Category: Free

Crochet for The Needy Using Plastic Bags (Complete Guide to Crocheting Plastic Bag Mats for Homeless)



*Photo Source: Emma Nagle

If you’re a knitter or crocheter, then chances are, there’s a big, kind heart in that chest of yours. You’re selfless to the point of actually searching out ways to be of use to others, even strangers.

Yes, I know who you are and although you most likely would never admit it because you aren’t vain, but you know you have a heart as good as gold. In fact, your friends and family members tell you this frequently.

You’re the kind of person who experiences something like a high when you brainstorm new ways you can help people in need.

It’s eerie how well that description fit you, right? But, lets face it, you’re a crocheter/knitter and crocheters/knitters are all heart… And fingers (you gotta have em’ to crochet/knit, amIright?)

Since it’s the time of year that people tend to be in need the most, I thought I would work on putting up a post that might be useful to my fellow yarn-craters — an entire guide to teach you everything you need to create plastic bag mats for homeless people. This seems to be the most popular “gift” for homeless this year. I almost considered knitting blankets this year and donating them to be put together for the homeless, but when I read how well-received these plastic bag mats had been, I decided it must be a great idea after all. So, for those of you who are interested in learning how to crochet these, please read on. And do feel free to skip the next section if you’d like to get right to learning.

I still can’t believe it’s already really is that time of year again. You know, the time of year that causes your brain to flood with ideas and you spend 90% of your days brainstorming what project you’ll crochet/knit for the kids, and your parents, and your nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

You’ve got a project idea that perfectly fits each family member and loved one, and by-golly you’re determined that this year, you’re gonna complete each one. Sleep be damned! You’ll even stay up hours past your bedtime to make sure every project is done and every loved one warm and cozy in their new scarf, coat, or socks.

That’s that big ol’ heart of yours I was talking about.

Now that I know you inside and out, it’s a good time to get straight to the heart (no pun intended) of the issue here.

The homeless and needy don’t always have a warm bed to sleep in every night and if you’re anything like most of us yarn-crafting fanatics, this bothers you every year — knowing that people are spending their Holiday season just trying to stay warm each day.

I know. I’m the same way. That big ol’ heart sometimes just seems too big. Sometimes it downright hurts to have a heart. You just want to do something. Anything to help make sure other people get to spend their Holiday season warm and cozy at the very least. Each year, I look for a way I can help contribute to improving the harsh winter months for someone else and I believe the plastic bag mats will fit the bill perfectly.

One more important thing I’d like to address before I kindly step aside and let you start learning how to make plastic bag mats…

Like myself, a lot of you precious folks use yarn-crafting as a form of therapy, a way to whittle through the ugly winter months — to you and I, each stitch is just part of our battle with depression. We literally knit or crochet our way through the pain or melancholy that sometimes happens to us when the cold months strike. I’m right there with you my friend. But I’m determined to not let this year suck me in. I hope you will be, too.

This is How I’ll Battle Depression This Winter

I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to try my hand at these simple plastic bag mats. Since it costs virtually nothing to obtain a pantry full of those otherwise pesky bags, pretty much anyone with a crochet hook can contribute.

The purpose of making these mats is to provide homeless people with a clean, dry place to sleep at night. Since it’s made of plastic, there’s no worry of it absorbing water and being useless to sleep on or harboring bacteria and crud like some products made from materials like yarn. It’s also supposed to be lightweight, making them easy to carry around. Most importantly though, they provide some level of warmth to a person who otherwise might be exposed to the harsh weather.

So, if you’re like me and you struggle with depression and feel a painstaking desire to help people in need, join me in the Crochet for A Cause project and start making those “plarn” balls right away. I’ve compiled a list of different videos and tutorials to help you along the way. If you have any trouble, let me know and I will do my best to help out.

P.S. Please take the time to say thanks to the good folks who took the time to create these awesome tutorials.

*P.S. When you’re having trouble pulling out of an episode of depression and can’t seem to motivate yourself enough to start the project, just shoot me a message and we will can work at it together. I’m also happy to chat with others who may be struggling with finding yourself through these winter months, so please do not hesitate to get in touch. Sometimes I feel as if I’m withdrawing from the outside world and don’t really have people who I can just chat with during these times as well, so it’s always a pleasure to connect with you lovely folks.

How to Cut the Bags for Making “Plarn”

Cutting Plastic Bags

How to cut plastic bags for crocheting

The Following Video Shows Another Method of Cutting the Plarn + How to Make the Mats

Plastic bag mats for homeless tutorial

No Description

Here’s Another Video That Shows You how to Crochet Waterproof Bedrolls (The Same As “Mats”)

Recycled shopping bags crocheted into waterproof bedrolls

https://mumam.blogspot.com/2011/04/but-what-do-we-really-do.html

Finished Mats + Crocheting In Action! The Below Video Shows A Variety of Finished Mats + a Woman Crocheting One from “Milk Bags”

Creating sleeping mats out of milk bags

Sudburians are creating sleeping mats out of milk bags for those less fortunate in third world countries.

For The Knitters Out There, This Video Shows The Process of Knitting With Plastic Bags! You can follow the same basic directions for crocheting the sleeping mats by just swapping your hook for needles.

Plastic Bag Knitting

Knitting a plastic bag holder from ordinary plastic shopping bags.

I also look forward to seeing your lovely projects! Please share photos of your completed projects.



How to Crochet Square Mesh – Video Tutorial

https://youtu.be/uiG5Ipn9drY
Head on over to YouTube and subscribe to if you’d like to see more video tutorials like this one.

Well, my fellow raving mad crochet-ers, it’s summer time and I’m absolutely crazy about this square mesh crochet stitch! Mesh crochet is probably the world’s quickest, easiest crochet stitch for making virtually anything from garments to shawls and even scarves.

I don’t know about you, but my favorite thing to crochet or knit is garments. I mean, after all that work we crocheters/knitters put in, we want to show it off, right? It just so happens that summer time and crochet wearables are like soul-mates. I think we can all appreciate a good knitted/crocheted sweater to snuggle into during the cold months, but crocheting wearables for summer opens up a whole ‘nother world of style and stitches.

Anyways, I have finally been able to upload the tutorial for one of my favorite summer stitches. The video is right at 10 minutes long, I believe. It’s not even 20 minutes long (I don’t think) and it honestly took me from 6:something to 7:00PM until just now (2:00 AM) for this sucker to upload! I even use a program called HandBrake to help cut the time down and it still took all day long to upload it!

To make things 1,000 times worse, during the entire day it takes just to upload one short video, for some reason, I’m unable to use the Internet! I don’t know what it is about uploading a video, but I won’t be able to do anything online until the video is complete and published. Any ideas on fixing that, do let me know & I’ll be so grateful to you.

My point though: that’s why my YouTube channel doesn’t have videos on a consistent basis, or a regular basis for that matter. I have several crochet video tutorials on my computer building up just because it takes so much trouble to upload one. I try to start uploading as soon as I wake up, but on workdays, I usually can’t upload at all because my job requires me to use the Internet.

Back to crochet.
Crochet Mesh
Crochet mesh is super quick. This means I can actually wear my crocheted garment the same summer I start making it whereas other crochet or knit stitches will sometimes take an entire season just to finish. This is why you non-crocheters/knitters see us grannies (I’m 25, thank you. But I know you assumed I was a granny!) crocheting thick blankets in the hot summer months! Because we’re lucky if it’s finished by the time Christmas rolls around.

Ever wondered where the phrase “slower than Christmas” came from?

Now you know. I’m about 800% positive the phrase is related to the time it takes to crochet something like a blanket before Christmas arrives.

Close-up of the mesh. I ended up making a blouse from it.
Close-up of the mesh. I ended up making a blouse from it.

I love mesh crochet because it’s so versatile and easy and quick. But this particular type of mesh crochet — I call it the Crochet Square Mesh or Mesh Square Crochet — is my favorite because of the perfectly aligned squares it creates. Don’t get me wrong, I love diamond mesh too, but sometimes I want my wearables to look less like a simple swimsuit cover-up.

Either way, mesh allows you to do so many things. You can add ruffle and even use the mesh as a foundation and build on using a ruffle stitch or fan stitch, as I’ve discussed in the video posted at the top.

Since the video, I have almost completed my shirt/blouse that I ended up making from this mesh square stitch. I still have some finishing touches to make like the straps, but so far, it’s almost done! I will update with photos as soon as I get time.
Crochet Mesh 2
If you guys are interested in seeing a tutorial on the entire top (will add photos of it to this post soon), then be sure to let me know and I’ll do my best to make a tutorial for you.

If you’d just like to own the shirt, it will be up in the shop Laughing Flamingos within the next month hopefully. A link will be posted for those of you who wish to buy it there.

In the meantime, share your current W.I.P. I love seeing and reading about what you lovely folks are working on!

Baby Bow Headband + Free Tutorial

With the arrival of my brand new niece — who was born the day before the Fourth of July, I might add — I have been getting busy with my hook and needles!

Like many of you, I too love crocheting and knitting for new babies. In fact, babies are probably my favorite project-recipients… because they can’t yet express that they don’t adore my handiwork. Ha. Ha. I’m only half-kidding. 😉

Baby Bow Headband by Kendra

Although I’ve had dozens of ideas swirling around in my yarn-obsessed head, I decided that my first project would be something quick and adorable that she could wear right away. A blanket doesn’t really fulfill the satisfaction of a quick project, so I went with an adorable, simple headband and of course, I used a bow as the big decoration point.

I followed a simple, very thorough photo tutorial for the bow found here – by Jess from Craftiness Is Not Optional.

– Jess from Craftiness is Not Optional
https://www.craftinessisnotoptional.com/2013/01/easy-crochet-bow-tutorialpattern.html

Jess makes this adorable bow so easy to construct that even the most beginner of all crochet beginners will be able to follow along! Thanks, Jess, for such intricate detail in your tutorial!

I chose Jess’ bow tutorial over the others available on the Internet because I loved the thickness of the one she makes. Instead of just one thin, flimsy crochet panel, she uses a long-ish strip and folds the sides inwards, creating a bow that looks nice, is sturdy, and has more of a “bow” appearance.

Baby Bow Headband by Kendra 2

The bow is basically a crocheted rectangle piece that turns into a perfect little bow when several inches of yarn is wrapped tightly around the center, pulling the center inward so that the rectangle takes on a real bow effect. I love it!

Baby Bow Headband by Kendra 4

I have also crocheted a larger, slightly different bow headband for my 4 year old niece, only I used a neon pink for the wrapped center part and a turquoise bow and band. It’s absolutely adorable on her cute little head! I will be getting photo of that one and posting them here as well.

Baby Bow Headband by Kendra 2

Baby Bow Headband by Kendra 4

Here are the pair of colorful sandals I made to go with the bow for my newest niece:
Baby Flip Flops and Bow by KendraBaby Flip Flops and Bow Set by Kendra

20 Awesome (Free) Easter Crafts to Crochet 2015

Easter is coming up, and as promised, I’ve scoured all available resources and compiled a beautiful list of 10 free Easter crochet patterns for all of you who are filled with spring inspiration and have your hooks ready for all things Easter. Are you as excited about the upcoming warm weather and bright colors as I am?

1. Free Easter Bunny Crochet Basket Free Pattern Lion Brand
Oh my bunny-goodness! This crocheted amigurumi Easter bunny basket is beyond adorable. Just look at those perfectly floppy ears.

And the pattern, from Lion Brand, is not only beginner-friendly, but free too!

Some kid is going to have one very special basket to collect his/her Easter eggs in this Easter!

2. Jam Made free Crochet Easter Basket number 2
If it isn’t a colorful, floppy-eared bunny basket that would make you grab your hook n’ yarn, then perhaps this totally “awww!-worthy” basket, complete with a precious bow will.
The free pattern/tutorial is available from Jam Made.

3. crochet-butterfly-square
If you’ve got spring fever, then this granny square with a butterfly crocheted on top might be the perfect spring project for you. Imagine an afghan full of these brightly colored critters.

The free pattern, by Luana Gay Stoker is available on FaveCrafts.
I think a grey square background with multi-colored butterflies would be lovely.

4. Whiskers and Wool free crochet Easter egg pattern

These pastel colored Easter egg coasters are fun for Easter time, if you are a coaster-user. If you aren’t, these are almost enough to make you want to start using them!

The free pattern is available by Whiskers and Wool here. I love this blog!

5. Whiskers and wool Free bunny crochet pattern
These itsy bitsy adorable little bunnies really bring on the Peeps cravings!
Free pattern for these cuties, which are another Whiskers & Wool design. I told you that blog was fabulous!

They look like quick little fellas to crochet at the last minute, and could make fun gifts or Easter egg hunt surprises.

Note: The pattern is a download, so when you click this link and arrive at the Whiskers & Wool blog, be sure to click the “download” link, which you’ll find directly below the image as a caption.

6. Lady Crochet Free Easter egg Crochet Pattern
Forget those ol’ plastic Easter eggs and toss in a few of these bright, gorgeous crocheted ones for a change of pace!
https://ladycrochet.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html
The pattern — offered for free by the lovely Inge at Lady Crochet — is a bit addictive, as the Lady Crochet warns. Once you finish making one egg, you may not be able to stop.

But that’s okay. Crochet away.

7. Free Crochet Chick Pattern by Drops Design Garn Studio

Crochet a bazillion little chicks to go along with the bazillion little eggs you just finished.

An easy-to-follow pattern is available on Garn Studio, for free by Drops Design and can be accessed here.

Note: This little fella does require some stuffing.

8. LucyRavenscar free chick crochet pattern
This is another little chick, although he is miniature (only 1.5′ tall!) but I think he is much cuter than the one above.

There’s a free pattern available at LucyRavenscar, so follow along if you’d like to create this cutie.

Just imagine a basket full (perhaps a *crocheted* basket full) of an assortment of different colored mini chicks! I’m thinking one in every pastel color — purple, blue, yellow, a light green, etc.

I always did believe the saying “good things come in small packages.”

9. Free Crochet Amigurumi Bunny Egg Cozy Lion Brand
Crochet this easy, precious, fluffy-tailed mini Easter bunny egg cozy using Lion Brand’s free pattern.

Remember, good things come in small packages?

The cutest egg cozy ever! Just slide an egg inside and hide. This cutie will make a very fun Easter egg hunt!

That’s this bunny – a good thing in a small package. I think I know a few adults and kids who’d both love an itty bitty bunny like this fella.

10. Free Crochet Bunny hat and Diaper pattern by sarah repeat crafter me

What Easter crochet frenzy wouldn’t be complete without such an adorable little bunny-eared hat?

Right?

But, try the hat and matching (too adorable!) diaper cover, too, and then send your many thanks to Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me for such an outstanding and free pattern because your little one is totally gonna rock this cute outfit!

Well, I hope these lovely free Easter crochet patterns have you as inspired as they have me, and if you’re like me, your hands are itching to be holdin’ a hook and strand of yarn right now! Spring is coming up (I know we still have quite a while) and boy do those ideas start going wild. I wonder if I’m the only knitter/crocheter who starts getting project crazy when a new season is coming up? I start thinking of all the new projects and garments I can begin making for the new season. Yet I typically don’t even get to complete half of them! Lol.

Do you guys do that too?

Oh, and tell me, what will you be crocheting or knitting this Easter?

The Perfect Ribbed Scarf Spring Updates & Upcoming Tutorials

Spring is here! Well, almost, but I have to admit, I’ve never been so ready for spring as I have been the last couple of months. Are you guys as ready for Easter as I am?

Spring is my absolute favorite season of all. I love the weather (the non-rainy days, anyways) because it’s the perfect middle — not so cold my teeth chatter and not so uncomfortably hot that my skin is a sticky mess of sweat. It’s just too bad that it’s such a short-lived season.

Summer has a lot of perks, but where I live, we have extremely humid, muggy summers. The kind where the air feels thick and smothering. It gets hard to breathe and I find myself constantly swiping the sweat beads from my upper lip. We really don’t have the pleasant kind of heat that some areas (ah, Florida!) do.

I’m the kind of person who likes to feel the penetrating heat of the sun beating deep into my bones, but with steady, continuous air flow. That’s what I love about Florida — it’s hotter than two hamsters humpin’ in a wool sock (a knitted or crocheted one, of course!), but the good Lord knew how to make that kind of heat pleasurable by adding those fabulous gusts of wind that sweep over you every so often to keep you from roasting.

That’s my kind of heat. I don’t like the thick, heavy, sticky, humid, muggy, smothering heat that feels like you can’t even catch your breath and begin sweating the second you step outside. That is precisely what our summers here in Georgia feel like.

Spring however, is pure bliss. I love everything about spring except for rain, but I dislike rain no matter what season it appears in.
Scarf2
But there really is just something about spring that’s just… kind of magical, am I right?

The smell in the air that comes right as spring is approaching fills me with a brand new sense of life and motivation. It feels like newness to me.

I start feeling a sense of giddiness like a little girl attending her first prom. I even kinda start feeling like I just might be on top of the world… Or maybe that’s just because I’m on a mountain in Georgia…

Either way, spring is full of all the things I love. It just does something to my insides. It feels clean, and of course like many of you, I get hit with the gotta-clean-every-corner-of-the-house virus and start opening windows, turning down the heat, letting the spring-y filled air in and going bat-crap crazy with cleaning frenzies!

I get a new burst of energy, I start feeling more productive and the wheels in my mind start churning and spinning, bringing in brand new thoughts, inspiration, ideas, plans, and dreams. And goals. Holy guacamole, do I start filling up to-do lists with all sorts of goals and projects that I want to accomplish.

I don’t know what it is about spring, but it really puts some pep in my step, some oil in my motor and gives me a good, healthy kick in the ass. I love it! Spring is probably the only person (aside from my mom) who can kick me in the ass and get away with it.

Don’t even get me started on my project to-do list! I really jump the gun in that department. That’s something else spring tends to do to me — sends my brain into overload with a flowing, intense flurry of new inspiration and ideas for projects.
we have more options as far as fashion/clothing goes than any other season of the year. It’s not so steaming hot that jeans and leggings are out, but not so cold that skirts, shorts and light-weight materials are out either. How perfect! I love that I can work with my entire wardrobe during spring. My options are far less limited than say the winter where the only options are sleeved, warm clothes, which I have far less of than I do warm-weather clothes.

Oh, and the colors are just so much brighter! Winter and fall months tend to be full of dull, bleary colors, which are absolutely essential, but I always have felt a little down that virtually all color is tossed out the window when colder months are in. You see blacks, grays, browns, and fall colors like red and orange, but unlike spring and summer months, you don’t see as many bold, vibrant prints and colors.

I’m the kind of person who really enjoys bright, bold, fun prints and colors, especially when it comes to my wardrobe. This year seemed like colors were more acceptable than in the past. I noticed a lot more color options being available in winter wear, but still not so much as you see in the spring and summer.

That’s always been a question that’s baffled me, just like the whole no-white-after-labor-day rule, which I’ve also never understood (or followed.) Is there some kind of unwritten rule that bold, vibrant colors and prints (like florals) are completely and strictly forbidden in colder months? And someone just never told me about said rule? Or is it just that people’s moods and attitudes change from season to season and that has a sort of subconscious effect that seeps over into our clothing choices too? To me, that sounds like a plausible and completely logical answer. I mean, our mood and feelings can affect what colors and style of clothing we will opt for on any given day, so it makes sense that we subconsciously match our feelings/mood/energy to the season. Since there’s something kind of dull and dark about winter (in my opinion,) it makes sense that we’d be more likely to wear grays, blacks, browns, and tans. Neutrals.

Or perhaps it’s some sick way of trying to match natures colors — in fall you see people wearing orange, red, brown whereas as spring brings on the vibrant colors that are typical of flowers and bright, lush green grass.

Am I onto something? Have you guys noticed this too? What are your theories and answers to the whole thing?

Spring is totally the perfect crochet/knit season! I love all the fun knitting/crochet possibilities that come alive in the spring time!

Lastly, I would like you to know that I actually intended for this post to be about Easter crochet and project ideas, but it quickly transformed into a totally different topic, so I allowed myself to go there just this once. With that said, since I’ve managed to write a mini novel already, my original post idea will be coming up next.

What I’m Working on This Month
Before I go, I would like to get into another one of our project discussions where we discuss current projects, upcoming projects, recently finished projects, our ideas and inspirations. I love those! It really warms my heart when ya’ll chime in and have discussions with me, even those that aren’t craft-related!

At the moment, I’m in the middle of an awesome cardigan/sweater project, which is the color gray, no less! Isn’t that funny, considering?

I am a big fan of gray, actually. It’s beautiful. It goes with everything and is such a classic color that to me can completely transform an outfit with hints of color into something fabulous. I love the way gray compliments pretty colors, and virtually every color imaginable. That is why I chose gray, and it’s why gray is my most common color to work with. I long for more gray crochet in my life. I love the look of a crisp gray (or white) knitted throw bunched up on the end of the couch or bed, complimenting the entire room full of bold pinks. Or, in the room my love-bucket & I share — complimenting the other chic gray and black themed bedspreads and sheets.
Scarf4
Before I write a novel on why gray is the perfect neutral color…
Scarf
The cardigan/sweater is a project I’m “free-handing.” Those are some of my favorite types of projects to work, unless I’m knitting of course. I hardly ever free-hand knitting unless it’s a blanket, or something very simple. When it comes to crocheting garments though, I cannot bring myself to stick to a design and I usually end up just working first, and then letting the ideas form in my mind before I ever even know what the style will even be! I usually just start off with an average ol’ rectangle and go from there, incorporating all sorts of different stitch designs row after row. I don’t usually stick to one stitch all the way through a project. I guess it’s finicky of me, but the rebelliousness of tossing in a row of ribbing here and there throughout a project full of double crochets is so fun to me.
Scarf5
I hardly ever maintain the exact same stitch all the way throughout a project, and I also have a tendency to not space out the different rows perfectly. For instance, my current sweater started off with about 7 rows of ribbing before I went to double crochet rows only for several inches, then tossed in 2 randomly-placed rows of double crochet, chain one, skip a stitch, and double crochet in the next. It creates an open square shape and I love that! You can see that stitch in first two photos below, to understand what I’m talking about:
Scarf6
Scarf3
Scarf5

Another interesting thing to note is that my sweater actually began as a scarf, the one you’re seeing all over this very post! A very long one, that can wrap around my shoulders three times. I thought I was going to do a wrap-style sweater that drapes off the shoulders. I wore it as a scarf until I started playing with it on my neck and had the idea to drape it around my neck, with the two ends hanging on either side of my chest (like the typical scarf does). That’s when a totally new design struck in my head. I then began crocheting down the back-neck area of the scarf, creating a back for a sweater while the two front scarf pieces hang as normal. Then, once the back was long enough to work sleeves, I continued until I reached right about where the bust-line would be if my bust was on my back. Haha.

And that is where I’m at right now on this project. So far, I’m quite impressed with the idea (I usually don’t have very functional ones!) and I love the texture that all the randomly placed variety of stitches is creating.

Unfortunately, this is a sweater and it’s going to be full-blown spring time before I get to finish it. I’ve hardly had time to crochet or knit a single stitch this month as work has had me completely busy, without a second of free time lately.

In fact, I was becoming very down due to having to completely cut any crochet or knitting out of my days so often due to work, so for the last two days, my sweet love-bucket has gone to great lengths to make sure I get to crochet! He helped me get some things done yesterday so that I could spend the evening crocheting, and tonight, while spending a lot of time on the road, he brought along a bright-as-hell flashlight and set it all up perfectly in his truck so that I could see and crochet while he drove!

If you’re a knitter or crocheter, you’ll understand the impact and romance of such a gesture!

Anyways, other than the sweater, I’ve also worked on some adorable tiny baby flip-flops for a friend. They’re neon pink and navy blue, and although they too have had to be put on the back-burner for work, I have managed to come close to completing one flip-flop.

If any of you are interested, I’ll probably be posting the two completed projects very soon — the sweater and the baby shoes.

In fact, I’ve been planning a brand new video tutorial on the scarf I talked about (that I ended up turning into a sweater.) I haven’t had the time (again, work is taking everything out of me at the moment, and as a matter of fact, I’m cutting into my hours right now just to write this. I couldn’t go any longer without posting!) to schedule filming yet.

After I ended up making the scarf into a sweater, I thought I’d also include a video tutorial for that as well, so if you lovely folks are interested, please do let me know! A lot of times, when I get a request for a tutorial, or if someone expresses interest in a tutorial idea I put out there, I’ll make sure to do one whereas if a tutorial idea that I mention doesn’t garner any interest from folks, I’ll end up not doing it. So don’t hesitate to ever speak up and let me know if there’s a specific project you would be interested in having a tutorial on. I love doing them!

Okay, I’m going to end this crazy-long post. If you’ve stuck with me through this entire thing, then seriously, I admire you and appreciate you to no end.

Now it’s your turn to share with me. What projects are you working on? How do you feel about spring? Are you like me when it comes to projects and you like to toss in random stitches? Do you free-hand projects sometimes too? Does anyone relate to me in any of the things I’ve mentioned here or am I a true-blue lunatic?!

Thanks to each one of you who have been with me today, and to every one of you who have been visitors or readers here at Crochet As You Are. I truly appreciate each of you and you guys are always on my mind. I enjoy connecting with other people here and it makes my day when you share your own stuff with me. I love seeing your project pictures, and hearing your stories and just learning about you guys in general!

Lots of love and thank you for stopping by!

** Stay tuned for my big blast of an Easter post! It’s going to be a magnificent list of some wonderful Easter-related crochet and knitting projects, so keep your eyes open! I’ll be featuring all free patterns in the post.

Huge Craft Giveaway At FaveCrafts

Giveaway by FaveCrafts
Image source: FaveCrafts

FaveCrafts is like the ultimate online hangout for crafters. I’ve been quite the diligent subscriber to them due to their continous free patterns they offer for knitters and crocheters. Not to mention their array of projects and ideas for every other craft on the planet.

While I spend a lot of time browsing the FaveCrafts website, I don’t often enter the giveaways they feature. Mostly because I’ve never won anything in my life, and usually don’t have time to really get into entering any giveaways.

However, FaveCrafts feature some really amazing giveaways, and sometimes when I have spare time on my hands, I find it impossible to pass up entering. Particularly, the huge craft supply giveaway they have running right now.

The Ultimate Craft-tastic Grand Prize Giveaway includes craft products from the following brands: Fairfield, SpinRite, Clover, Sizzix, Little B, Simplicity, I Love to Create, DOW Chemical, Plaid, Cousin, FloraCraft, and Stencil1. Talk about a giveaway worth entering!

Head on over to FaveCrafts right now to enter the giveaway yourself, then you can come back to finish reading this post, if you want to.

The deadline is February 28, 2015, but you can enter the giveaway once every single day up until the deadline!

You can also earn extra entries by sharing the giveaway on your social media sites, as well as an extra entry by featuring the giveaway on your blog, like I’m doing right now. 😉

If you’re a subscriber of FaveCrafts newsletter, you’ll be notified of their bi-weekly giveaways via e-mail, so you can enter the giveaways as soon as they go live. I subscribe and get their newsletter to check out their free patterns and craft ideas every week, and that is how I knew of the giveaway that’s going on right now. For some reason, this time, I felt compelled to enter this one, and perhaps I’ll manage to find time to continue entering their giveaways from now on. Just the thought of winning a craft supply giveaway as ginormous as this one is enough to get my heart rate up a little!

Winning this kind of giveaway would really have any crafter all set for all kinds of new crafting adventures!

To see a list of all the giveaways running by FaveCrafts right now, you can click here and go through to find the giveaways you want to enter, if you would like to enter more than the one giveaway.

Being a lover of crochet, knitting, beading, and many other crafts, I basically stalk FaveCrafts everywhere online. I find a lot of awesome, free patterns and inspiration from their Twitter posts as well, so if you’re like me and want more, you can follow them there, too.

Now that my entries are all in, I’m going to take a crochet break myself. I’m working on yet another garment at the moment. I’ve only gotten as far as the chains so far! But will be starting the first actual row any minute now! Wish me luck. I’m really hoping this one turns out stunning.

Do you guys enter giveaways? Craft giveaways only, or do you enter all sorts of different ones? Have you ever won anything? I’d love to hear your stories! Also, if you guys know of other giveaways going on, go ahead and share those with me, too, if you like.

Oh, stay tuned for a post I’ll be doing on a shawl I’m currently knitting (yes, I’m working on two projects at once.) I’ll be uploading photos of the finished Io Shawl from Willow Yarns, and will also be doing a review sometime very soon (when I can finally finish the shawl.) The pattern has been the most frustrating, complicated knitting pattern I have yet to attempt, so it’s a slow-go, but I’m doing my best to get the beauty finished so that I can feature it here as soon as possible! I hope you’ll stay on the lookout for it.

This New Year’s (2015) Clearance & Yarn Sale on Lion Brand

Hello my fellow yarn-craftin’ folks,

It’s the very first Monday of the new year 2015 and I found myself caught up checking out on-sale yarns. Being that it’s a new year and considering that most of the most popular yarn and craft suppliers didn’t exactly have to-die-for sales on yarn on New Year’s, I figured there must be a good sale coming soon. As I was checking my e-mail, I had one from Lion Brand and sure enough! They’re doing a sale on some select yarns, one of those being the “Amazing Yarn 3-skein value pack” which is 75% off the original price right now:

Here’s a close-up of Lion Brand’s Constellation yarn from their Amazing Yarn line.

I can’t honestly say that I’m really digging any of the yarns I’m seeing on sale, and that unfortunately includes the Amazing Yarn. At 75% off, I have to admit, I was tempted, but just can’t find anything I truly love about the colors there, so I thought it better to just back away and wait for a color I actually want or need to go on sale. However, I did think of you guys, so the sale inspired me to share for folks who might happen to like the yarn.

They also have a 3-skein value pack for the Baby’s First Yarn listed for 50% off, and the two colors featured on their front sales page are beautiful. — “Sea Sprite,” which is a mist or mint green, and a peach color called “Twinkle Toes.” Both colors I really love.



Baby Soft Yarn, in a 6-skein value pack
is also 75% off

The “Lemon Drop” is a pretty bold, sunshine-y color! I actually like this shade of yellow, and I typically have a very hard time finding yellows and oranges that I think are pretty.

Bellini Yarn, in 3-skein value packs
are 75% off too.

Can’t say I’m loving the Bellini line yet either, but I’m pretty excited to see Lion Brand doing a nice sale! Perhaps they’re getting ready for new selections! I’m so ready for new yarn choices right now.

A 3-skein value pack of Cotton Ease
is 75% off, but the colors I saw available — greens — were not to my liking, although I have been hoping to pick up some from the Cotton Ease line at some point.

Now the Da Vinci yarn in Oceania, which is also a 3-skein value pack that’s 50% off did catch my eye. I am very fond of those beautiful color combos. I could see some very artsy creations being made from a skein of the colors they had available. My favorite from this line is “Oceania,” the green/blue color combo skein shown below:

They also have a gradient gray/black colored skein.

Festive Fur is also featured on the sales page, in multiple colors and for 75% a 3-skein value pack.


Joann does have Lion Brand’s “Fun”
yarn on sale for $1.57
right now, which isn’t half off its usual price of $2.09.

The pink color is gorgeous, but I never buy this yarn because it doesn’t come with much (only 85 yards.)

Caron Natura Acrylic
yarn is $1.72 on Joann right now, where it’s usually priced at $2.29.

It appears Lion Brand yarn is marked down on various other shopping sites, including some on Joann. There are several other small-ish yarns marked down a bit on Joann at the moment. Go here to see them all.

As far as ordering off Joann via the internet, I never do that unless I can get free shipping because their shipping fee (comes in around $6 for me) normally is just way too much when you consider your purchase being just a roll or two of yarn. That’s an instant $6 per skein/roll whereas if you went in-store, you’d save that & still be likely to find it marked down.

To shop their entire clearance page yourself here’s the link I found them on. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to get any emails notifying me of any other companies or manufacturers with nice sales today, but perhaps Joann and other companies will jump on the sale wagon soon!

Free Crochet Amigurumi Octopus Patterns

I’ve added a brand new project to my to-do stash and am actually quite proud of myself for completing it in a somewhat timely manner. This is the octopus I finished just in time for Christmas, and finally had the chance to share him with you guys.

As a matter of fact, he was featured here on Crochet As You Are in one of the recent posts. I thought he was so cute I had to hurry up and make one myself. He is available on Joann as a free pattern, but in order to complete him in a timely manner, that required some tweaking to the size for my own octopus. I also tweaked mine to only use two colors instead of the multiple colors the pattern actually calls for.

I went for simple, so you don’t necessarily have to follow the exact same amount of color changes the pattern calls for. I do recommend using contrasting colors for the eyes, though or else it might look odd. 😉

Another thing that should be mentioned is that the original pattern contains mistakes, so if any of my lovely, fellow crocheters want to create an octopus of your own, I recommend heading over to Gleeful Things where Julie has kindly laid out her own notes for you so that you can avoid the mistakes you’ll run into if you only follow the original pattern. So, bookmark her page or print out the instructions she gives and then begin the octopus from the original pattern. You’ll be glad you did, unless you don’t mind the mistakes, and ending up with a 4-legged octopus! Technically it’s an 8-legged octopus, but if you go the route I did with him, you’ll end up with what appears to be only 4 legs, split at the very ends.

Take a look at the photos to see what I mean. I chose to sew my octopus’ legs all the way to the near bottom that way he ends up with more curl to his legs and it kind of distracts from the fact that he has 4-legs total (8 technically, but not if you sew the entirety of each leg up from top to bottom.)

All this leg talk probably will not make sense to you until you’ve taken a close look at the photos and the pattern for this octopus.

Overall, though, this really wasn’t too complicated to complete. The instructions can be a tad confusing, but most crocheters will probably be able to follow. I just wish I’d have caught the printed mistakes before I started crocheting! I still think he turned out okay since I’m no perfectionist, but if you are one, the legs will probably be a real bother to you until you get them just right, so don’t take any chances and be sure you follow Julie’s instructions for getting past the mistakes.

I just love her color combo for the giant octopus she created!

While on this octopus kick, I came across severely really cool patterns for different octopus, and later wished I’d have chosen one that did not contain mistakes. I thought I’d share my octopus results with you here and also include patterns for a couple of different ones available online for free! Yay for the kind folks willing to give their awesome free patterns, right?

Below, I’ve listed a couple of the free patterns for octopus that I’ve found and think are mighty cute, so you can choose from more than just the one pattern here.

1.Free Octopus Pattern by Paula Gail

I think the one by Paula Gail is stunning, and appears to be a bit more simple than the one I went with. I’ve actually been hoping to get this one going sometimes on, too! What a interesting yarn color she chose.

2. Mini Octopus by Sarah from Esshaych

These perfectly miniature octopus are much smaller than the first one pictured in this post, but equally adorable octopus are probably going to be a great option if you want to crochet an octopus in a short amount of time.

Aren’t they adorable? I know I can’t seem to resist them, and will more than likely be crocheting one or more myself! I am counting down for the moment I can start on one.

And lastly, here’s one more mini version Baby Octopus Amigurumi Pattern by Amanda at Adorably Kawaii

So, which of these adorable little fellas will you be crocheting? Please do share your project pics with me, too!

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