Sonoma Shawl Crochet Along – Pesky puffs

I started my Sonoma Shawl on Friday the 19th – twice. This gorgeous accessory took me a couple tries to get going because I had some trouble with my puff stitches. However, I LOVE the textured look they create, so I was determined to get them right! After making a mess as I tried to work my first puff in row 3, I took a deep breath and decided to start again. After all, I wasn’t very far in. The second time, I pulled my loop up a little before beginning my puff, and this bit of slack made all the difference.

Here are a few photos of the puff stitch being worked in case it gives you the same trouble it gave me.

Sonoma begin puff

Slightly enlarge your loop before beginning your puff, then yarn over.

Sonoma puff 1

Continue following the instructions for this special abbreviation.

Sonoma puff

Yarn over and draw through all of the loops. You’ve made one puff stitch!

Sonoma H hook
Worked with an H hook

I began with an H hook, as suggested in the pattern, and the result is very pretty. However, after I got through row 10 of the pattern (during my second attempt), I measured my gauge and found that it’s a bit too loose. I’m currently trying to decide between continuing with my H hook or trying a smaller one. The fabric is beautiful as is, but the crisp stitch definition of the original sample is awfully tempting.

What would you do if you were me? Are you making the Sonoma Shawl too? You still have plenty of time to join us, and we’d love to see pictures of your work-in-progress! Share them with us on Facebook or Instagram so we can make this stunning fall accessory together!

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Charity Spotlight – Little Hats, Big Hearts

The American Heart Association is preparing for 2015’s American Heart Month by collecting red knit or crocheted hats to be donated to babies born in February in participating hospitals. This inspiring project, Little Hats, Big Hearts, will raise awareness of heart disease and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country.

Little hats big hearts

To participate, send red yarn or a handmade red hat to the American Heart Association’s office in Chicago. Be sure your donation meets the requirements described on their site because cute bows and beads can be hazardous to little ones. For this project, simpler is better!

The deadline for sending hats is January 15, 2015, so you have plenty of time to get started. This project would be a great way to get a group of charitable crafters together to raise awareness about heart disease and heart defects in both children and adults.

Sonoma Shawl Crochet Along – Let’s get started!

I’m all set and ready to start my Sonoma Shawl! The puff stitches in this beautiful accessory give it such a wonderful texture, and I can’t wait to begin. I hope you’ll grab a copy of our Fall Issue and join me in making this fun project!

Sonoma cover yarn balls
This rich yellow reminds me of autumn leaves.

These 3 skeins of Lion Brand’s LB Collection Superwash Merino have been tempting me ever since I got them, so I’m excited to “dig in” to this soft yarn later this evening. While I love the luscious purple shawl featured in the magazine, I decided to go with the yummy Dijon color because it just screamed fall to me. This stunning yarn is also machine washable, which makes it ideal for those of us who love easy-care fibers.

Sonoma yarn balls
I can’t wait to get this soft yarn around my hook!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress, and we here at Love of Crochet are always happy to help if you encounter any questions or tricky parts. We’d love to see pictures of your Sonoma Shawl, so visit us on Facebook or Instagram and share your experience with us. Until then, happy crafting!

See it. Try it. LOVE it! – The verdict is in…

We’ve had a great time learning new skills and sharing our experiences with you in our See it. Try it. Love it! posts! Getting familiar with new techniques has been humbling for us all, but it’s been truly inspiring to branch out and challenge ourselves in different ways. Now that we’ve spent some time with our projects, we’ve all reached our own verdicts about the skills we’ve learned.

SITILI_Logo_FINAL

Jen picked up Tunisian entrelac fairly easily. Her only doubt when she began was about her hook size, and after trying two smaller sizes, she decided she likes the results best with the first hook she chose. Although Tunisian entrelac works up a bit slower than other crochet projects, Jen’s love for the amazing Autumn Entrelac Shawl is encouraging her to keep on stitching! She has also come up with a few other fun projects to create using this technique.

Final See, Try, LOVE
Check out our works in progress!

Kathy is getting the hang of the knit stitch and can finish a row of knits in a heartbeat! Her frustration sets in when she needs to incorporate purling into her work, so she is considering making a garter scarf or dishcloth like many of us did when we first started. After that, she is eager to try the purl stitch once again. Now that she has finished about 6″, the beautiful pattern in her Palisades Scarf has started to emerge, inspiring Kathy to eventually master both knitting and purling.

Final See group pic
Yarn time!

Danielle is excited about how quickly her Charcoal Neckwarmer is working up! She’s a pro at the single and treble crochet stitches, and now that she understands these two, she is confident that she could easily get the hang of other stitches as well. She is still experimenting with different ways to hold her hook and yarn so she can comfortably maneuver them, but she consistently finishes a couple rows per day because she loves the lacy look of her project so much.

The Ocean Breeze Placemats and Coasters have really sparked my interest in Tunisian crochet! The stripey effect created by changing colors on the left side is so cool, and I now understand why I kept losing stitches when I first started (the last stitch of the forward pass was hiding from me). After learning to change colors in the middle of a row, I’m wondering if my new skills would help me learn to knit intarsia. Do I spy another See it. Try it. LOVE it! in our future?

We hope our experience has inspired you to tackle that technique you’ve been thinking about! If you need a little bit more motivation, check back with us soon because we’ll be featuring a GIVEAWAY for all of the brave crafters who are ready to expand their knitting or crochet skills.

It’s Make a Hat Day! – Knit and crochet patterns just for you

Today is Make a Hat Day, and we can’t resist an excuse to do one of our favorite things! If this fun quasi-holiday has inspired you to make a brand new hat of your own, check out these gorgeous patterns for even more crafty inspiration.

Ruched Hat and Boot WrapsKnitters, I hope you’ll join me in making the Ruched Hat and Boot Wraps for our fall knit along! This updated version of the classic stockinette hat is ruched during the knitting for a unique, textured look. Be sure to grab a Ruched Hat and Boot Wrap kit to get the same beautiful finish as the set photographed in Love of Knitting. The yarn is both soft and sturdy, and it will be amazingly comfortable for fall and winter.

Heathered Happiness HatIf you’ve been eager to expand your stranded knitting skills, the Heathered Happiness Hat is just what you need! The fingering weight of the yarn creates a smooth, professional looking fabric you’ll be proud to show off. Knit along with Jen, and get your own Heathered Happiness kit to make your yarn selection simple. You’ll fall in love with this fabulous fiber!

Hudson RiverCheck out the Hudson River Trail Hat from our Knit Accessories 2014 Issue. This issue has several more stylish hats to choose from, but the chunky yarn and easy cables make this unisex style a must-have. If you start now, you may even be able to finish this trendy hat before Make a Hat Day comes to an end!

IMG_2340_200pxNew crocheters, we have the perfect beginner hat for you. The Vintage Hat from the Fall 2014 Issue of Love of Crochet is a lacy style you’ll adore. Experienced crocheters will fall for this easy design as well, and this is another project you can finish before the sun sets today.

JCL_LOK_140429-2630_200pxIf you love using stitches in creative ways, the Rocky Mountain Sunset Hat and Cowl will be calling your name. The woven look on the brim looks impressive but is easy to achieve – don’t you just love patterns like that? I can picture wearing this beauty on a hike in the mountains or on a chilly outing with friends in the city.

Cupcake crochet hatStitch up a cute Cupcake Hat for a child in your life, and make their day a little bit sweeter. The bobbles and ribbing make this piece so adorably realistic that you just might have a craving for dessert after making it. If you do, you should definitely treat yourself! After all, it is a holiday. 🙂

Are you celebrating Make a Hat Day? Which of these fun patterns do you have your eye on?

Disney’s Frozen Kits – Quilt and no-sew blankets

Today marks the first snow of the season here at the Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet office! While we’ll miss the warm days of summer, this early snow has us thinking about the holidays. Love of Knitting’s Holiday Knits 2014 Issue hits newsstands on September 23rd, and some of us have started planning our holiday crafting.

Frosted leaf
An early snow inspires us to get crafting!

Sisterly LoveThe dusting of snow on the ground also has us thinking of snowmen! Do you want to build a snowman? Our sister publication, Love of Quilting, is offering fun kits featuring all of your favorite characters from Frozen! I’ve dabbled in sewing, and I’ve been playing with the idea of making my first quilt. My daughter would jump for joy if I made her the Sisterly Love Quilt, so I may take the plunge and give quilting a try.

OlafIf you aren’t ready to take on a full quilt, Love of Quilting is also offering 3 no-sew blanket kits that would make wonderful gifts! I’m a big fan of the No-Sew Olaf Blanket, and the fleece is a dream to work with. It cuts without fraying and is incredibly warm, so it will be just the thing for the extra cold winter the forecasters are predicting.

Which blanket are you most excited about? Are you ready to give quilting a try, or are you leaning towards the quick and easy no-sew styles?

My One Hour Cowl is finished!

I’ve finished my beautiful One Hour Cowl just in time for the arrival of crisp, fall weather here in Colorado! This pattern was so much fun to crochet, and the Chunky yarn by Misti Alpaca makes it truly luxurious.

Finished One Hour Cowl
I’m excited to wear my One Hour Cowl for the first time!

Since I’m not a big fan of sewing pieces together, I seamed my cowl using slip stitches through both my last row and my beginning chain. This gave me fewer ends to weave in, and I like the result a lot!

I’m in the beginning stages of planning my holiday crafting, and this quick and easy accessory would make a perfect gift. I have a few crocheters on my list, so I may even get them One Hour Cowl kits in their favorite colors. That is – if I can resist making the cowls for them myself! The yarn is so plush and cozy, it’s a real treat to work with!

The pattern is included in the kit, or you can get it in the Crochet More Issue of Love of Crochet. This issue is full of stylish patterns, all using 3 skeins or less. That means you can stretch your yarn budget and make even more awesome projects!

Have you finished your cowl yet? We’d love to see pictures! Show us how your One Hour Cowl turned out here on our blog or on Facebook. Then, if you’re ready for another fun crochet along, be sure to get the Fall 2014 Issue of Love of Crochet and be ready to make the gorgeous Sonoma Shawl with me on September 19th!