Summer Knitting & Crochet Projects

Crafts, Knitting and Crochet No Comments

In the heat of the summer, it’s really difficult to pick up a lot of my favorite crafts. I’m a huge fan of knitting and crochet. I just finished a giant granny square blanket that was almost torture to complete during the heat wave here in Oregon. It was so big, I basically had to wear it as a blanket to keep stitching. I’m so happy it’s done, and I think it looks pretty great for my first real crochet project.

Giant Granny Square Blanket

I love to work with yarn because it keeps my hands busy and doesn’t require much artistic talent to accomplish. I’d love to continue working with yarn for the rest of the summer months, so I need to get past the blanket I started in the winter and pick up something lightweight that I might actually get some use from even in the 90 degree weather. Here are some projects I’m considering:

Read the rest…

Crochet Shamrocks

Crafts, Knitting and Crochet, St. Patrick's Day No Comments

By General Crafts Contributor Monica from the blog Mon Makes Things.

Crochet Shamrocks Free Pattern

Crochet Shamrocks Pattern

Tell me I’m not the only one who can’t believe that St. Patrick’s Day is upon us… The never-ending winter season here in Michigan has me in complete denial about the date on the calendar; a look out the window tells me that it’s GOTTA be like, December… right? If any of you Think Crafts readers follow my blog or instagram, you probably know about my affinity for crochet hearts… I’ve done big ol’ heart pillowsheart garlandsmini amigurumi hearts, and the list goes on… This shamrock pattern? It’s made outta hearts. What can I say, I’m a one trick pony. ;)

Hearts

For these babies, you will make 3 hearts (from this pattern). They’re super simple, completed in one round:

Abbreviations: ch = chain, tr = treble crochet, dc = double crochet, sc = single crochet

Make a magic ring and ch 3. In the circle, do 2tr, 3dc, ch, tr, ch, 3dc, 2tr, ch3. Then slip stitch back into the ring, fasten off, and pull the loop closed. Sew the center yarn through the backs of the stitches to keep the center tight. (check the pattern link for process photos!)

For the stem, simply ch 6, sc into second ch from hook and in next 4 chs, and fasten off. Weave in the shorter yarn end and trim.

Crochet Shamrock

Crochet Sharmocks

Using a yarn needle and the yarn ends on your pieces, sew the hearts together along their edges as shown. Sew through the backs of the stitches to preserve the entire heart shape for each shamrock “leaf.” Sew on your stem, being sure to sew the points of the bottom hearts together as well.

Once your shamrocks are finished, you could back them with felt like these coasters for a more finished look. Then you could add a pin to use these as brooches, or maybe magnets? What would you do with them?

 

Best Blogs to Learn the Basics: Crochet

Crafts, Knitting and Crochet, Needlearts No Comments

If you’re looking to start a new craft, you can find everything you need right here online. You can find info on all of the tools you need, how to get started, and more with a little bit of searching. One wonderful thing about finding bloggers who are willing to share the basics is that they’re always willing to listen and help! It’s important to feel that you always have that support when you’re just starting out a craft. Here are some wonderful blogs with contact info to help you start realizing your crochet dreams.

Aesthetic Nest

The Aesthetic Nest has a wonderful 11 part How to Crochet SeriesYou’ll learn everything down to how to create the slipknot that starts your entire project. You can find thorough photo tutorials for holding yarn, working in the round, and the most common stitches. There will be even more tutorials very soon, so make sure to check back often and learn right along with the new tutorials. With the help of Anneliese, you’ll be working up your first baby afghan or crochet cowl in no time.

The Aethetic Nest isn’t just for crochet, you can find lots of sewing tutorials and gorgeous childrens’ clothing, knitting, recipes, and more wonderful homemade items.

One Artsy Mama

Amy at One Artsy Mama has created a free Ebook packed with 32 pages of pictures and tutorials for basic crochet stitches.  All she asks is that you like her Facebook page in return. It’s so simple, and she’s even giving you a free beginner’s project at the end of the book! It’s totally worth every penny you didn’t spend. Once you learn the basics, you can easily make one of Amy’s many crochet projects. Start out with her fun crochet wrap bracelet and move on to a coffee cozy or boot cuffs!

Be sure to stop by and check out all of the beautiful jewelry making and simple crafts available on One Artsy Mama. Honestly, anyone can do these crafts!

Look At What I Made

 The tutorials at Look At What I Made are great for the beginner and the more confident crocheter. You can find a guide for all of the confusing crochet terminology as well as tips for stitches you may have never even heard of. This is a great place to go for tutorials that go beyond the simple and basic stitches. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, definitely give some of Dedri’s tutorials a try. As a bonus, there are lots of patterns for beginning and advanced crocheters.

Check out some of the beautiful handmade toys you can create in no time with Dedri’s tutorials and basic stitches. Don’t forget to look around Look At What I Made for recipes, sewing patterns, and more craft projects.

Petals to Picots

The Learn to Crochet section of Petals to Picots has picture tutorials for the most basic aspects of crochet. You can find out what hooks and yarns to choose, how to hold the hook, and many more tutorials. Each lesson takes you step by step as you create your first project, from finding the right materials to creating your stitches and everything else you need to know. Once you’re a little more confident, there are plenty more advanced tutorials as well.

Petals to Picots is a one stop shop for all things yarn related. You can find fantastic photo tutorials for needle felting, creating your own yarn from unexpected materials and more. After looking at all of Kara’s pretty crafts, you won’t want to craft with anything else!

Now it’s time to grab a hook and some yarn and learn from some of the best crochet bloggers out there. If you have product based questions, check out our crochet hook and yarn buyers guides for more info. Don’t forget to share what you create!

Crochet Mood Blanket: A Global Project

Crafts, Knitting and Crochet, Needlearts 4 Comments

By General Crafts Contributor Monica from the blog Mon Makes Things.

Crochet Mood Blanket: A Global Project

1. Donna  //  2. Casey @ Plus 3 Crochet

Shortly before 2013 drew to a close, Instagram user Stacey Wentford-Hall, A.K.A. @frofunky (formerly @mummy_stacey), pitched the idea of a crochet mood blanket to a few friends. Much to her surprise, the idea went viral and as of now, thousands around the world are participating! The Facebook group currently has over 2,600 members, and the Instagram tag #crochetmoodblanket2014 has over 6,800 photos.

Crochet Mood Blanket - A Global Project

3. Alycia @ Habitual Homebody  //  4. Becky Smith  //  5. Filomena Parbery  //  6. Danica  //  7. Kyra  //  8. Charlie  //  9. Randi  //  10. Rebecca Haas  //  11. Rachael Visser  //  12. Lori @ Just Pure Lovely
**non-linked photos were found in the Facebook group and are used with permission**

The concept is pretty simple, really: crochet a granny square (or stripe) each day using a color that depicts your mood! Some are doing a square for each week to make the task more manageable. From there, the project has been twisted and tweaked in a host of ways. Some have chosen a set of yarn colors with a chart linking colors with specific moods, while others are simply choosing an appealing color for that day. Some are doing multi-color squares to represent their changing moods throughout the day. An innumerable variety of patterns are being used, from the basic to the complex. Some are viewing this as a “stash-buster” project, while others are journaling their moods and colors each day. Personally, I think that is what makes this project great; the vast room for personalization and the seemingly unending fount of inspiration provided by the diverse group of participants.

Crochet Mood Blanket: A Global Project

13. Tanya @ Little Things Blogged  //  14. Cat @ Yellow Sherbet  //  15. Monica @ Mon Makes Things  //  16. Bren @ Snerb

Obviously 2014 is already underway, but do not let that discourage you from joining the challenge! There are plenty of days left in the year, you can make up missed days if you’d like, and these project “rules” are basically the opposite of strict. You can join whenever! The Facebook group and Instagram posts are serving as a wonderful source for creativity and community, and I encourage you to join if you have the slightest interest in crochet — many people are learning to crochet by way of this project!

All the photos shared here were posted to either the Facebook group or the Instagram tag. See what I mean about all the inspiring participants?! Please, join and share in this project if you’d like. And stay tuned! If you’re a novice crocheter, if you’re rusty, or if you’re looking for ideas, I’ll be sharing a round-up of good granny square patterns with tutorials — from the simple to the more advanced. Happy hooking!

If you’d like to read more about the project, there is an interview with the project creator here

No Sew (or Knit or Crochet) Coffee Cup Cozy

Christmas, Crafts, Holidays & Seasons, Kid's Crafts, Winter No Comments

By Kid’s Crafts Contributor Stephanie, from the Blog A Geek in Glasses.

Easiest Coffee Cozy (No Sew or Knit)

If you have coffee or tea lovers on your gift list this year, here is a gift that the kids can help you make. No knitting or sewing involved! All you need is a festive sock and some fabric glue, how fabulous is that? So simple you can make them for everyone in just a couple of minutes. The hardest part is deciding what socks to buy.  I picked up mine at the dollar store, so for a buck you can make 2 gifts!

sockcupwarm

Supplies

sockcupwarm-2

sockcupwarm-3

Start by choosing some fabulous holiday socks. Take one sock and cut the leg part off just above the heel.  Turn the tube part of the inside out and place a thin bead of Fabric Glue along the cut edge.

sockcupwarm-4

Fold over about a half inch hem and press it down having the fabric glue hold it in place. Let dry.

Once the glue is dry, it is waterproof.  The cozy can be washed if coffee or tea gets on it.

No Sew Coffee Cup Cosy

Since the sock has stretch, it will fit any sized coffee cup without a handle. Just think how cute this would be for the kids to help make for a teacher gift.  Make it hug a coffee shop gift card as an easy gift.

No Sew, No Knit Coffee Cup Cosy

Crochet Baby Booties

Crafts, Holidays & Seasons, Knitting and Crochet, Needlearts No Comments

By General Crafts Contributor Monica from the blog Mon Makes Things.

Crochet Baby Booties Adapted Pattern

Adapted Crochet Pattern - Baby Booties

A while back, a friend recruited me to help with her friend’s baby shower, and I made this fab photo display board. As a result, I was invited to the shower last minute. I don’t know the expectant mother all that well, but I figured some homemade baby booties are universal enough, am I right?

I skimmed through Pinterest, and eventually found this pattern as a free download on Ravelry. Gotta love free downloads! And aren’t they darling?!

Crochet Baby Booties

Crochet Baby Booties Pattern

 Here’s what you’ll need: 2 colors of soft worsted weight yarn, size G crochet hook.

I switched up the pattern a bit, particularly when it came to the colors. Here’s what I did:

  1. **These slippers were completed with the 0-3 months pattern.**
  2. I used my accent color (purple) for the first 3 rows, or the base of the booties. I switched to white at row 4 (at the back loops only row).
  3. I switched back to my accent color (purple) for row 7, and repeated row 7 a second time for more purple.
  4. For the strap, I slip stitched along the chain rather than using single crochet stitches.
  5. For the flower, I did a magic ring, [ch 3, sc in ring] 5 times (the pattern called for dc).

The ravelry download has alterations for larger sizes as well, and they’re so small that they work up really quickly! Happy bootie making! :)

 

 

 

The New Crochet

Craft Trends, Crafts, Knitting and Crochet 1 Comment

By Craft Trends Contributor, Gillian from the blog Dried Figs and Wooden Spools. Check out our Craft Trends board on Pinterest!

If the word crochet conjures up images of old ladies and stiff baby sweaters, you may have been living under a rock. A crochet revolution has taken place in the craft world and crochet is cool again. But this isn’t your grandmother’s crochet. Yarn hounds the world over have embraced the stiffer resulting fabric that you get compared to knitting and opened up a world of possibilities for those who would rather tote hooks than needles. I’m not the worlds greatest crocheter, but I’m learning. And while I’m getting better at the simple things I’m collecting a whole list of amazing patterns that I want to tackle ASAP.

Ombre Basket Pattern - Crochet in Color

Ombre Basket PatternCrochet in Color

This bag has me drooling. Seriously. DROOLING. I love it, and not just because of the ombre effect (which I do so love) but because it looks fun and durable all at once. The combination of colors would work year round and I suspect it might be an awesome tote for yet more yarn.

More Potholders - Lutter IDYL

More PotholdersLutter IDYL

Like crochet in general, crocheted washcloths or doilies can bring up an instant old fogie vibe, unless you are looking at something like these beauties. More at home in an ultra modern kitchen than on your grandmother’s countertop, these are amazing. And simple. Which makes them all the more awesome. Love the colors. And the shape. And the TEXTURE. In fact, I just love it all.

Giant Doily Rug - Wholly Kao

Giant Doily RugWholly Kao (c/o kollabora)

This type of giant doily rug is going to the top of my to-crochet list. I’ve been loving the looks of them for ages and the idea of making them with cotton rope makes them practical as well as amazing to look at. And considering that almost any doily pattern could be size up to make a rug, the possibilities for style are almost endless. Hook on!

What kinds of hip and new crochet projects have you been working on lately? Send up some photos! We love to see what you make! And check out these and more crochet inspirations on our Craft Trends Pinboard!

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