Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crochet Hats Extravaganza!

I have not one but TWO crocheted hats in the new Interweave Crochet e-book "A Step-by-step crocheted hats".  The e-book has full patterns for 5 hats, including my Driftwood Cap and my Chullo Hat and mitts set!  The Driftwood cap is on the cover (above) and the Chullo Hat is shown at right.
These plus 3 more hats are available for $6.99.

Also in the e-book, Interweave writes...
 In Interweave Crochet presents A Step-by-Step Guide to Crocheted Hats, Marty Miller will teach you how to crochet hats based on a simple circle in her piece Circle in on the Perfect Hat. Once you've got the basics of hat construction, you can easily add adornments to basic hats and branch out to explore more hat styles.

A note about the Driftwood cap.  I love it.  Our family loves it. People who have already made it have made it multiple times. It looks great in inexpensive yarn, gourmet yarns, solid yarns, variegated yarns.  We have at least 6 of these in our family. I wear one almost everyday in the winter while we wait for the school bus.  It has the best stretch of any crocheted hat I've ever seen.

Here are some more Driftwood caps we have in our family:

The e-book version of the pattern does not include instructions for the brims. If you want the pattern that has the Driftwood Cap ONLY and the brim (not the other 4 hats), I have just the Driftwood Cap crochet pattern by itself available on my Ravelry store

My Tips for great crocheted hats:
1. Use a warm yarn (wool, alpaca, or a blend)
2. Consider your ears!  (do you like your ears covered or no?)
3. Consider the purpose! (is it to keep you warm or keep you stylish?)
4. Balance holes/lace with warmth
5. MEASURE your head first and make sure you know what size you want before you begin
6. If you work top-down, you can try it on as you go!
7. If you use cotton or a plant fiber it won't "bounce back" into shape as well as an animal fiber would
8. Choose a flattering color, it's going to be near your face after all, so you might as well consider your coloring and eye color.

Are you in? Crochet everywhere!

So, by now, you're a member of Ravelry, right? I mean, is anyone NOT a member of Ravelry at this point?
But, are you a member of Craftsy?  It's fun... it'll make you feel good.... (just kidding). But really, it WILL!

Yes, Craftsy is similar to Ravelry in some ways, but the biggest difference is the online classes (of which I have purchased... MANY)  Go sign up for a free membership to Craftsy, by clicking this Craftsy Link.  Once you are there, please follow me! I am, of course, "GoCrochet" on Craftsy.

Then take a gander at all the classes... there are some FREE ones that you would like:

Know your Wool
Short Rows with Carol Feller (knitting)
Dipped, Dusted and Rolled (chocolate truffles, yum.... I think this one was free)

We can talk about all the awesome crochet classes later, but for now, just get signed up and I'll see you there. You can click on the "I'm a Craftsy Designer" icon on the right side bar of this blog page.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review: Knitting in Circles

I know, I know, it's not crochet. But it's just so pretty!  And I know many of you DO knit, so here's my 2 cents.

The new book by Nicky Epstein,  Knitting in Circles is gorgeous. It's based on knitted, round, motifs.  The construction of projects made from circles is a good lesson for all fiber fans, knitters and crocheters alike.

The projects are typical Nicky style, big, bold, almost avant garde. Possibly not for a soccer mom on a typical Tuesday, but inspiration and fantasy pieces for sure.

I may never have the skills to make these round confections, and I'm not likely to make them, but I'm likely to keep the book, because who doesn't love a beautiful book full of yarn?  If you are a knitter, I can see many of these circles becoming the top of hats or the beginning of round blankets. The photography is beautiful, typical of Potter Craft books. It's about 222 pages and hardback. Give it a look see and find out if it's for you!

The photo is from Amazon, you can purchase the book there for around $19.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Crochet education

I love learning.  I have said over and over that when I need crochet inspiration, one of my favorite ways to jump start my creativity is to LEARN SOMETHING. :)  Even if it is a topic or class that I think I already know, there is something about hearing it again from a new teacher, a new perspective that can give me a SPARK of inspiration.

Here's an opportunity to be inspired!  My online class, Crocheting with Beads, might be just what you need to jump-start your creativity. It's more than just the projects in the class... it's the methods or techniques of beading that you can use over and over and apply to any project you want. THAT is FUN!

You can view it on your computer, ask questions, replay, rewind, day or night, forever!
Here's my favorite project from the class....

On the right is my swatch.  I knew I wanted to make a keyhole scarf, so I went in search of stitch patterns where I could incorporate beads AND a keyhole space. I think the keyhole scarf is so popular right now, so you'll see more from me over the next few months. Always, you can eliminate the keyhole rows and just continue in pattern to make a "regular" scarf. When designing with beads, I find it easier to first figure out the stitch pattern and determine where I want the beads to go, calculating approximately how many I'll need and what size, then re- crochet the scarf adding the bling as I go. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Review: Knitting the Perfect Fit

Yes, another knitting book on my crochet blog. It's just that people send me these beautiful books and so I'd like to tell you about them!  This one is particularly useful though and I KNOW that I'll use it!

Knitting the Perfect Fit by Melissa Leapman is another pretty and engaging book. This one is also APPROACHABLE. :)  It's softback, 158 pages.

As a newer knitter, I appreciate the beginning exercises on the different increases and decreases. Later, among the projects, are notes about which body shapes that project will flatter. There are schematics for sizes up to the 50/52/55" range. While I'm just too busy with crochet to spend as much time on knit as I like, when I'm ready to make a knit garment, this is an excellent place to begin.  It's still a bit of a leap to customize the garment to the perfect fit, but if you are adventurous, all the tools are here.  The designs in the book (I count 19 at quick glance) are very classic and many of them I would be proud to wear. Maybe I should just hire a stitcher to make one for me....

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crochet Color Variations

Isn't it interesting to see crochet designs in different colors? Would you like to see an alternate color scheme for my new Fennel Hat? It's in the Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012 issue.  But it wasn't always in the lovely Berroco Ultra Alpaca.  What color combination would you choose?

 It just shows how long ago I designed this hat! Look how young Chickee is!
I love to crochet with texture. This hat I had dubbed the 'Dramatic Cabled Hat'. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crochet Guess...

Where I was last week? I was crocheting...

in Detroit...
with the cast of Knit & Crochet Now! Here I am above with crochet expert, Robyn Chachula. Below is Host, Brett Bara on the set.  I only got a few photos since we were super busy episodes. Thanks to Annie's for buying the show and Candi Jensen for bringing me on board!  I had a really terrific time. Brett is such a pro, she made my appearances so easy. It really helps that I've worked with Brett for a few years now on different projects!  And Robyn too!  We have so much in common that it makes working a really fun.

Here's a really old photo when I visited the set in 2009, who would have guessed back then that I'd be a "regular" on the show one day! 

The Fennel Crochet Hat Revealed!

The Fennel Hat is a crocheted of post stitches and Tapestry crochet!  Drop one color and pick up the next to create the color play on this hat.  It's in the new Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012 issue.

It's made of Berrocco Ultra Alpaca.  :) You can crochet it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review: Crochet Master Class

Crochet Master Class is certainly crochet eye-candy at it's best.  Potter Craft sent me a copy to review (ok, I asked for one) because I was so intrigued.  It is one of the last books Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss completed before Jean's passing. Such a gift she left behind to the crochet community. Not just this book, but the many, many books she wrote and produced during her career with her business partner, Rita.

191 pages of beautifully illustrated and photographed projects. All the projects are designed by designers who are known for their skill in each of the techniques.  The book is a who's who of crochet including: Carol Ventura, Margaret Hubert, Melody MacDuffee, Julia Bryant, Jennifer Hansen, Jenny King, Nancy Nehring, Darla Fanton teaching teaching a wide variety of techniques like Tapestry crochet, fashion crochet, overlay, Tunisian, Hairpin, woven crochet, tassels, double-ended crochet and Irish crochet. Each project comes with a short bio and photo of each of the industry greats.

There are pretty photos of examples of each style and one project for each.  My only criticisms, there is only one project per technique (but imagine how huge the book would be if there were more) and there are only a few symbol diagrams (I have become hopelessly devoted to stitch diagrams).  Absolutely though, there is enough inspiration in this crochet anthology of sorts to motivate you to learn more about the techniques in the book that pull your attention. 

It's currently about $15 on Amazon, a real deal. :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Photo Friday

I'd better go meet her. If there is such a thing as re-incarnation, I'd better go see if this is my Mom. LOL. Her name is Lulu and she was born last week at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Great Expectations Blanket Revealed!

I just love this blanket. Love it, love it, love it.  We've been through a great deal together, this blanket and me. The making of it was the easy part.  It's now ready for PDF purchase.  Fully tech edited in traditional instructions and gorgeous symbol diagrams made by Shiri Mor, these join as-you-go hexagon motifs are so pretty!

 It's made of Knit Picks Brava Worsted in Dove Heather. It is 51 x 59" But since it's motifs, you can add more or less as you wish.  The edge gaps are filled in with half hexagon motifs.

Get the PDF now for $3.99

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Love Yarn Day!

Today is I Love Yarn Day, organized by the Craft Yarn Council.  To celebrate our love of yarn, several of us are offering free patterns.  Mine is the Icy Day Cowl!  I hope you like it.  Go to their site for the free pattern. Icy Day Cowl pattern.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fiesta Ripple Scarf is available!

New to the pattern store is the Fiesta Ripple Scarf!  I'm selling the PDF for $2.99. It's an easy ripple pattern but the magic is that the edging is the SAME ripple pattern.  So finally, a crochet project that looks great in a multi-color yarn.  Someone please make it in a solid so I can see and post a photo! 

Professionally tech edited by Shiri Mor, the pattern includes full written instructions AND symbol/stitch diagrams.
It's available now for $2.99.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


My goodness, it's Wednesday again already!  Where does the time go?  I remember when I was in Grad School, I was thinking that when people say they are 'busy' that I could never be as busy as I was when I was in Grad school.  Going to school, working full-time, doing my Practical out-of-classroom work.  I remember leaving at 7am and getting home at 10pm and eating a granola bar for dinner in between tasks. 

Well, I'm not THAT busy, but sometimes it feels like it! We are in the transitions of sports seasons where two sports overlap for a few weeks before soccer ends and volleyball continues. School is in full-swing and work has never been more busy.  Better to be busy than bored. :)

Though short moments of boredom might not be so bad... right Charlie?

Monday, October 8, 2012


Debra at is holding a Giveaway of my Full Bloom Scarf Kit!  To enter, go to the My Crochet Kits Ravelry page and share how you got started with crochet!  Here's the link to the thread.  I'll be reading your responses!

Friday, October 5, 2012

So Close...

I'm *this* close to revealing a new pattern, I've been hoping to launch it all week, but alas, it's not ready!

So instead, we'll have Photo Friday!

Can you tell what is going on in this photo?
 Yep, the kids tied a balloon on Charlie's collar.  He was unaware of the floating orb as he wandered around the house. Don't worry, I rescued him before he got tangled in anything.
 These gorgeous flowers were from a dear friend of mine. I won't reveal her name so y'all won't be jealous. But I love them, (and her!) so beautiful (the flowers too!).


Monday, October 1, 2012