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April 2017

Yarn Review – Caron Cakes

By | Yarn Review | No Comments

When I first started learning to crochet I used strictly acrylic yarns. This was mostly because they weren’t as expensive and I didn’t know if I’d ever get good enough at this hobby to invest real money into it! As time went on and I felt more confident in my abilities I started trying different types of yarn. There are so many to choose from out there! From sturdy cotton blends to the softest wools and silks you have every touched! A few months back I did a custom order for a client who wanted to use exclusively angora wool. What a delicate but beautiful yarn!

I’m sure by now many of you have heard of the infamous Caron Cakes! When Caron Cakes came out last year I could not wait to try them! I had been following The Crochet Crowd for quite awhile, and when Mikey posted about them I was so excited!! I am a huge fan of striping and color changes in my own work, and here was a yarn that promised all of that without all of the work sewing in all those ends!

They were so popular when they were introduced that many stores sold out within a few days. Luckily I was able to grab a few right away to start working with.

I like to pull the center pull ball out from the middle and start from there. It unravels very smoothly this way with minimal tangling. If you are buying multiple cakes for one project, just be sure to line up your “connecting” colors. You want the same general striping pattern at the “end” of one cake and the “beginning” of the next so your pattern looks crisp!

I wanted to start with a scarf so I could get a good feel for how the self-striping truly worked. In my experience I found that the color changes are pretty consistent in length. I found this post on Pinterest, and knew right away it would be a gorgeous stitch that would show off the striping of the Caron Cakes perfectly! It is a wider version of the “V stitch” in my Crochet Along blanket pattern!

 

I followed the scarf  pattern until I had a length of about 60 inches. Then I whip stitched the two ends together to create a loop. I found that I still had about a third of a cake left, so I decided to make a hat too!


 

This yarn really is quite drape-y and soft, so I decided I wanted to make a slouchy hat. I thought it would really look sharp with the self striping. I found this pattern on Ravelry. The original design uses cotton yarn, but it works just as well with this acrylic/wool blend. I used the recommended 6.5mm (K) hook and I think the finished project is perfect!

I love that I was able to get a hat and a scarf set out of just one cake! And the finished product looks so good in those gorgeous purples! I just brought home a few more color combinations that I can’t wait to try! Have you ever worked with Caron Cakes before? What was your experience like? Feel free to share some of your projects with me on Instagram (@couchsurfercrochet), in the Couch Surfer Crocheters FB Group, or here in the comments!


Mixed Stitch CAL – Week 2

By | Crochet Along | 8 Comments

Week 2
Rows 11-20

 

Welcome back to the Mixed Stitch Blanket Crochet Along!

Week 1 (rows 1 – 10) can be found HERE.



In the first 10 rows of this pattern I showed you the granny stripe. In this section of 10 rows you will try the “V” stitch and the Treble Ladder stitch! These unique stitches are what gives this blanket it’s wonderful drape and texture! I hope you enjoy this section.

See you again for Week 3!

If you’d prefer to read a chart, click HERE!


Row 11:   ch 2, hdc in all st to end of row, turn

Row 12:  repeat row 11

Row 13:  ch 4 (counts as 1 dc, 1 ch), sk 1 st, *dc, ch 1, dc in same st, sk 2 st, repeat from * to next to last st, skip 1 st, dc in last st of row, turn

close up of dc row after “V” stitch

Row 14:  ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in each dc and ch sp to end of row, turn

Row 15:  repeat row 13

Row 16:  repeat row 14

Row 17:  ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in each st to end of row, turn

Row 18:  repeat row 17

Row 19:  ***This is the Treble Ladder row (technically 3 rows to create the look of the ladder)***
ch 2 (counts as first sc), sc in each st to end of row, turn
ch 5 (counts as first tr & ch 1), *sk 1 st, tr, ch 1, repeat from * to end of row (row should end with a tr in the last sc), turn
ch 2 (counts as first sc), sc in each st to end of row, turn

close up of Treble Ladder

Row 20: ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in each st to end of row, turn

 

That completes rows 11-20 for this Crochet Along! Come back every other Monday for the next section! You can share your progress so far right here in the comments, on my Facebook page, or you can join the group on Facebook! I’d love to see your work in progress!

If you are on Instagram and want to share there, please tag me @couchsurfercrochet!

My week 2 progress looks like this…

And both sections together look like this so far…

Now… On to Week 3!

Update: Now that this Crochet Along is complete, the FULL pattern is available AD FREE through Ravelry.


This Week's Coupon at Michaels.com

Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern

Crochet Quick – Baby Blanket

By | Crochet Quick | No Comments

Hope you are all enjoying the Crochet Along! The 2nd round will be posted on Monday April 24th at 8:00 am EST.

Today I want to share with you a quick and fluffy baby blanket pattern. For Christmas last year I was given 4 balls of Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn. I had never worked with it before, but it was just so soft and squishy I couldn’t wait to make a baby blanket out of it!

This yarn is SUPER bulky! Using an L/11 (8.00mm) hook, this should only take a couple of hours to complete!


The colors I was given were Baby Lilac, Baby Teal and White. Knowing I had a limited amount to work with I wanted to find the perfect pattern to show off the gorgeous colors.

 


Cheap Airline Deals!

I decided to go with the “From the Middle Baby Blanket.” The written pattern was right there on the yarn wrapper, but your wrapper may be different. The written pattern can be found HERE. It also helped me to follow the VIDEO tutorial from The Crochet Crowd. The tutorial is in two parts, but YouTube will link you straight to the second part once you finish the first!

I had leftover yarn when I finished the main body of the blanket, so I went one step further and added a row of single crochet (sc) in each of the three colors to give it a more “finished” look!


Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn comes in a variety of colors, so you can make one of these in any variation you choose! You could do variable pinks for a baby girl, blues for a boy, or yellows and greens for a gender neutral blanket!

I’m going to try to do a “Crochet Quick” post at least once a month. I find that the small “quickie” projects keep me motivated in between the “big” items!


This Week's Coupon at Michaels.com
This finished blanket can be found in my Facebook shop HERE

Yarn Scraps – What Are They Good For?

By | Misc. | No Comments

Yarn Scraps – What Are They Good For?

Hello friends! I hope you are all having fun with the Mixed Stitch Blanket Crochet Along! Some of you have shared your work so far, and I am so inspired by your creativity!

Today I want to talk about yarn scraps! I know you all have some lying around that you don’t know what to do with! I’m going to show you a couple of ways that I use my yarn scraps. My mama raised me not to waste anything, and I take that very seriously when it comes to yarn! I think it’s a fun challenge to find ways to use this “useless” yarn. I also like looking over 2 or 3 different projects knowing they have a piece of the same skein.

My go to solution for leftover yarn is always to make granny squares!! Check out my step by step tutorial on how to make these. The tutorial is a part of the Hip to be Square Crochet Along! With my scrap yarn I make each square doing two rounds of the pattern. That way I have a box full of squares that are all the same size to make something with at a later time!

One way to use these granny squares is to make an infinity scarf. They are so versatile! To make this scarf, I used Red Heart yarn in Aran as the “base” color. I did one extra round for each granny square with that color. I then used THIS method to join the squares together.

Finish off by sewing the two ends together, then do 1 row of *sc, ch1* around the edges to give it a finished look. I think it is truly a one of a kind piece, and I love it because I can see the other things I made in the colors!

Get your own Granny Square Infinity Scarf from my Facebook shop here!


 

If a scarf isn’t your jam, how about a colorful granny square blanket. I am so inspired by this post over at Attic24.

I love the random placement of the colors!

I add to my own stash of granny squares with each different color that I use! One day I will have enough to make a full size blanket! I can’t wait to see all the colors I have. THEN I will know what type of pattern I want to create! I could see something stunning in a rainbow pattern, or perhaps a stained glass motif? Or maybe I could try some type of graphghan with my collection of granny squares!

I’d love to hear how you all use up your yarn scraps! I’m always looking for new ways to be thrifty and crafty at the same time.

Don’t forget to check back on April 24th for Week 2 of the Crochet Along! Week 1 can be found HERE.

CLICK.BUY. CREATE. Shop Michaels.com today!

Mixed Stitch CAL-Crochet Charts

By | Crochet Along | No Comments

Mixed Stitch Blanket CAL
Crochet Charts

 

Thank you for joining me on the Mixed Stitch Blanket CAL! I hope you have lots of fun and make something you will love!

When I was starting this project, I wrote out the pattern and all the steps I took. My notes may make sense to me, but I know some of these stitch variations can be confusing! I had quite a few people request crochet charts to make sense of all this! I jumped at the chance. I love to learn new and interesting ways to share this love I have for crochet!

The chart patterns will be updated every other Monday, at the same time as the written pattern. Hopefully this will make it possible for everyone to join in on this project! I still have a lot to learn making crochet charts so I hope these are helpful to you!

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

WEEK 4


WEEK 5




WEEK 6



WEEK 7


WEEK 8

 


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Mixed Stitch CAL – Week 1

By | Crochet Along | 7 Comments


Week 1

Rows 1 – 10

 

Welcome to the Mixed Stitch Blanket Crochet Along, brought to you by Couch Surfer Crochet!

 

 Thanks for joining me on this Crochet Along! Below is the pattern for the first 10 rows.

 

For this project I chose to use 6 colors, chosen at random throughout the piece.

I used Red Heart Yarn in Soft Navy, Claret, Gray Heather and Buff, as well as Impeccable Yarns in Lavender and Deep Forest.


CLICK.BUY. CREATE. Shop Michaels.com today!

Stitches used in this pattern are located HERE.

If you would prefer to read a chart, those are available HERE.

 

To begin this project you will need to determine the number of chains you need to start with.

Begin by chaining any multiple of 24 + 2 (i.e. 98, 122, 146, etc., and be careful not to chain too tightly!). With my worsted weight yarn and my H/8/5mm, I chained 218 total to make my throw about 60″/180cm wide, but you make yours however long you want to! As long as it’s a multiple of 24 plus 2 you’re fine! Double check your starting chain count so you don’t have to start over later.

Start with foundation chain. I chained 218 if you want to make your blanket the same size as mine!


Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Row 1:
    hdc in 3rd chain from hook, hdc in all st to end of row, turn

Row 2:   ch 2, hdc in all st to end of row, turn

Row 3:   ch 2, hdc in all st to end of row, turn

Row 4:   ch 3, dc in all st to end of row, turn

Row 5:   repeat row 4

Row 6:   Ch 3, 2 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, *3 dc in next st, skip 2sts, repeat from * to second to last st,  2 dc in the second last st, and then 1dc in the last st (to make a straighter edge)

Row 7:   ch 2, hdc in first 2 st of granny cluster, **3rd hdc goes into the “space” created between clusters.

Row 8:   repeat row 6

Row 9:   repeat row 7

Row 10: ch 3, dc in all st to end of row, turn

Granny stripe stitch detail. Working it this way makes it much sturdier as a finished piece.

 

 

My first 10 rows look like this: 

That completes the first segment of this Crochet Along! I hope you’ve enjoyed starting this project! Join me every other Monday for the next 10 rows!

If you are on Instagram and want to share there, please tag me @couchsurfercrochet!

On to WEEK 2!

Update: Now that this Crochet Along is complete, the FULL pattern is available AD FREE through Ravelry.


 

Color Inspiration for Spring

By | Color Inspiration | No Comments

I hope you all are getting excited about the Crochet Along starting Monday, April 10th! I know I am.
I cannot wait to see all the wonderful things you all are going to make!

I know everyone approaches a new project differently, but one constant thing in crochet is picking out your yarn colors!! Sometimes I know before I start exactly what colors I want to use. Other times I feel like I stand in the yarn aisles for hours going crazy over just the riiiight shade of green. Does that ever happen to you?!

When I get stumped on a color palette I start looking for inspiration everywhere! One of my go to places for inspiration are color photographs. Photography is so detailed and vivid and can really give you an quick snapshot of how colors are going to complement one another on a larger scale.


This Week's Coupon at Michaels.com
 

I thought it might be fun to share some of the pictures that inspire me! I also pulled the standout colors from each photo and linked to the closest yarn colors I could find! I hope this helps you if you are having trouble deciding which colors to use! And if you already know which colors you are using now, maybe these will give you some awesome ideas for your next project!

 

Spring has sprung (even if it is a bit wintry here in Tennessee today)!
You might look at this picture and see marshmallows, but I see a springtime color explosion!

Yarn colors (from left to right):
Petal Pink
Pale Yellow
Turquoise
Aruba Sea
Lavender

 

Spring Greetings - Electronic Download


Can’t you see a finished blanket in all these beautiful shades of blue? I think it would be amazing on the mixed stitch blanket.

Yarn colors (from left to right):
Navy
Blue Suede
Brite Sky Blue
Teal
Turquoise
Soft Sage

 

Or maybe you are interested in a bolder color palette. Check out this candy colored combo!

I think these colors really pop! I could see them on a super cute blanket for a kids’ bedroom!

Yarn colors (from left to right):
Cherry Red
Butterscotch
Brite Sky Blue
Kelly Green
Medium Purple

I hope I’ve given you some new ideas! I will try to post color inspiration photos from time to time. Until then, do your own search for some photo inspiration. See what you find. You never know where your next inspiration might come from!

 

Crochet Cotton Washcloths - Free Crochet Pattern

Crochet Cotton Washcloths

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Hello again friends! Tonight the hubby and I are catching up on some shows on the DVR. Tonight we’re binge watching the new season of Lethal Weapon. Have you guys seen it?! Damon Wayons and Clayne Crawford are perfectly cast as Murtaugh and Riggs! Remember the old Lethal Weapon movies? This is like that, but much funnier in my opinion. They’ve really brought it up to modern day while keeping it action packed and fun. I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.


Deewatch Double Wrap Watch
But anyway…back to the topic at hand: Crochet Cotton Washcloths!! A few weeks ago I had a customer make a special request for 10 cotton washcloths. Her only request was that they be brightly colored!

Since Lily Sugar n’ Cream yarn comes in so many great colors, this was for sure an easy task! I don’t work with cotton all that often, so this was a fun project for me! I wanted to find a stitch that would really pop with the bright colors, so I searched on Pinterest. I found the perfect thing over at 5 Little Monsters. She has a tutorial there for the Blossom Stitch! She also has a few other free washcloth patterns if you want to try something different!

I wound up making quite a few color combinations because I really enjoyed these bright colors! I’m going to make a few for myself next, methinks! They sure are cute! You can find these in my Facebook shop HERE.

I hope you’ve had fun making these cute little washcloths! Join me on April 10th to start the Mixed Stitch Blanket Crochet Along! I can’t wait for it to get started! See you again soon!


 

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