April 26, 2019

Crochet Withdrawal, and Wanting to Try Something New

I haven't picked up a crochet hook in a month or more, and I think I'm going into withdrawal.  I had been crocheting dishcloths while watching TV and walking in place to get my steps in, but switched to reading books while walking figure 8s in the hotel room.  Hey, whatever works, right?  But while I love to read, it's not giving me any tangible results for my efforts, ya know?  I think I need to find balance.

I bought a cone of ecru cotton yarn a few weeks ago, intending to make some Swiffer-type cloths, but there it sits, with the paper wrapper still intact.  I do need to get that pattern written and published as it's not doing anyone any good filed away in my head.  Someone give me a push!

What prompted me to write this blog post, though, was a pattern for this pretty Gardenia Shawl I saw on Facebook this morning.  I haven't worked with thread in a bit because that requires sitting down and concentrating a little more than dishcloths (that I could likely do blindfolded) and I can't do that while walking in a hotel room.  I'm stuck sitting here so much that I need to find things that will allow me to keep moving in my limited living area (yes, I'm still displaced from Hurricane Florence, 7 1/2 months later).

Anyway, the pattern I saw this morning really caught my eye and I wondered if my fingers could manage to turn out something so pretty.  Looking further at the instructions and materials needed, I saw that it required Aunt Lydia's size 3 thread (usually used for apparel) which I'd never worked with before.  It also calls for a larger crochet hook (4mm/G) than one would normally use for thinner thread, as with doilies.

So now I'm tempted to see if any local stores carry the size thread needed to make this shawl, and give it a try.  What's the worst that can happen?  I spend a couple of bucks on a ball of thread that I won't use ... not a big deal.  I really do want to give this a good effort as I love the look of this shawl, and it would be perfect for church when I never know how warm or cool it will be in the sanctuary on any given day.  A lacy shawl would give just a bit of coverage if the air conditioning is a bit too much, but also flimsy enough to shrug off and set aside without taking up any room. And in the current spring season, sometimes it's still a bit chilly when I head out to church, but hot as blazes when coming out.  A lightweight shawl would take care of a couple of 'what to wear' dilemmas nicely.

Have you ever crocheted with size 3/apparel thread?  What did you make?  I'd love to hear about and see some of your projects!

~ Marie Anne

March 20, 2019

More Dishcloths and Swiffer Sweeper Cloth for WIP Wednesday



Since I'm still in a hotel more than six months after the hurricane, I don't have the space to work on larger projects, so dishcloths it is!  I've been trying to get more mileage in but still have injuries that prevent me from walking much outside, so I step in place while crocheting dishcloths and watching TV.  Since my stack of dishcloths is growing, I need to figure out what to do with them all.  I do have an Etsy shop but don't get a lot of traffic there, so might try selling locally or through Facebook.  If you'd like some, give me a shout!



I also broke down and bought a generic Swiffer-type sweeper at Aldi last week, and since I'm too cheap to buy the replacement cloths, I'm going to make my own.  There are a lot of crochet patterns already out there, but I think the stitch that I use for my Gentle Ridges Dishcloth (free pattern) will be good for something like this, so I'm working one up now.  If I can get the dimensions right, you'll see that pattern listed here soon.


That's what's on my hook this week.  What're you working on?  Link up below!

~ Marie Anne

To link up with WIP Wednesday, make a blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram post about something that you're working on - any type of craft, DIY, renovation project, landscaping - even that novel you're writing.  Link your post by clicking on 'click here to enter' below so that my other readers can see what you're up to.  Make sure to link back to me in your post too!  

February 16, 2019

Simple Shell Dishcloth - Free Crochet Pattern

Homemade dishcloths make great gifts, and are quick and easy to make.  A single ball of kitchen cotton yarn will make two dishcloths (depending on pattern), so make several to keep in your gift closet for last minute gift giving.

They’re also nice as face or washcloths for the bath and shower, so pair some of your crocheted cloths with a bar of handmade soap or a fancy body wash for a housewarming or hostess gift that any woman would love. This simple shell pattern would look especially nice in a bathroom with a seashell or ocean/beach themed d├ęcor.

If sharing this pattern, please share the link to this blog post. You may print a copy for your personal use, but please don’t print copies to share with others.

Simple Shell Dishcloth Pattern

Abbreviations:

Ch = chain
SC = single crochet
DC = double crochet
HDC =half-double crochet
Sk = skip
St = stitches

With kitchen cotton yarn and size H (5.0mm) crochet hook, ch 30

Row 1:  2 DC in 3rd ch from hook, *sk 2 ch, SC in next ch, sk 2 ch, 5 DC in next ch, repeat from *, ending with sk 2 ch, 3 DC in last ch.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 2:  SC in first st, *sk 2, work 5 DC in next st, sk 2, SC in next st.  Repeat from * across. Ch 3, turn.

Row 3:  Work 2 DC in first st, * sk 2, work SC in next st, sk 2, 5 DC in next st.  Repeat from * across, ending with 3 DC in last stitch.

Repeat rows 2-3 until you have 15 rows, ending with row 3.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 16/finishing row:  Sk first st, *HDC in next two sts, DC in next st, HDC in next two sts, SC in next st; repeat from * across. Finish with SC border around remaining three sides. 

Simple, right?  Enjoy!

~ Marie Anne

P.S.  A copy that's printable without the ads and wonky formatting is paired with another of my favorite cloths in my Etsy Shop, The Crooked Yarn (look for listing titled Two Easy Crochet Dishcloth Patterns).

February 13, 2019

Easy Woven Look Baby Blanket - Free Crochet Pattern

This baby blanket is simple enough for a beginner, but pretty enough for gift giving. Worked in single crochet only, changing colors with each row makes the woven appearance even more unique. The simple stitch works up quickly, which more than compensates for the numerous color changes and weaving in so many ends.

I've used this stitch for a scarf pattern in a single color and decided to try using several colors for a different look in a blanket. As written, the pattern is worked in four colors, but would also make a good stash-buster project. Try using black or white as your main color and alternate every other row with whatever yarn scraps you have left in your stash.

This baby blanket pattern is provided free and may not be sold. You may sell the items you make from the pattern, but you may not sell the pattern itself.  You may print a copy for yourself, but if sharing with friends, please give them the link to this blog post.  Thanks for respecting my efforts to provide free patterns for you!

Skill Level - Beginner
Gauge - Not Important

Pattern Directions for Woven Look Baby Blanket

Abbreviations:

ch = chain
sc = single crochet
sk = skip
sp = space

Size I crochet hook and starting chain of 124 and worsted weight yarn should result in a blanket approximately 34" wide. To adjust the width, simply increase or decrease the starting chain in increments of two.

The colors I used for the blanket in the photo are:

MC (main color) = white
A = Lavender
B = Cornmeal
C = Honeydew

Pattern sequence will be one row of each color as follows:

A, MC, B, MC, A, MC, C, MC, repeating sequence until piece is desired length, ending with MC.

Foundation:  With size I hook and color A, ch 124.

Row 1: SC in second ch from hook, *ch 1, sk 1 ch, sc in next. Repeat from *, ending with sc in last ch. Leaving tail, cut yarn but do not bind off. Attach MC as indicated above, ch 2, turn.

Row 2: SC in first ch 1 sp, *ch 1, sc in next ch 1 sp. Repeat from *, ending with sc in turning ch. Leaving tail, cut yarn but do not bind off. Attach color B, chain 2, turn.

Repeat row 2 alternating colors each row as indicated above until you reach desired length. Bind off, weave in all ends. For a more finished look, add a simple sc border around the blanket, putting 3 sc stitches in each corner.

Choosing different color combinations can make each blanket truly unique, so don't be afraid to experiment.  Can't deal with weaving in all those tails?  Tie them off to make fringe!

Enjoy!

~ Marie Anne

P.S.  Make sure to check out my other free crochet patterns!


February 12, 2019

Baby Washcloths, Hand Piecing, and Publishing Patterns - WIP Wednesday

It's been a busy week for me!  I've been digging out old crochet (and a few knit) patterns that I had previously published elsewhere, and working on getting them posted here on the blog again. I've made good progress, but still have more to go, and I've hit a snag in that there are a few that I can't find the written patterns for anywhere.  There's a chance I still have some of them in a folder somewhere, but who knows where that is as I have belongings scattered in several locations (I'm still displaced from Hurricane Florence almost 5 months ago).  Would have been nice if I'd had more notice from Craftsy and could have saved them before they shut it all down, but I'll work it out.

I also picked up knitting needles again and tried to work up a dishcloth pattern that I had written years ago, and that didn't work out too well.  I had written it from a charted pattern and no longer have the chart, and what I'd written definitely had some issues as it didn't look at all like what I expected.  Oops.

Baby washcloths
An online friend who is expecting another little one asked if I'd make some baby washcloths, so that's one of the things I'm working on this week.  I'm using my dishcloth patterns and just making them a little smaller.  I should be able to finish those up in the next couple of days, in between everything else I've got my hands into.

Block #4
 I'm still trying to keep up with the hand-pieced QAL (quilt along) with Elm Street Quilts and Simple. Handmade. Everyday. , and this week is block #4.  I suck at cutting accurately, and these small pieces has made it especially difficult.  My block #3 last week was so bad that I didn't even finish it, but I might revisit it later if I have enough fabric.  I just can't devote the time to it now when aggravation is the last thing I need more of.  This is supposed to be a relaxing, enjoyable craft!  I do enjoy hand piecing and I've still got two other projects of my own that I'm working on, but this QAL is proving to be more of a challenge due to my less-than-accurate cutting skills.

Blocks 1, 2, and 4 (block 3 didn't make the 'cut')

So ... I've got enough projects to keep me busy for a good while.  What have you been working on?  Link up below!  It'll be open until next Wednesday.

~ Marie Anne

To link up with WIP Wednesday, make a blog post about something that you're working on - any type of craft, DIY, renovation project, landscaping - even that novel you're writing.  Link your blog post by clicking on 'click here to enter' below.  Make sure to link back to me in your blog post too!  (Not blogging?  You can also link up with a Pinterest or Instagram post).

Classically Simple Shell Afghan - Free Crochet Pattern

This afghan is made from a very simple shell crochet stitch that can be mastered by a beginner, yet result in a beautiful throw that anyone would be pleased to own.  It's pretty enough to satisfy someone who is more advanced in the art of crochet but wants a simple project to work on that doesn't take a lot of concentration, and easy enough for a novice to complete a beautiful afghan or baby blanket.

While it could be crocheted in a striped manner in your choice of colors, I prefer the look of a single color for this particular afghan pattern.  The blanket works up very quickly and requires only a basic knowledge of the single and either half-double or double crochet stitches and virtually no counting - easy to work on while watching TV without having to worry about losing your place.

Materials needed

Size K crochet hook
Worsted weight yarn in the color of your choice
(5 7-oz skeins should yield an afghan approximately 52" wide x 54" long)

Abbreviations

Ch=chain
SC = single crochet
DC = double crochet
HDC = half-double crochet

The starting chain is a multiple of 3 plus 1.  A chain of 145 should result in an afghan approximately 52" wide.  To make a baby blanket that is 30" wide, start with a chain of 91.  To make larger or smaller, simple add or subtract in increments of 3.

Classically Simple Shell Pattern Directions

With size K crochet hook and worsted weight yarn, ch 145 for afghan, or 91 for baby blanket.

Row 1:  SC in second ch from hook and SC in each remaining stitch across.  Ch 3, turn.

Row 2:  *Skip first two stitches 3 DC in third stitch (all 3 in same stitch), skip two stitches.  Repeat from *, ending with DC in last stitch (turning ch).   Ch 2, turn.

Row 3:  Skip first stitch, HDC across row.  Ch 3, turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for pattern, until afghan measures the desired length.

Last row:  After final row 2 of pattern (shell row), ch 1, turn.  SC in second stitch and remaining stitches across.  Bind off, weave in ends.

Close up of afghan made from pattern  as
written with the HDC rows between shell rows

Note:  I have also made this afghan with a row of DC between the rows of shells, instead of the HDC rows.  It works up quicker with the DC rows, but I personally think it looks more tidy with the HDC.  You might want to work up a swatch doing it with both the HDC and the DC rows to see which way you like better before starting on a large afghan.  A starting ch of 16 should give you swatches large enough to get a good idea of the how the pattern will look.

Enjoy!

~ Marie Anne

P.S.  Don't forget to check out the rest of my free crochet patterns!



February 11, 2019

Anything But Drab Scarf - Free Crochet Pattern

The olive drab color of this scarf prompted the name of the pattern, but it really is anything but drab. This easy to crochet scarf makes a great set when paired with the matching Anything But Drab Hat.

With the slightly raised texture from working in the back loop only of some of the pattern rows, the finished scarf and hat have almost an Aran or fisherman's knit look to them. I think if you were to work up a set in an Aran or off-white color, it would more closely mimic that effect.

At approximately 4" wide, it doesn't quite fit into the skinny scarf category, but it's not big and bulky either. As written, the pattern will yield a scarf approximately 60" long, but if you'd like a longer scarf to wrap multiple times or to fold in half and feed the ends through, increase the starting chain in increments of 6 to increase the length by 2" for each increment added.  (This scarf is crocheted lengthwise and not by the width, which is the norm).

Anything But Drab Scarf Pattern

Abbreviations:

Ch = chain
Sk = skip
SC = single crochet
DC = double crochet
BLO = back loop only

Foundation: With size I crochet hook and worsted weight yarn, ch 180.

Row 1: In back bump of chain, SC in second ch from hook and SC across (179 SC). Ch 1, turn. (Note: Working in the back bump of chain isn't required, but gives the piece a much cleaner, finished look).

Row 2-4: SC across (179 SC). Ch 1, turn (ch 2 at the end of row 4).

Row 5-9: DC in first st (turning ch becomes the SC), *sk 1, work SC and DC in BLO of next st. Repeat from * across, ending with regular SC in last st. Ch 2, turn (end of row 9, ch 1).

Row 10: SC in first st, SC across in BLO, ending with regular SC in last st. Ch 1, turn.

Row 11-12: SC across (NOT in BLO). Leaving a short tail, cut yarn and pull through last stitch. Weave in ends.

You may print a copy of this pattern for personal use, but if sharing the pattern with friends, please send them the link to the pattern here instead of making printed copies. 

Enjoy!

~ Marie Anne

P.S.  Don't forget to check out the rest of my free crochet patterns!