With less than 1 week to Stitches SoCal, I am getting yarn, crochet hooks, and patterns ready. Why? You ask, because I will be teaching How To Crochet in The Playground. Along with another quick demonstration on how to crochet my cup cozy.
Stitches SoCal is a 4 day event being held Thursday November 1st to Sunday November 4, in Pasadena at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 Green Street. 4 days of classes, shopping, demonstrations, how to’s and more.
Stitches SoCal is making their first appearance in Los Angeles area because of the overwhelming desire from knitters, crocheters, weavers, quilters to have a large conference in one of the largest cities in the US. Here is your chance, if you live in Los Angeles, to take a class or 2, shop at the many vendors in the marketplace, see a fashion show, or even buy a pattern book from an author and have it signed.
Did you know Stitches is celebrating 27 years in the consumer fiber events? Stitches continues to have their annual west coast conference in Santa Clara, in February each year. It has even added Salt Lake City for 2019.
The Playground is where people can see demonstrations of knitting, crocheting, weaving, quilting, spinning techniques. On Saturday, Nov 3, I will be showing people how to crochet: chain, single crochet, double crochet, even treble crochet. You are welcome to see me in action.
On Sunday Nov 4, I will be demonstrating my cup cozy. A fun, quick project any crocheter can make. These make great stocking stuffers, gifts for co-workers for the coffee enthusiast; even a bridal shower gift. For those that see me in The Playground, not only will you get to see the demonstration, you will get the pattern, and some may even get a cozy too.
Be sure to stop by Booth #432 for El Segundo Slipt Stitchers, the knitting group I belong to. The guild is part of the stitch marker swap. Stop by and swap one of your stitch markers with one of ours. We are having a fun Vegas Style knitting and crochet scarf project for you to try out, along with learning about our guild, what we do, our charities that we donate to and possibly join our guild.
This is sure to be a fun event, with plenty of shopping to do. Who doesn’t need more yarn, stitch markers, knitting needles, crochet hooks, patterns, books… you get it. Hope to see you there.
Live life to the fullest, get out and enjoy the weather.
Drum roll please… the month long project is finished! The project started when my brother alerted us that they evacuated from their home due to the Carr Fire in Redding, CA. What should I do to help out my brother and sister in law?
My first thought was to buy them gift cards so they can shop for what they need. Our sister instead started a gofundme page, which raised $3500 for them in 2 weeks. I decided the best way to help them was to use my crochet skills and make them a blanket. Something they can curl up to at night when it feels like the sky is falling and they need to escape from reality.
Off to the local shops to see if anything color scheme comes to mind. I knew it was going to be a big project, but also it would help them get through having to start all over. Out popped this chocolate brown yarn. Big skeins of yarn… on clearance… I had to have all that I could find. 4 skeins, 14 ounces each skein. And so it begins. Red Heart Super Saver was the yarn of choice. With numerous colors to choose from, my stash was ready to be used.
But how do I add color? I want the chocolate brown throughout the blanket, but I also want color. After talking to a fellow crocheter, we both came up with double the strands of color, 1 brown, and 1 accent color. That way, the blanket is thick for cold winter nights, and the accents of color will show through.
Now to begin the task of crochet several rows to gauge sizing. I know my brother has a queen size bed, and the size is 60 x 80 inches. I have a queen size bed, so using my bed for gauging, I chained 150 stitches. One row of half double crochet should give me draping. I lay it on the bed, looks too big, it drapes too far down the sides, frog back 10 stitches, and looks good, so I start there.
Time to grab remnant skeins of yarn from my stash. Holding 2 strands together, my project begins. I decide to only do 3 rows of 1 color, change the accent color, and continue changing colors every 3 rows keeping the brown as the main color.
It’s moving along quite nicely. Might I remind you that we were having a heatwave, with lots of humidity added for more discomfort. The blanket is growing daily, but I cannot keep working on it when I have crochet animals to make for my consignor. She sold 10 animals in 5 days, which is incredibly fast for her shop, so during most days, I crochet animals, take a break and work on the blanket at night.
After a couple weeks, the blanket is big, not big enough yet… keep working on animals and blanket, animals and blanket. Ship the animals, work on blanket. More animals, more blanket. When almost finished, I decided the blanket needed accent pillows.
Text brother, ask their favorite colors. Great, I have 1 pillow form already, need to buy another pillow form, running out of brown yarn, need more yarn. Off to yarn shop again. Get home, wrong size pillow form, use it anyway.
Corner To Corner technique was used for the accent pillows. Crochet 2 panels bigger than the pillow form size, single crochet the sides together, slipp the pillow inside, and stitch it closed. An additional row of single crochet, chain 1 in every other stitch of previous row.
Blanket and 1 accent pillow finished right before my knitting guild meeting. I wanted to get blanket done so I can show and share it, telling them the story of my brother losing home. The ladies LOVED it, even several ladies asked for the pattern, it’s a good way to use up scraps of yarn.
MY TIP: Use 1 color as the main color, and take scraps of leftover yarn as accent colors and crochet an afghan or blanket. Change out the accent color after a few rows, always weave in the color changes while crocheting next row.
My brother and sister in law love the blanket and pillows. The weather is too hot to be used on their bed, it’s on the back of the sofa for now. As she said, “its big enough for both of us to curl up on the sofa and both of us will be warm”.
Until next time, may your fiber dreams be filled with splashes of color.
Dog Days Cat Days of Summer, Light Projects for Hot Summer Days
June Gloom, where did it go? The gloom has parted ways, as the fireworks raged on –elsewhere this week. Baggy and Gizmo are scattered on the bed, fans blowing on them, trying to keep cool. Southern California has been HOT, even at the ocean –no foggy mornings these days. The weather channel reports its hotter in LA than it is in Phoenix, WOW, now that’s HOT! Welcome to summer.
So, how do you crochet and knit when the weather is hot? (Let me know.)
Besides crocheting animals, I try to craft shawls for the fall and winter shows, often deterred by the weather. Who really wants wool resting on their lap when its hot outside? Maybe I need to think about wool more in winter…
Instead of focusing on the heat, I thought I’d share Here are some fun, small projects to keep you motivated during these hot summer days. Made with scraps of yarn in your stash.
Fruits and Vegetables. These are fun, quick projects that can be crocheted in no time. Imagine the possibilities of fun food. No more dusting off plastic fruits and veggies, crochet and knit them. Teachers tell me they use fruits and veggies as color association for kids to learn colors, i.e. apple-red, banana-yellow. They can also be cat or dog toys, before closing the fruit or veggie, just add some dried catnip with the stuffing. Your kitty will love you for it.
Cookies, Ice Cream Cones, Donuts. Why not, right? These are great toys for kids to play with, filled with fiberfill stuffing, no calories, just fun food. Put in a large clear container, and the kids will think you got them sweets to munch on. The cookies paid patterns can be found on Craftsy. The ice cream scoop is my pattern, and the Donuts are a free pattern.
Flowers. The possibilities are endless. Take a straw bag, accessorize it with flowers. Get French clips, sew flower onto clip, you have made a cute flower for your hair. Take a mini flower, attach to paperclip and you have a cute bookmark. Daisies, Roses, Sunflowers, Lilies, Pansies. From small to large; earrings & necklaces to belts; scarves too. Add a stem and you have created a lovely bouquet of flowers.
Cactus. . Saguaro, Barrel, Agave, Star just to name a few, just place them in cute clay pots. Wouldn’t these be cute as pincushions? A fun conversation piece sitting on a table. These teeny tiny cacti patterns can be found on etsy, with the direct link to the seller MuffaMiniatures
What’s great about all of these items, you can use up scraps of yarn. No need to stop by the local store to pick up many yarns. Little bits of leftover yarn and in no time you will have a cornucopia of little projects.
So stay cool, keep hydrated, place the pets indoors with fresh water, and enjoy the little projects during the hot, summer days.
As the year of WIPs continues, I have completed 3 projects that were started last year. Take a look at the lovely Tunisian Crochet scarf that I made with 2 hanks of hand dyed yarn. It is from Expression Fiber Arts, and it’s their Dewy DK yarn. As their website states: a mix of superwash merino wool (70%), nylon (20%) and silk (10%). It is super soft, lots of bounce and with the majority of it wool, it will definitely keep you warm. Thanks goes out to fellow knitting guild member, Merilyn Burnside, for teaching this class.
The other WIPs is the South Bay Shawlette, a Lion Brand pattern. As you can see, it is a nice size for cooler days and nights. When I picked up the cake, the first thing that came to my mind was sunsets.
And finally the Knit Shawl, Take Cover! By Katarzyna Baranska, a paid pattern on Ravelry. I used 1 hank of Malabrigo Mechita. I just need to block it as the top edge does curl and I want all the beautiful lace work to show through.
Now on to some fun projects for Valentine’s Day
Cute Little Hearts are the perfect start on projects. This heart can be crocheted quickly and added to all sorts of items. It takes just some scraps of yarn and a H – 5mm crochet hook. In just a few minutes you can crochet a little heart. Here is the instructions for the little heart:
Treble Crochet 3 times, Chain 3; Slipt Stitch into loop
Pull loop tight and your heart is done
With this little heart, you can make all kinds of fun items. Just take a look at these gems:
Sew them to hair clips; Attach them to hoop earrings
Make a necklace
For the necklace, the sample shown just make a chain of at least 140 stitches, slip stitch each chain, add a 2nd color, slip stitch those stitches, cut yarn, take another color or use first color, and slip stitch across. Sew both ends to back of hearts, and you have a cute necklace.
How about coffee cup cozies, 2 versions, one to wrap around your coffee mug and 1 to take with you for your favorite brew from the local coffee house.
For the coffee cup cozy with handle, chain between 30 and 40 stitches. The length of the chain should wrap around the cup, but meet up to both sides of the handle, without touching.
Half double crochet in 2nd chain from hook, hdc in each remaining chain.
Turn, hdc in each stitch for 8 rows. Chain 1, single crochet along side of cozy, until you get half way up, about 3-5 stitches, chain 16, slip stitch into same space as the chain stitch, single crochet to the end and bind off. Add a cute button, I got this heart shaped button at JoAnn’s.
For paper cup cozy, chain 30, slip stitch to first chain to form a circle, being careful not to twist chains. *Chain 1, hdc in each chain around, ending with a slip stitch in top of beginning chain 1. Repeat from *, for a total of 10 rounds. Bind off, weave in ends on inside. Attach heart and you are ready to go.
A couple more ideas (sorry no, photos) you can do with the little heart:
Stitch 2 hearts together from the top, leaving the bottom point open and, add a little fiberfill stuffing, and place on top of a Valentine pencil and either glue it shut or tie it closed so the eraser can be used.
Seam 2 hearts together, add some catnip, and it becomes a kitty toy
Attach 2 hearts together, add crushed lavender and herbs and it becomes a sachet.
Add hearts to handmade or store bought headband
Sew hearts together to create a cute bracelet.
One Little Valentine Heart, many ways to accessorize just for Valentines Day. What will you come up with? See you soon, when I will have a review on a new product I found at my local JoAnn’s store.
Happy New Year 2018! Chinese New Year-Year of The Dog. Mardi Gras. Many things to celebrate as we start the new year. After a long year of crocheting and knitting for myself, family, friends, my consignee and my crafts shows, I took the last 2 weeks off to rest. That meant no crochet, knit, winding yarn, designing new items, nothing. And it felt good to just relax.
Our new year was a quiet one. We like to go to the last showing at the movies as the new year rings in. This year it was Star Wars The Last Jedi. We needed a distraction, as my father fell ill at Christmas, and passed away on Dec 30th. My sister and brother were by his side when he took his last breath. I was grateful they were there.
Lee and I flew to Redmond, Oregon on Friday for his burial, which was on Saturday, a crisp 24 degrees. The ground was covered in white, as the dew turned to ice. No wind made the cold temps really not feel that cold. Maybe I was just numb. I brought yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks, but had no inclination to craft while there.
Baggy and Gizmo had the apartment to themselves, I guess they were busy while we were gone.
We are home now, and my new year’s resolutions are to finish projects started last year. You know those items, the scarves, shawls, crochet animals, hats, bags… new patterns you start, put away because another pattern distracts you, its put away… and so on and so on. 2018 I have decided to call it the Year of Finishing Projects.
The South Bay Shawlette is a pattern I ordered online as a kit from Lion Brand years ago. The first version was crocheted with mohair. When that yarn was discontinued, the pattern was placed in my binder for later use. With all of the cake yarns in the marketplace, I decided to crochet the shawl. It is about half way done, less than 1 cake used, and will be the first project of 2018 to finish.
The next project is Hitchhiker Shawl, by Martina Behm. Pattern can be found on Ravelry. It is a knit project with shark teeth pattern, as you can see in the photo with the southbay shawl. For this pattern, I am using The Sassy Skein, mercenized cotton yarns, in various shades of oranges, greens, gray and blue.
Other projects to be finished include the Virus Shawl, that internet sensation from a couple years ago, this one started with Red Heart Unforgettable yarn; 2017 LA Yarn Crawl Crochet Project Bag from the knit shop A Stitch In Time, using Trendsetters Ecotone cotton yarn;
Tunisian Crochet Cowl, my knitting guild did last year in a workshop class, taught by Merilyn Burnside, , this one I am using 2 hanks of hand dyed yarn I purchased from Expression Fiber Arts; The Take Cover Knit Shawlette, a Ravelry pattern from Katarzyna Barańska, using Malabrigo Mechita.
And with crochet animals, and kids knit hats too, I have a long list of projects to finish.
What are your New Years Resolutions? Are they fiber related? Photos to follow when projects are completed. Stay tuned.
The holidays are fast approaching, Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away, and YarnKat is 1 year old. I am thankful for your support of my blog and website. In order to show my thanks I am giving you a FREE CROCHET PATTERN that can be made in 1 day or 2 days. This pattern is a crochet scarf. For 1 week only, the pattern will be free, after that it will be $4.00 in my pattern shop.
I call this my Rolling Along Infinity Scarf. The scarf is an easy pattern for the novice crocheter, the more experienced will find it can be crocheted it in a short time. The sample shown is in Premier Yarns Sweet Roll Cake, in colorway Pink Swirl. It is an acrylic yarn, worsted weight #4, with 245 yards. It is machine washable, and the recommended hook size is US I-9 (5.5mm).
The crochet hook we will be using is US J-10 (6mm). In choosing this hook, there will be more loft, more flow to the scarf. It will not look so stiff because the larger hook eases the tension of the yarn.
If you prefer to have just the written pattern, without all of the dialog, please go to the patterns section and grab it here: https://yarnkat.com//?product=rolling-along-infinity-scarf
1 Sweet Roll Cake, or 245 yds of worsted weight, like Vanna’s Choice, Crochet Hook J-10, darning needle, tape measure, scissors and piece of cardboard (to make fringe/tassles)
Pull yarn out from center of cake, Chain 24; sc in 2nd ch from hook; sc in each remaining chain; Turn
Chain 3, skip next stitch, V stitch in next stitch; skip 2 sts, V stitch in next stitich, repeat across to last 2 sts, skip next stitch, double crochet in last stitch. Turn
Chain 3, V stitch in each chain 1 stitch from previous row’s V stitch. Double crochet in top of chain 3 st.
Repeat last row until you are almost out of yarn. Or if you do not want to make infinity scarf, you can crochet scarf at least 60 inches and bind off and take remaining yarn and add fringe/tassles to ends.
Spread the word, I would love to see your scarf. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Ravelry.
Stayed tuned for my next post. I will be offering a Knitting item. I would love to hear what you have to say about YarnKat. Feel free to share your scarf with me. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, Ravelry, Pinterest with the hastag #YarnKat #RollingAlong.
Recently, I posted pictures of kid’s character hats and matching bags onto social media and got a lot of positive responses.
A light bulb went off in my mind, and while the hat, is not my design, the bags, the eyes, ears, nose, eyebrows and bow are, so why not share my patterns?
I have assembled all the facial features for you to grab to make for your own hats. Scrap pieces of yarn is all it takes, and in little time, your hats will have added character.
I use the Magic Ring Method to start because it closes the beginning hole completely. June Gilbank (Planet June) has a great You Tube video here to learn. www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLUaywX0-WE
Yarn: white & black (eyes, ears); gold (unibrow); orange (nose); red (bow); light brown/dark brown (cookie)
US G (4.25mm) Crochet Hook
Removable Stitch Markers (2-4)
(black) Magic Ring, single crochet 6 stitches, pull starting tail tight, then slip stitch into 1st st, bind off, cut a long tail to sew to white of the eyes.
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc into loop, pull tail tight, (do not slip stitch)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch 12sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st, sc in next st; repeat around, slip stitch into 1st sc, bind off, cut long tail 18sc
Attach black eye to center of white eye (Oscar); Elmo- attach black eye to lower portion of white eye
Cookie Monster- 1 eye in center, like Oscar; 1 eye lower, like Elmo
NOSE (Elmo) with orange yarn, just like white eyes
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc, pull tail tight
Round 2: 2sc in each st 12sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st, sc in next st; repeat around 18sc
Round 4: Half double crochet in 1st, 2 double crochets in next 2 stitches, half double crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next stitch, slip stitch in next. Bind off, leaving a long tail.
Stitch nose to lower portion of face, then attach eyes, stitching them along upper edge of nose, making the black portion point inward towards the nose.
With a long Tail and gold colored yarn (you will use both tails to sew unibrow onto hat)
HDC in 2nd chain from hook, hdc in next 4 chains, SC in next 10 chains, HDC in last 5 chains. Slip Stitch in side of last hdc. Bind off leaving a very long tail.
To attach to hat, attach black eyes to center of white eyes, sew to hat and place them 3 stitches apart. Lay unibrow on top of eyes, with brow resting near black portion, place 1 stitch marker on both ends of brow. Take another stitch marker and place between eyes, pulling it down to form a point.
Sew one side of unibrow along outer edge of eyes, to center point, move to underside of eye, and sew back to beginning point, leaving tail for now.
Take other tail, and sew other side of unibrow, stitching top of brow and moving to lower side of brow. Once entire unibrow is stitched to hat, use sharp pointed scissors and stuff tail into each side of brow. It is used as stuffing.
EARS (for kitty) Make 2 White yarn
Magic Ring, chain 1, 4sc in loop
Round 1: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next stitch, repeat once more 6sc
Round 2: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 2 sts, repeat once more 8sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 3 sts, repeat once more 10sc
Round 4: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 4sts, repeat once more 12sc
Round 5: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 5sts, repeat once more 14sc
Round 6: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 6sts, repeat once more 16sc
Round 7: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 7sts, repeat once more 18sc
Round 8: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 8sts, repeat once more, slip stitch in next stitch. Bind off, leaving a long tail. 20sc
Attach ears starting at 3rd round of hat, down to 6th round of hat.
BOW (for kitty hat) red yarn
With a long tail, chain 13
Row 1: SC in each stitch, ch 1, turn
Row 2: (from now on) Sc in back loop of each stitch, ch 1 turn
Row 3: Repeat previous row for the next 5 rows, slip stitch in last stitch. Bind off and leave a long tail.
With darning needle, thread the needle, and stitch to center of bow, weave in from one side to the other, the pull to create crease. Wrap around center of bow at least 10 times. Take both tails, and make a knot to secure. It will be ready to sew onto front of ear on the hat.
COOKIE (for Cookie Monster) light brown and dark brown yarn
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc in ring
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch 12sc
Round 3: sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 18sc
Round 4: sc in next 2sts, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 24sc
Round 5: sc in next 3sts, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 30sc
Rounds 6-8: sc around 30sc
Round 9: sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 24sc
Now grab a long piece of dark brown yarn, thread darning needle, and make little “chip” strips all around the cookie. Keep the needle attached and continue to decrease
Round 10: sc in next 2sts, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 18sc
Round 11: sc in next st, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 12sc
Add more chips to the underside of the cookie.
Round 12: sc2tog all around. Slip stitch in next stitch, bind off, leaving a long tail.
Use both ends of the dark brown yarn to tie a knot. Cut the yarn. You will now attach the cookie to the top of the hat.
After about 3 years of reading other people’s patterns, and making their products, I wanted to try my hand at creating my own. With much effort, lots of paper, lots of “frogging,” I created my first pattern. It is called CUPCAKE.
I had crocheted some cute cupcakes, sold them at shows, and people asked where I got the pattern. With delight I said “I made up the pattern”. But I did not have the pattern to sell to them. At that moment, a lightbulb flashed over my head… (BAGGY HERE: Well, duh. Sell your patterns, silly human!)
For the next 2 weeks, until November 18th, you can get my very first pattern I ever designed for FREE. Just hop on over to the Shop page, tap patterns and you’ll see your free pattern. (BAGGY HERE AGAIN: Or you could just tap this link HERE.)
While you’re there, check out the other patterns I have. I will be adding more patterns along the way, so be sure to subscribe to this blog to keep updated on new patterns and products.