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!

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.

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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.

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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!

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.

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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!