Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day Crochet

I have a thing for hearts. There, I said it. It’s a bit girly for me but I’ve always loved them, no matter the time of year. So, I’m sharing five free crochet heart patterns from around the internet. These are easy to read and quick to stitch, so you can make some in plenty of time for Valentine’s Day. garlands, coasters, appliques for hats, decoration for seasonal trees. Play with different types and sizes of yarn and hooks and have fun! (Great way to use up those little bits of leftover yarn.)

Enjoy!

Wilkinson heartEmma Wilkinson Designs

This is an easy heart stitched in two rounds, with a nice ridge between them. Photos for each step are provided, as well as written instructions in English and UK terminology.

 

 

SONY DSCPlanet June

This collection of four hearts is easy to stitch. One of the hearts is two put together with a little stuffing in the middle. The written patterns are accompanied by step-by-step photos.

 

 

granny heartCrochet Tea Party

I’m a sucker for granny squares, so HAD to include this fun granny heart! A diagram is also available for crocheters who prefer them to written directions.

 

 

 

puffy heartCrochet Club

For crocheters who prefer video instructions, here’s one for making these cute 3-D hearts.

 

 

 

atty heartAtty’s

The pattern for this larger heart is available as in written steps and a diagram.

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WIPocalypse 2018 – January

WIPocalypse 2018 January

A few days late, but it coincides with WIP Wednesday…so, I am posting my WIPocalypse update today on purpose. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

This year, I’m taking part in the Stitching Olympics SAL in the Endurance Race, meaning I’m going to focus on one piece during the Olympics. I’m tweaking that a little for my needs, as sometimes my eyes and hands need a different type of project to work on. So, I will work on one cross stitch piece and one crochet afghan/throw. I’m hoping to be done with the promised throws by then, but we’ll see. I haven’t decided which cross stitch project to work on, yet. I’m pretty happy with my progress on Quaker Mermaid, so maybe that one. We’ll see.

NP bookmark duoJanI DID actually finish a WIP I’ve had haunting me for a few years: a needlepoint bookmark. After going back to it, I remembered why I stopped and had stitched so much of the non-black colors. The black paint is a little thicker than the other colors, so it covers the holes just a little more. In turn, I had to use a bit more force to push the needle and wool through the canvas. It was a little taxing on my hands but it’s finished.  I used Vineyard Merino Wool, which has a nice little twist to it and is very nice to work with on 18 count. Now to either take it to a finisher to make into a bookmark or to figure out if I can do this myself without a sewing machine. I think I can learn how to finish pieces on fabric, but canvas may be too tough without a sewing machine. It’s not high on the list at this point. but the stitching is done!

Moogly 2018CAL 1I have another finish, but it’s part of a larger project – the Moogly 2018 CAL. I started one of these last year or the year before, but I didn’t like the yarn I chose. I tried other yarn but just wasn’t happy, then I got busy with work and life. Tamara releases a new square every two weeks (from different designers), so we’re up for another one this week if my figures are correct. This is the first one from January. I originally thought the light blue was a bit too bright for this combo, but I like it now that I see it worked up with the other colors. The yarn I am using is Knit Picks Brava Worsted – very reasonably priced and soft. I love working with the Brava yarns! I plan to stick to a similar color pattern for my other squares so that there is some consistency in the afghan and am using the dark grey for the outer edge of each square and connecting all the squares at the end. I need to purchase some blocking squares so I can make all these look nice and straight, but this works for now.

Quaker Mermaid duoJanI made a lot of progress on Quaker Mermaid. To be honest, I’ve made mistakes here and there in counting, but am lucky that where they are is pretty arbitrary so everything turns out OK. It’s a pain to take out over-one stitches! I’m stitching this over one with one strand of floss using the continental stitch so that my stitches don’t disappear into the fabric. I don’t like the way my crosses look over one – too bulky. So, that is probably helping me stitch her quickly. I bought the chart and specialty flosses at Celebration of Needlework in Nashua last year. I intended to stitch it sooner than I actually did, but many of the colors were not present. So, I replaced them with similar colors and I love them, particularly the green in her tail.

purple throw 1-28-18As for my crochet, I have finished crocheting one throw I was working on. It’s a square shell stitch blanket, one of those that starts in the center and works around it like a granny square does. I love creating blankets like that! The corners messed me up a few times, mainly because I wasn’t paying attention while chatting, but I went back and fixed them as I found them. Funny, this is the second time I’ve stitched this pattern, and I rarely did that the first time. I guess sometimes we get a little complacent. I need to weave in the ends – my most hated crochet job – then it will be truly finished. This throw was stitched using three skeins of Caron Big Cakes in Grape Jelly and a 5.5mm hook. Obviously, the Big Cakes have more yardage than the standard Caron Cakes. The other difference is that the Big Cakes are 100% acrylic, while the original Caron Cakes have 20% wool. This will make a difference to those with allergies and in how projects are washed. The original cakes have more colors.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

St. Patrick’s Day sampling

Photo by kkmarais on Flickr

Photo by kkmarais on Flickr

If you are in the mood to do some green or Irish-themed stitching these days, I found just a few items that you may like. As you know, a Google search will turn up a ton of such designs. I thought I’d share a few that I found that I liked.

Letters Leprechuans Luck

Letters, Leprechauns, and Luck from Blue Ribbon Designs

The cross stitch design I chose is Letters, Leprechauns, and Luck from Blue Ribbon Designs. The model is stitched on 40ct linen with a mix of DMC and Sampler Threads. It could be easily stitched on 32ct or 28ct linen, it will just be bigger. The Sampler Threads could be switched out for similar DMC, but you’d lose some of that hand-dyed effect.

Glitz and Glamour Emerald from DebBee's Designs

Glitz and Glamour Emerald from DebBee’s Designs

 

The needlepoint design I really liked for St. Patrick’s Day is this gorgeous green counted canvaswork piece from DebBee’s Designs. If you visit her site, you will see so many gorgeous designs that you won’t know where to begin. Her Glitz and Glamour designs each focus on one particular shade of a color (for the most part), and this one is Emerald.

Free shamrock square from from FreePatterns.com

Free shamrock square from from FreePatterns.com

Finally, I found this really pretty shamrock square design that is lacier and different from most of the chunkier designs I’ve found. This is a free design from FreePatterns.com, but you have to be a member (it’s free) in order to download it. I’d probably stitch it in a more green and less sage color than is here, but I like the design itself very much.

Fun crochet, cross stitch, and a new book from Erik Larson

By now, you know that sometimes I find something on the Internet that I must share immediately. Today is another one of those times. They are completely random, but I think all are pretty awesome. 🙂

Quick-and-Easy-Crochet-Cowls-600x3381. Petals to Picots is sponsoring a giveaway for an online cowl class from Tamara Kelly at Moogly. Quick and Easy Crochet Cowls includes seven lessons for three beautiful projects. The cost has been reduced from $29.99 to $19.99, and the first 1,000 people to sign up receive a free skein of yarn. However, you may also try to win it for free from Petals to Picots.

Designed by Backstage Stitching

Designed by Backstage Stitching

2. I was reading through one of my blogrolls and found this great post at Backstage Stitching. She has graciously made this available in the Free Patterns section of her blog. This is such a cute and hilarious design that I just had to share it. I think a lot of my fellow stitchers will enjoy it.

dead-wake-larson3. And for something completely different — Erik Larson has a new book coming out on March 10: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. BookPeople’s blog features a great review and you may purchase it through their independent book store in Texas (link provided in the blog post). It’s been difficult for me to find time for my needlework and reading, but I’m definitely going to make time to read this. I enjoy his books very much.

Spring Scarves – Free Patterns

Spring scarves collage

Much of the country is dealing with ice and record lows as I write this. Except for Sunday, which was gorgeous here in the Philadelphia area, I have become used to wearing a thin scarf under my heavy winter scarf under my coat but over my t-shirt and hoodie, as well as two pairs of gloves. However, I know spring will come around again and I am looking forward to it — not summer so much, with its humidity, but I always welcome the warmer but not obnoxious temperatures of spring. In honor of that hope, I have found some pretty spring scarves you can make for those days that still have a little chill in the air but you can see the flowers blooming.

spring scarf - spring fling infinity

Spring Fling Infinity Scarf from My Merry Messy Life

The Spring Fling Infinity Scarf from Sara at My Merry Messy Life looks like a quick stitch that you could make in plenty of time for warmer weather. It’s a great way to keep your neck warmer while not having to worry about ends of the scarf hanging down and getting in your way. It uses 230 ounces of worsted yarn. The pattern calls for variegated yarn (which I prefer), but it would look lovely in a solid color or in stripes of solid colors as a stash-busting project. I think Red Heart Boutique’s Unforgettable would work nicely if you decide to go the variegated route.

green-sheen-scarf

Green Sheen Scarf from Caron.

If you’re looking for a lacier scarf that is a bit more intermediate in difficulty, the Green Sheen Scarf may be your answer. Of course, you don’t have to use green yarn, but whatever color you like. The scarf is a free design from Caron and is available at Fave Crafts for free. The pattern is older and calls for Caron Spa yarn, which is no longer available, but any DK-weight yarn will work. Personally, this color green doesn’t work well for me (looks horrible with my coloring), but any color would look wonderful for this pattern. Knit Picks has some beautiful colors in Diadem, for example. The combination of alpaca and silk gives this yarn a beautiful sheen.

Dainty Shells Scarf

Dainty Shells Scarf from All Free Crochet

Another scarf that uses thinner yarn is the Dainty Shells Scarf, available at All Free Crochet. This is an easy scarf that uses sport weight yarn, so it’s even lighter than the Green Sheen Scarf. There’s that green again, which I know is a very popular spring color, but I think I’d use a subtle variegated yarn for this. Keep in mind I’m a big fan of variegated yarn, so I’m a bit biased. I performed a quick search over at Yarn.com and found a few variegated sport-weight yarns made from different materials that could work, depending on your preference and budget. There’s also some gorgeous Highland Wool blend sport-weight yarn at Knit Picks that could work.

journey scarf

Journey Scarf from Kim Guzman

Finally, here’s the Journey Scarf. Originally featured on Caron’s website as a free design, it is now available as a free pdf download on Kim Guzman’s website. This is one for which I’d use a solid color, as a variegated yarn may take away from the design, but to each her or her own. This also calls for Caron’s Spa yarn, so instead you can choose any DK-weight yarn. Caron’s Simply Soft Light is nice, but it has more of a twisted/braided look than other DK yarns. Some people like that, some people don’t.

Hope you like the few spring scarves that I’ve shared. If you Google “free crochet spring scarf” you will find a ton! Also I mentioned some yarn here, but I’m not affiliated with any particular retailer or yarn-maker, just noted a few that I like. There is so much yarn out there, made from a plethora of materials and available at different price points, that I’m sure you will find just the right one for you.