Beaded Box Stitch Shawl Crochet Along – Making progress!

My Beaded Box Stitch Shawl is coming right along! It’s now about 20″ long, and I’m starting to imagine it with some of my favorite warm weather outfits.

LOC_BeadedBoxStitch_200I’ve been playing around with different ways to work the chain 3 at the beginning of each short row within the squares. I started out working the chain 3 as usual, but I found that it left a bit of a gap before the double crochets. I know it’s best to be consistent throughout a project, but I couldn’t resist experimenting a little. Plus, the difference is pretty subtle so I think I’m the only one who will notice.

BBS - 2I found that my favorite way to fake a chain 3 without leaving a gap is to work a single crochet and a chain 1. I find that this mimics a double crochet better than the usual chain 3, so I’m going to stick with this technique from here on out.

Do you know any other tricks for faking a chain 3 for a row of double crochet? We’d love to hear what you do. Also, we’d love to hear updates about your shawl! If you haven’t joined in on the fun yet, you can order your Beaded Box Stitch Shawl kit today and start making this fun project soon!

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Adopt a Book – Crochet Me & Blueprint Crochet

Books are my weakness.  It doesn’t matter whether the book is fiction, non-fiction, or a pattern book, I love all books. I have been known to purchase a crochet book because I love one pattern in the book, and my crochet book collection is extensive (although I can always find a new book to add to my library). Because of my great love of books I cannot pass up a book sale, and I am delighted to announce that the Interweave Store is currently having a doozy of a sale!

I was first drawn to Crochet Me because of the spectacular sweater on the cover and after reviewing the gorgeous patterns inside, I had to have a copy of this fabulous book. I immediately began work on Robyn Chachula’s Victorian Shrug + Wrap, and I loved how easy it was to follow the pattern.

Crochet Me

This sweater is one of the most comfortable and flattering sweaters I own and I wear it frequently every winter. As an added bonus I crocheted my sweater with alpaca so it is as toasty warm as it is beautiful. Because of my great love for this sweater, when I saw that Robyn had written a book, Blueprint Crochet, I knew that I would need a copy (without even seeing any of the patterns).

When I picked up my copy of Blueprint Crochet I found it as wonderful as I knew it would be, and my only challenge was figuring out which fantastic design I want to make first. I have fluctuated between several different designs, but I have finally narrowed down my selection to the Maggie Wrap Top.

Maggie Wrap Top

Now that the hard part of selecting the pattern is over, I have the challenge of selecting the yarn.  I have two color options in a fabulous cotton I love, or I might go a more traditional route and use a merino wool. Or, perhaps I’ll make two sweaters, one in cotton and one in wool.  Regardless of the final yarn choice, I know that I will love this finished sweater and I cannot wait to wear it this summer.

What about you? What are your favorite Crochet Me and Blueprint Crochet patterns?

Beaded Box Stitch Shawl Crochet Along – A good start

I’ve gotten off to a good start on my Beaded Box Stitch Shawl!

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Beaded Box Stitch Shawl – Summer, 2015

While I love the size of the original sample, I decided to try a smaller version. I jumped at the chance to do this crochet along because couldn’t resist the stunning stitch pattern and the gorgeous beaded edging, but mine will be slightly scaled-down.

Thankfully, the stitch pattern is easy to adjust because the repeat is marked on both the chart and the written pattern. If you want to crochet a wider or thinner version, simply start with a multiple of 10+7. If you’re getting the same gauge as the pattern states, each square will be a little bit more than 1″ long. Since the fabric is so airy and light, I wanted mine to be about 10″ wide. I started with 97 chains and ended up with 9 squares across my row. It’s going to be just what I need to dress up my plain T-shirts this summer!

BBS - 1
Crochet as many or as few repeats as you want!

The stitch pattern requires quite a bit of turning, but it didn’t take long for me to find my groove. Here’s a hint I learned along the way – whichever way you turn your project after the first short row in your square, be sure to turn it the opposite way for the second short row. This will untwist your project and make everything a little smoother.

How is your Beaded Box Stitch Shawl coming along? If you haven’t joined us in the crochet along yet, you still have time to get your Beaded Box Stitch Shawl kit and start stitching with us!

3 tips for picking knitting and crochet travel projects

Summer is (un)officially here, and many of us have fun travel plans lined up during the next few months. Sometimes, travel means extra crafting time, which is always a welcome treat for knitters and crocheters! When I’m thinking about which project to bring with me on a trip, a few different factors help me decide which one of my current works-in-progress to pack.

1. I like a simple travel project. Of course, simple is a relative term, but I personally don’t want to think about complicated cables or count tiny lace stitches when I’m on the road. The Stockinette Satchel is an easy knit that will keep your hands occupied but let your mind rest. The Simple Sequins Shawl is another fun accessory stitched almost entirely in effortless double crochet, making it a great project to pack in your suitcase this summer.

2. Speaking of suitcases, small projects take up less room so you have more space for your other necessities (and maybe even another project!). However, I prefer a project that will keep me entertained for my whole trip, so I don’t want one that’s too tiny. Socks are a wonderful happy medium! The Periwinkle Picot Socks are exciting enough to hold your interest but small enough to fit into any project bag, and the Rolling Fog Socks will show everyone that socks aren’t only for knitters.

3. Finally, I don’t want to do any seaming on the road. Sometimes I make my motifs or pieces during my trip and seam them when I get home, but other times I take a seamless project so I won’t have to worry about it later. Seaming isn’t my favorite thing to do, and like I said before, for me, travel projects are all about simplicity! The Seamless Lace Cardi has a special place in my heart and I hope to have it on my hook sometime this summer. The Wispy Willow Cardigan is another seamless design with gorgeous details that will make your travels even better, and both of these cardis are small enough to take anywhere!

What do you look for in a travel project? If you’re taking any trips this summer, we wish you a safe and happy journey! Bon voyage!

Beaded Box Stitch Shawl Crochet Along – Swatch it up!

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The Beaded Box Stitch Shawl, Summer 2015

I was so excited to start the Beaded Box Stitch Shawl crochet along that I couldn’t resist making my gauge swatch early this morning. The unique square stitch pattern was calling to me, and I simply had to dive right into it. Plus, since I’ve worked with CoBaSi before, I was eager to get my hands on this awesome yarn!

BBS - yarn
CoBaSi by HiKoo

While I’ve been known to skip my gauge swatch when it comes to shawls, I decided to follow the rules this time and swatch it up. I’m glad I did because my gauge was quite a bit looser than the pattern requires, and the fabric was much too “floppy” for my taste when I used my G hook.

I ended up going all the way down to a C, and that got me pretty close. Just for fun, I tried a steel size 2 (2.25mm), and my gauge was spot on!

While it may be a little tedious to use such a small hook, it’ll be worth it to get the gorgeous drape and finish of the original sample. Since the yarn plays such an important role in this project, we’re offering it in a handy kit to make your fiber selection easy! The Beaded Box Stitch Shawl kits include all the yarn and beads necessary to crochet this fun accessory, as well as a complete copy of the Summer 2015 Issue. That’s a phenomenal added value!

Now that I have my gauge figured out, I’ll crochet my starting chain later on today. You still have plenty of time to order your kit and join me in this fun project! I’m looking forward to seeing pictures and updates on your Beaded Box Stitch Shawl!

I Love Sales!

If you are like me, you cannot pass up a good sale and the Crochet & Knit Shop is currently offering a 40% off everything sale that I can’t resist. With such deep discounts now is the time to pick up those hooks, notions, and kits that you have been eying. And you won’t have to limit yourself because once the discount is applied you can pick up an entire crochet project for the cost of one item. Sales like this don’t come around often and to encourage you to take advantage of this amazing deal, I have put together a collection of a few of my favorite things.

Must Haves!

Hooks

Interchangeable hook sets are a must for every project bag and I love the easy to use Denise Crochet Hooks. Featuring 14 different sized hooks this set is sure to have the perfect size for your next project.

Denise Crochet Needles in a Della Q Case Red | NM70402

Cross-crafters

If you are like me and you are both a knitter and a crocheter, now is the perfect time to pick up the  Denise Knit & Crochet Set. Featuring 14 knitting needles and 12 crochet hooks, this set will have the hook or needles you need for your next project.

 

Bags

I love my JanetBasket Aluminum Frame Basket. The aluminum frame makes it very light-weight and the open top makes it easy to see what is in your bag ensuring that you have your project, pattern, and extra yarn. The handles fold down for easy access to the interior while you are crocheting,  plus the entire basket collapses down for easy storage when you are not using it (although I am always using mine so it’s never been collapsed…). Available in several fun fabrics I need to add a few more of these baskets to my project bag collection.

JanetBasket Vintage Large Aluminum Frame Basket | NM80553

If you love this bag but you are worried about your project falling out, pick up this handy basket cover and worry no more!

JanetBasket Brown Large Basket Cover | NM80560

 

Fun Kits

Get a jump start on your Halloween crafting with the fun Mummy, Pumpkin, and Frankenstein Treat Bag kits.  Including all of the yarn and the pattern necessary to make these fun bags, this kit will be a hit with kids of any age.

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Don’t let this sale pass you by – use the discount code CAKS 40 and receive 40% off your next purchase.

 

Six best Father’s Day knitting and crochet patterns

Father’s Day is coming up, and we’re all searching for the perfect gift for Dad. If your dad is like mine, he’s notoriously hard to shop for. That’s just another reason handmade gifts are the way to go! I have a few knit and crochet patterns in mind for this Father’s Day, but I haven’t quite decided which one to make. Take a look, and let me know which one is your favorite!

Caddy Cables

I LOVE crocheted cables, and my dad loves simple and comfortable clothes, so the Caddy Cables Vest would make a great gift. My dad’s not a golfer, but he could wear this casual and handsome piece to the movies, out to a restaurant, or just about anywhere. Take your dad out for a nice meal, and he’ll have just the occasion to wear it!

Amber ale

For an even more casual look, the Amber Ale Vest would be a cool layer for Dad to wear when he’s hanging out with friends or family. The hood is a fun detail, and the quarter-zip style makes it classic and comfortable.

Harrison

If your dad works in an office, a sweater is a fabulous go-to gift. The Harrison Sweater features an easy basketweave crochet pattern and button closure, making it a timeless cardigan he’ll wear for years.

Nottingham

For a knit cardigan, you can’t beat the Nottingham Sweater! Classic cables and a zipped front make this piece an awesome choice for dads of all ages. I like how there’s just a hint of a contrasting color along the edges.

Harbor Vest

The Harbor Vest is a handsome Tunisian crochet pattern that would make a wonderful Father’s Day gift. The subtle diamond stitch pattern gives it a hint of style without overpowering the simple design many dads love.

Fair Isle on the Fairway

Finally, if your dad is into color, the Fair Isle on the Fairway Vest will be the perfect gift! Choose your dad’s favorite colors for a thoughtful personalized present he’ll always treasure. As a bonus, we also have a FREE pattern for matching golf club covers!

Which one of the patterns above is your favorite? We’d love to hear what you’re making Dad for Father’s Day this year, so leave us a comment below and let us know!