New Pattern Alert!

Introducing -- "Merry Potholders", my newest crochet pattern! These potholders are going to be a wonderful addition to your kitchen!

Christmas potholders crochet pattern by April Garwood of Banana Moon Studio for Crochet Today
(C) Crochet Today!/Future US

They are a full 10"/25.5cm square! That's a nice, generous size for protecting surfaces from hot dishes. The front is crocheted, the back is fabric. There is a piece of felt in between the layers, and the binding is sewn on just like a quilt binding.

These potholders were more the brain child of the editor, Theresa Gonzalez, who sent me a picture of what she wanted and asked if I could do it. I am happy with my ability to look at a picture of something and make it. I thought they turned out pretty cute!

These were originally slated for the Nov/Dec issue, but it was so full of loveliness that this one had to be moved to the Jan/Feb issue. I believe that this issue goes on sale in early November, so you'll have plenty of time to make them still as Christmas gifts if you like!

They use Aunt Lydia's size 3 thread, and a size D hook. I actually have some extra thread that was sent to me when designing these! So, if you'd like to win 2 spools of white thread, and one spool of red, which is enough to make the set, please comment below, or tweet a link to this post @BananaMoonStdio. You can earn an entry for both, so each person can potentially get two entries! I'll add your name to the drawing and announce the winner next Thursday, Nov. 7th! I'll ship them to the winner as soon as I have the winner's address!


If you make these potholders, as always, I'd love to see pictures! It totally makes my day when someone posts a picture of something they've made from my pattern! You can post your pics to Ravelry or share them on my Facebook page.

Happy Stitching, and good luck winning the thread!


On Tour with Brenda Bourg

(C)2013 Brenda Bourg, used with permission
Betsy's Shawl
Today's stop on the blog tour for my new crochet e-book of designs for girls, is Designs by Brenda, with Brenda Bourg.

Brenda is my good friend, and has been a mentor in crochet and in homeschooling. She knew I needed to homeschool before I did, and talked to me about it all the way from Minneapolis to Denver (by plane of course), not long after we met. I am more grateful for that than you can imagine!

Brenda has been very involved in the CGOA leadership, editing the Chain Link Newsletter and coordinating the Professional Development Day at both of the CGOA conferences this year. She is also a talented designer, with about 27 designs published. The picture above is her "Betsy's Shawl", designed in honor of a friend suffering through cancer treatment. Did I mention that Brenda is an exceptionally kind person? Well, she is.

Please visit her blog for today's stop on the blog tour, and her Ravelry pattern store to check out her indie patterns for sale!

Other stops on the blog tour have included:
Cute Crochet Chat

Well, this brings the blog tour to a close. Big thanks to Amy Shelton, Jocelyn Sass, and Brenda Bourg for posting on their blogs about my e-book!

Oh, and I get to announce the winner of the free copy of the e-book! Congrats to Brenda B.! You are my winner!!! If you would please send an email to top.banana @ bananamoonstudio . com (taking out the spaces of course) I will email you the e-book! Congrats!!!

Happy Stitching!


On Tour with Jocelyn Sass

Today on the blog tour is my good friend Jocelyn Sass of Cute Crochet Chat. Jocelyn and I have never actually met face to face, but she is special to me because she was assigned as my mentor when I joined CGOA as an associate professional. She fielded lots of questions from me and cheered for my successes.  That really means so much to you when you are first starting out and feeling so unsure. I'm so happy to know her and so thankful for her help and guidance when I was starting out!

We are still friends, and we cheer for each other as peers in the design industry, though she still has a lot more experience than I do!

(C)2013 Jocelyn Sass, used with permission
Dahlia Keyhole Scarf and Fingerless Glove Set

Jocelyn has a blog:

Cute Crochet Chat

and 3 different Etsy shops:

Too Cute Crochet

Jocelyn Designs

Cute Crochet Shop

Please stop by her blog today to read her review of Banana Moon Studio Book One: Girls.

You can find yesterday's post by Crochetville here. And tomorrow the blog tour will take us to Designs by Brenda. Thanks for reading!

Happy stitching!


On Tour with Crochetville

Today begins a brief blog tour for the release of my e-book, Banana Moon Studio Book One: Girls, thanks to some of my crochet-blogging friends! Today's stop is Crochetville - home of community forums, blog, free and for-sale pattern store, online classes, and two awesome crochet-obsessed friends, Amy Shelton and Donna Hulka.

I first met Amy and Donna two years ago at my first CGOA conference in Minneapolis, MN. They are both such friendly ladies and so passionate about crochet! I especially love and appreciate their efforts to help the cause of designers. They are helping crocheters understand just what it is designers do and encouraging appreciation for the work of the crochet designers out there.

This past March, in honor of National Crochet Month, they organized a mega blog tour that lasted all month long! I got to host a day on my blog, and it was that that motivated the design of the Peacock Feather Square that I put up on the blog for free. That blog tour was one of the best things ever for me as far as generating traffic to my site. My average pageviews per month jumped a whopping 500% and they have stayed that high ever since! Of course it helps that I have posted more regularly since then, but that exposure was definitely a big help to me!

Many thanks to Amy and Donna for reviewing my e-book on the Crochetville blog today! Please pay them a visit!

Tomorrow's stop on the tour: Cute Crochet Chat with Jocelyn Sass
Thursday's stop on the tour: Designs by Brenda with Brenda Bourg

Reminder, you can still enter the giveaway for a free copy of the e-book here on my blog by commenting on the blog post or by tweeting a link to it @BananaMoonStdio.

Thanks everyone, and happy stitching!



Treehouse Top

And last, but not least, is "Treehouse Top" a short-sleeved pullover in sizes 12mo[2, 6, 8, 12]. Do those size options seem strange to you? The wide pattern repeats of this stitch pattern make it difficult to offer in every size, without making a very complicated pattern. The stitch pattern is a ripple stitch, with some slight texture from working every 4th row in the front loop only. This pattern is available as one of the 7 patterns in my new e-book, Banana Moon Studio Book One: Girls. The e-book is available for $13.99 on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, Crochetville, and on my website.

You begin at the bottom and work up, attaching the sleeves as you go when you work the yoke. The only seaming is a small gap in the underarm -- very easy. It makes a nice square neckline with some pretty shaping from the ripple stitch.

The yarn is Lion Brand Yarns Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend (acrylic and wool). This is a great yarn! Machine washable and dryable and very soft and nice to work with. The gauge will change when it is washed and dried, so make sure you compare your gauge swatch to the stated gauge after washing and drying.

This will make a nice spring or fall sweater for a sweet girl in your life! What color would you make it in? Who will you make it for? Please share pictures on my Facebook page and/or on Ravelry! I LOVE seeing pictures of finished projects from my patterns! It totally makes my day!

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for... the giveaway!!! Leave a comment here telling me your favorite project from the e-book, or tweet a link to a post about the e-book @BananaMoonStdio with your favorite project (If you look back at previous posts there is one about each pattern, and one about the whole e-book. You can tweet a link to any of those posts to enter). I'll compile a list of entries (you can get 2 entries by commenting here and tweeting), and draw a winner, who will be announced here on the blog, and on my Facebook page, next Thursday! The winner gets a free copy of the e-book!

Next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, some of my designer friends will be reviewing the e-book on their blogs. I am so grateful to Amy Shelton of Crochetville (Tuesday the 22nd), Jocelyn Sass of Cute Crochet Chat (Wednesday the 23rd), and Brenda Bourg of Designs by Brenda (Thursday the 24th) for agreeing to host a day on the blog tour! I'll post a reminder here on each of those days about where you can find the blog post of the day. Until then...

Happy Stitching!


Gracie Lacy Capris

Today's featured pattern is called "Gracie Lacy Capris", capris for girls in sizes 2[4, 6, 8]. I actually designed this pattern a few years ago, and it has been available as an individual pattern since then. However, it has been simplified, and tech-edited since then. It is the only pattern in this collection that is available singly. The single pattern is available on Ravlery, here. It is also available in my Etsy shop, on Craftsy, and on my website for $5. The e-book, Banana Moon Studio Book One: Girls, is available for $13.99 on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and my website.

These capris are made in Rowan Sienna (which comes in 22 different shades). This is a fingering weight mercerized cotton that has a really pretty shine to it and is very soft. It's really nice to crochet with! It is machine washable, of course, just like all the yarns I used in this collection. You'll need 5[6, 7, 8] skeins of the main color, and 1 skein of the secondary color. The finished fabric is a similar thickness to denim.

The pattern is worked from the top down, so you can make them as long or as short as you want.  If you want shorts, or pants, that is doable! The waist is fitted by folding the top over to make a casing for elastic. My oldest, Drama Queen, has worn these capris for years now. She still wears them, but they fit her like bermuda shorts now. You can get a lot of wear out of these!

There is just one more pattern from the e-book to feature here on the blog. I'll post that feature on Thursday, and I will begin a giveaway for a free copy of the e-book as well!  Until then...

Happy stitching!


Seashore Shrug

Today I am sharing with you the "Seashore Shrug", another of the patterns from my e-book, "Banana Moon Studio Book One: Girls".  This is a long-sleeved, cabled shrug for girls in sizes 2[4, 6, 8, 10]. It is a simple and versatile pattern.

This is an easy pattern, with most of the stitches being basic double crochet. The cable of course uses post stitches and treble stitches, but nothing you can't figure out with a simple tutorial on post stitches and cables. Here is one about post stitches. This video shows how to do cables for another of my designs, and the video isn't great, but you can probably get the gist of cables from it. I'm sure that youtube would also be a great place to look for tutorials on cables that are better than mine.

The yarn for this design is Berroco Vintage #5125 Aquae -- a worsted weight acrylic/wool/nylon blend that is soft, machine-washable and easy to work with. It comes in a fantastic variety of colors -- 75 different shades, to be exact! I enjoyed using it and appreciate the good stitch definition for the cable.

It is worked from sleeve-edge to sleeve-edge. You can easily modify this pattern to make a shrug with shorter sleeves. Use the gauge and some math to determine how many rows you need to make the sleeve the desired length, then work that many rows before splitting, and that many rows after bringing it back together for the other sleeve.

I'd love to see pictures of finished shrugs! What color will use? Will you alter the sleeve length? You can add your pictures to Ravelry or share them on my Facebook page!

The e-book is available on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and on my website for $13.99.

Happy Stitching!


Kaleidoscope Cover

Introducing the Kaleidoscope Cover! This is another of the fab patterns from my new e-book "Banana Moon Studio Book One: Girls". This was inspired by my own love of reading and that of my girls. I am an avid journal-keeper also, and I LOVE real books! E-readers are very convenient, but for me, books are multi-sensory, and an e-reader just doesn't compare. You can make this cover for a journal, special book of scripture, or a favorite storybook, even a textbook.

The instructions walk you through the math involved to determine how many stitches and rows you need to make a cover that is just the right size for the book you want to cover. The motif is about 6 in./15 cm in diameter, so if you want the motif to fit, you'll need your book cover to be at least 6 in./15 cm square.

The yarn I used is Valley Yarns Longmeadow, a cotton/microfiber blend. It is a sport weight/light yarn. This yarn is soft with many nice colors. I had a lot of fun deciding which colors to put together for this cover. I ordered 6 colors, and chose 3 to work with: #15 Dark Blue, #5 Fuchsia, #10 Lettuce. You need just 1 skein of each.

The motif made me think of a kaleidoscope. (I've had to type that word so many times lately that I actually memorized the spelling!). This is an easy project. The cover is made all in single crochet with some slip stitching along the top and bottom edges to seam a flap that fits over the edge of the book. The motif is appliqued to the cover.

I fiddled with the idea of stitching the rest of the cover around the motif, but it pulled the motif out of shape and it didn't look as nice. It also made the instructions a lot more complicated, so I opted for applique instead.

The e-book is available for $13.99 on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and on my website. It includes 7 patterns for girls.

What do you think? What colors would you make it in? What book would you cover with it? Any guesses as to what book I covered with it?

Happy stitching!


Monkey Bars Winter Set

This pattern is a winter accessories set for girls that I have named "Monkey Bars Winter Set". It is made in Bernat's Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) #00007 Hot Pink(ish).

The pattern stitch is so stretchy that this one size will fit children from about ages 4-12...really.  I can actually wear this same hat that my daughter wore at age 7. The pattern stitch is also hightly textured, with these lines and square spaces. I call it the "waffle stitch".  The lines and spaces reminded me of monkey bars, and I was going for names that reminded me of the fun and sweetness of childhood.

The Bernat Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) yarn is a soft, slightly fuzzy, worsted weight, machine-washable, wool blend. Great for warmth and great for kids! The colors are really great! Lots of terrific shades to choose from! You'll need 5 skeins to make the whole set. I don't remember exactly how many skeins I used for each piece, but you could pretty safely estimate that 2 skeins would be enough for either the hat or the mittens, and 3 would definitely be enough for the scarf.

This pattern stitch uses post stitches. So you'll need to know how to do post stitches. I did a tutorial on post stitches awhile back on the blog, post is here.

What do you think? In which color would you make it? This pattern is one of the 7 patterns in my new e-book, Banana Moon Studio Book One: Girls. It is available for $13.99 on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and on my website.

Stay tuned! I'll be writing a blog post about each of the 7 patterns. When I blog about the last one, I'll run a giveaway for a free copy of the e-book! Until next time...

Happy stitching!


Lovestruck Leggies

Introducing "Lovestruck Leggies", legwarmers for girls in sizes 4[6, 8, 10].  Over here on the right I have a close-up of the stitch pattern, which looks like a row of stacked hearts.  I swooned over the cuteness when I came up with this idea!  It also has little holes in it that remind me of eyelet lace.

The yarn -- fantastic for these legwarmers -- is the fingering weight Jojoland Melody Superwash.  This yarn is soft and nice to work with, and the colors are so great.  Go check out all the colorways available on the Jojoland website!  Many of the colorways have subtle color changes that are really surprising and beautiful.  You'll need 2[3, 3, 4] skeins to make a pair of legwarmers.  I'd also like to thank Jojo of Jojoland for providing the yarn for the model legwarmers for the e-book!  I hope you'll support Jojoland in return!

This pattern uses an F/5 (3.75mm) hook.  There is a small section of ribbing on top and bottom.

My little "Baby" loves wearing these legwarmers, and she does so often.

This pattern has been professionally tech-edited and is available as part of my new e-book, "Banana Moon Studio Book One: Girls".  It is available on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and on my website for $13.99.

If you make the legwarmers, please add your pictures to Ravelry or share them on my Facebook page!  I love seeing pictures of completed projects!  Don't forget that when I've blogged about all 7 designs, I will run a giveaway for a free copy of the e-book!  Stay tuned...

Happy stitching!