Fruity coasters go perfectly with fruity drinks on the patio!

If you want to work on a quick, easy and fun project, this is ideal, and it’s also great for beginners. I found a lovely site with free patterns for Green Apple coasters, Watermelon coasters and Lemon coasters. All so cute!

You’ll find the patterns here, compliments of Christine Longe, at her Lakeview Cottage Kids website:

http://www.lakeviewcottagekids.com/2014/05/another-free-crochet-coaster-pattern.html

 

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Calling all beginning crocheters: Make your first throw with this easy pattern!

afghan_vanilla-throw1This pretty crocheted throw with soft, fluffy border is wonderful to throw around your shoulders while relaxing on the couch. It would also make a lovely baby blanket gift. This is an easy pattern that allows beginners to practice working with v-stitches, as well as combining a chunky yarn with worsted weight. 

VANILLA VEE THROW

Materials:

  • Lion Brand’s Pound of Love yarn in Antique White (A);
    one ball of Loops & Threads Country Loom yarn in Warm Cream (B)
  • 9 mm hook

V-stitch (v-st): (dc, ch 1, dc) in same space

How to HDC (half double crochet): http://www.redheart.com/learn/articles/how-half-double-crochet

How to DC (double crochet): http://www.redheart.com/learn/articles/how-double-crochet

How to attach a different colour of yarn: http://www.redheart.com/learn/articles/how-join-new-yarn-crochet

afghan_vanilla-throw2Throw Pattern:

Starting with yarn (A), ch 101.

Row 1: dc in 5th ch from hook, ch 1, dc again in same ch (beginning v-st made); *sk next 2 ch; (dc, ch 1, dc) in next ch; repeat from * across to last 2 ch; sk next ch; dc in last ch. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc); (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 space of each v-st across; dc in top of turning chain.

Row 3-58: Repeat Row 2. Fasten off.

Row 59: Attach yarn (B); create a border around entire piece with 1 hdc in each sp around and 3 hdc in each of the four corners. Fasten off.

Row 60: Attach yarn (A), dc in each hdc around, with 3 dc in each of the four corners; turn.

Row 61-63: Repeat Row 60. Fasten off.

Row 64-67: Attach yarn (B), hdc in each dc around, with 3 hdc in each of the four corners; turn.

Row 68: To finish off, sc in each hdc around. Fasten off and weave in ends.

(To make this throw larger, just add more rows to each (A) and (B) section.)

Beginners can check out the Red Heart site for everything you want to know about How To Crochet: http://www.redheart.com/learn-to-crochet

 

I’m jingling all the way with my new candy cane tablet clutch

hat_santa on bearNothing says Christmas Spirit like: ugly Christmas sweaters, garish decorations crammed from one corner of the house to the other, double-fisted cookie chomping, and … Christmas crochet!

A couple of years ago, I crocheted a very festive Santa hat (being worn today by Teddy).

crocheted elvesLast year, I crocheted a row of little Christmas elves for my fireplace mantel.

wearing his new xmas tree hat4Of course, this year, Otis was the unwilling target of my crochet hook, with a lovely crocheted Christmas tree hat (see post below). And for myself, I crocheted a cute Candy Cane Clutch for my tablet—t’was quick and easy to make. You’ll find the pattern below, in case you’d like to whip one up for yourself.

Candy
Cane Clutchbag_clutch jingle bells3

Materials: worsted weight yarn, one ball in red, one ball in white;
5 mm crochet hook.

Starting with red, chain (ch) 41 (39 + 2).

Row 1: Work 2 single crochet (sc) in second ch from hook; *sc in each of next 5 spaces (sps); skip (sk) 2 sps; sc in next 5 sps; sc in next 3 sps; repeat from * across to last sp; 2 sc in last sp; turn.

Row 2: Ch 1; 2 sc in first sc; *sc in each of next 5 sc; sk 2 sc;
sc in each of next 5 sc; sc in each of next 3 sc;
repeat from * across to last sc; 2 sc in last sc; turn.

Repeat Row 2 once more, then fasten off and switch to white.

bag_clutch jingle bells2Continue pattern by repeating Row 2, switching colours after every 3 rows with red, after every 2 rows with white. Crochet to desired length (I made mine long enough to fit my tablet.)

Crochet a border of red sc around the entire piece to finish the edges, then fold piece and whipstitch either side to seam, leaving enough of the top to fold over for closing. (See photos.)

Crochet a little loop on each of the three closing points, then sew jingle bells instead of buttons for the loops to fasten ovebag_clutch jingle bells1r.

Voila! This season, you’ll go everywhere with bells on! 🙂

What to do with nine crocheted squares? Hmmm…

Sometimes, you just want to play around with a couple of colours to see what evolves, so you decide to crochet some squares with no real project in mind.

By the time you’re on your ninth square, you begin to feel bored. You’re not in the mood to continue making squares until you have enough for a big old afghan because summer’s almost here and afghans remind you of long winter nights and that’s the last thing you want to be reminded of right now.

You stare at your nine lovely squares. You line them up into one big square and stare at them some more. They do look pretty together. But a block of nine 5” squares makes…what? It’s either a massive washcloth for Shaquille O’Neil or a bath mat for one of the Little People.

Suddenly you get a brainstorm. You recall seeing pictures on Pinterest of the cutest lovey blankets for babies, which are about that size, that have a teddy or dolly or puppy head sewn into the middle square, that a baby can cuddle up with during her nap.baby_blanket lovey bear1

Your nine squares would make the perfect lovey blanket! All you need to make is a cute softie head for the center square.

And that’s how I came up with my Teddy Bear Lovey Blankee.

You can use any square design of choice to make this project. To make my squares, I used a 6 mm hook, and chose a variegated yarn in Neopolitan ice-cream colours (vanilla, strawberry and chocolate) for the first two rounds and a mocha yarn for the rest of the square. Here’s the pattern:sample circle in a square1

R1: Chain (ch) 3; 12 double crochet (dc) in third ch from hook. Slip stitch (sl st) to join. (12 dc)

R2: Ch 2; 2 dc in each dc around. Sl st in top of ch-2 to join. (24 dc)

sample circle in a square2R3: In same space, (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc). *Ch 1; skip (sk) next 2 dc; 3 dc in next dc. Ch 1, sk next 2 dc, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next dc. Repeat from * two more times. Ch 1; sk next 2 dc, 3 dc in next dc. Ch 1; sl st to top of ch-3 to close.

R4: Sl st over to the first ch-2 space. (Ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in space. *(Ch 1; 3 dc in next ch-1 space) two times. Ch 1; (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in corner ch-2 space. Repeat from * two more times. (Ch 1; 3 dc in next ch-1 space) two times. Ch 1; sl st to top of ch-3 to close.

To attach my squares, I first laid them out then hooked them all together with markers (or you can also use safety pins). Then I chose a matching pink yarn, and I used single crochet to seam them together on the right side so the pink would act as a border around each square, as well as a border around the entire blanket.baby_blanket lovey bear2

For the softie head you can use pretty much any animal or doll pattern of your preference, following just the head instructions in the pattern. Just make sure the size of the head is compatible with the size of your blanket—you wouldn’t want to use a tiny two-inch amigurumi animal head, but if you want to make the head from an amigurumi pattern, just increase the size of your crochet hook to one that’s a few sizes bigger than the hook that the pattern calls for.

Once you’ve made your softie animal head and stuffed it as per your pattern instructions, just use a yarn needle and matching yarn to sew it to the center square of your blanket.

For my teddy head I used mocha/vanilla variegated yarn and worked single crochet in rounds (increasing and then decreasing) to make a ball that I stuffed with Poly-Fil. Then I crocheted two triangular shapes in the same yarn to make the ears, and stitched them onto the ball. Then I crocheted a couple of rounds in vanilla yarn twice to make the eyes (and sewed a brown button in the center of each eye). Then I did a few rounds of vanilla to make a big circle for the muzzle. Then I used the pink border yarn to make a small pink triangle for the nose, and when everything was sewn into place on the head, I used a bit of pink yarn to stitch a mouth onto the muzzle under the nose. As a finishing touch, I weaved a few baby_hat pink brim1strands of yarn into the top of the head to look like a bit of hair and tied a piece of pink yarn around them into a bow.

Voila! A teddy blankee that any baby (or stuffed bear) would love to cuddle with.

Of course I got so excited about the blankee, I just had to make a littlebaby_hat pink brim2 hat to go with it. I just made it up as I went along and forgot to write down what I was doing, so I’ll try to figure out what I did and then share it in a future blog post.

Easy crochet projects to whip up during your “me” time

While I was on vacation in February, I completed a couple of fast and easy bag_drawstring lavender & lilac1crochet projects perfect for working on when you don’t have a ton of time and would like to see quick results.

I had some leftover lavender and lilac worsted weight yarn from the hat I made (in an earlier post), so I did some crocheting in the round with the intention of making a little pouch for carrying change or sunglasses or car keys or whatever.

bag_drawstring lavender & lilac3I just made it up as I went along and never did write down the pattern. But if you can crochet in the round, then you won’t have any trouble figuring it out on your own. Here’s a basic description:

R1: chain 3; 5 dc in third chain from hook; slip stitch to close ring.

R2: 2 dc in each dc around; slip stitch to close.bag_drawstring lavender & lilac2

R3: alternate 2 dc and 1 dc in each stitch around; slip stitch to close.

R4+: either increase one more round if you would like it wider, or continue by repeating 1 dc in each stitch around until it’s the length you want. If you want to change colours, you can do so after about three rounds. Once the pouch was long enough to hold a pair of sunglasses, I finished off the top edge with 1 sc in each stitch around then fastened off.

Next I used sc to crochet a narrow carrying strap, about the length of a lanyard strap, then weaved it around the top of the pouch for pulling closed or loosening to open. I wore it around my neck and never once lost my sunglasses! A miracle! 🙂

I also had some very soft, pale pink baby yard that I thought would look nice worked in a delicate, lacy pattern. So I made an infinity cowl by following a pattern that I found in a back issue of Interweave Crochet. If you like the scarf_cowl pink lacepattern, you can still buy it at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/alpine-frost-scarf

The cowl turned out as expected—very soft and delicate looking. A lovely accessory to go with a spring coat/jacket.

I’m ready for a little warm & fuzzy about now

Had enough of winter yet?

As I posted on my Facebook page last week, whenever I start bitching about this cold weather (something I’m guilty of doing way too often) I am assaulted by visions of the early pioneers dragging their frozen asses outside at dawn every morning to manually milk their herd…Which makes me pause to thank God I was born during an era of high-efficiency furnaces and indoor desk jobs.

Being the ungrateful person that I am, it’s not long before I push the visions out of my head and launch into a fresh torrent of bitching because dang it! my hands are frozen and my three layers of socks just aren’t cutting it.

I’m a reincarnated Hawaiian trapped in a Canadian’s body. Definitely.

I’ve heard that a lot of body heat escapes from the top of an uncovered head, so I got busy crocheting myself a warm & fuzzy hat. I love it so much I’ve been wearing it inside the house (a protestation of my husband’s refusal to crank the thermostat). Frozen wife = short fuse.

This basic hat is ideal for beginning crocheters. Here’s how:

hat_brown2

Warm & Fuzzy Hat

9 mm hook; Bernat Soft Boucle in Earth Shades

Ch 4; sl st to make a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1; single crochet (sc) 8 times into ring (do not join; use a marker and continue to crochet in spirals).

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each stitch around (16 sc)

Rnd 3: *1 sc in next stitch; 2 sc in next stitch; repeat from * around.

Rnd 4: *1 sc in each of next 2 stitches; 2 sc in next stitch; repeat from * around.

Rnd 5: *1 sc in each of next 3 stitches; 2 sc in next stitch; repeat from * around.

Rnd 6: *1 sc in each of next 4 stitches; 2 sc in next stitch; repeat from * around.

Rnd 7: *1 sc in each of next 11 stitches; 2 sc in next stitch; repeat from * around.

Rnd 8-21: 1 sc in each stitch around.

Rnd 22: Ch 2 (counts as dc); 1 dc in each stitch around; join with a slip stitch to close.

Rnd 23: Repeat round 22.

Rnd 24: Ch 1; 1 sc in each stitch around; join with a slip stitch to close. Fasten off.

Roll up the brim and enjoy!

hat_brown1

 

 

Wearing my new hat in the basement.

A crochet clutch that holds my Kobo Arc perfectly

I discovered a very simple pattern at the Lion Brand website for a crocheted clutch purse, so I thought I’d try it. It was quick and easy to make, and I used gold flecked yarn for the lacy flap, so it ended up looking really nice too. Because I don’t really have much use for a clutch purse (I just liked the look of the pattern and wanted to try it) it was sitting around collecting dust in my craft room. Lo and behold, when I bought my first tablet purchase, a Kobo Arc, guess what it fit into like a glove? That’s right! My pretty clutch purse became the perfect tote for my new tablet. If you want to try the pattern, you can find it on the Lion Brand website at this link: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/80459AD.html

bag_clutch1abag_clutch1d

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