More Small Crocheted Gift Ideas

I was in Manchester, New Hampshire for the CGOA ChainLink Conference July 9 – 14th and have been playing catch-up since then. ChainLink was great fun, and once again I was a blur as I was running the Design Competition. I’ll share more about the conference and my goodies next month. For now let’s continue with Christmas in July.

At the beginning of the month I talked about hats for a quick gift item. What do you do if your gift recipient isn’t really into hats? How about making them a cowl or neck cozy? These are projects that can take a little bit more time than a hat, but they can have the advantage of needing no shaping and usually have an easy to memorize stitch pattern.

I have published over 13 cowl/neck cozy patterns over the years.

Springtime Cowl – M2H Designs

My Springtime Cowl design is currently only available as text instructions here on the blog. It is what I call an “afterthought moebius”, this is when you make a long strip of crochet, then twist it and sew the ends. As you will see in the instructions, you don’t have to make it into a moebius. The yarn I used in the sample is no longer available, but this is a good project for colorful light worsted weight yarns. Maybe you have 300 yards of a hand-dyed yarn you have been trying to find a project for?

“True” Moebius Cowls

I love creating Moebius designs, being that I am a geek. The moebius shape in geometry has only 1 edge and 1 side. If you are confused about how a moebius works check out my explanation in the blog post “The Twists and Turns of a Moebius”. The next 4 designs are all “true” moebius cowls, meaning they start with the twist.

Twisted V Cowl – M2H Designs

Twisted V Cowl – This fun project was designed to be quick to make using a bulky yarn. The original sample was made using a hand-dyed bulky yarn. The open work mesh of the stitches is neutral enough that this cowl makes a good gift for any gender on your list. The pattern is available in my Ravelry Shop and includes a photo illustration of the moebius single edge.

Anna Moebius Cowl – M2H Designs

Anna Moebius Cowl, this design was named after a good friend’s granddaughter. Worked in a chunky yarn this is another quick project. It can be ever quicker if you make the foundation a little shorter, then the finished cowl will be snug enough to wear as an earwarmer. Pattern is available in my Ravelry shop and includes stitch diagrams as well as text instructions.

Twisted Garden Cowl – This is one of my favorite more complex moebius designs. The stitch pattern is a 4 row repeat and you are only turning your work every other round. I really love this worked up in medium long color changing yarns, the changing colors in the stitches give the effect of flower petals scattered on a path. The pattern is available in my Ravelry shop and includes both text and stitch charts.

Infinite Grande Cowl – This cowl uses a longer foundation and simple stitch pattern to show off a luxurious bulky alpaca yarn. The cushy and snuggly yarn make a warm cowl that can be doubled at the neck for those really cold winter days. Again a neutral design that can be a great gift for any gender. The pattern includes both written and stitch chart instructions. It is available in my Ravely shop.

Tube style Cowls

Tube style cowls are worked in rounds off a beginning foundation. I like to start most of these with my “stacked-rows” foundation to create a pretty decorative edging. The finishing edge is sometimes worked to echo the start, or I do something completely different.

2 by 2 Cowl – M2H Designs

My 2 by 2 Cowl is a simple tube style cowl with a quick to memorize stitch patten. The instructions are available here on the blog. If you prefer working from stitch charts you can also purchase a charted and text version in my Ravelry Shop.

Whispering Winds Cowl – This cowl has starting and finishing edges that are very similar. It is worked in a light fingering weight yarn with a simple stitch pattern for the body. This is a project that you definitely want to get a head start on as it will take a little longer with the smaller stitches. Worked in the same yarn as my sample, the finished fabric is luxurious with lots of drape and warmth. Pattern is available in my Raverly shop and includes both text and stitch charts.

The Mountain Springtime Cowl was designed for the Yarniverse March 2019 yarn box. Even if you aren’t part of that Box subscription you can purchase the individual pattern in my Ravelry shop. This long lacy cowl is light enough to be worn in the warmer weather months, but doubled up makes a great cold weather neck covering. Though this pattern doesn’t contain a stitch chart, the clear photography and simple stitch pattern make for a quick and easy gift project that gives you a lot of fabric from 1 hank of fingering weight yarn.

The Half Shell Summer Cowl was designed for King Cole’s “Vogue” yarn, a lovely garment quality cotton yarn. It can be worked in a cold weather yarn and give you a great cowl for wearing when the temperatures drop. The pattern includes detailed stitch charts along with text instructions. You can purchase it in my Ravelry Shop.

My Rhythm of Shells Cowl is a little more advanced with a 4 row lace stitch pattern repeat. Designed in a fingering weight alpaca blend yarn from LGF Suris, this is lacy warmth at it’s best. This is a gift for that special crochet-worthy person on your list. The pattern includes a detailed stitch chart along with clear text instructions and is available in my Ravelry shop.

The Cliffhouse Cowl is one of my most advanced patterns so far. It is worked with color changes and varying stitch heights. The pattern is available in my Ravelry shop. I will be teaching a class at Longmont Yarn Shoppe – Wednesday September 25 10:30a – 1:30p on this project if you are in the area and want to join me.

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

Neck Cozy and Shaped Cowls

Modified PWT Cowl – Mamas2hands blog

I created this button up neck cozy by making a small “Playing With Triangles Shawl” in a fingering weight yarn and adding a bunch of beads. You can find out how I worked this version in my blog post: It’s Finished! There is information on how I added all the beads as well as links within the post to the pattern I used. If you prefer, you can purchase my “Vivianne Shawl” pattern which has a tutorial on adding beads and stitch charts to help with bead placement.

The Kellie Cowl design is a little more challenging with an increase point about one third of the way into the project. Pretty changing stitch patterns make for a lacy and interesting project that you’ll have fun crocheting and will be proud to give. The pattern includes detailed stitch charts and instructions on adding beads to your project. The pattern is available in my Ravelry Shop.

The Granny Fans Redux pattern is a great value. Not only does it contain instructions for making the button closure neck cozy seen above, but it also has detailed instructions for making a longer scarf, a moebius style cowl, or an infinity scarf. The pattern has detailed stitch charts for helping you with the Join-As-You-Go Fan motifs. This design really shows off yarns with medium long gradient color changes. Pattern is available in my Ravelry Shop.

Remember if you are doing a lot of crocheting to take breaks at least every 30 minutes to stretch your hands and body. It is easy to over do it when you get into crazy gift making mode, so try to pace yourself. If you don’t already use a hook with an ergonomic handle, now might be the time to gift yourself with at least one in your favorite size.

My favorite ergonomic handled hooks are still the Clover Amour hooks. I have them in all the available sizes and some extras in the sizes I use most frequently. If you can’t find them locally click on the photo above to find them on Amazon.

Things are Changing

Snow loaded pine trees on a snowy hillside with swing set in foregrounds with snow on seats.

Last week I posted about Spring arriving, 2 days later my backyard was full of snow again and the temperatures dropped below freezing.

Shrub branches with ruffled bright green baby spring leaves.

Today on my walk thru the woods I noticed that some of the brave little shrubs were putting out leaves and my Aspen trees are getting buds.

Along with the change of seasons up here, my blog is undergoing some changes. You may have noticed it has a different look these days. I am updating my theme after 10 years of blogging. I hope to create a great experience for my readers, making it easy for you to find the posts that interest you most and maybe even discover ones you didn’t realize were there.

This new theme is called “Floral”, it has a lot to offer and it may take me a little while to figure out all the new options for both my blog layout and the accompanying pages. I’m also debating on the background color, so please bear with me while I find my way.

You may have also noticed that I haven’t been posting much about lambs or sheep the past 6 months. That is because my farm partner and I have decided to down-size our flock. We didn’t have lambs this spring as some health issues in her family made that unworkable. Many of our flock are finding new homes in the coming months.

I am still working with our wool crops of the past 2 years and hope to be offering yarn, fleeces and needle-felting kits for sell both online and at some festivals this Summer and Fall. We hope to continue to work with wool products in the coming years, but are still deciding how we will structure that.

Meanwhile stay tuned here on the blog for more Crochet designs, fun crafting how-tos and coloring pages. The joy of a creative life is finding flexibility even when there are roadblocks and surprises.

Springtime is almost Here!

It’s the first week of March and it is time to celebrate NatCroMo again. All over the internet you can find folks holding their hooks high and talking about all the ways they enjoy crochet.

On the CGOA website members can sign up to join in our First CAL of 2019. This time the pattern is my “All Buttoned Up Neck Cozy”. There will be yarn giveaways and lots of fun as everyone shares the journey as they crochet up their neck cozies.

This is my original cozy, but unfortunately the yarn I used was discontinued. I designed it to be an easy project for beginning crocheters. The cozy is crocheted using only single crochet and chain stitches. But it is also a great project for more experienced crocheters for some relaxing crochet time.

As you can see, changing the yarn you use can also keep it entertaining. Hop on over to Crochet.org to join in the fun and see all the variations everyone is coming up with.

I also have a new design out in the April Issue of “I Like Crochet” that is available online. This sweet little dress for baby is called “Spring Playdate Dress” and you can see the pattern now online. The pattern is written in 3 sizes: Small (3-6 months), Medium (6-12 months) and Large (12-18 months).

The dress is worked top down in a combination of open lace and solid shell stitches. The back opening is secured with a button at the back of the neck to make it easy to dress a little one in it. Worked in Lion Brand’s Coboo yarn it is a perfect layering piece that can be worn on it’s own as the weather warms up.

How are you celebrating International Crochet Month?

Did You Miss These?

Wow! 2019 is already zipping along with February nearly half over. I hope all my readers are prepared for Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

I have been so busy the past year that I realized I may have not shared all the new crochet designs I have out there. Seems like today is a good day to catch up with that.

Ring Around the Posies Skirt – “I Like Crochet” April 2018 issue

This is a fitted zippered pencil skirt with an intricate flower motif hemline. This is for the more advanced or the intrepid crocheters out there. A true skill builder project that is worked in Designing Vashti’s “Lotus” bamboo/cotton yarn.

Pronto Poncho – “I Like Crochet” August 2018 issue

This lovely poncho was on the front cover of the August 2018 issue. I designed it in a Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic and mesh stitch for a perfect summer layer. Throw it on over your favorite tank top when the evening cools down, or you are headed into air-conditioning.

Barb’s Shawl – M2H Designs (available in my Ravelry Shop)

This design was the testing pool shawl with the Longmont Yarn Shoppe Casual Crochet group last summer. Some folks worked the shawl in a multiple color yarn like my sample and a few worked it in a solid color. Anne K. worked her shawl in a beautiful aqua color and added beads in the final 3 rows.

Tied & True Cardigan – “I Like Crochet” October 2018 issue. This design you may have remembered seeing here on the blog in October.

One Skein Joy Slippers – “I Like Crochet” December 2018 issue.

Slippers are a great quick gift project and these slippers were not only in the December 2018 issue of “I Like Crochet”, but they were picked for the Best Crochet Patterns of 2018. Worked without cutting your yarn, you start at the toe in the round, switching to working in rows for the foot opening and heel shaping, then working in rounds for the ribbed cuff. One little seam to close up the back of the heel and you are finished.

Sierra Swoncho – “I Like Crochet” February 2019 issue

This is my most recent design and currently one of my favorites. A relaxed fit makes this an easy layering piece. I designed it so that it is easy to get the bust size that is best for your body. I’ve always disliked when ponchos and sweaters hike up in the front because there isn’t enough room for the wearer’s bust, or the front hem droops because the wearer has a small bust, with this pattern you can the perfect fit.

Want to get access to all the wonderful crochet patterns at “I Like Crochet”, click here to subscribe.

Getting Certified

My 2019 has started off with some happiness, I got my certificates and pins from the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) in the mail on the 15th of January.

This summer at the end of the CGOA conference I attended the Craft Yarn Council’s Certified Instructors Program. For over 8 years I have been telling myself that I needed to get my certification, but the timing never seemed to come together. When I heard that the CIP classes would be held in Portland after the Chain Link Conference, I jumped at the chance.

The onsite program included both Level 1 & 2, so there was a lot of homework to do before the actual class. We also had 3 months after the class date to finish our homework. Which was a good thing as my Level 2 baby sweater took me a little extra time.

Some of you that have taken classes that I taught in the past may be wondering why I am taking the CYC program at this point. I’m really glad I did. The input from the other experienced teachers in the class and the review of teaching beginning crochet were so enriching and inspiring.

I even learnt some new-to-me crochet techniques during the class. Like the Romanian Point Lace Cord (aka a Lobster Cord). This is a mind bending crochet stitch but creates an amazing cord. I made a little bit of cord in class learning the technique. 

One of the more daunting tasks for many folks in completing certification is getting the required 30 hours of teaching hours turned in. Fortunately for me we were able to use teaching hours back as far as a year before our on-site class. I just had to sit down and figure out all the hours I had taught in the past year and the 4 months following the on-site class.

I filled out the online form in mid-December after I had received the okay on my baby sweater project from my CIP teacher, Barbara Van Elsen. I had completed most of the necessary teaching hours in the preceding year and only needed to teach a couple more classes to finish up those hours.

I love sharing my passion for crochet and fostering it in others, so I hope having this certification will help me expand my teaching opportunities.

If you are interested in becoming a CYC Certified Instructor as well visit the Craft Yarn Councils website to learn more about their programs and opportunities for online or onsite classes.

A Crochet Valentine Party

Seems like the weeks are zipping by in 2017. I’ve been busy with my big de-clutter and organize the house project as well as getting all my new technology talking to each other.  Sometime today my newest bit of technology will be arriving, a new camera. This is one with a lot of bells and whistles, my first DSLR.

I just keep telling myself that learning how to use all these new hardware and software technologies will help keep my brain agile. Either that, or my head is going to explode from technology overload.

Fortunately yesterday I got to have some great low-tech fun with my crochet friends at our Bi-monthly crochet group. This is the Casual Crochet group that meets at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday morning of each month.  Since this gathering was close to Valentine’s Day I brought in cards and chocolates.

hearts-and-card-andee-graves-m2h-designs

The shop has been collecting hearts made from yarn for a yarn-bombing event next Monday. So we all crocheted some hearts to include.  This heart is my Crocheted Love heart from a couple years ago. The pattern is here on the blog.

margies-blanket

We also celebrated with Margie, who finished her Fans & Lace Blocks blanket that she had started as part of our CAL.

claudia-n-anna-marie

Claudia and Anna Marie both got started on a cowl project. Claudia was helping Anna Marie learn the Foundation Double Crochet stitch. Looking forward to seeing how their projects are coming along next week.

Time to head out to pick up boys from school. I will hopefully be back to my regular blogging schedule soon, as you can tell, things have been a bit busy of late.

Here comes Summer!

I know for lots of folks the start of summer is Memorial Day weekend. Since that is this coming weekend we are nearly there. For my family though, the start of summer is when school ends and this Thursday is the last day of school for my 2 monsters. They are counting down.

Thing 1 hiking 2

My oldest and I are already planning what hikes we are going to do over the summer. We have a plan of starting out with some short local hikes and building up to longer and higher altitude ones later in the season. He has always been my hiking buddy, even when he was small. The photo above was my improvised backpack for him to carry his supplies on a hike.

Mr Sparkle Yarnit

Of course with all that hiking you might think I’ll be taking a break from crocheting. Not the case at all, I’ll be taking projects with me on the hikes and I’ll be keeping my yarn neat and safe in my awesome “Yarnit”. I love this clever little yarn carrier, and it is perfect with it’s nifty strap for taking on hikes or car trips this summer.

Yarnit

I actually own 2 Yarnits. One that I purchased at the TNNA Winter Show in 2015. It was a new product at that show and I was really excited about it. The only issue I had with it was that the closure was a bit loose and the 2 halves would come apart when I was wearing it with the shoulder strap

Cherry Yarnit 2

Fortunately the lovely Kate Sullivan, creator of the Yarnit, had come up with a solution. This nifty little rubber plug fits in one of the ports along the closing seam and keeps it all together.  All Yarnits come with this feature now.

I purchased my second Yarnit at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. Gail had gotten in some of the “Mr. Sparkle” Yarnits, so I needed one (yes, I needed one). I’ve got projects in both of my Yarnits and love how easily the ball of yarn can move inside the globe. No more tug of war with my yarn when I am rocking along on a project.

Now Kate is developing a larger version of the Yarnit for those bigger skeins of yarn, or multi-color projects. She has a KickStarter fund-raiser going on right now to get it in production. Click here to find out more about the “Big Sully” and the awesome funding rewards.

I hope everyone has a good start to their summer.