As the New Year approaches, you might be planning a get-together with some of your family and friends. In the midst of the festivities, people put their drinks on various pieces of furniture and then forget which one was theirs.
Here are a couple of quick suggestions for keeping it all straight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Small items are the perfect project for hot summer days. Perhaps you have a little one in mind that could use a little splash of color on their tiny feet. The link above is for crocheters and the ones below are for knitters.
This doesn't even require a hook or a needle. You can make up several of these without raising a sweat. Maybe you have a family reunion or a wedding to help organize. These tassel necklaces would make cute prizes or favors.
Red Heart Yarn is holding a contest from now until October 31, 2014. Enter a photo of you somewhere in the world holding Red Heart Yarn or making a heart shape with your fingers. You can see what they mean if you check out the link above.
There are monthly winners until the end of the contest. I personally could do a lot with $50 worth of yarn. The grand prize is $500 and $150 in yarn.
Lion Brand Yarn has many patterns that will inspire you. If you are in Jackson County, Indiana, come in and see our knit and crochet books. We have a large selection of everything from mittens to large afghans. We have delicate lace patterns through tightly-worked Tunisian crochet.
If you are a passable knitter and have little ones to keep warm, you will enjoy Little Aran and Celtic Knits for Kids: 25 Designs for Babies and Young Children by Martin Storey.
Most of the patterns are sweaters and jackets with cabling, Celtic knot designs, or little animals knitted into the piece. Some have hoods, some are slip-overs, and some are button-down. There are also socks, blocks, and an alphabet blanket.
This pattern originally was Tunisian crochet. The squares were actually worked in single crochet, chain. A row of V-stitch was worked around each square, then a round of single crochet and finally a round of double crochet.
This is Tunisian entrelac worked with a N or P hook. The larger size hook makes the weave a little looser than normal Tunisian simple stitch. It doesn't curl as much as the tighter stitched one would.