Online Tutorials

Well, I’m not sure this was one of my goals, but I think it should be added…

I’ve noticed a lot of online tutorials for crochet and knitting lately. And… I think this is something I would like to do as well. I’ll also add a few patterns for beginners to help get the new folks started. 🙂 Look back in the coming months (goal is by January 15th) for a post with the basic crochet stitches, detailed photos, beginner patterns (with more photos!), and tips and tricks for beginners.

Note: This online tutorial will also be good as a follow-up for those who take my class at Knitted Together. Trust me, the more you see it the more it will make sense!

For the Love of Crochet

Greetings, fellow bloggers and crafters!

I have some exciting news to announce, but first I have some crochet love and fun new creations to show you! I’ve been doing a lot of crochet projects lately!

Crochet Love

I have always greatly enjoyed crochet and want to show folks the range of projects that can be made. I love crochet because the basic stitches can easily be manipulated to create a variety of pieces. Crochet can make elegant, lace shawls and scarves, summery children’s hats, fashionable adult hats, toys, baby blankets, clothing, and most any other project. Another nice thing about crochet is it is slightly less time consuming than knitting. Here is a link to my crochet favorites on Ravelry. There are over 600 so browse as long as you would like!

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Recent Crochet Projects

Not too long ago I signed up for a test pattern called “Spring Blooms” by May Cheang. It is a beautiful floral scarf/wrap that is perfect for cool summer evenings. It looks lovely in solids, but I quite like mine which was done in the variegated Ella Rae Lace Merino (below). Who says crochet can’t be light, lacy, and elegant? 🙂

Spring Blooms

Spring Blooms by May Cheang

Spring Blooms

Spring Blooms by May Cheang

The hoodie below was created using Berocco Comfort in a bulky weight. I love bulky yarn because it makes for a fast project. I designed it as a cool day hoodie for a baby or child. I have a few revisions to make, but I would like to publish the pattern sometime this summer. (Perfect for fall, eh?) 😉

Bulky Babe Hoodie

Bulky Babe Hoodie by Tasha Wells

Another recent creation was also a test from the Free Pattern Testers board. This is a pattern by Ms. Ira Rott. She released the pattern earlier this year, but wanted some testers to make revisions and get some pictures up. Overall, the pattern is very clear and the end result is adorable. The hat can be made with or without the brim as well. Until I get a child to model my hats kitty here will have to do. 😉

Anyway, I love making crochet hats because they are so simple and fast. A baby hat can be made in as little as an hour with larger hats usually taking 2+ depending on the stitch pattern.

Crochet Cap with Brim

Crochet Cap with Brim by Ira Rott

Crochet Cap with Brim by Ira Rott

Crochet Cap with Brim by Ira Rott

This next pattern is an original. It is done by crocheting in the back loop only and then using the crab stitch as a border. I got the idea from the crochet hat above as it also has a crab stitch trim.

Crab Stitch Headband

Crab Stitch Headband by Tasha Wells

The purse below is another fun, summer creation. As you can probably tell by the colors, the last two projects were also made with the this yarn. This yarn is Cascade Sierra and it is 80% cotton and 20% wool. It’s incredibly soft, but it does get a bit splitty if you have to handle it too much. Overall, I enjoy it because the end product is so cushy and beautiful. The bag pattern can be found on Ravelry and the flower is an original made using the bouillon stitch.

Granny Stripe Boutique Bag

Granny Stripe Boutique Bag by Sara Freisberg

The hats below are some random baby hats I’ve been making up. They are done in Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton and require very little time.

Speaking of hats… here is another Spring Bloom Cloche. I made this one a little shorter as the ears don’t need to be completely covered in warm spring weather. I used Cascade 220 Superwash Paints and am very happy with the yarn. It is beautiful and soft…. almost as good as my Malabrigo Rios! 😉 This hat takes closer to 4 hours to complete because the stitch is more complex; however, I think it’s worth it in the end as the result is a beautiful flow of color!

Grape Bloom Cloche

Grape Bloom Cloche by Tasha Wells

And last, here is a simple sc baby blanket made by my ma. She used Baby Bee yarn with two strands held together. One strand is variegated and the other is solid… I really like the finished product!

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Exciting News

Now that you’ve seen some fun pieces perhaps you’re wondering why I’ve almost completely ditched knitting and only crocheted for the last month or so. Well, back in April I spoke to the folks at Knitted Together about the lack of crochet love in yarn shops. Even a look at the patterns on Ravelry show 58,053 crochet patterns to the whopping 166,039 patterns available to knitters.

Anyway, this conversation ended with me putting together a Beginning Crochet class for the shop. I am very excited to share my love for crochet with those who want to learn. If there is interest a Crochet for Knitters class and perhaps an Amigurumi class will be put together for this fall as well. If you would like more information on the intro class you will find it here on the Knitted Together class site.

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So what about all of you who read the blog… do you knit and crochet? What is your preference and why? If you don’t know how to crochet and have an interest – what are you most interested in learning? Go ahead, spill the beans!

Crochet Jewelry

Last night was an exciting night.

Every month my local yarn shop hosts a Friday Night Knit Club with a cool theme and last night was a jewelry party. They know my love for crochet so they asked me to design a couple of pieces to showcase. It was a busy few weeks, but I love the results. Below you will find some pictures of the jewelry I created and on Sunday I will post all of the patterns I wrote up. They will be right here on the blog and also here on Ravelry. (There will also be more pictures here on the blog with other designs!)

Lariat

Spring Belt

Daisy Trail Cuff

Hemp Choker

Contests, Giveaways, and Drawings

Contests

My local yarn shop is doing a series of contests over the summer with the winners (and a random voter!) winning sweet, sweet yarn. It is $60 for the winner and $30 to the winner of the voter’s drawing. What a great promotional idea, right?? Anyway, the first contest is a knit monster. Ooooooo scary. No, they’re actually pretty cute. 🙂 You can vote for your favorite monster on their Facebook page here or on Nancy the owner’s blog here. Folks are allowed to vote once through each venue. Don’t forget, that’s two entries to win $30 of free yarn!!

And my own shameless promotion… my monster is #11 – Mr. & Mrs. K2tog and I if you are a KT customer I would sure appreciate your vote. 😉 Don’t forget you have to “like” Knitted Together on Facebook in order to vote on their page.

Tasha's Mr. & Mrs. K2tog

Mr. & Mrs. K2tog

Giveaways and Drawings

Let me start by saying I have always been a fan of giveaways and contests. Sign up for “this” and get “that” free. (Though more often it is “…have a chance at getting that free”!) Every year I go to the Iowa State Fair and enter the Varied Industries Building with sign-ups in mind. Hot tub? Yeah, that’d be sweet. A set of fancy pans? Of course! A new lawn mower? Why not! Or so my thinking goes… I even have an email specifically for companies, contests, giveaways, coupons, etc. 🙂

That being said… I have never won a drawing. Ever. For anything. Ahh, persistence… I will not give up! Haha.

Anyway, that brings me to the real meaning of today’s post. I found a post on Ravelry where crafters (namely knit, crochet, and yarn folks) can list their sales, blogs, contests, and promotions. Yippee!! I spent most of Saturday morning signing up for April contests and then bookmarked the page for future reference.

You will find the post in the “Needlework on the Net” forum. There is a new post every month or so titled, “Sales, blogs, contests or promotions? Post here! (Month Year)”. A lot of the bloggers ask you to do one of many things with each item being an entry to their giveaway. Here are the most common requests:

  • Comment on the blog by answering a question
  • Follow their blog, Twitter, Etsy, etc
  • Pick a favorite item from their Etsy or Ravelry shop
  • “Like” their business/shop on Facebook
  • Tell others about their giveaway, contest, etc.

Again, great promotional idea, huh? I also got a great idea from Crochet My Love Designs on Ravelry. She posted a new pattern and put a link to her Facebook page in the pattern’s description. She then told potential buyers that a “Like” on her Facebook page would earn them a free pattern! Woo hoo! I love all of these promotional ideas and am excited to try them out when K1 Sew Too is a little more robust. If I am going to have a lot of people viewing my pages and work I want to be able to “show them what we’re made of”, so to speak!

Alright, so here are some of the drawings I entered in the last couple of days. Perhaps I’ll win one… Perhaps…

  • Blog – A yarn giveaway! And some cutsie pictures. Mmm…. yarn!
  • Blog – Winner gets pretty dishcloths, chocolate, soap (the kind I use!), and chap stick.
  • Blog – Winner gets one of three patterns. There’s a really cool shawl/jacket and a nifty hat/cowl as well.
  • Blog – The first ten to post get the materials to make a military doll. Even if you don’t win the yarn there is a free pattern for said military doll. Cute. And it’s meant to be made for soldiers and/or their families. Who doesn’t like a good cause? 😉
  • Blog – This contest was to win some BEAUTIFUL yellow yarn. The contest is over and I didn’t win… but the yarn is still gorgeous and I have added a new, cool company to K1 Sew Too’s likes on Facebook.

Well, that’s about all I have for now. I hope you enjoy the drawings, giveaways, etc listed. Is there a special place you go for great deals? If so, please share!

Wonderful Day

So today was the fiber festival. I didn’t end up selling anything, but I gave out quite a few business cards and people really seemed to like some of my hats. I think most of the folks at the festival were knitters and crocheters looking for snazzy yarn so it was nice to get a couple of compliments. I considered it a success because it was fun and I was able to do some networking as well. :)

After the festival mom and I went to the local (Winterset) fabric store to browse. Want to take a guess what was on sale? Yarn! HA. Apparently they usually don’t sell yarn, but their magazine had leftover kits so they had all kinds of yarn. I think my best deal was Cascade 220 Superwash, which is normally $11, for only $5. After browsing for too long there we went to the local yarn shop, Heartland Fiber. Of course, they had sale yarn there as well – 50% off, too. I sure got some nice deals today… Mirasol Hacho for $4 was another steal…

Of course after all the (trying) to sell and shopping we had to eat! What was the name… I forget the name, but the local cafe next to the yarn shop has very good burgers. We also ordered a tray of onion rings and were accidentally given (in addition to the onion rings) fries with our burgers. No extra charge! It was some great food and since we didn’t order the fries I was able to bring mom’s leftovers home to my hungry husband. (I say hungry because he is always hungry for something good. lol)

So after this fun day of yarn with my mom I returned home. And what do you suppose I returned home to find? My dear husband did all of the dishes, vacuumed, did a load of laundry, and ironed. Holy freaking cow. He is the best. I really do love the man.  He even ran 4.5 miles this afternoon.

Overall, it has been a super great day. I had a great time with my mom, enjoyed the festival with Elaine, got some great deals on yarn, and have a super sweet husband to come home to after a long day. :) What is the sweetest thing your husband or significant other has done for you? I quite enjoy hearing love stories… :) Feel free to comment with your own.

Inspiration

Ever since I first saw Malabrigo I loved it. I was in Iowa City for work and since I was just getting into “fancy” yarn I hunted down the LYS to see what was available. The yarn shop was Crazy Girl Yarn Shop and at first I didn’t see anything I wanted to spend money on. (Don’t get me wrong, it is a very nice shop.) However, I was just about to walk out the door when I turned to my right and saw the hanks of Malabrigo Merino Worsted. The skein below (color: Loro Barranquero) is what caught my eye.

malabrigo merino worsted - loro barranquero

Pretty, huh?

I made my first knit hat out of that skein of yarn. (Note: Never make your first anything out of fancy yarn!) Anyway, I loved the colors of the yarn as I knitted, but the yarn does fuzz a little since it is not superwash. Really, that is my only complaint. And Malabrigo fixed that by making Malabrigo Rios! It is a merino wool superwash. Rios is my favorite yarn ever. It knits well, it crochets well, the colors are great, and it doesn’t get fuzzy. It’s also super soft. Ever since I bought a collection of Rios I have been looking for stitch patterns to show off the beautiful colors best. Two of my favorite stitches are the honeycomb brioche (knit) stitch, the crossed brioche (knit) stitch, sc in the back loop only, and the (crochet) star stitch.

Honeycomb Brioche Pidge

Honeycomb Brioche Pidge

Crossed Brioche Winter Headband

Crossed Brioche Winter Headband

This leads me to ::drum roll:: my star stitch “In Bloom Cloche” and back loop only “Spring Spirals Beanie”! They were inspired by the beautiful colors of Malabrigo and a hankering for a spring crochet hat pattern. Clicking on the Spring Spiral Beanie picture will bring you to the blog post with the pattern. (The In Bloom Cloche is currently being tested and will be released for sale soon!)

Spring Spirals Beanie (free pattern)

In Bloom Cloche (pattern for sale soon)

Close-up of In Bloom Cloche

Dreaming of Yarn

Upon waking in the wee hours this morning I remembered a dream.

I normally don’t remember my dreams, but when I do remember them they usually build upon something I was doing or thinking about the previous day. (Makes sense.) Well, yesterday I was thinking about making the Pegboard Lace Tunic. More specifically I was thinking about the yarn needed to make one similar to ShellularKellular’s (on Ravelry.com) version.

shellularkellular's pegboard lace tunic

ShellularKellular's Pegboard Lace Tunic

While researching many, many yarns I came across HandMaiden Fine Yarns Sea Silk. Take a look at those colors! I have fallen in love! Also, before falling asleep I was “daydreaming” of having a fabulously popular shop. I was at a craft fair and since I was so fabulously popular I could buy Sea Silk and create dazzling scarves to sell. It was great. But, alas, back to the actual dream… I was at a LYS near the ocean and had just pulled some sea silk from the ocean and spun it myself. (Note: Obviously, this yarn doesn’t come from the ocean and I have no idea how to spin yarn.) It was pretty horribly spun, very thick and thin and not in a good way, but the colors were delicious. Anyway, I went in to the yarn shop and asked them to wind it for me. The worker, who looked very similar to a worker in my own LYS, looked at my yarn with disgust and asked if I really wanted to pay to have it wound. Apparently it costs $20 to have yarn wound in my dream LYS by the sea. That’s about all I remember… perhaps I should have punched her for turning up her nose to my beautiful yarn. That may have made the dream a little more entertaining. 🙂 But maybe it’s a sign I should purchase some real HandMaiden Sea Silk…. hmmm… 🙂

So do you ever dream of luscious yarn? Or even better, have you ever had a dream about a project to knit or crochet or a pattern to write?

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A note on Sea Silk… It is made of 70% silk and 30% SeaCell. Apparently “SeaCell” is a name HandMaiden Fine Yarns coined and it is comprised of 70% Tencel derived from pulpwood and 30% Tencel derived from kelp. I found an article on Tencel that explains the process of deriving fibers from pulpwood; however, it doesn’t mention the kelp process. Anyway, if you are interested in the eco-friendliness of Tencel or the process you might find this article interesting.

 

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