12.05.2017

How to Crochet in a Spiral: A Video Tutorial

How to Crochet in a Spiral, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

Why would you want to crochet in a spiral?


Some crochet patterns are written in a way that makes two or more colors spiral out from the center. You can do some fun things with this technique. I have two patterns available that use this technique:


Crochet slouchy hat, Lucien Hat, by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio
Lucien Hat

Kewpie Beret (C) Interweave Crochet

One nice thing about this technique is that you are able to make stripes, without cutting your yarn or making floats on the wrong side of your project in order to change colors.




How do I crochet in a spiral?

I'm glad you asked! I put together a video tutorial for you!



Are you interested in other tutorials? Check out my YouTube channel, or see these tutorial blog posts:





http://eepurl.com/b-Fl5T


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Happy stitching,
April

11.14.2017

Slouchy Hat Crochet Pattern: Lucien Hat

Slouchy hat crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

New crochet pattern!


Hi friends! I'm here today to share my newest crochet pattern with you! This is Lucien Hat. It is a slouchy hat at heart. A little silly and fun, with colorful stripes. The bottom edge can be folded up, however, in order to give it a more fitted look.

Slouchy hat crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio





All about this new slouchy hat crochet pattern:


The yarn used in this pattern is Cascade Yarns Longwood Sport (the solid white), and Cascade Yarns Longwood Sport Stripe (the color). The great thing about using the striping colorway, is that the color changes nicely as you come down the hat. The two yarns are worked in a spiral from the top down, so there is no joining and turning, and no fastening off of colors, or making floats on the wrong side of the hat. Pretty clever of me to design it that way, huh?! (wink, wink).

Slouchy hat crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

I decided to top this hat with a chunky tassel, and I love how the striping yarn made the tassel look, it's multi-colored.

Slouchy hat crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

I've written the pattern in two sizes: 14 and 17 1/2 inches (35.5 and 44.5 cm). It's very stretchy! I was able to wear the 17 1/2 inch (44.5 cm) size myself, and my head circumference is 22 1/2 inches (57 cm)! So, you can choose a size that is up to 5 inches (13 cm) smaller around than the wearer's head circumference. If you still want a larger size, it will be easy to add in a few more increases in round 4 of the pattern instructions.

Slouchy hat crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

This great pattern is available on Ravelry, and will soon be available on Etsy, Craftsy, and LoveCrochet.

Looking for other crochet hat patterns? Look here:







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Happy stitching!
April

8.24.2017

Variety Show Scarf - A Free Super Scarf Crochet Pattern

Free Super Scarf Crochet Pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

The back story of this crochet Super Scarf

This is a new super scarf crochet pattern that I call "Variety Show Scarf". Why did I name it that? My kids were working on a theater production, a variety show or musical revue, during the time I was making this scarf. Given the color of the yarn, I thought it was apt.

This scarf is stitched in Perfection Chunky, by Kraemer Yarns. I met this yarn when I attended The National Needle Arts (TNNA) trade show in Columbus, OH earlier this summer. I noticed right away that this yarn would make something really cozy. It was soft, squishy, and chunky. I loved it!

At the show they were sharing several new colorways that are a 3-ply yarn. Two plies is ivory colored, and the other is a muted color. In this colorway, #7126 Ragg Time, the colored strand is burnt orange.

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Free Super Scarf Crochet Pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

Why this crochet scarf design?

With the very busy coloring of this yarn, I wanted to keep the stitches simple. Texture or lace patterns tend to get lost when you stitch them with non-solid colors. The simple stitches in this pattern allow the yarn color to be the star of the show. I also like to have patterns available for lots of different kinds of crocheters. Sometimes, a stitcher just wants something easy. And why make such a large scarf? Because it is SO cozy! Also, I'm tall, so I like a looooong scarf!


crochet patterns for scarves by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio


Variety Show Scarf

By April Garwood

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Finished Measurements: About 10 inches x 86 inches (25.5 cm x 218.5 cm)

Yarn: Kraemer Yarns Perfection Chunky (30% Domestic Merino, 70% Acrylic; 120 yds (110 m); 3.5 oz (100 g); CYCA weight: 5/Bulky): #7126 Ragg Time, 4 skeins.

Crochet Hook: M/13 9.0 mm crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge.

Notions: Yarn needle.

Gauge: 11 sts x 5 rows = About 4 ¼ inches (11 cm).

Notes: Scarf begins at one short end and work progresses toward the opposite short end. Fringe is added in the finishing step.

Free Super Scarf Crochet Pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

Abbreviations:
ch    chain
dc    double crochet
st     stitch
sk    skip
sp    space

Scarf:
Ch 28
Row 1: Dc in 3rd ch from hook (ch 2 does not count as a st), dc in next 7 sts, *ch 1, sk next ch, dc in 8 chs, repeat from *, turn – 24 sts.
Row 2: Ch 2, dc in 8 sts, *ch 1, sk ch sp, dc in 8 sts, repeat from *, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until you have completed 110 rows. Fasten off.

Finishing:
Cut 56 pieces of yarn, each of them 10 inches (25.5 cm) long. Place 4 pieces together, ends even. Don’t be uptight about perfection here, you can trim ends later if you have a piece that is much longer than the others. Fold a group of 4 in half. With RS of scarf facing you, insert a crochet hook from back to front of the first st or ch on one short edge. Pull the fold of the group of four yarn pieces through this st or ch with the crochet hook. Pull the 8 ends of these yarn pieces through the fold that you just pulled through the st or ch. Pull snug, but don’t overdo it. Repeat this procedure in every other st or ch, so that this short edge has 14 groups of fringe pieces. Repeat for second short end.

Your scarf will probably not need blocking. Weave in ends. This yarn can be machine washed and dried, however, if you machine wash and dry it, the fringe pieces will come unplied and somewhat frizzy looking. I suggest handwashing and lying flat to dry to keep the fringe looking nice.

Enjoy!

Are you looking for other scarf patterns? 






Wrapping up...

What kinds of scarves do you like? Lacy, thin, thick, long, short, bulky??? Comment below and let me know! I like lots of different kinds of course, but I can't wait to wear this one this winter!




Free Super Scarf Crochet Pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

Happy stitching!
April


8.15.2017

Patina Poncho - a Free Crochet Pattern

Patina Poncho free crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

Today I have a free crochet pattern for you dear readers! This is Patina Poncho, an easy crochet pattern for women. I'd say it's for beginners, but not quite. It is made in a soft Pima cotton, so it has a really nice feel to it without being super warm.




Patina Poncho free crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

 This women's poncho is crocheted as a long rectangle, about 18 inches x 52 inches (or 45.5 cm x 132 cm). It begins on the bottom long edge, and works up from there. There is very little finishing to do. It is not edged. The only finishing is one small seam at one shoulder, which you can leave out if you prefer and just wear as a wrap with a shawl pin to close it.

Patina Poncho free crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

Patina Poncho
By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

Difficulty Level Easy

Finished Measurements About 18 inches x 52 inches or 45.5 cm x 132 cm.

Yarn

I used Berroco Pure Pima (100% Pima Cotton; 115 yds or 106 m; 1.75 oz or 50 g; Weight 3/light): 7 skeins #2203 Oyster, 1 skein #2230 Mellow Rose, 2 skeins #2217 Limelight, but this yarn has been discontinued.

Recommended substitutes

King Cole Cottonsoft DK: 4 skeins Ecru, 1 skein Rose Petal,1 skein Sage.

Cloudborn Pima Cotton DK: 4 skeins Pearl, 1 skein Coral, 1skein Granny Smith.

Crochet Hook H/8 (or 5 mm) and I/9 or (5.5 mm) hooks. Adjust hook size(s) if necessary to obtain gauge.

Notions Yarn needle.

Gauge 6 patt reps and 12 rows = 4 inches or 10 cm in Wattle stitch.


Note
To change colors, fasten off at end of last row before color change. With new color on hook, join with sl st in first ch sp, continue with instructions for Row 2, which are repeated for pattern.

Wattle Stitch
With off-white yarn and smaller hook, ch 254.

Row 1(RS) With larger hook (Sc, ch 1, dc) in 2nd ch from hook (one patt rep made), *sk 2 chs, (sc, ch 1, dc) in next ch, repeat from * across, turn – 85 patt reps.
Row 2 Ch 1, sk first st, *(sc, ch 1, dc) in next ch sp**, sk 2 sts, repeat from * across, ending at **, turn.

Repeat Row 2 for patt.

Wrap
Beginning with Row 1, work in pattern 4 rows of off-white..
Work 2 rows in red/pink.
Work 2 rows in off-white.
Work 12 rows in green.
Work 2 rows in off-white.
Work 2 rows in red/pink.
Work 34 rows in off-white. Fasten off.

Finishing

Fold wrap in half with RS together, lining up short edges. Begin at both edges, working toward fold, count 15 patt reps along top edge (the edge without the stripes). With off-white on hook, join with sl st through ch sps of 15th patt reps of both thicknesses. Working through both thicknesses, sl st in each set of ch sps and sts, working across 10 patt reps. This will make a seam along one shoulder. Weave in ends. Turn wrap RS out.

Patina Poncho free crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

Leave a comment with your thoughts! I'd love to know what you think of this design. What colors will you make it in? Who will you make it for?

Looking for other poncho/wrap/shawl crochet patterns? Find some of my others by clicking the links below:

Willow Creek Wrap - Just $3 on Ravelry!

Twinkle Shawl - Pattern available from Interweave

Shifting Shawl - Pattern available from Interweave

Rosalie Wrap - Tunisian pattern available from Interweave


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Happy stitching!
April



8.08.2017

How to Fix Broken Yarn When Spinning - It's Easy!

How to fix broken yarn when spinning, a tutorial by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio

So you're spinning along, enjoying the relaxing rhythm of your work, when your yarn unexpectedly breaks! Maybe you over-drafted (my usual problem) or maybe your yarn wasn't twisted enough and just fell apart. What now?!

No worries friends. It is easily fixed. I have made a short video to show you how it's done. Enjoy!





For your info, in the video I am spinning on my Ashford Traveller spinning wheel and working with some lovely roving that I got from Greenwood Fiberworks on Etsy.

Interested in other spinning posts? Enjoy some of my others by clicking below:






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Happy spinning!
April

7.31.2017

Crochet Book Review: Interweave Presents Classic Crochet Shawls

Interweave Presents Classic Crochet Shawls Book Review
(C) 2017 Interweave/F+W Media
Photo by Joe Hancock

Today it is my pleasure to review Interweave Presents Classic Crochet Shawls: 20 Free-Spirited Designs Featuring Lace, Color, and More.

I am fortunate to have a design in this book, so it was very exciting to get a copy and see my name in it. While I've been in magazines many times, this is my first time being included in a book! 




So, what's inside this book?

Mostly patterns. The book jumps right into shawl patterns, of which there are twenty. Also included are a list of abbreviations, a glossary of stitches used, with instructions, brief bios of the designers, including yours truly, and sources for each of the yarns used.

Most of the patterns include symbol charts and sometimes diagrams, though not all.

I'll share a few of my favorite patterns from the book.

First, my own Shifting Shawl:

Shifting Shawl Crochet Pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio
(C) Interweave/F+W Media

This shawl has an interesting asymmetric shape that is made just by increasing/decreasing differently on each side of the point. There is a filet panel set just above the point. I'll share one more photo here that shows the shape better. This pattern was first published in Interweave Crochet, Fall 2015.

Shifting Shawl Crochet Pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio
(C) Interweave/F+W Media

Another favorite pattern from this book is Emergence Shawl by Kathryn White. This beauty is so feminine and beautiful. Very classy! Originally found in Interweave Crochet, Fall 2013.

Emergence Shawl by Kathryn White for Interweave Crochet
(C) Interweave/F+W Media

And, one more favorite, Dover by Sara Kay Hartmann. I believe this pattern originally appeared in Poetic Crochet. I really love the stitch pattern in this shawl! It makes a very pretty repeating pattern.

Dover crochet shawl pattern by Sara Kay Hartmann in Poetic Crochet
(C) Interweave/F+W Media
Are you interested in other yarn craft book reviews? I've written several! Check out the following posts:

Crochet to Calm Book Review

Every Which Way Crochet Borders Book Review

Vintage Modern Crochet Book Review

Custom Socks Book Review (Knitting)

Top-Down Crochet Sweaters Book Review


What is the last yarn craft book that you purchased? Was it for crochet or knitting? What made you decide to buy it? What do you like most about it?

I hope to see you again! Please SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter and get 2 FREE patterns right away! Find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!


Happy stitching!
April




7.03.2017

How to Carry Yarn Up the Side of a Crochet Project

Hi friends! Lately I've been working on a new design project. It will be on the blog soon. In the meantime, I want to share tutorial about one of the skills involved. This is a striped crochet project, which means color changes.

How to carry yarn up the side of your crochet project when working with multiple colors. By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio.

Pros and Cons:

When you are changing colors, you can cut your yarn at the end of each section, and leave a tail hanging off. This simplifies things a little as you go, since you don't have to carry the unused yarn. Of course, that will mean weaving in all those ends later. It also means that your crochet project will use up more yarn.



In this project, the edges of each piece will be inside the finished project, as well as being inside a seam allowance, so the edges won't show. This means that I can carry the unused yarn up the side of my crochet project, and those bits of yarn that are carried won't show when it is finished. This means that I don't have to cut my yarn when I finish a section, and I won't have nearly so many ends to weave in at the end! Brilliant!

Supplies:
For this project I am using a size I/9 crochet hook and Zombie Yarns Monster, a dk weight superwash wool.

Here's how to carry yarn up the side of your crochet project:

How to carry yarn up the side of your crochet project when working with multiple colors. By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio.

 ^ You begin carrying when it is time to work the last stitch in the row above your color change. First insert your crochet hook into the last stitch of the row you are working on.

How to carry yarn up the side of your crochet project when working with multiple colors. By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio.

^ Yarn over (this just means to wrap your yarn around your crochet hook), pull that yarn through the stitch.

How to carry yarn up the side of your crochet project when working with multiple colors. By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio.

^ Now is where the magic happens! Take your unused yarn and pass it between your working yarn and your crochet hook, then let it fall to the back of your working yarn.

How to carry yarn up the side of your crochet project when working with multiple colors. By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio.

^ Keep the unused yarn out of the way while you pick your working yarn back up and wrap it around your crochet hook as usual to complete the stitch. Your unused yarn should now be trapped.

How to carry yarn up the side of your crochet project when working with multiple colors. By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio.

^ Complete the stitch as usual, and your unused yarn will be secured inside of that stitch. Just be sure you are doing this with the last stitch along the side so that these carries stay right on the edge. You can then pass it around your working yarn again just before you make the first turning chain for your next row. Keep working up the side like this, passing your unused yarn around your working yarn every time you work a stitch or turning chain along that side.

How to carry yarn up the side of your crochet project when working with multiple colors. By April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio.

^ Here's how the side of my crochet project looks from carrying the unused yarn up the side. That's how you do it!

What is the last striped project you made? What tips do you have for managing multiple colors in a project? I'd love to hear them!

Looking for a colorful crochet project to make? Try one of these!

Tiffany Blanket - a colorful baby blanket to adore - free pattern on my blog!

Pond Creek Pillow - a throw pillow that begins with a mandala - free pattern on my blog!

Tulip Gauntlets - unique and bold fingerless gloves - $5.50 from Interweave

Primary Sweater Dress - a sweet sweater dress in wide stripes - $5 on Ravelry

Berry Scarf - a striped infinity scarf in wattle stitch - free pattern on my blog!

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Happy stitching!
April