Beaded Box Stitch Shawl Crochet Along – Finished!

I finished the edging on my Beaded Box Stitch Shawl – even though mine turned into a cowl – and I LOVE the finished product! The stitch pattern is so light and airy, I’m already thinking about what else I can make with it. Actually, I plan on making the original version of this pattern, so I’ll get another chance to crochet the fun squares and extended stitches soon.

LOC_BeadedBoxStitch_200I hope you had as much fun making this project as I did. This pattern is truly unique, and the beads make it an extra special accessory I’ll wear often. Light cowls can dress up any tee and create a stylish look for work, and of course, they’re always fun to wear on the weekends too!

BBS - finishedHere I am showing off my brand new cowl. Don’t you just love how the negative space between the stitches makes the pattern pop?

Have you finished your shawl yet? Don’t forget to send photos to us at mail@loveofcrochet.com and post updates here on our blog! If you haven’t joined in on the fun yet, order your Beaded Box Stitch Shawl kit and make this gorgeous accessory this summer. The kits include all the yarn and beads you’ll need for one full-sized shawl version or two cowls, as well as a complete copy of the Summer 2015 Issue of Love of Crochet!

Beaded Box Stitch Shawl Crochet Along – Edging

I’m almost finished with the edging on my Beaded Box Stitch Shawl… except that mine has turned into a quick-to-make cowl because I’m a huge tweaker when it comes to crochet projects.

I had cut my yarn to seam my cowl, so I joined new yarn to my seam with a slip stitch to begin the edging. Then, I chained 8 (counts as 1 dc and ch-5) and worked a double crochet between the next sidebar rows (between the treble crochets and perpendicular to them). Then, I worked [ch 5, dc between next sidebar rows] all the way around, ending with a ch 5 and a slip stitch in the 3rd chain of the beginning ch-8. This is essentially the same as the “side 1” instructions of the edging row 1, except I didn’t have to worry about the corners. At the end of this post, I’ve written out these instructions in our usual format to make them easier to follow.

LOC_BeadedBoxStitch_200For round 2 of the edging, I slip stitched into the previous ch-5 sp, which felt a little backwards. Then, I chained 2, worked a treble crochet into the next ch-5 sp (to the left of the seam, working forwards this time), and chained 1 more. All this mimics the look of an extended stitch quite nicely. After that, a bead square needs to go into the next double crochet. I found that beading as I went interrupted my flow and felt a little tedious, so I decided to string my beads onto the end of my yarn at this point.

To do this, I estimated about how much yarn I’d need to finish the edging and cut off a long strand. Then, I took a sewing needle, threaded it with a piece of string about 10″ long, and tied a knot near the ends of the thread. I looped the end of my yarn through the loop of string and folded it back upon itself, strung my beads onto the needle, and pushed them onto the yarn. Check out this previous post for a picture tutorial showing how to add beads! If you decide to add your beads this way, be sure to start your edging on the wrong side of your project because the beads will show up best on the opposite side. This pattern looks great on both sides, so it’s not a big deal in this case.

I strung about 90 beads onto my yarn since every other double crochet from round 1 of the edging will take 2 beads. If you’re making the original version of this pattern, you’ll use a lot more beads so you may want to do this in sections.

Okay, let’s get back to round 2 of the edging! I worked a bead square into the next double crochet, then an extended stitch over the next 2 ch-5 spaces, and repeated this around, ending with a slip stitch in the first fake extended stitch. To work the beaded chains, simply push one bead up near the hook and chain as usual.

BBS - beaded edging

That’s it! I’m only working the edging on one side of my cowl, so I’ll be finished in no time. However, you still have time to get your Beaded Box Stitch Shawl kit and join in on the fun! The kits include everything you need to make one full-sized shawl or two cowls.

As promised, here are the edging instructions for the cowl version:

Edging

With WS facing, join new yarn with a sl st in seam.

Rnd 1: Ch 8, dc between next sidebar rows, * ch 5, dc between next sidebar rows; rep from * around, ending with ch 5. Join with a sl st to 3rd ch of beg ch-8.

Rnd 2: Slip st in the previous ch-5 sp working to the right, ch 2, tr in next ch-5 sp working to the left, ch 1 (beg extended st made). Bead square in next dc, *extended st over next 2 ch-5 sps, bead square in next dc; rep from * around. Join with a sl st to beg extended st.

Beaded Box Stitch Shawl Crochet Along – Change of plans

Even though my crochet time has been a bit limited, my Beaded Box Stitch Shawl is now about 34″ long! I’ve really internalized the stitch pattern, and it has become like second nature to me.

LOC_BeadedBoxStitch_200As I mentioned before, I’m making a smaller version of this fun pattern. Instead of being 13 squares across, mine is only 9. Originally, I intended to make a scarf, but I recently realized that my work would make a really light and fun cowl if I stop and seam it right now!

I LOVE cowls, and at 34″ long, my work is just long enough for a loose and drapey one. The instructions in the original pattern say to end with row 3 of the repeat before beginning the edging, but since I’m going to seam my two short ends together I ended with row 4.

BBS - longer

I left a long tail for sewing and blocked my work before seaming it.

BBS - seamThe super cute stitch marker shows where my seam is. I left gaps in my seam between the squares to mimic the look of the extended stitches. You can hardly notice the seam from a distance!

BBS - cowl 1

The beaded edging really makes this project pop, so I’m going to add it around both edges of my cowl. It will take some slight adjustments from the original pattern, but the handy chart makes it easy to see what to do. I’ll tackle the edging this coming week and share my pattern notes in my next post.

How is your Beaded Box Stitch Shawl coming? Are you making the full-sized version, or are you a tweaker like I am?

If you haven’t joined in on this fun project yet, be sure to get your very own Beaded Box Stitch Shawl kit for the same amazing finish! The kits contain all the yarn and beads you’ll need for the full-sized version, as well as a complete copy of the Summer 2015 Issue! If you’re making a smaller version, like I am, the kit will even have enough yarn for two cowls!

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!

Beaded Box Stitch Shawl Crochet Along – A good start

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

LOC_BeadedBoxStitch_200
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!

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!

Six best knitting and crochet patterns for summer

Summer isn’t officially here yet, but I’m already eager to start some summer crafting. Warm-weather knitting and crocheting are always part of my summer plans. After all, you can’t beat leisurely stitching by the pool or on the porch. Add a cool glass of lemonade, and you have a little slice of heaven! Since summer is all about relaxing and taking it easy, I’ve gathered up some of my favorite summer patterns to help make your search for the perfect project a little easier.

Tahitian Water

A good cover-up is a summer essential, and the Tahitian Water Cover-up is gorgeous wrapped version with a cool checkerboard lace detail at the hem. The tied straps make it easy to adjust, so you’ll always get the perfect fit. Knit this beauty and lounge by the beach in style this summer.

LOC_BeachBonnet_200

While we all love the warm summer sun, it’s important to protect ourselves so we don’t get burned. The Beach Bonnet is a stylish way to shade your eyes while you’re burying your toes in the sand. This cute crocheted accessory is sized for kids and adults, so you can make one for yourself and your little ones.

Double-latte-200

For the guys, a handsome knit vest is a great way to dress up a plain tee for a party or night out. The Double Latte Two-Some Vests are sized for boys and men, so all the guys in your family will be dapper and dashing. The  stripes add just enough style to keep it interesting, but you’ll love the simple, classic look.

LOC_Meadowlark_200

The Meadowlark Dress is one crochet pattern in my queue that has a special place in my heart. Just look at those gorgeous pineapple motifs on the skirt! How can anyone resist? This light and summery dress is crocheted in fine cotton thread, so it drapes beautifully and fits like a dream.

Carribean Breeze

If you’re searching for the perfect halter top, your search can end here! The Caribbean Breeze Halter Top has a smooth stockinette bodice with simple lace accenting the fabric below the empire waistline. This is one of those designs you can wear almost anywhere, so knit this one up and head out for a picnic, ball game, or even a fancy dinner!

Men's hoodie

Finally, guys love a basic hoodie, and our sleeveless Men’s Hoodie pattern screams summer. The pockets give him a place to put his keys, phone, and wallet, and this fun and casual design is a great layer for fickle weather. If you love this piece as much as I do, don’t get jealous of the guys – there is also a women’s version, so you can crochet one for yourself too!

What types of patterns do you like to knit or crochet in the summer? Tell us your thoughts here or on Facebook – we can’t wait to hear from you!

Knit and crochet patterns for grads

School is almost out of session (or is already out, for some), and many new graduates are getting ready to start the next phase in their lives. This exciting transition is a cause for celebration! Send the new graduates in your life off on their new journey with a handmade gift that will keep them warm, but also remind them of your constant love and support. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite knit and crochet patterns for new grads to help you narrow down your search for the perfect gift.

Collegiate Cables

Knit the Collegiate Cables Sweater to send a high school graduate off to college with a classic style and warm cardigan. The clever cabled button band gives it a unique look, placing the buttons in between each twist. Choose your grad’s new school colors for a personalized gift she’ll adore.

Classic letterman sweater

For your graduating guys, the Classic Letterman Sweater is just what he needs for a smart but youthful style. Contrasting color bands on one sleeve give this crocheted cardigan a cool vintage look, while the handsome fit can easily be dressed up or down.

Two Tone Twist

For a quick knit, the Two-Tone Twist Hat is another fun project that lends itself perfectly to classic college colors. The stripes are twisted into eye-catching cables, so the colors are entwined beautifully. I know that summer hasn’t even started yet, but fall (and the beginning of the next school year) will be here before you know it! It’s never to early to start knitting an intriguing new hat pattern, and this one is most certainly in my queue.

Carry all tote

The Carry-All Tote is another fun accessory that will work up in a flash. Crochet this versatile bag for a college grad so she can keep all her essentials in place as she enters the job market. The simple button closure and sturdy cotton fabric make it a sensible design, but the playful stitch pattern will remind the recipient to find time to relax and have fun!

Baby Blue Sampler

Blankets are always welcome gifts, and the Baby Blue Sampler Blanket would make a fantastic addition to any dorm room. The simple squares are knit in basic textured stitch patterns, making this afghan an easy way to show how much you care.

Mondrian

Artistic graduates will love the color blocking and clean lines on the Mondrian Throw. This fun and easy crochet pattern has a simple style that will transition perfectly from dorm to apartment (and eventually the recipient’s first home!). The stitch pattern is subtle enough that it doesn’t compete with the bold colors, but it gives this piece just the right amount of texture.

Do you have a new graduate in your life? Show them how proud you are by giving them a handmade gift they’ll always treasure! We’d love to hear about your rad grads, so give them a shout out here or on our Facebook page!