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Every Which Way Crochet Borders: The Blog Tour

February is short, but it’s full of great things: Super Bowl Sunday, my husband’s birthday, my daughter’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, National Carrot Cake Day**, AND the blog tour for Every Which Way Crochet Borders!

Starting tomorrow, we’ve got a great line-up of bloggers here, including some from across the Atlantic! I was super-excited to discover a couple of new-to-me blogs, Rest assured that their readership has gone up by at least one this month.

Here’s a list of folks you’ll be hearing from in the next couple of weeks:

February 7: Cre8tion Crochet

February 8: Crochetville

February 9: Crochet Spot

February 10: Crafts from the Cwtch

February 11: Crochet Concupiscence

February 12: Fiber Flux

February 13: Moogly

February 14: The Stitchin’ Mommy

February 15: ELK Studio Handcrafted Crochet Designs

February 16: Felted Button

February 17: The Messy Brunette, My Hobby is Crochet

February 18: Not Your Average Crochet

February 19: The Twisted Yarn

February 20: Petals to Picots

February 21: Beatrice Ryan Designs

February 22: Underground Crafter

February 23: Crochet Guild of America (CGOA)

February 24; Jessie At Home

I’ll be sharing on social media each day, and I hope you’ll follow along and perhaps learn about some new-to-you blogs at the same time! You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

**February is apparently also the time we celebrate National Boy Scouts’ Day (February 8), National Clean Out Your Computer Day (February 13), and Susan B. Anthony Day (February 15).

 

Free Crochet Pattern: Avery Hat

Lately I’ve been on a hat-making kick. Grab a ball of yarn, start crocheting or knitting and a couple of TV shows or a movie later, I have a hat.

OK, I’ll admit that sometimes it takes two movies to finish the hat, but they are still pretty quick.

Good news: I’ve been writing down the patterns as I work, so it should be easy to get them into shareable shape.

Bad news: My good intentions fail when it comes to photographing, preparing a stitch chart, and finalizing the pattern. I want things to be Just So, but that takes time and money!

More Good news: In 2017, I’m making a real attempt to shed some of my hang-ups about perfection (that is, not using a professional technical editor for free patterns). Let’s make a deal: I provide some patterns at no charge, and if you find any errors, you’ll let me know in a kind manner, and I’ll get them fixed. OK? Let’s get on with the hat!


Avery Hat

This page may contain affiliate links, which help support my day job but don’t cost you anything extra.

I’ve long been a fan of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride, a cozy singles (one-ply) blend of wool and mohair. It’s a heavy worsted weight, but it’s plenty lofty, so it crochets up into a warm hat that’s not too stiff. Work it in exuberant hues or in your favorite solid color. The unisex style will be a hit with everyone! The waffle stitch pattern uses a combination of chains, single and double crochet stitches, and front post stitches to create the texture.


Finished Dimensions

20” [51 cm] circumference to fit 22” [56 cm] head

Stitch Pattern CloseupMaterials

Worsted-weight yarn: 160 yds [146 m] total; approximately 109 yds of MC and 17 yds each of A, B and C

The sample used Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride (85% wool/15% mohair, 4 oz [113 g]/190 yds [173 m]):

1 skein each M-140 Aran (MC), M-149 Hawaiin Teal (A), M-155 Lemon Drop (B), M-157 Orchid Blush (C) for Version A

1 skein M-178 Warm Carmel for Version B

Size I-9 [5.5 mm] crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge

Rnds 1-4 = 4” [10 cm] diameter
To save time, take time to check gauge. Seriously, gauge matters even for hats.


  
Instructions

With A, ch 4, join with slip st to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as dc throughout), 11 dc in ring, join with sl st in top of beginning ch-3—12 dc.

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in first st, (ch 3, skip 1 dc, sc in next dc) 5 times, ch 1, hdc in top of first sc—6 sc and 6 ch-3 spaces.

Rnd 3: Ch 3, dc in space formed by joining hdc, *FPdc in next sc, 3 dc in next ch-space; rep from * around, ending last rep dc in same sp as join, sl st in top of beginning ch-3—6 FPdc and 36 dc.

Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in first st, *ch 2, skip 1 dc, sc in next st; rep from * around, ending ch 1, sc in first sc—12 sc and 12 ch-2 spaces.

Rnd 5: Ch 3, *FPdc in next sc, 2 dc in next ch-space; rep from * around, ending FPdc in next sc, dc in same space as beginning ch-3, slip st in top of ch-3, slip st in next st—36 sts.

Rnd 6: Ch 1, sc in same st, *ch 2, skip 2 dc, sc in next st; rep from * around, ending ch 1, sc in first sc—12 sc and 12 ch-spaces.


Rnd 7:
Ch 3, dc in space formed by joining sc, *FPdc in next sc, 3 dc in next ch-space; rep from * around, ending FPdc in next sc, dc in same space as beginning ch-3, slip st in top of ch-3—48 sts.

Rnd 8: Ch 1, sc in first st, *ch 2, skip 1 st, sc in next st; rep from * around, ending ch 1, sc in top of first sc—24 sc and 24 ch-2 spaces.

Rnds 9, 11 and 13: Rep Rnd 5—72 sts.

Rnds 10 and 12: Rep Rnd 6.

Note: Do not change colors for solid color hat.

Rnd 14: Rep Rnd 6, changing to B on the last st.

Rnd 15: With B, rep Rnd 5 changing to A on the last st. Cut B.

Rnd 16: With A, rep Rnd 6 changing to C on the last st.

Rnd 17: With C, rep Rnd 5 changing to A on the last st. Cut C.

Rnd 18: With A, rep Rnd 6 changing to D on the last st.

Rnd 19: With D, rep Rnd 5 changing to A on the last st. Cut D.

Rnds 20-22: With A, work even in pattern.

Rnd 23: Ch 1, sc in each sc and 2 sc in each space around, slip st in first sc—72 sc.

Rnd 24: Ch 1, sc in each sc around, slip st in first sc. Fasten off.
Weave in ends.

Share photos of your hat on my Facebook page!

 

 

Double Knitting Workshop: Learn a New Skill

Double knitting is one of those techniques that may seem out-of-reach to the average knitter. After all, how can you possibly knit two fabrics at once with only two needles? And adding a second color and patternwork surely must require a magic wand in addition to knitting needles. Fortunately for us Muggles, no magic is required; you just need yarn, two needles and two hands.  In my new Double Knitting Workshop from Creativebug, I’ll give you all the skills you need to get started with double knitting.

What is Double Knitting?


Double knitting is a technique that creates a double-sided fabric by simply knitting back and forth across a row. Yes, that’s TWO right sides and NO wrong sides! (The trick is in the slip stitches, but you’ll have to learn the technique to figure out how it works.)

Double knitting creates nice spongy fabric that makes great scarves, coasters, hats, blankets…any kind of item that you’d like to be fully reversible. When worked in two colors, you can add patterns that show up as positive/negative images on either side of the fabric.

Why Double Knit?


It’s fascinating to watch the fabric take shape as you knit. Once you get the hang of the technique, you’ll start to understand a lot more about the structure of a knitted fabric. I always say that the more you understand about the path of the yarn and how it creates a whole fabric, the better knitter you’ll be. In other words, you don’t have to do double knitting all the time, but learning the skill helps you in your regular knitting, as well. Of course, you may decide you love it, and want to explore it in more detail!

The techniques I cover in class include everything you need to know to create the scarf pictured above, including the pattern and charts. The yarn I used is Hikoo Sueño, an 80% superwash merino wool/20% viscose blend that knits up like an absolute dream, and made such a cushy scarf that I didn’t want to stop knitting. I even shed a little tear when I had to leave the scarf at the Creativebug studios.

Learning Double Knitting

Double knitting does require a bit of concentration, at least in the beginning. (Sorry about that, but I do try to make it as painless as possible!) This is one technique in which I think video learning is particularly helpful.  In Double Knitting Workshop, I’ll show you your choice of two methods of casting on; long tail and tubular.  I’ll show you how to handle two colors of yarn and how to twist the yarns at the ends of rows to prevent holes in the edges. I’ll also demonstrate two ways to finish: the condensed bind off, and a grafted bind off. I’ll show you what to do to fix common mistakes (I got very good at this) and how to read a chart for double knitting.

When I started to prepare for this class, it had been quite a few years since I had done any double knitting, and I had to re-teach myself a few of the associated techniques. This means that I had the opportunity to really examine what was going on in my head as I knit. As I re-acquainted myself with the process, I made notes of where it seemed likely that a novice would get stuck, I hope that my own journey of (re)discovery helps make yours easier, as I hold your hand and point out potential pitfalls as you learn.

Behind the Scenes at Creativebug

Of all the classes I’ve shot in a studio, I think this shoot was the most fun. I’d been to Creativebug’s San Francisco studios several times before, and I already knew the crew. I was working with Eric, Devin and Christine, a team of professionals who not only know what they are doing, but make it so much fun to work together. The studio was filled with natural light, and it was a delight to spend the day with them. Just for fun, here’s a look at what we did when the cameras weren’t rolling (but the foam rollers were). That’s Charlie, one of several office dogs, who spent the day on set with us.

 

 

 

The website is being overhauled the week of December 11, so you may see some weird things going on, especially with navigation and images. If it’s not working for you or if you can’t find what you need, please be patient. The contact form at the bottom of the page should be working, so you can always reach me that way. Once I’ve finished, I hope it will be easier than ever to find what you need!

Thanks for your patience.