Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Easy Peasy Shawl!

I have been working a few larger projects, and today I am going to share one that I've finished up with you. It's a shawl! I'm starting to feel like I've made several shawls and initially, I was going to make something else with this yarn using a pattern from I Like Crochet, but I had time reading the pattern so I decided to go with another one from that fall edition and here it is!

I'm going to come right out and say taking a picture of this was not easy. I take all my own photos, have no photoshoping knowledge and no one to model projects for me. Finding the right kind of background and lighting in my home is not always easy, and getting this shawl to drape so you can get an idea of it was quite the challenge. But, this was the best picture I could get. I do adore the colours in this piece and how soft the yarn is. I haven't worn this yet, but hopefully I can soon.

The stitch was easy to work and looks lovely. I'd share it with you, but I don't think I can without violating copyright, but I did it get it from this issue of I Like Crochet, though I chose my own yarn. I subscribe it to on my iPad and I've already used a pattern or two from them, so I would recommend you look into it. It's especially good for the intermediate crocheter, but it has easy patterns, such as this one, as well. 

So, I've one of three larger projects done! We'll see when the other two get finished! But I will be back soon with another post with a new stitch for you soon. 

Happy Hooking,

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Crochet Gifts for the Winter Season

I think I need to apologize for being absent from this blog for so long. It was a far busier fall than I expected it to be! I had a lot of fun crocheting in some down time, but little time to write up a post. But, I am going to share with you a project I made as a Christmas gift today.

For this lovely scarf and earwarmer, I used some basic patterns I was already familiar with. For the scarf, I used the lemon peel stitch, which I've shared here before and for the earwarmer, I used a great pattern from Rescued Paw Designs that I've also shared here before. I loved the way these worked up and look and I hope the person I am giving these to likes them too. I chose the cherry red because my friend will likely adore the colour, and because sometimes in winter the colours gets a bit blah. So I thought I'd keep things lively and bright. 

Now, a while back I showcased some yarn and mentioned I was working on a few bigger projects. I have one done. The other needs more attention than I have time to give at the moment, so it might be something I get back to over the holidays. A third larger project I'm kinda feeling iffy about so it's on pause until I decide whether or not to continue. But, I've also crocheted up a huge yellow infinity scarf (stay tuned for that project, I adore the stitch I found for it) and I've made several earwarmers that I've had some luck in selling. 

My next project will be a baby blanket in the lemon peel stitch at the request of a friend and I'm looking forward to working with a chunkier yarn. 

I'll be back soon with more to share!

Happy Hooking,

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Shades of Autumn Scarf

I absolutely love fall and it's colours. In fact, I might have gotten a little carried away with years with fall crochet projects--I started in July hehe. I whipped up a lovely, thick and easy V-stitch scarf in July and today I decided to share with you.

How do you make the V-stitch? Well, it's easy, and you find out more about it in my July post  which provides instructions on how to make this stitch. If you can double crochet and chain, you are set. This stitch is perfect for a lighter scarf since it is a bit open weave and since this yarn was self stripping, the colours organized themselves beautifully for me. I love self stripping and variegated yarns. They add such variety to projects!

For this project, I used a thicker, wooly yarn. Some might find it itchy, but since I used a number 6 hook, it worked up quick and actually, it's quite long. I tried it on today and loved the colours but I have yet to sport it around the town, but I will say, I don't know why I made it as long as I did! I usually measure the length of my scarves by lying them across my shoulders and if the ends fall to my hips, I stop. That way, I get a scarf that will wrap nicely around my neck and keep off the cold wind. This one is a little longer, but I don't think it will a problem.

I hope to be back soon to share with you some other projects--and I am working on three larger ones because I'm nuts--soon. Until then,

Happy Hooking,

Sunday, October 16, 2016

I've Gone Yarn Crazy!

In my last post, I mentioned that I'm currently working two larger projects. I haven't yet finished either, but yesterday there was a sale and I went yarn shopping. And I found some lovely yarn that I can't wait to work with even though I have two big projects that I'm still in the middle of! I've got crochet madness that's for sure.

I'm not sure the photo does justice to the colours in the Red Heart yarn, but let me assure you it's a beautiful yarn, soft and rich with the colours of autumn. I instantly fell in love and I knew just the project that this yarn would be perfect for. I hope I bought enough. Let me tell you a little story; I recently subscribe to I Like Crochet via my iPad and the October edition has two projects I want to hook up, one with the Red Heart yarn, and the other with that bright yellow that I just love. And as I was standing in the store, I cursed myself because I didn't have access to the app. So, I'm hoping I have enough. I have yet to even double check if I do! Which I really should, come to think of it. 

So what are the projects I have planned for all this lovely yarn I bought? The yellow yarn is going to be hooked into a braided ear warmer. I can't call it a headband as it will be too thick I think, for that use. It ought be perfect as an ear warmer though. The other yarn will be a big lacey scarf/shawl. I have to say, I don't think there are enough hours in the day to crochet lately! 

What are you hooking up? You can share in the comments below. 

Happy Hooking,

Monday, October 10, 2016

Projects Under Construction

I'm going to start this post by saying wow. I've taken on a few bigger projects lately and I love working on each of them. Since I can't show you a finished project as of yet, I decided I'd share with you today two projects I'm working on and where I found the pattern.

The first is a hooded scarf that I am loving to work up. So far it's easy. We'll see what happens when it comes time to assemble *wink, wink* But the pattern is cute, and I found it through All Free Crochet, which sends me daily newsletters FULL of free patterns. I save all them all in my inbox but wow, I've NO idea when I'll ever get to try all the lovely free patterns they share with you. You should seriously check them out. The pattern for the hooded scarf is on a blog site called CrochetNCrafts, for which I've provided you a direct link to the pattern. Just in case you want a hooded scarf yourself. I myself chose not to use a red yarn however. Too Red Riding Hood for me.

Picture is not my own work
The other project I'm working on is a poncho I found on Ravelry. I did pay for the pattern and so far (and this is really my first garment project) it has been simple to work up. If you can double crochet you can do this. I've learned to dc2tog thanks to this project, and I haven't had problems yet. I'm again providing you a direct link because you should at least see how cute this looks. Again, I didn't use the recommended yarn, but a colour stripping worsted yarn instead and so far it's turning out fine. 

I hope to be back in a few days to share with you some other projects and resources I've found. So check back soon! 

Happy Hooking,

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Lemon Stitch Peel Purse

Hello everyone! I apologize for being absent for a while, but I'm back today with a cute little project I whipped up a couple of weeks ago. It's a little purse, easy to make and I learned a new stitch that I love while I was at it.

The lemon peel stitch was really easy, and anyone can do it. If you can single crochet and double crochet, this is that easy. I decided to try out in a simple project and thought it was perfect for a purse. I did get the idea from the site I found the instructions for the stitch on, but I created my own strap, which is longer than pictured, so this is an over the shoulder bag perfect for your phone and keys and a credit card or two. I worked up a length using the lemon peel stitch, then when it was long enough, I made sure to leave a button hole space. I simply chained four, skipped four stitches and followed the pattern till the end of the row. Then, I continued the pattern in the next row till I reached my chain in which I single crocheted across and then carried on with the lemon peel stitch till the end of row and then fastened off. I stitched the sides together using a craft needle and yarn and then made the strap which is just three rows of single crochet. Then I sewed those on to the purse as well. 

It was as easy as that! I haven't used this little purse yet, but I plan to and I have to say, I love the look this stitch lent to this project. It's simple but pretty and that's certainly what I was going for so I'm delighted with the way it turned out. 

Happy Hooking,

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Triangular Granny Shawl

Sometimes when I'm looking at yarn, I find some that I just have to have. That was the case when I saw the colours for this fall shawl I crocheted. I had the pattern already at home, but when I first went to try it something in the instructions threw me so I put it aside. A year or two later, and I'm much better at pattern reading and crochet and the pattern seemed the perfect one for the yarn I wanted to use. So I began to make my granny shawl.

The pattern was very easy to follow, and if you can make a granny square, a granny triangle will be just as easy. I found the pattern on Ravelry, which is a good site for patterns, but not really my favourite. It might be one day, just isn't right now. I used colours I liked, and I wanted a fall shawl and I decided myself when I wanted to change colours.

Personally, I love the colours and the soft yarn. It should be cozy in the fall months. This would love amazing in some jewel tones, or even in monochromatic tones like black and white. The pattern lets you decide which size hook to use and I used a 4mm which made the project work up a bit more slowly, but I think the effect is nicer and suited the yarn well. 

The pattern included an optional boarder, and I wanted to finish it off with a pretty edge but I was unable to use the boarder included in the pattern. Try as I might, I couldn't follow the instructions and I eventually gave up and decided to see if I could create a nice boarder using a shell stitch, and luckily that worked out. So in the end, it all worked out well! This is a good larger project for a beginner and just as much fun for the more experience crocheter. 

Happy Hooking,

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ridged Beanie Hat

With the weather getting cooler, I decided it was time to make a beanie hat for the autumn days. I found a yarn I loved and then went hunting for a pattern for that was just right. And I found one that was perfect--it looks great and was interesting to crochet.

I found the pattern for this hat at Rescued Paw Designs, which I check regularly since the patterns are usually easy to follow and fun to work up. This pattern uses the front post double crochet (fpdc) and the back post double crochet (bpdc) and was a lot to make. Plus, it looks great! Not sure how to make the back post double crochet? Neither was I, and written instructions proved baffling. That's because you are working in the back of your work, or you could think of it as the opposite side of your work, and that was an odd concept to me. I've included a video to help you, since I needed a video to help me really see how it's done. Once you master this (and it won't take long) you're on your way to making a great beanie hat! 

It might look a little strange, but really it's just as easy as the front post double crochet so keep trying as it is not at all difficult. I also want to mention that the pattern includes adult, child and baby sizes as well as a cute flower applique that I chose not to make for my own hat. So you can make one of these beanie hats for anyone in your family! I love my hat and although I'm sorry to see summer behind us (mostly) I can't wait to wear my new hat.

Happy Hooking,

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Crossed Double Crochet Stitch Scarf

Not too long ago, I started working on a project using some beautiful fine yarn, and I shared with you that working with fine yarn was forcing me to re-learn some crochet technique. Well, that project is finally done and I love it! I made a scarf and it turned out very nicely, and the pattern I used was one of my own making, using a cross double crochet stitch. It's fairly easy, so I'll share with you what I did. I found out via the internet that a cross double crochet stitch should start with a foundation chain of a multiple of 2 plus 2 for the starting chain. This really helped in creating my pattern.

Working with a fine yarn was something of a new experience for me. I had to use a smaller hook, which made the work slower going initially, and I had was all thumbs for a bit. But once I got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing. I love the look of the scarf, as it drapes rather nicely and looks a tad more elegant than if I had used a worsted yarn. 


Stitches used--chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), double crochet (dc).
I used a 3.75mm hook and approximately 400yards of yarn.

Chain 28 

Row 1: DC in the ridge of second ch from the hook, and in each stitch across. Ch 1, turn. 

Row2: DC in first stitch. Skip next stitch, dc in next, cross back and dc in skipped stitch. One crossed double crochet made. Repeat across. End with a double crochet in last stitch. Ch 1, turn. 

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern until desired length. Fasten off and weave in ends. 

I had a lot of fun crocheting this, and I can't wait till the cooler weather sets in--so I can wear this lovely creation. 

Happy Hooking,

Saturday, August 27, 2016

What's this Stitch? DC2tog

I've learned a lot about crochet, but I've always avoided decreasing and increasing in patterns. Not because I thought it'd be difficult but just because I was afraid it'd be time consuming, But I'm in the middle of  project that is a garment--my second one!--and I came across the stitch, dc2tog. And having no idea what this was, I had to hit the internet and lo! it's a decrease stitch.

How do you make this stitch? It's actually easy, I didn't even need a video. The written instructions with pictures are here for you. And believe me, if you can double crochet, doing this will be just as easy. I don't know why I avoided decreasing and increasing now that I know this stitch. Whatever will I learn next in crochet? I'm excited to find out!

 I'm also including a video because videos are always super helpful when learning something new in crochet.

I hope you find this useful. I'll keep you prosted on the garment I'm making with this decrease stitch. 

Happy Hooking,

Friday, August 19, 2016

Working with Fine Yarn

Not too long ago, I was in a yarn shop and found this lovely yarn that I just fell in love with. I also got to see what it looked like when worked up and it was simply lovely. It was pricey yarn but I decided to take the plunge and buy one skein.

Of course, I wanted to start crocheting with it immediately. But I needed a pattern. I found one I liked but I had a good chunk of worked up when I realized, that no, this pattern wasn't going to work for me. There were certain things about it that got on my nerves and affected the overall look and I knew the end product would be nice, but would not be what I wanted. So I unraveled and started fresh.

And made my own pattern. My own very simple, pattern which I will share with you when the project is complete. It's the first pattern I've created, so it's nothing very creative, but it's turning out nicely so far. But this yarn is fine, and I'm using a 3.75mm hook. I don't normally work with such a small hook or yarn, I tend to stick to worsted yarn and fatter hooks. But even though I feel all thumbs I think it's good practice because I do want to learn lace crochet (which I started by the way) and the thread is even finer.

I have to wonder if I'm all thumbs not only because the yarn is fine and I'm not accustomed to working with it, or if it's also because I hold my crochet hook all wrong. Maybe the technique I am using doesn't lend itself as well to crocheting with finer yarn or thread. So I'm trying to re-train myself. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks though, and it's slow going at the moment. I'm sure it'll get better!

I haven't crocheted much of this scarf, but I've gotten a good start. and I'm loving the look of it so far. I think it will be nice in the cooler fall months, which could be right around corner for me here in the great white north. I like the look of it and the way it drapes, and the delicate feel of it. I think it will turn out to be a very nice accessory piece. I haven't decided yet if I'll add a boarder or fringe, but we'll see.

Stay tuned for more of this project! Pictures of completed project and pattern to come.

Happy Hooking,

Monday, August 15, 2016

Knit Like Crochet Stitch

Recently, I was looking for a pattern for a scarf for the fall. I like making scarves, and I love that they keep me warm, so having a few different ones is useful to me on cold days. I spent four hours looking for a pattern because I had a very specific look in mind, simple but not plain or basic. I didn't want anything too lacy looking, or open weave but I wanted it to have a bit of oof, so no basic double crochet for me. I finally, finally, finally found a stitch that gave me the kind of look I had been searching for all afternoon.

And that stitch was a stitch I found on, which looks very much like knit but isn't because it was total crochet fun! It's a ribbed effect, very nice and I used a 6.5mm hook which made the scarf feel thick and warm. Here is the this neat knit stitch.   I promise you that even if you are a beginner, working on easy patterns, this is a stitch you can do. It was so much fun, that after making this lovely hunter green scarf, I made another in white. I'll give it to a friend for Christmas. I can't wait to wear this in the fall. The scarf worked up quick and I think this stitch can be used for baby blankets, the effect of it is lovely.

The instructions are very easy to follow, and the creator of this stitch has also provided very useful pictures to assist you. Once you take a look at it, you'll probably experience the same "ah-ha" moment that I did because you'll know immediately what to do. I started immediately and finished this scarf in only a a few hours.

So, if you are looking for something easy and quick as well as something that catches the eye a bit, this is one stitch that fits the bill.

Happy Hooking, 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Coasters and Crochet

I don't know why I decided to make coasters one day, but I did. Maybe I thought it'd be a quick and easy project (and it's supposed to be) or maybe I thought they'd be fun adornments but whatever the reason, I recently hooked up some coasters. And it wasn't easy. First of all, I couldn't find a pattern I liked. I tried several, but something was always off. Then, I finally settled on what looked like a simple pattern. Unforunately, working in the round using a single crochet was hard work. I crochet too tightly, and it was slow going because as much as I tried to ease up on the tension, I was also working with a 4.25mm hook. Anyway, these were not fun to make, and I've one more to make for a set of four.

I found the pattern on Ravelry, and I'm sharing it with you here. I made some changes though, switching to a half double crochet in row 5, and then I used a puff stitch and chained one and made another puff stitch in the same stitch, chained one, skipped a stitch and repeated around in row 6. I couldn't make row six work, maybe due to my tension, or perhaps I miscounted somewhere, so I did my own thing. 

They look cute and I'm happy with the result, but I won't be hooking these up again any time soon unless I learn some trick to loosen up my tension. I might try other coaster patterns however. We'll see what I create next! I'm  undecided at the moment, so stay tuned.

Happy Hooking,

Friday, August 5, 2016

Autumn Infinity Scarf

I recently realized that I make a lot of scarves or cowls. This is primarily because they are fun and easy, and I can use them all through the fall and winter, which lasts many months here in Canada. Summers are hot but winters are longer here. Last fall, I made a cowl from some beautiful merino wool and I wanted to share it with you today.

I actually use this beauty to accessorize my outfits, rather than for warmth. The colours called to me the minute I saw this lovely yarn, and one skein was just enough to make a scarf that twists around me once. It's not very wide, but that doesn't matter since it gets thicker when you twist round. To make this, I chained until the length was longer enough to sit on shoulders and fall to my waist. Then I simply half double crocheted in every stitch and repeated that until I ran out of yarn. I joined the ends, and viola! 

Don't know how to half double crochet? Easy peasy. Yarn over the hook, insert into a stitch. You now have two loops on your hook. Yarn over again the hook again and pull through all three loops. You've just made a half double crochet. Need some visual help? Here's a link to help you out. 

Working with merino wool was awesome. It was soft and easy to work with, and the scarf feels so soft and comfy. If you've never used a good quality yarn (and I still mostly stick to acrylic though I'm trying to get better yarns now) do try one out, it makes such a difference to how your projects turn out. Good luck and, 

Happy Hooking,

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Cross Stitching Fun

I have been working on some projects that I'll need in the cooler months, and I'm sharing one with you today. It's a fun project, and I enjoyed hooking up this scarf for my nephew. I got the pattern from Rescued Paws Designs, a site that is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. I love the free patterns, and the site is easy to use.

This pattern uses half double crochets, but it also requires you to cross them. Which is easy enough, you simply insert your hook into a stitch, half double crochet, then half double crochet into the stitch behind your first double crochet. The pattern will explain this as well. Don't be scared off by the fact that the pattern requires an intermediate skill level. Cross stitching in this way is one of the first things I tackled when I still considered myself at an easy level (and I'm still judging myself to be at an intermediate level in skill) and I had no trouble with it whatsoever. I'm sure you can do it too! 

I really hope my nephew likes this scarf. I decided not to include a fringe in case he felt that was too girly. And I know he likes blue so fingers crossed, I hope he likes it as I intend to include this as apart of his birthday gift. The pattern was very easy to follow, and it was super fun to hook up so once again, a pattern from Rescued Paws Designs wins!

Happy Hooking,

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Crocheting in the Bump

I was recently working on a pattern that asked me to crochet in the bump. This is also called crocheting in the ridge. And it got me thinking how recently I learned how to crochet in the bump, and why it's such a neat trick. I learned to crochet from my aunt, who knows the basics but apparently no one taught her to crochet in the bump. Or maybe she overlooked this when teaching me, I can't say for sure.

So what does it mean to crochet in the bump or ridge? It's really quite simple. Once you have your foundation chain, you'll insert your hook into a chain stitch and crochet a single crochet, double crochet or whatever stitch you are working with. And this makes a neat loopy sort of edge at the bottom of your piece. Ever notice that when you finish a piece though, the top doesn't have that edge? That's because you didn't crochet in the bump, so the top and bottom edge of your work don't match. Which isn't necessarily a problem if you're going to add on an edging anyway, but when you crochet in the bump, you turn that starting chain over and there's a little bump or ridge on the back of each chain. Insert your hook into that bump and crochet your stitch. You'll see the difference at the bottom of your work immediately, as it looks more like a V. When you complete your piece, the top will match your bottom. I've found this useful for simple pieces like scarves when I'm not adding on an edging or broader. I've added a video from YouTube to demonstrate this and I hope your find it helpful!

Happy Hooking,

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Lacey Crochet

Something I've always wanted to learn to do in crochet, which seemed impossible when I was younger (and I've wanted to do this since I was a kid) was crochet lace, or lacey patterns. Who could teach me? I knew no one who knew how to crochet really, or not more than the basics, never mind the lacey dolies and edges I knew you could hook up.
Picture is not my own work.

The picture above is an example of the type of crochet I always wanted to learn to make. It's beautiful! And so totally not anything I've made, though I hope one day in the future to make to something like this beautiful lace doily. But, the other day, while I was at the craft store, stocking up on yarn (it was on sale!) I came across a book that promised to teach me how to make lace crochet. I was all over it! I studied a pattern in the book, and it looked manageable so yes, book went into basket. Then, I gathered up the materials it said I needed, and I hope that soon, I gather up the patience and courage (more courage I think) to start my very first doily!

I bet you can barely see the head of the teeny tiny crochet hook I bought. I'm sure to be all thumbs once I start trying my hand at lace crochet, but I cannot wait to try it. The book is one I looked over in the store, and I hope it doesn't let me down. I'm providing a link in case you'd like to look over this book more carefully yourself.

Wish me luck! I hope to share my progress with lace crochet with you as I go along. Hopefully I'm a quick study

Happy Hooking,

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fashion Sparkle Cowl

During the winter, I found a really pretty, sparkly yarn and I just had to crochet it up into something, and so I made it into a cowl. It worked up really easy, and the yarn was nice to work with, even though I was a little worried about the sparkly thread running through it snagging. It did not, which was a relief. I made two of these cowls, one for me and one for my friend's birthday. I love mine. I hope she gets some use out of hers.

I found this pattern on Hopeful Honey, a wonderful blog about crochet. She gave some great tips too about hook sizes and how to work it and I had no problem following her pattern and the tips were quite helpful. Sadly I can't remember what hook size I used, but I do know the suggestions helped me out. The cowl is quite pretty, and I've worn it to work and with jeans. 

The pattern is open weave, though with the chunky yarn I chose, you can't really tell. But the sparkly thread really makes this cowl I think. Using a more basic yarn would yield a different look entirely, so play around and see what works for you. 

Happy Hooking,

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beautiful Mandala

Some months ago, I stumbled across a blog that was posting a lot of pictures of these absolutely gorgeous mandalas. I mean, they were stunning. Expertly done and I wondered why the blogger was posting so many of these mandalas. I found out why, and it shocked and saddened me. The blogger was doing a beautiful thing in memory of one member of the crochet community, in memory of Wink. I was so upset by the story that I decided to make my own mandala to honour Wink as well. If you'd like to read the full story about the mandala project for Wink, I have it here for you.

I used the pattern I found on Wink's site, and I've looked over many of her patterns since then. She was a truly creative soul. Since it was too late for me to contribute to the project, I have this mandala with me at home and it cheers up a space of mine and reminds me that life is beautiful. I was able to contribute to the project in another way, by crocheting some mini mandalas, which I do not have pictures of sadly. This pattern forced me to learn a couple of things--the magic ring for one, and how to create a standing stitch. It's not a perfect mandala, but I sure am happy with how it looks. And I'm sure to only get better the more I crochet! I hope you try this project and perhaps can share it with someone who needs some brightness and comfort in their life. To me, this project will always be a reminder that life is beautiful. 

Happy Hooking,

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pretty Sunglasses Case

Well, I've been in the mood for crocheting up quick projects lately, and I came across a lovely pattern at Rescued Paw Designs for a glasses case. The pattern is easy and looks lovely once you hook it up. I have to say, if you follow the instructions, you cannot go wrong. Since I was making the case for sunglasses, I added in a couple extra rows before I hooked up Row 13, and it turned out beautifully. I adore my sunglasses case and I think it's so pretty!

I've made another case for a friend because I love the way the pattern works up and it turned out just as pretty. I used the recommended cotton yarn, though I used Bernat and not the Lily Sugar n'Cream mentioned in the pattern and I found it turned out nicely. I'm also thinking you could probably line the interior with some fabric if you wanted, and that would be easy and add a nice touch. This would be a great project for a beginner, so don't be afraid to try it out!

Happy Hooking,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Half Double Crochet Lap Blanket

I've a funny story to share about the yarn I used in the lap blanket below. My friend and I got it into our heads to go to this specialty yarn shop one weekend. We couldn't go on the Saturday, though I can't remember why, so we drove out on the Sunday, and the shop was closed. Well, about a year later we thought we ought try that yarn shop again on a Saturday and so we drove out again only to find that the place was closed because the owners were at a craft show! So we got out our phones and found another yarn shop and made our way there, and that day I found the yarn I used in my lap blanket.

I looked for a pattern for a nice lap blanket, or afghan but I couldn't seem to find one that I wanted to use with this yarn. In the end, I decided to keep it simple and crocheted the blanket using the half double crochet stitch, and I edged it using the picot stitch. The colours of the blanket matched my reading room nicely, and so the lap blanket is one I use when I'm reading in my rocking chair. It turned out far prettier than I thought it would, considering I was using such a basic stitch, and I'm very happy with the result. In fact, the half double crochet is one of my favourite stitches now!

This is one my favourite blankets, and I love the feel of the soft yarn. I had enough yarn that this is a rather long lap blanket, and it was so much fun to crochet. I used a larger hook, an 8mm, so that the blanket didn't gobble up as much yarn as I was worried I might not have quite enough, and to create a chunkier effect. I think it turned out beautifully! If you've never used the half double crochet, I recommend you try it; it lends itself nicely to a lot of projects. 

Happy Hooking,

Monday, July 18, 2016

Front Post Double Crochet Headband

I have a lot of leftover yarn from previous projects. They sit in my yarn basket and I am never quite sure what to do with them. Yesterday I had just enough to try out a pattern I found for a headband, or ear warmer, which it what I will use this piece for in the colder months. I found the pattern at Rescued Paw Designs, a site that is new to me but that is great! The pattern was quick to work up and I love the look of it.

The thing I found with this pattern was that it called for a foundation chain of 40 stitches, but I needed to use 45 even though I was using the recommended 6.5mm hook. I used a worsted yarn, so maybe if you're using a chunkier yarn you'll be okay with the 40 stitches. But, just play around if not.

I had to learn how to front post double crochet, which is soo easy. And I love the look it lends to this ear warmer. I'm thinking this might very well turn into a favourite stitch for meSince I had no idea how to front double crochet, a stitch I had tried before but hadn't had much success at (I'm thinking now I was misunderstanding the written directions I was referring to at the time) so I decided to Youtube. And I found a video that made it super easy so I am sharing that with you! 

I hope you'll try this pattern, if only because it's practical and so much fun! Or just to practice the front post double crochet if it's new to you.

Happy Hooking,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Crochet Hook Organizer

So, sometime last year or thereabouts, I got tired of hunting for my crochet hooks all over the place, and I decided I needed some place to keep them. I don't quite remember how I came across the idea, but I soon realized I could crochet an organizer to keep my hooks, and that just struck me as fabulous!

I found the pattern for this organizer on Etsy, and I was more than happy to purchase it. I had to alter the pattern a little bit but it worked out perfectly. The only reason I altered the pattern at all was because I had some fatter hooks I was concerned might not fit into the snug little pockets I was crocheting, so to make them a bit wider, in one section I switched from double crochet stitches to treble crochet stitches. My hooks fit so I'm glad I did that. 

Since I had effectively made my organizer a tad longer because of those treble crochets, I decided to forgo trying to crochet the lacey cover from the pattern. Instead, I crocheted a cover consisting of the star stitch and fitted it on, and I love my crochet hook organizer. It holds all my hooks and has room for some more as well, though I have a good selection of sizes. If you'd like to make this organizer, I found the pattern very easy to follow and well worth the money. Try not to crochet too tightly to create a nice even look and I'm sure you'll be happy with the result.

Happy Hooking,

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Easy Peasy Pencil Case

So recently I was looking for a little something to make that would use up some left over yarn from a previous project. I also wanted something easy to keep my hands busy. So I was scrolling through Pinterest, and I found a cute idea--a crochet pencil case! So I found a pattern I liked, that was easy and started hooking away.

I love my bright green pencil case! I especially liked how it fastens with the string of chain stitches. It worked up quick, looks cute and easily lends itself to some sprucing up with other easy stitches, like the moss stitch. This pattern might be fun to in colour blocks as well, or even in stripes. I didn't bother playing that much with it, but the simplicity of it means you could totally make it your own with little effort.

The pencil case isn't meant to hold Post It stickies or a ton of stuff, but it would easy fit a few pencils and a pen along with an eraser. Or maybe a couple of lip glosses if you wanted to use it as a make up case. Which I would crochet in a bright pink personallyWant to hook up this cute project? I found it on a blog called Jammy's Modern Designs, and the pattern is very easy to follow. Click the link to find this great and fun project.

Happy Hooking,

Friday, July 8, 2016

How to Make a Magic Ring

Today I want to share with you something I've found very useful in crochet. That's the magic ring, which is also called the magic circle. I saw it referred to in books and and in patterns, but I didn't know what was so magical about the magic ring. The photos below illustrate why the magic ring is useful. The magic ring allows you to crochet around a circle of yarn, and then when you pull it tight, that circle closes.
Before the magic ring is pulled tight
After the magic ring is pulled tight
As you might imagine, this is useful for creating appliques or other cute pieces that require a circular shape. It took me a while to figure out how to make a magic ring. The written instructions I had didn't quite do the trick for me, so I turned to the internet. If words and photos aren't enough, one needs a video. Thank goodness for Youtube! I've provided a video for you that is very useful if you want to learn how to make a magic ring. It can't get any easier than this.

Happy Hooking,

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cute Crochet Flower Bookmark

While I love crocheting large projects like afghans, sometimes I just want to crochet something quick and easy. I had been looking for a crochet pattern for a bookmark for a while, and I finally found one that worked up quick and easy and didn't require too many colour changes. I found the pattern at Daisy Cottage Designs, though I didn't use the pattern for the flower. I ended up coming up with my own though I'm darned if I can remember how I made this little flower.

I'm going to be honest and say the best part about this pattern was that I could make a whole bunch in one evening. It works up quick and my favourite part was crocheting the leaf. It was super easy and quick and taught me a bit about shaping in crochet. I used a basic acrylic yarn in some bright happy spring colours because it was spring time when I was making these. I'm giving some away to friends, and I hope they like them. Being book lovers, they ought.

Note that the designer of the flower pattern doesn't say to use a magic ring in her pattern for the flower. I actually am not sure how she intends to start the pattern when she says simply to chain two, but I would try a magic ring if I was to try again. The rest of the pattern is really easy to follow and I don't think her flower pattern is at all difficult, I think I am simply having a hard time with the first steps.

This is a quick and easy project, perfect for anyone who loves to read, or to make as a gift. Instructions for this book mark are found here. I hope you have a lot of fun making this one!

Happy Hooking,

Monday, July 4, 2016

The V Stitch Blanket

I'm currently working on a few projects, but today I'm going to share with you a project I finished off a while back with a really cute variegated yarn. I used the V stitch to create the blanket. I got the stitch pattern from a crochet book I have, and it's really easy. I created a long throw for my sofa to use during the spring and summer months. I love crocheting afghans, so I have several at the moment, one for each season of the year.

Currently, this fun and bright V stitch is thrown over the back of my sofa and I do sometimes use it in the evenings, even in these warmer months, when I'm watching television or reading. Or sometimes even working a new crochet project. I love the colour of the yarn and it was so fun to work up because the V stitch is an easy and pretty pattern.

I also loved that I was able to match a yarn to the colours in the blanket as a boarder. For the boarder, once I was done the blanket I simply single crocheted all the way around the blanket. Two rows of single crochet all around a completed blanket create a nice boarder in my experience. I have also used a picot stitch to create a boarder, but I wanted a no fuss look, so this worked perfectly.

The V stitch is a lovely stitch and is a bit more open weave which made it the perfect choice for an afghan I planned to use during the warmer months of spring and summer. The key thing when working this up is to pay attention. I accidently "dropped" a stitch in my V stitch in two spots throughout the blanket. It was an easy error to make simply because that's how easy this stitch is to create, and luckily it was also easily fixed. I doubt anyone will notice that I didn't go back to correct the dropped stitch, and it has not affected the appearance of the blanket at all.

So, how did I create this wonderful stitch? Red Heart has some instructions for you that I hope you will find useful. I used the classic V stitch, but they offer instructions complete with photos for some variations as well. I have also used this stitch for scarves, and they have turned out beautifully as well.

I'd love to see your crochet creations or hear from you, so please drop a comment in the comment section if you are so inclined! Unit next time,

Happy Hooking,

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Welcome to Pretty in Crochet

Welcome to Pretty in Crochet! I'm just starting up this blog because I absolutely love crochet. It's become a serious hobby and I want to share my hooks and loops with all of you out there who also love crochet. I don't create my own patterns, sadly I'm not expert enough to be a crochet designer, but I will share with you my latest projects, where I got the pattern from, how it worked up and any sites and videos that have helped me with my hooking projects.

I've learned a lot thanks to other crocheters and crafters who share their patterns and tips and knowledge online. One of my favourite little projects to crochet is this cute little elephant applique I found at Repeat Crafter Me. Actually, I found it on Pinterest first because that's where I start off to find crochet ideas and patterns, and then I hit the site and I found the pattern really easy to follow and there are helpful pictures to guide you along as well. 

My intention was to make a bunch of these little guys and somehow turn them into a scarf but I'm still figuring out how to piece them together in a flattering way. I'll share how that turns out when I figure it out. I tried attaching the trucks to the tail but I didn't like the look of it as it seemed to spoil the effect of the applique somehow. I'm sure I'll come up with some idea that will look cute!

But, I have sewed one of these elephants onto a beanie hat I crocheted and it's a favourite fall piece of mine. I've also received compliments on how cute my elephant hat is. The pattern works up in a few minutes and is really fun to crochet. Want to make one of your own? You can find the pattern here.

I will give you a little tip, which is that I found this worked up much better when I used a thicker cotton yarn as opposed to a softer acrylic yarn. Also, try not to crochet too tightly (which I always struggle with any crochet project) or pull that magic loop too tight as it kinda spoils the effect of the applique. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post! I have other crochet projects to share with you so stay tuned

Happy Hooking,