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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.

Less than 3 weeks til Christmas!

So much to be done and time is getting short. All those grand plans you had for crocheting up the perfect gift for family and friends are now down to the wire.  For those of you looking for a quick crochet gift project, I and a few of my fellow designer/blogger friends have some suggestions for you.

Hurry Up Holiday Cowl by Tamara Kelly/Moogly
Hurry Up Holiday Cowl
by Tamara Kelly/Moogly

From the lovely Tamara Kelly over at Moogly the first pattern of her 2015 Moogly Holiday Mini CAL is available. Make this chunky cowl with one skein of Lion Brand Yarn Hometown USA… in less than an hour! Video tutorials included!

Sparkly Jar Cover
Sparkly Jar Cover

Tamara also pulled together a gift giving guide on the Lion Brand Blog (including my Sparkly Jar Cover).

Center
Coraline in Morocco Cowl by Simply Collectible Crochet

From Celina of Simply Collectible Crochet here is a list of some quick crochet projects that would make great gifts. I especially love her “Coraline in Morocco Cowl”. Make it in festive colors or a sparkly yarn and you have a lovely quick gift to brighten someone’s holiday. This would be a really great project for one of those lone balls of beautiful yarn that has been sitting in your stash for a couple of years un-loved.

Lorraine-Free-Crochet-Ear-Warmer-Pattern-Blue-Green
Lorraine-Free-Crochet-Ear-Warmer-Pattern-Blue-Green

From Jessie of Jessie-At-Home is her Last Minute Gift pattern Round-up from 2014. My favorite in this Round-up is the pattern for the “Lorraine” a wonderful wide ear warmer that buttons in the back. I especially like the version Jessie made with a big bold crocheted flower on it.

Peppermint Kisses Beanie - Kathy Lashley/ELK Studio
Peppermint Kisses Beanie – Kathy Lashley/ELK Studio

From Kathy of ELK Studio is the gorgeous “Peppermint Kisses” beanie. This pattern gives you 2 different band styles to choose from as well.  I could see this hat worked in any combination of colors. You could even work it in your giftee’s school colors.

Smidgen Cozy - M2H Designs
Smidgen Cozy – M2H Designs

One of my favorite recent designs for a quick crochet gift is my “Smidgen Cozy”. This project is quick to make because you are working with a large hook and very bulky yarn. All you need is yarn, hook, a pretty button and an evening to crochet up this cozy gift.

A lot of my patterns available for purchase thru my Ravelry Shop also work up quickly for gift giving.

Little Christmas Wreath - M2H Designs
Little Christmas Wreath – M2H Designs

One of my favorites to use as a Christmas brooch is my “Little Christmas Wreath”.  You can work it up in any yarns you have available, just use the appropriate size hook to fit your yarn. The little wreaths can also be embellished with beads to make them even more festive.

Twisted Vs Cowl - M2H Designs
Twisted Vs Cowl – M2H Designs

Another quick project is my “Twisted Vs Cowl”. This project again takes advantage of bulky yarn and a big hook, as well as an open stitch pattern, to speed you to completion of another gift.

Anna Moebius Cowl - M2H Designs
Anna Moebius Cowl – M2H Designs

My all-time favorite crochet gift project for my female friends and relatives though is my “Anna Moebius Cowl”.  I can complete one of these cowls in approximately 3 hours.  I especially like to use yarns with long color changes as the stitch pattern shows them off spectacularly.

Hopefully one or more of the patterns you can find thru these links will be just what you need for your gift-making projects. Remember to be gentle with yourself and take lots of breaks while you are stitching away on those last-minute gifts.

 

Let’s Do the Hop!

No, I haven’t turned into a bunny (or a 1950s teeny-bopper), but I am participating in a fun Flash Giveaway Blog Hop. What in the world is that? So glad you asked.

A Blog Hop is when you visit one blog site and at the end of the post is a link to the next stop. So you “hop” over to the next stop and so forth. No matter which blog you start at you’ll hop around in a circle, so you’ll get to visit each of the blogs on the tour.

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The 8 designers in this hop are each giving away a free pattern. You just have to visit their site to get the coupon code or link for the pattern, but it is only good for 24 hours. This hop goes from September 1, 2015 at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to 1 p.m. (EST) September 2, 2015.

Before you go clicking around this fab hop, please remember: You are very welcome and encouraged to share the link to this post with your friends on social media and message boards! But please do NOT share the coupon codes themselves. It’s the visitors to our blogs that allow us to make these patterns free today, so click, share the blog link, and enjoy!

Anna Moebius Cowl - Andee Graves M2H Designs

For this hop I picked my Anna Moebius Cowl pattern. I know many of you are likely feeling the pressure of picking projects to make presents for the upcoming gift-giving season, and this is a wonderful quick one that makes a lovely gift. This pattern is normally available thru my Ravelry shop for $3.99 but for the 24 hours of the Flash Giveaway Blog Hop it is FREE. Just use the coupon code FGBHAnna in my Ravelry shop between 1 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) September 1  and 1 p.m. (EST) September 2, 2015.

If you’ve never used a coupon code on Ravelry before it’s really easy.

Go to the pattern page on Ravelry and click the “Add to Cart” button or the “Buy Now” button.

You’ll get a nifty shopping cart box.

In the new box, look for the little tag that says “use a coupon code”.

Click on that tag, you’ll get a spot to enter the coupon code.

Once you’ve entered the code the price will be adjusted to zero.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Now hop on over to visit the talented Kathy Lashley of Elk Studio.

Just Around the Corner

This past week I looked at the calendar and said, “Eek!”  I had just realized that I had less than a week before September was here.  That means that I have a bunch of birthdays coming up in the next 6 weeks and after that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities with all my loved ones.

Most of all this means those gifts that I had planned to get crocheted for “next year” are coming up quite quickly. I know I am very likely not alone in this quandary. So today I wanted to share a round-up of links to patterns from some of my blogging designer friends. Some of these patterns are free (just requiring a visit to their blog) and others are available for sale thru their Ravelry shops.

All of these pattern suggestions are for projects that are fairly portable, so you can get a few stitches in whenever you have a spare minute.

Scarves

I wear a lot of scarves and with the cold weather season coming along I like making them as gifts. There is such a wide variety of scarf patterns out there, from the super simple to the superbly sophisticated.

Artfully Simple Angled Scarf

For those living in warmer climates, or that tend to run on the warmer side the Artfully Simple Angled Scarf designed by Tamara Kelly of Mooglyblog.com is great. This is a wonderful project to use some luxury yarn to create a statement piece for the fashionista on your gift list. This free pattern also has video tutorials and a stitch diagram to get you crocheting along without a hitch.

Sands_of_Time_Scarf_medium2

This scarf pattern from Elena Hunt at Beatrice Ryan Designs looks like a lot of fun to make, and I love the name: Sands of Time Scarf. It is a lovely scarf to showcase those long color change yarns that are so fun to work with. With dressy tassels and beads on the ends it’s a scarf that can be worn for warmth and fashion.

 

Infinity Scarves

These projects are always interesting to me. They are usually relatively narrow so like a scarf, but because they are a long loop they are generally worn like a cowl. I decided for today’s purposes they get their own category.

 

Rolling In the Deep Scarf

Rolling in the Deep Infinity Scarf from Lorene at Cre8tion Crochet is a scarf and it’s a big loop, so it can be worn a number of ways. Contrasting colors worked with ripples make this scarf a relaxing project to work and an exciting one to wear. This pattern is available for sale thru her Ravelry shop for $4.95.

 

melting-snow-infinity-scarfedit_medium

Melting Snow Infinity Scarf from Tamara Kelly is a pretty and simple infinity scarf that you “just keep crocheting until you run out of yarn, then sew the ends together”. No muss, no fuss and another gift project is finished up. Available thru her Ravelry shop for $2.

 

Cowls

For me a cowl is a scarf with some hutzpah. Cowls can be wide or narrow, long or short. Just really depends on the tastes of your giftee, or how much time you have to commit to crocheting up the project.

 

Christmas_Present_CAL_2015_Project__1_Using_Worsted_Weight_Yarn_by_ELK_Studio

Kathy Lashley of Elk Studio knows all about the rush to get gifts ready for the Christmas holidays, so she has a couple of CALs going this fall that you can join at any time. I love this textured take on a cowl.  This is the first pattern in her Christmas Present Crochet-a-longs series and it is a lovely quick project for the crocheter that likes to work with texture using post stitches.

 

Chloe_V_Puff_Stitch_Cowl_Free_Pattern_brought_to_you_by_Cre8tion_Crochet_medium

The Chloe V Puff Stitch Cowl from Lorene at Cre8tion Crochet is another fun project for those wanting a gift with texture and pizazz. The puffy stitches are great for a cushy fabric that your friends and family will love to snuggle into when the winds are blowing cold. You can find this free pattern on her Cre8tion Crochet blog.

 

Coraline_in_San_Francisco_-_Free_crochet_pattern_by_Celina_Lane__Simply_Collectible_9_medium2

Check out the free pattern for the Coraline in San Francisco Cowl designed by Celina Lane of Simply Collectible. This is a large cowl in a mesh stitch that has lots of options in how it can be worn. A great wearable gift project that is easy to crochet

 

Hats

You all know I love hats. They are one of those marvelous crochet projects that don’t take a lot of time to complete (quick gratification), yet are generally challenging enough to keep most of us happily stitching along. Hats also seem to be one of the favorite gifts that my family and friends get from me. At least I see them wearing them regularly.

 

Desert_Hope_Slouch_Beanie_Free crochet pattern by Celina Lane_

First off I have to share another free pattern from Celina Lane of Simply Collectible, the Desert Hope Slouch Beanie. This is such a fun take on a V-st hat that I am totally making it for my oldest son. Worked in a masculine color it will be ideal for the boy who loves to wear crocheted hats all year long.

 

Effortless-Chic-Crochet-Beanie

Check out this lovely hat pattern from Elena Hunt at Beatrice Ryan Designs: Effortless Chic Crochet Beanie. I love the button detail and the vertical striping. Worked in a yarn with long color changes it is going to have a distinctive look, or use a solid color yarn and let the texture be the focal point.

 

Christmas-Present-Crochet-Along-Worsted-Weight-Project-2-by-ELK-Studio

Project #2 in Kathy Lashley’s Christmas Crochet-a-long is a hat worked in the same textured stitches as the cowl. Perfect to make as a set or just make the hat alone if you are pressed for time.

 

Max-ear-flap-hat-crochet-pattern-samples

I am really intrigued by this great earflap hat pattern from Jessie Rayot of Jessie-At-Home: Max Hat. Jessie has created a clever hat that incorporates the earflaps into the last rows of the hat.  The striping with changing stitch heights makes a lovely detail over the flaps. She has shown numerous ways to modify the hat to make it perfect for your giftee and it’s sure to be a hit. You can purchase the pattern thru her Ravelry shop for $4.

 

Some Super Duper Quick Projects

Time has run out and you need something that you can stitch up in just a few hours. Take a look at these little projects for those last-minute gifts.

Chain-Wrap-Bracelet-Cover-Square_medium2

This Chain Wrap bracelet from Jessie Rayot of Jessie-At-Home is a wonderful way to show off a pretty button. Or make up a little kit for your giftee to make their own. Instead of a crocheted gift you can give the gift of learning to crochet. It’s a free pattern on Jessie’s blog and she even has videos on how to make it from start to finish.

 

Now it’s time for the fun part, picking out the yarn and getting your project bags ready to go. I’ll have about 5 different project bags traveling with me in the car so I can get in a few stitches whenever I am waiting to drop off and pick up the boys from school. Hope you all enjoy planning out your projects and getting in some quality crochet time.