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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

Beaded Box Stitch Shawl Crochet Along – Coming soon!

Our next crochet along is right around the corner, and it’s gonna be a good one! We’re making the Beaded Box Stitch Shawl from the Summer 2015 Issue of Love of Crochet, and I’m beyond excited about stitching up this gorgeous accessory. The unique box stitches and elegant beaded border really set this shawl apart, and it’s light enough to wear on a warm day.


We’ll crochet our starting chain on June 12th, and we hope you’ll join us in making this summery wrap. It’s crocheted in CoBaSi by HiKoo, and the blend of fibers in the yarn give the shawl a really nice finish. To get the same effect, be sure to get your Beaded Box Stitch Shawl kit. The kit includes all the yarn and beads you’ll need, as well as a complete copy of the Summer 2015 Issue!

Don’t worry if you’ve never crocheted with beads before! The beading instructions are straightforward and easy to follow, so this shawl will be a great introduction to this simple technique. The eye-catching stitch pattern is new to me, but the pattern includes both written instructions and a chart, so I’m confident I can figure it out.

Will you be joining me in the crochet along? If so, I hope to see pictures and updates about your shawls as we go, but first – grab your kit so you’re ready to start with us on June 12th. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Charity Spotlight – Knots of Love

Hats are such quick and satisfying knit and crochet projects, we often end up with more than we can use or gift. If your hands have the urge to make more hats than your wardrobe requires, donating hats to charity is a wonderful way to support and comfort someone going though a tough time. While the donation may seem small, recipients treasure their handmade hats, knowing that someone was thinking about them and took the time to make them a one-of-a-kind gift.

heart yarn

Knots of Love is an amazing organization that donates handknit or crocheted hats to chemo patients and others facing life-threatening illnesses. They also donate blankets to NICU patients as another meaningful gift given to tiny newborn babies. If you want to donate a cap or blanket to Knots of Love, be sure to check out their donation criteria and approved list of yarns.

If you’re searching for the perfect hat pattern to send to this incredible charity, the free Imperial Yarn Snowflake Hat pattern is an easy knitting project that would definitely be treasured. The free Spiral Cloche crochet pattern is another great option to donate to this important cause.

Have you ever knit or crocheted a hat for charity? What about a blanket? Tell us your experiences here or on Facebook – we can’t wait to hear from you!

5 Best Shawl Crochet Patterns

Spring and summer, with their combinations of sunny days and cool breezes, are the perfect seasons for shawls! Shawls are great for fickle weather because you can wrap them snuggly around your neck to ward off a chill, then drape them loosely over your shoulders when the sun comes out. If you’re hoping to crochet a brand new shawl, here are some of our favorite patterns for spring and summer.


The Amethyst Smoke Shawl is an elegant and airy design crocheted in Frolicking Feet. The body of the shawl is created with easy chains and single crochet stitches, and double crochet clusters form the wavy edging. That means two gorgeous stitch patterns in one springy shawl!


Tunisian crocheters will love the Raspberry Iced Tea Shawl. The extended stitches make it light and wispy, while the bobble fringe gives it an extra dose of fun. Crocheted with Irish Jig by Interlacements, this piece even has a touch of sparkle so it’ll easily take you from day to night.

Olive Twist

The Olive Twist Shawl comes in a handy kit, making your yarn selection easy. Using the right fiber is essential for this crisp summery shawl, and Creative Linen does just the trick. Get this unique filigreed look by crocheting large chain loops and twisting them during the next row. If this technique sounds new to you, our free picture tutorial will show you how it’s done!


If you love texture, the Sonoma Shawl will be right up your alley. The puff stitches are arranged in a cool geometric design, and they really set this shawl apart. I wear my Sonoma Shawl wrapped around my neck like a cowl when it’s chilly, but drape it loosely over your shoulders and you’re ready for summer!


Finally, the Mandala Shawl is an irresistible accessory that I can’t get out of my mind. The circular motifs are created with broomstick lace worked in the round (intriguing!), and the alpaca and silk yarn feels heavenly to the touch. The motifs are joined as you go, so you won’t have to worry about stitching them all together at the end.

Are you ready for shawl season? Which one of these 5 patterns is your favorite? Tell us your thoughts here or on Facebook – we can’t wait to hear from you!

The 8 Best Knitting and Crochet Patterns for Mom

Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away – have you started crafting for mom yet? You still have time to knit or crochet a fabulous gift, and we have just the patterns to help you! These handmade projects will touch mom’s heart and let her know just how much you appreciate everything she does.


Knitters, are your mom’s feet constantly cold? Keep her warm with the Scandinavian Slippers, knit using easy mitered squares. Worsted weight yarn will have these babies off your needles in no time. Pair this gift with a fancy mother-daughter pedicure to really treat mom’s feet!


Crocheters, if your mom is a jewelry aficionado, the Creative Crochet Beaded Necklace will be right up her alley. The crochet is worked around the beads, bringing two fun crafts together in one unique project. Give this gorgeous necklace to mom with a pair of sparkly matching earrings for a cute set.

Starter Socks

The Starter Socks are another great way to show mom how much you care. These are the perfect socks for a new sock knitter, and they’re extra comfy to boot. Add a DVD of mom’s favorite movie and some popcorn, and you have a cozy night and fun quality time. For an even better value, you could knit mom several pairs of socks with the convenient Sock Pattern Collection!

Victorian lace

Give mom the gift of organization with the crocheted Victorian Lace Card Holder. She can stash all her punch cards, gift cards, credit cards, or business cards inside to keep her purse tidy and her things handy. Pair it with a gift card to her favorite spa or restaurant for a winning combination she’ll really enjoy!

Victorian ruffles

The Victorian Ruffles Pillow is a warm and comfy gift mom will love. Knit it in her favorite color and she’ll be proud to show it off to anyone who stops by for a visit. Wrap it with a book she’s been excited to read, and you have a thoughtful gift that will bring a smile to her face.

Mountain shadoes

The Mountain Shadows Bracelet is another piece of pretty crocheted jewelry perfect for mom. Sparkling beads accent the edges, and a clever button makes the size easy to adjust. Take mom out for a manicure, and she’ll be showing off her hands (and wrist!) all day.


If your mom is always on-the-go, the Vacation Project Bag is a wonderful gift that will help her keep her necessities in place. If she’s also a knitter, she can stash her current work-in-progress inside, but if she’s not, this bag makes the perfect travel purse! Put some wallet-sized photos of the family inside to set this handmade gift apart and make it even more special.

Cute and Classic

Finally, the Cute and Classic Clutch is a clever  gift that will make mom swoon. The sweet hearts in the crocheted motifs are a darling way to show your love. Slip a thoughtful note inside before you give it to her, and you’re sure to bring tears of joy to her eyes.

What are you making for mom this year? We’d love to hear your knit or crocheted gift ideas!

Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along – Gone fishin’

My Fishbowl Beanie is finished! I finally stitched all the fins onto my guppies, and they turned out super cute.

Fishbowl hat - guppies no eyes

I decided to leave the back and belly fins off the yellow and pink fish to give them a simpler look. However, the ruffle fin matched perfectly with the scalloped tail fin on my blue fish, so he has his own signature style.

Fishbowl hat - guppies with eyes

I thought my little fishies were adorable without faces, but after I added their eyes they seemed to have so much more personality.

This was my first attempt at adding French knots to a crochet project, and I couldn’t quite get them to work. However, I found that doubling the black yarn and threading it up through the bottom of a single crochet stitch, then down through the top of that same stitch a few times worked really well for the eyes.

Fishbowl hat - done

I crocheted a few quick chains to attach my guppies to the top of the hat, and then started smiling ear to ear. How could I not?! This hat is so much fun!

Fishbowl hat - Jasmine

My daughter was even more excited about it than I was, and she put it on as soon as she saw it. Then, she asked if I could make her another little fish as a toy. Of course I will! Thankfully, a crocheter’s work is never done, and I’m looking forward to mixing and matching a few more guppies for her to play with.

Have you finished your Fishbowl Beanie? If you didn’t get to join us in the crochet along, you can still order your Fishbowl Beanie kit and make this cute hat for a kiddo in your life. Each kit has enough yarn to make at least 2 hats, or maybe even 3 depending on the sizes you make, so you could make a whole set! I just might make another for a lucky niece or nephew…

Earth Day Tutorial – Save energy with dryer balls!

When I first heard about DIY dryer balls from my friend Megan, I jumped at the chance to do a good deed for the environment AND make something fun with yarn. Dryer balls are felted wool balls you put in the dryer with your laundry. They reduce your drying time and help to cut down on static cling, so you can eliminate the irritating chemicals found in dryer sheets while saving energy. That’s a win-win for the Earth and your wallet!

Making dryer balls is fun, fast, and easy. You only need a few materials, and you can probably find them around your house.

You’ll need:

  • Non-superwash (feltable, not machine-washable) wool yarn or roving
  • A pair of old pantyhose
  • Scissors
  • A washer and dryer
  • Laundry detergent

Dryer - pre felt in bowl

First, wind your wool yarn or roving into balls about 4″ in diameter, and tuck the end under a few strands of yarn to secure it. You’ll need about 5 or 6 to effectively cut down on drying time.

Dryer - pre felt with pantyhose

Next, cut one leg off your pantyhose. This will help the balls hold their shape while they’re felting.

Dryer - in pantyhose

Now, insert one ball into the tube of pantyhose, all the way down to the toe. Tie a knot in the pantyhose just above the ball. Insert the next ball into the tube, all the way down to the first knot, and tie another knot just above the second ball.

Continue inserting balls into the tube and tying knots between them. Tie a knot just above the last ball to secure it inside the pantyhose.

Put your tube of wool balls into the washer with a small amount of detergent and a few towels that need to be washed. The towels will provide extra agitation to speed up the felting process. You’ll need to use the hottest setting and longest cycle, but by felting your dryer balls with a load of laundry, you’re not wasting water or energy!

When the wash cycle is finished, throw your wool balls and towels into the dryer and put it on the hottest setting. When they’re finished drying, untie or cut the pantyhose to see your brand new dryer balls! They may felt to the pantyhose a bit, but you can pull them off fairly easily. Look at all this felty goodness!

Dryer - after felting

You may need to repeat this process until they are felted properly and will not unravel, but mine only took one cycle.

I keep my felted balls inside the dryer and simply toss my laundry in with them. My clothes dry faster and come out soft and static-free.

If you have some feltable yarn you’re not going to use, try making dryer balls to save energy and cut back on the chemicals used in your laundry. The Earth, and your bank account, will thank you!

Charity Spotlight – Knit or crochet for baby birds with WildCare

Spring is here, and while that means blooming gardens and warmer weather, it’s also “baby bird season” for wildlife hospitals all over America. These hospitals care for abandoned nestlings by feeding them and providing makeshift nests to keep them warm. If you’re a crafty bird lover, you can help these precious baby birds by knitting or crocheting nests and donating them to WildCare!

Wildcare logo

Photo by Melanie Piazza

WildCare is an incredible organization that educates people about wildlife and treats sick or injured animals. Later this month, they’ll put out a call for wool nests that will either be used in their own animal hospital or donated to bird rehab centers across the country. Sign up for their email list so you’ll know when they start accepting nests this spring.

These adorable nests are fantastic stash-busters, and since felted nests are best, they’re a great way to hone your felting skills! Birds’ feet can get caught in loosely knit or crocheted fabric, so tightly stitched nests are preferred if you can’t felt them. The nests work up in a flash, and you’ll feel good knowing that your yarn scraps went to good use!

Have you ever knit or crocheted a nest for charity? Tell us your experiences here or on Facebook! We’d love to hear your story!

A note about baby birds – It can be difficult to tell if a baby bird has been abandoned. If you find a young bird you think may be an orphan, you can contact WildCare’s hotline or your local wildlife center, and they can assist you in determining if it needs help or not.

Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along – Fish parts

I’m thisclose to finishing my Fishbowl Beanie! My daughter has been asking about it nonstop, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to sew the little guppies together this past week. I made all the pieces, but I always procrastinate when it comes to sewing my crochet projects.

Fishbowl hat - fish bodies
Yellow, pink, and teal guppies

I love how this pattern encourages you to mix and match the different fins and tails to create your own unique guppies!

Right now, my project bag has more fish parts in it than a sushi restaurant. I made one fin in each style, which is more than I need for my three guppies, so I’ll have to decide which ones make the cut.

Fishbowl Beanie
Fishbowl Beanie

I hope you’re having as much fun as I am crocheting your Fishbowl Beanie! As always, you can share your progress with us here or on Facebook, and if you haven’t started yet, you still have time to get your Fishbowl Beanie kit and make this adorable hat for a special child in your life. Each kit has enough yarn to make 2 or 3 hats, depending on the sizes, so you could even make several for a special trip to the aquarium!