Craftsy’s Got Another 24 Hour Sale ~ Any Class Under $20

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Just saw this in my inbox this morning and wanted to share it.

I love Craftsy classes and this is a great deal. Some classes go for over $50, so it’s a great opportunity to get one for cheap.

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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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CreateForLess.com - Create More, Spend Less

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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National Craft Month - Crafts

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.

 

 

50% Off A New Blanket Pattern Plus Two New Free Video Pattern Tutorials

Lazy Cable Blanket
Lazy Cable Blanket

 

The new knit lazy cable blanket is true to its name. The ambling cables twist their way slowly across the blanket to add fantastic texture without a lot of work.

The afghan includes full written instructions as well as a chart.

Using super bulky yarn, this blanket works up super quick.

50% Off This Week Only

 

Use promo code: lazy50 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, March 5th, 2017 midnight Pacific time.  

Buy Now From Your Favorite Shop

 

 

Etsy

 

ravelry-logo-2x

 

craftsy-logo

Now For The Freebies!!

rainbow

The Rainbow Baby Blanket is now a free pattern with a video tutorial to go with it!

The open shell stitch creates a wonderful texture any baby will love to grab on to.

Download the pattern and watch the video here.

Lefties click here.

Octopus Free Crochet Pattern Tutorial

The second free pattern was something I asked my Facebook followers about.

I’ve been reading some articles where NICUs are using crochet octopuses to comfort the babies. They believe the tentacles remind the baby of being in the womb with the umbilical cord. Plus the tentacles keep the baby from pulling on the wires they might have connected to their tiny bodies. It is really amazing!

Facebook said, “YES!” when I asked if they would like a pattern and video to help support, so here it is. Of course, I’m not a medical expert, so ask your local hospital if they would like these before donating.

Bonus use though: my cats love this! It’s made in one full piece so no worry of the tentacles coming loose.

Download the pattern, watch the video and get some links to news articles about the octopuses here.

Lefties click here.

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Craftsy

Newbie Newsday: Which Material Is Best For Crochet Hooks?

There are three main materials for crochet hooks: wood, plastic, and aluminum (or other type of metal).

Obviously, which you prefer will be subjective and me telling you that I love aluminum might not be the best choice for you.

There are some considerations to be made though that could help you on choosing a hook material depending on your skill level and yarn being used.

First Consideration

If you are new to crochet.

I would recommend wood or plastic to a newbie. Wood’s natural materials make it “sticky” to yarn. That is, when you are crocheting, the yarn will slide slower along your hook, which can help you keep from losing loops as you learn to crochet different stitches.

Plastic is the next “stickiest”, but will allow a little more movement than wood. However, plastic hooks are known to “squeak” when using certain types of yarn, so that might deter some.

Once you get your stitches down, I highly recommend aluminum hooks. They are the “fastest” hooks for any type of yarn (more on that in a second).

Second Consideration

The yarn you are using.

Any hook will be okay for more yarn you choose; however, some hooks will do better with certain types of yarns.

When crocheting with slippery yarn, like rayon, or some cotton, a wood hook can come in handy to keep your loops from slipping around and falling off.

Other yarns, like boucle (knubby yarn), can be much easier to work with on aluminum hooks.

My best advice is to get one of each hook, try them out, and see which you like best. We are lucky that hooks, for the most part, are not too expensive and afford us the opportunity to experiment.

What is your favorite type of hook? Let us know below.

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Daily Deals

Newbie Newsday: Why Doesn’t My Crochet Hook Letter Match Yours?

I get this question from time to time.

The simple answer is hook manufacturers have different US letter (as in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world go by the metric measurement) designations for some of their hooks.

It’s hard to find out how and when this started, but my theory is that because we’ve never adopted the metric system here in the US, the manufacturers came up with the US letters to help us out back in the day.

Why Can’t I Just Get The Same Letter Hook As The Pattern Calls For?

Because it could affect your gauge.

For example, the 4mm could be labelled as either a US-F or a US-G, and a 10mm is either a US-N or US-P. And the reverse is true, a US-N could be a 9mm or a 10mm hook depending on the manufacturer.

If the pattern only gives the US letter hook size, you could potentially be off by one whole mm, which will greatly change your gauge (check out my video below to see more on gauge and hook size).

What Should I Do If The Pattern Only Lists The US Letter Size For The Hook?

Start with that hook, only a couple of hooks have the different mm size, most are the same. My favorite hooks:

The Clover Soft Touch have both letters printed on their hooks. Try to make gauge and go from there (again, see my video down below if you need help with gauge).

So Which Letter Should I Choose if A Pattern Only Has The mm Size Listed?

And the simple answer for that is: don’t worry about letter size. If you have a pattern calling for a hook that comes in multiple letters, stick with the mm size. That is the actual measurement of the hook head and not just the letter the company that made it decided to name it.

You will be much closer to what the designer used when making gauge when you first try to make gauge yourself.

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Fab Five For February

I love all the knit and crochet-topped boots out there right now. Here are my favorite top five.

1. Muk Luks Women’s Patti Cable Cuff Boot

This low profile fold over detail would be cute with skinny jeans.

2. Muk Luks Women’s Chris Cable Knit Winter Boot

Looking for a stylish upgrade to the last pair. This chunky heel is super cute.
3. Bearpaw Women’s Shania Ankle-High Suede Boot

Love the strap detail on this knit cable boot.

4. T.u.k.. Women’s Suede and Crochet Combat Boot

Tough and sweet mixed together in this combat boot style.

5. Muk Luks Women’s Malena Crochet Knit Button Down Boot

These get my vote because they actually look crocheted (though we all know they aren’t).

Which one is your favorite? Let us know below!

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