Category Archives: crochet

Mothers’ Day Scarf

My mom really liked the scarf I sent her for Mothers’ Day.  Since it was such an easy and fast pattern to make, I thought I’d share it with you.

Begin with an N hook and bulky  yarn.  Gauge doesn’t matter too much for a scarf — though if it starts to turn out to un-scarf-like proportions, you’ll know something is off.  Otherwise, don’t worry about it.

1) Chain 201 and turn.  SC in 1st stitch from hook, and single crochet to the end.
2) Chain 2 and turn.  HDC in 2nd stitch from hook, and half-double crochet across.
3) Chain 3 and turn.  DC in 3rd stitch from hook, and double crochet across.
4) Chain 2 and turn.  HDC in 2nd stitch from hook, and half-double crochet across.
5) Chain 3 and turn.  DC in 3rd stitch from hook, and double crochet across.
6) Chain 1 and turn.  SC in 1st stitch from hook, and single crochet to the end.
7) Tie off and weave in ends.  Finish with fringe, if desired.

I worked this in a blue and green variegated yarn, and I wanted to make something reminiscent of a waterfall.  I decided to work the scarf long-ways to enhance the waterfall-y-ness of it, and I think I succeeded.  Too bad I didn’t take a picture.


Leave a comment

Filed under crochet

Free Crochet Pattern: Ladies 3/4 Sleeve Shrug

a photo of a ball of red yarn

Image by moria on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Most shrug patterns I have seen are worked lengthwise (across the shoulders). Not that there is anything wrong with that, but working the pattern width-wise (up and down the shoulders, parallel to the spine) gives the finished product some extra give across the shoulders, right where it is needed. So, seeing a need, I decided to create a shrug pattern that does this.

In addition, working into the back loops only creates a ribbed pattern in the fabric of the shrug,  and provides a bit more flexibility.  Crochet has the (unearned) reputation of being really stiff and rigid, and working in only one of the loops makes a more flexible fabric.  If you are unfamiliar with working in the back loop only (BLO), there is a nice photo tutorial at the Stitch Diva website.  If you prefer a video tutorial, there is one up on YouTube.

Here is my pattern.  I hope you all enjoy it.  I’ll be making one of these for me, soon, and I’m looking at working it in Cotton Ease,  or maybe Berroco’s Bonsai yarn.  I’m hoping to make this a light summer addition to my wardrobe.  The Bonsai is particularly tempting because I have never worked with bamboo yarn before, and I have heard such wonderful things about it.

Anyway, please let me know what you think about the pattern.


Filed under crochet, free

Book Review: 1-2-3 Skein Crochet

image of the front cover of 1-2-3 Skein Crochet

Image used by permission of the House of White Birches Publishing Co.

When I first saw 1-2-3 Skein Crochet*, I was excited.  The vast majority of the “one skein” or “stashbuster” books I had seen so far were either for knit only or for “knit and crochet” — and we all know that a book that is for “knit and crochet” will generally consist of about 90% knitting patterns with a token handful of crochet patterns thrown in.  So finding one that was specifically for crochet patterns felt like getting the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Given how I had built up my expectations, then, it isn’t surprising that the book fell short.  But if it didn’t turn out to be a pot of gold, it was at least a pot of pewter — nothing flashy, but still solid and useful.

I can definitely think of a few of these projects that will find themselves on my project list.  The Basketweave Eyeglass Case, Travel Pillows and Dainty Slippers, in particular, might well become gifts in the near-to-medium-term future.  These stand in contrast to projects like the Funky Hat, Felted Necklace and Santa Toilet Seat Cover that were definitely not things I could see myself making, much less giving as gifts (YMMV, of course). Luckily, projects like these were reasonably few and far between.

I have to say that the Babies section stood out as particularly useful.  Crochet patterns for babies generally rank high on the cooing adorability scale, but a few of these patters stood out, even from that crowd, as egregiously cute.  I’m thinking in particular of the Serenity Blue Dress, the jacket from the Boy Blue Sunday Suit, and the Lemon Drops layette set.  Even though nobody I know is currently expecting, I felt the itch to begin making one of these sweet patterns so as to be ready the next time one of my friends and/or relations procreates.

Where the Babies section stood out, I found myself wondering about some of the patterns in the Men’s section.  Many of the projects struck me as fairly unisex-ish.  Nothing wrong with them, of course, but it seemed like they were “manly” mostly in the yarn color, and not in the pattern itself.

All in all, this is a serviceable stash-busting book.  I wouldn’t call it inspired, but that isn’t what stash busting is really about, anyway.  If you are a crocheter who wants to reduce that stash of yarn that is currently taking over the closet, I’d definitely suggest taking a look at this book.

* For purposes of full disclosure, I want to say that no publisher or seller of this work has influenced this review.

1 Comment

Filed under crochet, reviews

Football Player Likes to Crochet

Crocheted Heart

Image by TM - the crocheteer! from Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Mike Rivera is a crocheter.*  And I love that.

Everything I know about sports comes from either my father or my husband, and even at that, the sum total of my knowledge could fit on the head of a pin.  But I love how some players — of various sports — are such rampant individualists.  I have to imagine that most men in a testosterone-fueled field such as football would hide any interest they had in a traditionally “feminine” area such as needlework.  So it came as a very pleasant surprise to me to read this:

“People say ‘crochet, isn’t that something old ladies do?’ ” said Rivera… “Football is masculine and testosterone driven, but I think it shows you can do other things and be well rounded.”

So many people fall into the “what I do is who I am” trap.  They let their occupations define them, rather than describe them.  To get so caught up in one aspect of your identity seems unhealthy to me.

But more than that, to openly talk to ESPN about crochet shows real character.  People often view things that are coded as feminine as being less valuable or worthy than things that are coded as masculine.  For example, we view girls who want to do “boy things” with understanding, if not always approval.  Who wouldn’t want to engage in higher-status behavior?  But a boy who wants to do “girl things” is news — and a cause for concern.  Feminine professions are paid less, traditionally feminine pastimes are viewed as “sissy”, etc.  For a man in a very masculine profession to openly embrace a (devalued) feminine hobby such as crochet, and to view it merely as a part of being “well rounded” shows a thoughtfulness and consideration that is rare in today’s society (viz. the recent flap about the J. Crew toenail painting ad).  It is very cool.  And it reminds me that Rosey Greer likes to needlepoint — even authoring a book entitled Rosey Grier’s Needlepoint for MenWhich is also very cool.

* For a great picture of him teaching crochet to kids, take a look at this news story.

1 Comment

Filed under crochet, What I Love

Baby Booties

Baby Bootie PhotoMy grandmother was the person who first taught me to crochet.  And though I have learned a lot from other people along the way, I think I have learned the most from her.  Here is a free pattern based on a pair of baby booties she made.

The pattern is designed to make a turn-down cuff at the top of the bootie, but by omitting one or more of rows 7 – 9, you can make a very cute cuff-less variation. You might especially want to do this if you have a particularly cute ribbon to show off!

Leave a comment

Filed under crochet, free