Crochet picture tutorials

A while back, we asked our newsletter subscribers how they learn best when trying to tackle a new stitch or unusual technique. We loved reading your responses, and many of you said that you prefer to learn from pictures and tutorials. Well, we heard you loud and clear! We’ve added two new picture tutorials to our website to help you with two of the beautiful patterns in our Summer 2014 Issue!

JCL_LOK_140120-4538_200pxThe Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf features the star stitch, which gives it a wonderful texture. The star stitch is not difficult, but photos are helpful when you’re working it for the first time. Our handy star stitch tutorial will have you on your way to making this incredible scarf in no time!

JCL_LOK_140122-5718-2_200pxThe Olive Twist Shawl uses familiar stitches in unique ways, meaning it can be a bit tricky at first. In the Olive Twist tutorial, we’ll show you how to twist your chain loops to create the fabulous filigreed lace in this gorgeous accessory. Then, if you haven’t already, get your Olive Twist Shawl Kit and join our summer crochet along!

We are always here as a resource if you need help with any of our patterns, and we love seeing what’s on your hook at the moment. Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram and let us know what you’re working on!

Lemon Lime Fizz Tank – digital crochet pattern

Summer is officially here, and we’re all searching for ways to beat the heat. Cute tanks and tees are a must this time of year, and we are here to help if you’re still searching for the perfect warm-weather crochet pattern!

Lemon Lime FizzThe Lemon Lime Fizz Tank from the Summer 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet is the perfect top for running errands on the weekends, playing with the kids, or going out for margaritas with your best friends. You can even layer it over a comfy tee for a fashionable and flattering office ensemble. Grab the Lemon Lime Fizz digital crochet pattern, and you can start making this beauty tonight!

You can also get the complete Summer 2013 Issue in either a print or digital copy, so be sure to browse through the patterns to see which ones you’re going to add to your crochet queue.

Crochet Along – Olive Twist–Get Into the Groove!

So, I am finally on a roll with my stitch pattern for the Olive Twist shawlette… once I started paying attention to the text. I did, however, manage to mess up another row. I know, I know—shocker. Just FYI, if you don’t know already—on the odd rows with the [1 hdc, ch 9, 1 hdc] and shell stitches, you need to end on the shell stitch before the corner in order for the pattern to work because after you [1 hdc, ch 9] 3 times in the corner, you have to do the shell stitch again. Row 7 is where I messed up on that one. I didn’t do the [1 hdc, ch 9, 1 hdc] after chaining 10 and turning, so I only had one loop at the beginning of the row. As I was working through this with Jamie, our associate editor, she pointed out that this could be the problem. As she was holding the ch 10 loop, she said, “I think this guy needs a little buddy.”  I love easy-to-understand crochet vernacular such as this. Now, every time I get to an odd row, I remember “this little guy needs a little buddy” to keep me on track!

20140624_083815_row18smI’m up to row 18 now, and I’m feeling good! I really feel like I am (finally) getting into the groove of this pattern and can figure out when I’ve made a mistake.

I actually got more yarn for my shawlette than the pattern required, so my shawlette will be a little larger. I loved the pattern but wanted it to wrap around more. I’m planning to bring it with me on a trip in August, and I can’t wait to get to the edging and see the finished product. Hopefully, everything will work out and when everyone sees my fabulous shawl, they will want to make one too!

How is your project coming along? I hope you haven’t struggled as much as I have so far! If you do need some help, I’ve included a link for a Technique Tutorial for this pattern to help you out! If you haven’t started yet, there is still time to get your Olive Twist shawlette kit and start crocheting this beautiful project with us!

Charity Spotlight – Warm Up America

For our charity spotlight this month, we would like to introduce you to Warm Up America. This wonderful organization distributes afghans, hats, and other handmade items to people in need all over the country. The best part is that you do not have to complete an entire afghan to contribute! Warm up America encourages volunteers to knit or crochet a 7″ x 9″ rectangle that will be joined with other contributions to form a full blanket. Of course, there is always a need for completed blankets or other items as well.

knit usa flag

Check out their website if you have any questions or would like to become a volunteer. Let’s come together to keep those in need warm this winter!

Arabesque Stunner – digital pattern

Have you had a chance to browse through the collection of individual digital crochet patterns available in our Crochet and Knit Shop? If you see an inspiring design you simply have to make NOW, digital patterns are a great way to get that instant gratification and avoid any shipping fees!

Arabesque

We loved the Arabesque Stunner from our Fall 2013 Issue, and this gorgeous pattern is now available as a digital download! The puff stitches and airy, geometric pattern make this a great design for summer. Of course, if you find several patterns in this issue that you can’t wait to stitch up, you can also get a complete copy of our Fall 2013 Issue as a digital download. Which patterns do you have your eye on?

Knit in Public Day

Have you heard that Knit in Public Day has been extended throughout the week? That’s right – until June 22nd, we will be making a point to share our craft with the world (even more than we usually do)! We know you’re as thrilled as we are, and we hope to see you celebrating! Send us photos of yourself knitting in a public place, and we’ll share them on our blog and Facebook page. After all, our online crafting community wants to see what you’re up to!

KIP dayCrocheters, we want to include you in the fun too! Even though it is officially called Knit in Public Day, we think it should be called Craft in Public Day. Grab your hook and your latest project, head out to a park or coffee shop, and get crafting!

If you need some inspiration for a new project, check out the Danielle Shawl or Olive Twist Shawlette, and knit or crochet these stunning pieces along with us! We’ll keep you updated on our progress here on our blog, so visit often!

Crochet Along–Olive Twist Shawlette

OT_CAyarnFor the Olive Twist pattern, I decided to change up the color and chose Teal from Rowan’s Creative Linen yarns. They had so many beautiful colors, it was hard to choose. I may have to make more shawlettes so I can use the other colors! You still have time to buy the kit online and crochet along with us!

This is only the 2nd pattern I’ve ever followed and I’m going to tell you right now that I struggled with this pattern. Struggled. I was ready to give up.

And that was just Row 2.

I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what “turn work clockwise to twist loop” meant. Turn the whole work clockwise so I am working at the top of the project? How is that going to twist the loop? Turn clockwise? When do I stop turning the work? Where am I going to put the next stitch? I’m done. Done.

Jen, our editor, asked me how I was doing with my crochet along. She saw my dejected, frustrated, roll-my-eyes look and knew something was wrong. It took a few seconds to muster some strength, but I managed to explain how frustrated I was that I couldn’t get past row 2. I felt like a big loser—I couldn’t get past the second row of a crochet pattern.

I brought in my project and showed her where I was stuck. She took a look at my project and studied my stitches, looked at the pattern in the magazine, looked back at my stitches and quickly explained what I needed to do.

Instead of turning the ENTIRE project, which is what I had stuck in my head, Jen said, “just twist the loop.” That’s it? Twist the loop? You mean I racked my brain over this? It appears I wasn’t reading the first line of row 2 close enough—it said, “in loop sp, turn work clockwise to twist loop.” In loop space. Ohhhhhh…

20140602_141459_OTOk, note to my future crochet-pattern-reading self, read the entire line of the instruction closely and it will probably make more sense and save your crochet self esteem from future torment.

Once I (actually Jen) figured this out, the rest of it made sense. I’m up to Row 4 now and it is beginning to look like the beautiful shawl I saw when we photographed it for the Love of Crochet Summer issue.

20140612_172817_row4Finished_OTLet me know how your Olive Twist is coming along and whether or not you’ve had those stuck moments. I would love to know I’m not the only one!

Gift ideas for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is just around the corner, so we’ve gathered up a few fun projects you can make just for dad! Some of them take a bit longer than others, so keep them in mind for next year if you’re in a time crunch.

Nautical vestThe Nautical Vest from our Summer 2014 Issue of Love of Knitting would be a dapper addition to dad’s wardrobe. The simple stripes and handsome buttons will make it an instant favorite he can wear for work or play.

LOK-LOC-8723_200pxNext year, make your dad the Hudson River Trail Hat, featured in our upcoming Knit Accessories Issue. The chunky yarn and easy cables will have you finished in a flash, so you’ll have extra time to spend with him on Father’s Day.

Bering SEaCrocheters, the Bering Sea Hat and Scarf set from our Winter 2013 Issue makes a perfect gift for dad! He’ll love the texture, and you’ll love how quickly these pieces will be off your hook.

Game DayYou could also crochet him the Game Day Scarf from our Holiday 2012 Issue for a sporty accessory that will help him show his love for his favorite team. He’ll wear this fun piece year after year!

Are you making your dad a handmade gift for Father’s Day this year? We’d love to hear what you’re up to, so leave us a comment and let us know!

Travel projects

I just returned from a quick weekend getaway, and I was thrilled to see so many fellow crafters knitting or crocheting on the plane with me! Crafting is a great way to strike up a conversation with a stranger because even if someone doesn’t knit or crochet themselves, they often enjoy sharing stories about loved ones who do.

yarn on mapOn the flight, I was crocheting a few stars for our upcoming Fourth of July yarn bomb. I met another passenger who was knitting a hat, and yet another who was making holiday ornaments (she’s on the ball!). We chatted as much as our seating arrangements would allow, and it was a lot of fun to connect with people I may not have gotten to know if it weren’t for our projects.

I like small travel projects with a lot of repetition because they are easy to carry and put down mid-row if necessary. The Honeydew Scarf from our Summer Issue of Love of Crochet would make a great travel project! I might do the beading on the first row at home, but then the rest of the design would be great for staying busy during a flight or long drive (if you’re the passenger, of course!). Traveling knitters should check out the Papaya Pompom Socks from the Summer Issue of Love of Knitting. These ankle socks will fit in any project bag, and they are a great design for warmer weather.

What are your favorite travel projects? Are you a dedicated sock knitter, or do you like making motifs on the road?

A-ha moments in crafting

Earlier this week, we asked our friends on the Love of Knitting Facebook page about their favorite a-ha moments in crafting. We all love times like these, because these are the moments when something about our craft suddenly clicks in our minds. We heard some fabulous responses from our knitting friends, and hearing your responses inspired us to share our own crafting epiphanies.

A-ha

Jen – My biggest a-ha moment was when I figured out how the stitches connect together. After that I was able to pick up missing yarn overs, fix dropped stitches, correct cables by dropping down the stitches, and even correct some lace patterns. You just have to “read” the pattern / stitches and you can see how everything connects and comes together.

Kathy – My a-ha moment was when I learned how to increase when I was making my first hat—I was stunned! Increases and decreases made perfect sense at that very moment!

Jamie – Being a crocheter first, I used my old locking stitch markers when I started knitting. It was a long time before I realized that I didn’t have to clip them onto the actual stitches as I knit and move them after each row or round – I can just put them directly on the needle! This isn’t a huge a-ha moment, but it makes life a little easier!

Did you share your favorite a-ha moments with us yet? We’d love to hear them, so share them with us here, on Facebook, or on Twitter. When did the lightbulb suddenly come on for you?