We've gathered up more posts that you have shared on the Internet tagged #leisurearts for one of our favorite blog posts! We love to see what everyone's working on, and now we're going to share that inspiration with you.
Don't Throw In The Towel
Crochet-A-La-Dia created this Daisy Set and shared it with us on Pinterest! The colors couldn't be better to brighten up a kitchen! Want to make this set yourself? Find it in Crochet Towel Toppers and Potholders.
Baby Activities Cubed
We love it when people get inspiration from us and make the projects their own! Agnesa Istokova posted an adorable in-progress activity cube on Pinterest! Love that elephant! Another activity cube, this one from Christina Avgoustidou, comes complete with the sun and rain clouds. We can just picture baby spending lots of hours playing and learning with these! Inspired by Play & Learn Activity Cubes, you're sure to find a cube that fits the baby in your life!
Alicia James' daughter kept herself busy creating this Heart Unicorn (pictured right) after finishing up her reading and math for the day, while her mother was on Zoom doing professional development hours. While at Elizabeth-Herring's house, Elizabeth was finishing her latest diamond painting—Fun Unicorn (pictured left). Don't you think they're both magical?
Dreams of a White Christmas
Cindi Louis has been using the White Christmas in Thread Crochet book for years. She shared this charming photo with us on Facebook showing the tree skirt and garland she created. She says she's halfway done with the garland, which is 60-feet long, and plans to finish it this year along with more of the snowflakes.
All You Knit Is Love
Infinite Yarnsposted a gorgeous heirloom baby gift set including a hand-knitted pattern from our Adorable Baby Cardigans book. We know at least one baby will be classy and comfortable very soon!
Stay Calm And Color
Jaya Prakash Mateti posted this beautiful mandala page on Facebook from one of our Color Art For Everyone coloring books. We don't have this mandala book anymore, but we have many fantastic coloring books to choose from.
Preparing For The Holidays
It looks like Norma Davis celebrated #ChristmasInJuly along with us this year. She posted this enchanting Christmas afghan on Facebook, and we're loving the hint of glitter! We've got plenty of Christmas afghans and other holiday decor to choose from!
Pretty As A Peacock
The peacock's colors and "thousand eyes" on its tail promote fame and good luck in feng shui, and enhance protection and awareness. Ramya Sabari created and posted this mesmerizing Diamond Art Peacock, available as a kit with everything you need.
Let's Chime In
Schmelzgranulat shared this beauty, created by Sonja, with us on Pinterest. We are impressed by the color and light! You can get started in crafts just like this with Melted Pony Bead Art.
A Blanket Statement
Stefani Lynn created this intricate afghan and shared it with us on Facebook. Classic comfort at its best. Check out Aran Afghans, and create your own!
Thin Green Line
Theresa Hanson posted this Thin Green Line afghan on Facebook, and we adore it—such a loving way to show support for the men and women of our military and/or federal law enforcement agents. Theresa used our American flag pattern in Honoring Our Veterans, with the green, white and black color scheme.
We love to see what you are creating! Please share your photos by tagging @leisureartsinc or using #leisurearts on your social channels. Maybe we'll pick yours to feature in our next #LeisureArts Hashtag blog post.
We're celebrating the Dazzle Days of Summer this month, and have we got some projects for you! From stars to bright color, we're confident these will dazzle you!
To The Moon And Back
What could be more dazzling than the moon and stars in the night sky? This knit Diaper Cover Set is perfect for the future astronomer in your life.
Vases To Make Your Daisy
The brightly colored vases are the perfect complement to your patio furniture. With Yarn Crafts, yarn isn't just for knitting or crochet. Grab your brightest yarn and start wrapping!
Go A Little Wild
We would go safari as to say our Elephant and Giraffe kits will brighten your world. Whether you choose both or just one is irrelephant, your results will be giraffic! Bring these majestic creatures to your home, or gift them to an animal lover in your life.
You'll Be Hooked
We'll hook you up with this bright and cheerful afghan—all you'll need are scraps of colorful yarn and your favorite crochet hooks. We've got this and other Scrappy Afghans you'll be yarning to create!
Any baby would love to wrap themselves in the universe with this crochet Starry Set from Nature’s Gifts For Baby. Reach for the stars, yarn & crochet hooks and create a galaxy!
Color Us Dazzled
August 3 is National Coloring Book Day, a great occasion to get yourself our Summer Coloring Bundle. All the things you love about summer bundled up and ready for you to add your own special creativity.
You Will Love Your Letters
We initially thought you would love these letters, and we don't think we're mistaken! Pick a letter you love, add some bling, and brighten up your room! Decorate with Letters shares ideas and inspiration to spark your creativity!
We'll Have You In Stitches
You need our Neon Mandala Embroidery Stitch Kit in your life! Your fingers will delight in every moment of this all-in-one project, with colorful embroidered threads that pop in a big way on black fabric. Dazzling!
Don't let this summer end without being dazzled. All of these projects make shimmery shiny gifts, or why not keep them for yourself! So many possibilities—what will you choose?
We'd love to see what you are creating! Please share your photos by tagging @leisureartsinc or using #leisurearts on your social channels. C'mon, dazzle us!
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ―Mahatma Gandhi
Have you always to start something new and weren't sure where to start? Whether you want to learn how to crochet, how to knit, how to paint, how to tackle a new stitch, the list below gives you the basics on how to become a pro at your new creative endeavor:
Grab a how-to book with expert instruction to guide you step by step
Gather all the materials you will need. Ex: yarn, needle, paint, pen, etc.
Start small with swatches, samples, small projects, etc. before tackling the harder stuff
Practice your new skill regularly—that will help to make it almost automatic
Sit back and revel in your new creations!
In the next few paragraphs, we'll explore several of our books that come with easy-to-follow instructions and progressive projects for you to learn how to conquer new stitches, new skills, and entirely new crafts.
Great Balls of Yarn: Learn Crochet or Expand Your Skills
If you’re new to crochet or if you want to learn a new crochet skill or two, we've got you hook, yarn and fun with these easy-to-follow books! Learn how to crochet with ease and enjoyment.
The progressive projects of The Ultimate Crochet Collection for Beginners take you from easy to more difficult with easy-to-follow instructions and patterns. You'll love learning how to crochet with Marly Bird, and the resulting creations are cute AND functional!
You'll be hooked on crochet with Learn to Crochet with Custom Hooks! We'll supply you with a hook designed especially for beginners, so it will be extra easy to learn how to crochet any of the adorable accessories for kids or adults.
This eye-catching stitch will croc your world! The Beginner's Guide to Crocodile Stitch is the perfect "how-to" to add an eye-catching layer of "scales" to your crochet projects. You'll be surprised how easy it is to learn with our step-by-step instructions, photographs, and videos. On a scale (see what we did there?) of 1-10, this book is definitely a 10!
If you adore crocheting and love the look of knits, you won't want to miss out on this hybrid! Award-winning teacher Kim Guzman walks you through the basics with clear photos and friendly instructions in the Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet.
We wouldn't toy with you—your children, grandchildren, friends' children (we could go on and on), will love these toys! And with Learn to Crochet Toys, you'll be a crocheting wizard before you can say "Bodacious ballerina begs you to begin"!
Life's a Stitch: Learning Knitting is Fun and Relaxing, with Beautiful Results
Don't be at your knit's end learning a new skill. Let our pros guide you through a basketful of knitting projects with ease and joy.
Designer Marly Bird walks you every step of the way through how to knit multiple projects in the Complete Knit Collection. You'll not only create awesome gifts—or keepers—you'll gain the skills to be a knitting pro. From trendy dishcloths to a beautiful shawl or afghan, this collection has got you covered.
Not only will this book teach you everything you need to know to make several styles of hats, it includes a kit with everything you need to knit one complete hat. Get started right away without worrying about the materials. If you've been wanting to learn how to knit hats, Knit Hat Book Plus Kit is for you.
Craftastic New Hobbies That Are Easy to Learn
Fun for all levels, Modern Punch Needle takes a modern twist on the traditional needle craft. The step-by-step instructions and 14 progressively harder projects take you from beginner to pro. Once you learn the ins and outs, you'll want to check out this post featuring our newest punch needle kits.
We wouldn't macra-stray you wrong—Get Started In Macramé has 11 gorgeous wall hangings and other projects for beginners to learn how to master this craft from yesteryear. We can also help you out with the supplies you'll need.
The World IS your oyster with Hand Lettering - Great for Weddings & Other Occasions. Your creations can be just as spectacular as you see in stores, or on Pinterest and Instagram. Artist Kathryn Erney will teach you several styles—each building on the last—and before you know it, you’ll have mastered those pen strokes and will be making beautiful pieces!
So whether you want to learn how to knit, how to crochet, or learn a new craft all together, our experts take you step-by-step through the process. Whether you're a beginner or want to enhance your repertoire, at least one of these books is perfect for you. When you're finished, post your photo/s on social media and be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts, so we can all enjoy your journey as well!
Greetings makers! We are back at it again exploring another exciting new color of the year - BEHR's Back to Nature (S340-4)! This is a calming and centering soft green that evokes revitalization and balance. It pairs well with our last colors of the year: Naval chosen by Sherwin Williams, Chartreuse from Etsy, and Classic Blue by Pantone. BEHR picked Back to Nature to bring a sense of the outdoors into your everyday life. It is an elemental color that engages the senses. We are here to inspire you to incorporate Back to Nature into your creative and crafty lives, so let's get to it!
Let's kick things off with why BEHR chose Back to Nature as their color of the year for 2020. BEHR knows that our everyday routines can become monotonous and disconnected from the natural world. They aim to bring the inspiration and rejuvenation of the outdoors back to us by infusing it into our daily lives through color. We love this idea and can't think of a better way to do this than with our current selection of crafting books for our Makers! Breathe new life into your week by incorporating Back to Nature into your environment. How about a calming handmade afghan on your couch or a centering knitted scarf around your neck? Bring the gift of nature to your friends and family by creating a quilt or crocheted earrings infused with this soothing color. The possibilities are endless and we have highlighted some of our favorites below!
Who doesn't love to snuggle up with a tranquil and cozy afghan, especially one that you made yourself? With Easy Afghans #6725 you can do just that and envelope yourself with the BEHR 2020 color of the year Back to Nature. Easy Afghans presents you with seven simple crochet projects featuring Chetwynd Miters, Arundel Castle, Hearthside Coziness, Seaview, Icefall, Autumn Ridge, and Green Willow patterns. Each composition provides a step-by-step guide to creating exciting stitches and techniques. Choose from any one of Sharon Silverman's gorgeous designs from mitered squares and popular motifs to ripples, shells, woven plaid, or filet crochet. Play around with your creativity by choosing a heavier yarn to bring your homemade afghan a weighted feel inspiring calm and balance. How about a lighter fiber for a loftier touch? After a long day at work, treat yourself with the essence of the outdoors by wrapping your shoulders with this relaxing color. Or spoil your friends and family with the gift of comfort and serenity with these projects rated at the easy and easy plus skill level!
Encourage revitalization into your wardrobe with these 15 easy and easy plus rated crochet designs to freshen up your jewelry boudoir. With 15 Beautiful Crochet Projects using Cotton Thread #7250 you can permeate even your accessories with the soothing green of Back to Nature! Each design calls for lace-weight crochet cotton (aka bedspread weight, size 10) and a size 7 steel crochet hook with many adding a fun twist using beads. Bring an elemental and grounding feel to your bijoux with these fun designs by Kristen Stoltzfus Clay including Hibiscus Necklace, Olive Earrings, Flower Brooch, Cameo Bracelet, Star Flower Earrings and much more! You don't have to be a jewelry making pro to crank out these fun and inspiring treasures for you or your loved ones. All projects featured provide approachable jewelry finishing instructions.
The balancing green of Back to Nature can easily be incorporated into your new favorite knit and crochet hats! With All Your Favorite Hats - 10 Crochet and Knit Hat Projects #75722 you can captivate your senses by evoking the outdoors with BEHR's 2020 color of the year all while warming your noggin. We love these simple designs because they can inspire any maker at any skill level (including one intermediate style). Each project has the potential for sharing the centering color of soft green, in either knit or crochet, with everyone! How about the Boys Ribbed Hat for your son, Easy Slouch Hat for your teenager, Cables Bun Hat for you, Wildwood Hat for mom, and Gisburn Forest Hat for your best friend? Not only do the color of these hats bring the outdoors to us but we can go out and embrace nature with them! A win-win and a must have for your crafty repertoire.
Designer Andi Javori brings you 25 exceptional knitting projects to inspire your artful side in Casual Weekend Knits - 25 Go Anywhere Knit Projects #7373. These fun and versatile patterns are rated basic and easy so you can be rocking your new Asymmetrical Shawl or Boot Cuffs within hours! Try making the Lace Fingerless Gloves and Shoulder Shrug in Back to Nature green to help center yourself throughout your busy day. How about a new purse, poncho, or headband to revitalize your style? We love these simple and adaptable projects because the sky is the limit on the possibilities they bring.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to weave but don't know where to start? We have your solution right here with Learn to Weave - Create Stylish Woven Wall Art #56062! This laminated step-by-step trifold comes with approachable instructions, techniques, and full color illustrations to ease your way into the world of weaving. Bring the tranquil and grounding green of Back to Nature to your bathroom or bedroom walls with ease. Fill that empty wall space in your basement or office with colors that remind you to take a deep breath and center. Better yet, give the gift of this go-to weaving trifold to inspire your friends to try their hand at the simple pleasures weaving can bring.
QUILT AND SEW
Style up every room in your house with hand-crafted accessories that compliment your style! Home Accessories Best of Sew News #6346 can get you there. Start off with this adorable farm cat that can be used as a paper/picnic weight, pin cushion, or fun accent. Give the guest bedroom an inviting feel with the tufted satin throw. Brighten up the living room with personalized window treatments, Roman shades, and covered lampshades. The soothing green of Back to Nature pairs well with any of the 20+ easy and inspiring creations featured. Shouldn't your home be a place of sanctuary and escape? Create your calming and restorative space with your own unique approach.
Our final craft inspiration comes from the wonderful world of quilts! With Best of Fons and Porter Easy Quilts #5560 any quilter can get their creative fix on. We love the easy-to-follow instructions for these 31 make-in-a-weekend quilts. Infuse BEHR's 2020 color of the year into your new favorite go-to blanket to escape the noise and distraction of your everyday life. Check out how beautiful the Sassy Stripes Quilt came out with the natural elements evoked through Back to Nature! Each pattern features time-saving tips with simplified patchwork, larger blocks, strip-sets, and other shortcuts making this a great find for both beginners and advanced quilters looking for quick and satisfying projects. Each design features a lifestyle photograph, assembly diagram, step-by-step instructions, and complete materials list. Within just a few weekends you could deck out all of your favorite people who will relish under your cozy and peaceful works of art.
There you go makers! A full set of inspirational designs and projects to fill your free time with fun and accessible creations. Now go out and incorporate the calming, grounding, and restorative BEHR 2020 color of the year Back to Nature into your life through the crafts we highlighted in this color exploration. We know you will wow us with your creativity and artful eyes so be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts!
Northern Lights Crochet- 10 Projects Inspired by Iceland's Beauty is a perfect way to integrate Naval Blue into your wardrobe. The moss-covered hillsides and rocky beaches bring the best of nature together, while the combination of stylish patterns and cozy LION BRAND® yarns bring classic and trendy together in your closet. Each project draws upon the beauty and style of Iceland, further amplifying the calming influence of nature in your life. The 10 designs range from Alida cowl and Vasti shawl to Viveca top and Carina cardigan. There's something inside for beginners and veterans alike, so it's never been easier to go Naval!
One of the easiest ways to spruce up your home and inject new colors and styles is with blankets and throws. Cotton Throws & Beach Blanketsis a fantastic collection of six styles that are easy to crochet using cotton yarn. Perfect for indoors and out, these styles keep you cozy all year round while staying breezy and beautiful. Designs include Sailing, Slanted Stripes, Striped, and more that can be customized with any color of your choosing, making this an easy way to add a little Naval to your home. This great title is also available as a digital download.
We're back at it again with the Icelandic influences in our knit patterns! The patterns inNorthern Lights Knits- 8 Icelandic Inspired Projects allow you to literally wrap yourself in natural beauty. Take inspiration from the depths of the Blue Lagoon to the soaring colors of the Northern Lights with seven easy and one intermediate project. LION BRAND® yarn and your choice of colors allow you to flawlessly add trendiness and nature to your wardrobe or the closet of a loved one. Projects like the Gerda pullover, Huldra hat, Joost pants, and Petrine cardigan all appeal to different styles and aesthetics, and add a Northern chic look to any outfit.
You can have your cake and wear it too. With Knit Cakery- 10 Fun Projects Using Yarn Cakes, you'll find 10 easy-to-knit projects that are as fun as they are stylish. Many of the designs already incorporate a Naval-hued blue, but the best part about yarn crafts is the customization. Make it ombre, create your own color palette, or go with the instructions for guaranteed beauty. The shawls, hats, scarves, throws, and cardigans combine fabulousness and functionality to blend your existing style with this Color of the Year.
If you were a cake, jewelry would be your frosting. Frost yourself in Naval Blue necklaces, bracelets, and earrings! Quick & Simple Jewelry Beading for Beginners is an easy way to lay the foundation of knowledge you need for making your own jewelry, while offering a simple way to fuse your style with the latest trends. This book is available in paperback or as a digital download, so you can take all 14 projects with you wherever you go! Create the All in Blue necklace for your mom, Western Sparkle bracelet for your best friend, the Bollywood earrings for yourself, or one of the other designs for someone in your life who deserve a little frosting. Some projects even include tips and tricks for making additional pieces.
What better way to get in touch with nature than with using wood? Pyrography is an exciting and easy way to create beautiful pieces that bring the outdoors into your home. Modern Woodburning- 9 Skill-Building Projects for Learning Pyrography is an essential guide for anyone who wants to learn a new skill or add a rustic touch to their home decor. Nine projects give you ample opportunity to put the principles of the craft to work. Projects like pineapple cutting board, family name sign, succulent coasters, and mountains on a wood cut will seamlessly blend with your existing decor, while adding a grounding feeling to your home. The book also includes 2 alphabets for optimal personalization. Choose between paperback and digital format for the most convenient lesson in woodburning you'll ever get.
Bundle your bundle of joy in this sweet quilt. All Aboard - Baby Quilt Pattern Pack is all the guidance you need to wrap your tot in warm textures and trendy colors. Take Naval Blue back to the sea as you jump aboard this easy, fat-quarter friendly quilt project. Step-by-step instructions, complete materials list, and gorgeous photographs take all the guesswork out of quilting. You'll be comfortable and confident knowing they feel the warmth of your love surrounding them.
Remember the past with a project to last through future generations. Easy Timeless Quilts uses beautiful fabrics and patterns to add warmth to your home in a timeless way. You need only select the color palette, and might we suggest something in Naval Blue? Designs like Triple Irish Chain quilt, Wild Goose Chase quilt, and Sawtooth quilt blend with your current home aesthetic without dating it. Even beginners will find the instructions and assembly diagrams easy to follow, so everyone can add a nostalgic touch to their home, or gift a loved one with a treasured heirloom that was made with love.
Bring back the Roaring Twenties to your style when you sew these 9 Beat the Chill Scarves! Create them infusing the Color of the Year Naval to inspire empowerment and grounding confidence. Break the winter cold with their warmth and coziness all while evoking the elegance and class of an iconic decade. Choose from the variety of easy to follow patterns including scarves, cowls, and neck warmers. From the Buttonhole Scarf to the Zippered Cowl to the Fringed Infinity Scarf - your creativity will know no bounds! You can never add enough scarves to your wardrobe and the style choices of these winter warmers are endless.
Express your unique style while keeping your clothes clean with these 13 Simple to Sew Aprons by designer Billie Steward! Whether you garden, cook, bake, craft, or harvest there is always room for both stylish and functional aprons in your closet. Choose from patterns like Retro Bib Apron to give your look a nod from the past, Summer Picnic Apron to inspire warmth and light in your favorite activities, or Bandanna Apron to add a country flare to your crafting experience. There is an apron for every style which can turn these variety of patterns into thoughtful gifts as well!
Naval was chosen by Sherwin-Williams as the 2020 Color of the Year because of its calming, quieting, and grounding qualities. Now go out there and create your own spin on these fun and playful projects that we have highlighted here! We always love to see how creative you all are, so be sure to tag us @leisureartsinc or use #leisurearts!
Wildlife Afghans lets you mix and match your favorite wildlife and side panels to crochet your own afghan masterpiece. Do you remember choose your own adventure books? Wildlife Afghans is the crochet equivalent. First you choose between a bear, moose, deer or wolf. Then you choose your favorite side panel and corner pieces and you have a one-of-a-kind afghan! We love Wildlife Afghans so much that we invited today's guest blogger, Christine Naugle, to talk about the inspiration for her fabulous designs. Welcome Christine!
Hey everyone, this is Christine Naugle, the designer behind the Wildlife Cable Afghans book. I am so excited to see the release of this book with Leisure Arts. I am even more excited about why this book is unique, it is unique because you get to design your own blanket!
Wildlife Cable Afghans by Christine Naugle
When I decided to design a new set of blankets I wanted them to focus on the outdoors and wildlife. I wanted the blankets to be appealing to the men in our lives and/or have a more rustic feel to them. So many designs feature beautiful flowers and romantic colorways that I adore but, to put it simple, they are more feminine. In this new design set, I wanted the afghans to be all about creating unique and eye catching textures, I wanted them to be perfect for someone like my Husband, Dad, or Grandfather. For inspiration I scoured Pinterest for Cabin Decor and found many framed cabin images and sayings. So, I went to my sketch pad and started jotting down multiple frame ideas. The idea of a silhouette came to me first and I decided to try a deer.
Deer in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle.
The deer was fun to draw, my husband even got involved and taught me the differences between mule deer and white tail deer. He was excited about this blanket design which made me even more excited too. Next up was the side panels. I knew I wanted rich textures, cables, and an eye catching design. Many hours where put into making swatches of different stitch combinations and finally the panels where coming together. Boy, it was so much fun to see this project working out like I envisioned. The corner squares where fun and quick. I knew I wanted them to represent a wagon wheel but in my own design style. Boy Howdy! It worked. I knew immediately that I had to do another afghan design.
Moose in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle
The moose was next up. I loved the prints along the side panels with the simple embossed-like diamond corners. Again, some rich texture to pull the blanket together with the striking silhouette was a success. I was on a roll and had to do at least 2 more designs.
Bear in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle
Wolf in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle
The bear and wolf blanket designs where just as fun to work up. The bear was extra fun because my children call me, "Momma Bear". My favorite part of the wolf design is the feathered or arrow look to the panels, it is unique and fun to work up.
But, once again, the best part about these blankets is that you get to decide which pieces you want to work up. The Wildlife Cable Afghan book is designed for you to pick and choose each piece of the blanket to make it unique and to your liking. Simply choose the animal silhouette you like best: deer, bear, wolf or moose. Next select the side panels. The panels is where your texture will really begin. Each panel has a unique cable like pattern that will draw your eyes to the blanket as if it were a photo being displayed. Lastly, you get to select the design of each corner piece. Again, each one of these pieces is unique and feature different looks from a diamond accent, to a dream catcher whimsical design, to a circular cluster (almost wagon wheel effect), to a more simple cabled square. No matter which piece you select, your finished blanket will be personalized to your liking and will be a masterpiece when you are completed.
What do a crocheted ladybug blanket, a bumblebee cardigan and butterfly hat all have in common? They're just part of the adorable collection of crochet for babies and kids in Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks. We love the cuddly cute designs so much that we invited today's guest blogger, Michele Maks, to talk about her fabulous designs in Cute as a Bug. Welcome Michele!
Oh, how I love to crochet for little ones!
Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks
Hi! I’m Michele Maks, the designer of all the cute crochetwear in Cute as a Bug. Don’t you just love to stitch projects that are as cute and fun as the small people you are stitching for?
Crochet Star-Struck Hat in Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks
While you'll find crocheted ladybug, butterfly and bumblebee items in Cute as a Bug, you'll also find this adorable Star-Struck set which I happen to think is also cute as a bug! What's not to love about these stars and stripes?
Crochet Star-Struck Cardigan in Cute as a Bug
Whether you are stitching for a girl or boy, cute and quick and easy is the way to go!
I think this colorful crochet butterfly is a great example! In Cute as a Bug you'll also find a matching hat and blanket for this adorable sweater.
Crochet Butterfly Cardigan from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks
And this crochet blanket coordinates with the ladybug and bumblebee sets, not only making it super cute, but practical too!
Crochet Ladybug Blanket from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks
Crochet Star-Struck Sweater from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks
and hats – oh, my!
Crochet Ladybug Hat and Cardigan from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks
No Cute as a Bug crochet book for babies and kids would be complete without a bumblebee set to round it out. This sweater and hat are perfect for both a boy and a girl! Like all the sets in the book, you'll find instructions for sizes ranging from 6 months to four years so babies and kids of many ages can join in on the Cute as a Bug fun!
Crochet Bumbleboee Hat and Cardigan from Cute as a Bug by Michele Maks
Cute as a bug in a rug; play school will be abuzz about these handmade wardrobe winners!
Easy Afghansprovides exciting crochet projects using a variety of techniques to create interesting pattern designs. Read how Guest Blogger, Sharon Silverman, creates unique and easy crochet designs that make her afghans anything other than ordinary! Welcome Sharon!
My motto for Easy Afghans was, “`Easy’ doesn’t mean `boring!’” I wanted to create projects that would boost the confidence of newer crocheters and expand their skills, while also providing interesting stitch patterns, techniques, and use of color for crocheters at any level. Leisure Arts was in agreement with the concept.
Leisure Arts' item #6725 - Easy Afghans, by Sharon Silverman.
Variety was important to me, so I started by choosing yarn for each project. I selected a solid color for two afghans, “Snow” Bernat Satin for Icefall and “Pistachio” Lion Brand Babysoft for Green Willow.
Icefall Afghan from Easy Afghans
Green Willow Afghan from Easy Afghans
Each of those projects can add a new technique to a crocheter’s bag of tricks. For Icefall, it’s filet crochet, which combines open and filled squares in a mesh pattern used for lacy items. Charts show how to use chain stitches and double crochet to create the two filet patterns used in the project.
The solid color for Green Willow is a great way to update a classic look. Anyone who is new to making motifs will master the two styles used here in no time. Clusters and openwork highlight an “X” shape on half the squares and an “O” theme on the others. Maybe I should have named it the Tic-Tac-Toe Afghan! Chunky tassels decorate the corners.
Seaview Afghan from Easy Afghans
Next I used four solid colors, “Silver Blue,” “Dusty Blue,” “Bright Blue,” and “White,” all in Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice®, in the design for Seaview. The stripe sequence and the shell pattern are reminiscent of sea and sky. I love the way one row of shells nestles in the middle of the next row.
Solid color stripes have an added twist in Autumn Ridge: simple crocheted mesh background is then woven through with individual strands of yarn to create a large plaid afghan perfect for snuggling! Fall colors in Patons Classic Wool Worsted are “Burgundy,” “Pumpkin,” “Winter White,” “Chestnut Brown,” and “Sunset Gold.” Corresponding color fringe is added to the top and bottom. The effect created by weaving yarn “in and out the windows” is really cool, and elevates this afghan from a plain striped project into one that’s a lot more exciting. The weaving is also something a school-age child can help with. Get ‘em started young!
A solid yarn (Red Heart Super Saver “Lavender”) is the perfect counterpoint to the vividly variegated “Sherbet Print” in Chetwynd Miters. Mitered squares look complicated but are actually quite simple to make. Using variegated yarn with a contrasting solid balances the colors and emphasizes the right angles in this square afghan.
Arundel Castle was inspired by a visit to that English site in the summer, 2013. Look at how many shades of off-white, tan, beige, ecru, and brown are in the stones.
Interesting stone walls.
Arundel Castle Afghan from Easy Afghans
Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in “Cappuccino” captured all of those colors in a variegated yarn. The two-row pattern repeat is easy to master. Gradual color changes keep the project interesting, and the yarn does all the work!
The other project in the booklet, Hearthside Coziness, uses a simple peek-a-boo chevron pattern in warm tones of bulky weight yarn, Patons ColorWul “Jardin.”
Hearthside Coziness Afghan from Easy Afghans
It was a pleasure working with Leisure Arts on Easy Afghans. Along with doing the editing and photography, they added helpful video links to the patterns. What a great way for crocheters to learn something new or to get reacquainted with a technique they haven’t used in a while.
My hope for the leaflet is that relatively new crocheters will discover easy items to suit their skill level (and maybe learn a few new things along the way), experienced crocheters will find the stitch patterns and techniques fun and interesting, and that the finished projects will delight those who make them and any lucky recipients who get these afghans as gifts.
As for my professional background, I am the author of more than a dozen crochet books (14 so far!) and a private line of patterns. I’m a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America and a design member of The National NeedleArts Association. I was a featured guest on HGTV’s fiber arts program, “Uncommon Threads,” and have been interviewed on numerous radio podcasts. Recently I expanded my crochet work to include large-scale museum installations, indoors and outside.
My inspiration comes from diverse sources, everything from the beauty of nature to the stunning creations of architects and furniture-makers. Because I live near Longwood Gardens, a horticultural showplace in the Brandywine Valley west of Philadelphia, I get a lot of ideas from their amazing flowers and plants. You can find me on Facebook and Pinterest at Sharon Silverman Crochet; on Ravelry and YouTube at CrochetSharon; and on my website, www.SharonSilverman.com. I would love to hear from you. Happy crocheting!
Crochet afghan patterns for guys are hard to find. Not only does our new crochet book, Sportacular Afghans offer crocheted afghans men will love, but you'll be hard-pressed to find more uniquely designed crocheted afghans. Today's Guest Blogger is Karen Barnes. Karen designed the manly patterns you'll find inside of Sportacular Afghans and she's here today to talk about her inspiration for them. Welcome Karen!
Hello fellow crocheters! My name is Karen Barnes and I am the designer of Sportacular Afghans. I first want to thank Leisure Arts for believing in my designs, and the Crochet Team for putting together this wonderful book. I wanted to create designs that are realistic without having to do a graph pattern, and can be used for guys but work just as well for anyone. It was important to me to keep the patterns as easy as possible.
Sporatcular Afghans by Karen Barnes
The pool table was my very first design. You might ask why a beige felt for the pool table? Well, that is the color of my pool table. I needed to see the table in order to create it. I have made many of these in different colors for “men” friends who are using the afghan as a blanket or to cover their pool table.
Pool Table Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes
My second design was the poker table. Originally it was going to be an octagon, but I didn’t like the shape. So I chose the Texas Hold’em Poker Table. This was fun to make. I actually enjoyed setting up the cards and chips. While sewing the pieces on, I was telling my husband whose hand was whose. My husband actually wanted to frame the afghan and hang it in his Man Cave.
Poker Table Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes
The 3rd design was the bowling alley afghan, inspired by my mother. She loves to bowl at the young age of 74. My second inspiration was how I met my husband on a blind date at a bowling alley. With all of the wonderful color yarns now, it was not hard finding the wood looking yarn to make this. This is a project that you can take with you. You make the lanes in strips, bowling pins and ball are the separate pieces. I drive a school bus, so this was very easy to take along and work on this while I was waiting for the kids.
Bowling Alley Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes
The 4th design was the golf course. My husband and I like to enjoy taking whatever Sundays we can and go play a round of golf. So I went through my encyclopedia of crochet stitches and I saw the grass and fairway stitches (in my mind) and got inspired right away! Originally I was going to make this in a rectangle but I am glad I didn’t. It is a unique shape to where there is no doubt of what it is. The texture on this afghan is wonderful! Makes you want to rub your hands on it.
Golf Green Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes
Last but not least is the slot machine. My husband and I enjoy treating ourselves once in a while to go to a casino. In my mind when I was creating this, the 7’s had to look right and be easy to make. I must have wasted 20 sheets of paper printing out casino 7’s looking for the right one to imitate. I have to admit this is one of my favorites and super easy to make. PS: I have to thank my son. He is the one who drew me the picture of the slot machine.
Slot Machine Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes
I hope all of you enjoy the afghans as much as I did creating them. I have gotten many compliments on the finished products and the book itself. Stay warm and keep crocheting!
Crochet patterns for baby may be plentiful, but few baby crochet designs are as adorable as those in Nature's Gifts for Baby. Today's Guest Blogger is Sara Leighton. Sara designed the whimsical patterns you'll find inside of Nature's Gifts for Baby and she's here today to talk about her inspiration for them. Welcome Sara!
Hello, there! I’m Sara Leighton, designer of the patterns in Leisure Arts' recent publication Nature's Gifts for Baby. I’ve been a part of the wonderful crochet design community for several years now. This is my first book and it gives me such joy to see it in print. Many thanks go out to Leisure Arts for working with me and bringing this project to life.
Nature's Gifts for Baby Front Cover
I’d love to tell you a little bit about the inspiration for each baby set. There are seven sets in the book, each inspired by the incredible beauty of the natural world. I love the thought of sweet little babies being all wrapped up in my designs! What a compliment to have my designs invited into others’ lives as they celebrate their own little gifts of nature. I’d also like to share some tips for customization for those crocheters who are particularly adventurous.
Forests are full of life and magic, just like babies! I wanted to celebrate those precious moments with a hat and blanket influenced by the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of my life and thus have been fortunate enough to have its gorgeous forests surround me and inspire me.
Custom Tip: Make the blanket in any size by starting with any multiple of 6 stitches plus 3. A larger blanket might mean a big forest of tree appliqués lining the bottom! Remember that you’ll need more yarn if you’re making a larger blanket.
The night sky has captured our imaginations and inspired many stories across different cultures. The simple stitches and crisp details of this space-inspired set make it shine. Truth be told, I was inspired to design this set because I am a space fanatic in my daily life. It’s a good thing that I work as Campus Manager of a small private school, because working with young people helps me to get away with wearing my space dress, space leggings, space skirt, space scarf, and space earrings (though not all at once)!
Custom Tip: Change one of the constellations to the baby’s star sign to make the set more personal. You could even write the little one’s name or initials in the stars!
With a flash of bright orange, this sweet little fox set steals your heart. I wanted to conjure thoughts of playful forest friends in soft snowfall with this whimsical project. Foxes are fairly trendy these days — and for good reason! They are totally adorable and irresistibly mischievous.
Custom Tip: If springtime strikes your fancy, replace the off-white in the blanket with green. You could also add a bow to the fox for a more feminine look.
It’s so fulfilling watching the next generation be born, grow up, and reach their potential. This is a crisp, sweet baby set that seeks to recognize the joy babies bring to our lives as they blossom and change. This set was inspired by a class activity that I enjoyed when I was in first grade. We got to explore sunflowers at various stages of their development. I never forgot the excitement I felt learning all about how living things grow and change.
Custom Tip: Frame the panels instead of joining them to create unique nursery decor. You could also make pillows out of them to add some fun to a favorite chair.
Mr. Golden Sun shines down on baby in the form of these bright, sunny hexagon motifs. I like that you can work them up in your spare moments and soon you’ll have a beautiful set for your wee one. When I was a very young one, under 5, I lived in sunny California. This set is a tribute to that early and warm part of my life, my own sunrise.
Custom Tip: The size of this blanket is easy to customize; simply craft more or fewer motifs. You may even want to experiment with different hexagon arrangements. If you’d like a larger blanket, be sure to factor in more yarn.
Water Lilies Set
This set was inspired by Monet’s paintings which reflect the simple beauty of a quiet pond. I have a huge amount of respect for art, especially impressionism, and Monet’s paintings have always been among my favorites. I finally saw a few in person a few years ago; I cried with happiness.
Custom Tip: Monet created over 200 paintings in the Water Lilies series, with no two being completely alike. Place your lily pads and flowers however you desire to create your own unique version. Since variegated yarn is used for this set, no two sets will look quite the same.
Rain refreshes the earth, bringing water to thirsty plants and animals. This cool set is a great way to play in puddles - without getting wet! It rains a lot of the time where I live. I love it! The rain brings everything to life.
Custom Tip: The cloud appliqués are very versatile. You can add as many or as few as you like to your set. Stitch letters onto them, stuff them to turn them into a matching mobile. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.