Spring Is in the Air: 6 Spring/Summer Crochet Patterns

Two things are for sure.

  • Spring is here in the northern hemisphere (though it may not feel like it in some places yet).
  • We have some extra time on our hands with the quarantine/social distancing practices currently in place.

To help with that, I got together with some crochet friends who are also designers and came up with a roundup of spring/summer makes to share with you. All images are the property of the designer it was made by.

Long Crocheted Scarf

This pretty scarf looks like it could be made from any weight yarn to make it usable for warmer or cooler weather, depending on what season it is for you. This is a paid pattern from Audrey at Canoe Mountain Design Company.

Sheridan Ridge Slouchy Hat

This slouchy hat is really cute! Ashley at Through the Loop Yarn Craft offers this pattern free on her blog or as a premium PDF on Ravelry and Etsy.

Jasmine Baby Shirt

This little shirt would be cute on any baby! Mary offers this pattern as a premium PDF on Ravelry.

Loopy Ear Warmer

Susanna of Susanna Biaye Designs developed this headband earwarmer that can be worn with a low ponytail. It’s available as a premium pattern on Ravelry.

Spring Breeze (no-fall) Shawl

Malena of Straight Hooked developed a shawl that is not likely to fall off when you wear it. It’s a premium PDF in her shop.

Crochet Floral Headband

This floral headband appeals to little girls and almost-tweens. Holley of By Holley Shae provides this pattern for free on her blog. She has included a photo tutorial as well.

I hope there is something here that you want to add to your to-make list. Share it on Instagram and tag the designer so they can see it too.

Meet Sally

White dress form I named “Sally”

One of the things I have had problems with is taking good pictures of my finished items for Etsy. I tried various methods.

I tried using furniture to drape items. I tried doing what they call flat lays where you lay the object to be photographed on a flat surface and style around it. I tried to get people I know to model for me.

Nothing really worked.

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Yes, sometimes I would get a good picture. But not consistently.

More than once I wondered if my eyesight had something to do with the problems I was having. While that is possible, I knew there was a solution. Somewhere.

Through it all, I wanted a dress form. It would solve so many problems.

I wouldn’t have to coordinate schedules with a reluctant model. My things wouldn’t look flat and dull. I could show how shawls and such would drape.

But dress forms were expensive. At least, the ones I looked at were. And are.

I wanted a dress form with a realistic size. Let’s face it: I’m not little. And I wanted a dress form that wasn’t little either.

Plus-size dress forms cost over $100. That’s not in my budget. I wanted to find one at least half that.

I finally did, once I gave up the idea of having a plus-sized dress form.

I found several affordable dress forms on Amazon and made my decision.

Meet Sally

Why did I name her Sally?

There’s a tongue twister that goes, “Sally sells sea shells on the sea shore.” Well…

This Sally sells scarves, shawls, and so much more.

Start looking for her in my Etsy shop.

Upcoming Events (1 Crochet, 1 Writing)

Things have been a bit busy on the home front. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you swing and hit it out of the park. Other times, you miss. The past two weeks have felt like a miss.

But that’s not the point. I’m excited to tell you about a couple things I have going on.

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Crafter’s Marketplace

First up, Crafter’s Marketplace is on April 11, 2020. I’ve done this show in the past, but it was a few years ago.

I’ve been thinking about doing more craft shows and since this one is local to me, I thought it would be good to start there.

On that note, mark your calendar. It’s April 11 from 9:00 to about 4:00 at the Pontotoc County Agriplex (aka the fairgrounds).

OWFI Writers Conference

The OWFI writers’ conference takes place the first weekend in May every year. It kicks off Oklahoma Writers Week. This year, the conference is April 30-May 2 at Embassy Suites on Meridian Avenue in Oklahoma City.

I will not be speaking at the conference. I am going as an attendee. However, if you’re in the area and would like to meet, send me a message and I’ll see what arrangements can be made.

There will be more events as the year goes on, but I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself here. I’ll let you know what else is going on as times get closer.

3 Ways Visually Impaired Crocheters Hold Their Hooks

I have been crocheting for ten years or so. (This time.) I never really thought about how I hold my hook or why until I decided I needed/wanted to share some low vision tips for crochet on this blog. I mean, I knew I hold my hook with a pencil grip, but I never thought about why other than it’s more comfortable.

I’ve tried to change my grip over the years, but I always go back to the pencil grip. There are other ways to hold your hook and I talk about two of them and share a video for a third.

Pencil Grip

I’ve mentioned this a couple times now. With a pencil grip, you hold your crochet hook like a pencil. I use a similar grip with a fork and chopsticks, if that helps you imagine it any better. For me, I can hold the work as close as I need to in order to see what I’m doing. However, depending on the hook, sometimes my fingers tingle/go to sleep. I’ve been told that this grip can aggravate tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.  I crochet a lot by feel. I move the fingers of my left hand along with my chains and stitches as I form them. This way I can feel a mistake before i see it. But that’s more a topic for another post than for this one. 

Knife Grip

This is an overhand grip, like using a knife to cut your food. I have tried to use this grip several times, but it doesn’t work well for me. My tension isn’t good and I can’t get it close enough to see well unless I have my elbows out like chicken wings. I know with practice, my tension would improve. I can’t figure out a way around the elbows being out, though. If you use this grip and have low vision, would you give me some tips on how to make it work?

Body Brace

This isn’t a grip, per se, but more a method. In it, you brace your hook against your body, wrap the yarn, and then lift the loops up and over the yarn and the hook. This video shows it better than I can describe it.

https://youtu.be/Z_VkPUK-12M

What grip, or method, do you use? Or do you do something entirely different? I’d like to know so I can figure out how else to make adjustments and accommodations as they’re needed.

Related Posts:

Stitch Combination Tutorial: Star Stitch

Being legally blind, I like texture. I think that’s one reason why I’m drawn to crochet so much more than knitting, because of the texture. Sometimes, though, I want something more than the standard stitches. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing at all wrong with them. But I like texture that is interesting, too.
To that end, over the last couple of years, I have started looking for different stitch combinations that add an extra dimension. For me, they have to feel nice, but for others, they have to look nice too. Thankfully, that’s not that tall of an order.

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I feel like this star stitch fits those requirements quite well. It’s also known as the Margeurite stitch, daisy stitch, and spiked cluster. Even though there are several steps, it’s easier than it looks, so don’t be intimidated. Below, I’ve provided written directions and photo illustrations to help you create this stitch yourself.

Instructions:

Note: HDC = Half-double crochet. Yarn over, insert your hook in the next stitch, yarn over, and pull up a loop. You have 3 loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull through all loops on your hook.
1. Chain a multiple of 6 + 1. For the photos here, I chained 25.

Peach yarn on a black background with a chain of 25

2. Insert your hook in the 2nd chain, pull up a loop and hold it on your hook.

Peach yarn and a crochet hook with 2 loops on the hook.

Repeat in the next chain until you have 6 loops on your hook.

Crochet hook with peach yarn and 6 loops on the hook.

3. Yarn over and pull through all loops on your hook.

Star stitch almost complete

4. Chain 1. You have completed your first star and also created the “eye” of the star.

Completed star stitch after chain 1

5. Insert your hook in the eye of the star and pull up a loop.

Hook through the eye of the star with yarn over the hook.

6. Insert your hook in between the last two spokes of the star and pull up a loop.
7. Insert your hook in the chain at the base of the star and pull up a loop.
8. Insert your hook in the next chain and pull up a loop. Repeat in the next chain. You have 6 loops on your hook.

Star stitch with 6 loops on the hook

9. Yarn over and pull through all loops.
10. Chain 1 to complete the star.
11. Repeat steps 5-10 until the end of the row.
12. HDC in the last chain.

Completed star stitch row

13. Chain 2 and turn your work. Place 2 HDC in each eye across and in the final stitch.
14. Chain 3 and turn your work.
15. Insert your hook in the 2nd chain and pull up a loop.
16. Insert your hook in the next chain and pull up a loop.
17. Insert your hook in the first stitch of the row and pull up a loop. Repeat with the next 2 stitches until you have 6 loops on your hook.
18. Chain 1 to complete the star.
19. Repeat 5-11 to finish the row.
20. Chain 2 and turn your work. Place 2 HDC in each eye across and in the last stitch.

Completed star stitch and HDC rows
Repeat star stitch and HDC rows to the desired length of your project. Be sure you end with and HDC row. Fasten off and weave in the ends.

If you try this stitch, tag me @jen.nipps on Instagram so I can see what you’ve done.

Ready, Set, Go: Talking about Crochet Hooks

Three crochet hooks on a red background.

Note: There are affiliate links in this post. I may make a small commission if you purchase through these links.

After my “5 Things About Me” post, I started to wonder how, exactly, am I going to incorporate my low vision in posts about crochet and how I do things? I’m still not completely certain about that, but I have no doubt I’ll figure it out as I go.

That’s the way this whole blogging thing works anyway, right?
That’s the way I’ve always approached it anyway. It works for me.

Since I’m winging it and I tentatively called this post “Ready, Set, Go?”, I’ve only just now figured out exactly how to approach this post. (And by the time you see this, it will have either a different title or an addition to the original title.)

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If the way things physically feel makes a difference, and it does, where better to start than talking about crochet hooks.

I started with Boye crochet hooks* (reminder that this is an affiliate link that I might make a small commission from). They’re smooth metal. They feel fine, but they’re not always comfortable to use. The same goes with Susan Bates crochet hooks*, although those are mostly acrylic. They serve a great purpose and I know people who love them. I’ve used a variety of hooks. I’ve used acrylic, wood, metal, bamboo, plastic, and various types of metal hooks.

My current favorites:

  • Yarnology Luxury Crochet HookYarnology Luxury Crochet Hooks, available at Hobby Lobby. I have every size they make from H 5mm to Q 15mm. They’re a type of plastic, but they feel nice in my hands. They have a wider handle than most others. They’re colorful and have embossed floral designs on the handle. Honestly, I wish they made a size G 4.5mm. I don’t use a G often, but I’ve had to use that size several times recently.
  • Furls Crochet Odyssey*. I only have one of these hooks, but I love it! It’s peach and silver and so pretty! It has a much thicker handle than most. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked it. Then I was sure I hated it. I was so disappointed because I wanted to love it. Now I do. I have a size J 6mm.
  • Furls Crochet Streamline in Ebony wood*. I have two of these in size H 5mm and I 5.5mm. These are so comfortable and easy to use. Their grip is about halfway between the Odyssey and the Yarnology hooks. In fact, using the Streamline hooks got me to where I love the Odyssey hook now. They’re the perfect in-between size when you’re adjusting to a more ergonomic hook.

I still have all of my metal crochet hooks. I won’t be getting rid of them any time soon, but I have to admit that I can crochet for longer periods of time with these other hooks than I can with the standard metal hooks. Since I hold my work closer to my face (so I can see it) than most people do, the way a hook feels and its ease of use make a big difference.

*Denotes an affiliate link. Clicking this link will take you to this item on Amazon. I may receive a small commission if you purchse through this link.

5 Quick Gifts to Crochet

There is nothing that can inspire panic in a maker than realizing the calendar says November and you’re behind on your holiday gift-making. I’ve found five patterns that can help relieve some of your panic.

Links will open in a new window/tab.

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  1. Vinita Fingerless Mitts – Fingerless Mitts for kids by Banana Moon Studios
  2. Coffee Cozy Sweater Wrap – Free pattern from Sweet Potato 3
  3. One-Skein Crochet Cable Earwarmer/Headband – Free headband from Stitch in Progress.
  4. Malia Boot Cuffs – This free pattern from Little Monkey’s Crochet includes a video tutorial.
  5. Quick 1-Skein Super Bulky Infinity Scarf – Free pattern from Oombawka Designs

I hope these quick patterns will take some of the stress away from some of your holiday gift-making.