Category: Tutorials, patterns, free,

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)

Bugs Cardi 1

Bugs Cardi 2

Bugs Cardi 4
Bugs Cardi 3

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!

10 Perfectly Beginner-Friendly Blankets to Knit for Christmas (Free Patterns)

As promised, here is 10 beginner friendly, gorgeous blankets to knit (or simply get inspiration from) for Christmas gifting! We’ve already covered the crochet version, and in that post, I promised a knitters version to come soon & I’ve managed to compile a list of those for you all. I hope this comes as a useful ‘series’ of inspirational gift-giving posts to some of you.

I’ve chosen to focus on beginner friendly patterns to feature here since this will allow beginners to check out some patterns that will fit their skill levels, too. Had I focused on more advanced patterns, I feel like I’d have limited the amount of folks that could participate in knitting the many different patterns out there available. This way, both beginners and advanced knitters can get in on the fun.

Another thing I’d wanted to accomplish with this and the crochet version of this post was to spark some confidence or inspiration in those of you who might not have been feeling confident enough in their skills to take on a gift project. Or for those of you who have been too afraid to take up the daunting task of trying your hand at something as big as a blanket. For that reason, I’ve tried to include as many quick and fast working projects as possible.

So, now that you feel motivated (and you do feel motivated, right? Right?), I hope you’ll try knitting up a blanket or two, or five!

P.S. To see my crocheters version of this post, go here.

1. Fuzzy Fluff Blanket Project from Craft Warehouse
*Update: It appears the owner of the website has removed this pattern & link. My apologies.

Source: Craft Warehouse
Source: Craft Warehouse

This fluffy, stylish blanket is knitted with specific yarn, to create the pom “pon” effect. However, you can whip up an equally beautiful blanket using the yarn of your own choice and following the pattern. The only difference is, well, for one, it’ll be much easier and for two, you won’t have to work with tiny “pom pons” on your yarn, which the pattern calls for. This is an easy to knit blanket otherwise.

2. Quickie Blanket by Big Box Detox

This blanket is not only simple and stunning, but it’s so easy to make! Nobody will ever know you whi

Source: Big Box Detox
Source: Big Box Detox
pped this blanket up with little to no mental work. The color block look is modern, stylish and fun! Plus, this knitted beauty is so age-versatile you can knit a colorful one for a child to snuggle with for the rest of their lives, or an adult who’ll appreciate it forever.

3. Super Easy Baby Blanket (Pattern Tweaked by Time for Dinner)

Source: Time for Dinner
Source: Time for Dinner

A simple baby blanket, originally found on the Purl Bee, which uses the garter stitch has been tweaked into unique perfection by Time for Dinner. She simply used knit 1 stitch, then purl the next and repeated that all throughout to create this awesome color block blanket! I love the results, and I think you will too.

4. Knitted Stripe Baby Blanket by Tiffany from Sweet Peonies

Source: Tiffany from Sweet Peonies
Source: Tiffany from Sweet Peonies

Stripes are a classic, and this pattern uses a combo of 3 different colors, although you can totally change it up or just use one. Or you could even knit each row in a new color if you really wanted! Virtually every human will love to receive a blanket with such simple beauty.

5. Quick Knit Blanket by Red Heart

Source: Red Heart
Source: Red Heart

This quick knit blanket has a lovely, feminine, lacy appearance, making it a beautiful gift. The skill level is do-able for most knitters, even many beginners. You will need a pair of circular needles (US size 13), though.

6. Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot

Source: Espace Tricot
Source: Espace Tricot

Let me just take a second to express my love and adoration for Espace Tricot. Ahh. Total knitters bliss, that blogger! The patterns are gorgeous. Stunning. To. Die. For! And so many of the beauties are offered for free, which definitely earns &** a huge shout out from me.

This chevron blanket features bold colors that are just irresistible. In fact, this pattern is already saved in my Ravelry queue for when I have time to knit it later. The pattern is also available in PDF format. Just follow the link provided and scroll down the page until you see the blanket. *There’s no link directed for the blanket pattern specifically, so you will have to scroll down the page to find it. The page is simply one full of Espace Tricot’s gorgeous, amazing free patterns, so if you’re like me, you’ll probably be clicking on every one on the list before you even make it to the blanket!

7. Arrowhead Lace Throw by Red Heart

Source: Red Heart
Source: Red Heart

This lightweight, lacy throw features an intricate-looking stitch design, although it’s actually rated as an easy pattern to follow.

The Arrowhead Lace Throw is beautiful enough — and really complicated looking, although it’s not so don’t even fret! — that it’s sure to earn you some respect as a knitter when you give one as a gift (or just show it off and keep it yourself!)

8. 6 Hour Afghan by Lion Brand

Source: Lion Brand
Source: Lion Brand

This super fast afghan is knitted with 4 strands of yarn held together. With 4 strands, expect a thick, chunky blanket. This is a beginner level project and the result looks so cozy it’ll be hard to pass up. Oh, and that fringe! Fringe is always in. Note: If you want to save $ you’ll spend on your knitting projects (and I understand because this craft can be extremely expensive, despite what many non-yarn-crafters think, so if you’re looking to cut costs, simple ditch the last 3 strands and simply use one. Or 2, if budget allows. Remember to use a smaller needle size if you use less yarn strands, though!)

9. F343 Coffee Beenz Textured Throw by Plymouth Yarn Design Studio

Source: Plymouth Yarns
Source: Plymouth Yarns

If knitting is your thing, but you’re ready to incorporate a little bit of texture into your handiwork, then perhaps this Textured Throw will be exactly the challenge you’ve been needing. This throw is knitted using 2 strands of yarn held together as you go. Remember, you can adjust how many yarn strands you use, if needed. Just use a smaller set of needles than a pattern calls for when you do this.

With a simple design though, this throw pattern will allow you to tweak to add multiple colors, if you like.

10. Weekend TV Lapghan by Lion brand

Source: Lion Brand
Source: Lion Brand

Can’t you just imagine how nice this would look on any couch?
This loose, light-weight throw is a fast piece of work and yet another gem that looks like it required serious work on your part, but it’s surprisingly simple to work.

This pattern requires a crochet hook (size P-15 or 10mm), but don’t worry. You don’t have to have extensive crochet skills in order to create this lovely blanket. The crochet hook is just for making the fringe border.

What do ya’ll think? Are any of these lovely enough to inspire you to try knitting a blanket (if you haven’t ever done so already) to give as a gift this year? If so, I’d love to know which you choose to knit!

If not a blanket, do any of you plan to crochet or knit any gifts for Christmas this year?

10 Perfectly Beginner-Friendly Blankets to Crochet for Christmas (Free Patterns)

It’s that time of year, almost.

Christmas!

And I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s brain is firing like crazy, in search of ideas for perfect Christmas gifts this year. Since I have taken up crochet and knitting in this last year (in fact, it was last winter when I first began knitting), I have been looking forward to being able to gift some items that I’ve hand crocheted or hand knitted.

So, a couple of months ago, I went on the hunt to find the best gifts, DIY-style. Of course crochet and knitting will be two I’ll want to focus on. I searched online to find what items would be the most likely to be appreciated and loved by other folks. I even went on crochet forums to ask fellow crocheters for their advice. I polled my readers, I perused websites like Etsy to see what crocheted items appeared to be the most sought-after by my fellow humans.

I got some random answers and some useful ones. Some recommended sticking with a popular accessory like scarves. Others said that their families and loved ones always valued their hand-made blankets and afghans the most. And one person even said that her most popular item was pet beds! She shared a nugget of advice with me, saying that I’d be surprised to learn how many people really found pet beds to be valuable gifts! Who knew?

Her suggestion was later confirmed when my sister asked me if I could crochet or knit a doggy bed for my niece’s new puppy!

I suppose for a pet owner, beds really would be handy gifts to give because, as my advice-giver noted, pets love to sleep on their owner’s clothing items and furniture. Owners tend to prefer their furniture and clothing to be fur-free, so a bed for the pets to keep warm in does seem a logical and useful choice for gifting.

You see, my family members don’t crochet or knit, and people who aren’t familiar with the crafts tend to not know (or value) the work and love that goes into creating such a gift. So, I realize that the majority of my family members are simply not going to appreciate a hand-made product as a gift, especially the kids who would probably use the item as a means to create a fire with, or toss in the nearest trash can.

However, I realize that there are people out there who do value and appreciate a nice, hand-knit or crocheted sweater or afghan or blanket, so for y’all, I’ve compiled a list of 10 beautiful blankets & afghans that can be crocheted with a beginner levels experience (see, my crochet beginners, I’ve got your back!) This way, even beginner crocheters can get in on the crochet gifting. So, I hope you guys find my top 10 to be both simple to work with and also beautiful enough to give as gifts.

* Coming Up: Knitters Version: 10 Beginner-Friendly Blankets to Knit for Christmas (Free Patterns)

Since the chevron pattern is so popular and modern this year (2014), I thought I’d start off with a couple of those.

1. The Chevron Baby Blanket Free Pattern by Bellus Threads:
Bellus Crochet Blanket Pattern

2. Free Crochet Ripple Baby Blanket by G. C. Murphy Co., found on Miracles Happen
(Another Free Chevron Baby Blanket Pattern that’s simple to follow.) In fact, this was the very first blanket I ever attempted to crochet & it went surprisingly well! The instructions are so easy and repetitive that you’ll have the memorized within the first few rows.
CrochetRippleBabyBlanket

3. How to Crochet a Blanket for Beginners

Source: AHC Kids Crafts
Source: AHC Kids Crafts

This absolute beginner crochet blanket tutorial is a perfect first blanket to crochet, especially if a design seems a tad too daunting just yet. The folks from AHC Kids Crafts provide a detailed photo-tutorial from the very first step (knotting the yarn onto the hook and to the very last stitch)
Source: Red Heart
Source: Red Heart

This lap-throw is an easy, quick project that takes so little yarn (one jumbo skein) that you might be able to make more than just one to gift to your loved ones, or keep one to snuggle up with yourself. The best thing about it? It’s so simple and easy yet you wouldn’t know it by looking at the fun, textured design!

5. Crochet Super Easy Crib Blanket by the Purl Bee
Source: Purl Bee Source: Purl Bee
If you’ve succeeded with a single color crochet blanket pattern and feel ready to start using multiple colors, then these chunky-striped or color-block blankets will be your perfect project. Choose bold color combos for a sunny, cheerful blanket or go with neutrals to gift to folks who like to match their bedroom/living room suite with their accessories. The best thing about this color-block blanket is that they’ll always be stylish, even decades down the road. Also great is the versatility.

6. The Five & A Half Hour Throw by Lion Brand with Vanna’s Choice Yarn

Source: Lion Brand
Source: Lion Brand

This pattern, with a difficulty rating of 2 is perfect if you’re strapped for time and want a really quick, thick and cozy throw that’ll look lovely in any atmosphere.

Tip: This throw requires 5 balls of the Vanna’s Choice yarn, which isn’t the cheapest yarn on the market. So if you’re like me and need a cheaper option at the moment, then one way to substitute for a thick yarn is by crocheting with double-strands (simply using two strands of yarn at once as you crochet) from a ball of yarn that costs less. This will achieve the same, or very similar thickness for a cheaper price, especially if you can get your yarn on sale.

*Tip: Joann almost always runs a 50% off one purchase deal.

7. Fiber Star: Soft Purple Baby Blanket found on I Brake for Yarn, Hooks and Books by Samantha Stopple and also published in Fiber Star.

Source: Fiber Star. Pattern located at I Brake for Yarn, Hooks & Books
Source: Fiber Star. Pattern located at I Brake for Yarn, Hooks & Books

Despite the name, you can use any color combo you choose or even stick with a single color for the entire blanket. The stitching creates a lovely, unique texture but the work is so simple a first-timer could probably get it down in little time.

8. Easy Beginner Crochet Baby Blanket Video Tutorial by I Heart Stitching

I didn’t want to leave out you guys who are visual learners, so here’s a fantastic video tutorial on a lovely, easy baby blanket. If you use the same thickness of yarn as the video instructor does, you’ll get an incredibly snuggly, chunky blanket which is all the rage right now in crochet world. The peach color is gorgeous, but you can choose any color you like, or even do a combination.

9. The Free School Spirit Throw Crochet Pattern from Red Heart is perfect for sports fans and the results are so professional looking that any sports fan is going to appreciate this gift. The fringed edges are icing on the cake.

Source: Red Heart Source: Red Heart

Bonus: these are even more warm, soft and cozy than those stiff store-bought sports throws!

10. Simple Crocheted Baby Blanket by Christy Grauer from Girl Uprooted

Source: Christy Grauer from Girl Uprooted
Source: Christy Grauer from Girl Uprooted

This intricate-looking pattern is simply genius in design because it’s based off a simple square, and it’s so aesthetically pleasing. This is a blanket that looks like advanced but can be achieved by many beginners, especially if you’ve already succeeded in the square, which is what most beginners learn first. If you’ve yet to tackle the square, please don’t let that deter you from putting your hook to the test with this one. It might take you a few tries at your first square, but I assure you, the results with this design are going to give you a great sense of pride and accomplishment! Plus, once you’ve got past the square that makes up this blanket, the rest is so easy.

Size Tip:

You can easily change the size of any blanket/afghan pattern by simply continuing in the pattern for a longer length than a pattern calls for, or to shorten a larger blanket to a baby or throw size, simply stop when you reach desired length.

Size Tip: If your blanket turns out to be more narrow than you wanted, there’s a “fix” I like to use, which is simply crocheting — or knitting. Knitting can look lovely as an edging to a crochet blanket — around the entire blanket, as an edging. You can do this using simple crochet basics like a single crochet, double crochet or half double crochet all around the entire blanket, or add a decorative trim like a scalloped edging. The scallop edge is very simple, and beginner tutorials can be found all over YouTube, if interested.

So, will any of you awesome guys and gals be crocheting gifts this Christmas? If so, what are your plans so far? Will any of you be trying your hand at any of the 10 listed here? I’d love to hear your ideas! Also, feedback is very appreciated. If you like this kind of post, it’s very helpful to know that you do (or don’t), that way I can create more like this for those of you who do, or find another focus for those who prefer something else. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to stop by!

Lacey Floral Crocheted Motifs (+ Free Patterns)

Finally, I’m back with a new crochet project! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to update my blog here because I’ve been so busy working, and because I’ve not had the chance to really complete much of a new crochet project. I have, however, found time to crochet a few fun motifs that I’ve yet to find a way to use.

Kendra's Motifs

One of my favorite things to crochet are motifs. They’re so versatile, and I’ve been able to create a couple of beautiful tops (a vest was the last project I made from motifs) out of them by stitching them together.

I’ve also made a small handful of flowers lately, which I had thought I’d be able to attach together and make the neckline of a blouse, but they didn’t exactly turn out the way I pictured. I’ve not really been able to freehand things like flowers (that aren’t a basic shape like a square or triangle) yet.

I’d love to be able to stitch a whole bunch of flowers together to create a loose blouse or create the top part of a blouse from, then crochet the rest using a stitch. I guess that’s something else that will take practice getting just right. I’ve seen many beautifully put-together shawls that use a flower and circle design, but I’d want a shirt instead. So, if I could find patterns like the flower shawls that I could alter to make into a blouse, I’d be all over that.

Kendra's Motifs again

Since I’m on the topic, would any of my fellow crocheters happen to have any suggestions for going about this idea? Maybe I could use the pattern of a shawl (one that uses small flowers attached together) and just make a large rectangle rather than the triangle a shawl is typically made into. From a rectangle, I could easily make a blouse! Now the ideas are a churnin’.

While I probably won’t get to use the flowers I crocheted (no photos of those, but can put them up if anyone is interested) in a top anytime soon, they’d at least be a beautiful addition to any piece of clothing, really. I love the way a combination of fabrics and crochet look together, so I might add some of the lacey-ish flowers to some blouses of my own, or my niece’s. The motifs, though, I hope to eventually be able to create something nice out of. I have a nice stash that’s only growing of various crocheted motifs — all made in the same white thread (I’m stuck on this stuff!) I love the lacey-ish appearance it has.

Kendra's Motifs more

I hope to one day (when I’ve gained more patience for repetitive motif crocheting), create a decorative throw or blanket from motifs like these.

I’m thinking of using some of the floral motifs to sew onto the elbows of plain ol’ long sleeve tops. Or I could put them on pillows. Or to patch holes in jeans. Or I could always just slap them together and make a lovely garland from them! There are so many awesome ways to use them. What would you do with these motifs?

And also, what are your favorite ways to use motifs? Do you add them to pillows, or clothes, sew em’ together and make a table runner? What do you like to do with them?

Oh, and as always, I’ve included links to the patterns I used to make these motifs (which can be found on this post here.) All were available for free, thanks to many bloggers (and companies) who are kind enough to offer instructions/tutorials free of charge.

*Other Projects I’ve been Working On*

My “main” project I’ve been working on the last month is a dress for my youngest niece. I like to have a little something small to work on in-between my big projects, so I chose more flowers and motifs that I might be able to use eventually.

It’s almost complete, but the straps still need sewn on, and of course those pesky yarn tails that are dangling from various spots on the dress need sewn in. I hate that part of crochet more than anything — tucking in your tails.

I’ll post photos of her dress once it’s complete. I’m actually not thrilled with the color combination at all. I started out with a purple for the bust and since I only had enough for a couple of rows, I planned to use a pretty decent sized roll of this other yarn that I thought would look nice with the purple (and Bug insisted I use it in her dress). But, to my sad surprise, I ran out of the yarn way before the dress was long enough! I could just buy a new roll, but I have had this roll for years, and it was given to me from B (my significant other’s) grandmother who’s passed away! On top of that, I’ve never seen the exact color in stores anywhere. I’ve seen a similar color from the Peaches N’ Cream line, but am really not that fond of any of their colors, including the one that’s similar.

When the yarn was given to me, it didn’t have the label on it, but appeared to be a full roll, and if not, it was very close. I call it “birthday cake yarn” because it’s a white color with small flecks of colors that resemble the sprinkles often decorated on a birthday cake.

So, I improvised when I ran out of the “birthday cake yarn” and used an off white to finish, which is not very close in color to the white of the “birthday cake yarn.” It’s disappointing because I thought the detail in the stitching (I combined several different stitches, including two different ruffle stitches) was absolutely stunning. She adores it already, so that’s all that matters, but I’d have loved to have felt a sense of pride or something upon seeing my completed project.

Unfortunately, I didn’t even enjoy the stitching of the bottom portion! I know, what a Debbie Downer I am, right? Lol. It was just very tedious and hard on my hands. It’s something similar to a shell stitch. I typically enjoy the fun of crocheting, but this project didn’t go smoothly like your average single crochet or something.

I figure since I love the look of the stitches, though, I’ll try to use another very similar stitch (probably opt for some kind of shell stitch) and try to find the patience to crochet another one, making sure I have plenty of yarn this time! That way, I can post photos of it and enjoy the look of it myself. And I’d like to try and have it in my shop (Laughing Flamingos,) hopefully that may be something that’ll draw the shop some attention.

Well, enough talk about my projects. I can post an image when I’ve completed the dress & maybe get some feedback from ya’ll. Perhaps another set of eyes could be useful, especially regarding the color combination.

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