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Monday, December 31, 2012

Mistake Rib Scarf

I don’t know who “invented” the Mistake Rib pattern stitch so I can’t give that person proper credit. It is a stitch pattern that I recently discovered and being a new knitter, one that I appreciated. It looks great, and it is easy. It gets its name because the ribs are offset which really gives it an interesting look. If you are looking for a great take along project, then this mistake rib scarf is just the ticket!
You simply knit two and purl two across and end each row with one purl
You can use any size needles and any type of yarn, great for stash busting.
The pattern stitch consists of multiples of 4 + 3.
To make my scarf I used one hank of Malabrigo, Worsted. I purchased this beautiful yarn from one of my favorite yarns shops, Heindselman’s Yarn and Needlework. They say they are the oldest yarn shop in America, which is reason enough to visit the store. They are located at 176 West Center Street, Provo, Ut 84601
The finished size of my scarf is approximately 5 X 50 Inches.
The color way is #246 Hummingbird. 210 yards, 100 grams

Size 13 needles

CO 27 stitches

Row 1: *K2, P2, repeat from * across, end with K2, P1.
Repeat row 1 to desired length.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Filet Scarf

The other day I picked up the Knit N Style Magazine, December 2012 issue. I came across a filet scarf in crochet by Helene Rush. I loved it and decided to crochet it. I promised a cousin of mine that I would make her a scarf.

I thought I could make the scarf from stash yarn, but alas, I have hundreds of skeins but none seemed to look as good as what was in the magazine. So I got on the phone and called my local yarn shop, which is Personal Threads in Omaha Nebraska.  They quickly sent out the yarn, two skeins of Knit One, Crochet Too Ty-Dy Wool, one Chili Mocha and one Antique Garden.

The scarf made up very quickly, and I'm excited to get it mailed to my cousin. I hope she likes it.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lace With a Twist Cowl

Like so many of you I have been busy working on Christmas gifts. A few finished objects got into the mail before I could take pictures to share.

I'm pretty proud of this knitted project that I just finished for my sister for Christmas, and thought I'd share it quick before it gets wrapped up and delivered.

The pattern is called Lace With a Twist Cowl. The designer is Lisa Gentry. I found the pattern in a Leisure Arts Booklet that I purchased from Hobby Lobby for $9.95 this fall. The Booklet features  ten different cowls designed by Lisa.

The cowls are all  fun, and I hope to knit several more, but this one is my favorite. It is made with yarn from Red Heart's Midnight Boutique line. Two skeins of yarn were used and size 10 needles.

I hope you like it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pattern Review

My niece Valarie is expecting her first baby in January of 2013. It is a boy.
I saw a bunting set in the December 2012 issue of Crochet World and knew I had to make it for Val. The pattern is Cuddle Bug Bunting Set. The designer is Dianne Gochenour.

The original pattern calls for 1 skein of Lion Brand Pound of Love medium weight yarn. I used 3 skeins of Lion Brand - Vanna's Choice - Baby, colorway Little Boy Blue to complete my project. I had enough for the bunting, and the hat and had a little bit of yarn left over.
The pattern stitch is a simple 3 double crochet shell repeat which is very easy to work, and I love the finished object. The entire project was completed in just a couple evenings. I will be presenting the set to Val as a baby shower gift the end of November.
If you like this design and decide to make it yourself, there is an error in the pattern: Rnd 6 should read Ch 1, sc in same st as joining, sk next st, shell in next st, [sk next st, sc in next st, sk next st shell in next st] around.  The "[" is in the wrong place.

Note the same error is repeated in the hat in rnd. 4
Here is my doll baby modeling the bunting and the hat which is sized for newborn to three months.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Magic Knot

I was surfing the Internet this morning and came across a link within a pattern for something called "magic knot".

I have heard of the term magic loop, but not magic knot so I clicked on it. I think this is a very clever way of joining yarn without having two little tails left over to either work in or weave in. When the knot is secure, you simply cut off the left over tails very close to the knot.

This is a tutorial on You Tube by Jane Richmond. Nicely done Jane.

I hope you find it helpful  Enjoy.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

So Cozy Warmer

I finished the So Cozy Warmer. I was hoping that I would see my niece Amanda and that she could model it for you, but alas between her busy schedule and mine we haven't be able to get together.

In order to get a photo out, I opted for the next best thing. So here is the finished project.  I'm very satisfied with the results. This is a perfect project for a beginner knitter, and for a first project knitted in the round.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pattern and Yarn Review

These past couple of week I’ve been working on the Red Heart Pattern So Cozy Warmer, by designer Cathy Payson. The pattern is labeled skill level “easy” which is perfect for me since I still consider myself a beginner knitter. It is also worked in the round making it my first knitting project to be worked in the round. If you can knit, purl and work in the round, you won’t have any trouble with this fun pattern. The colorway I am using is called Wizard. It is mostly dark green with hints of blues, reds and browns. The colors are all very complimentary.
The pattern calls for size 8 circular needles. I needed to use a size 9 circulars to get close to the gauge of 14 stitches = 4 inches. I know, I know, we hate to check “gauge”, but do it anyway you won’t be sorry.

This pattern can be downloaded from the Red Heart Website, but I found my copy at the local Michael’s Craft Store as a free tear sheet. On the bottom of the tear sheet it says this project should take about 7 hours to complete. Ha!! So far I have about twice that amount of time invested and I’m about half way done.
This is a picture of my work in progress. When I have the wrap finished, I'll see if I can get my very pretty niece Amanda to model it for me so I can show you the finished product.

work in progress

THE YARN: I love the new Boutique line of Red Heart yarns. The yarn I’m using in this project is Boutique Magical. It is  93% Acrylic, 6% Wool, and 1% Metallic Polyester. As you knit or crochet with this yarn, it will self-stripe, and is quite soft to the touch when worked into fabric and very light weight.

The yarn is advertised as four yarns in one; that description is apt. As you work with the yarn you will experience metallic thread, which turns into  a bouclĂ© type of yarn, which then gives way to multicolored fuzzy yarn, and then to a smooth yarn.  It certainly is not boring. If you don’t like knots in your yarn, you may not like this yarn as each yarn transition is knotted together.

Each skein has a generous 190 yards, which should be sufficient to make a nice scarf if you would like to experiment with just one skein before launching into a larger garment using this yarn.

I hope you enjoy Red Heart’s Boutique Magical yarn.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Knit a Ruffle Scarf

 Knitted ruffle scarves are all the fashion craze right now. Have yourself some fun and knit one of these scarves. Even a beginner knitter like me can make a really cool looking scarf. And if I can do it, you can too!

I'm showing  three different scarves that I knitted by simply casting on a few stitches and then knitting every row until I ran out of yarn. Do save enough yarn to bind off.

This scarf was knitted using Red Heart's new Ribbon Boutique yarn. This is a new  yarn for Red Heart. The ribbon has just a touch of metallic and you can knit this great scarf with just one skein of yarn. They even have a video on their website to show you how. Learn to Knit with Ribbon Yarn
Red Heart Ribbon Boutique

This next scarf was knitted using Yarn Bee, Chrysalis yarn which is available through your local Hobby Lobby store. I love the colorway. It is called Mexican Blue. Again, one skein will make a very generous scarf. I didn't use the entire skein when I made this one. The instructions are printed on the label.

Yarn Bee - Chrysalis

The final scarf was knitted using Crystal Palace Yarn, Tu Tu, which you can probably find at your LYS or an online yarn store.  I purchased mine from my LYS in Omaha Nebraska, called Personal Threads.  Here is their website if you would like to visit the store. Personal Threads.

The owner suggested that one skein was sufficient to make a scarf/boa, but as you can see it may be just a tad short for some.  If I use this yarn again, I will definitely buy two skeins.

Anyone of these scarves can be made for about $7.  All of them are suitable for a beginner knitter. There are plenty of how to videos on the Internet.  If you have seen these types of novelty yarns, but have been a bit intimidated to give it a try, just go for it.

I have shown all three of these scarves to my local knit and crochet group and the one that gets the highest raves has been the one made with the Red Heart Boutique Ribbon yarn.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Electronic Gadget Cover - Knit

I just finished this gadget cover. The design is by Amy Polcyn for Premier yarns. The yarn is Serenity from the Deborah Norville collection.
My gauge is pretty close to the gauge suggested in the pattern. I thought I was knitting a cover for my kindle, but turns out it actually fits my IPad better. The pattern information does say “stretches to fit a variety of e-readers, tablet computers and netbooks”
I would like to knit this again but scale the length back a bit to better fit the Kindle or Nook reader and use smaller needles so that the over all size is smaller.
As you know, I’m still just a beginner at knitting. In this pattern I learned ssk which means to slip slip knit, followed by k2tog, knit 2 together. This combination of stitches created the lovely chevron pattern.
If you are a beginner knitter too, try this fun free pattern.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Chevron Cowl

The Chevron Cowl from the winter 2010 issue of knit simple is final complete.  And I love it. The pattern is a simple chevron stitch. The designer is Jeannie Chin. The yarn is Red Heart’s Ecoway, which I had not worked with before. It is hard to believe that yarn made from “30% recycled polyester from plastics found in soda and water bottles” could be this soft. I love the sheen of this yarn.  The colorway is sand and mushroom. The yarn is listed as a 4 weight, but I found it to be just a tad bit finer than other 4 weight yarns in my stash.
The pattern suggested a size I hook, but after making the gauge swatch, I found that I needed to go down a size to a size H hook.
I did find an error in the pattern. In rounds 2 and 3 you will find instructions that that say to “skip 2 ch”; it should read skip 2 dc, so don’t let that throw you off.
Here is my beautiful niece Amanda modeling the cowl for me.  This picture was taken at Amanda’s bridal shower. She is dressed for the shower and not for modeling the cowl per se, but none the less, she was gracious enough to model the cowl so that I could show you the finished object.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Teach a Young Person How to Crochet

On March 28th, seven members of the Missouri Valley Needle Arts Group volunteered to help 23 members of the third, fourth and fifth grade elementary school learn to crochet. This was done in honor of National Crochet Month.  Our lesson was two and a half hours long, and students were able to come and go, however, most students showed up at the beginning and stayed until the end. We had four learning objectives for our beginner crochet artists:
·        hold the hook
·        hold the yarn
·        make a chain
·        fun
I’m happy to say that we accomplished all of our objectives and several students asked when the next lesson was going to be.  It is amazing what you can make with a simple chain. Students crocheted: hair ties, necklaces, bracelets, bookmarks, belts, and shoelaces.  A couple of students tried to see who could make the longest chain.
If you are interested in doing something similar, my advice is to keep it simple and keep it fun. One adult volunteer to three students is about the right ratio. Use large hooks, H I or J, and bright worsted weight yarn. Variegated colors were popular with the students.  Our group furnished the hooks and the yarn, and there was no charge to the students. We worked with our local library on space and advertising. One of our volunteers bought extra hooks and yarn so that every student that wanted to take home a hook and a skein of yarn home could. It was not my original intent to provide a free hook and yarn for every student to take home, and I know that many groups may not have the resources to do this. But I can tell you the kids were very excited about leaving with their own hook and yarn and several were seen leaving with more than one skein of yarn.
I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures of our crochet event. If you have any questions about hosting something similar, I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Monday, March 12, 2012

National Crochet Month

As all of you crochet fanatics know, March is National Crochet Month. And in honor of National Crochet Month, the Missouri Valley Needle Arts Group is going to
 promote crochet.  On March 28th we are hosting third through fifth graders to a come and go crochet class which is set up as an after school event.

Our plan is to show these young people the very basics like how to hold the yarn, and the hook, and make a chain. The chain can be used to form a friendship bracelet or shoe laces or a bookmark, and knowing young people, they can probably think of other uses too.

After the event is over, I'll  post a follow up as to the success (hopefully) of our endeavors, and may have some tips to share in the event that you like this idea and want to plan a similar event.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yarning Away

The postman came yesterday, actually it was the postwoman. She brought me a package of yarn. YEA.  I just love it when I get yarn in the mail.

I’m going to crochet this Chevron Cowl. which is pictured on the right. It was designed by Jeannie Chin.  The pattern appears in  the winter 2010/11 issue of Knitsimple Magazine which is shown on the left.

 The yarn is Red Heart Eco-Ways which is a recycled blend. The yarn itself is quite soft and has a nice sheen to it.
I’ve been looking at and admiring this cowl for a full year, and I’m excited to start it.
I’ve been musing about a project for the Premier Yarn. It is a chunky weight. This particular color is called Red Bayou. It is Serenity from the Deborah Norville collection.
I’m not ready to share my plans for this yarn just yet.  The project  is still in the “thinking” stage.  If I can get it from thinking to doing, I’ll let you know and I'll publish the results.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Potato Chip Scarf

Here is as picture of my second effort at the Potato Chip Scarf.  On my second attempt I incorporated the wrap and turn technique. The result was much better, there are no little holes showing from working the short rows.
Here are the instructions incorporating the wrap and turn technique
Cast on 20 stitches
Knit 8 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit 6 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit 4 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit across
Repeat the series until the scarf is the desired length then bind off
I used yarn from Hobby Lobby, called, I Love this wool, and size 13 needles.

Visit to a LYS

I have to tell you about my adventure to a local yarn shop in Kansas City, Missouri this past weekend. My husband and I were enjoying a weekend get away with my niece Stacy and her husband Bill. On Saturday we visited the National World War I Museum. I had scoped out a local yarn shop to visit, and it turns out it was only a few miles away from the museum. So after we were done with the museum visit, our husbands decided to walk back to the hotel while Stacy and I hailed a cab for a trip to the yarn shop.
We asked the cab driver if he was available and he said yes.  Once inside the cab we gave him the address.  He started driving but then told us this was his second day on the job, and he had no idea how to get to the yarn shop, so he called a friend on the phone for directions.  I knew we were in trouble then.  He and his friend were not speaking English so I had no idea what was being said, but apparently his friend wasn’t much help.  Next he handed me his phone and asked me to put in the address of the yarn shop into his navigation program which I did, but when I pressed navigate it didn’t.  Next I got out my phone and keyed  the address using my “Places” app, thankfully that worked.  Mind you  we are driving in the wrong direction up to this point.  I ended up directing the cab driver using my navigation and telling him where to go, and when to turn. 

 We did get to our destination which was The Studio. The real kicker to the taxi ride  came when we got to the yarn store, our cab fare was over $16.00 for the  original 2.8 mile trip. My niece handed the cab driver a $20 dollar bill and he gave her back $2 saying he didn’t have any more ones! We were just thankful to be at our destination
We did enjoy our visit to the yarn shop. I purchased one hank of yarn from Pagewood Farm U-Knitted Nations, called Swagger, colorway Lavender Fields a 100% Merino Wool, and 3 balls of Berroco Blackstone Tweed, greenish in color a 65% Wool, 25% Superkid Mohair and 10% Angora Rabbit Hair. All  will be knitted into scarves, the Merino yarn into a scarf called Winter’s Tale designed by Cindy Craig, the pattern was free and available at the store. The Berroco yarn will be knitted into an infinity scarf designed by Stephen West called Purl Ridge Scarf.  The Purl Ridge Scarf pattern is a free Ravelry download in case you are interested in downloading for yourself.
Our trip back to our hotel was not quite as eventful. A lovely customer at the yarn store offered to give us a lift to the nearby Sheridan Hotel where we were able to hire another taxi.  Before we got in we asked if the driver knew the location of the Crown Plaza Hotel where we were staying. He said he did. Next we asked about how much the fare would be, it seemed reasonable so we got in and arrived back safe and sound to our hotel with purchases in hand.
If you are ever in Kansas City I do recommend that you make a visit to The Studio. They are located at 1121 West 47th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.  The staff  and patrons were friendly, and helpful. They had a great selection of yarn to choose from, and I will definitely visit this yarn shop the next time I’m in Kansas City.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


My crochet mentor, Pam McClung, owner of Pam’s Patterns told me some time ago about a free web hosting service.  I finally found the time to check it out. The site is called Yola. 
Yola offers limited free web hosting, and also offers more bells and whistles for a fee.
The site is really pretty easy to navigate, and you can have a webpage up and going in no time at all. They even provide a PayPal shopping cart which is great if you are selling patterns like I do or selling anything for that matter.  It would also be great if you wanted to create a personal webpage or a family webpage.
You can customize your site, change banners, and colors, and add pages, and pictures and photos and videos all without having to know html code.
Right now I’m operating the Loess Hills Creative Crochet on a shoe string, and Pam has taught me how to use  free services to promote my business.  Everyone likes free, right!
If you are looking for a way to have a web presence and don’t want to create a blog, and don’t have a lot of idle cash, Yola may be just the place for you too.
Check out the webpage that I created on Yola  for “free” and let me know what you think.
My Website

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Playing With Yarn

Last night  I was playing with yarn and worked up these gift card holders. I cannot claim the idea as my own.  I saw the knitted card-igans,  as they are called, on the website and thought they were just tooooo cute.  My samples are done in crochet not knit, but the general idea is the same.

I haven't written up any instructions yet because I'm still in the exploring stage and trying various stitch patterns and yarn weights. The yarn  on the left is a sock weight yarn, the other three are a worsted weight acrylic.

So far I'm liking the card holders with the texture created by the front and back posts double crochet stitches.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Certified Crochet Instructor

In the mail today, actually by way of UPS, I received my certificate of completion for the Craft Yarn Councils Certified Crochet Instructor's program and pin. I'm so excited.
To earn certification I had to complete and pass 10 varied crochet lessons, and teach 30 volunteer hours in crochet.

I have taught several people to crochet, but now I have the proof that I really know what I'm doing.  It's nice to have the validation.
I also teach crochet lessons for the Michael's Craft Store in Sioux City, Iowa and certification is a requirement.

Having the certificate will also be helpful when it comes to promoting private lessons.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Potato Chip Scarf

To Wrap and Turn or not to Wrap and Turn, That is the Question..

I went
A couple of weeks ago at our local needle arts meet up, a member was knitting a ruffled scarf. It looked like a fun scarf, and I asked about the pattern. She said a friend had given it to her. It’s very simple she assured me and gave me the pattern which I quickly jotted down.
I went home and found some yarn in my stash and started knitting.
The next day, my sister texted the same pattern to me with a slight variation.  Someone had given her the pattern at her knitters’ meet up.  Her pattern had a name, the Potato Chip scarf.
I started Googling “Potato Chip Scarf”, and found multiple free versions of the pattern. But I was unable to find the original source. It seems this is one of those patterns that has been around for awhile and gone “viral”.  Some sources say you can't make just one, which is the reason it is called Potato Chip, other sources say the ruffles resemble potato chips.

This is my first effort at the potato chip scarf

No Wrap and Turn, note small holes
I have only been knitting for a few months, so I’m a real beginner.  Above is a picture of my first Potato Chip scarf.    The scarf is constructed using “short rows”.  All of you experienced knitters know that short rows are often used for shaping.   Well I discovered that my scarf had small “holes” resulting from turning the short rows.  There is a remedy for this, and it was contained in the instructions that my sister sent me. There is a technique called wrap and turn which prevents the small holes.  Being a new knitter, I had no idea what wrap and turn was all about, so I Googled it, and found instructions that were very helpful.  Check out this link. How to Wrap and Turn My advice and the whole point of this post is that if you knit the Potato Chip Scarf, I strongly suggest that you add the wrap and turn. You are going to find some patterns that leave this part out. The results are just so much more professional looking.

Using Wrap and Turn, small holes gone

Here are the instructions incorporating the wrap and turn technique
Cast on 20 stitches
Knit 8 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit 6 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit 4 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit across
Repeat the series until the scarf is the desired length then bind off
For my second scarf (which isn't done yet) I am using yarn from Hobby Lobby, called, I Love this wool, and size 13 needles.
If you look closely, I think you will agree that the scarf with the wrap and turn is much more visually appealing.

No more annoying small holes

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Professional Status

Great news. I received email notification today from the Crochet Guild of America that my application for professional status has been accepted by the committee.

"The main purpose of the Crochet Guild of America is to educate the public about crochet, provide education and networking opportunities, and set a national standard for the quality, art and skill of crochet through creative endeavors." (

A crochet professional is someone who has been working in the crochet profession and deriving some or all income from their work for the past two years.

I have been crocheting off and on for 40 years. In 2009, after I took an early retirement option, I picked up my hooks and got serious about crochet. In 2010, I designed my first pattern, an aran style afghan for my niece Stacy.  Since then I have designed several more patterns, set up a Ravelry store, an Etsy store, started a local needle arts group, became a certified crochet instructor, joined several online crochet communities, teach crochet, and have had a pattern accepted and published in Quick and Easy Crochet Magazine, and started this blog.

I guess I have been pretty busy.  I'm still not completely retired. I continue to teach online classes for 3 colleges, which is the reason why I haven't had a lot of time to "design".  I guess I'm still not ready to make the final leap and derive all income from crochet, but I'm sure that time will come and when it does, I will post the notification here. 

A big thank you goes to my crochet mentor, Pam McClune. Pam has been a source of inspiration to me, and has been very helpful along the journey to professional status.

I'm soooooo excited. Where are my crochet hooks, I feel like crocheting :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Monday Night Auction

In our small town there is an auction consignment house. Sunday is the day they auction the “good stuff” but on Monday night it is more like the “American Pickers”.  People bring in what some might consider junk and what others might consider a treasure.  I like to think that I go to the Monday night auction to rescue treasures that might otherwise end up in the dump.
This last Monday night I hit the jackpot.  I rescued 6 skeins of vintage yarn. The yarn was made in France for the Wm Unger and Co., N. Y. It is labeled “Musette”. The fiber content is 90% virgin wool, and 10 % Angora rabbit hair. Each skein has 200 yards, 40 grams. The color is 571. I would call it heather grey. 
I wonder too about who owned this yarn, why did they buy it, and why was it disgarded. It appears to be a higher end yarn. Was it bought because it was on sale, (which is reason enough for me), or was it purchased for a special project, or is it left over from a project, or something  else.  I'm sure I'll never know the answer to these questions but that's okay,  I'm just happy with my new found yarn treasure.
I’ve searched online, but can find nothing about the William Unger Company, but I did find some vintage Unger Knit Magazines from the 1980s, and I did find quite a bit of Unger yarn stashed in Ravelry.
I’m quite excited about this yarn, and I’m anxious to start swatching with it. I haven’t decided what exactly to make, so for right now it will go into my stash. When I do decide to knit or crochet with it, I’ll let you know and if anyone knows anything about the William Unger Company please let me know.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Grand Finale Wrap

I finished the knitted scarf/wrap that I've been working on, and my husband was good enough to take some pictures for me. 

When I started I was thinking that the scarf/wrap could serve dual purpose. Now that it is done, I call it a wrap. I think it outgrew what one might consider a scarf.  I like it none the less though.

The Yarn Bee, Hobby Lobby yarn was fun to work with. I really the like the nubby texture of the knitted fabric. The wrap is very warm, and I think it will be great this spring when the weather is too warm for a jacket, yet cool enough that I still need something around the shoulders.  The wrap is about 16 inches wide and 60 inches long. I got about 10 inches of length out of each skein

The pattern is very simple, for simplicity in downloading, I'll post the free pattern in my Ravelry store.
You can look for me under the designer name Mary Riley Hunt, or by pattern name Grand Finale Wrap.                      

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Book Worth Reading

I want to tell you about a book I'm reading. It's "The Handmade Marketplace" by Kari Chapin. I downloaded my copy from Amazon to my Kindle. I believe the price was $9.99. It is also available  in paperback form.

This is a great how to book for crafters interested in selling their crafts. The book is divided into three parts:
Part One is "Getting to know yourself and Your Business", Part Two is "Setting the Scene for Success", and Part Three is "Getting Down to Selling".

My Sis and I are discussing the craft fair scene. Selling at a craft fair is something new to us, so I'm really enjoying the information in this section.

I've decided that so far I'm doing a lot of things right. For example I have a web presence, business cards, and I participate in several online communities related to crochet where I can network, and build relationships.  But, I still have a lot to learn.

This is a great little book, and  if you are interested in selling your craft items, I recommend it. 
Amazon Marketplace

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yarn Bee

Last week while at my local Hobby Lobby store, I came across some Yarn Been yarn called Finale', the colorway Aria.  Yarn Bee is a Hobby Lobby store brand, and the yarn is made in Turkey. 

I had never seen Finale' before but was immediately intrigued by the thick and thin yarn.

I purchased two skeins but had to make a return trip when I finally figured out what I was going to make with it.

I decided to knit a scarf.  I know, I know, this is a blog about crochet, not knitting. I'm just learning to knit so you may see posts about knit once in a while as I struggle to learn how.

I want a wide scarf that can serve as a wrap when needed and something long enough to throw around my shoulders and stay there.

I’m working on the scarf/wrap as we speak. As you can see from the close up, the fabric is very nubby. As a well meaning friend said to me "with that yarn, you could make a mistake and no one would ever know". And that's just fine for a neophyte knitter like myself.
Here are my basic instructions if you would like to knit a similar scarf

Materials 6 skeins of Yarn Bee Finale
Size 15 Circular Knitting Needles
Size 16 X 60 inches

Cast on 34 stitches with size 15 circular knitting needles. Knit row one and all subsequent rows until scarf measure 60 inches or desired length. Bind off.

This is a great beginner project. The scarf is going together quickly due to the large knitting needles, and as my friend said, mistakes won't be easily seen due to the nubby nature of the fabric.

When I’m done, I might stitch the ends together to create an infinity scarf.

I have about 1 ½ skeins left to knit, so that may take me a couple of days, but I’ll model the scarf or find a model so that I can post the finished project here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tunisian Crochet with a size U Crochet Hook

This video was shared in a group that I belong to. I have never seen a hook this BIG or yarn this BULKY.

It looks like a lot of fun. So much yarn, so little time.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Teaching Young People to Crochet

Teaching kids to crochet is fun because they are so eager to learn. People of all ages learn best when they are having fun, so if you teach kids remember to make it fun, offer a lot of positive feedback, and don't be too critical if the chains and stitches aren't perfect.

Just the other day I had the opportunity to work with two fourth grades girls, they are best friends. The objectives for the class were to learn how to hold the yarn and hook, make a slip knot,  make chains, single crochet and finish off.

To illustrate how to make the slip knot I brought mini pretzels, they are great visuals, and they taste good too!

Next the girls learned how to make a chain. We made a very long chain and then folded it into a friendship bracelet. We also discussed other useful items you can make with just a chain, like shoe laces.

It is important to have success early, and by making the friendship bracelet, the girls where able to complete a fun project and  feel good about it,

The single crochet project was a squiggle bookmark. We started the bookmark, but ran out of time before it was complete. I'm including the instructions for the squiggle bookmark and the friendship bracelet.

After just one lesson they had completed a project and knew how to chain and single crochet. AND most important of all, they left excited about the art of crochet. 

When teaching kids to crochet, remember to keep it simple, keep it fun, plan for early success, be generous with positive feedback and encouragement, and don't worry about perfection. It will come in time.
I have no doubt that these two young ladies will continue to  crochet, and will be quite accomplished in just a few years.

Chain Bracelet
By Mary Riley Hunt

1 skein of worsted weight yarn
I or J crochet hook

Chain 60
Lay chain flat and loop back and forth to form 3 strands of chains. Slip stitch through end loops and finish off.
Slip stitch the other end and finish off.
Tie onto your wrist and enjoy

Squiggle Bookmark

By Mary Riley Hunt

Worsted weight yarn
I or J Hook

Chain 50
Row 1: 3 single crochet in the 2nd chain from the hook, 3 single crochet in each of the next 15 chains.
Finish off and weave in ends.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 New Years Resolutions

At the beginning of 2011 I resolved to "finish up my crochet projects that are currently in various stages of completion." The project that I really had in mind was a table cloth that I started sometime in the 1980s. YIKES. I still have the partially completed table cloth, I still have the pattern, I still have the thread, and it still is not finished.

So this year, I'm not going to resolve to complete that project. In 2011 I designed yoga socks and a wrap for my sister and I designed a baby afghan for my great great niece.  All of these gifts were given, however, the pattern instructions are still on spreadsheets and in notebooks.  So my 2012 New Years resolution is to get these 3 patterns typed and self published or published in a crochet magazine.  I think this may be a resolution that I might actually complete. Wish me luck.

Oh, and I resolve to lose weight and to get into shape, because I resolve to do that every year too!