The end is near… and it’s not so bad

20140722 082256sm The end is near… and it’s not so badI think I have finally reached a point in my Olive Twist shawlette that I feel is a good size. I’ve been showing the gals here at work how it fits, and we’ve all agreed that it’s probably a good time to stop. If I go any further, I risk having a triangular blanket instead of a shawl.

I’ve definitely made a few mistakes along the way, but managed to find them when I wasn’t too far into the next row. It still wasn’t fun to rip out the row, but if I didn’t, I knew it would end very, very badly. Since I’ve been working the same pattern, I am able to quickly find the mistake and start again.

shutterstock 163101590sm The end is near… and it’s not so badThe shawl at this point is really beautiful—lacy, open, and very drape-y. I’m already imagining how it will look with my travel outfit, and if I’m imagining it right, then I will be the envy of everyone at the airport and they will all race over to me to find out where I bought it. Only then will I turn to them with my proud smile and say, “I made it.” I can already picture me flinging it over my shoulder as I walk along the Champs-Élysées. The shawl will just match the scenery of Paris so well, I’m pretty sure everyone will just assume I’m Parisian. Well, except for my really bad French accent…

How is your Olive Twist shawlette coming along? Or, have you finished yours already? We always love seeing what our readers make, so please feel free to share with us! If you didn’t get a chance to follow the Crochet Along and still want to make an Olive Twist shawlette, the kits are still available online. Make sure to download the Technique Tutorial as well to help you out!

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Charity Spotlight – Knit-A-Square

If you’re in the Northern hemisphere like the Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet office, you are probably experiencing sweltering temperatures in your neck of the woods. However, our friends in the Southern hemisphere are in the middle of winter at the moment, and we would like to introduce you to a wonderful charity that provides donations to South African children in need.

Fair Isle heart in hands 300x200 Charity Spotlight   Knit A SquareKnit-A-Square accepts 8″ x 8″ knitted or crocheted squares that are pieced together and donated to vulnerable or orphaned children in South Africa. While winter days there are relatively mild, dry air causes nighttime temperatures to drop quickly and plummet to near freezing. Many of these children have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, and keeping warm at night is vital to their health.

Donating is easy because the squares work up in no time, but you can donate hats, sweaters, socks, or toys as well. Stitch up a square that will become a toasty blanket, then knit or crochet another thoughtful item to warm a child’s heart.

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See it, Try it, Love it! – We’ve picked our projects!

SITILI Logo FINAL 300x65 See it, Try it, Love it!   Weve picked our projects!

The school supplies are popping up in our local stores, and all of us here at the Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet office have taken that as a cue to put our brains into learning mode! We’ve mentioned the various skills all of us will be learning, and we’ve spent the past couple weeks perusing our recently published patterns to decide which ones will help us learn our new skills. It was tough to choose from so many inspiring projects, but each of us finally saw a design we simply had to try. We invite you to follow along with us on our stitching journeys as we See it. Try it. and (hopefully) Love it!

Autumn Entrelac Shawl 200x300 See it, Try it, Love it!   Weve picked our projects!

 

 

Jen is excited to try Tunisian entrelac. Our Fall 2014 Issue of Love of Crochet, on sale August 25th, features a super helpful Beginner’s Guide explaining the steps. Jen fell in love with the impressive Autumn Entrelac Shawl in the same issue, and she hopes to make this gorgeous accessory after practicing her Tunisian entrelac skills.

 

 

4 LOK 4F14 PS 1 200px See it, Try it, Love it!   Weve picked our projects!Kathy is the team member who came up with the idea for See it. Try it. Love it! because she has been eager to give knitting a shot. For her first knit project, she chose the fantastic Palisades Scarf from the Fall 2014 Issue of Love of Knitting. The stitch pattern is worked in chunky yarn with simple knit and purl stitches, so it’s a perfect beginner pattern.

 

 

Charcoal neckwarmer See it, Try it, Love it!   Weve picked our projects!

 

Danielle knows the basics of crocheting, but she has never tackled a complete pattern. She has chosen the Charcoal Neckwarmer from our special Crochet More Issue because the small size will make it a quick and easy way to practice. The leaning shell stitches look more difficult than they actually are, giving you a lot of bang for your buck as you learn.

 

Ocean Breeze See it, Try it, Love it!   Weve picked our projects!

 

I’ve been fascinated by Tunisian crochet lately and, like Jen, I’m eager to expand my skills. I made a wonky swatch several years ago, but now I’m ready to give it another try and actually complete a project. To ease into Tunisian crochet, I’ve chosen the Ocean Breeze Placemats and Coasters from the Summer 2014 Issue of Love of Crochet. I’m a little nervous about the color changes, but this same issue has an awesome Beginner’s Guide to show me the way!

 

We hope our adventures in crafting inspire you to find a cool new skill, stitch, or technique and See it. Try it. Love it! along with us! Now that we have chosen our patterns, it’s time for us to gather our materials. We’ll update you on our progress on August 1st, but until then, visit us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us about your own learning experiences!

 

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One Hour Cowl Kits are now available!

The kits for our next crochet along, the One Hour Cowl from our special Crochet More Issue, are now available from our Crochet and Knit Shop. You NEED to feel the heavenly softness of this cowl, worked with 2 skeins of Chunky by Misti Alpaca! This fabulous accessory was designed by our very own Kathy Woods-Locke, and I cannot stop touching the sample she made. The baby alpaca yarn is simply divine, and I can’t wait to make a One Hour Cowl of my own.

One Hour Cowl 800px 200x300 One Hour Cowl Kits are now available!To get the same luxurious finish, grab your kit today so you’ll be ready to crochet along with me as I make this fast and fun project. With six great color options to choose from, including neutrals and bright colors for a bit of pop, there is a kit for every crafter. The best part is that the kits are only $32.99! This is a true bargain because they include the pattern and all the yarn you’ll need to make this luscious accessory. You’d have a tough time trying to find the yarn alone for that price, so what are you waiting for? Get your kit and join me in making the gorgeous One Hour Cowl!

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More helpful picture tutorials from Love of Crochet!

When I first tried to create an adjustable ring (AKA magic loop) at the beginning of a project, I ended up feeling pretty confused and frustrated. The strands of yarn in my hands looked strange and awkward, and I wasn’t even sure if I was on the right track. If this sounds like something you’ve experienced recently, we have you covered!

Bubble Gum Twist hat More helpful picture tutorials from Love of Crochet!We have added 3 new picture tutorials to our website to help you avoid any “creation frustration.” Now, you can learn to create an adjustable ring at the beginning of your project to minimize the hole at the top of hats and amigurumi designs or in the center of some motifs. Once you master this technique, make the beautifully cabled Bubble Gum Twist Hat as a quick and easy accessory.

 

 

Tea Time Fascinator More helpful picture tutorials from Love of Crochet!

 

Does your pattern call for linked double crochet stitches like the adorable Tea Time Fascinator from our special Crochet More Issue? Have no fear! Check out our linked double crochet picture tutorial, and you’ll be on your way to creating these denser versions of the classic double crochet.

 

Mira Shell More helpful picture tutorials from Love of Crochet!

 

 

You can also eliminate your starting chain by working a row or round of foundation single crochet. The Mira Shell is a gorgeous example of a project using this technique, and the result is a polished bottom edge that stretches with the garment.

 

 

We invite you to expand your crochet skills and use our handy tutorials to try these techniques. Once you see our step-by-step photos and instructions, you’ll find that these techniques are much simpler than you could have imagine. Are there any other stitches or techniques you’d like to see broken down into a tutorial? Leave a comment here or visit us on Facebook to let us know!

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Inspiring Tunisian crochet patterns and resources

Lately, we here at the Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet office have been talking a lot about learning new skills. As a crochet enthusiast, I feel like I’m long overdue for learning Tunisian crochet. I tried it once a while back, but I kept gaining or losing stitches on my hook and ended up with a wonky semi-square.

As I’ve been searching for my first real Tunisian crochet project, I’ve come across some true gems of information on this fascinating technique. After seeing all of these great patterns and resources, I am fairly confident that Tunisian crochet will become my new obsession for a bit. If you’re looking for some info to fuel your passion for Tunisian crochet, check out these inspiring books, articles, and patterns.

LOC Fall 2013 Inspiring Tunisian crochet patterns and resources

 

If you are a Tunisian newbie like I am, our Fall 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet has an incredibly helpful Beginner’s Guide just for you. This is basically Tunisian crochet 101, and I am currently devouring this fascinating article to gather a bit of knowledge before I begin.

 

 

English Wool Cardigan Inspiring Tunisian crochet patterns and resources

 

After I get comfortable with the Tunisian simple stitch, I’m excited to try a few different stitches and incorporate them into my crafting. The Beginner’s Guide in our Winter 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet is an informative how-to featuring twisted stitches, extended stitches, and Tunisian knit and purl stitches. This same issue features the gorgeous English Wool Cardigan, worked in bulky yarn for a Tunisian crochet project you can finish in a flash.

 

LOC Summer 2014 Inspiring Tunisian crochet patterns and resources

 

If you want to add some color to your Tunisian crochet projects, grab our Summer 2014 Issue and check out the Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet Color Changes. This awesome article explains 4 different ways to change colors using this technique, and the effects created by these color changes are simply beautiful! After reading the article, check out the Ocean Breeze Placemats and Coasters for a perfect practice project.

Tunisian baby blankets Inspiring Tunisian crochet patterns and resources

 

Tunisian crochet is also called the afghan stitch, and this technique is a fun way to make – you guessed it – afghans! Get your copy of Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets, a fabulous book that will keep your hook happily busy for a long time, and make stunning gifts for the kids (and adults) in your family.

 

With so many wonderful choices, I certainly have my work cut out for me as I pick my first Tunisian crochet project. However, perusing all of these fabulous resources has truly inspired me and given me the confidence I need to learn this beautiful technique. Have you tried Tunisian crochet? Which Tunisian patterns or skills are you eager to try?

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We’re learning new skills – stay tuned for details!

It’s no secret – all of us here at the Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet office love us some yarn! Every now and again we’ll take an hour or so to chat, craft, and share our latest works-in-progress. Some of us are knitters and some are crocheters, so it’s fun and inspiring to see what you can create if you trade your needles for a hook or vice versa.

Kid learning to knit Were learning new skills   stay tuned for details!

 

Well, we’re taking that inspiration to the next level! Kathy, a crochet-aholic, and Danielle, a nifty knitter, will be swapping their crafting tools. Crochet will always be my first love, but I do a bit of knitting as well, so I’ve decided to try Tunisian crochet because it seems like a cool hybrid of the two. Jen, our Editor-in-Chief, has tried almost everything – except Tunisian entrelac! She’ll be picking up her hook to see how well her knitting entrelac skills transfer to crochet.

 

We’ll choose our projects next week and share them with you on Friday, July 18th. Visit us here on our blog or on Facebook to see what we pick and wish us luck on our new crafting adventures!

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Danielle at Jury Duty! Summer Knit Along

IMG 1392 e1404860516164 225x300 Danielle at Jury Duty! Summer Knit Along
Hi all,
It’s been a busy and hot summer so far, so my Danielle Shawl is going slowly, but I did at least want to show the color change that I got to when I had jury duty! While waiting for four hours in a big room with so much diverse humanity, I was glad I had this project to focus on! Hopefully I will finish this neckerchief before it gets cold enough to need it.

I am finding the pattern easy to remember, even when I go for a while with out picking it up.
Unlike our reader Judy, who found that using a lifeline was necessary with this lace pattern, I am a little more freestyle. If I found that I had made a mistake, by either having an extra stitch before the edging or by being a stitch short, I would just M1 or k2tog for the correct number. It does make a little glitch in the “columns,” but I am ok with that. I figure when it is all wrapped and folded around my neck, it won’t be noticeable.

IMG 1406 1024x768 Danielle at Jury Duty! Summer Knit Along

Also, I found that you could recognize that the sl1 of the repeat was usually pretty loose, which signaled to me that it was the YO from the previous RS row. So as I was going across a row, and the slipped stitch didn’t seem loose, I would go back and see if I messed up the previous RS row.

I am loving my colorway so far, but I would love to see what other people are using! If you haven’t started yet, grab your kit and knit this fun project with us!

IMG 1407 225x300 Danielle at Jury Duty! Summer Knit Along

 

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Sweet Summer GIVEAWAY!

Sweet Summer GIVEAWAY!

Summer is in full swing, and so are our hooks and knitting needles! The Summer Issues of Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet are packed with fun projects you can stitch up by the pool, beach, or park.

 

Knitting at beach Sweet Summer GIVEAWAY!As if all those inspiring patterns aren’t enough, knitters can also check out an array of skill-building projects in our special Knit Accessories Issue! Crocheters, we have a special issue for you too. On sale July 15th, our Crochet More Issue features tons of fun stash-busters and projects using 3 skeins of yarn or less!

 

With so many great patterns to choose from, your summer is sure to be a crafty one – and we have a giveaway to make it even craftier! Entering our Sweet Summer GIVEAWAY is fun and easy. All you need to do is:

Then, on July 18th, we’ll randomly choose 5 winners to receive FREE yarn to fuel your summer stitching! Good luck, and happy crafting!

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Fourth of July YARN BOMB!

You all, our wonderful fellow crafters, sent us hundreds of stars for our nation-wide Fourth of July yarn bomb! We hung them all across Colorado so everyone who passed by could enjoy them as we celebrated our country over the weekend. We hope they continue to inspire passersby to think about our sense of community and how so many people came together to create these fun, patriotic displays.

Jen yarn bomb 300x225 Fourth of July YARN BOMB!

Showing our pride at the Rapid’s game

 

We can’t thank you enough for participating, and we’ve already sent out prize packages to our giveaway winners. The messages some of you included with your stars truly touched us, and we are honored to share one of them here.

 

 

The message below is from Elizabeth in Chicago.

I would like to dedicate my stars to my father (a veteran), my brother-in-law (also a veteran), my friend Lisa (currently in the Army), and all those who are away from their families. Remember, we love you.

And finally to my grandparents, who in my eyes had the best love story. They were married on the 4th of July. They were married for over 50 years. I want a love like that.

Kathy yarn bomb 300x200 Fourth of July YARN BOMB!

Adding some red, white, and blue to the 4th of July parade route in La Veta, CO

 

Again, thank you so much for sending stars and for spreading the word about our Fourth of July yarn bomb. We always love seeing  your knit and crocheted handiwork and coming together through craft.

 

Bench yarn bomb 300x168 Fourth of July YARN BOMB!

A patriotic park display in Denver

Tree yarn bomb 300x300 Fourth of July YARN BOMB!

Another fun red, white, and blue display at the park

Danielle yarn bomb 225x300 Fourth of July YARN BOMB!

A colorful creation right outside the Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet office in Golden, CO

 

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