Two New Customizable Ombre Basket Patterns ~ 50% Off This Week Only

Pretty and Cutie Utility Baskets For Knitters and Crocheters

Crochet Version

The Crocheted Cutie Utility Basket is perfect for everyone! The ombre effect can be customized in your three favorite colors. Whether contrasting or coordinating, the choice is yours.

The built in handles make it easy to transport the basket from place to place.

Get it now for 50% off this week only.

Use promo code: 50basket during checkout for discount at Etsy and Ravelry. Craftsy does not have promo codes, the price there has the discount already applied.*

 

Knit Version

The Knitted Pretty Utility Basket is made from three colors as well that you can customize to whatever you like.

And it is also 50% off this week only.

Use the same promo code: 50basket during checkout at Etsy and Ravelry. Craftsy already has the discount applied, so no promo code needed.

*Offer ends 4/30/2017 midnight pacific time.

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Zoomigurumi 6 Review ~ Cuteness Overload!!

The Red Panda on the cover is adorable!

The good folks over at Meteoor Books sent me a free copy of their newest Zoomigurumi book, Zoomigurumi 6. I’ve reviewed a past copy and was very excited to see what new animals were getting the Zoomigurumi treatment.

There is a total of 15 animals in the book.

Just like the past version I received, the book is a collection of 15 patterns by a variety of designers (15 ones in this book, 12 in the previous). Though they are all by different people, you get the feel of a very cohesive vision throughout the book. I give lots of credit to the publishers for their great effort at this cohesion (I feel like Tim Gunn during Fashion Week).

Love the hairdo!

Each little critter is presented with step-by-step instructions with plenty of picture tutorials for difficult portions.

Picture tutorial shows how to add the hair to Alvin.

All the patterns use basic amigurumi stitches, so lots of single crochet. None of the patterns seem too difficult so that even a novice at amigurumi could make these. They are all well thought out and just plain cute!

Of course, the owl is one of my favorites.

I love that each little guy gets his own cartoon version of itself in the material section.

Oswald wants you to know that he is “2 stars” difficult.

There are so many cute critters I can’t pick just one favorite.

So adorable!

Do you have any of the Zoomigurumi books? Which one is your favorite? Let us know below and go check out Zoomigurumi 6 on sale now!

50% Off A New Pattern Perfect for Summer Plus Two New Craftsy Crochet Kits Available

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Ocean City Flip Flops

Get ready for the warmer weather with these super comfy crochet flip flops.

You have two options for construction. Either use a strong glue (like E6000) to stiffen the double sole so you can wear them around the house. Or, make one sole and glue that to a pair of old flip flops (with the original straps removed) to wear outside.

Either way, they will be way more comfortable than those hard plastic straps you’re used to.

50% Off This Week Only

 

Use promo code: flipflop during checkout to receive discount. Good on all websites listed below (except Craftsy, which does not have promo codes so the price reflects discount).*

*Offer good until Sunday, April 16th, 2017 midnight Pacific time.  

Buy Now From Your Favorite Shop

 

 

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Need Yarn For Your Flip Flops?

Ocean City Crochet Kit by Craftsy

I’ve partnered with Craftsy to offer the Ocean City Flip Flops Crochet Kit. It comes with the pattern and all the yarn you need to make a pair of flip flops. There are 24 different colors to choose from to customize the look.* The pattern discount does not apply to the kit.

Two More Kits Too

I’ve also worked with Craftsy to offer these two new “great for beginners” crochet kits. These patterns are only available with these exclusive kits. Click on the pictures to see more details about these on Craftsy.

Sprightly Easy Beanie Crochet Kit

 

Sprightly Easy Scarf or Cowl Crochet Kit

Both patterns use a classic rib stitch pattern that works up quickly with super bulky yarn.

Perfect for the absolute beginner who wants to try their hand at reading a pattern.

 
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I Heart Hearts! 50% Off This Week Only

Hearts Around joins Hearts Abound.

The knit version of the Hearts Abound beanie gets an upgrade with a custom heart shaped pom pom on top. If you follow the blog you know that I am now in love with my Clover Pom Pom maker so I had to add one to this beanie.

Get the knit Hearts Around Beanie for 50% off this week only.

Use promo code: heart50 during checkout for a discount at Etsy and Ravelry. Craftsy does not have promo codes, the price there has the discount already applied.*

 

The crochet version beanie and mitts are now updated with the easier to read format and are also available for 50% off this week. Contact me if you need an updated version of a previously purchased pattern. Otherwise, get your copy now!


Use the same promo code: heart50 during checkout at Etsy and Ravelry. Craftsy already has the discount applied, so no promo code needed.

*Offer ends 4/02/2017 midnight pacific time.

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From Hate To Love With The Clover Heart Shaped Pom Pom Maker

 

I never actually hated the Clover Pom Pom Maker. I just was frustrated with it because I couldn’t get it to work correctly. I was ending up with misshapen floppy balls instead of dense beautiful hearts (see video below for the sad balls).

I finally figured out I was totally doing it wrong!

It’s actually quite easy once you understand the steps, and now I totally love it!

I made a video showing how and why I was doing it wrong and then showing how to make the super cute heart shaped pom poms step-by-step.

Have you tried this maker before? How did you like it? Let us know below.

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Get Your Cable Feet Wet With These Two New Patterns

Ready to try knit or crochet cables? These patterns are a perfect primer. They have super simple cable patterns mixed with basic stitches to make these fast and fun.

The patterns include full written instructions as well as a chart for cable portions.

Crocheted Lincoln Beanie

Get the crocheted Lincoln beanie for 50% off this week only.

Use promo code: cable50 during checkout for a discount at Etsy and Ravelry. Craftsy does not have promo codes, the price there has the discount already applied.*

 

The knit version is named the Jefferson Beanie.  As with the crochet version, it comes in multiple sizes to fit kids through adults.

And it is also 50% off this week only.

Use the same promo code: cable50 during checkout at Etsy and Ravelry. Craftsy already has the discount applied, so no promo code needed.

*Offer ends 3/26/2017 midnight pacific time.

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How Do You Throw A Space Party?

You planet!

Get ready for the party with the new and improved Alien Invasion Beanies. Both are 50% off this week only!

Crochet Version

The crocheted Alien Invasion is back with new and improved formatting for easier reading. It comes in 4 sizes to fit babies through adults.

If you own it already, you can download the new version from your pattern library on your favorite site (Etsy users, please contact me for an updated version, they do not change the pattern in your library).

If you don’t own it already, get it now for 50% off this week only.

Use promo code: alien50 during checkout for discount at Etsy and Ravelry. Craftsy does not have promo codes, the price there has the discount already applied.*

If you are not sure you can handle Fair Isle Crochet. Check out my tutorial videos on the subject to see if you might like it.

Knit Version

The Alien Invasion Beanie is now available in knit! As with the crochet version, it comes in multiple sizes to fit kids through adults.

And it is also 50% off this week only.

Use the same promo code: alien50 during checkout at Etsy and Ravelry. Craftsy already has the discount applied, so no promo code needed.

*Offer ends 3/12/2017 midnight pacific time.
 
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Newbie Newsday ~ How To Get Rid Of Those Annoying Gaps In Your Work

Scroll to the bottom of the post to watch a video on this technique.

If you’ve ever worked any project in any stitch other than single crochet, you’ll know what gaps I’m talking about.

When you start each new row of a crochet project, you will perform a “turning chain”.

For example, if your project is in double crochet, the normal turning chain will be a chain 3. You make this turning chain so your row will have the proper starting height it needs to keep the entire row even. If you leave it out and just start double crocheting, your first stitch will be squashed down and not look the same as the rest.

However, that chain 3 isn’t actually worked into the first stitch, or any stitch for that matter. Instead, it sits just to the right of your first stitch. Then as normal crochet goes, you make your first double crochet in the stitch after (the 2nd stitch of the row) and you end up with this gap that results from the distance of the chain 3 to your first stitch.

My finger on the left is in one of these gaps, you can also see other gaps on the right of the work and two rows above my finger..
My finger on the left is in one of these gaps, you can also see other gaps on the right of the work and two rows above my finger.

One way some people eliminate this gap is to not count the chain 3 as your first stitch. and then go ahead and make the chain 3

They will CH 3 and double crochet in the first stitch of the row. But again, the result is not great. Now you get a bump every other row from the chain 3 being forced to stick out from the stitch that was made in the first stitch space.

You can see how the ends are very wavy looking. That is the chain 3 being forced out and creating a bump.
You can see how the ends are very wavy looking. That is the chain 3 being forced out and creating a bump.

There is a fix for both of these problems. This technique can be substituted whenever you want and for any stitch you want. The result will be a nice flat edge project with no gaps.

This technique can be substituted whenever you want and for any stitch you want (above a single crochet). The result will be a nice flat edge project with no gaps.

Look at my sides, no gaps and no waves!
Look at my sides, no gaps and no waves!

This technique is super simple and is the same for any stitch you use it for.

All you will simply do instead of making your normal turning chain, is make a super extended single chain. Let me show you.

Your first step in this technique is to take the loop on your hook and pull it out to the height of the stitch you are making. Don’t worry if it’s not the exact same height, somewhere in the ballpark will be good enough.

But, it is better to make it a little shorter than taller than the stitch you are making. This will keep it more hidden and less likely to stick out.

Pull the chain out for the normal height of whatever stitch you are working. This project is using double crochets.
Pull the chain out for the normal height of whatever stitch you are working. This project is using double crochets.

Next, secure this long loop by making a chain stitch at the top.

Just yarn over and pull through the loop to make your chain as usual.
Just yarn over and pull through the loop to make your chain as usual.

Now you have a skinny “turning chain” that will sit right next to the double crochet you will make in the first stitch.

You will make your first double crochet (or whatever stitch you are working) in the first stitch. No skipping.
You will make your first double crochet (or whatever stitch you are working) in the first stitch. No skipping.

Whether the project says that the turning chain counts as a stitch or not, when using this technique, you will make the skinny turning chain and a stitch in the first stitch you come to. That means you don’t count the skinny turning chain as a stitch. In other words, it will be ignored when counting stitches.

Here is the finished skinny turning chain and first double crochet shown together.
Here is the finished skinny turning chain and first double crochet shown together.

Now your project will have nice edges and no gaps!

Check out the video to see the technique in action.

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Newbie Newsday ~ Why Do You Call Your Yarn A Cake?

Note: you can click on any of the yarns below to learn more about them.

Mmmmmmmm, cake. Wait, I’m getting off topic.

Why is some yarn called a cake? Or a hank, ball, skein, cone, or donut?Why are there so many different names for yarn?

Yarn is yarn, all of these other names are simply the way the yarn is presented to you, the buyer.

Each name refers to a different configuration of the yarn you are buying. Here is a visual breakdown:

Cake

caron-cakes

Flat on the top and bottom and round in the middle, just like a cake. Usually, these are made from winding your yarn from a hank on a yarn winder. However, some companies (like Caron above) are marketing the yarn in cakes where you can see the color changes better.

You can either work from the center or outside tail of the cake as is.

Hank


Cloudborn Superwash Merino Worsted Yarn - Dyed by Lorna's Laces

Many independent yarn sellers offer yarn in this form. Unwinding it produces a big loop, which is how they work with it to dye it. It’s most cost effective for the dyer to leave it in this form when selling.

You cannot begin a project from yarn in this form. It will become a tangled mess. You must first wind it into a cake or ball. I have a video on how to do this here.

Ball

zauber

We’ve all seen a ball of yarn. It’s rare to see them sold as such (the awesome Zauberball above is an exception), but we’ve all wound up leftovers from projects.

Unless you are winding a center pull ball on purpose, you normally can only work from the outside tail of a yarn ball.

Skein

Rainbow Mighty Stitch Sampler

Pronounced skeyn, this is how most big box yarn companies sell their yarn. It is wound on a machine and forms a fat oblong shape.

You can either work from the center or outside tail of the skein as is.

Cone

cone

A cone is yarn in a cone shape and usually has a cardboard core. These come with mass amounts of yardage to be used for knitting machines mostly. However, they come in handy at home with a yarn bobbin holder for larger projects.

You will only have access to the outside tail on a cone.

Donut 

Zing! Chroma Fingering Sampler

My favorite yarn (Chroma by Knit Picks pictured here) is sold in donut form. Like its name, the yarn is shaped like a donut: round with a hole in the middle. The donut helps to show the different color changes on self-striping yarn.

You can either work from the center or outside tail of the donut as is.