What’s Trending on Pinterest

It’s so fascinating how Pinterest seems to be timeless. There is no then only now. Pins from the past get attention and suddenly they are new again. From the Crochet! magazine board on Pinterest, this afghan, the Joyous Squares by Dot Drake, has recently been wildly popular!

It’s gorgeous! It was published in Everything Crochet in 2011.

You can follow the Crochet! magazine board on Pinterest HERE. The book is available as a digital download here.

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The Editor Wants to Know…

What was your very first project? Do you remember your very first crochet project?

I started crocheting at around 8 years old. I think my first project was different colored granny squares, one red, one green, one blue, one yellow… that I sewed into a cube and stuffed with fiberfill to make a Rubik’s cube.

Tell me about your first project!

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Make all the Projects!

Do you ever get inspired and feel like you want to STITCH EVERYTHING?

So, I’m caught up on my favorite tv shows but I needed something to make noise while I work and I found Robyn Chachula’s Learn to Crochet Sweaters Annie’s online class. I have had the joy of attending Robyn’s classes in person and of course I’ve worked with her on Knit and Crochet Now and consider her a good friend.

So, I virtually invited Robyn over for the afternoon! (She doesn’t know this…) because I watched her online class, Learn to Crochet Sweaters. The patterns are totally cute. She makes them SO EASY that I just want to make them ALL.  Make ALL THE PROJECTS!

Learn to Crochet sweaters

The Andi Lace Raglan Sweater is adorable!

I want to make it TWICE. One exactly the way it is and the other extra big and wear it as a swimsuit cover up. Robyn makes it incredibly easy.

Now the Ruby Top-Down Pullover… I need this exact wardrobe staple. The color is perfect, the subtle texture is interesting, the top-down construction is awesome for trying it on as you crochet.

The Brooklyn Motif Tunic… is delightful! After you learn this classic technique you could totally go off the rails with your own creative ideas.

Thanks Robyn for spending the afternoon keeping me company while I work!

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Knit and Crochet Now All Acccess

cover of show season 6

I recently got a tour of the Knit and Crochet Now tv show All Access Membership!  It was so fun! I got to pretend to be a member of the club and see just what benefits and patterns and videos, and helps, and discounts that an All Access Member would get!

If your family is like mine, you might be stuck in the house in snowy and cold conditions for what seems like the 10th day in a row… what better way to entertain yourself than with ALL ACCESS to Knit & Crochet Now! Get all the patterns… RIGHT NOW. Like instantly. You could have a marathon of all 78 episodes. If you get inspired but need some supplies, the ALL ACCESS yearly membership gives you 10% off all purchases (not just yarn!) at Annie’s Craft Store.

I seriously have had my eye on this lovely scarf from Season 5 for a long, long time…

benefits-small-video  Here is a glimpse of it. You can see a little video clip on the Knit & Crochet Now web page HERE. The scarf is basic knit stitches and uses 2 balls of yarn to make that dramatic color changing effect.

In Season 6, Annie’s Signature Designer, Lena Skvagerson demonstrates a new scarf design every week.

You can get all of this for $24.95 a year. You can access it all from your computer, tablet or phone. $24.95 a year is so much cheaper than upgrading your tv cable service to include a channel you may not get!  No more setting your DVR to record the show if you aren’t home or awake when it airs!  :)

It’s a Happy Snow Day after all! (All Access that is…)

Knit and Crochet Now!

 

 

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Are you dreaming of summer?

Yesterday I put down a deposit on our family vacation in the summer. Ah, summer.  As we struggle with yet another snow day I think of all the people who have been snowed-in for weeks!  Being hopeful and thinking forward to warmer weather is a nice way to cope.  Maybe if you start on your summer stitching NOW, it will be ready in time for the warm weather to arrive?

In addition to what I think are some pretty spectacular designs in the spring issue of Crochet!, there is a new pattern book out…

Summer Tops by Jill Hanratty!  6 Stunning tops made using fingering and sport-weight cotton yarns.  The tops are lovely and will flatter every figure. The patterns are written from small to 4X. Get it as either a hardcopy or digital download.

ALSO, our new KIT feature at Annie’s Yarn Shop is available for this book. You choose one of the six patterns in the book, select the size you want to make, select the color of yarn you want, and viola! It will cart-up the essentials for you! Go play with it and see how fun it is!

 

 

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Improvise!

Today I’m using my tablet as a yarn swift.

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The Soccer Scarf Saga, Part 4: The Conclusion

I missed a critical question in Part 1. When I asked who the scarf was for, and the colors, I made a rookie mistake.

Peggy told me the event was on January 25, which was fine. But what I didn’t ask was… though the event was January 25, WHEN would she want the finished scarf? I did not know that she would want it four days AHEAD of the 25th… Luckily, I wasn’t procrastinating and was able to finish up, put on some fun fringe, snap a few photos, tag it with care instructions and deliver it on time. Whew!

Here is the finished Soccer Saga Scarf.  I hope you like it!  I think I need to make a couple more in our kids’ school colors!

soccer scarf 2   soccer scarf 4

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Motif Mania, Marvelous Crochet!

MCM cover

Do you marvel at crochet motifs? To me, crochet motifs are little gems of artwork complete in one tiny package. Motifs are also units, granny squares, small pieces of fastened off crochet that are usually joined to more to make a bigger piece.  I don’t usually call them ‘granny squares’ because they aren’t always square. I like the word motifs because as the word implies, it’s a visual bit that is often repeated.

MCM 1

Sometimes when a blanket or sweater is made of hexagons, the edge of the piece is not straight but is irregular.  For that reason, you should learn to make HALF motifs to fill in the spaces.  The book Marvelous Crochet Motifs teaches just that!  Available in hardcopy or digital download, the book has motifs, symbol diagrams and written instructions for all the motifs, AND 5 projects that use the motifs. The 48 motifs are squares and hexagons. Because every motif also shows it’s HALF counterpart, you can now make even more projects than ever before.

MCM 2 MCM 4 MCM 6 MCM 7  The scarf to the left uses hexagons and “fills in” the side edges with half-hexagons. (Look at the purple half-hexagons near the middle of the photo, mirroring each other.

MCM 8  This hat began with a hexagon motif then additional rounds were added to create the beanie.

MCM 9  This cowl is a different hexagon than the scarf above but placed on a different angle, it creates a different edge. So fascinating! With motifs you can create just about anything!  Check out Marvelous Crochet Motifs for 48 motifs and 4 projects!

Also, notice in Crochet! magazine, the Motifs in Minutes feature which offers two new motifs with every issue!

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My Living Room Office

You may or may not know that I work remotely as the editor of Crochet! magazine. What that means is that I work from wherever I am on any given day.  When I’m at the office I have a space I share, I showed you a photo here.

And when I am home, I have my office upstairs… office 2

But most of the time, my office is… the couch…. with this hutch within arm’s reach (ok, I have long arms and I have to lean a little…)

hutch desk

Can you see what’s going on here?  It’s a double door TV armoire but our tv doesn’t fit.  I can close the doors when company comes over or when my husband is afraid that my work is taking over the entire house. On the left is my computer briefcase/rolling bag. I keep the essentials packed that I need for every trip to the Annie’s offices. In the middle is a bag of yarn and swatches pertinent to the current issue.  Of course, I’m generally working on 2-3 issues at a time. The Go-Organize unit holds the most recent issues of Crochet! , Crochet World, and Creative Knitting. Then to the right are essential files that I use frequently. The cubbies, top to bottom are: hooks and tools, then office supplies like pens and tape, and the bottom is business cards.  The odd little bowl in front of the business cards… with the neon green thing in it… Silly Putty. Yep. I love silly putty. When my hands are tired from typing or stitching it’s fun to squeeze silly putty.

Oh yes, there’s a little something extra in this photo. I had just cleaned out that under-shelf area and of course Mischief Minnie crawled right in there to check it out. More often though, she is sitting on the very top of the hutch looking down at me like a fuzzy gargoyle.

I caught her mid-yawn…

minnie gargoyle

 

 

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The Soccer Scarf Saga, Part 3

I’m making a scarf in my nephew’s soccer team colors to serve as a prize for a team fundraiser. I know that likely a woman will win the scarf, that it needs to be sporty, black and purple, and I’ll be stitching it in Universal Deluxe Worsted.

The saga continues as I think about a pattern. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • stripes are sporty
  • I’d rather it be more feminine than unisex though
  • Not too lacy, soccer games get cool
  • Not too dense a fabric, I want it to be comfortable.
  • Not too hard… I want to stitch it QUICK!
  • Should I do Tunisian?
  • Should I make motifs?
  • Should I make rows length-wise or across?
  • Maybe a seed stitch type thing?
  • Something that will accommodate 2-3 colors…

Time to get out the stitch dictionaries and sketch pad…

I’m going to choose:

  • To work lengthwise in rows
  • Add some gentle waves rather than straight rows
  • Use black sparingly so that it makes the most impact
  • Focus on the purple because it is more feminine than black and maybe more flattering in general. It also makes it more obviously a team accessory.
  • Make it long enough to double but not too wide.

Come back next Monday for the final installment of the Soccer Scarf Saga!

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