Get ready for the cooler days of fall with my newest design for Universal Yarn: the Crimson Cowl. The cowl is shaped to drape gently around the neck and to sit lovingly over the shoulders.
Fibra Natura’s Cashmere Lusso from Universal Yarn is a luxurious blend of virgin cashmere and recycled cashmere. You can feel good about using yarn with recycled fiber, and the yarn feels great against the skin.
Cashmere yarn is lightweight but warm, and is lovely to crochet with.
You’ll need just a single skein in either this beautiful Anthurium color or one of the other on-trend colors available.
There are no tricky stitches here. Just chains, single and double crochets worked in the round and fanning out to create a lovely drape from the neck down. Use a size H-8 (5 mm) hook or whatever size you need to get gauge.
Brighten up your summer with these quick and easy summer placemats. They are a perfect first project for beginning knitters, and they make a great house-warming gift for new neighbors.
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Bulky-weight yarn makes the knitting go fast! Lion Brand Rewind Tape Yarn is fun to work with. Because of its construction, it’s less bulky than you would think, and it imparts a great texture to the fabric.
I love the exuberant colors that I used, but you can also choose from more muted shades to suit your taste. The instructions below are for two placemats in different main colors. If you want to make four placemats, two of each color shown, with a yellow stripe on each, you’ll need two balls each of the blue and pink, and one ball of the yellow.
Garter stitch is about as basic as a knitting stitch can be, and that’s all you need to know to knit these placemats! Minimal pattern-reading is required, and gauge doesn’t even matter all that much.
Quick & Easy Summer Placemats
One size: 16″ x 13″/40.6 x 33 cm
Materials Lion Brand Rewind Tape Yarn (70% polyester/30% viscose, 3.5 oz / 100 g, 242 yd / 221 m), 1 ball each color 148 Fish Bowl (A), color 195 Think Pink (B), and color 157 Make Lemonade (C) [See note above about yarn amounts for multiple placemats.]
That’s it! Watch the video for tips on how to read your knitting so that you can go “off pattern” and pick up wherever you left off.
Abbreviations k: knit k2tog: knit 2 sts together p: purl rep: repeat ssk (slip, slip, knit): slip the next 2 sts one at a time knitwise, insert left needle into the fronts of these two sts, then knit them together through the back loops st(s): stitch(es) WS: wrong side yo: yarn over
Crocheters, expand your stitch pattern knowledge with linked treble crochet! While regular treble crochet stitches are quite tall, with space between the posts, linked treble stitches are connected post-to-post, creating a solid fabric.
Linked stitches are sort of a cross between regular treble crochet and Tunisian crochet, worked with a regular crochet hook. Note that I’m using American crochet terminology here. UK crocheters will know this as linked double treble crochet.
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Grab some yarn and an appropriately-sized hook, and practice along with me. I’m using Marly Bird’s Chic Sheep yarn from Red Heart, with a Clover Amour crochet hook, size 5.5 mm.
Be sure to watch the video, where I demonstrate two different ways to work into the chain on the first stitch of the row. Choose your favorite.
Linked Treble Crochet
Special Stitches Beginning Linked Treble (Beg Ltr): Ch 4 (does not count as a st), insert hook into 2nd ch from hook, yarn over and pull up a loop, insert hook into next ch, yarn over and pull up a loop, insert hook into st at base of ch-4, yarn over and pull up a loop (4 loops are on hook) [(yarn over, pull through 2 loops] 3 times.
Linked Treble: Insert hook into upper horizontal bar of previous st, yarn over and pull up a loop, insert hook into lower horizontal bar of previous st, yarn over and pull up a loop, insert hook into next st, yarn over and pull up a loop (4 loops are on hook) [(yarn over, pull through 2 loops] 3 times.
Chain any multiple.
Set-Up Row: Ch 1, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, turn.
Row 1: Beginning Ltr, Ltr in each st across, turn.
Rep Row 1 for pattern.
Abbreviations Beg Ltr: beginning linked treble crochet (see Special Stitches) ch: chain Ltr: linked treble crochet (see Special Stitches) sc: single crochet
Show your love with this thread crochet heart necklace. It takes just a few yards of crochet thread and can be stitched up in less than an hour.
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The heart necklace pictured measures about 16″ [40.5 cm] long. Each heart measures about 1″ [2.5 cm] wide x 1″ [2.5 cm] high. However, you can easily adjust the size by adding or subtracting hearts or chains at the beginning and end of the heart sequence. The pattern uses American crochet terminology. Check out Crochet: Basics & Beyond if you need help.
ch: chain dc: double crochet 2-dc cluster: (Yarn over, insert hook into back bump of ch, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops) twice in same chain, yarn over, pull through 3 loops. 2-tr cluster: [Yarn over twice, insert hook into back bump of ch, yarn over, pull up a loop, (yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 2 times] twice in same chain, yarn over, pull through 3 loops. picot:Ch 3, slip st in 3rd ch from hook and in top of stitch at base of chain. sc: single crochet slip st: slip stitch tr: treble crochet
About 15 sc = 2″. Gauge is not crucial in this pattern.
For a decorate braid, omit the instructions in red.
Row 1: Ch 15, [ch 6, 2-dc cluster in 5th ch from hook] 22 times, ch 20—22 clusters, 57 chains. [Note: There is 1 ch between each ch/2dc cluster.] Row 2: Turn, sc in 6th ch from hook to form button loop, sc in next 13 ch, *slip st in next ch, ch 2, skip 1 cluster (2-dc cluster, ch 1, 2-tr cluster, picot, tr, ch 1, 2-dc cluster) in next ch, ch 2, slip st in base of next cluster; rep from * 10 more times, slip st in next ch, sc in each ch to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long tail.
Try on necklace. Using tail, sew button on end opposite button loop, adjusting to fit.
What would happen if you used a bigger yarn and the same pattern to make a scarf? If you try it, please let us know!
This year the Eckman family started a new family holiday tradition: crafting together. Over Christmas week, both my 20-something children were home for a visit at the same time.
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Daughter Meg had brought a variety of left-over yarns to crochet flowers for a Spring Wreath. Charles, visiting from far-away California, had in mind that he wanted to crochet a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) dice bag. He asked if I’d teach him to crochet. How could I possibly refuse?
A Crochet Lesson
I grabbed a ball of Meg’s green yarn (conveniently sitting on the coffee table in front of us), a 5 mm crochet hook (conveniently within reach on my rolling cart), and demonstrated holding the hook and yarn.
A bag is a great first project. We covered the skills of slip knot, chain, slip stitch, chain-1 build-up chains, working into a ring, and single crochet in the first five minutes. Charles was a quick study, understanding the concepts right away. It was just a matter of his becoming comfortable manipulating the yarn and hook.
With the basic skills in place, we went back to our respective projects. I worked on my Crochet Skill-Builder Afghan (Crochet Along coming very soon!), Meg grew an entire garden of blooming flowers, and Charles worked out his own way of holding yarn and hook. And husband Bill? He joined in by helping untangle and re-wind a mess of yarn. It really was a family affair!
After a while, I demonstrated double crochet, so the bag-in-progress got a round of taller stitches here and there. When the bag was the right size, he added a drawstring chain in a contrasting color. By the end of the day, the bag was complete, and it was a rousing success!
Outfitting the Newbie
Of course, our next step was to go shopping in the Yarn Room (AKA “the attic”) for yarn for the next bag. Mountain Colors Weaver’s Wool Quarters in color Glacier Teal was the winner, with a bit of odd-ball teal of unknown origin for accent. This bag is a bit larger. It’s designated as a project bag, to hold not only a WIP (Work in Progress), but also the small collection of stitch markers, scissors, and other necessities that every crocheter needs.
Over several days, we worked on various projects. Instead of staring at our individual device screens, we worked with nice yarn, created beautiful things and (gasp!) talked to one another.
We now have a Crochet Convert. Between stitching sessions, Charles polled members of his D&D campaign to ask what two colors would best represent their characters. He headed back to California with enough yarn to make custom dice bags for all the players in the campaign, along with hooks in varying sizes, and a copy of The Crochet Answer Book. (I’m assuming that none of them read this blog, so a spoiler alert wasn’t necessary there.)
Planning for Next Year
Crocheting together was a lovely way to spend time together as a family. I think we’ve crafted a new holiday tradition! This year it was crochet. I wonder what we’ll do next year?
Next week, I’ll share the pattern for the Crochet Bag for Beginners (AKA D&D Dice Bag).