11.30.2015

Zinnia Cap and Slouch Hat

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Introducing my Zinnia Cap and Slouch Hat. I'm so excited to have this design out! This pattern is found in the new Interweave Crochet Accessories 2016. This hat is made of square motifs. I've found that square motifs make a pretty nice hat. Our heads aren't cube-shaped, but this hat is, and the stretch of crochet allows it to fit nicely on your head. You can make the fitted version with 5 motifs, or the slouch version with 9 motifs. You can make a wide band as on the left, or just single row of sc as on the right.


Whichever color you seam with, will show through when you stretch the hat out on your head, so use a color if you want your seams to show. Use white if you don't want them to show. The yarn is Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (100% Superwash Wool; 220 yds or 200 m per skein). I used colors #910A winter white, #821 daffodil, #1940 peach, and #1960 pacific. One skein of each color is enough to make both a fitted and slouch hat, or two fitted hats.


When I get these two hats back, I'll keep one for myself and give the other to one of my daughters. That will be kind of fun to have matching, but still slightly different, hats. You could make a set for yourself and a friend, daughter, mother, or sister.

Interesting things about this last photo...the hats are wrong side out. Oops! That happens sometimes. When you don't have the designer there for the photo shoot, and if they've done a very good job of keeping the wrong side neat, you don't always know. This is not the first time I've seen a published photo wrong side out.

Shop 12 Days of Deals at Interweave Store

Anyhow...I first designed this hat a few years ago when I was gearing up for a book proposal. That proposal didn't pan out, and it turned out to be a really bad time for me to do a book, so it's a good thing that it didn't work out. But this was one of the designs in the proposal. Here is my original hat done in Cascade 220 Superwash Sport #812 Turquoise, #821 Daffodil, #807 Raspberry, and #871 White.

front

What colors will you use for your hat? I look forward to seeing lots of these completed. This is a design that I'm really proud of, and so pleased how it turned out! Please share photos of your finished Zinnia hat or cap on my Facebook page or on Ravelry. I love seeing FOs from my patterns!

back
Happy stitching!
April

11.23.2015

Brassica Scarf


Today I'm here to share my Brassica Scarf. The yarn you see here is the lovely Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts 100% Superwash Merino Wool 3 ply fingering/sock. There are 372 yds [340 m] to a skein. I offer this in two different lengths: Standard 6" x 65 1/2" or Extra-long 6" x 77 1/2". The standard length uses one skein of each color, the extra-long requires 2 skeins of the main color plus 1 skein of the accent color. I used French Lilac for the main color and Beaujolais Nouveau for the accent color.


The scarf begins at one long edge and is worked in a textured ripple stitch. Post stitches provide the texture. No worries though, this is really a pretty easy stitch pattern. If you've never tried post stitches, check out my "Post Stitch Post". After completing several rows of the main stitch pattern, you complete the scarf by edging just one side with a complementary edging. I really love asymmetry and unexpected details, such as this one-sided edging.

I actually wore this scarf out and about today and loved how it completed my outfit.

You should definitely hop on over to the Ancient Arts website and see all the lovely colors that they have to offer! Pick out two of your favorites today and make this beautiful scarf. It will be your new favorite for the season! Available on Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy for just $3.00!


10.20.2015

Shifting Shawl

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(C)Interweave

Today I'm here to tell you about "Shifting Shawl", a pattern of mine found in Interweave Crochet, Fall 2015.

Truthfully, this is such an awesome design! This is an asymmetric triangular shawl. The filet panel you see is offset in this triangle.


The only stitches used in this shawl are double crochet. You begin at one corner, and increase every few rows to widen the shawl to the point. Then you decrease to reach the other corner. The "edging" of this shawl is not really an edging, it is just the pattern made by the increases and decreases to shape the shawl. 

(C)Interweave


This is a really easy pattern. You'll need to focus on the filet chart while doing the filet panel, but the rest of the shawl could probably be worked one while chatting with friends.

The yarn for this design is Lion Brand LB Collection Superwash Merino. This is a nice yarn, and it is inexpensive, so that's good news for you. It's a DK weight yarn that comes in 26 colors. You'll need 2 skeins to complete the shawl.

Please share photos of your completed shawl on Ravelry or on my Facebook page! It makes my day to see that others have enjoyed my patterns!

Happy stitching!
April

10.13.2015

Holly Sweater

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(C)Annie's

Introducing my "Holly Sweater" from Crochet! Winter 2015.

I was looking to make a girls sweater with fashionable details. This sweater has a small split at each hip that is edged with small panels of ribbing. The boat neck is also edged with ribbed panels. The sleeves are made separately and sewn in. There are small buttons where the ribbed panels overlap. These are for looks, not function.

The really soft yarn that I used for this sweater is Plymouth Yarn DK Merino Superwash. You'll need 3(4, 5) skeins #1121 fuchsia, 1(1, 2) skeins #1127 blush, and 1 skein #1132 green lake to make your own in size 2, 4, or 6.

I used one of my favorite stitch patterns for this sweater: wattle stitch. When worked in stripes like this, it almost looks like a chevron stitch, but it's not.

I thought you might like to see my sketch from my original submission for this design:

Main sketch with details pointed out in writing

Detail of side split
When you send a submission to a magazine editor, it usually involves a written description, a sketch, like these, and a swatch. You don't have to be a great artist to sketch a design. Clearly, mine are not fabulous. You just need to get your point across. Editors must have great imaginations to be able to envision the finished product.

In a few weeks I'll have another post available with some how-to helps for this design. In the meantime, don't forget to visit me on my Facebook page!

Happy stitching!
April

10.06.2015

Suburbia Cowl


I'm back today to introduce my latest knitting pattern, "Suburbia Cowl." This is made in Baah Sonoma in color Tart Apple. This is a smooth dk weight 100% Merino Superwash yarn. It is comfortable against my skin and pleasant to work with.


This cowl is knit in the round from the bottom-up. It's a very simple pattern, with nice texture, but easy enough for a near-beginner. The most complicated part is the applied i-cord edging on top and bottom. However, I had never done applied i-cord before making this cowl. I found this tutorial video from Berroco and was able to figure it out very easily. You can do this!


I knit this cowl on size 9 needles, which makes a fabric with nice drape -- very nice to wear. Both sides have an attractive appearance so, it's no problem to have either, or both, sides showing. The color is so on trend! Pantone just released its 2016 color report, and bright green is going to be a great shade to use!

When you finish your's please share your photos on my Facebook page and on Ravelry! I look so forward to seeing them!

Happy stitching!
April

9.29.2015

Cumulus Cowl

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(C)Interweave Crochet
Today I have the pleasure of showing you one of my latest designs, "Cumulus Cowl" published in Interweave Crochet, Fall 2015. I seriously cannot wait to get this sample back from the publisher. I'm hoping I'll have it back before winter sets in. This cowl is so warm!

(C)Interweave Crochet
Now, you can see that the stylist decided to have the model wear this as a stole, and that can work if you are fairly small, and believe me it will be cozy. I did, however, mean for this to be a very chunky cowl, so I guess it is a very versatile piece that you can wear many ways. In addition to doubling as a stole, it has an interesting texture on both sides, so it is reversible as well. The top two pictures show it on both sides. If you can zoom into those, you'll see the difference. The next photo just below shows one side closer, and the bottom photo shows the other side closer.

(C)Interweave Crochet

The yarn used is Cascade Yarns Magnum, which is super bulky 100% wool that comes in 123 yd skeins. You'll need 3 of these deliciously soft skeins and a 15 mm/Q hook to make this fast-finish accessory. Start today and you could have it finished before the week is over.

(C)Interweave Crochet

In this last photo you can see the very visible diagonal join. While making this, I thought about trying to find a less-visible way to join the rounds, but I decided I rather liked this feature. I'm guessing that the publisher liked it as well since they decided to photograph it. I can see wearing this cowl with the join showing since it adds another interesting line to the piece.

When you finish yours please share your photos on my Facebook page and/or Ravelry! I love seeing photos of finished projects from my patterns!

Happy stitching!
April

9.22.2015

Flyover Scarf - FREE pattern


Today I have another free pattern for you dear readers! I put this scarf together from some partially used skeins of sock yarn. It's nothing complicated, or challenging. (Hence the reason it is a free pattern). Surely others have some partially used skeins of sock yarn hanging around. It's not just me, right? Please tell me I'm right. So, since we all have this problem, I offer a solution.

This post contains affiliate links. You are helping my bottom line by clicking one and loading up your shopping cart, so thank you!





Flyover Scarf
Design by April Garwood

Difficulty Level Easy

Finished Measurements 54 ½” x 9” [138.5 cm x 23 cm]

Yarn
(A) Abt 340 yds [308 m] Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk #5607 Red
(B) Abt 130 yds [119 m] Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Flames
(C) Abt 220 yds [200 m] Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine #1293 Brown


Notions clips or locking stitch markers to hold while seaming, yarn needle

Gauge 5 patt rep x 13 rows = about 4” [10 cm] in patt st.

Pattern Stitch
Ch 22
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, *sk next ch, 3 dc in next ch, sk next ch, sc in next ch, repeat from * across, turn – 21 sts.
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as a st), 2 dc in first st, *sk next dc, sc in next dc, sk next dc**, 3 dc in next st, repeat from * across, ending last rep at **, 2 dc in last st, turn.
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in first st, *skip next dc, 3 dc in next sc, sk next dc, sc in next dc, repeat from * across, turn.
Alternate repeating Rows 2 and 3 for pattern.

Stitch Guide
Puff st: *Yo, insert hook in designated st, pull up a lp, elongate lp to height of dc, repeat from * 2 more times, yo, pull through all lps on hook.



Scarf
Section A
With A, Ch 50
Row 1(RS): Sc in 2nd ch from hook, *sk next ch, 3 dc in next ch, sk next ch, sc in next ch, repeat from * across, turn – 49 sts.
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as a st, now and throughout), 2 dc in first st, *sk next dc, sc in next dc, sk next dc**, 3 dc in next st, repeat from * across, ending last rep at **, 2 dc in last st, turn.
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in first st, *skip next dc, 3 dc in next sc, sk next dc, sc in next dc, repeat from * across, turn.
Rows 4-81: Alternate repeating Rows 2 and 3. Fasten off.

Section B
Row 1(WS): With WS facing, join B with sl st to first st, ch 2, dc in first st, *ch 1, sk next st, puff st (see Stitch Guide) in next st, repeat from * across to last 2 sts, ch 1, sk next st, dc in last st, turn – 23 puff sts.
Row 2: Ch 2, dc in first st, *ch 1, sk ch sp, puff st in next st, repeat from * across, ch 1, sk last ch sp, dc in last st, turn.
Rows 3-22: Repeat Row 2. Fasten off.

Section C
Row 1(RS): With RS facing, join C with sl st to first st, ch 1, sc in first st, *sk next ch, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next st, sk next ch, sc in next st, repeat from * across, turn – 37 sts.
Row 2: Ch 2, 2 dc in first st, *sk next dc, sc in next ch sp, sk next dc**, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next st, repeat from * across, ending last rep at **, 2 dc in last st, turn.
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in first st, *skip next dc, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next sc, sk next dc, sc in next ch sp, repeat from * across, placing last sc in last dc, turn.
Rows 4-72: Alternate repeating Rows 2 and 3, ending with a Row 2 repeat.

Without twisting scarf, line up ends with RS facing each other, secure with clips or st markers, ch 1, working through both thicknesses, sl st across ends to seam. Fasten off.

Finishing
Block if desired. Weave in all ends.

(C)2015 April Garwood. All rights reserved.


I've given you the yarn types, colors, and amounts that I used, and the exact instructions to make your scarf just like mine. However, you probably do not have all the same sock yarn bits hanging around that I had, let alone in the same amounts. So, I hope you'll use this pattern to improvise a way to use up your own yarns. You can make each section longer or shorter. You can make your scarf wider. You can even make fewer or more sections using the same stitches. Make it yours!
This size is long enough to double. When doubled, it isn't tight around my neck, but it is a comfortable length that keeps my neck warm.

When you finish yours, please share photos on my Facebook page or on Ravelry! I love seeing photos of FOs from my patterns!

Please remember, if you want to share this pattern, share the link to my blog instead of copying the pattern. Thank you!

Happy stitching!
April

9.15.2015

Book Review: Custom Socks

This post contains affiliate links. You help my bottom line when you click on one and load up your shopping cart, so thank you!
Custom Socks: Knit to Fit Your Feet
By Kate Atherley
Interweave/F+W $27.99

Today I have a great book review for you! This is Custom Socks: Knit to Fit Your Feet, by Kate Atherley. This book is going to help you solve all of your sock-knitting woes! It will help you make socks for yourself, and socks to gift to others. If you have ever found that standard sock sizes don't work for your feet, this book will really be indispensable!

Let's talk about making socks for other people. Have you ever gifted handmade socks? or wanted to? There are great charts in here that will help you with measuring a foot, or with estimating sock size based on shoe size. Or, if you have only some of the needed measurements there are charts to help you estimate the rest.

There is information about estimated yardage depending on sock size and gauge. There are recommendations for yarn types and tools. Author Kate Atherly, also discusses different construction methods like dpns or circulars, toe-up or cuff-down. She gives tips for different parts and aspects of the sock.

This book gives you options for heel stitch patterns, cast-ons, and bind-offs to keep your heels durable, and your leg-end stretchy. There are also helps for those of you that detest grafting your toes with kitchener stitch. Kate discusses the suitability of various stitch patterns to sock knitting and discusses color-work and swatching. There are great how-to instructions in this book with wonderful illustrations and diagrams.

There are 11 sock patterns in this book. There are basic patterns and cabled ones. There are patterns that are a teensy bit lacy. There are textured patterns and color-work patterns, and even a knee sock. Most of the patterns include charts.

Here are a few of my favorite patterns from this book:

"Oh, Valencia!"
(C)Interweave/F+W

"Harcourt"
(C)Interweave/F+W

"Fitzcarraldo Knee Sock"
(C)Interweave/F+W
If you're looking to dive further into sock knitting to help yourself knit better socks, you'll want to look this book over!

Happy stitching!
April

9.08.2015

Edmond Sweater



Today's featured design is the "Edmond Sweater." I designed this a few months ago, had it professionally tech-edited, and have it available on Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy. This is a baby sweater, designed in sizes 3 mo, 6 mo, 12 mo, and 18 mo. I used one of my favorite solid stitch patterns for this sweater. I think that "seed stitch" has something of a woven look to it. I crocheted a matching frog closure for this sweater and the instructions are included.



The yarn I used is Valley Yarns Valley Superwash dk, available at WEBS. As you can guess from the name, this is a dk weight superwash wool yarn. It is one of my favorites! I've also used this yarn for my "Sweet Little (Rounded) Mittens" and my matching "Sweet Little Hat." The pattern also uses a size I/9/5.5 mm crochet hook, or the size needed to match my gauge.


This will be a spectacular baby gift for a loved one or friend! Be prepared for lots of "awww!" if you gift this at a baby shower. Great thing is, it really is pretty quick to make, just because babies are so small. This will be a wonderful sweater to make for your own little one as well. This will make a great fall or spring jacket for him or her!

When your's is finished please share a photo on my Facebook page or Ravelry! I love to see photos of finished projects from my patterns! Makes my day!

Happy Stitching!
April



8.24.2015

Punch Pillow


Here today to blog about one of my newest crochet patterns, "Punch Pillow". This new pattern is available in a special issue by Annie's called, From Scraps to Sensational.

This is a pillow sham design that you put over a pillow form. I used Berroco Weekend DK to make this one and that would make an excellent yarn for the base. The colorful design on the front is made using a technique called surface crochet. This is the part that can be done using scraps from your stash. You can do every stripe in a different yarn or do a repeating pattern as I did here. To make one exactly like this you'll need:

  3 hanks in #2902 Vanilla
  1 hank in #2904 Pebble
  1 hank in #2966 Turquoise
  1 hank in #2981 Seedling
  1 hank in #2982 Coast
  Size G/6/4 mm crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge
  Tapestry needle
  Locking stitch markers
  14" pillow form


I had fun considering submissions for this issue. The thought of surface crochet came to me pretty quickly because you can use just a little yarn for a big impact. I just had to decide where to apply it. I settled on a pillow, and started swatching.

Here was my submitted swatch:


My sketch suggested 2 different ways of arranging the stripes:


You see, you could arrange stripes of surface slip stitching any way you want to make interesting shapes and patterns on the surface of your pillow cover. Editor Jackie Daugherty selected the bottom sketch.

I really enjoyed working on this pillow cover. I like surface crochet. It's fun to do. Here are some pictures of mine taken in process:






My last photo is how I envisioned it, so I was surprised by the magazine photo...it seemed sideways. It's grown on me though, and I like it both ways.

I am excited at the possibilities with this project! I can imagine some really awesome, colorful projects! I look forward to seeing finished projects on Ravelry and on my Facebook page!

Happy Stitching!
April




8.19.2015

Book Review: Warm Days, Cool Knits

This post contains affiliate links. You can help my bottom line by clicking one and loading up your shopping cart. Thanks in advance!
Warm Days, Cool Knits: Lighter Designs for Every Season
By Corrina Ferguson
Interweave/F+W; $24.99

Today I am reviewing this wonderful knitting book, Warm Days, Cool Knits, for you dear readers! I was fortunate to win this book by listening to The Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. She interviewed the designer, Corrina Ferguson of Picnic Knits. I left a comment on her show notes and won the book and a skein of yarn to make one of the projects. More on that in a bit.

As I listened to the podcast I was perusing photos of the included patterns on Ravelry. I was very impressed with the lovely projects in this book, so it really was very exciting to win the book!

Here are some of my favorites:

Coralue
(C) Joe Hancock

Mayella
(C) Joe Hancock

Jonetta
(C) Joe Hancock

Lovely, aren't they?! There are 20 patterns in the book, and really there are only a couple that I wouldn't love to make and wear!

The yarn that I won was a skein of Hazel Knits Divine (fingering weight Merino/Cashmere/Silk). It is aptly named. It is really lovely, soft yarn! This is the exact yarn and colorway for the Emmylou shawl. It is a crescent shaped shawl with an interesting cable-type pattern. It doesn't look like your typical cable pattern, but utilizes cable techniques and a cable needle.

Emmylou
(C) Joe Hancock

Truthfully, the first 3 or 4 cable rows had me fuming. My hands were really struggling to manage the extra cable needle. I found that, in particular, the parts that required my cable needle to hold one stitch to the front were frustrating because that one stitch was too loose to hold onto the cable needle. If I used a larger cable needle, the 2 stitches held to the back were too tight to fit on the needle. This is probably the result of my own quirkiness. I was determined and persevered, and I am glad that I did. After those first 3 or 4 cable rows, they gradually got easier because my hands were getting more used to managing it all. I am nearing completion of the main body of the shawl, almost time to begin the edging. It is looking very lovely.


This is a good thing. Not only will I have a lovely, soft shawl when I'm done, I will have learned something and improved my knitting skills, and that is worth a little frustration to me.

This particular pattern that I am working on relies heavily on charts. I think it's likely that the other patterns will as well, but I haven't looked carefully at the others to determine if this is so. If you're looking for a great knitting pattern book with lovely wearables, and you love using charts, this one should definitely be on your list!

Happy stitching!
April