Monday, September 22, 2014

Special Free Pattern: Pumpkin Earrings




  To welcome the beginning of fall, why not make something quick, simple, and totally fun? Crochet is the Way is offering you an extra free pattern this week in honor of the turn of the season. Made of worsted weight yarn, these pumpkins are large enough to attract attention, but lightweight enough to not wear out their welcome on your ears.



  Follow the provided links if you need help with the stitches needed to complete these cute accessories.



  If bigger earrings aren't your thing, you can still use this pattern for a brooch, pendant, or keychain. Whether you make a fridgie, use as an applique, or hang it in your car, your imagination is the only limit. The pattern only takes a minute to complete, and will help you use up some of that yarn stash.



  Finished size of pattern is 1 1/2" (3.8 cm) wide at center of pumpkin, 2" (5 cm) tall from bottom of pumpkin to top of stem. When assembled as for earrings shown, the height measures 3" (7.5 cm)  from the bottom of pattern to earring hook.






Skill Level:






Materials:
Worsted weight (4) acrylic yarn
-I'm using Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin and Coffee; also a sage color I had some scraps of. Brown/tan, light green, dark green, and certain yellows would work well for a stem color. Each motif uses less than a yard of each color.
Crochet hook size H/8-5.00 MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch marker, if needed
Yarn needle or smaller hook to weave in ends
Jewelry findings for assembly
Fabric stiffener or craft glue




Gauge:
Not important. First round of pattern has a diameter of 1 1/2" (3.8 cm)


Notes:
For the last row of pattern, you may chain more than 2 if you like. This is only for a space to add a jump ring, so adjust it to your needs.


Stitches and abbreviations:
Begin/beginning (beg)
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Half-double crochet (hdc)
Double crochet (dc)


Directions:

1. Begin with a sl st in magic circle. Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), (1 hdc, 8 dc, 1 hdc [mark with st marker], 1 sc) in circle. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. Pull circle tight around stitches.


Bind off, weave in ends.



2. In marked hdc before join, pull color B through, sl st. Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in each of the next 2 sts.



3. Ch 2, turn. Skip next st, sl st in last st. Bind off, weave in ends.




Hardening motif:

*You may use purchased fabric stiffener if you like, just follow the manufacturer's instructions. I'm using diluted craft glue, and will provide directions for the process.

Here I'm using good ol' Aleene's Tacky Glue. Dilute 2 parts of glue with one part water in an appropriate container. You only need enough to cover the motifs you will be hardening.



Gently squeeze out any excess glue, and allow to dry. You may thread string or scrap yarn through them and hang to dry, but I like to lay them flat to dry on some waxed paper. If you do this, move them slightly every 10 minutes or so, to make sure they don't stick.




Assembly of earrings shown:


1. Once dry, attach a jump ring in the ch-2 space at top of stem.



2. Add a second jump ring to the first.



3. Attach a third jump ring to the second, add earring hook before closing.


Happy Fall!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Free Pattern: Pretty Purple Picot Pendant



  The Pretty Purple Picot Pendant pattern is perfect to practice pointy picots! 


  That might be a difficult tongue twister, but the pattern is easy. Some pretty purple crochet thread and painless picots work quickly into a simple accessory. The fun, funky shape can be worn alone or as a set. Add only a jump ring for a quiet statement, or include some beads and chains to jazz it up.


  The finished pendant is small enough to use for earrings, too. Make three pieces to create a matching necklace and earring set. If you're interested in changing the color, this pattern is a great way to use scraps! The whole piece only takes about a yard of size 10 crochet thread.



Finished size of pendant is about 2" (5 cm) tall by just under 1" (2.5 cm) wide.






Skill Level:






Materials:
Aunt Lydia's size 10 crochet thread (violet), about a yard
Steel crochet hook size 7/1.65MM
Smaller hook or needle to weave in ends
Fabric stiffener or diluted craft glue
Jump ring
Various other findings or beads to assemble to your taste


Gauge:
Not important.


Stitches and Abbreviations:
Chain -ch
Single crochet -sc
Picot: 1 sc in next st, ch 2. Sl st in top of sc, ch 1.


Notes:
You'll notice the picots always point slightly in the direction you are working. With the picots worked in the round, this means they point down on one side, and up on the other. If you like this look, just block and treat your project as is. If you would like them to point straight out, you can easily pull them into place before hardening the pendant.


Directions:


Row 1:
Ch 10 to begin. 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each of remaining 7 chs. (9 sc)


Row 2:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), turn. 1 sc in each of the next 8 sts. (9 sc)


You will now work the pattern in the round.


Round 3:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), turn. 1 picot in each of the next 7 sts. Close last picot with a sc in the last st. Ch 4 for jump ring loop and to work around side to reach bottom sts. 1 sc in first available sc sp in bottom row. 1 picot in each of the next 7 sps. Close the last picot with a sc in last st. Ch 1 for corner, 1 sc in same st. Working around, 1 sc in the base of the next st. Ch 1 for next corner, join with a sl st to beg ch 1.


Bind off, weave in ends.




If you are using fabric stiffener, follow the directions on the product. To use craft glue (like Aleene's Tacky Glue), use about 2 parts glue to 1 part water. Block into place, let dry.


Add a jump ring or your own combination of findings to create a personalized piece.





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Yarn Tales Tuesday



Crochet Holidays, not Holiday Crochet


  I'm sure we've all heard the term "Holiday Crochet", as in: Crocheting for a certain holiday. That's not what we're talking about this week. This is totally different. Did you know there are "holidays" for crochet? 


  September 12th was International Crochet Day. It sneaked up on me this year, and I didn't have a chance to spread much word of it before it was too late! I didn't get to do much other than suggest to fellow crocheters that they should consider celebrating by helping someone else learn to crochet. Being not only my work, but also my favorite hobby, I was disappointed to miss out on a special day for crochet.


  However, there is another "holiday" coming up that I love, and you may want to celebrate. Every year, the second Friday of October is I Love Yarn Day. That will be the 10th in 2014. Yarn enthusiasts of all types celebrate every year by crafting, donating, or wearing yarn related items, as well as organizing yarn bombs, teaching a skill with yarn, or maybe just throwing a yarn party. There are many ways to celebrate, no matter what your yarn-related hobby might be.


  If you would like to learn all the details, you can learn more about I Love Yarn Day by visiting http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/i-love-yarn. You'll find free patterns, party ideas, and even I Love Yarn Day gear! While you're there, you can share your thoughts about the day, organize a flash mob, or just mark your calendar for special events.




You can also find more on:
Facebook-
http://www.facebook.com/iloveyarnday

Pinterest-
http://pinterest.com/iloveyarnday/

Twitter-
http://twitter.com/iloveyarnday

Or view more with Instagram or #ILoveYarnDay.


  I like to celebrate by helping someone learn crochet, or creating an item to donate to charity. Do you plan to celebrate I Love Yarn Day? What are your plans?

  Do you know of any other yarn or crochet related holidays? If you do, help spread the word!


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