Happy Flag Day to our friends across the US! In celebration of this holiday, and because July 4 is just three weeks away, I wanted to share some of my favorite American flag-inspired knit and crochet projects. Which one will you make to celebrate Independence Day?
|Get just a touch of Americana with this crochet USA Afghan, worked up in our very own made-in-America Hometown USA yarn. Perfect for picnics, this blanket is quick to crochet and will be super soft and warm for years to come.||Crochet this All-American Granny Square Throw for a patriotic and classic Americana afghan. Make it with Jiffy in True Red, Fishermen and Denim for a stunning throw that’s perfect for picnics or cool summer evenings on the porch.||This knit intarsia blanket is one of my favorites. Knit in one piece in 25 different shades of Vanna’s Choice, the Lion Country Afghan is a true work of yarncrafted art.|
June is National Adopt a Cat Month, and if you have a feline friend sharing your home or about to be welcomed into your family, I’m sure he or she would love a new toy! Here’s a roundup of some fun, fast and easy cat toys to knit or crochet for that special cat in your life. Don’t forget to make a few extra for the kitties at your local shelter–they will be forever thankful!
|Knit these Catnip Mice in Fun Fur for a furry toy for your furry friend. Use deep neutrals like Taupe, Lava, or Black to create a lifelike mouse, or some of our great new neons for a little splash of color in kitty’s toy basket.|
|Crochet this Goldfish Cat Toy with Microspun (or Vanna’s Choice!) for a festive fishy to add to your cat’s toy collection.|
Father’s Day is June 16th, so now is the perfect time to get started on a personalized handmade gift for that special Dad you know. I’ve rounded up a few fun patterns perfect for showing the father in your life how special he is. Choose a pattern that really suits his personality, or perhaps one that’s related to a hobby, or his career. Whether your guy likes to rock out on the guitar, or relax and be comfortable on the couch – there’s a pattern suitable for everyone!
Knit Commemorative Police Throw
Click here for crochet version
Knit Dad Style Vertical Stripe Tie
Knit Wired Dad Remote Caddy
Knit Father’s Day Socks
|Knit Felted Guitar Strap
Click here for crochet version
How do you like to personalize your gifts for men? Do you pay attention to the color, does the pattern have a meaningful repeat? Share with us in the comments!
Technical editor and yarncrafting expert returns to share tips on finishing your crochet projects. Join her next month for tips on finishing your knitting project. Click here to yesterday’s blog post; click here to see Sunday’s blog post.
The final touch for many projects is an edging. Below are photos of three samplers showing a variety of edgings. Instructions for each of the edgings follow the photos. Most of the edgings are quick and easy, some require a little more patience and skill. The edgings are grouped by type.
Make an adjustable ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in ring, hdc in ring, (ch 1, 2 dc in ring) 5 times, ch 1; do not join, work in continuous rnds (spiral) – 12 sts and 6 ch-1 sps at the end of this rnd. Place marker for beg of rnd. Move marker up as each rnd is completed.
Rnd 2: (2 dc in each of next 2 dc, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp) 6 times – 24 dc and 6 ch-1 sps (4 dc each between ch-1 sps) at the end of this rnd.
Rnds 3-8: (2 dc in first dc, dc in each dc to 1 st before next ch-1 sp, 2 dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp) 6 times – 60 dc and 6 ch-1 sps (10 sts each between ch-1 sps) at the end of Rnd 8.
Rnd 9: Hdc in next st, (sc in each st to next ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp) 6 times.
Slip St: Sl st in next 10 sts, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp.
Overlapping Sc2tog: Sc2tog, (beg in same st as 2nd leg of last sc2tog made, sc2tog) 9 times, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp.
Slip St in Back Loop Only: Working in back loops only, sl st in next 10 sts, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp.
Reverse Single Crochet on WS: Turn piece so that WS is facing you, ch 1, rev sc in next 10 sts, turn piece so that RS is facing you, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp. Note: Reverse single crochet (rev sc) is worked like single crochet (sc) except that you work in the opposite direction (from left to right if you are right-handed, and from right to left if you are left-handed).
Crossed Single Crochet: (Sk next st, sc in next st, sc in skipped st) 5 times, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp.
Reverse Single Crochet on RS: Cut yarn, draw up a loop in last ch-1 sp, ch 1, rev sc in next 10 sts.
Technical editor and yarncrafting expert Kj Hay returns to share tips on finishing your crochet projects. Join her next month for tips on finishing your knitting project. Click here to see her previous blog post.
Weaving in well is so very important. If your ends are not woven in well, your ends could come loose and stick out making your piece look messy. Or worse, your work could come unraveled when the piece is used or laundered. There are two very important things to remember for successful weaving in; 1) Leave a long tail, 2) Always weave the tail in more than one direction.
Always leave a long tail, at least 6″. When cutting the yarn, it is no time to be stingy. Cutting your tails short will not save you much money and is likely to cause you a great deal of frustration.
Technical editor and yarncrafting expert returns to share tips on finishing your crochet projects. Join her next month for tips on finishing your knitting project.
A great crochet ending begins with fastening off and weaving in. It may also include a great edging. Over the next three days, we will cover these three topics as well as tips and tricks for each one.
Click on any of the images to enlarge them.
You may think there’s not much to say about fastening off, and if you think this you are a little bit right and a little bit wrong. After all, fastening off simply involves cutting the yarn, leaving a long tail, and ensuring that the tail is secured. But, there are subtle ways to vary the fastening off process, especially when working in rounds, to achieve different results.
Perhaps the most common way to fasten off is finish the last stitch of a row or round, cut the yarn, draw the tail all the way through the last loop on the hook, and pull to tighten the resulting knot. This method forms a small, knot near the top of the last stitch. This knot is usually pretty secure and after carefully weaving in the tail the piece is at little risk of unraveling.
Sometimes the little knot can leave a noticeable bump on the edge of a piece. Accordingly, some people fasten off without leaving a knot. Instead of completing the last stitch and then drawing the tail through the last loop on the hook, the tail is drawn all the way through when working the final yarn over of the last stitch. This omits the knot and tiny bump. To be sure that this type of fastening off is sufficiently secure, extra care must be taken weaving in the end.
Flowers have bloomed, the sun is out longer, the temperatures have risen, and – we’re at the beginning of wedding season!
Since many of you are probably looking for handmade elements to include in the ceremony or reception, I’ve gathered a roundup of some of our lovely wedding patterns to help you or the bride-to-be find the perfect wedding project. From bridal accessories, to reception decor and gifts, there’s surely a pattern to help inspire you!
*Pattern in image: Amigurumi Two Peas in a Pod
Crochet Bridal Shawl
Knit Eyelet Shawl
Crochet Bridal Shrug
It’s National Bike Month! Whether you like to cruise through beach towns during vacation or use your bicycle as a primary mode of transportation, there is something so lovely about the riding of a bike. You can cruise carefree, go on an intense workout ride, or travel around knowing you’ve reduced your carbon footprint. Whatever the reason for your ride, why not celebrate Bike Month with a little bicycle yarn-bombing? As we know, temperatures are (finally!) rising, and big, heavy projects can seem even more daunting in the warmer months, but these quick and easy knit and crochet projects are a perfect opportunity to try out new yarns or color combinations and work on great pocket-sized projects. The best part is, when you’re done, you’ll have a truly customized bike that shows off your creative side!
|Knit Bike Seat Cover in Tweed Stripes||Crochet Bike Seat Cover (from Ravelry)|
Though it’s often the 4th of July that we think of for cookouts, May is actually National Barbecue Month! It’s no surprise, really, as May is often the first chance we get to start enjoying warmer weather and pulling the cover off the once snow-covered grill out on the patio. With Memorial Day upon us in just a few short weeks, you may have a barbecue of your own to start preparing for, and why not work on something other than a menu? These patterns, from our site and Ravelry, are the perfect projects to celebrate National Barbecue Month–and enjoy straight through until Labor Day!
|Show off your patriotic side with this easy-to-crochet apron, made with Cotton-Ease. With a pocket in the front for your grilling tools or recipe, this apron is the perfect addition to your barbecue repertoire. Get the pattern here.|
|These simple grill mitts make grabbing hot skewers from the grill easy as can be. They can be knitted or crocheted in Lion Cotton or Kitchen Cotton in whatever color you fancy. Get the knit version here, or get the crochet version here.|
Our hugely popular yarn, Fettuccini, is finally back in stock after blowing off the shelves and selling out several weeks ago. And just in time! Earth Day may have been yesterday, but all of April is Earth Month, and every day is a great opportunity to be eco-friendly. As many Fettuccini enthusiasts already know, this unique yarn is made with remnants of jersey fabric used to create garments. The remnants would otherwise be discarded, so we’re thrilled to breathe a little new life into this special fiber. In honor of its (re-)arrival, I’ve rounded up a handful of the great items you can knit, crochet or craft with this yarn. Click here to learn more about Fettuccini, browse colors and place your order today!