarn.

C2C Scarf 1

You can find Jessie’s suggestions and the links to the patterns on her blog: Jessie At Home. I was flattered that she included my C2C Basics Scarf in there.  Some of my other patterns that could work up nicely in this yarn are:

Granny Fans Redux - Andee Graves/M2H Designs

Granny Fans Redux, this is one of my paid patterns that has detailed charts and the instructions for 3 different styles of neck wear. The long runs of color in the Caron Cakes would likely give you fans in each color.

2nd PWT

Playing with Triangles Shawl, this pattern is available here on my blog and I have a “how-to” video on my YouTube Channel.

3rd PWT attempt

You can see in the above photo how fun the color changes were using Red Heart’s Treasure. With the Caron Cakes the color stripes would be even more dramatic. The squishy loft of the Cakes yarn would make a very snuggly shawl, perfect for a gift for a dear friend or family member this coming holiday season.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and be sure to stop by on Saturday for another fun pattern and video.

Hoppy Spring

It’s just a few short days until it’s Easter! How did that happen? Of course, the Easter Bunny sometimes has to wear his snow boots when he comes to our house. Fortunately for most of my lucky readers they are seeing warmer temperatures and flowers blooming.

I’ve been seeing a few brave flowers and leaves making an appearance down in town, but up on the mountain there isn’t much indication that winter is winding down.

Lindt Dark Chocolate Gold Bunny
Lindt Dark Chocolate Gold Bunny

Easter time is lots of fun and at our household involves the consumption of chocolate bunnies. I’ve bought our bunnies already and hid them so the chocolate monsters won’t eat their ears off before the big day. Nothing more off-putting than having an Easter basket with an earless bunny in it.

Bunnies are a great theme at Easter, but please don’t buy a real baby bunny unless you are ready to give them a good home for the next 10 years or so. Bunnies grow up to be rabbits and they require special care and attention to have full happy lives. Just like any pet you adopt.

And if you really want to adopt a pet rabbit, wait until after Easter and go to your local animal shelter. Usually a week after Easter they start to get lots of bunnies that folks realize they don’t want to keep. Sad, but true.

An easier way to have a bunny for Easter is to crochet a cuddly toy bunny. Hey, you knew I was going to fit crochet in here somehow. There are some great patterns out there for bunnies, I did a search on Ravelry for Free Bunny softie toys and was blown away by the number of patterns. Over 9 pages of patterns came up.

Image from Lion Brand Yarns.
Image from Lion Brand Yarns.

This cutie is the “Best Bunny” from the Lion Brand Website and I think he is adorable. I love the big floppy ears and generous size of the toy. Just big enough to make a great back pack friend, but not so huge that you need 5 months to make it.

He is shown worked in a fun 2 color combination, but you could make him in one solid color if you desired. Personally I am tempted to make him a bright blue or aqua.

Image from Lion Brand Yarns
Image from Lion Brand Yarns

If you are running short on time there is also this cute little Amigurumi Bunny Egg Cozy from the Lion Brand Website. What a great way to decorate a special egg for the Easter basket.

Or you could stuff the body with fiberfill and work a few more decrease rounds to close up the bottom of the cozy and turn him into an eggy shaped softie. Again I’m seeing this bunny worked in a variety of bright spring colors.

If neither of these bunnies inspire you to crochet up some rabbit friends, then take a look at the pattern database on Ravelry. You can search in a variety of ways to find the pattern that you like best.

Now get hopping, Easter will be here before you know it.

A Headband for Walkies

The weather is warming up a little up here on the mountain. But with my new short hairstyle my ears can get quite chilly when I am out for walks with my dog.

Photo courtesy of Beatrice Ryan Designs
Photo courtesy of Beatrice Ryan Designs

So I decided it was time to try this fun headband pattern designed by my friend Elena at Beatrice Ryan Designs. You can find the pattern over on her blog “Whimsical Warmth Headband”.

Finished Headband on Model

I thought it would look really nice in a yarn with long gradual color changes so I decided to use Red Heart’s Boutique “Treasures” in the Watercolors colorway.

I made a few changes when working this pattern. I used a foundation single crochet for the foundation instead of working a chain and then working into the chain.

Inside of Headband

I also didn’t want to cut the yarn and re-attach to the bottom of the foundation. Instead I used chain and slip stitches to work down along the inside seam of the headband after I completed the reverse single crochet edge on the top edge of the headband.  Then I completed the reverse single crochet edging along the base of the foundation.

I really like the way this headband came out, and it’s going to be my favorite to wear on my walks this spring.