Knitting and crochet supplies that support breast cancer research

Denise Interchangeable Knitting & Crochet has partnered with della Q to bring you  convenient knitting and crochet sets in fabulous and functional cases. They offer a variety of stylish color options, but the three sets we are most excited about are the pink ones below. Purchase one of these high-quality sets, and $5 of the purchase price will be donated to breast cancer research!

int knitting needlesThese awesome interchangeable knitting needles come in sizes ranging from 5 to 19, with 6 different cord lengths. You can even connect the cords to create longer ones for those extra-large projects. The roll-up silk case is perfect for crafting at home or on-the-go.

int crochet hooksTunisian crocheters will love these interchangeable crochet hooks, but you’ll have to guard them from “standard” crocheters as well. Any crafter can appreciate these handy, all-inclusive supplies. I find that the deep groove in each hook makes many stitches easier, and these hooks definitely helped me with the puff stitches in my Sonoma Shawl.

int double endSpeaking of Tunisian crochet, have you tried working this versatile technique in the round? To give it a go, you’ll need a set of double-ended crochet hooks, and this handy kit is just what the doctor ordered!

All 3 of these sets make changing needles or hooks a breeze, and you do not need any pins or grippy pads to swap them out. Simply twist the pieces onto the cords, and they snap securely into place without any tools.

Get one of these pretty and practical sets for yourself or someone you love, and you’ll feel good about your purchase in more ways than one. Not only will you be investing in a meaningful craft, but you’ll also make a valuable contribution to important research that will hopefully eradicate breast cancer in the not-so-distant future.

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Arch of Hope – An inspiring yarn sculpture raises breast cancer awareness

We are in awe of the many different ways people use art, creativity, and yarn to inspire others. Caribou Coffee has partnered with street yarn artist Eric Reiger (known as HOTTEA) to design an impressive yarn sculpture, the Arch of Hope, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The arch, designed to inspire and uplift those impacted by breast cancer, is housed in Cancer Survivor’s Park in downtown Minneapolis throughout the month of October.

Arch 2

Representing the highs and lows of the cancer journey, the highest point of the arch symbolizes the true spirit of hope. The varying strands of pink yarn represent uplifting wishes intended to encourage those in the midst of their cancer journey. Caribou Coffee’s Arch of Hope honors the memory of their original roastmaster, Amy Erickson, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1995.

Arch of HopeFor the remainder of this month, HOTTEA, CancerCare and Caribou Coffee are encouraging fans to share their own images of the Arch of Hope, along with uplifting stories, pictures and videos, using #CaribouUplifts on social media.

Your stories have the power to give others hope or provide a meaningful way to honor those affected by breast cancer. We’ll be tweeting our own uplifting messages, and we look forward to seeing inspiring stories, photos, or videos from you too.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Like the many thousands of people who have been affected by breast cancer in one way or another, I too, have been affected. My best friend’s mother, Doris, whom I have known for almost 30 years, has been fighting her breast cancer for almost half as long as I’ve known her.

My mom passed away from lung cancer in 2006. After that, I unofficially adopted Doris as my second mom. She has seen me through my gawky teenage years, as well as marriage and kids, and was my source for information, but mostly comfort, when discussing chemotherapy and radiation for my mom.

I have a countless number of t-shirts earned from the many breast cancer events I have attended, even when Doris herself couldn’t make it because her body was just too weak and ravaged by her treatments.

Since Doris had gone through another round of treatments this year, it occurred to me with the cooler weather and the fact that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, that Doris needed a big, fluffy pink scarf with the bright pink ribbon that symbolizes breast cancer awareness attached somewhere on it. I could envision the scarf so clearly and started working on finding the perfect stitch pattern for it right away.

IMG_20140930_101309-BreastCancerScarfI am all about a quick and easy stitch pattern, but I love the look of lacy patterns too. I discovered a great combination of shells and chains which worked perfectly with the chunky yarn I found, but would probably work great with a lighter weight yarn too. I added some fun fringe and a dark pink crocheted breast cancer ribbon, and voila! The Doris Scarf was born!

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, make this free pattern to show your support for those affected by this terrible disease. Crochet this soft scarf as a thoughtful gift for a survivor in your life, or make it for yourself to raise awareness and encourage others to do the same.

The Doris Scarf

Skill level: Easy

Yarn weight: 6

Yarn used: Cozy Wool by Loops & Thread

Materials

  • 2 skeins Cozy Wool by Loops & Thread, 50% wool, 50% acrylic (90 yds/127g) in color Petal Pink
  • Small amount worsted weight scrap yarn in darker pink
  • U.S. size M-13 (9mm) crochet hook
  • U.S. size G-6 (4.25mm) crochet hook or size required for ribbon
  • Yarn needle

Special abbreviation

Shell: [(1 dc, ch 1) twice, 1 dc] in same st.

Stitch pattern

Shells and Chains

See also chart.

Row 1: Ch 1, sc 1 in first dc, skip ch-1 and dc 1, shell in sc, skip 1 dc and ch-1, sc 1 in dc (center st of shell), skip ch-1 and 1 dc, shell in sc, skip ch-1, sc in 3rd ch of t-ch, turn.

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as dc 1 and ch-1), 1 dc in same st, skip 1 dc and ch-1, sc in dc (center st of shell), skip ch-1 and 1 dc, shell in sc, skip 1 dc and ch-1, sc in dc (center st of shell), skip ch-1 and 1 dc, [1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc] in last st, turn.

Rep rows 1 and 2 for patt.

ShellsandChains

Scarf

Chain 14.

Row 1: Sc 1 in 2nd ch from hook, skip 2 ch, shell in next ch, skip 2 ch, sc 1 in next ch, skip 2 ch, shell in next ch, skip 2 ch, sc in last ch, turn.

Row 2: Work row 2 of Shells and Chains patt.

Row 3: Work row 1 of Shells and Chains patt.

Rows 4–73: Rep rows 2 and 1 of Shells and Chains patt.

Fasten off.

Finishing

Fringe

Cut 28 strands of yarn 14” for fringe. *Using crochet hook, fold yarn in half and pull through corner at end of scarf to make a loop, pull ends through and tighten. Rep from * evenly spacing 14 pieces of fringe along end. Trim as needed. Repeat fringe along opposite end.

Ribbon

Ch 32.

Row 1:  Sc 1 in 2nd  ch from hook, sc 1 in next 13 ch, 2 sc in next ch, 3 sc in next ch, 2 sc in next ch, sc 1 in rem 14 ch, turn. (31 sc)

Turn to work along opposite side of foundation chain.

Row 2: Sc 31.

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing. Sew ribbon to bottom right corner of scarf and weave in ends.

Sonoma Shawl Crochet Along – Third time’s a charm

After much deliberation, I decided to try the beautiful Sonoma Shawl with a smaller hook to try to get the correct gauge. My gauge was a bit looser than the pattern calls for, and I figured it would only grow when I blocked it. Since I kind of liked the fabric I created with my H hook, I used a new ball of yarn instead of unraveling it. I worked through row 10 with a G hook and compared my two “swatches” side by side. While the fabric I crocheted with an H was nice, the one made with a G is perfect! It matched the gauge of the original sample, and it looked a bit crisper and cleaner than the looser swatch.

Sonoma G hook
My trusty G hook

As I started this gorgeous pattern for the third time, I realized how much I love patterns that can work as their own gauge swatch. Just work to around row 10 so you can measure your gauge, and if you like it you can just keep on stitching!

Sonoma G hook close up
This stitch pattern is amazing!

By the way, I am head over heels for this stitch pattern! The puffs create a cool geometric design, and they give the fabric such a fun vibe. Now that I have my gauge down and I’m in the groove, I think this project will be smooth sailing from here on in.

How is your Sonoma Shawl coming along? Did you try out a couple hook sizes to get your gauge right, or did you love it the first time? Share pictures and stories with us here, on Facebook, or on Instagram! We love hearing how your projects are going, and we’re always here to help if you run into trouble.