Wooly Wednesdays

I am excited to announce a new feature on my blog: Wooly Wednesdays. As you can probably tell from some of my past blog posts, I like to knit and crochet. Since my husband and I have been on the road, I have been able to dedicate a lot more time to my hobbies so I’ve decided to share that with you.

Every Wednesday I will cover one of the following topics: Designer Spotlight, LYS in Review and Yarns to Love.

Designer Spotlight is my chance to share with you pattern designers who have unique and easy-to-follow patterns that I have sampled in the past. It’s my way of promoting designers I like and appreciate.

My former LYS.

My former LYS.

Another topic will be LYS in Review. For those of you who don’t know, “LYS” stands for Local Yarn Shop. It is important to support local independent businesses so I am always seeking out LYS’s wherever I go. As a former LYS owner myself, I appreciate the commitment and love involved in running a small business.  And I know how hard it is to complete with the big box craft stores. If I can help drive even a few people to the shops I chose to profile, I will feel like I have accomplished something.

One of my favorite yarns- Maxima by Manos del Uruguay.

One of my favorite yarns- Maxima by Manos del Uruguay.

The last topic I’ll be covering will be Yarns to Love. I love yarn. Yarn is why I decided to take knitting lessons. I saw some beautiful yarn and wanted to do something that would allow me to use it. Yarns to Love is where I will share with you yarns I have tried; their pros and cons and show you what it looks like made up. Sometimes it can be really hard to picture how a yarn will look like worked up or what it will be like to work with. Hopefully this feature will help increase your yarn knowledge and help you decide what yarn to use for your new projects.

Another weekly feature I’ll throw in will be On the Needles. I’ll let you know what projects I am working on and how they are going. Yes, I’ll even admit when I’m struggling!

Now here is where you come in. To celebrate the launch of this new feature, next week’s post will contain information on a yarn give away. Also, if you are a designer or maker of beautiful yarn(or if you know someone who is) and wish to be profiled, shoot me an email at wildflowerweston@hotmail.com and I will send you additional information.

Its starting to cool off here in Vermont! Thankful we aren’t in Kansas City right now though. We are actually warmer than they are!

-Christy

 

Wooly Wednesday: Crochet Christmas Cowl Free Pattern

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A few days ago  I shared my tips on how to have a handmade Christmas and with those tips in mind I created this pattern. It takes me two days at most to finish one of these cowls and that is with running errands, doing laundry, making dinner etc. The high quality but not too expensive yarn makes this project great for gift giving. The size makes is perfect for everyday wear but it is long enough it can be worn doubled on a bitter cold day.

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Crochet has a tendency to be stiff so the choice of yarn for this pattern is important. I picked Cascades Cloud/Eco Cloud. The chain-like construction helps the piece drape and keep from becoming stiff. The yarn is a lovely mix of merino and baby alpaca and it runs around $15 a skein. $30 for a handmade Christmas gift is a steal! Rowan’s Lima would also be another great choice.  If you google “chainette yarn” you will find other options as well. Some are listed as bulky but they would still work well with this pattern if you increase your hook size.

The pattern is simple and straightforward. There are pictures after the pattern to make a few of the directions clearer. Please post any questions regarding the pattern in the comments. If crocheting isn’t your thing check out my Etsy shop where these cowls are for sale.

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Crochet Christmas Cowl

Materials:

2 Skeins Cascade Cloud or Eco Cloud (Worsted/Aran Weight, 164 yards per skein)

Size K/10.5 6.5mm Crochet Hook

Tapestry Needle

Finished Size: 9.5 inches wide, 50 inches around (approximately)

Abbreviations:

CH=Chain

SC= Single Crochet

DC=Double Crochet

Directions:

Chain 28.

SC into 2nd CH from hook. DC into same CH. (#1.) Skip next CH. SC, then DC into the next CH. Repeat this until the end.

Work a SC/DC in the last chain. CH 1, then turn.

SC into the hole created by the SC/DC from the previous row. DC into same space. Repeat this all the way across.

The last SC/DC is worked into the turning chain from the previous row. (#2.& #3.) CH 1, then turn.

Continue the SC/DC in the holes then CH 1 before you turn your work. (#4.)

Keep this going until you have used almost all of the yarn from both skeins. (#5.) Remember to leave yourself plenty of yarn to sew the ends together. If you would rather have a scarf with fringe on the ends then you will need an additional skein of yarn.

Use your tapestry needle to weave in the yarn tails. Then hold both ends of the finished piece together and sew. When the cowl is flipped inside out the seam is hardly noticeable. You are DONE!

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I hope you enjoy this pattern and it helps with your holiday gift giving.

-Christy

Wooly Wednesday: Crochet Baby Blanket Free Pattern

Finished blanket waiting to be sent to the new baby girl.

Finished blanket waiting to be sent to the new baby girl.

Before we left Weston we learned our neighbors would be expecting an addition to their family and since I knew I would have plenty of free time I decided to make my first baby blanket.

I am a much faster crocheter than knitter (I think that’s true for most people) so I knew it needed to be crocheted. First I looked at some beautiful granny squares.  However, after several days of making these I realized I was not up to making hundreds of those things AND weaving in all the ends AND having to stitch them all together. No thank you.

So I brainstormed a bit and picked a granny square that I could use as a starting point. This allows you to work from the inside out so you can make it any size you want, and have as many or as few color changes as well. The main hang up with me was getting bored with it because it was so simple.

Here is the granny square I used to get going. I am not claiming this as a my pattern- its a very basic granny square pattern and I have seen it in magazines, books and online. Really any simple granny square could be used in this way- just keep moving around and around until its as big as you want. I used DK yarn and a 5mm hook.

CH = Chain
DC= Double Crochet

Chain 4 and join.
CH 3, 2 DC in ring, (CH 2, 3 DC in ring CH 2) repeat 3 times for a total of 12 DC and  4 CH 2 spaces. Join with the first stitch.

Chain 3, DC in next two stitches. 2 DC, CH 2, 2 DC in the chain 2 space. (DC in next 3 stitches. 2 DC, CH 2, 2 DC in next CH 2 space.) Do this 3 times. Join with the first stitch.

Here is what the beginning looks like, plus about 7 more rows.

Here is what the beginning looks like, plus about 7 more rows.

Repeat for each row.: CH 3, DC in every DC from the previous row. 2 DC, CH 2, 2 DC in every CH 2 space from the previous row. Your blanket will slowly grow out from the middle. It will be square.

Tip: Every time I changed colors I added the new yarn in a different spot than where I ended. That way my CH3s were not all in the same spot.

 

The chain 2 spaces make a pretty eyelet pattern.

The chain 2 spaces make a pretty eyelet pattern.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the pattern. I would also love to hear what everyone is working on now that autumn is finally just around the corner.

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day Weekend.

-Christy