Time to Crochet for Yourself!

If your Autumn was anything like mine you have been crazy busy finishing up gifts for everyone for the holidays. Unfortunately in all that rush it is easy to forget about doing anything for yourself. Which is what the “Crochet for Me Pattern Bundle is all about.

This bundle includes 35 crochet patterns by 22 designers for just $19 (89% off the price of buying each pattern individually and just 55¢ each). The Bundle is available for only 5 days, December 26th – 31st, so be sure to grab yours quickly before the bundle is gone with the old year.

This post contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase using my link I will be compensated at no additional cost to you.

Get your Crochet for Me pattern bundle by clicking on this link.

I have 2 patterns in the bundle. My “Rhytmn of Shells cowl” and “September Shawl”. Both of these designs are fabulously wearable because of their shapes.

The cowl is a perfect pattern for using up that gorgeous hank of fingering or sock weight yarn you picked up at your local fiber festival and haven’t known what to make with it. Worked in a tube off a stacked rows foundation the lace pattern is just fancy enough to really dress up your cold weather wardrobe.

The shawl is worked using 2 hanks of similar weight yarn. For my sample the L-shaped body is worked in a simple stitch pattern using a variegated yarn then the elaborate 1920s lace border is worked in a semi-solid complimentary yarn color to really pop. The L-shape sits well on the shoulders no matter how it is styled.

My favorite way to wear my shawls is the classic bandana drape over or under my coat.

Here are some images of all the patterns in the bundle in collages of each section.




Ponchos and Shawls

Miscellaneous (some great fingerless mitts)

Click here to buy your Bundle now.

Puff Star Afghan Hexagon

Wow! The last couple of months have been zipping by, and I am so happy to finally be able to share one of the projects I’ve been keeping under my hat. I’m participating in the 2021 Stitch & Hustle Blog Hop: Puff the Magic Stitch. A big thank you to WeCrochet.com for providing the yarn for this blog hop and to Michele of Stitch & Hustle for organizing the hop.

My design is the Puff Star Afghan Hexagon. You can have so much fun mixing up the colors for the various elements of this fun hexagon, the final round is a Jay-Go edging that makes it easy to join your hexagons together to create an afghan of any size. I’ve included the amounts of yarn needed for the A, B, C & D colors as written, so if you want you can use these hexagons as a scrap busting project. If you do scrap hexagons I recommend using a single color for the Jay-Go Rounds to tie your afghan together.

Puff stitches are a great textural element to have in your crochet toolbox. They are especially nice because they create a texture on both sides of your fabric. If you haven’t ever made puff stitches they can be a bit tricky. My mom would have said, “You have to hold your mouth just right.” The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want all the loops you pull up to be the same length, that way your puff stitches won’t get wonky.

My favorite style of puff stitch has an extra step at the end that captures all the puff stitch loops and makes a clean “top” for the stitch. For this pattern the majority of the puffs are made using 4 yarn-overs and the first puff stitch in Round 2 and 4 are started with a chain-2 then 3 yarn-overs.

Image shows crochet hook with 2 loops on it (one loop is coming thru all the "puff" loops) and arrows showing the direction to pull a yarn-over thru the 2 loops.
The last step of my preferred puff stitch.

Be sure to scroll down after the pattern for links to more fun free patterns featuring the puff stitch and to find out about the great yarn giveaways that are part of this blog hop.

This pattern is also available for purchase as an Ad PDF download in my Ravelry shop. The PDF includes stitch charts for the entire hexagon as well as a stitch diagram of the Join-as-you- Go technique.

Puff Star Afghan Hexagon Pattern

Pattern Details

Skill Level: Intermediate


Yarn – We Crochet “Brava”, Worsted weight, category #4, 100% premium Acrylic (100 g; 218 yds)

The colors I used for the hexagons are shown above and starting in the left top corner are: Mint (C28438), Seashell (C28447), Marina (C2843), Tidal Speckle (C29246), Tranquil (C28454). Then I used Asphalt Heather (C28411) {not pictured} for joining my hexagons together.

I had one ball of each of the hexagon colors and have been playing with using each of them for the various A, B & C instructions. For one hexagon the approximate amount of yarn needed for each Color is:

  • Color A: Rnds 1, 2 & 4 = 8.5 g (19 yds);
  • Color B: Rnds 3, 5, 7 & 8 = 8 g (18 yds);
  • Color C: Rnds 6 & 9 – 7 g (16 yds);
  • Color D: Rnd 10 = 5 g (11 yds).

Hook – I-9 (5.5 mm)

Notions – yarn/tapestry needle, stitch markers

Finished Size: 10 inches from point to point and 8.5 inches across middle between sides.

Gauge:  First 3 Rounds in pattern = 2.75” across middle between sides

Special Stitches/Abbreviations:

BegPuff (Beginning Puff Stitch) – Ch 2, [Yo, insert hook into indicated place, yo, pull up a loop to needed height] 3 times, yo pull thru 6 loops on hook, yo pull thru final 2 loops on hook {like making a single crochet}.

Puff (Puff Stitch) – [Yo, insert hook into indicated place, yo, pull up a loop to needed height] 4 times, yo pull thru 8 loops on hook, yo pull thru final 2 loops on hook {like making a single crochet}.

CL (2 Double Crochet Cluster) – [Yo, insert hook into indicated place, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull thru 2 loops on hook] 2 times, yo, pull thru remaining 3 loops on hook.

sc2tog (Single Crochet 2 Together) – Insert hook in first indicated st/sp, yo, pull up a loop, insert hook in next st, yo pull up a loop, yo, pull thru all 3 loops on hook.

hdcVst (Half Double Crochet V-stitch) – (hdc, ch 1, hdc) in indicated stitch or space.

V-st (Double Crochet V-stitch) – (dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated stitch or space.

Pattern Notes:

Starting with an adjustable slip knot this afghan block is worked in concentric hexagonal rounds.

All rounds are worked with right side (RS) facing except round 6. Round 6 is worked with wrong side (WS) facing so the cluster bobble stitches will push to RS of fabric.

When skipping stitches chains count as 1 stitch each, unless otherwise stated.


Rnd 1 (RS): With Color A, ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook, slip st to first sc of Rnd. (6 sc)

Rnd 2 (RS): BegPuff st in same sc as join, ch 3, [Puff st in next sc, ch 3] 5 times, slip st to top of BegPuff st. Fasten off Color A. (6 Puff, 6 ch-3 sp)

Rnd 3 (RS): Change to Color B, With RS facing join in right hand side of ch-3 sp with a slip st, ch 1, (3 sc, ch 2, 3 sc) in same ch-3 sp, [ch 1, skip next st, (3 sc, ch 2, 3 sc) in next ch-3 sp] 5 times, ch 1, skip next st, slip st to first sc of Rnd. Fasten off Color B. (36 sc, 6 ch-1 sp, 6 ch-2 sp)

Rounds 1-3 finished

Rnd 4 (RS): Change to Color A, with RS facing, join in any ch-1 sp with a slip st, BegPuff st in same ch-1 sp, [*ch 1, skip 1 st, dc next st, ch 1, skip 1 st, (Puff, ch 3, Puff) in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, skip 1 st, dc next st, ch 1, skip 1 st*, Puff in next ch-1 sp] 5 times, Rep from * to * once, slip st to first Puff st of Rnd. Fasten off Color A.  (18 Puff, 12 dc, 24 ch-1 sp, 6 ch-3 sp)

Rnd 5 (RS): Change to Color B, with RS facing join in ch-1 sp to left of center Puff on one side, ch 1, 2 sc in same ch-1 sp, skip next dc, 2 sc in next ch-1 sp, skip next Puff, [*(2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc) in next ch-3 sp, skip next Puff*, (2 sc in next ch-1 sp, skip next st) 4 times,] 5 times, Rep from * to * once, (2 sc in next ch-1 sp, skip next st) 2 times, slip st to first sc of Rnd. Fasten off Color B. (72 sc, 6 ch-2 sp)

Puff Star Crocheted thru Round 5.

Rnd 6 (WS): Change to Color C, with WS facing join yarn in first sc before ch-2 sp at point, ch 1, [(sc, ch 2, sc) in next ch-2 sp, skip next st, sc next 2 sts, CL next st, sc next st, CL next 2 sts, sc next st, CL next st, sc next 2 sts, skip next st] 6 times, slip st to first sc of Rnd. Fasten off Color C. (48 sc, 24 CL, 6 ch-2 sp)

Note: At this point your hexagon is looking a little ruffly, don’t worry we are fixing that in the rest of the rounds.

Rnd 7 (RS): Change to Color B, with RS facing join in second sc before ch-2 sp at point, ch 1, sc in next 2 sts, [*(sc, ch 2, sc) in next ch-2 sp, sc in next st, (sc in next st, sc2tog using next 2 sts) 3 times*, sc in next 2 sts] 5 times, Repeat from * to * once, slip st to first sc of Rnd. (48 sc, 18 sc2tog, 6 ch-2 sp)

Starting Round 8

Rnd 8 (RS): Ch 4, dc in same st as join {counts as first V-st of Rnd}, skip 2 sts, [*(hdcVst, ch 2, hdcVst) in next ch-2 sp*, (skip 2 sts, V-st in next st) 3 times] 5 times, Repeat from * to * once, (skip 2 sts, V-st in next st) 2 times, slip st to 3rd ch of beginning ch-4. Fasten off Color B. (12 hdcVst, 18 V-st, 6 ch-2 sp)

Rnd 9 (RS): Change to Color C, with RS facing join in second ch-1 sp before ch-2 sp at point, ch 4, dc in same ch-1 {counts as first V-st of Rnd}, skip 2 sts, [*V-st in next ch-1 sp, skip next st, (dc, ch 2, dc) in ch-2 sp, skip 1 st*, (V-st in next ch-1 sp, skip 2 sts) 4 times] 5 times, Repeat from * to * once, (V-st in next ch-1 sp, skip 2 sts) 3 times, slip st to 3rd ch of beg ch-4. Fasten off Color C. (30 V-st, 12 dc, 6 ch-2 sp)

Rnd 10 (RS) Jay-Go Rnd: Change to Color D, with RS facing join in ch-1 sp of second V-st before ch-2 sp at point, ch 1, sc in same sp as join, [*ch 3, skip 2 sts, sc in next ch sp*, Repeat from * to * until work in ch-2 sp at point, ch 3, sc in same ch-2 sp] 6 times, Repeat from * to * until reach last V-st before beg of Rnd, ch 3, skip 2 sts, slip st to first sc of Rnd. (42 ch3 sp, 42 sc)

2 Hexagons joined along 1 side.

For first Hexagon of project work Rnd 10 as written, when joining to another hexagon change the ch-3 sps to (ch 1, slip st, ch 1) working the slip st in the corresponding ch-3 sp on the side or sides of hexagon(s) you are joining to.


Weave in all tails and block gently.

If desired, you can work a border of sc around the outside edges of your finished afghan, place 2 sc in each open ch-3 sp and 1 sc in each side of point joins.

In addition to all the fun free patterns using the puff stitch, you can enter to win giveaways of all the yarn needed to make groupings of the patterns available in the hop. The Giveaways start today and go thru October 8, 2021. You can learn more about the blog hop and giveaway by visiting the Stitch & Hustle blog post.

Pufftastic Bandana Cowl, Talara Hooded Duster, and Puff Star Afghan Hexagon

Follow any of the links below to check out the other patterns in this Blog Hop.

Springtime Crocheting!

Well it might not look like it at my house, but Spring has sprung. Soon the warmer weather will find us, even up here on the mountain, and when it does I’ll be looking for cool projects to work on. So my thoughts turn to lace! Lace to make – challenging stitches, airy patterns, gorgeous lightweight yarns – and lace to wear – the perfect items to get me from Spring to Summer or Summer to Fall.

In honor of Spring I joined 34 of my crochet designer colleagues and created the Crochet for Me Lace Bundle. It’s chock full of 46 individual patterns, never before offered in a bundle or for free, that will give you a wide range of patterns that will suit your lacy fancy.

All sorts of patterns are included from hats and headbands, to tees and shawls, to a dress and jewelry, and even a lacy pillow for your lounging pleasure.

I’ve contributed 2 never before released patterns to this gorgeous lace collection: Arrows Lace Wrap and Lace is the Point Cowl.

For the Arrows Lace Wrap I wanted to explore this fun 4 Row lace repeat. I used a central foundation with the wrap worked off each side and ending with an elaborate pointed border. The beginning and end of each row finishes the edge as you go, so once you are done all you have to do is block and weave in a few ends. This pattern is also available in my Ravelry Shop for $5.99.

For the Lace is the Point Cowl I was having some fun with the gorgeous “Folio” yarn from Berroco. The drape and soft fluffy feel of this yarn make it perfect for a cozy lacy layer for a cowl that can see you into the cooler weather. It takes less than 1 ball of yarn, so it’s a great project to splurge on yourself with. This pattern is also available in my Ravelry Shop for $4.99.

You get all 46 patterns featured in this bundle for only $25. That’s less than 55 cents per pattern! But the offer is only available through April 21, 2021, 11:59 PM Eastern, and it absolutely will not be extended nor repeated.

Click here to purchase your Bundle before time runs out!

If you purchased these patterns individually they would cost you well over $200. And by buying from a coalition of designers like this instead of a huge publisher, you know that your money is going where it’s needed – into the pockets of your favorite designers so they can keep on creating the patterns you love to make.


If all of that is not enough to convince you you need this bundle here’s one more great thing. Once you gain access to the patterns you ALSO get a file with extra discount codes for additional products offered by some of our amazing designer friends. And there’s a 15 day money back guarantee so you have absolutely nothing to lose.

Knit For Me Lace Bundle Pattern

For those of my readers that also love to knit there is a Knit for Me Lace Bundle too! The Knit for Me Lace Bundle has 33 patterns for only $17. That’s less than 52 cents per pattern. If you purchased these patterns individually they would cost you well over $170. But the offer is only available through April 21, 2021, 11:59 PM Eastern, and it absolutely will not be extended nor repeated.

If you purchase both bundles together you get an even better discount.

So support the community that you love, rejoice in the fact that you are a clever bargain hunter, then put your feet up and crochet (or knit) something light and lacy as you watch the flowers bloom! Enjoy all of these things – and the lovely Spring weather – while they last.

Master Crocheting Clusters

What is a Cluster Stitch? The general definition is a group of stitches worked in one stitch or space that only counts as one stitch itself. Clusters are a great way to add texture and visual interest to your crochet projects.

There are a lot of different sizes of cluster stitches in crochet. One simple rule to keep in mind when clusters are in a pattern, is to know what stitches are the basis of the cluster. Most commonly a cluster stitch uses double crochet stitches, but sometimes you will see patterns that use treble or even taller stitches. The special stitches section of your pattern should clearly define the cluster stitch telling you which stitch and how many will be in clusters in the project you are making.

If you are a fan of stitch charts the stitch symbols used for the cluster stitch will give you a lot of information. Not only will they show where the cluster stitch is to be worked, they also show how many and what sort of stitches are to be used in each cluster.

Cool Snowflake Motif

My favorite cluster stitch uses 3 double crochet stitches. It is the cluster stitch I used in my “Cool Snowflake Motif” pattern that you can see here on the blog or purchase an Ad-free PDF version in my Ravelry shop.

Cluster Stitch Tutorial

When you are working cluster stitches you want to pay attention to keeping the working loop (first loop on hook) snug to the shaft. This loop can become over extended making your stitch top wider than other single stitches in your project. For smooth looking cluster stitches you want your tension to be even and consistent. If your tall stitches like doubles and trebles tend to get leggy and loopy you may find your cluster stitches to be disappointing.

In a 3 dc cluster stitch you make the base of the 3 dcs being used, then work the final dc step for all 3 in one go. This same method applies to working any dc clusters, no matter the number of stitches. For cluster stitches using taller stitches like trebles you will work each step of the stitch up to the final “pull thru 2 loops”, that final step will be completed once you have worked the bases of all the stitches in the cluster.

Image D
Photo A

To make a 3 dc cluster st, yarn over (yo) like making a double crochet and insert in st or sp, yo, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yo {Photo A},

Image E
Photo B

pull thru 2 loops on hook (2 loops remaining on hook, 1st base made), yo, insert in same st or sp, yo, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook), yo {Photo B},

Image F
Photo C

pull thru 2 loops (3 loops remaining on hook, 2nd base made), yo, insert in same st or sp, yo, pull up a loop (5 loops on hook), yo, pull thru 2 loops (4 loops remaining on hook, 3rd base made), yo {Photo C}, pull thru remaining 4 loops on hook.

Pebbled Star Afghan Square – Andee Graves / M2H Designs

I also like to use cluster stitches to create “bobbles” on my work. A good example of that would be my “Pebbled Star Afghan Square” pattern. The cluster stitches are worked on wrong-side rounds with single crochet stitches framing each cluster so that they are pushed out creating an exaggerated bump on the right side of the fabric. The clusters in this pattern are 3 dc clusters, a 5 dc cluster gives a larger “bump”.

A cluster stitch doesn’t need to be all the same kind of stitches. You can combine stitches like double and treble crochet, this can be especially useful if you are making bobbles and want to make them stand up even more without creating holes in your fabric.

For example…make a cluster that uses (dc, 2 tr, dc). When framed with single crochets you get a bobble that stands out dramatically from the fabric. I used clusters in this way for the feet of my “Luv Bug” amigurumi pattern.

Some of my other patterns that use the cluster stitch are listed below:

Now it is your turn to play with cluster stitches and see if these tips will help you master this fun stitch.

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)


  • 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.



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]


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.

Crocheted Snowflakes & Wreath

July is over and I’m still looking at my Christmas project list. The past 3 years I have been horrible about sending out cards, this year I hope to get a jump start with some fun drawing and crocheting projects.

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

I have shared before that one of my very favorite gifts to make are crocheted snowflakes. Whether stiffened with a glue or worked around an ornament, they make wonderful gifts. They are also perfect to to embellish your holiday cards. You can even make them in worsted weight yarn instead of the traditional thread and use them to embellish a hat or scarf.

I have snowflake patterns available here on the blog and in my Ravelry Shop. Some are just 2 or 3 rounds, where others are bigger.

4 of my snowflake patterns are available here on the blog.

Little Snowflake Ornament – M2H Designs

Little Snowflake Ornament – This snowflake pattern is a diagram only with 5 rounds, since 3 of the rounds are mostly single crochet it comes out fairly small and when worked in size 20 crochet thread can make great earrings.

Lacy Snowflake – M2H Designs

Lacy Snowflake – This pattern is available for free here on the blog as a text pattern only, it is also available for a small fee in my Ravelry shop and includes a stitch chart as well as the text instructions. This snowflake has 8 rounds and is a much more elaborate design.

Frozen Star Snowflake – M2H Designs

Frozen Star Snowflake – A super quick snowflake pattern available for free here on the blog as a text pattern only. This little snowflake has only 3 rounds to work. Worked in a size 20 thread it is perfect for earrings.

Sparkling Ice Snowflake – M2H Designs

Sparkling Ice Snowflake – This design is available for free as a text only pattern here on the blog and includes a detailed photo tutorial on my method for stiffening the snowflakes.

My favorite stiffening solution to use with my snowflakes is “Stiffy” from the Plaid company (same folks that make Mod Podge). If you can’t find it locally you can click on the photo above to find it on Amazon.com.

Little Christmas Wreath – M2H Designs

Little Christmas Wreath – If Snowflakes don’t appeal to you this little wreath pattern might be perfect for your card embellishments. I like to make these into pins to wear on a jacket or sweater during the holiday season. They make great teacher gifts. You can attach them to a card with the pin and they will be both card embellishment and a gift.

If I make my wreath with worsted or light-worsted weight yarn I like to use a 1 inch wide pin back, with holes that give me the option to sew it on using my tails. If you can’t find them at your local craft store click on the photo above to find them on Amazon.com.

For my next blog post I’ll be sharing a new snowflake pattern and coloring page.

Start the Big Gifts Now

More ideas and pattern links for crafting your Christmas in July.

If this is the year you plan to make something larger for a special gift then it is time to get crocheting. Larger crocheted goodies like afghans or shawls are a wonderful way to share a permanent hug with a friend or family member, no matter how far away they live.

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

Is there someone on your gift list that needs an afghan? A great way to make a larger afghan, without a lot of bulk in your lap, is to work 12 inch squares, then join them together. I tend to work my throw size afghans 4 squares wide and 5 squares tall, then I crochet a wide simple (or fancy) border.

I have a number of patterns available here on the blog for 12 inch afghan squares. They are becoming a bit of an October tradition with me in celebration of my birthday.

Fans and Lace Afghan Square – This design is one of my favorite blocks, I had a lot of fun playing with working the rounds in different colors. The center is all about playing with different size fan and shell stitches. I have videos for this square and a follow up post showing how using different numbers and orders of color can really change the look.

Whirlwind Afghan Square – You might recognize the name of this square from my last post where I shared the link to my Whirlwind Hat. I first created this design, then realized I wanted to make a hat using a similar technique to the center of my square. I have 2 videos on my YouTube channel to help you make this square.

Dizzy Corner Afghan Square – More fun with spirals, this time it’s a featured corner with fun textures worked in mitered rows.

Mountain Wildflower Afghan Square – 2018’s square really showcases texture and varying stitch heights. If you’ve downloaded “4 Inspiring Crochet Coloring Pages for Adults” at FaveCrafts, you may recognize the center of this square. In my coloring book there is a stitch chart for a square that uses the same first 4 rounds.

If Afghans aren’t your thing, how about crocheting a lovely shawl for your loved ones?

Barb’s Shawl

Barb’s Shawl – This was last summer’s Testing Pool pattern for my local crochet group that meets at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. The pattern includes detailed stitch charts and a tutorial on blocking your shawl. Lots of texture in the stitches makes it a fun and challenging project to crochet. Worked in yarn with the long color changes or solid colors, you will love the resulting fabric.

Shining Day Wrap

Shining Day Wrap – This wrap was part of the CGOA Mega CAL during National Crochet Month in 2018. It is crocheted from the center out, and is a simple lace repeat to memorize. This is a great project for when you want something simple, but not boring to work on. The lacy stitch also makes this a great transition piece for wearing from season to season. Warm weather it is a shoulder wrap, when it gets colder bunch it up around your neck for a warm scarf.

2 x 2 Shawl – This pattern is available for free on my blog. It is a simple top down shawl that starts with my stacked rows foundation and has 3 increase points that give you a lovely L-shaped shawl when finished. This helps the shawl stay put when wearing. Because of the top down construction you can stop when you are happy with the size, or when you are running out of yarn.

I made my sample shawl in Lion Brand’s “Shawl in a Ball” (now called “Shawl in a Cake”) in the color Restful Rainbow. I used almost all of 2 balls. I am thinking my next one may be worked in the Half Moon color, love all the pinks, purples and blues in it. If you can’t find the Lion Brand “Shawl in a Cake” in your local stores it is available thru Amazon. Just click on the photo above to see the variety of colors.

Playing with Triangles Shawl
Vivianne Shawl

Playing With Triangles Shawl or Vivianne Shawl – These shawls are constructed using the same stitch pattern. The Playing With Triangles version is available free here on the blog with a recipe style pattern, the Vivianne Shawl has a stitch chart and photo tutorials on adding beads to the shawl. You can work either shawl in any yarn you like, top down construction means you can stop when you like the size or run out of yarn.

I hope you are having a good time planning your gift making for the 2019 holiday season. I know I am inspiring myself. Though, honestly I may be biting off more than I can reasonably make this year.

Thinking about Christmas Crafting

Can you believe it is July already? Seems like once again the year has been moving way too fast. My oldest is preparing for a school trip to Switzerland at the same time I am preparing for my trip at the CGOA Chain Link Conference.

We took a break from travel prep to celebrate the 4th of July by attending the fireworks show in Estes Park. The weather was looking a bit iffy a couple hours before the show started, but cleared up in plenty of time. Last year we attended the show in Estes Park and it was very chilly, so this year we brought lots of blankets and our fleece jackets.

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With July here it is time to make good on the promise I made myself last Christmas. I promised to do better about planning for my crocheted and other handmade gifts for 2019. With that in mind, I am going to take you all along with me as I work on some Christmas in July projects.

Most of my readers are currently in the midst of some of the hottest weeks of summer. That means we need crochet projects that don’t take up a lot of room on our laps to make us too warm. Some of us are traveling too, so small and portable is extra handy.

My go-to project when I want something small and quick to crochet are hats. They can be super easy or involved with complex stitch patterns. I really love to make plain solid color hats that can be the base for fun embellishment. They are also a very popular gift in my household, I skipped doing them one year and there was a loud protest.

Simple Double Crochet Hat

I have a free hat pattern here on the blog for a simple top-down double crochet hat. This hat is great for using a colorful yarn, or one of the gradient color changing yarns. This hat is an easy skill level, so even if you are just starting out crocheting you can complete it.

Whirlwind Hat

If you prefer a more challenging hat my Whirlwind Hat is another free pattern here on the blog. This is a perfect hat for using up smaller balls of yarn in your stash. It takes only 28 yards of worsted weight yarn for 3 of the colors and 46 yards for the color that will go into your brim.

Spiraling Stripes Hat

If you want to work a hat that uses only a 2-arm spiral you might like my Spiraling Stripes Hat, the pattern is available for purchase in my Ravelry shop. The pattern includes a detailed stitch chart of the crown and a step by step photo tutorial.

The fun thing about a 2-arm spiral is that the spiral is more distinct. I used a combination of colorful and semi-solid tonal hand-dyed yarn to really bring out the spiral in the project I made for this pattern. You could even work this hat as a gift for a sports fan and use the team colors.

Spiraling Crosses Hat

My Spiraling Crosses Hat makes use of textured stitches. It is a project using the staggered X-st in the round, the stitches create subtle spiraling ridges around the hat. The taller stitches also allow you to crochet it up quickly, ideal for a last minute gift. The pattern includes a stitch chart to help you understand how to work the increases.

Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat

If you are looking for a pattern that will help you understand how to adjust a crown-down hat to get the right size for your giftee, then my Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat pattern is worth the investment. It is like having a crochet class with me at a fraction of the cost. The best thing about this pattern is you can use any weight yarn to get a hat that is just the size you want. The tips for sizing a hat can also be applied to other crown-down hat patterns you might want to adjust.

Mountain Top Beanie

My very favorite hat design is my Mountain Top Beanie. It is a little more challenging to crochet, but the resulting fabric is well worth it. I include a stitch chart in the pattern that will help you with increases and when to turn the rounds. The pattern is available in my Ravelry Shop.

You want to make sure you have some good stitch markers handy when working on hats. They can help you keep track of your increases and the end of your rounds.

Most of my favorite stitch markers are made by the Clover Company. They make all of their products with a durable plastic that doesn’t break easily and has just enough “give” to be flexible. The newest stitch markers they have out “Quick Locking Stitch Markers”, come in a set that has 3 different sizes, 6 different colors and a nifty storage container. If you can’t find them in your local shops, click on the photo above and it will take you to them on Amazon.

If you prefer a stitch marker that doesn’t lock, I have found these Split Ring markers to work well. The little point at the opening makes them easy to slide onto your stitches. I don’t recommend using this style of marker if you are going to be pulling your project in and out of a bag. They will work their way out of your stitches. But if you are sitting and working in the same spot, and your project will only be disturbed when you pick it up, then they can be a great choice. Especially if you are a speedy crocheter.

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.