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The Leisure Arts Crochet Blog
  • Tunisian Crochet

    {Note: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Tunisian Crochet went up on the Leisure Arts site for sale a couple of days ago and promptly sold out! So while we’re waiting on more copies to hit the warehouse, consider this post a sneak peek at this wonderful new book!}

    I’m intrigued again! This time I’m contemplating Tunisian crochet, and I can’t wait any longer to show off this long awaited how-to book—the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Tunisian Crochet by Kim Guzman!
    Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet
    If you like the ease of working with a crochet hook, but admire the look and feel of knitted fabric, you'll love learning Tunisian crochet. Award-winning teacher Kim Guzman walks you through the basics and takes you through each step with clear photos and friendly instructions. Nine fresh projects for you to explore will help you develop the skills you need. Designed for a variety of yarns, the nine unique projects include:
    Seed Stitch Ruana
    Drop Stitch Cowl
    Diagonal Hearts Crib Cover
    Felted Duffel

    Cabled Mitts
    Hoodie Vest
    Mitered Vest 
    Stockinette Scarf and Hat

    Meet The Designer: Kim Guzman!
    Kim Guzman is an award-winning designer of knit and crochet projects, including Tunisian crochet. She has authored several pattern books, and her designs have appeared in yarn craft magazines. “My goal is to produce crocheted items which more closely resemble knitted garments,” Kim says. “Even my ribbed garments are designed to specifically avoid bulkiness.” You can see more of Kim’s creations at and She maintains a blog called WIPs ’N Chains at and is an active member of
    You can get your copy of the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Tunisian Crochet just as soon as we get the new shipment in—which should be any day now! Then, you, too, can be intrigued by this easy technique and these pretty, pretty designs!!!
  • Socks for the Family: Learn to Crochet Them!

    I’m finding myself preoccupied with the notion that perhaps I need to learn to crochet socks…Since I already know how to crochet, it seems that I could, in a reasonable amount of time, actually have wonderfully comfy foot warmers made by my own little hands to wear year-round. (I’m sort of picky about socks. They can’t be too loose or too tight or too scratchy or too slippery…) Of course, Leisure Arts is feeding my crocheted sock preoccupation in a most timely manner with the release of their newest how-to book—Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family by Darla Sims!
    Check out the details:
    So comfy and soft, hand-crocheted socks are one of life’s ultimate luxuries! Crochet expert Darla Sims presents 15 cozy toe-warmers for the family and also teaches you how to design your own. There are socks and slipper socks for children, women, and men. From anklets to add-on ribbing socks, top-down socks to sports socks, the varying styles offer something to please everyone. The stitch patterns are fun, too, and include shells, lace designs, and faux V-Stitch. With the information provided, you can also create original designs just by changing the yarn, style, and size! Treat a loved one with their own crocheted socks—there’s simply no better way to pamper their feet!
    There’s the perfect pair of crocheted socks for everyone in Darla Sims’ Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family—for women, men, boys, and girls! Take a peek at the pretty patterns you can learn to crochet—
    Crew Socks for Women
    Anklet Socks for Women
    Ruffled Anklets for Girls
    Crew Socks for Boys
    Lacy Legs for Women
    Little Clusters of Lace for Women
    Cuffed Slippers for Men
    Ribbed Anklets for Women

    Faux V-Stitched for Women

    Embedded Shells for Women

    Gathered Anklets for Girls

    HDC Doubles for Women

    Sports Socks for Women

    Spike Stitches for Women

    Diagonal Shells for Women

    Meet the Designer: Darla Sims!
    A Washington native who crochets, knits, and sews, Darla Sims says she prefers to design exclusively for crochet. “For some of my crochet pattern stitches, I’m able to get a look similar to knitting,” she says. “It’s a matter of thinking differently about where to place the hook while crocheting. You can create the seemingly impossible when you keep looking at things in different ways.” Garments and baby items are her design favorites, but she has found herself increasingly intrigued by crochet stitches.
    Are you inspired to crochet socks yet? Get your copy of Darla Sims’ Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family today!
  • Teddy Bear & Sock Monkey ePatterns to Crochet, Knit or Sew

    My daughter’s friend that’s expecting her first baby wants a handmade teddy bear for her little one’s room. So, of course I’ve been browsing through all of our Leisure Arts teddy bear-related books and ePatterns, and I’ve picked out several that I like a lot! Now I’ve just got to pick one. So many projects and only two hands…

    The 4th of July is on its way, so maybe I’ll crochet this American teddy bear. (Just add a different colored bow and take after the flag, and he could be an anytime of the year bear!)

    The star-spangled bow tie on this adorable crocheted bear reflects his American heritage. Made popular during the term of President Theodore Roosevelt, the teddy bear has become an American favorite. For an old-fashioned look, we gave our bear an embroidered face and used wooden buttons to accent his movable arms and legs. What a lovable, huggable bear! It is crocheted using two strands of worsted weight yarn and a size H (5.00 mm) hook.

    Or since it’s still officially springtime here in Arkansas, so I could grab a skein of worsted weight yarn and crochet a Springtime teddy bear or two (loving the idea of a whole basket full of teddy bears just like the photo!)…

    For a pretty gift basket or centerpiece, crochet a collection of tiny bears in soft spring colors. The eyes and nose are simple embroidery stitches. Each bear is crocheted using worsted weight yarn and a size G (4.00 mm) hook.
    Or I’m thinking about sewing up this fleece teddy bear…
    A colorful bow tie gives this little bear a dapper air. The stuffed bear is made of soft fleece that you cut and sew using our full-size patterns and easy instructions. His arms and legs are accented with button attachments. The harvest colors in our plaid tie make him especially suited for an autumn setting, but you can plan a whole wardrobe of ties to make your bear at home in any season.
    Or maybe this furry Bixby teddy bear. He looks like he’d make a nice pet…
    Faux fur makes this little stuffed teddy bear extra cuddly. The jointed arms and legs are attached with plastic doll joints. Full-size patterns included. This stuffed animal is not intended for children under 3 years of age.
    Or how about knitting Pierre and Mimi teddy bears? (If I could knit…)
    Jauntily dressed for a stop at a French café, Pierre will invite lots of hugs and add international flavor to your teddy bear collection. The bear is knitted using worsted weight yarn and size 5 (3.75 mm) straight knitting needles; his clothing is knitted using sport weight yarn and size 3 (3.25 mm) straight knitting needles. The design calls for 12mm lock-in animal eyes, but these are not recommended if the bear is for children under age 3.
    This mademoiselle has a sweet school-girl look that makes her an excellent companion for any young lady. The bear is knitted using worsted weight yarn and size 5 (3.75 mm) straight knitting needles; her clothing is knitted using sport weight yarn and size 3 (3.25 mm) straight knitting needles. The design calls for 12mm lock-in animal eyes, but these are not recommended if the bear is for children under age 3.
    And now I’ve gotten sidetracked by a sock monkey sewing ePattern! I might need to try my hand at stitching Peejay the Sock Monkey!
    Holding a teddy bear pal that he never sleeps without, this cuddly sock monkey is dressed for bed in his pajama cap and slippers. Download includes full-size patterns and easy-to-follow instructions for making the doll using Original Red Heel socks.
    But I’m really liking Buttons the sock monkey, too...
    This love-worn sock monkey is “cute as a button” with patches galore and a classic cap and scarf. Download includes full-size patterns and easy-to-follow instructions for making the doll using Original Red Heel socks.
    Anyway, we’ve got lots of sock monkey sewing ePatterns in addition to the teddy bears...Which one's your favorite teddy bears or sock monkeys?
  • Crochet Baby Afghan Patterns for a Gift

    I’ve got to get out my crochet hook and get serious about picking out one of the many Leisure Arts baby afghan patterns that I love to crochet for a baby shower present for my daughter’s best friend. Decisions…decisions…Wanna help me pick?

    I really love this August baby afghan pattern by C.A. Riley. The mama-to-be that I’m crocheting for is planning a jungle theme for Baby’s room. It’s from our crochet pattern book—A Year of Baby Afghans Book 4:

    “Baby gifts are always so much fun to make, and this collection of 12 crocheted baby afghans is sure to have the perfect match for your little one. Baby afghans make great shower gifts, too. Pick your favorite or work your way through the year; you’ll be prepared no matter when the next shower pops up. And you know that new mommy will love you for it! This pattern book includes 12 wraps, from Easy to Experienced, using Light or Medium Weight yarn: Stripes for January; hearts and ribbons for February; flowers for March; rainbow squares for April; floral strips for May; patchwork for June; ripples for July; animals for August; an up-to-date granny for September; X kisses for October; tiered stitches for November; and shells for December.”

    The pretty ruffled edging on The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s Baby Comfort Blanket really catches my eye! This precious baby afghan pattern is from our crochet pattern book—Hug It Out:

    “Crocheted with love, a warm wrap or a plump teddy bear can be just the “hug” someone needs, says designer Drew Emborsky, The Crochet Dude. After losing his mother, he says, ‘The motion of stitching and working with yarn was the therapy I needed to find comfort as I grieved. Truly it is that if you want to find comfort, comfort someone else. Now I am so happy to have created a book of patterns with the intention of giving you the opportunity to help others in their time of need. Receiving a handmade gift from you can change someone's outlook completely.’ Drew’s nine designs include Mobius Cowl, Chemo Cap, Baby Comfort Blanket, Kennel Blanket, Baby Hat, Comfortghan, Prayer Shawl, Comfort Teddy, and Drawstring Bag. The book includes a contact list of national groups that distribute crocheted donations.”

    Granny squares are perfect for warm weather, take-it-anywhere crochet. Plus, the variety of designs in this baby afghan pattern wouldn’t let me get bored while crocheting this Baby Sampler Wrap from Melissa Leapman’s Hip 2 B Square Baby Wraps.

    Hip 2 B Square: Baby Wraps by Melissa Leapman presents endless possibilities for baby afghans featuring your choice of 15 interchangeable crochet squares. Five fresh wraps with 6 squares in lightweight yarn will inspire you! The squares in this and other Hip 2 B Square books work together beautifully when you use the same weight of yarn and the same size crochet hook. Five throws (Alternating Rib Wrap, Baby Sampler Wrap, Concentric Circles Wrap, Four Square Wrap, and Star and Eyelet Wrap) to crochet using one or more of 15 squares (Basketweave, Checkerboard, Chrysanthemum, Circles in the Square, Concentric Circles, Ribbed, Eyelet, Daisy, Diagonal Stripes, Lacy V-Stitch, Griddle Stitch, Crossed Stitch Stripes, Multicolored, Star, and Teardrops).”

    Simplicity combines with beauty when it comes to crocheting this Climbing Clusters baby afghan pattern. Thanks to those great 16-ounce yarn skeins that have hit the market, I could crochet any of the pretty baby crochet afghan patterns in Jean Leinhauser’s Crochet Baby Afghans By The Pound:

    “Just as babies’ weights are recorded for posterity, in Crochet Baby Afghans by the Pound by Jean Leinhauser, the amounts of yarn needed for all ten blankets is given in pounds—based upon the popular 16-ounce skeins now available. The designs offer plenty of variety, from delicate lace to thick textures, as well as light to bright colors. Afghans include: Rosy Outlook, Bright Popcorns, Minty Fresh, Summer Sunflowers, Blue Skies, Pink Princess, Climbing Clusters, Peppermint Twist, Red Roses for a Sweet Baby, and Lacy Circle.”

    If you’re a newbie to crochet or just a little overwhelmed by life like I am, you might pick Kay Meadors’ easy Twinkling White Baby Afghan from our 10-20-30 Minutes to Learn to Crochet pattern book:
    10-20-30 Minutes to Learn to Crochet makes it possible to learn a relaxing new hobby by taking advantage of little snippets of time throughout the day! Step-by-step instructions and expert advice guide you through the basics of crochet, for both right-handed and left-handed beginners. Then there are 9 fresh afghan patterns to put your skills to use: Dishcloth, Striped Scarf, Henrietta Hippo toy, Sweet Mary Janes and Manly Moccasins (baby booties), Twinkling White Baby Afghan, Textured V-Neck Pullover (ladies chest sizes 36 to 51), Building Blocks Quilt, and Mountains Afghan.”

    Of course, I could turn to an old standby baby afghan pattern that I’ve crocheted a dozen times before! Anne Halliday’s sweet Tender Hearts design from The Big Book of Baby Afghans is easy to crochet and always a hit with new mamas!

    “You’ll find 29 adorable designs to crochet in this big collection of baby afghan patterns! These patterns are classics from the Leisure Arts library, each one created by a popular designer. Choose the quiet elegance of lace or pick a burst of bright motifs. There are wavy panels and lovely pattern stitch afghans. All are perfect for baby shower gifts! Some of the larger designs would also make thoughtful first-birthday presents. Let the clear instructions and sweet photos inspire you to make a very special baby blanket for that wonderful little person in your life.”

    Which of these baby afghan patterns would you pick to crochet? Some are simple and others are for the more experienced crocheter. Some are from squares. All are very girly! And all of them are just perfect for my purpose! I can’t decide!!!
  • Socks to Knit or Crochet for Father’s Day! Sale Alert!

    With Mother’s Day behind us, it’s time to switch over to work on Father’s Day gifts. Be sure to check out our Father’s Day Promotion offering 30% off selected books of socks to knit or crochet. You’ll get to pamper Dad with a pair of soft, handmade socks now, and you’ll have all the knit and crochet patterns you need for later, to make sock gifts for everyone on your Christmas list. 
    A Cuff Above
    Wearing your own hand knitted socks or creating them for loved ones are such rewarding experiences! As anyone who has ever worn them can tell you, nothing is more comfortable than a pair of hand knitted socks. They are the best gifts you can give, and the nicest way to treat yourself to something very special. These 23 projects from Cynthia Guggemos include socks for adults and babies, leg warmers, slippers, and Christmas stockings with lots of room for gifts from Santa. Most projects include a generous range of sizes, and there is plenty of creativity here to keep you on your toes, with clear instructions that will help you put your best (soon to be sock-covered) foot forward! Sock knitting patterns include cables, lace, Fair Isle, and more.
    Socks to Knit for Those You Love
    Want to warm your loved ones right down to their toes? Hand-knitted socks are the most thoughtful of gifts, and are always welcome! Renowned designer and instructor Edie Eckman offers these 18 styles of sock knitting patterns for the family. Simple or fancy, they range from wee baby booties to roomy socks for men and toeless yoga socks. Techniques include lace, cables, slip stitch, and ribbing. The designs are standard cuff-down, French heel with gusset plus two toe-up designs that use primarily sock yarn along with a few heavier weight yarns. Thorough instructions include all the stitches and techniques you’ll need, including Edie’s helpful pattern stitch charts. And with the huge array of yarn colors available, your socks are sure to be the right fit for the lucky recipient!
    Sock Loom Basics
    Everyone loves hand-knitted socks! And now you can knit custom socks for everyone on your gift list—even if you’ve never knitted anything before! Fans of the adjustable KB Sock Loom will love this companion book, which provides a handy guide to the loom’s basic instructions plus 11 great sock knitting patterns for preemies to adults. It also includes handy tips on how to adjust the sizes to fit a larger or smaller foot. You’ll be an expert in no time! The designs feature mock cables, beaded cuffs, several rib patterns, stripes, garter blocks, a toeless pedicure sock, and spiral tube socks and a hat for preemies.

    I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Socks
    Cozy, comfy, colorful socks—with this book, knitting them by the dozens is incredibly easy! Make them cabled or plain, striped or solid, ribbed, lacy, or laddered. Wear them with your favorite clogs, pair them with jeans or skirts, or let them replace your fussy old house shoes. You’ll fly through our helpful hints and photos to create an entire wardrobe of indispensable tootsie-warmers in three sizes for women. Our Extras and General Instructions sections provide useful information on yarn options, different cast-on techniques, choices between double-pointed needles and circular needles, and different types of Heels and Toes. You’ll be thrilled right down to your (pampered) toes when you say, I can’t believe I’m knitting socks thanks to these sock knitting patterns!

    I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks
    I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks by Karen Ratto-Whooley teaches how to make comfortable, attractive socks for the family. Karen tells how to pick the right yarn, measure for a proper fit, and make two types of heels. The 9 patterns are sized for ankle circumferences from 5.5" to 13" and explain how to adjust the length of the foot and leg sections. With this handy guide, it won’t be long before you hear yourself say, “I can’t believe I’m crocheting socks!” Book includes 9 crochet patterns for light and super fine weight yarn include Basic Cuff-Down Socks, Basic Toe-Up Socks, Ankle Socks, Cabled Socks, Cobblestone Socks, Lace Socks, Ribbed Cuff Socks, Ripple Socks, and Tube Socks.

    I know I have a horrible time picking out Father’s Day gifts, so I’m kinda considering the I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks book myself! (Think I’ve got time to conquer some sock crochet patterns by Father’s Day?) Enjoy your own sock knitting and crocheting for Father’s Day!
  • Crocheted Hats for Charity

    Hope you’re having a fabulous Sunday! It just dawned on me that I never shared the photo of all the hats I crocheted for charity in 2011! I may not have been as prolific as some of you master crocheters out here, but, for me, I think I did pretty good!
    Wanna take a little trip down crocheted memory lane with me?
    This Two Stitch Hat came from Bonnie Barker’s Noggins & Necks!
    These 3 little hats are from the Baby Hat pattern in The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s Hug It Out!
    Gotta love the Chinese Acrobat Hat from Shibaguyz Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s Heady Affairs!
    And my autumn-colored Basket Weave hat from Bonnie Barker’s Noggins & Necks!
    I was very pleased with this Eco Green Hat from Lisa Gentry’s Celebrity Slouchy Beanies to Crochet!
    This little green hat with the crocheted flower…
    …and these 5 baby hats (plus the blue one in the big picture) all came from one of my favorite pattern books—Teach a Group of Kids to Crochet by Kay Meadors!
    Cute & Cozy Caps by Lori Adams was the source for my little purple Ruffled Pillbox hat.
    Drew Emborsky, yet again, is responsible for the pattern for this Cabled Tam. It’s from his In All Caps little book!
    Did you knit or crochet any hats for charity last year? What have you got on the hook for 2012?
  • Downloadable Easter Crochet Patterns

    Looking for something pretty to crochet for Easter? I’m loving these three patterns from Leisure Arts—especially since they’re on sale for only $1.00 each!

    Colorful Easter Baskets Crochet Patterns
    For Easter or anytime you’d like to present a gift of goodies, these cheery baskets are sure to please. The basket cover is simply crocheted onto a plastic bleach bottle. Both designs are crocheted using worsted weight yarn and a size H (5.00 mm) hook. The small basket is attached to the bottom of a 1-gallon plastic bleach bottle with holes punched along the top edge; the large basket uses a 1½-gallon bottle. Each handle is made by wrapping yarn around a narrow strip cut from the bottle.

    Lacy Easter Basket Crochet Pattern
    Designed to hold your treasures, this crocheted basket is a lovely Easter accent. After the holiday, it can be used as a catchall to lend a touch of spring to a powder room or bedroom all year round. This design is crocheted using bedspread weight cotton thread (size 10) and a size 6 (1.80 mm) steel crochet hook. It is starched and blocked to hold its basket shape.

    Easter Bunny Dress Crochet Pattern
    Your baby girl will look too cute “hoppin’ down the bunny trail” in this beribboned dress. Worked in baby fingering weight yarn with sizes D (3.25 mm) and E (3.50 mm) hooks, the irresistible outfit features a border of popcorn-stitch bunnies on the skirt and simple, embroidered carrots on the collar.

    (How cute would your little one be this Easter with a crocheted dress and a crocheted Easter basket? Just think about it…)

  • 10 Creative Crochet Tips

    Crocheters, I’ve discovered, are clever, make-do-with-what-you’ve-got kinda folks. To that end, for today’s post, I’m sharing 10 great tips that crocheters have shared with Leisure Arts over the years for using stuff from around the house to facilitate the art of crochet:

    1. Crochet Tip: Washing Musty Yarn
    I do a lot of crocheting for charity, and I’ve been given a lot of yarn that has been put away and smells musty. I’ve found that if I take the skein of yarn, slide it down in the leg of a pair of pantyhose, tie the ends off, and launder it using the gentle cycle, the yarn comes out clean, smelling fresh, and ready to use. –Jo Ann from Texas

    2. Crochet Tip: Doily Storage
    I thought you might like my tip on storing crocheted doilies. I save the cardboard rolls from wax paper, paper towels, etc. They vary in size and can be joined together to lengthen as needed. First, I wrap the tube in an acid-free material, such as an old cotton pillowcase or dishtowel. Then I iron my doilies and roll them on the roll. They’re kept neat, without fold lines and are easy to store on a shelf or in a drawer. More than one can be rolled together, if you wish. It’s easy to find the one you want, and they always lay flat and neat. If given as a gift, they’re easy to wrap. –Melba from Ohio

    3. Crochet Tip: Paper Clips
    I use small and/or large plastic coated paperclips to mark rows, right side of fabric, last stitch made, etc.. They are easy to move around from stitch to stitch and the plastic coating protects the fabric from getting snagged. The variety of colors in a package of these clips makes it easy to keep track of many things at once.

    4. Crochet Tip: Easy Grip Hook
    I’ve just learned to crochet and would like to share a tip that I’ve found helpful. I wrap a rubber band around the thumb-rest of my hook, which makes the handle thicker and easier to grip. –Anna from New Mexico

    5. Crochet Tip: Green Blocking
    Since my young granddaughters (ages 4 and up) have learned to crochet, they’ve also learned how to block their projects. We recycle foam box liners and the rigid pink builders’ insulation to use as our blocking boards. We also use round toothpick halves instead of pins, because they’re safer, and they don’t leave rust spots. We’ve re-used the same supplies for hundreds of doilies, table covers, coasters, snowflake ornaments, etc. –Sylvia from Massachusetts

    6. Crochet Tip: Toothbrush Holder Hook Storage
    To protect my beloved wooden crochet hooks, I bought a plastic toothbrush holder for less than $1.00. It’s large enough to hold one or two hooks, a small pair of fold-up needlework scissors, and a yarn needle. It keeps everything together and tidy, and it protects my hooks from bending and breaking. –Phyllis from Michigan

    7. Crochet Tip: Baby Wipe Yarn Holder
    I use a large baby wipe container to hold my yarn while I’m crocheting. By threading the yarn through the opening in the lid, it stays clean and untangled. –Dorothy from Ohio

    8. Crochet Tip: Sticky Note Markers
    Here is a special tip for all who have to follow a pattern or chart. I place a self-stick note under the line I’m on when crocheting or working on other crafts, that require me to follow a pattern or even a graph. I just move the note down to the next line as I go. I can even write on it to remind myself at which row or round I stopped. This keeps me from having to count so much. –Elaine from Louisiana

    9. Crochet Tip: Page Protectors/Dry-Erase Markers
    I store my patterns in clear vinyl sheet covers. This really does help keep them neat and clean so that they’ll last longer, but I’ve found something that makes them even more useful. I keep my current project in my crochet bag, so I can take it with me to work on whenever I have a few minutes. Since I have to start and stop a lot, it’s really important for me to be able to know where to pick up again. My solution is a dry-erase marker. You can make all kinds of notes on the sheet, and then with a simple swipe, they’re erased! You can do this as often as you need. –Frances from Arkansas

    10. Crochet Tip: The Versatile Bobby Pin
    I’ve found that bobby pins are very helpful when crocheting. I use large ones for yarn and small ones for thread. It’s best to use bobby pins with the rubber tips still attached to avoid snags. I use bobby pins for the following:
    • To hold the last stitch when putting work away. This avoids having part of your crocheted piece unravel.
    • To mark the right side of a crocheted project. Attaching a bobby pin is much quicker than locating another color of yarn to use as a marker, and it’s quicker to remove when your work is complete.
    • Bobby pins can be used as bobbins when working color changes with small amounts of yarn.
    • Bobby pins can be real time-savers when working pattern changes or marking stitches to be worked into later in a project.
    • They’re great for holding pieces together for seam work. They help in matching patterns from piece to piece and are especially helpful when setting in sleeves. 6. When making long chains at the beginning of a project, use bobby pins to mark, for example, every 30 chains. This prevents you from having to start counting all over if you lose your place or are interrupted.
    I recommend keeping bobby pins close at hand any time you’re crocheting. –Dale from Arkansas

  • Free Crochet & Craft Jewelry Patterns

    I’m sort of a jewelry freak…I spend a lot of time lusting in the bead aisles at the art store and digging through bins of abandoned bling at junk sales, and I’m betting some of you out there really like jewelry, too—especially making your own! So…in celebration of International Crochet Month and National Craft Month, here are some free downloadable jewelry patterns that I thought you might enjoy:

    Check out these Crocheted Earrings! Wouldn’t they be pretty with your Easter outfit? They’re crocheted with bedspread weight cotton thread and a size 6 (1.8 mm) hook.

    Next up, designer Lisa Gentry’s Ribbon Flower Necklace to crochet. From Lisa’s book, Teach Yourself Crochet Ribbon Accents, this dressy design features bulky weight ribbon yarn and pretty E-beads.

    And for a bit of craftiness…try this Needle Felted Japanese Kanji Pin. Designed exclusively by Kooler Design Studio for Leisure Arts, this pin makes a big statement with symbolic characters from the Japanese writing system. For a complete guide to needle felting and more projects, see the Leisure Arts book, Needle Felting: Artful Fashion (#4296) by Kooler Design Studio.

    Happy jewelry creating!

  • Celebrate National Crochet Month: Learn Thread Crochet

    I’ve always admired crocheters who have the ability to crochet with thread. I can remember my grandmother sitting at our dining table, watching a soap opera, drinking coffee, and carrying on a conversation – all while crocheting a lacy doily on a tiny steel hook. My mother-in-law could do the same thing! I was mesmerized and intimidated, so when National Crochet Month came around this year, as a challenge for myself, I started contemplating the concept of actually giving thread crochet another try.

    Check out some of the pattern books I’ve been perusing:
    The Ultimate Guide to Thread Crochet
    Description: If you can crochet with yarn, you'll easily transition to making a cell phone pouch, a ring belt to wear with your favorite jeans, or lace trim for a blouse--all with thread crochet! A bit rusty on crochet stitches? Just review the stitch guide at the back. Whether you want to create coasters or baby booties, you'll find all the information you need. You can also learn which thread weights are best for your project and pick up some fun techniques and helpful hints. Includes 23 must-have accessories and lace trims: scarf, vest, 2 doilies, filet initial, belt, cell phone pouch, necklace, coaster, bird, 3 snowflakes, bookmark, sachet, baby booties, baby bonnet, receiving blanket, and 5 edgings sewn on clothing.

    The Complete Guide to Thread Crochet
    Description: This all-in-one guide has everything you need to know about crocheting with bedspread weight cotton thread and takes the guesswork out of symbol crochet, filet crochet, no-sew joining, & crocheting with decorative beads. 25 Great projects are included.

    The Big Book of Thread Ornaments
    Description: Bright snowflakes. Regal angels. Lacy stars. Delicate bells. Add festive beauty to your holidays with dozens of classic thread crochet Christmas ornaments and decorations! Invite a band of angels to serenade you from the branches of the tree. Fashion intricate covers for satin ball ornaments. Welcome visitors with a string of bells on your front door. For unforgettable gifts, frame photos of your loved ones inside heart, wreath, star, and snowflake ornaments. Complete crochet instructions plus finishing and blocking information will ensure that your creations become a favorite part of your family's Yuletide season for many years to come.

    Elegant 2-Piece Sets
    Description: These four two-piece skirt sets by Kathryn A. Clark transform simple cotton thread into a wardrobe of sophisticated separates. They will reward you time and again as you pair the pieces with other tops, pants, and skirts. Even better, these all-original designs won't be found in stores anywhere; and that can't be said of their pricey cousins at the mall! Includes 4 sets, each in sizes Extra-Small to Extra-Large, for intermediate skill level: Midnight in the Garden (full skirt with horizontal stripes; double-breasted jacket with bell sleeves), Dancer's Delight (yoked skirt; sleeveless top with scalloped bottom), Garden of Dreams (knee-length skirt; lacy top with tapered
    shoulders), and Yesterday Once More (stripe-and-dot skirt; peplum jacket).

    50 Fabulous Crochet Thread Motifs
    Description: From circles to squares and hearts to fans, this book by Jean Leinhauser offers a fabulous collection of 50 individual motifs to crochet. Although the motifs are shown made in size 10 bedspread-weight cotton, you can choose the weight and type of thread that best suits your taste. Use the motifs as appliqués to adorn clothing and linens or join them together to create placemats, bedspreads, or tablecloths. The choice is yours! Motifs include Pineapple Posy, Petal Wheel, Petite Pansy, Frilly Fan, Lacy Cross, My Wild Irish Rose, Popcorn Circles, Lacy Points, Whirligig, Circle in a Square, Starshine, Lattice Square, Loopy Oval, Ruffles and Flourishes, Windmill, Filet Heart, Hexagon Clusters, Coneflower, Prancing Picots, and more.

    Do any of you crochet with thread? Which book (books) would you pick to work on? I’m not sure where to start…but one of them is on sale! Just click on the book links to
    see which one.

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