One Skein, One Loop

I love the challenge of creating a single skein project, sometimes it lends itself to a fantastic idea, and sometimes it is just a practice of futility. However, I think this latest design is the former.

Scarf in a Loop is a simple attempt at Bruges Lace. Bruges Lace is a classic technique that essentially crochets a ribbon of narrow crochet stitches with chain loops on its edges. These chain loops allow the ribbon to be bent and twisted, while joining these loops together. So basically if you can draw the line of a ribbon you can create the design in crochet. This scarf pattern is drawn as a ribbon in a simple oval.

Scarf in a Loop, Crochet World October 2017 Photo courtesy Annie’s

The one drawback to Bruges Lace patterns is the number of rows involved. Often a pattern can seem intimidating when it lists hundreds, if not thousands of rows. So keep in mind that these rows are often only a couple of stitches wide.

One of the things I really enjoy with Scarf in a Loop is the way the color moves. The yarn, Lion Brand Unique, has some nice color changes and this design really highlights this. It is a bulky size yarn so it works up fairly fast, and has a nice weight.

Crochet World, October 2017, decided to feature this design and I think it is great as a gift for the upcoming holiday season, or simply for a quick accessory to keep warm during this ever cooling season.

Titter Tat a Stitch that Breaks the Rules

There are times when you can come across a crochet stitch that breaks all the rules, for me the stitch I refer to as Titter Tat does just that. This stitch creates an open stretchy pattern whose stitches appear to be sideways, and you do not chain at the beginning of a row, you simply begin working your stitches.

I have used this stitch in the Wine Country Throw that is found in the October 2016 issue of Crochet World, it does have a bit of stretch, which can be deceiving when attempting to get a desired size, but I really love the affect.

Titter Tat Stitch

Titter Tat Stitch

Begin with a chain that is a multiple of 4, then add 2 more chains. Single crochet in the second chain from the hook, [chain 4, skip 3 chains, single crochet in next chain] repeat everything in the brackets across, then turn. Do not chain anything, and simply work (2 double crochet, chain 3, single crochet) in all chain 4 loops across, and then turn your work. This can be a little awkward with the first stitch as it seems a bit distorted as it is pulled over, this is the correct approach as it will set the first stitches up the match the rest. All subsequent rows are worked the same, no beginning chain, working (2 double crochet, chain 3, single crochet) in all chain 3 spaces across. You work this until you have the desired length. This stitch can really benefit from blocking, but the type of yarn can influence how well this works.

The more formal written pattern looks like this:

Ch a multiple of 4 +2

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, [ch 4, sk 3, sc in next ch] across, turn.

Row 2: [(2dc, ch 3, sc) in ch-4 sp] across, turn.

Row 3-desired length: [(2dc, ch 3, sc in each ch-3 sp] across, turn.

You may want to add a solid border to the stitch to limit the stretch, but that is a personal choice. If you are seeking to practice this stitch and create a throw for charity you may want to consider your local foster youth programs. Often foster kids in any community have limited personal belongings, and upon during 18 are now legal adults with in many cases nothing to begin their own households. Foster youth programs try an ease this transition.

The Wine Country Throw Comes Alive

ScannedImageI love simple stitch patterns that really look much more difficult than they are. My latest design the Wine Country Throw in the October 2016 issue of Crochet World Magazine fits this description.


Wine Country Throw Photo courtesy of Annie’s

When I originally came up with this design I referred to it as “Titter Tat” because the stitches had such a back and forth feel to it that was like seesaw, but the current name of Wine Country is pretty fitting since I am surrounded vineyards. Even as I type this the harvest known as the “crush” is happening as the wine making process is beginning. Sitting back on my screened porch wrapped in this throw is now a great way to end the fall day.

The way the stitches come together, almost has you believing that they are working in opposite direction yet it is simply where the stitches are worked. This also causes the fabric to have an incredible amount stretch.  The edging is what ultimately creates a bit of drama to this piece, as it adds a lace quality and feminine charm, by changing the border to something more solid, such as a couple of rounds of double crochets and this throw has a completely different feel, something a little more masculine, a little more modern.

133005_small2I have to admit that this project works up pretty fast, as it is a worsted weight yarn with a relatively large hook. I know this first hand as I had to rework the pattern a couple of time to ensure the correct size of the finished sample. The stretch of the fabric was misleading my gauge, and thus had me creating throws that were a bit too small. I tore it back and reworked it at least three times before it became what I had envisioned, but in doing so it helped me understand the stitches more, and I am think the end result is definitely a good one.

The Feature- Braided Edge Cardigan

ScannedImageIt seems that all my patterns tend to release at once! One of my latest designs the Braided Edge Cardigan has been a while in the works.


Braided Edge Cardigan Photo courtesy Annie’s

Sometimes ideas come to you and they are ahead of their time, meaning that no one wants to publish them at that time, but give it a while and they might be much more receptive. This sweater is like that. I came up with the concept a couple of years ago, and it did not make it into publication at the time. I resubmitted it many months later and it was a much better fit for the current collection within the October 2016 issue of Crochet World Magazine.

This cardigan has a really simple stitch pattern for the basic fabric, and after assembling it, then it is edged in a stitch pattern featuring some post stitch work, that creates a unique braid effect.  It is this feature that really makes the sweater standout. If you happen to feel that the post stitches are to challenging you can continue the edging as a simple single crochet, but if you are up for a little challenge it definitively adds a lot of character.

133005_small2What sets this post stitch worked braid apart is that you are essentially working 2 posts stitches together, but one stitch is worked ahead of where your current working stitch is, while the other is behind it. This can seem a little daunting at first, but the first couple of stitches will set the pattern for the rest of the round.

This cardigan is definitely a winner for the autumn season that should be arriving soon. Even as this is shown in a solid color, a nice variegated or ombre yarn could add a very personal feel, becoming a fabulous addition to any wardrobe.

Welcome the Designs for Fall

ScannedImageMy secret confession….time has completely gotten away from me. Okay, that is probably not a secret, and I am sure that I am not alone. However in the drought stricken California it has brought fall on a little earlier then expected; I am already harvesting peaches from my little trees, my neighbors are already harvesting grapes to begin the “crush” and create wine, none of this usually ever happens before September, so I am probably thinking it is later in the year then it is.

Autumn Leaves Placemat_CW2015OctI am pulling out the dehydrator and beginning to get my canning supplies together to put up fruit from this early season. My little farm is awaiting new arrivals as I have a broody chicken, a hen that is sitting on eggs, and I should soon be seeing new little chicks. However, even with all this rural lifestyle events I have some fun things happening in crochet.

Since autumn us so prevalent on my mind lately I am happy to share the release one of my latest designs in Crochet World Magazine. The October 2015 issue features my Autumn Leaves Place Mat. This place mat is created in utilizing 5 join as you go motifs, which are shaped to resemble leaves, created in Cotton Classic Lite from Tahki Yarns. I find that I use place mats in my home more then I would have thought; this is mostly due to the fact that I actually picked out and purchased my dining room table, but the wood is a little softer than I realized and is can scratch and mar without much effort. So this place mat is just big enough to fit a plate and silverware while adding a fun and festive feel to my meal table. Even though the design is worked in fall colors, I think a nice gold or orange would be nice, even a striking brown, but I could also reinvent this design for spring and work some up in beautiful shade of green.

Crochet World_Oct2015I hope that winter does not delve in to quickly (although I wouldn’t mind some rain), so that I can savor a little of this time of change.