Big Game Poll

The Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet office is gearing up for the Big Game! Even though our Editor-in-Chief, Jen, is from Seattle and will be wearing a Seahawks jersey on Sunday, she was sweet enough to knit this adorable Broncos sweater for our Office Manager, Jane’s desktop teddy bear.

Bronco bear

We truly do love both teams, but we want to know who you will be rooting for? Are you going to watch the game intently, or will you sneak in a little knitting or crocheting in between all the snacking?

Inspired by a fellow crocheter

Urban_Chic_Hat_200pxEarlier this week, Kathy posted about her marathon crochet weekend and how she is making scarves and hats for Project Valentine. Like many of you, I was inspired by her post and I decided to make something to contribute to this wonderful cause. I love searching through our past issues and patterns because I can always find timeless designs I can’t wait to make. During one of my “searches,” I came across the Urban Chic hat in our Winter 2012 Issue of Love of Crochet.

Urban Chic Flower

The flower motif at the top is truly stunning, and I found some sequined yarn that complements the design beautifully. I think this will become a go-to pattern for me because after the motif is made and the shaping is complete, it is easy to keep going without having to refer to the instructions. I love a pattern that looks gorgeous, but allows me to just keep stitching!

What are your favorite types of projects to make for charity? Do you have any go-to patterns from our previous issues?

Fun with t-shirt yarn

Have you ever spotted a ball of yarn at the store and instantly decided you HAVE to make something out of it? That feeling came over me a while back when I spied some striped t-shirt yarn at one of my favorite shops. I had seen t-shirt yarn before, but the beautiful coral and white stripes inspired me to take this particular ball of yarn up to the register and buy it. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to make, but I was confident I’d figure it out.

t shirt yarn cupLater that evening, I grabbed my hook and whipped up this small container. I decided it needed a decorative finishing touch, so I wove some ribbon through the fabric and tied it in a pretty bow. I found that my new basket is the perfect size for holding these colored pencils I had been trying to find a place for, and I think together they make a fun knick-knack for my desk.

Have you tried t-shirt yarn yet? If you’re looking for a quick, sturdy project, it certainly fits the bill. Check out the T-shirt Bag in our Weekend Crochet Issue for a trendy carryall that’s the perfect size for all your essentials.

t shirt bag

You can also make similar yarn out of spare fabric you find in your closet or at the thrift store. Check out Sari Silk Ribbon by Darn Good Yarn for some fiber inspiration. It’s made from silk remnants, leftover from sari manufacturers in India and Nepal, that are sewn together by fair trade, family-owned co-ops. You can use this yarn in the same kinds of projects as t-shirt yarn, such as the Watercolor Vases from our Spring 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet.

What are your favorite uses for fabric yarn?

Marathon Crochet Weekend!

It was a marathon crochet weekend for me, as I was super busy trying to whip out some projects for a non-profit called Project Valentine.  I managed to crochet three hats and two scarves, with one scarf still in progress. I’m hoping to finish it this week.

projectvalentine-crop

Project Valentine’s mission is to “make life a ‘little sweeter’ for individuals undergoing cancer treatment in the Denver metro area.” They create care packages, which are assembled and hand-delivered each year to people undergoing cancer treatment on or around Valentine’s Day. My sister and I had the privilege of learning about them after our mom received a Valentine care package from them during her chemotherapy treatment in 2006. It affected my sister so much, she started volunteering with them and is now a prospective board member.

Any time I can find time to crochet is great, but it’s even “sweeter” when I can do it to help others.

How about you? Do you donate your knit or crocheted projects to a charity?

Summer 2014 photo shoot

Although the weather won’t let us forget that it’s winter, we just finished the bulk of the photography for our Summer 2014 Issues of Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet! We want to thank the Denver Art Student’s League and the Country Fair Garden Center for allowing us to use their beautiful locations. Our talented Art Director Kathy and her wonderful friend Autumn welcomed us into their lovely homes to take photos as well.art planesWe had a blast photographing our Summer Issues, and we can’t wait to share these fun projects with you! Until then, you can follow Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes photos from our shoot. Happy crafting!

Fibers for any season

A while back, we asked our friends on the Love of Knitting Facebook page if they break the “rules” by sometimes making or wearing cotton projects in the winter and wool ones in the summer. The answer was a resounding YES, and we were happy to learn that we are in good company with our fellow crafty rebels.

Summer Fields shawlAlthough the warmth of wool and the breathable nature of cotton definitely contribute to the idea that they are better suited for certain seasons, there is no reason we can’t mix it up once in a while! I made the Summer Fields shawl from the Summer 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet in the beautiful Ultra Pima cotton by Cascade Yarns, and I am happy to report that it has kept me warm and comfy on this winter morning in Colorado.

It’s nice to be assured that there are no hard and fast rules in crafting. Knitting and crocheting are fun ways for us to be creative and make something we love – regardless of the season.

Make the Woodland Cowl – GIVEAWAY!

We know you fell in love with the earthy colors and gorgeous yarn in the Woodland Cowl from the Winter 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet, so we have a great new giveaway just for you! One of our Pinterest followers will win all the yarn needed to make this beautiful pattern designed by Rebecca Velasquez.

Woodland Cowl yarnWe’ll randomly choose our winner on January 24th, so follow Love of Crochet on Pinterest today for a chance to win these 3 pretty skeins of yarn! While you’re there, take a look at all the fun things we’re up to. Good luck!

Individual digital patterns are now available!

knit tablet

Have you crossed over to digital knitting and crochet patterns yet? Many of our digital subscribers love working directly from their computers or iPads, while others find it easier to print the patterns before they start each project. Either way, downloadable patterns are a fast and easy way to get your crafting fix wherever you go.

Well, all of you digital crafters are in luck because we are now offering individual knitting and crochet patterns available for instant download from our Crochet and Knit Shop! Choose from a varied selection of the patterns featured in Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet, then you can purchase single patterns for a convenient, low price!

Remember, our digital issues are an even better deal and our digital subscriptions are the best value, so take a moment to check out everything we offer in our Crochet and Knit Shop. You’re sure to find something (or a dozen things!) to inspire you.

Yarn Newbie and Excited Crocheter

I am admittedly a yarn newbie and 2nd time crocheter. I say 2nd time because the first time, my mom taught me just the single and half double crochet. I was never able do much with those stitches except make really crooked scarves or small unfinished blankets. Never realizing there was more to crochet than just those stitches, I never asked to learn more and my mom probably just assumed I didn’t want to learn more.

In my many past attempts at crocheting, the hat had always eluded me. It seemed unattainable and signified to me, a true crocheter. I had once tried to make a “hat” back in 2006. Ok, let’s just call it what it really was—a giant pocket. Even my son, who was about 3 years old at the time, was confused by it, and I didn’t have the heart to make him wear it for fear of traumatizing him from odd and befuddled stares from strangers. After the hat debacle and many other frustrating and failed projects, I just stopped.

I started again shortly after I began working at Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet magazines in 2012. I asked our editor, Jen, to teach me how to crochet a hat. We started with the Orla Cloche Hat from Love of Crochet Spring 2012. She made me practice the basics: chain, slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet and double crochet. I only completed about 6 rounds of the cloche pattern because the moment I learned how to increase stitches, it finally clicked! I was so excited about my new found knowledge, I couldn’t wait to get home to make a project! Jen handed me some yarn and away I went, creating my first perfectly parallel scarf and “real” hat.

IMG_3928_GreyHat ResizedI have learned many stitches and techniques since then, creating mostly hats, scarves, and cowls. I like quick and easy projects, and I jokingly call myself a “freestyle crocheter” since I have never actually followed a pattern.

I haven’t been able to stop since my “a-ha” moment, and I don’t plan on doing so anytime soon.  In fact, I’m having trouble trying to find enough time to do all the projects I want, as I’m sure many of you can relate to!  Happy crocheting!

You can check out some of the patterns I designed for Love of Crochet—Blue Ridge Scarf (Weekend Crochet 2013); Turquoise Tinsel (Holiday 2013); Midnight Sparkle Sweater (Winter 2013).

The National NeedleArts Association Trade Show

Jen, our Editor-in-Chief and fearless leader, has been at the the TNNA trade show for the past few days, and she has been sharing some wonderful pictures on the Love of Knitting Twitter page!

LOK booth TNNA

Here is our booth, where we proudly show off a few sample garments from our recent and upcoming issues. All in all, the TNNA trade show is a fun and exciting place for people in the yarn, needlepoint, and embroidery businesses to come together, share ideas, and set goals. We’re looking forward to hearing more about it from Jen when she returns tomorrow!