Month: December 2014

Lion Brand “Curtain Call” Cardigan WIP



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I’m back to my knitting project tonight! It’s one of those less-than-lovely days for me and knitting always soothes me and puts me in a grand mood, so I decided to pick it up for a few minutes before getting up and actually doing something that needs to be done tonight.
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I didn’t forget that I promised to update as I go while I’m knitting the free Curtain Call Cardigan by Lion Brand, so here are some photos. I had to rip out my work and start all over on this project more times than I care to share, especially considering this is practically the easiest cardigan ever to knit. I kept messing up my rows and couldn’t remember if I’d purled or knitted (and forgot how to tell the difference by looking at the stitches, but now I am well educated in that department.)

I’m not nearly as far into this cardigan as I’d hoped to be by now, but that’s because I had to put the needles down to hurry and finish up a few other projects, one being the little cardigan I crocheted for my niece… Those sleeves? Still not finished! I’m also working on a whole ‘nother crochet project — an octopus amigurumi — for my nephews right now and am hoping to be able to crank two of the suckers out before Christmas. It’s been such a slow process lately!

I’ve mentioned in previous WIP (which stands for “works in progress” in the knit and crochet world) posts that I have been knitting and crocheting like mad, and that I even take my projects with me outside the house so that my significant other can drive and I can try to get as many stitches in as possible! Lol. Trying to get things done before Christmas so that I can actually have them done in time to give them to the recipients. Yet I’m also spending every second possible working so that I can keep up with the insane expenses that comes around this time of year, so it’s quite hectic in my neck of the woods. I’m actually to the point of losing sleep now. If it’s not because I’m working over time for extra cash, it’s to get caught up on my crochet projects, so at the moment, I’m borderline deliriously exhausted. Ha. Ha.

More on the knit cardi, though. I wanted to include a tip:
As much as I hate to point out such a blatant flaw in my design, this is a good opportunity for my fellow crochet and knitters to be reminded of the importance of having enough balls of the same exact yarn with the same exact dye-lot. Now, scroll back up and it’ll jump out and hit you — where my first roll of gray yarn ran out, you can see a significant change in the grays used! I actually knitted and crocheted with this exact same yarn (both skeins rolled into one ball) forever and never noticed the shades were two different colors! My love bucket just had to notice and point it out one day as I was knitting. It still took me staring at the project for minute after minute before my eyes caught the change in colors! So, take this as your warning or reminder to always try and match your yarn. In this case, I went back to the store and picked up a brand new roll from the exact same brand and even the same yarn name (“heather gray”) and yet I still came out with two totally different grays! Lol. Who knew gray could vary so much.

I figure once Christmas comes to an end, I’ll get back to work on this cardigan and will definitely update with my progress pictures as I go! So far, I’m just going to leave this how it is instead of ripping out my work and trying to find a perfect match to the gray. In the long run, it’s just going to take away a lot of time (and some $) that I simply don’t have to spare. Time is everything right now! 😉

Oh, one more thing! Did ya’ll notice the adorable owl cup? My mom gave me that as a gift the other day, so I couldn’t help but show it off in my pictures as I was photographing the knitting project I’m working on. I love this cup! I really can’t resist a cute owl, and this isn’t the only own cup I own. My love got me an adorable one last year, so now I have one more to add to that collection. Cute, huh? My mom found it at Marshalls.

Thanks for all of you who have been visiting me and staying updated with my craziness and progress. I truly appreciate each of you who come by and love all of your comments!

Has anyone else worked the Curtain Call Cardi? Or Do any of you plan to try this pattern? I really like it and think it could look amazing in so many different colors and yarn types. I also love that it’s versatile and I can see that it’ll be super easy to tweak the pattern to add something original into it. I might just go for more than one of these since it’s so easy, and in that case, I’ll definitely tweak things a bit to add something else to the plain cardi.



Knitting & Crocheting with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As I sit here, trying to finish up a few crochet gifts I’m working on for Christmas, the irritating symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that I’ve been dealing with for many months now are roaring with pain.

So, as I was taking a break so that my hand could rest, I thought about posting about this, since I’m sure other yarn crafters experience carpal tunnel syndrome pain, too.
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In the time that I have been dealing with these symptoms in my right hand and wrist, I’ve actually found somewhat of a remedy that brings me a little bit of relief.

Aside from downright doping yourself up, the pain is something that’s pretty persistent, I believe. I’ve yet to experience a day when the irritation and sharp pain of turning my hand the wrong way wasn’t overly noticeable, but I have found that when I am taking MSM (Organic sulfur), I tend to have less of those sharp searing pain moments.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who has turned to the good ol’ MSM for relief in this area. Many people use MSM for joint pain and loads of other issues, but it appears there are others out there who also have noticed some relief when they were taking MSM.

So, I will share with you what it is exactly that I do to get relief. Keep in mind this isn’t a promise for total relief. As I said, so far I’ve only been able to get minimal relief to where the pain isn’t extreme.

Trying to participate in a hobby or craft that you adore while being in pain is hard, but nobody wants to give up their passion! I can relate now, to what people mean when they talk about how their pain can get in the way of them doing what they love.

As for the MSM, I’ve been using it for over a year, on and off. I’ve actually been using it even longer than I have been experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. I do notice that when I knit, the pain is far worse and when I let myself crochet too long (as if that’s possible, right?) it will be pretty sore.

So, instead of just taking a small scoop (about teaspoon size) of MSM at night, I started applying it directly. I tried just melting the crystals in water first, then rubbing the liquid on. I don’t recommend this method because it doesn’t seem to really stay on the area to be absorbed, but tends to run or get wiped off.

So, do what I did and simply add some to a small container of your lotion or cream. You can even combine a bit of warm water with olive oil (or coconut, or whatever your choice is) and allow the MSM to melt with the warm water before combining it all with the olive oil, and rubbing it on. I actually love that method and feel the most relief using it.

Others have said that high doses of Vitamin B6 really bring them relief. I’ve been a big B consumer for a while and that includes taking pretty high doses of all B Vitamins on some days and I don’t recall much relief, but perhaps there’s a more specific protocol to follow.

I should also mention that I’m taking amino acids, too. They have a lot of benefits and can help cartilage repair. There’s actually enough information I could share on that alone that it’d fill an entire series, but that’s what my other blog is for. 😉 However, I do feel like in the long run, I could be benefiting from using things like the amino acids. I’m hoping it will eventually repair itself.

So, what do you guys do when pain hits and threatens to keep you from doing what you love?

Are there any other yarn crafters out there who are also dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome? I’d love to hear your experiences and any home remedies you may have!

Crochet or Knitting – Which is Harder?

Is it “harder” to knit or to crochet? Which craft is the hardest to accomplish?

Source: Memecrunch.com
Source: Memecrunch.com

People ask me these questions a lot. And I mean a lot.

So I thought I would try my best to type my own answer to the question up and publish it for anyone who might be searching to find answers to this very question.

The answer? It isn’t as simple as you expected, or hoped, probably.

The answer is difficult because it likely differs for every yarn crafter who does both knitting and crochet. I can only answer this from my personal perspective, so do keep in mind that this is what I’m doing. I’m not saying for certain which craft will prove to be the hardest of the two for you specifically. But I do feel pretty strong in my own opinion of which is harder to learn and work with, so I am happy to explain why. Now that my mini disclaimer is out of the way, let me just tell you what I think.

Knitting is harder.

Okay, there! I said it. Send me to the guillotines! Even I didn’t want to admit this to be true, but I could deny it no longer.

You see, I started out knitting. It was the very first yarn craft I picked up, and while I don’t think the basics of knitting are necessarily “hard” or difficult to do, I find that crochet is so much more smooth of a craft to work with. It’s also far more lenient in terms of rules and what you can do with it. Knitting, not so much. Knitting is for the rule-followers. Crocheting is for those of us who have a rebel side and want to skip a few, and sometimes just crochet whatever we want without necessarily following a specific pattern.

You see, crochet allows you to do that, most of the time.

Knitting?
Oh buddy. I hope you are really good at picking up stitches when you drop em! With crochet if you skip a stitch, it’s usually not a big deal. Knitting, on the other hand, requires strategic focus, in my opinion. Even if I’m only knitting using one simple stitch all the way through and following a simple shape like a square for a blanket, for example. I have to keep an eye on my work a bit more than when I’m crocheting.

Therefore, knitting does not go as smoothly as crochet, for me.

That’s to put it in a nut shell. There are a lot of differences between knitting and crochet, but I won’t kill you with that kind of detail.

On the positive side, I’m really confident that anyone who’s got the patience for yarn crafting and the passion will absolutely be able to pick up knitting without trouble.

For me, a very slow learner and someone who learned from YouTube videos and no in-person help, it took me several hours of carefully watching very slow tutorials on how to “cast on” and how to wrap and twist the yarn in all those different ways that are required in knitting.

More good news:
It’s actually way easier than it looks! It’s just getting the hang of it and letting your hands get past that awkwardness and uncertainty of the movements. But once your hands are comfortable, things will flow easily without a lot of thought or confusion.

With that said, once I learned the basic stitches of crochet, I only had to go back and re-watch videos on how to do the stitches a couple of times at most. As for knitting, I had to completely re-learn how to create a purl stitch after almost one year of not picking up the needles.

It also requires two needles rather than one hook, so that alone makes things feel awkward if you’re used to holding a single hook in your hand.

I think initially, once we get past the awkwardness of holding and moving the needles, that’s when things are suddenly not as hard as they first looked to us.

So, I hope knitting isn’t something your discouraged about. Watch plenty of YouTube tutorials and allow yourself time and a lot of patience and you will probably develop a new found love for knitting, too.

However, there’s something more satisfying about the ease of crochet, the way you don’t really have to follow so many stiff rules in order to create something pretty awesome. There’s something about crochet that feels more satisfying as I do it than when I knit, most of the time. I think it’s because it allows for more mindless working than knitting typically does, although you truly can do plenty of mindless knitting (blankets, scarves, etc.) I just feel like there’s more leniency with crochet, if that makes sense.

I personally was able to catch onto crochet in one night. Knitting took several.

One more major difference between knitting and crochet that I think makes one harder than the other is the hand-strain. Knitting seems to really fire up the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that I’ve been dealing with for several long months now whereas crochet doesn’t seem to affect my hand as easily. I can also crochet loosely so it’s easier on my hand without it affecting the work too much whereas knitting can start to look a smidgen un-even when I go loosely.

That sums up the answer, in a quick nutshell. I promise though, if you can crochet and you love it and have been considering knitting but are afraid, please don’t be. You do get a great sense of pride and accomplishment from knitting, it’s just not as smooth of a ride as crochet can often be. So, hang on, pick up some needles and get to knittin’!

Let me know what you think. Which is harder for you? Knitting? Crochet? Both? None?

Free Chevron Baby Blanket Pattern & WIP

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These are the many photos I’ve taken of the partially finished blanket I started crocheting… gulp… last year for my nephew. I used this wonderful free pattern which I’ve actually featured before already from Miracles Happen called the Ripple Crochet Afghan and adored every stitch. It has been one of the most relaxing, rewarding pieces I’ve worked so far. It went so smoothly, and I adore the design.

The pattern is very simple to follow and if you can crochet quickly, and have some time to spare right now, then you could probably finish a baby size before Christmas knocks at your door. Seriously, this is the ultimate relax-afghan, sort of. I suppose a single or double crochet only would be even more mindless to work, but this one has something a little more rewarding about its design.

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Hello my fellow crocheters, knitters and other awesome crafters,

You can see how busy I have been with my needles and hooks, huh? I forgot how fast Christmas could sneak up on us and I twiddled away my time and ended up not having all the projects done I’d hoped to already have completed by now. So, I’m having to scramble at the last minute to try and get them all done.

I have the little rose pink colored cardigan that I posted about last week, the one I have started for my niece and hadn’t finished the sleeves on. Those sleeves are something else. They are taking so much longer than I expected. I’m single crocheting them, so it’s a slow go.

And riding around in my purse is a piece of a sweater on a pair of size 6 needles. Remember in my cardigans to crochet and knit post where I featured several superbly gorgeous and stunning cardigans to crochet (for free!)? Well, at the end of that post, I shared the link to the awesome cardigan pattern by Lion Brand that I’m working on knitting. It’s the one called Curtain Call…

Well, yep. That’s the one on my needles right now, so I’m basically (no, not basically. I am.) switching between my niece’s little cardi and mine! I kid you not, I’ve even been carrying them around in my bag, and anytime my spouse is driving and stops the vehicle (and even at times when he’s not stopped at all, but driving!) I will pull the projects out and knit a couple of stitches, or crochet a few.

If only I didn’t get headaches from every single thing that is present on our beautiful earth! I can’t hardly knit or crochet (or do anything else that requires my vision) without my head pounding. So, here I am frantically pulling out my needles/hook and yarn to knit just one more stitch each time we stop. It’s literally yarn crazy in my world right now!

I’m surprised I haven’t found a way to knit/crochet while I’m using the bathroom yet. Hey… Next idea? Just kidding. Just kidding!

However, it would be pretty fantperb (that means fantastic+superb) if my love bucket could knit or crochet because I could just put him to work on one of the projects as I work the other. Oh Lord, I have a feeling that’s coming. Bless his heart, he’s already untangled and re-rolled dozens of yarn balls for me, and even attempted to knit a few stitches a while back on a sweater I worked on. He actually did a good job, too. That brings me to another totally off-topic little fun fact: My spouse is who inspired me to crochet/knit, kind of. The idea came to me one night, and it so happened his grandmother was a very big crocheter, and it wasn’t a day or two after I mentioned to him that I was going to take up knitting that he had me an entire tub full of supplies. He watched his grandmother crochet for years as they watched TV together, and even played Mario on the Nintendo!

So, thanks to him and his incredibly inspiring grandmother (who has since passed away, and the beautifully precious family has allowed me to use her supplies. Something I’m forever grateful for), I have been able to take up this absolutely stunning craft. Seriously, there’s nothing like the feeling of needing nothing more than either a hook and some yarn or a pair of needles and some yarn and knowing you can literally create anything from those two supplies.

Okay! I truly did bounce from one topic to a million others. I hope you all can forgive my scatter-brain for now. I’m feeling crazy and scatter-brained and frantic as ever now that the Holidays are approaching and so many life changes are occurring at such a fast pace in my life! I am sure this shows through my posts, so please bear with me. I promise to try and get myself together before I go posting again.

In the meantime, I am still trying to think up some Christmas gift ideas (last minute!) for other loved ones of mine who I either wouldn’t have time to crochet/knit something for, or who simply wouldn’t really love one of my projects, so any ideas? What are some of the gifts you’re giving this year? I’m hoping to find several great gifts really soon so that I don’t go all panic-last-minute-shopping even worse than I am right now. Seriously, I have one gift ready. ONE. So, I’d love to hear some of ya’ll’s ideas. Anybody else crocheting or knitting gifts this year, too?

P.S. If you aren’t a crocheter yourself, but would like to purchase a similar blanket, you can find them on my shop Laughing Flamingos.

13 Insanely Adorable Crochet Toys/Amigurumi

Amigurumi Crochet Collage
1. Giraffe
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Crochet-Patterns-Free has a nice list of giraffe amigurumi and giraffe themed items with free patterns! The little guy above by I Love Buttons By Emma is my favorite, but with so many free giraffe patterns available, you have a plethora of those to choose from. I think the little giraffes would be precious baby gifts.

P.S. The Crochet Stripey giraffe pattern by I Love Buttons By Emma appears to be UK pattern, so keep this in mind if you are a US crocheter.

2. Octopus found on Joann

This is the best free octopus pattern I’ve yet to be able to find online, in my opinion. octopusAnd he’s one pretty awesome octopus. Bonus: He actually looks quite easy to do, too.

3. Laura’s Loop: Bobble Sheep Pillow Free Pattern found on The Purl Bee
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Free Crochet Pillow Pal Pattern by Red Heart
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If you know a child who’s been hoping for one of those pillow pets (that are $20, thank you very much), then you might just be able to impress them with your own, hand-made version. And there’s a unicorn one! As long as they don’t mind the non-light-up effect of a hand-made version, that is. My niece is a fan of pillow pets, and would be ecstatic to have one of these made for her, so I was totally beside myself to find a FREE pattern for one. And they look very much like the as seen on TV Pillow Pets, too! And let’s face it, that unicorn is bad a**! Excuse my stars/language.

…4. Oh, and this adorable
owl by Daisy Cottage Designs is too cute to pass up.
Free owl crochet pattern

I’m pretty certain that every niece of mine from my 5 year old niece to my 9 year old niece, they’re all going to be happy to cuddle this cutie.

5. As for the babies in your life (and mine,) the
Teddy Rattle by Is It A Toy looks so chic!teddy-rattle-stone

6. The very creative (and uber kind-hearted woman for sharing such a perfect design), ChiWei from One Dog Woof created this fantastically perfect Bubbles & Goldfish Teether:
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Told you it was purrfect, didn’t I? Hell, if there wasn’t a small baby in my life to make this for, I’d just make it for my own self. . . I can use it for *something* I’m sure! Too cute to pass up. I think I’ll even try for one or two for my many pregnant friends who happen to all be pregnant right now.

7. <a href=" https://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90155AD.html” target=”_blank”>Crochet caterpillar baby toy by lion brand:
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8. For all the Grumpy Cat fans: A Grumpy Cat Pattern
by: Crochet is for Lovers
I know, you’ve just fallen in love, right?

grumpyCat_front_smallNote: The pattern can be downloaded from her Ravelry page (simply click the link above to get there.)

9. Any small child is probably going to appreciate a pony like one of these fellas by Knit One Awesome: unicorn pony

10. …Or a floppy, precious bunny like the one by:
One Skein Bunny Rabbit by Deb Richey
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The one photographed is by © AmyTheGR8. Pattern can be found here
I liked AmyTheGr8’s version the most, but there are loads of finished bunnies you can find inspiration from, if you’d like to tweak yours to be more original, too.

11. …Or this fabulous little elephant! Even I want one of these cuties.
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Thanks to <a href=" https://www.allaboutami.com/post/83519406448/elephant" target="_blank">All About Ami for providing a useful photo tutorial here to go along with the original pattern here.

If you speak English, you’ll have to do some translating (Google or Bing Translate), but it shouldn’t be impossible as a few folks have already accomplished these!

12. And let’s just be honest here, who *wouldn’t* jump up at down for one of these adorable koalas from Craft Passion?
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You can get the crochet pattern for Mr. Koala here at Woman’s Day, and to see an awesome photo of putting him together, check out Craft Passion’s post.

13. If you’re crocheting for your cat (Christmas gift for kitty?) or a kid, I’m pretty sure both would love a few adorable, brightly-colored mice by Tuba Ching Ching! I know as a kid, I would have really loved a little mouse or two like these! And I’m sure they’d have been far more snuggly to cuddle up to than those ol’ plastic ones I used to play with.

If it’s for kitty, simply stuff with cat-nip (kitty will thank you! I promise) and if it’s for a child, simply use stuffing (kid will thank you…. I think. Can’t make many promises, though.)
Easy-Peasy-Catnip-Mouse-Toy

Crochet Lace Blouse Video & Written Tutorial


For those of you who are participating in the crochet along for this lacey blouse, I’ve provided the written instructions below. You can watch the video above to keep up, and to get a better understanding of what’s going on. To understand every detail better, you’ll probably find it easier to watch the video series before trying to go by the written instructions. This was a rather difficult project to explain in written text only. It was also my very first tutorial/pattern, so I hope you’ll be easy on me!

Written Pattern for Bust:
NOTE: All rows are started with a CH3 & end with a Slip Stitch into the 3rd CH of beginning CH3.

1. Go back to the very first row we made (the ch2, skip 1 chain & double crochet into the next. The square-like row. We’re going to go into one of the chains of any double crochet we made in that first row with new yarn. Once you’re in, start with a CH3 & DC.

Then, CH2, skip one chain/stitch & DC. Repeat that all around: *Ch2, skip one chain/stitch and double crochet into the next.*

Row 2: CH 3 & DC. *DC in every stitch, all around.
NOTE: If the bust feels too loose on you, now’s a good time to begin adding some random decreases. To do this, simply skip a couple of stitches all around.

For instance, I skipped about 12 stitches and did them at random. The blouse will begin to be just a tad tighter in that area. Don’t go too tight though!

Row 3: Double Crochet Cross-Over Stitch, all around. *CH3, skip one ST & DC into the next. Double crochet into the skipped stitch.* Note: This stitch is shown in my video, and also in a video tutorial
I made on this stitch alone. You can find it under “Double Crochet Cross Over Stitch Tutorial.”

Row 4: Repeat the DC Cross-Over Stitch.
Row 5: Repeat the DC Cross-Over Stitch.

Now you have 3 rows of DC Cross-Over.

Row 6: CH3, DC. *DC in each stitch, all around. To end, slip stitch into the 3 CH of your beginning CH3.

Row 7: CH3, skip one stitch & DC into the next. *CH 2, skip one stitch & double crochet in the next one.* All around. End with a SL ST into the 3rd chain of beginning CH3.

Row8: Repeat *DC Cross-Over Stitch* all around.

Row 9: CH3, DC. *DC all around. End with SL ST into the 3rd CH of your beginning CH3.

Row 10: DC. Repeat DC Cross-Over ST all around.

Try it on. If you’re happy with where the upper-back of the top lands, finish off now.

If you want the back to come up even more, continue working the pattern in the same way. I finished off at Row10.

Now we’ll begin working on the front only! As shown in the video, you’ll lay your piece down, the front side facing up. Find what will be the edges of each side (at bust/top portion).

Mark each side. I just eyeballed mine. I didn’t count the stitches to make sure it was folded exactly on count. I simply laid mine out, found the edges by looking at it & got to work! It may require you to try it on after this next row we work (front only row), to make sure that’s where you’ll want the sides of the top to be. This is easy, though.

Now that you’ve marked the sides, join with yarn into one of your stitches on either side. Now, we’ll crochet in the same pattern we’ve done for the bust, but we’ll only be going straight across the front, not all around.

FRONT ONLY: (from marker to marker, where you placed markers on the sides. Don’t continue to the back. Just from the side to side.)

Row 1 & Row 2: DC Cross-Over Stitch.

Row 3: DC in each stitch across

Row 4: DC Cross-Over Stitch.

Repeat Rows 1-4 until you’ve reached the length you want for the front bust area. Try it on after about row 4 and see if you need to continue going further. If not, finish off & begin the straps!

Straps:
To get an idea of how long you’ll need your straps to be, make a chain using your best guesstimate of how long it’ll need to be, then you can attach strap(s) with safety pin and try the top on. See if the length of the straps is right. Chain more or less to fit. If you have another tank top or camisole that fits well, just chain to the length of the straps on it.

Row1: Now that you have a foundation chain for the strap make 1 more chain on the chain you’ve just made. So, whatever your chain length was plus 1. Now, single crochet in each chain.

Row 2: *Chain 2, skip 2 chains and double crochet into the next*. Do this to the end. Simple & fast, huh?

*** I hope this was overly-easy to follow! I went ahead and included this written version for folks like me who can’t keep going back & watching video patterns several times a day. This pattern is just for the bust & straps of the top since that’s the part of this that I designed personally. The bottom half of this blouse has its own written photo-tutorial, which again, was created and posted for free by Girlie’s Crochet! She’s so kind! It’s been a pleasure to get to use her pattern in my own blouse. She’s been very helpful to me, so I want to give her a special thank-you. Head over to her blog to see the skirt she made with the pattern we used in this blouse! It’s outstanding!

Back to what I was saying, I realize the video plus this written part is probably a lot. Hope I haven’t overwhelmed anybody. I often find myself struggling with patterns that aren’t super-detailed, so that’s why I wanted to give as much information as possible on this blouse pattern. I want even the most beginner level crochet-er to be able to enjoy crocheting a nice blouse like this. So, let me know if y’all run into any problems or need help. I’m happy to help you through it!

I hope this has been as fun for you as it has me. I truly enjoy these “crochet-alongs!”

I hope to do more in the future, and hopefully, Girly from Girlie’s Crochet & I will get together and perhaps create some awesome something in the future! What do you think? Would y’all like to see more projects like this? Is the video + written part helpful or just confusing to you? What do you folks prefer? I have to ask because I need to know if I should continue this sort of thing in the future. If the information I provide is over-kill, don’t hesitate to let me know that either.

Crochet Cardigan — Work In Progress (WIP)

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Hello my fellow blogger, crochet-ers, knitters and other craft folks! In one of my last posts,9 Easy, Free Cardis to Make This Fall (Free Patterns),” I mentioned that I had taken inspiration from one of my absolute favorite cardigan tutorials (a free YouTube Crocheter Wooly Wonders Crochet) who made the awesome tutorial shown below (for the second time on my blog now!)

In my post, where I featured the amazing Wooly Wonders’ videos, I promised that I would eventually show you guys the little cardi I had been working on, using the basics in the Wooly Wonders tutorial. And well, I’m here! It is not finished though (obviously. I mean, who would wear a one-sleeved sweater with yarn strings still hanging off of it, right?)

I’ve been working on adding sleeves, obviously, to the little sweater, and I have made some minor tweaks to the original design just to add my own original touch to it, and because I couldn’t resist using a ruffle-ish edging around the front. You may be able to see the subtle ruffle I put around the edge of the front, where the buttons will also be located when I get around to finishing this little fella.

As for my niece, she has already seen (and tried on) the little cardigan. I did have to make tweaks to the sizing so that it would fit her — she is 5 years old, and come to find out, Wooly Wonders had actually answered me about the up-sizing question I left for her on her YouTube video!

Unfortunately, I’d already gone ahead and just winged it for up -sizing the cardigan to fit my niece, but I wish I’d have been patient and seen the helpful comment from Wooly Wonders sooner because it’d have gone smoother. Lol. But, it does fit! Still, I will be doing a re-over and creating an entirely new cardigan for little Bug, using of course Wooly Wonders’ helpful advice and changing up the color combo as well as the edging. The next one will probably feature pockets, too! I love getting the hang of a basic design and then using it several times, tweaking it each time to add more features as I go.

Anyways, I thought I’d go ahead and get some photos up to show you guys. I will be sure to include more of the finished product.

The overall result has so far impressed me because I wasn’t sure I’d love my own work as much as I loved the look of the one done by Wooly Wonders. However, I’m pretty pleased. I do need to tuck in the tails and add the sleeves and finishing touches.

Oh, as for the sleeves, I simply kept going — in the round — with the sleeves. It’s very, very simple and takes little knowledge to get the hang of continuing the sleeves to create a long sleeve. I simply used single crochets all the way. This takes longer than if you go with a double crochet, but I wanted as little open spaces (holes) as possible since it’s really cold here in the winters, although it actually has been insanely warm for the most part up until this week. I worried that if I didn’t use a tight single crochet, there would be too much wind get through the holes in the sleeves and cause my poor little niece to be cold in her cute cardi! I can’t have that, so single crochets it’ll be.

In the meantime, I am also working on my own cardigan, which I also mentioned previously. It’s the Curtain Call pattern (free!) by Lion Brand. I’m knitting it, though. I’m not so far into it, but am thinking it’ll turn out lovely. I will show it in photos soon when I get far enough into it (or the finished product itself.)

So, do you think you will be trying your hand at a cardigan any time soon? If you’ve never done it, I hope you will not be deterred by anything because it’s SO much easier than I ever thought. If you follow the Wooly Wonders pattern/tutorial, I think it will be a total breeze, even for a beginner.

Hope you all have a beautiful Monday!

Care to share your WIP (work in progress) with me now? I just love seeing my fellow crocheters’ projects, even when they’re still in the raw. There’s just something about a fresh, not fully completed project that’s still on the needles or still attached to the hook. It really brings something fresh and inspiring to your mind, huh?

Going to go try to finish off these sleeves now.

Lots of love to you all,
Kendra

7 Adorable Free Crochet Patterns to Make Before Christmas

1. Scoodies
Tutorial: How to Crochet A Hooded Neckwarmer (or “Scoodie”) by I’mAfricanCrab
https://youtu.be/xd_GVBvy85k

I’mAfricanCrab shows you how to crochet her stylish “Scoodie,” which is a scarf/hoodie that’s so cute and functional you’ll want to join her in crocheting it right away. Her video tutorial is so easy to follow and understand that a beginner will be able to follow along and complete the scoodie with ease.

2. Boot cuffs!
All (okay, most) boot-wearing gals will really love a pair of adorable boot cuffs, and they can be knitted or crocheted in a jiffy. Best thing about them:

Source: Seven-Alive
Source: Seven-Alive
They’re small items, so they work really fast.
Quick Crochet Boot Cuffs by Seven-Alive

Bow Boot Cuffs by Loops of Lavender (these are my faves because the bow!)

Source: Loops of Lavendar
Source: Loops of Lavendar

(Crafting On a Dime) DIY Crochet Boot Cuff by Vanessa at See Vanessa Craft

Source: See Vanessa Craft
Source: See Vanessa Craft

These are absolutely darling! I’ve had them on my to-do list since I started crocheting last year! I can’t wait to get around to making these babies.

Crochet Boot Cuffs Free Pattern
by Penelope Rae
Source: Penelope Rae
Source: Penelope Rae

Since boot cuffs or boot “toppers” as some call them are so small, it’s pretty easy and quick to crochet a pair. There are several different free patterns available online for crocheted boot cuffs, so if you aren’t particularly fond of these here, you’ll likely be able to find another style you like somewhere online.

3. Scarves!
These are pretty much a given. Scarves are a pretty basic accessory and make a common gift. But… Hand crochet (or knit!) a scarf with your own hands & it’s suddenly extra spectacular. There are so many gorgeous scarf patterns available that I’d never be able to list them all (I feel a scarf post coming on), but I will list a few favorites of my own.
Crochet Ribbed Cowl
by The Purl Bee
(okay, it’s not a scarf, but same thing, right?)

I love this cowl’s awesome, unique texture and how cozy it looks.

Rib Cowl

Another totally snuggle worthy cowl is the Chunky Ribbed Cowl by Little Monkeys Crochet

Source: Little Monkeys Crochet
Source: Little Monkeys Crochet


Mosaic Infinity
by Lanas Hilos
Source: Arteen Hilo
Source: Arteen Hilo

Chevron Lace Wrap by <a href="https://www.mooglyblog.com/" target="_blSource: Mooglyank”>Moogly

This gorgeous Chevron Lace Wrap is lightweight and oh, so perfectly lacy looking. I can just imagine every single outfit in my wardrobe combined with the beauty of this — lovely overload.

4. Washcloth Scrubbies

Source: My Sweet Somethings
Source: My Sweet Somethings


Reusable Crochet Cotton Facial Scrubbies
by My Sweet Somethings

5. Jewelry

Source: Craftaholics Anonymous
Source: Craftaholics Anonymous

Easy Crochet Bracelet Tutorial by Craftaholics Anonymous

Finger Knit Bracelet
found on DIY Cozy Home
Okay, this one isn’t crochet, but it’s too perfect to not add to this fantastically purr-fect gift list, right? It’s finger-knitted, so I figure if you can crochet, you can definitely pick up finger knitting with ease.
Source: DIY Cozy Home
Source: DIY Cozy Home

The very first yarn craft I ever engaged in was finger knitting, in fact! You guys didn’t know that did you? It’s what got me hooked on yarn crafts and caused me to immediately begin exploring the world of knitting and crochet! Finger knitting is also an amazingly cool method for kids. Like crocheting and knitting with out needles and hooks, finger-knitting is also incredibly therapeutic, so I’d recommend trying it just for that very reason alone, even if knitting something wasn’t of big interest to you. I’d almost guarantee you’ll fall in love, though.

6. Cupcakes…
Seriously. You can crochet cupcakes. And these are actually cute.

Source: Bitter Sweet Blog
Source: Bitter Sweet Blog

Bake me A Cake pattern by Bittersweet Blog

8. Cupcakes are all the rage right now. It’s like these delicious yet cute little desserts have their very own trend going. I have seen cupcakes on everything from T-shirts in the little girls department to cupcake charms dangling from necklaces and bracelets… And now probably even our Christmas trees! Just chain a little loop on the top of these little crocheted cupcakes and you have yourself a Christmas tree ornament.

Source: Lulu Loves
Source: Lulu Loves

If you know someone who loves the cupcake trend (probably a tween girl, if I had my guess), then this might be something to consider as stocking stuffers for them, or to add a little something as a gift topper? Who knows, but apparently, they’re a big hit.

7. And to top off your gifts, or as a hair accessory, go ahead and crochet a few of these uber adorable chunky bobble crochet bows by Lulu Loves.

Seriously, I almost stopped what I was doing just to crochet one myself, but had enough discipline tonight to wait until work was finished… Mark my word, though, I will have crocheted a few (hundred, maybe!) of these cuties before Christmas. My niece is going to give me one more reason to thank Lulu Loves for such awesome tutorials!

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