Snowflake roundup 2015

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In December I made many snowflakes to give as gifts and tried out a lot of  snowflake patterns. This is my roundup of favorite snowflakes of 2015.

Above you see the first snowflake in a collection of patterns, 9001 Snowflakes for Christmas Tree by MyPicot. These are available for free and are all charted with minimal written instructions.  This one gets my pick for best snowflake for thread. The flakes in this collection turn out huge unless you use finer thread. For the above snowflake I used size 30 DMC cordonet cotton and it is 5.25″ in diameter. You can see technical details on my Ravelry Project page.

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My pick for best size 10 cotton snowflake is Pretty Snowflake by Julie A. Bolduc. You can download the pdf for free here. This pattern has written instructions and produced a small flake 3.75″ in diameter. You can see details on my Ravelry project page.

felted flake '15_1112

My favorite pattern for a felted snowflake, made with worsted weight wool, is Easy to Make Snowflake by EmmHouse. You’ll need to scroll down the page to get to the free written instructions. This produced a large 7.5″ diameter flake that could be used as a hotpad or larger decoration. See my Ravelry project page for hook and yarn used.

For the most complete information on blocking I recommend this article by Crochet Memories. I used the first recipe for cornstarch and water method. It produced flakes stiff enough to hang on a tree with a nice stitch definition.

Best wishes for a New Year of fun crocheting.

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Mini the cat, modeling snowflake.

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Tunisian Crochet TriTone Cowls

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Just in time for fall I have designed a new Tunisian Crochet pattern, the TriTone Tunisian Cowl. Since we still have a few flowers along with the fall leaves I thought I’d go to our front yard for some photos.

The pattern is available for sale on Ravelry here.  The cowl above was made using three colors of Cascade 220 Worsted weight yarn. I used less than 50 grams of each color to make it. For more details on the colors used and Tunisian hook size see my Ravelry project page.

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For the version above I used 3 colors of Berocco Vintage DK, again using less than 50 grams of each color. This would be a good project to use up your leftover yarn.  For details on the colorways and Tunisian hook used see my Ravelry project page.

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A photo among the Echinacea seed heads. The goldfinches are particularly fond of these seeds so I leave them for the birds.

Here’s how it looks when worn.

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I’m writing this post as part of the Hookin’ on Hump day link party on Moogly’s blog. You might want to see what other people are posting there.

Fall, old and new together. Perhaps these colors might inspire a fall project….

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Vibraphone Yarn Bomb

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To celebrate the upcoming CD release party for my new CD Owls Calling I yarn bombed my vibes.

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Ok, you can see my house is cluttered. Note the Milt Jackson “Plenty Plenty Soul” record that just happens to be in the background!

To make this I used the pattern Rainbows and Daisies Square from the Zooty Owl blog. The designer is Zelina Oliver and this is a free pattern on her blog. Since I needed squares that are approximately 2.5″ in diameter I only worked the first 3 rows of her pattern. Using a 2.75 mm C hook and Noro Kureyon Sock yarn I got 3″ squares. Because Noro is thick and thin the size of the squares varied. I decided that’s ok, this is Noro after all.

After joining I used Patons Grace, a cotton yarn, to single crochet across the top of the squares and made chain loops to attach the strip around the posts of the vibes. I decided against single crocheting across the bottom because I think the squares will show up better this way.

If you are in the Chicago area you can check out my CD release party at the Green Mill on Monday October 19, 2015.

If you’d like to check out my CD or download tracks you can do that here.

Owls Calling package v2.indd

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Summer Crafting: Getting Scrappy

colorful moebius_0615

This summer I’m getting scrappy and using up leftover yarn from my stash. Above is a project I made using the leftovers from many of my lace shawl projects. I was fortunate to test the new Kotobuki pattern by designer Margaret Kendall and use up some of my stash yarn in the process.

The pattern is worked in the round as a moebius. This means that after you create the foundation chain each round of stitches shows up on either side of the center of the work. It’s a perfect construction to use your leftover yarn, with each color framing the center.

colorful moebius cropped_0606

Here you can see how the colored rounds show up as mirrored rows on either side of the central spine. The 408 foundation single crochet stitches required to start this project were a challenge to make, but I broke them up into groups of 50 and worked on them over several days. The results are so worth it, after the first two rounds everything else is a piece of cake.

You can visit my Ravelry project page to see a detailed list of all the yarns used in this project with approximate amounts per round. I would rate this as an intermediate level project.

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Here’s a picture of Mini on a cat mat made with cotton yarn that I had on hand. I used a simple wave pattern from a stitch dictionary for this one.

And here’s a project that I started yesterday. I’m using leftover Cascade 220 and Quatro yarn that was in my stash.

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This is a free pattern called Tuni Trio Cowl. It’s a beginner pattern using only Tunisian Simple Stitch.

I’m teaching a beginning Tunisian crochet class on Sunday July 18, 12:30 pm at Windy Knitty in Chicago. After finishing this class you would have the skills to make this cowl.

I am also teaching a class on Tunisian crochet in the round using the double ended Tunisian crochet hook on Sunday July 26, 12:30 pm. at Windy Knitty. If you’ve always wanted to know how that works sign up for this class. It’s easier than it looks!

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An eyeglass case made using the double ended Tunisian crochet hook, working in the round. This would be a great project to use up your leftover worsted weight yarn.

I encourage you to get out your leftover yarn and explore the possibilities.

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Whispering Flowers

Spring is here and it’s time for a new pattern, Whispering Flowers Infinity Scarf.

whispering flowers infinity scarf from crochetbird.wordpress.com

This uses less than 100 grams of fingering weight yarn. Shown is Neighborhood Fiber Company Rustic Fingering in the color Georgetown. It’s a very light scarf that works up quickly, perfect for spring. The pattern is available for sale on my Ravelry shop  and includes a chart as well as written instructions.

In other news, YarnCon was a blast. I really enjoyed seeing the yarn by the indie dyers. The students in my Tunisian crochet class were great people, all of them A students.  Thanks to Natalia for organizing YarnCon and making it a great event.

Here’s a cool yarn bowl I bought at YarnCon from Madison WI potter Alison Wheeler. It works well for my hand wound balls of yarn. Can you believe I don’t own a swift and ball winder?

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News you can use:

Did you know that the Craft Yarn Council has a Learning Center online where you can get information about yarn and basic crochet and knit instructions? They also have useful information on standard abbreviations and crochet symbols.

I must leave you with another photo of the Whispering Flowers Infinity Scarf, what a bright and cheerful color. The yarn is Neighborhood Fiber Company’s Rustic Fingering again, this time the color is Charles Village. More technical details on my Ravelry project page.

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These are very tiny daffodils that were sold as a potted plant. When the plant died I planted the bulbs and then forgot about them, until this spring.

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Tunisian Crochet at YarnCon

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Ok, I am just too excited about teaching Tunisian Crochet at YarnCon in Chicago. This year the indie fiber fair will be on April 18 & 19 2015.

I’ll be teaching a class on Tunisian crochet in the round on April 19, using a double ended Tunisian crochet hook. Above is a small class project, designed to be an iPhone cozy, but it fits my reader glasses perfectly! This is just one example of the many things you can do with Tunisian crochet worked in the round. Class is listed as Tunisian crochet cellphone cozy I’d love to see you there.

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Beisdes that I’ll be teaching a class on beginning Tunisian crochet. If you’ve always wanted to give Tunisian crochet a try this is the class for you. Short and sweet, it covers the basics. Above, a swatch showing some basic Tunisian crochet stitches.

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In more Tunisian crochet news, I’ve been working on a beautiful project using Tunisian crochet short rows. The pattern is Tunisian Shell Shawl by Elena Fedotova. It’s not a free pattern but is worth paying for. The instructions are detailed and excellent. This is an intermediate level project, a beautiful one to polish your Tunisian crochet skills with.

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Here’s a close up of the stitch detail. See my Ravelry project page for for technical details.

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Totally unrelated to crochet, the selection of old time candy at local frozen custard shop Lickity Split on Western Ave. in Chicago.

candy at lickity split

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A little octagon flower purse

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March is National Crochet Month (NatCroMo). I’m happy to be part of Crochetville’s NatCroMo Designer Blog Tour. Each day in March they’ll be profiling two crochet designers with links to their blogs. Thanks to Amy and Donna for including me in the tour.

I designed a quick little project to celebrate NatCroMo using 2 octagon motifs. These take a small amount of yarn so they’d be a perfect use for your leftovers. I made mine with worsted weight yarn, Cascade 220, but you could use pretty much any worsted or aran weight yarn. I used about 20 grams of yarn total (about 44 yds. or 40.2 meters). Finished size is 5″ across from point to point.

Octagon Flower motif
I used 4 colors of Cascade 220 and a size 7 (4.5 mm) hook.
This motif is worked in the round. Do not turn after each round.
Abbreviations (U.S. Terminology used)
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet
sl st = slip stitch
y.o. = yarn over
tr2tog = treble crochet 2 together

Two steps to make a tr2tog:

1) Y.O. twice, insert hook into sc, y.o. and pull up a loop, (y.o. and pull through 2 loops) twice, 2 loops on hook.
2) Y.O. twice, insert hook into same sc, y.o. and pull up a loop, 5 lps on hook, (y.o. and pull through 2 loops) twice, y.o. and pull through 3 loops, 1 loop left on hook. tr2tog made.

Octagon Motif, make 2 for small purse.

Round 1: With color A Ch 2, make 8 sc in 1st ch made. Sl st to first sc to join. (8 sc)
Round 2: Ch 1, make 2 sc in each sc around. Sl st join with color B. (insert hook into 1st sc made, y.o. with color B and pull through all loops on hook, sl st made). Cut color A leaving a 6” tail. (16 sc)
Round 3: With color B ch 3, tr in same st as sl st, ch 3, sc in next sc, (ch 3, tr2tog in next sc, ch 3, sc in next sc) 7 times. Ch 3, sl st join with color C in top of ch 3, cut color B leaving 6” tail.
Round 4: With color C, ch 1, sc in tr, ch 2, dc in sc, ch 2, (sc in tr2tog, ch 2, dc in sc, ch 2) 7 times, Sl st join with color A in  first sc, cut color C leaving 6” tail.
Round 5: With color A, ch 1 beginning with first sc, [sc in sc, sc in ch  2 sp, (sc, ch 2, sc) in dc, sc in ch 2 sp] 8 times. sl st join with color D in first sc, cut color A leaving 6” tail.
Round 6: With color D, ch 3, dc in each of next 2 sc, *(dc, ch 2, dc) in ch 2 sp, dc in the sc immediately after the ch sp , dc in each of next 4 sc.
(Note: be careful not to miss the 1st sc that is right after the ch 2 sp).
repeat from * 6 more times, then (dc, ch 2, dc) in last ch 2 sp, Dc in each of last 2 sc, join with a sl st in top of ch 3. Fasten off.
Weave in ends giving each end a gentle tug to snug up any loose stitches.

octagon chart

© Kathy Kelly 2015 All rights reserved. Please do not copy or distribute.

To make purse:
Place two motifs together with right sides facing out. Pin together leaving two sides of the octagon open.  Whip stitch the two motifs together at the sides, joining outside loops from a stitch from each motif. Sew 6 sides leaving 2 sides open.
Find a button that will fit through the hole in the point of the motif. Use sewing thread to sew the button to the back motif so that it will go through the front motif.

Here’s a photo showing the top opening of the bag with the button sewn to the back motif.

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If you’d like to add a strap it would be easy to sew one to the corners where the purse opens. I’d suggest holding two or more strands of yarn together and making a long chain. Another possibility would be to use a pretty ribbon for a strap.

Next month I will be teaching beginning Tunisian crochet and Tunisian crochet in the round (with double ended Tunisian hook) at YarnCon in Chicago IL. That’s Sunday April 19, 2015. If you are in town be sure to check it out. It’s a great little Indie Fiber Fair and I always have fun browsing the vendor tables there. Sending a shout out to my friends at Sun Valley Fibers, and Fleur de Fiber, looking forward to seeing you at YarnCon.

Here’s a sneak peek at the Tunisian crochet phone cozy we’ll be making at YarnCon.

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