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top 16 all-time favorite patterns!

Hey everyone! It’s been a loooooong time, because I honestly haven’t been crafting very much this year. Even so, I wanted to share my top 16 all-time favorite knitting and crocheting patterns (there’s a healthy mix here, gathered from years and years of crafting; and no I did not include all of my own self-published patterns ūüėČ). I hope you enjoy, and let me know if any of these are your favorites too down in the comments, or if you have other favorites I didn’t mention! And in no particular order, here we go!

1. Neat Ripple (crochet)

Many people think this pattern from Attic24 is a classic, and I agree. I’ve made 2!

2. Color Kaleidoscope Blanket (crochet)

I’ve only made one so far, but this quick and fun textured pattern is really easy and would be great for all kinds of variegated yarn! It’s also pretty cozy!

3. Chunky Circle Scarf (crochet)

I love this thing so much I’ve made 7 and am not planning to stop anytime soon. Quick to work up, they make great cozy squishy gifts!

4. African Flower Potholders (crochet) (square, round)

not your average crochet - african flower potholder

not your average crochet - african flower potholder

While these are technically separate patterns, the idea is the same. I like to put a simple backing on all of my potholders for both looks and function. I’ve made around 15, as they also make good gifts.

5. Giftie Slouchie Beanie (knit)

These are quick to make and are what I traditionally give to people in my family when they are in the hospital (except my Dad, who got one for Christmas one year and was totally not in the hospital). I think I’ve made 4.

6. Thai Crochet Cowl (crochet)

Thai Crochet Cowl from Not Your Average Crochet

Ok so this is one of my originals, but I love it because it’s a good stash buster and it produces a supremely plush and toasty fabric!

7. Ribbed Waffle Hat (knit)

Ribbed Waffle Hat

I love this because it’s quick, cozy, and will fit even the largest of heads (but I also go up a needle size from what’s recommended, as I tend to knit tightly). I’ve made 9.

8. Recuerdos de Infancia (crochet)

recuerdos de infancia crochet shawl

I made one in lace (pictured) and one in fingering weight, and I love both.

9. The Olympia Cowl (knit)

the olympia cowl

Another one of my own design, I love this thing and am currently making more.

10. No-Purl Ribbed Scarf (knit)

This photo is of one I have in the works now, not my completed one, and I will actually seam this one to make an infinity scarf. I love the cozy squishy texture this stitch pattern makes!

11. Springtime Satin Balls (crochet)

I made 4 of these ornaments for Christmas gifts. The pattern is not available online, only in a booklet called “Springtime Satin Balls” that I found on eBay, but I’d say it’s worth finding; the author made other booklets with similar ornament patterns as well, if you can’t find that one.

12. Arlequin Shawl (knit)

I’m on my second one of these asymmetrical beauties now. Love it.

13. Sunburst Flower Granny Square (crochet)

Probably my favorite granny square. Makes a fun but beautiful puffy square. I plan on making more of these.

14. Aspen Blanket (knit)

I affectionately named mine “the blanket everyone wants” because these super chunky cable knit throws were (are?) so popular. It was really fun (and warm) to make and I’d totally make another one!

15. Black Cat Slouch Hat (crochet)

not your average crochet pussyhat project

While I did make a black one for Halloween one year, I’ve made 8 pink ones for the Pussyhat Project (a feminist movement). In fact I’m making more now for the Women’s March in DC at the beginning of 2019, and if you want to make some to send my way to distribute, I would be very grateful!

16. Quick and Simple Granny Shawl (crochet)

not your average crochet granny shawl

This is another of my patterns; well, I wrote out the details, but it’s just a granny triangle. In this yarn it worked up cozy and gorgeous! I’ll be making more.

Well that’s it folks, what do you think? Are some of these on your favorites list, or did I miss your fave? Let me know! As always, thanks for stopping by!

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“Design Your Own Crochet Projects” book review and giveaway!

Hello everyone!  I have something really cool to share with you today, I hope you like it!

Design Your Own Crochet Projects

about the book:

This is a new book that came out in October of this year, and it’s unlike any crochet book I’ve seen before because it takes the guesswork out of designing your own items without limiting you to any specific yarn weight, stitch pattern, or item size. ¬†When they say “Magic Formulas for Creating Custom Scarves, Cowls, Hats, Socks, Mittens, and Gloves,” they ain’t kiddin’!

In the introduction of the book, the author Sara Delaney (click here for her Ravelry page) reviews guidelines for choosing yarns for your projects, and even though I know a good bit about different fibers simply due to how long I’ve been crocheting and knitting I still find this section useful as a reminder of not only how different fibers act (protein vs. cellulose vs. manmade, etc.) but also how the yarn construction (roving vs. plied vs. constructed) and weight effect your projects. ¬†The introduction also emphasizes the importance of the gauge swatch — I know, I know, I don’t like making gauge swatches either, but it does take the guesswork out of things and saves you time in the end. ¬†Sara goes on to explain how to create a swatch properly and what to look for in your swatch.

An entire chapter is devoted to each type of item the book discusses (scarves, cowls, hats — both bottom-up and top-down, fingerless mitts, mittens, gloves, and socks — both cuff-down and toe-up). ¬†Each chapter has standard measurements for the item and useful instructions on how to measure a person properly for the item. ¬†The super cool part of each chapter, though, are the pages you are allowed to photocopy and fill in yourself to keep all of your measurements and information organized. ¬†First, there’s the basic data that includes all the measurements you’ll need to plug in to the formulas:

Then, using those measurements, the book tells you exactly how to calculate the yardage you’ll need:

The book then provides a pattern formula as well as an extended pattern formula for when you are making a pattern with specific stitch multiple requirements (they really thought of everything):

And last but not least there’s a pattern template. ¬†I like this because it has everything you may need to replicate the pattern again later if you want to, instead of having to borrow the gift you gave to someone and squint at it for hours to try and figure out how you made it the first time. ¬†It keeps everything on one handy page:

Sara also included some pre-made patterns in the book, and she goes so far as to show the worksheets above filled out for the patterns so you can see how it all comes together.  These are great examples of how good patterns are made!

This isn’t all there is to the book, though. ¬†There’s a stitch dictionary at the end with gorgeous stitch patterns to get your creativity flowing, and there’s also AN ONLINE CALCULATOR. ¬†You know, in case you don’t want to write everything out or aren’t too confident in your own math skills (like me). ¬†I love this feature. ¬†While the calculator includes all of the formulas you’ll need to make an awesome pattern, obviously it doesn’t cover everything there is to learn in the book so I’d still recommend having the book itself, but I really like that the calculator largely reduces the possibility of human error.

my thoughts:

Obviously, I like this book and the online calculator. ¬†I’m already using it to help me plan out pattern ideas and it’s taking a lot of the frustration out. ¬†It’s worth noting that it uses US terms. ¬†Another really cool thing about this book: the formulas work for making knitting patterns, too!¬† I don’t know if Sara intended the book to be used for knitting in addition to crochet or not, but it’s equally helpful. ¬†Like for realsies, this book has everything you need and I’m so glad I have it. ¬†Click here for the book’s Ravelry page.

giveaway:

And now for the giveaway part! ¬†This particular giveaway is open only to US residents (but many of the other giveaways I hold are open worldwide). ¬†A lucky winner will receive their own free copy of Sara Delaney’s “Design Your Own Crochet Projects” and all you have to do is comment below with your name and the State you live in (one entry per person please)! ¬†I’d also be grateful if you subscribed to this blog. ¬†Winner will be chosen by a Random Number Generator on Monday, November 13th. ¬†If chosen you will receive an email from me requesting your mailing address; make sure you check your inboxes because after 24 hours I will draw again if I receive no response! ¬†Winner will be announced as soon as one has been confirmed! ¬†Good luck everyone!

Please note that while Storey Publishing did provide me with my own copy of this book as well as the giveaway copy, the thoughts and opinions shared are genuine and entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

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progress: chevron blanket

It’s been hard to do much crafting lately. ¬†I’ve been really busy with other important life stuff. ¬†Some progress has been made on the king size chevron blanket though:

IMG_1494

I know it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

IMG_1497

Don’t know why I’m in such a crafting slump. ¬†I just don’t feel like doing anything. ¬†I’ll think ‘oh, it would be nice to work on that blanket or that shawl,’ but then I just… don’t.

Bleh.  Do you get in really long phases like this too?

pattern release: quick & simple granny shawl!

The Quick & Simple Granny Shawl pattern has been tested and is ready to go!  Read about & download the free PDF below.

Quick & Simple Granny Shawl

DIFFICULTY:

Easy/beginner

SIZE:

56‚ÄĚ (142 cm) wingspan before blocking, 68‚ÄĚ (173 cm) wingspan after blocking (but adjustable to your liking by just adding or subtracting rows)

MATERIALS:

  • 6 skeins of Lion Brand Landscapes (New Aran) in colorway 204 Desert Spring (pictured above) or 882 yards (807 m) of an aran weight yarn of your choice
  • 6.0 mm/US J hook
  • Finishing items: scissors, tapestry needle, blocking pins & mats

GAUGE:

Gauge is not important, just crochet until the shawl is the size you want!

NOTES:

  • Blocking is not required, it is up to your personal preference
  • Keep in mind that adjusting the size will also change the required amount of yarn
  • The other pictured example below uses a DK weight yarn, King Cole Riot, with the 6.0 mm/US J hook for a lacier feel; this is a great example of how you can customize the pattern to your liking!
  • Pattern testing & the King Cole Riot example were done by the lovely Claire, owner of the blog Mollie & Claire. Thank you Claire!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FREE PDF!

Quick & Simple Granny Shawl

who doesn’t like matching hats (& a new blanket)?

Well, maybe some people don’t like matching stuff. ¬†But for realsies guys this is just too cute.

I made my 8th Ribbed Waffle Hat out of the same We Are Knitters The Meriwool yarn that I used to make The Olympia Cowl, and it is so cozy!Ribbed Waffle Hat

Here they are together:

The Olympia Cowl

Really it was below freezing¬†when¬†I took that picture and I had wet hair because I didn’t have time to blow-dry it before work, and I didn’t even shiver or get goosebumps. ¬†So warm. ¬†Amazing.

OK so on to the crochet. ¬†I’ve been wanting to do a blanket for ages and just couldn’t decide what I wanted, then I got some inspiration from Instagram and decided that I would make a giant chevron blanket to cover my king size bed, all in one color. ¬†So I got 20 balls of Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran in the colorway 255 Vintage Pink (100% acrylic, because really, how else could I ever afford to make a king size blanket?), which equals 4,020 yards.

img_8930

After looking at how far one ball got me, I’m thinking I may have undershot it a bit:

img_8994

I’ll probably need at least one more 10-pack (that’s one of the cool things about this yarn, you can get it in bulk from LoveKnitting and they have so many shades & more types of yarn to choose from). ¬†It’s a good price for the yardage (trust me, I did lots of math comparing other cheap acrylic yarns), & it’s softer than Red Heart Classic/Super Saver yarn, which gives me callouses if I work with it too long. ¬†It should also be hardwearing, which is good since I have a husband and 2 dogs.

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Aside from finishing this project I’ll probably try other types & colors of Paintbox Yarns. ¬†If you’ve tried them, let me know what you think!

OK, well that’s all for today. ¬†I’m gonna go start on the third ball of the blanket, get some dinner, & go to Wing Chun class later. ¬†See you soon, thanks for stopping by!

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