Black Friday Sale and A New Pattern

Black Friday Ad

Save 60% off every single thing in my shop.

Use promo code: turkey at checkout to receive discount.

The offer is good until Dec. 1, 2013 midnight Pacific time.

Fair Isle Love Beanie

Fair Isle Love Beanie

You can use your discount to make this award winning beanie!

This beanie might look difficult with its intricate color changes, but the yarn does all the work!

Using self-striping yarn, and a solid color you can whip up this beanie in no time. Use white to make the colors pop, or grey for a more muted look. Click on the picture to see more about the pattern and purchase it.

Be the first to know about these great deals, sign up to follow the blog and get email notifications when new posts are published.

 

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November’s Motif of the Month

peacock_small

The Peacock Motif

I’m calling this motif the Peacock Motif because the shape reminded me of a peacock feather.

So I pulled together some peacock like colors and made this fun motif that can be used as an applique, or joined creatively to make scarves or other chill busting accessories. Click on the picture to go download the free pattern and watch the tutorial video. Lefties click here.

For When My Son is a Teenager

I will learn to knit a sweater just for this reason.

I will learn to knit a sweater just for this reason.

This is another vintage awesomeness I came across in my old magazines.

I’m keeping this picture around for when my son is a teenager.

I will threaten him with this picture.

I will tell him that if he ever does drugs, bullies someone, sneaks out of the house, etc… I will make these and he will be forced to wear it with me in a public place, and maybe even head to the nearest Sears for some pictures (if the offense was bad enough).

Though the pattern was not titled “Revenge Sweater” I’m thinking that could only be the possible reason for making your son wear the same exact feminine rib knit turtleneck sweater you would.

Unless in the 70s this was a popular trend.

Anyone remember back then if this happened often? Let us know below.

Good Looking Stripes In Single Crochet Spirals

I recently posted about making jogless stripes in half double crochet. Now I have the same for single crochet.

When you work in spirals, like when you make amigurumi, any stripes you make never line up. Because you are not joining your rounds, you don’t have a visible seam, but you have offset stripes. You trade one “evil” for another.

I’ve now finished editing my newest video so you can now work without a seam, and have clean color changes that line up much better than with the old method. Check out the video below to see it in action. Lefties click here.

We Have a Bunny!

Bunny having breakfast.

Bunny having breakfast.

A bunny has been my daughter’s latest pet request (after dog, cat, and snake). She currently has a robo hamster (like a regular hamster, only smaller), so she knows she will have to wait a little bit before we get a bunny.

However, though I told her we couldn’t get a bunny yet, it didn’t mean a bunny couldn’t come to us.

Our desert landscape has done just that. My daughter spotted this little guy the other day and has been feeding it our bagged salad for the past few days. Though we aren’t getting close to the little guy (wild bunnies can be mean), it is a nice compromise to see a bunny until we can get one as a pet.

New Pattern – Free For A Limited Time

Reversible Trio of Forest Baskets

Reversible Trio of Forest Baskets

My newest pattern is here!

These reversible baskets are a great way to try out Fair Isle Crochet.

Using medium worsted weight yarn, you can start with the small leaf basket to get your feet wet and eventually move on to the large owl basket when you’re ready.

Not only are these baskets cute, but they are practical. You can reverse from pattern to a solid color by simply flipping them inside out.

Get them for free with any purchase in my shop.

There is no minimum amount to purchase.

Just add this pattern and another to your cart and put promo code: freepat in at checkout to receive a discount for the amount of this pattern.

This offer is good until Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 midnight Pacific time.

If you are reading this and missed the offer, be sure to follow the blog so you don’t miss the good deals next time!

Just In Case You Were Wondering…

They added a shrouded hanging body from the roof after this was taken.

They added a shrouded hanging body from the roof after this was taken.

In case you were wondering what the people in this house had cooking on actual Halloween — absolutely nothing.

As I was driving home two days before Halloween there was a cop car at the house with a few motorist. It’s right off of a main street so I thought it was a small fender bender and kept heading to my house in the neighborhood.

The next day the shrouded body was gone.

The next day after that – Halloween, all decorations were gone and the “blood” was removed. Not entirely though, they are going to have to repaint the house to get rid of it all I suppose.

I’m guessing someone was a little too freaked out by this house and the city got involved and had the owner’s remove everything. It was a little much.

Fixing your Stripes in Half Double Crochet When Working in Spirals

If you love working your half double crochet projects in spirals, but are afraid to change colors because of those ugly jogs you get, this post is for you.

I had a viewer request for jogless stripes in half double crochet when working in spirals. I had never tried to do this, so I got my hook and yarn out and worked out a technique that I think helped solve the problem.

So what are jogs? 

See how the color change makes it look like one row is  worked in two different colors.

See how the color change makes it look like one row is worked in two different colors.

When you work a project in spirals, you don’t join your rounds. This is great for projects where you don’t want a visible seam, such as in amigurumi or a beanie. However, if you want to create a stripe in a spiral project you get a “jog” or an offset where you join your new color. In the picture above you can see the offset from the grey yarn to the turquoise.

Usually you just put this in the back of your work or mask it with some clever item like a crocheted flower or belt for your stuffed creature. Here is my solution.

Can you see where I changed the colors?

Can you see where I changed the colors?

The first thing I will say, is that this method does not create a perfect stripe. Rarely is any crochet fix perfect. But, I think my method will create a better looking backside to your spiral project. The picture above is the backside of this project and as you can see, the stripes match up quite well. Through many hours and trials and errors I came up with this method and I’ll explain it below, I also have a video at the end of the post for even more help. Lefties, your video is here.

Let’s Begin

Instead of the normal way of changing color during the last step of your last stitch, you will instead complete a full round of one color (or how ever many rounds you need of a certain color).

For ease of understanding. The picture below has 16 HDC around. I have completed 16 HDC in green.

No color change at my last stitch of the round like in normal crochet.

No color change at my last stitch of the round like in normal crochet.

Now it’s time to change my color. I insert my hook under the back loop only of the next stitch and grab my new color.

This is the first stitch of the previous round.

This is the first stitch of the previous round.

Important Note: I DO NOT count this as my first stitch of the new round. This slip stitch will become the last stitch of my round (more on that later).  I am moving my stitches over by one to create the jogless stripe. This should not effect most patterns. There are exceptions (if you watched the video this is where you saw the note), if you are doing specific shaping this method could throw that off.

Specific shaping would be a designer putting increases or decreases in a specific spot to shape the project a specific way. For example, if they only increased for three rounds on the first two stitches of each round to create a bump in the project, this method will throw that shaping off. You can use this method for normal shaping (as in creating the top of a beanie) where the increases or decreases are spaced evenly around the project.

I will now slip stitch my new color through the loop on my hook very loosely.

Don't tighten the slip stitch down. The highlighted area shows the slip stitch (on top) and the front loop we left alone (on the bottom).

Don’t tighten the slip stitch down. The highlighted area shows the slip stitch (on top) and the front loop we left alone (on the bottom).

The slip stitch should look like a regular stitch after you make it. You don’t tighten it down at all.

It’s important to recognize the front loop that you didn’t slip stitch through. You will need to use that loop at the end of the round to make the jogless stripe. My video at the bottom shows it much better than these photos if you need further help in finding it.

Now, without any chains, begin half double crocheting around. You will work into the next stitch after the slip stitch. This will be your first stitch of the round. Perform all stitches except your last (in this case 15 HDC) like normal. The last stitch of the round is where you make your stripes line up.

I've crocheted all the way around and I'm back at my last stitch, which was the slip stitch I made at the beginning.

I’ve crocheted all the way around and I’m back at my last stitch, which was the slip stitch I made at the beginning.

You can see the highlighted area in the picture above is the slip stitch we made at the beginning and the front loop we didn’t slip stitch in.  To make our stripes line up, we will be working our final half double crochet under that front loop. This will bring our stripes in line with each other.

Insert your hook directly under the front loop.

Insert your hook directly under the front loop.

The highlighted area shows the front loop from the previous round. It can be difficult to see in the photos so I encourage you to watch the video below if you are having trouble finding it.

Push your hook straight through to the back. This will catch the back loop you slip stitched into as well as everything above it. Then half double crochet as normal and your round is complete with a lined up stripe.

Better looking than a jog.

Better looking than a jog.

Note for working multiple rounds before a color change: When using this method, you only do the special half double crochet in the front loop at the end of the first round. If you are performing multiple rounds before your next color change you just keep working your half double crochets normally in each stitch around. The video gives more info on this as well.

Hopefully this will come in handy. Do you have a favorite way to fix stripes in half double crochet spirals? Let us know below.

I Need More Buckets!!!

Must. Buy. More. Popcorn.

Must. Buy. More. Popcorn.

I’m working on an intarsia project and have run out of my popcorn buckets!

In case you aren’t familiar with intarsia, it is a technique where each new color of a crochet project is added in with a new skein (for a big area) or a small ball (for a small area). I’ll be adding some video tutorials on this technique very soon (you can see on my list I’ve had a request for it).

I’ve added five skeins so far (it’s a big project — can’t tell you what though, might enter it for the CGOA design competition) and I’ve run out of my very useful souvenir buckets.

These buckets are great for transporting my project and easily untangling my yarns when I turn my work. Those are Red Heart Super Saver skeins in there so you can get a feel for their size. I had failed to mention how useful they are in easily untangling your yarn in my previous post so I thought I would add that in now.

Thankfully I’m heading to Disneyland next week so I can pick up a few more and get back to work on my project.

 

In Case You Like Treble Crochet More Than Double

I present: linked treble crochet.

I present: linked treble crochet.

Just in case you loved linked double crochet, I added another video to show how to link treble crochet.

Just like the linked double crochet, this stitch will create a closed fabric with no gaps between stitches.

I love these linked stitches and they are deceptively easy. Click on the picture to see the right hand version, and click here for the left hand.