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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 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.
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.
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!
Well, I finally finished the last sleeve on the little cardigan I have been working on crocheting for my 5 year old niece. Now that I’ve had the time to weave in all those irritating yarn ends, I was able to make time for a few photographs of the finished product, too!
I did end up adding some ruffle touches to the sleeves. I am a sucker for ruffles, so it wasn’t easy to contain myself and leave it to the sleeves and front edges only. Otherwise, the entire thing would be nothing but frills! Believe me, it wasn’t easy not to do that.
I feel like this was a pretty rewarding project, but will be even more so when I get to witness my niece actually wearing it, and liking it.
I’m definitely glad that I decided to go ahead and use the Caron One pound of yarn, although it surprised me that this cardigan actually took up the entire pound almost! A tiny little cardigan! I thought for sure I’d have about half the yarn roll left over. I like the rose-color and figured the gray and white made for the perfect color combo, as it always does. But the reason I’m happy with the pink Caron yarn is because I didn’t realize how snugly soft this stuff was compared to other acrylic yarns like Red Heart until I actually began using this soft stuff. Compared to the other popular acrylic yarns on the market, this stuff is perfectly soft, and others are terribly scratchy, which I hate.
I want to make note that not all Red Heart yarn is scratchy. In fat, the Made With Love is some of my favorite, soft-wise. It’s bouncy and soft, and fluffy, but you don’t get much in those rolls, so I try to get it on sale when I’m using it.
Unfortunately, during my rushing around today, I left my flat iron on near the cardigan and apparently, part of the straighteners plate was touching the cardigan. The result:
Imagine how horrified I was to have just finished this sweater only to realize that as I was getting ready and doing my hair today, I mus have sat the flat iron a bit too close to the cardigan and it burned the yarn… yellow! How odd! It’s almost as if it striped the pink dye from it, and the original yarn color was this ugly yellow color! I kicked myself all day for doing this, but have thought up a couple solutions, although not perfect ones. 1. a technique where you simply cover the posts/stitches that are damaged and mis-matched in color with thread of matching color (pink.) By simply wrapping some thread, or the matching yarn around the stitches that are damaged, and tying off in the back, it should cover it. Thread will do the trick without creating a thicker (which extra yarn will create) spot where the mistake was.
Solution number 2: Simply turn the cardi inside out. Since it’s virtually identical on both sides, this could work. The only problem I have with using this easy out is that the decorative bubble stitching around the neck is more noticeable on the original “right side out” and by having to turn it inside out to hide the mistake from my flat iron, those pretty stitches won’t have the same “sticking-out” appearance. 🙁
Still, I believe the only option other than a total re-do, which is out, is to turn it inside out where the ugly mistake is on the inside, not the out.
What about you guys? What are some of the last-minute fixes you’ve had to wing? Any ideas on a way to fix mine?
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?
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: They’re small items, so they work really fast. Quick Crochet Boot Cuffs by Seven-Alive
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.
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.
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.
Seriously. You can crochet cupcakes. And these are actually cute.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Bonus: these are even more warm, soft and cozy than those stiff store-bought sports throws!
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.
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!