Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Ideas

It's time to knit and crochet for the holidays. I'm not going to tell you that all of these are GOOD ideas, but you might find something in this list that sparks your creativity.

Christmas Love Hearts

Christmas Wreath Throw

Image of The Celebrator Hat

Image of The Celebrator Dog Sweater

Image of The Poet Beret

Image of The Hippie Hat

Image of Crochet Wine Bottle Hats & Scarves

Image of Balsam Fir Decoration

Image of Holiday Snowman

Christmas is Coming Throw

Learn How to Crochet Christmas Baubles

Learn to Crochet Christmas Coasters

Who's left on your list? Maybe you can gift them with a little something hand crafted.

Happy holidays,

Kathi Linz

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tweeking a Pattern

You don't have to be "creative" to come up with a new pattern. You just have to want it to look a little bit different.

I started with this fan cluster pattern.

It's a simple pattern. Each row is basically the same except for how many double crochets start a row. The two colors and the wave design reminded me of tropical water. When my niece asked for a nautical pattern baby blanket and gave me her color scheme, it was a simple leap to add in a row of "foam" every third row. I also worked all three colors in the same direction and then turned the work. I did not cut the yarn after each row.

While I liked the pattern this way, I wanted the colors to be more tropical and I made the "foam" rows a little more random. I cut the yarn and turned the work after each row. I have to weave in the ends, but I like the effect.

At this point, I have made a new pattern. I didn't have to come up with a whole new idea. I just had to tweek an old one a couple of times.

Happy crafting,

Kathi Linz

New Knit and Crochet Books

The library now owns two new yarn arts books, one for knit and one for crochet. Entrelac 2: New Techniques for Interlace Knitting by Rosemary Drysdale has an intriguing pattern on the cover. The piece is being knit in the round. This one new technique is shown as a purse, a hat, and a pin cushion cover. Also included are zigzag scarves, a cowl, poncho, baby booties,  a garter stitch openwork short-sleeved sweater top, and both pinwheel and cabled pillow covers. 
The first half of the book teaches you different techniques like zigzags, braids, coils, and four-, five- or six-pointed stars. There are openwork techniques, beaded work, and beautiful squares done in quarters.
If you like to knit, this book is well worth looking at.

Reversible Color Crochet: A New Technique by Laurinda Reddig shows you how to work with more than one color in the same row. The most difficult thing about it is keeping the yarns from tangling. Laurinda starts with two-color rows and then progresses up to four-color rows. The patterns are simple and the end result is beautiful. You don't have to cut the yarn and weave in a bunch of ends. The afghan is completely reversible.
If you crochet and want to try something a little different, come and check out this book.

Happy crafting,

Kathi Linz

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Learn Drop Stitch Crochet by Kim Guzman

Do you remember broomstick lace? It's a kind of crochet worked around a broomstick handle or a large knitting needle to give an openwork design.

Kim Guzman has turned this technique into a drop-stitch look that makes some interesting designs. Along with the basic tutorial pages, you will find patterns for wraps, a jacket, scarves and a hat, a tank top and cowl.

They are cool designs and worth a look. Currently this book is in the new book section at the library.

Kathi Linz

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It Girl Crochet by Sharon Zientara

It Girl Crochet: 23 Must-Have Accessories by Sharon Zientara has some great new ideas for wearable crochet. There are hats, scarves, purses, mittens and fingerless mittens/gauntlets. There are capelets and shawls. I was taken by some of the creative designs that are in this book. The patterns seems to be easy to accomplish.

The book is in New Items at the Jackson County Public Library.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Large Hook/Large Needles

Want some patterns that work up at the speed of light?

Here are a couple of knitting patterns that are done using size 50 knitting needles.

Image of Fabulous Furry Scarf

This scarf uses two strands of yarn held together and is only seven stitches wide!

Image of Wee Warmth Baby Blanket

This baby blanket is done on the diagonal with 4 strands of yarn held together. This particular pattern has a few comments added by people who worked it up. They suggest some adjustments that will help you with the final result.

Image of Fast Finish Throw

This Lion Brand Yarn pattern suggests using 5 strands of yarn held together and casting on 34 stitches. That is pretty crowded on one speed stick (size 50 needles). If I were doing this pattern. I would use three or four strands.

Crochet patterns usually call any hook larger than a J, a large hook. Some websites pull up patterns for H, I and J hooks when you put in "large hook". When I crochet, I think P, Q, and S hooks are large. So, with that in mind, here are some large hook patterns.

Image of Crochet Catskills Jacket

This is called a Catskills Jacket. It is worked with a N/P hook and a super bulky (6 weight) yarn.

Basketweave Hat

Red Heart yarn has this basketweave hat for a size K hook.

Go Team Go! Baby Sweater

One thing to keep in mind about making an afghan or throw with a large hook. If you have a pattern that you like, but you don't want to work small stitches, get out the size hook that you prefer. You can make the same pattern with worsted weight yarn up to a size K - just remember to make fewer stitches in the starting chain. If you use a hook larger than a K, use two or three strands together.

If it's a repeating pattern, try to figure out how many stitches are in the main cluster/pattern (often between 3 and 12) and make a multiple of that number. Then add 2 or 3 stitches for a turning chain.

If you can't figure out the number of chains for the basic pattern, just make the chain longer than you think it should be. Work the first row as directed by the pattern and cut off the extra chain. I usually cut it off about three chains from the place where I ended the first row and unravel the last couple of chains so I have an end to weave in. The chain doesn't unravel after you cut it off. Just tug the end tight and it will be fine.

Happy crafting.

Kathi Linz

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Small Projects for Warm Weather

If you are looking for a small project that won't envelope you in warmth during these summer days, check out these small projects for inspiration. Maybe this would be the ideal time to start getting ready for a craft show or Christmas bazaar.

Buttoned Up Cuffs - Crochet
Buttoned Up Cuffs

Urban Squares Purse - Crochet

Urban Squares Purse

Red Heart Yarn has a series of macrame bracelet patterns. This one is a chevron.

Chevron Stripe Bracelet

Elegant Night Cowl - Knit

Elegant Night Cowl

Button Up Headband - Knit

Button Up Knit Headband

I hope this gives you some crafty ideas to keep your fingers in the yarn and still stay cool.

Happy crafting,