Category Archives: Patterns

Unique Blanket Patterns

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So… I have asked for you to send me your requests. If you are looking for a new project, why not let me do all the hard work for you? It makes for a great blog post that we can share with everyone and you get out of searching through endless patterns. I have finally gotten my first Craft Diva request! Okay, so maybe I kind of had to beg my friend to let me do the research for her but either way, I did.

My friend, who was featured in my last post, is looking for a new pattern. She made a fantastic Mario granny square blanket not too long ago and now it is time for a new project. I’ve scoured Ravelry for some unique and fun blanket patterns for her and YOU!

Hopefully, I have made the choice a little easier for you and her by narrowing down the pattern choices to the more unique and child-friendly options. There are so many patterns out there to choose from and plenty are similar to each other but I have selected a few of varying skill range that seem to jump off the page for me.

All of these patterns are available for FREE so please browse and choose as many as you like. Click the photo to be directed to the pattern link on Ravelry (you may need to sign up for a free account to get the pattern.). If you do decide to take on one of these beautiful blankets, please share!

Try this pattern in a variety of colours for a boy or a girl!

Baby doll/blanket

Amigurumi and blanket in one!

Endless colour possibilities and super simple!

How utterly adorable is this little fox?

In keeping with the Nintendo theme...

What about a life-sized sock monkey?

This one may take a leap of faith but is VERY cool!

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Learn to Crochet

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As you may have noticed by now, Alli does plenty of spinning, knitting and weaving. I tend to do more crochet and knitting. We both dabble in plenty of other crafty activities as well. For example: painting, drawing, carving, sewing, cooking, card-making, scrapbooking, and much more! In fact, if you come across something you think we ought to try, tell us! Maybe we can blog about it too!

I am going to take some liberties here and say that Alli and I both are just naturally the artistic type. We have both been fortunate to have friends and family that support our addiction, ahem, hobbies. Plenty of what we know; however, is self-taught or was handed down by a “self-taught”. So I thought I would share with you a few of the great resources available online.

There is so much out there to learn (as anyone who has ever visited Pinterest may know). So for today I am going to limit this post to a crochet-focused toolbox. I will even need to limit that because otherwise I would never finish this post. Let’s grab a few YouTube and Printable resources…

Most of what you need to know to become a skilled crocheter is available on YouTube. There are some great how-to videos out there. Some are certainly better than others. I have tracked down a few favorites for you here but if you come across something you think is better, please let us know! Also, if you don’t find what you are looking for, tell us about it and we will track it down! Thanks!

Abbreviations and other notables:

Craft Yarn Council Abbreviations, Chart Symbols

Lion Brand Dictionary of Knitting and Crochet Abbreviations

Purple Kitty Yarns abbreviations in alphabetical order (PDF available too!)

YouTube How to:

Many of the authors of these videos have other instructional clips too. I have tried to find a variety so that you can choose your favourite source and explore other videos authored here. Please note that there are some interchangeable terms used in crochet depending on your source. See abbreviations above for clarification.

Make a Chain

Single Crochet

Half Double Crochet

Double Crochet

Triple Crochet

Single Crochet Increase/Decrease

SC Decrease only

 

Printable Resources:

Learn to Crochet Instructions – source here

More to come!

A baby beanie – Staying motivated

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If I had to categorize knitting and crochet into a particular season, I think winter is very fitting. In the winter, the cooler weather and ever-changing fashions lure me back to my yarn stash. Inspiration is easy to find in stores, on celebrities and in the natural need for a fresh new pair of mittens on a cold day.

In the summer, warmer weather calls to me and, for some reason, I forget all about fiber arts. It’s certainly not for lack of projects to do. I always have a long mental list of pieces I want to accomplish. Perhaps I fall prey to the cliche that knitted and crochet garments are better suited to the cold (we all know that there are plenty of summer patterns on Ravelry). I just tend to set aside my projects with the intention of picking it back up in a day or two and, before I know it, it’s time to start Christmas gifts again.

The projects that I had told myself I would accomplish once I finally had the time are put back on hold before they are begun.

This year, as I feel my interests begin to once again shift, I am more determined than ever to stay focused. So, inspired by a request by my husband, I have come up with a strategy. I am going to sprinkle in a bunch of small projects with my larger ones so that I can enjoy the satisfaction of a completed piece and stay motivated to continue on the large ones.

What does this have to do with you? you may wonder. Well, for one, it means that I will be blogging more often. For two, (do we say “for two”?), it means you get a free pattern for the sweet little newborn hat I made for Brian’s associate who just had a baby girl! By the way, how do you stay motivated to work on those bigger projects? Share your strategies in the comments!

For this little newborn beanie, I used some leftover Bernat Alpaca in Ebony (Less than 50g) and a couple of meters of hand spun yarn made by Alli which was absolutely beautiful! (Check out her yarns and other products here!) The pattern is super simple and the whole project took me less than an hour!

To form the base of the hat:

Size: 0-3 months
Hook: H
Yarn: Bernat Alpaca, Ebony
Qty: Approx 50g

Note: If subbing for another yarn, I would recommend a DK or sport weight yarn or slightly lighter than worsted.

Begin: Ch4, sl st to first chain to form a loop. Ch2, 8 hdc into loop. Join to first ch2 with a sl st.

Row 1: Ch2, hdc1 into first hdc, hdc2 into each rem. hdc around. Join.
Row 2: Ch2, hdc1, [hdc1, hdc2] rep. around. Join.
Row 3: Ch2, hdc1, [hdc1, hdc1, hdc2] rep. around. Join.
Row 4: Ch2, hdc1, [hdc1, hdc1, hdc1, hdc2] rep. around. Join.

Repeat row 4 seven more times. Fasten off and weave in ends.

To form the flower:

This is a great little appliqué for using up scraps of yarn. I used some of Alli’s hand spun yarn!

Hook: H

Begin:
Ch 11 (foundation chain), ch2, turn.
Dc4 into 4th ch from hook, ch2, [sc, ch2, dc4, ch2], rep. until you have formed 5 petals.
Fasten off yarn with a 5″ tail and draw tail back through the foundation. Tighten to form flower and fasten off.
Use a large button as the centre of the flower and attach flower to the base hat.

PDF coming soon!

Happy hooking!

 

My First Crochet Blanket

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My First Crochet Blanket

Okay, so I know it has been a very long time since I have blogged. I have a big update in the works which I should have up soon. Until that is done, I wanted to share the crochet blanket I have been working on. It is for my son and I didn’t use a pattern.

Crochet, for me, provides flexibility and the ability to improvise. I love that it is quick, (I am a sucker for instant gratification.), and I love how portable and forgiving it can be. The drawback though is that it uses much more yarn than knitting and I often prefer the texture of a knitted garment to a crocheted one.

Many times I pick up some yarn and begin to crochet with an image in my mind and no pattern. I find that I am usually able to bring that image into reality through hooking and that is what I did with this blanket. For awhile now, I have contemplated trying a granny square as they are notoriously easy and also allow you to use up yarn ends and scraps. So I looked up an easy tutorial for a modified granny square on YouTube and began to build my very first blanket! (Find a written tutorial here!)

Building a blanket using granny squares gave me the instant gratification I need and still allowed me to create a larger project. My son, who is almost two, was thrilled to play with the squares of his new blanket while I continued working. (What a great distraction!)

For this project, I dug through my stash of yarns and selected a few worsted weight yarns in teal, grey, black and white. These were a combination of Red Heart, Bernat, TLC and a bag of anonymous roll ends I bought at discount from Zellers I think.

The process was quite simple, very portable and fast! This project is incredibly easy to pick up and put down at a moment’s notice as well. Because this blanket was for my son, the size isn’t too big; four squares by six.

I wanted to create a randomized pattern with both solid and multicoloured squares so I crocheted 6 teal, 6 white, some with teal centres and black or white borders, some with white centres and black or white borders, and even a few black ones. Finally, I bordered every square in grey, adding an extra row one side in the hopes of making the blanket a bit larger. To bring it all together, I used a slip stitch through one of the top loops of each square then I created a border in half double crochet.

Here are a few pictures of the process:

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I am a very “type A” personality so I needed a bit of help from my husband and Alli to add a bit of chaos to the pattern.

I really like how it turned out. I wasn’t expecting the reaction I got from my son when he saw all of the pieces finally as one. He was elated! In fact, I have not yet been able to weave in all of the yarn ends as he doesn’t want to give it up. He saw it on the floor, final product for me to appraise and immediately began to dance on it! It was very cute.

The Great Toque Marathon: Update

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K2, P2, K2, P2 has been my thought train for over a week now. Whenever I am not working, driving, cooking or sleeping, I have been knitting the Great Canadian toques.

I can say with great joy, that I have started on my 9th toque in 16 days! I am also very happy to say that my current speed will, in fact, allow me to complete my Xmas knitting in time for the big family get-togethers.

I have not changed the pattern, but I have had to change how I build the toques:

Firstly, I discovered that the balls of Bernat that I purchased, from different stores and different batches, have been plagued with knots and unusual colour changes.  I would suggest to anyone who is going to take on a colour-sensitive project with a variegated yarn to pull out a ball winder or nostepinne to re-wind and ensure that the ball of yarn is worth using.

Secondly, I have started putting on stitch markers from the beginning so I have an easy view of all my stitches and can make sure that I don’t accidentally drop or knit/purl two stitches together. This was a suggestion from my Mum-in-Law who is a wealth of information and a very talented artist!

Be sure to check back for the final details on the project and the free pattern I will be posting.  Happy knitting!

Easy and quick crochet

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I am a teacher and I love to work with kids who are having trouble. I feel infinite patience with my students and enjoy coming up with new and creative ways to teach a new skill. I can be patient as a teacher but I’m not sure I’m known for my patience in my personal life.

Crafting would definitely fit into my personal life. I have the skills to pull off big projects (I think) but when it comes to following through on a long pattern or project, I tend to move on to instant gratification. That is why this project was so great!

Actually I was just eying up a pretty cowl at Shoppers Drug Mart but can’t be bothered to pay for something that I could just make and customize to whatever yarn I like.

I found this pattern free online here and was eager to give it a try.

So last night, at about 11pm, I began to crochet. I was instantly addicted to the simple-to-master pattern and could not put it down! Eventually, mommy fatigue kicked in and I reluctantly climbed my stairs and went to bed.

I woke up today and it was a little like Christmas! I couldn’t wait to get back to this project. So naturally, I did. I am thrilled with the finished product. In about 2.5 hours, I have a beautiful circular scarf that is both pretty and practical. I am already considering which yarn to try this pattern in next!

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