Sonoma Shawl Crochet Along – Pesky puffs

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I started my Sonoma Shawl on Friday the 19th – twice. This gorgeous accessory took me a couple tries to get going because I had some trouble with my puff stitches. However, I LOVE the textured look they create, so … Continue reading

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Ruched Hat and Boot Wraps – Let the knit along begin!

I’m beyond excited to start knitting my Ruched Hat and Boot Wraps from the Fall Issue of Love of Knitting! The KeNZie yarn by HiKoo has been calling my name ever since I got it, and I’m itching to get it on my needles.

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Can you blame me? Just look at how soft and inviting it is!

 

 

Ruched gauge swatch 300x168 Ruched Hat and Boot Wraps   Let the knit along begin!

I whipped up my gauge swatch this morning, starting with size 6 needles as suggested in the pattern. The resulting fabric was just a smidge too tight, so I knit a few rows of garter stitch so I could remember where I changed needles and gave it a go with size 7s.

 

With this size, my gauge is just right. I’ll be casting on my hat later today, and I hope you’ll join me in making these trendy accessories! Get the same gorgeous yarn along with the pattern by ordering your own Ruched Hat and Boot Wraps kit. Check out the beautiful color options and find the perfect hue for you! If you’ve never ruched your knits before, don’t worry! We’ll be knitting this project together, and you’ll have plenty of support in learning this fun technique.

Have you started yet? Share pictures with us on Facebook or Instagram so we can cheer each other along! We can’t wait to see your Ruched Hat and Boot Wraps, so visit soon!

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Heathered Happiness Hat – A happy error

If you have been following my saga about the Heathered Happiness Hat, you know that I recently, accidentally, made up my own version of this fabulous hat. I knew that I was having difficulties remembering the pattern, but I didn’t realize how far off I was until I was three pattern repeats in. Although I caught my error before I was too far in, after knitting three repeats (12 rounds), I decided that was too much knitting for me to rip back and decided to carry on in the new, slightly altered pattern. I am delighted with how well the pattern turned out, but after completing my new version of the pattern I still needed to knit Heathered Happiness Hat following the proper chart. I was thrilled to realize that the Heathered Happiness kit contains enough yarn to make two hats, and after paying close attention to the pattern, I was thrilled when I reached the crown shaping.

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I love that this pattern includes a detailed chart for the colorwork in the crown shaping, and I was surprised at how quickly I was able to finish the knitting.

 

 

 

I am really pleased with my finished Heathered Happiness Hat, but have to admit that I also really like my new version of the pattern, and I suspect you will too.

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Because I like my “error version” so much, we are offering this pattern as a free bonus pattern to everyone who purchases a kit for the Heathered Happiness Hat. Just send us a picture of your kit or a copy of your order, and we will send you a PDF chart for the new pattern.

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AND – I have to tell you I was ecstatic when I finished the second hat and realized I still have two good sized balls left.

 

I weighed my first hat, then my second, and then the balls, and based on all of the different weights, I am nearly certain that I have enough yarn left to make another version of the hat as well. I think I might make a child size hat this time – but that means you can get 3 hats out of one kit!

(Excellent use of the postage meter scale – don’t you agree?)

If you have never knit Fair Isle before, this hat is a wonderful place to start. The longest float (space between stitches of the same color) is only three stitches, making it easy to keep your tension even. With three hats to practice on, you will be a Fair Isle expert in no time.

What about you? Are you knitting along with us? If not, it’s not too late! Order your Heathered Happiness kit and make your own hat (or two, or three!).

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National Alpaca Farm Days 2014 – Sept. 27th and 28th

Are you looking for a fun fall activity this weekend? Why not visit an alpaca farm and get to know the cute animals that give us one of our favorite fibers? National Alpaca Farm Days is a fabulous event for the whole family, and many locations offer gorgeous alpaca yarn spun right there on farm! That means you can take a moment to gush over yummy yarns while the kids watch an educational demonstration and learn about farm life.

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Baby Twist   2 National Alpaca Farm Days 2014   Sept. 27th and 28th

 

Until then, get your alpaca fix by checking out Baby Twist by Alpaca with a Twist. This super soft DK weight yarn is a real treat!

JCL LOK 140520 3787 200px National Alpaca Farm Days 2014   Sept. 27th and 28th

 

 

 

Also, check out the beautiful Caroling Cape from the Holiday Knits 2014 Issue of Love of Knitting for an example of how stunning this fiber looks when it’s worked up.

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Crocheters, we have an amazing alpaca accessory for you too! The One Hour Cowl from Love of Crochet‘s Crochet More Issue is a divine project that really shows off the beauty of this fabulous fiber. The One Hour Cowl Kits contain the pattern and two hanks of an alpaca yarn you’re destined to fall in love with.

 

 

Wouldn’t it be amazing to make one of these fun projects with yarn you purchased directly from the farm? Who in your family do you think would get the biggest kick out of National Alpaca Farm Days?

 

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Charity Spotlight – Little Hats, Big Hearts

The American Heart Association is preparing for 2015′s American Heart Month by collecting red knit or crocheted hats to be donated to babies born in February in participating hospitals. This inspiring project, Little Hats, Big Hearts, will raise awareness of heart disease and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country.

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To participate, send red yarn or a handmade red hat to the American Heart Association’s office in Chicago. Be sure your donation meets the requirements described on their site because cute bows and beads can be hazardous to little ones. For this project, simpler is better!

The deadline for sending hats is January 15, 2015, so you have plenty of time to get started. This project would be a great way to get a group of charitable crafters together to raise awareness about heart disease and heart defects in both children and adults.

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See it. Try it. LOVE it! GIVEAWAY!

All of us here at the Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet office recently learned some crafty new skills in our See it. Try it. LOVE it! challenge. We had so much fun expanding our knitting and crochet horizons, we want to encourage you to do the same. If there is a skill or technique that has always eluded you, now is the time to tackle it! Give it a shot, and enter to win a crafty prize package full of YARN and other goodies!

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To enter

  • Follow Love of Knitting or Love of Crochet on Instagram and check out a photo of the awesome prize there.
  • Take a picture of yourself starting one of our super fun patterns with a technique you’ve been dying to try. Use the hashtag #SeeTryLove so we can find your pic!

We’ll randomly choose our winner on October 8th, so you have plenty of time to get your materials and summon your crafting courage. Good luck!

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Sonoma Shawl Crochet Along – Let’s get started!

I’m all set and ready to start my Sonoma Shawl! The puff stitches in this beautiful accessory give it such a wonderful texture, and I can’t wait to begin. I hope you’ll grab a copy of our Fall Issue and join me in making this fun project!

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This rich yellow reminds me of autumn leaves.

 

These 3 skeins of Lion Brand’s LB Collection Superwash Merino have been tempting me ever since I got them, so I’m excited to “dig in” to this soft yarn later this evening. While I love the luscious purple shawl featured in the magazine, I decided to go with the yummy Dijon color because it just screamed fall to me. This stunning yarn is also machine washable, which makes it ideal for those of us who love easy-care fibers.

 

 

 

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I can’t wait to get this soft yarn around my hook!

 

I’ll keep you posted on my progress, and we here at Love of Crochet are always happy to help if you encounter any questions or tricky parts. We’d love to see pictures of your Sonoma Shawl, so visit us on Facebook or Instagram and share your experience with us. Until then, happy crafting!

 

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Holiday Gift Guide – Kits for hand-knit gifts!

It’s hard to think about the holidays when we are still enjoying beautiful, sunny weather, but if you’re knitting handmade gifts for the people on your list, it’s time to start planning. Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you! These handy kits will make your holiday knitting easier than ever, and your friends and family will adore these fabulous designs.

Under the Mist Holiday Gift Guide   Kits for hand knit gifts!

 

Knit the Under the Mistletoe stole for a dear friend, and she’ll love showing it off at elegant restaurants and parties! It pairs perfectly with a little black dress for a playful accessory that’s both fun and sophisticated. The boucle yarn is hand-painted so you can effortlessly create the striped pattern without changing colors. Each kit also includes silk ribbons to fashion the beautiful tie.

 

 

Racer Striped Jacket Holiday Gift Guide   Kits for hand knit gifts!

 

For him, the Racer Striped Jacket is a wardrobe essential! The texture and zipper give this piece a professional look that is casual with the perfect hint of style. Available in sizes Small, Medium, and Large, there is a kit for nearly every guy on your list.

 

Nordic Star Slippers Kit Holiday Gift Guide   Kits for hand knit gifts!

 

 

I’m definitely getting a Nordic Star Slippers kit! From the Fair Isle pattern to the comfy shape, this pair will be a welcome gift for several of my nearest and dearest. At the unbelievable price of $24.99, these slippers will be a much higher quality than any you could purchase at the store.

 

Socks for the Family Holiday Gift Guide   Kits for hand knit gifts!

 

Speaking of amazing deals, we still have a few Socks for the Family kits in baby, toddler, and children’s sizes. Hand-knit socks are always touching gifts, and kiddos and parents alike will appreciate them for a long time. You’ll definitely appreciate the price because these kits are a steal!

 

If you have a fellow knitter on your list, remember that kits also make wonderful presents. For more fabulous gift ideas, be sure to pick up a copy of Love of Knitting’s Holiday Knits 2014 when it hits newsstands on the 23rd! With all of these stunning patterns, the only question is – which ones are you putting on your wish list?

 

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Heathered Happiness Hat – Take two

Have you ever knit a pattern that you were sure you had memorized only to realize that not only did you not have the pattern memorized, but what you were knitting wasn’t even close? That happened to me recently while I was knitting the Heathered Happiness Hat. I knew that I was having difficulties remembering the pattern, but I didn’t realize how far off I was until I was three pattern repeats in. Although I am delighted with hat attempt 2a 300x154 Heathered Happiness Hat   Take twohow well the pattern turned out, I still need to make a Heathered Happiness Hat following the proper chart. I was also delighted to realize that the Heathered Happiness kit contains enough yarn to make two hats, and I have started on my second one.

 

I am thrilled to announce that after knitting 3 repeats, I am knitting the correct pattern this time.

hat attempt 2 300x201 Heathered Happiness Hat   Take two

What about you? Are you knitting along with us? If not, it’s not too late, order your Heathered Happiness kit and make your own hat (or two).

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See it. Try it. LOVE it! – The verdict is in…

We’ve had a great time learning new skills and sharing our experiences with you in our See it. Try it. Love it! posts! Getting familiar with new techniques has been humbling for us all, but it’s been truly inspiring to branch out and challenge ourselves in different ways. Now that we’ve spent some time with our projects, we’ve all reached our own verdicts about the skills we’ve learned.

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Jen picked up Tunisian entrelac fairly easily. Her only doubt when she began was about her hook size, and after trying two smaller sizes, she decided she likes the results best with the first hook she chose. Although Tunisian entrelac works up a bit slower than other crochet projects, Jen’s love for the amazing Autumn Entrelac Shawl is encouraging her to keep on stitching! She has also come up with a few other fun projects to create using this technique.

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Check out our works in progress!

 

Kathy is getting the hang of the knit stitch and can finish a row of knits in a heartbeat! Her frustration sets in when she needs to incorporate purling into her work, so she is considering making a garter scarf or dishcloth like many of us did when we first started. After that, she is eager to try the purl stitch once again. Now that she has finished about 6″, the beautiful pattern in her Palisades Scarf has started to emerge, inspiring Kathy to eventually master both knitting and purling.

 

 

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Yarn time!

 

Danielle is excited about how quickly her Charcoal Neckwarmer is working up! She’s a pro at the single and treble crochet stitches, and now that she understands these two, she is confident that she could easily get the hang of other stitches as well. She is still experimenting with different ways to hold her hook and yarn so she can comfortably maneuver them, but she consistently finishes a couple rows per day because she loves the lacy look of her project so much.

 

 

The Ocean Breeze Placemats and Coasters have really sparked my interest in Tunisian crochet! The stripey effect created by changing colors on the left side is so cool, and I now understand why I kept losing stitches when I first started (the last stitch of the forward pass was hiding from me). After learning to change colors in the middle of a row, I’m wondering if my new skills would help me learn to knit intarsia. Do I spy another See it. Try it. LOVE it! in our future?

We hope our experience has inspired you to tackle that technique you’ve been thinking about! If you need a little bit more motivation, check back with us soon because we’ll be featuring a GIVEAWAY for all of the brave crafters who are ready to expand their knitting or crochet skills.

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