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The Leisure Arts Crochet Blog
  • 5 Ways to Celebrate National Crochet Month

    Did you know that March is National Crochet Month? We must celebrate! Even you non-crocheters could participate! Here are some ideas to get you started:
    1. Learn to Crochet!

    Pick up a copy of our best-selling I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting. It’ll teach you everything you need to know with instructions for both left- and right-handed stitchers!
    If you’re more of a visual learner, you need the DVD version of I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting. It’s even on sale.
    Spare time a scarce commodity in your world? Check out 10-20-30 Minutes to Learn to Crochet for learning in those little increments of time that you might actually find during the course of a day!
    2. Teach a Kid or Kids to Crochet!

    Teach a Group of Kids to Crochet is a great resource for teachers! Even if you’re teaching adults!
    Kids would love to have their own copy of Cool Stuff Teach Me to Crochet! It features projects that will really appeal to them!
    Or how about a DVD to get your kid interested in crocheting - The Art of Crochet for Kids? It’s on sale!
    3. Crochet for Charity!

    Take a look at The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s new crochet pattern book - Hug It Out! It’s got the perfect patterns to help you share your hugs with those in need!
    Have you been or do you want to be involved in the Prayer Shawl Movement? Crochet Prayer Shawls features projects by some of our favorite designers that are perfect to make for someone who needs to be wrapped in a little love!
    Vanna’s Choice Heartfelt Gifts is also a great resource for projects to knit and crochet for those in need!
    4. Challenge Yourself to Learn a New Crochet Stitch or even Stitches!
    I really love the best-selling 63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches! How great would it be to learn 63 stitches and end up with an afghan?
    With another of our best-sellers, Learn to Crochet 24 Pattern Stitches, you learn 24 stitches and crochet 24 dishcloths - all at the same time! (Think about the great gifts you’ll already have made before it’s even time to start thinking about the holiday!)
    If you really want to be challenged, check of another of our on-sale DVDs - I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Cables Bobbles & Lace!

    5. Sit in the Sunshine, Celebrate Spring, and Share Your Love of Crochet with everyone around you!
  • Downloadable Urban Edge Fashions to Crochet

    I know you've looked at all the pretty pictures from my 2 day Urban Edge Fashion Show - but have you discovered that in additon to the print version of Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby's new crocheted fashion pattern book, Urban Edge has also been released as a download!

    Now you can instantly download this way cool book right to your computer! How great is that?!!!

  • Fashion Doll Fashions to Crochet

    Do little girls still play with fashion dolls? I know I did, and both of my daughters had a closet full! My grandmother first introduced me to crochet by way of the clothes she crocheted for my dolls. Designs very much like these downloadable patterns for fashion doll fashions to crochet from Leisure Arts:

    Beautiful Bridal Gown & Bridesmaid Dress

    Lacy-Ruffles Outfit


    Beach Outfits & Accessories

    Poncho Set

    Ballet Tutu

    Party Dress



    Country Dress & Accessories

    I especially loved the frilly dresses. Bet some little girls in your world would, too! Wish I still had the ones my grandmother made for my dolls…Are any of you that lucky?

  • Spring Fashions: Knit & Crochet Vests

    It usually doesn’t start feeling like spring in Arkansas until at least the middle of March, but…since the flowers and the trees, and the birds and the temperatures all seem to indicate that spring has decided to come early this year, I’m already behind on restocking my warmer weather wardrobe. Consequently, I’m shopping the Leisure Arts knit & crochet pattern books for vest patterns that I like. Wanna help me pick?

    I found a whole book of Fresh Vests to Knit by Edie Eckman:

    Really like this Casual Charm Vest…

    Or Edie’s Lighthearted Vest…

    Or her Something Special Vest (It’s green; of course, I like it!).

    The I came across this Casual Vest to knit from Melissa Leapman’s Cardigan’s with a Conscience. (The photo model was made with Bernat Cot’n Corn Solid yarn—67% cotton & 33% corn. I kind of like the idea of a vest made of corn!)

    But since I can’t actually knit, (and nobody at Leisure Arts seems to be picking up on my hints), I must turn to our huge selection of crochet fashion pattern books:

    One of my favs is this Scallop-Edge Vest from Lisa Gentry’s Unforgettable Crochet. (I meant to make this vest when the book was first released. I even bought the yarn, but I got side-tracked…maybe, it’s time to try again!)

    This A-Line Vest is from Curvy Crochet by Marlaina Bird & Jill Wright. (I like the button tabs and the lacy inset in the back!)

    Loving the simple lines of Shibaguyz Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s Red Rock Vest from And That’s a Wrap!

    Lisa Gentry’s The Crochet Closet calls this design, a “Nice Striped Vest.” (And that’s the perfect description of it. The yarn colors really give it a great springy look, too!)

    The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s Investing vest design from Crochet It. Love It Wear It! gets my attention because of the its faux lapels that are created with diagonally slanted cables.

    Once more, the color green catches my eye with this Sweet Basil Vest from CrochetWear by Anne Regis. (The deep armholes make it great for layering which is vital while experiencing the changing Arkansas temperatures. Plus, I probably need a Humphrey Bogart fedora to wear with it!)

    And, then there’s Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s newest crochet pattern book—Urban Edge! This book is just filled with go-to designs:

    Amsterdam Vest (This design has great classic lines!)

    Buenos Aires Maxi Vest (Love the duster length of this vest! Course, now I want a cowboy hat!)

    Okay! So what do you think? Which one should I make first? Which ones would you add to your wardrobe?

  • Star Quality Knit & Crochet Fashion & Décor

    Are you gearing up to watch the Academy Awards tonight? Who’s going to be the big winner? With stars in my eyes, I, myself, am leafing through some knit and crochet fashion and home décor pattern books from Leisure Arts that are just filled with star quality designs. (This is as close as I’ll ever get to being a you might want to grab your shades…)

    I know you’ve seen the stars in their slouchy beanies! They’re everywhere. Wanna be a star, too? You need Knit Celebrity Slouchy Beanies, Crochet Celebrity Slouchy Beanies, or both to achieve star power! Each little pattern book features 7 “hip designs for all the celebrities in your life” by Lisa Gentry. Take a peek:



    Naturally Comfortable

    Truly Purple

    Cabled Classic

    Casual Comfort

    Fun Stripes

    Forward And Reverse



    Textured Stripes

    Urban Appeal

    Granny Square

    Eco Green

    Kid Stuff – Stripes

    Kid Stuff – Reversed

    For Toddlers

    And now that you’ve got your head covered…(all the better for avoiding those pesky papparazzi…)

    Contemplate feeling movie-star fabulous every day while wearing one of Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s wrap-style fashions from And That’s a Wrap! Want a refresher peek at all 5 patterns? Check out the pics in my And That’s A Wrap Blog Post! (I still can’t decide which design I like best—the Red Rock Vest or the Edinburgh Ruana!)

    And then it all comes down to—The Envelope, Please!

    In this case, 10 envelope-style pillows to knit by Carolyn Pfeifer! Take a look at them in my The Envelope, Please Blog Post.

    And there you have it—star-quality fashions and home décor to knit and crochet. Who could ask for anything more? So while the Oscars are being handed out tonight, I’ll be crocheting a slouchy beanie. Think my kid will loan me her sunglasses?

  • The Cutest Little Baby Faces in Knit, Crochet & Knook!

    Question—When you sit down to look at a knit, crochet, or knook baby pattern book, what gets your attention first—the projects or the cute baby faces? If you’re anything like me, gooing and cooing at those baby faces gets you sidetracked every time!

    So get ready to make those noises that cause others in the room around you to look at you funny—cause I’m going to show you some of my favorite baby faces and projects from the pages of our Leisure Arts knit, crochet, & knook publications!

    Baby Bobbles Blanket from Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet – Updated

    Purple Textures Cocoon & Cap from Kim Kotary’s Dreamy Cocoons

    Little Sophia’s Hat from I Can’t Believe I’m Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila G. Joynes

    Ruffled Pillbox from Cute & Cozy Caps by Lori Adams

    Forward & Reverse Hat from Knit Celebrity Slouchy Beanies by Lisa Gentry

    Pink Fan Set from Lovely Layettes by Carole Prior

    For Toddlers Hat from Crochet Celebrity Slouchy Beanies by Lisa Gentry

    Basic Buttoned Sweater from Surprise Crochet by Darla Sims

    Sheep Blankie from Jean Adel’s Precious Knit Blankies for Baby

    Sonny Boy Afghan by Annis Clapp from The Big Book of Baby Afghans

    Welcome, Little Onesie by Joan Beebe from The Best of Knit Along With Debbie Macomber

    Ridged Patchwork Blanket from Baby Blankets Made With The Knook by Melissa Leapman

    Double Diamonds Hat from Baby Beanies Made With The Knook by Dorothy E. Uhlir

    Hug Cap by Cathy Hardy from Knit Along With Debbie Macomber A Charity Guide For Knitters

    Now that you’ve got all that baby stuff out of your system…What are you knitting, crocheting, or knooking for the favorite baby faces in your life? In fact, go on over to the Leisure Arts Facebook page and share a photo of your cutest little baby face wearing one of your creations!

  • Another Crocheted Hat For Charity

    Remember that crocheted Ruffled Pillbox hat from Cute & Cozy Caps by Lori Adams that I blogged about as my “1st Hat for 2012”…Well…I got a little sidetracked…

    Look how cute it is even without all the ruffles…

    I did finally finish it this weekend! Hurrah for me! It’s ready to go in the bag with all the other hats I’ve crocheted for charity this year. I’ve got 16 done so far!

    What sort of charity stitching are you working on for 2012?

  • A New Crochet Pattern Book—Urban Edge Day 2

    Urban Edge Fashion Show—Day 2

    Welcome back for Day 2 of the Urban Edge fashion reveal! This newly released crochet pattern book by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby still has some surprises to share! You’ll also continue to get the inside scoop as Shannon’s own words share the thoughts behind each design!

    Bangkok Jacket
    Every wardrobe needs a “WOW” piece; something with bold lines and sleek design features with just enough edge to set it apart from anything else in your closet. This stand out jacket is that piece. I started with a strong silhouette and stitched the jacket in an exciting fabric that really brings out the asymmetrical lines of the garment. The sharp edges of the collar, layered open front and the wider set of the sleeve caps make this a striking piece to look at and a very special piece to wear.”

    Los Angeles Jacket
    This piece is another example of real versatility in a garment. I love the fit of a really great long coat that flares a little at the bottom then comes in just the slightest bit for some shaping around the waist. I punched up that classic shape with a very structured stitch pattern to give this jacket visual appeal then finished the front with hook and eye clasps for a very flattering fit. Wear this piece to the office or the theatre then give it a little rock ‘n’ roll edge by adding the satin ribbons on the sleeves and wear it out on the town to make a real impression.”

    Taos Poncho
    Being on the front edge of fashion doesn’t always mean creating something brand new on the scene. As in the case of the Taos Poncho, edgy can be as simple as tweaking a classic design. I took the shape of the poncho and opened up the top seam with buttons so you can adjust the fit and drape to accompany the whims of your personal style. Simple and classic with a twist… just can’t miss!”

    Milan Cowl Neck Top
    Often, the city where you work during the day is the same city where you play at night. The challenge has always been to come up with the right wardrobe choices that can make this work to play transition with you. Wear this piece with a jacket and slacks or a skirt and you have the perfect office ensemble with just enough fashion edge. After work, remove the jacket and slip into your favorite jeans or a pair of tights and you quickly transform into that cool woman sipping coffee at the bookstore that everyone wants to get to know.”

    Paris Wrap
    I first envisioned this design years before this book was even a blip on my radar. This piece takes multi-functional design to a new level. No matter what your body type, the simple geometric pattern created by the stitches creates body-flattering lines that will really surprise you. Because of the directional stitches, the resulting fabric has two very different characteristics: one form fitting and another with drape and movement. Express your personal style by wearing the ties around your waist as a skirt or around your neck for a dramatic, stunning dress or cover up.”

    NYC Dress
    FAB!! That’s about all I can say about this dress. I love combining classic crochet techniques with visually stunning, fashion forward designs and this piece just about wraps that up for me. Classic motifs rule the day and give this edgy dress the impact that will make people stop, stare and, yes, be jealous that they didn’t make one first.”

    Meet The Designer!
    Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby is a fashion designer, crochet artist, and avid gardener. He’s also the co-founder of Shibaguyz Designz and His crochet designs have appeared in Crochet! Magazine, Inside Crochet, Interweave Crochet, Crochet World, and Crochet Today. He has also designed pieces for yarn companies, including Caron, Bijou Basin Ranch, and Mango Moon. In 2011, Shannon won the Fearless Leader Award for Haute Couture at the Crochet Liberation Front’s annual Flamie Awards. Shannon works in his West Seattle studio, where he is occasionally visited by his partner of 17 years and their 3 dogs—all of which, he says, are basically well-mannered.

    Be sure to visit to get Shannon’s very cool collection of crochet hat designs, Heady Affairs (#5566), and his movie-star fabulous And That’s A Wrap! (#5611) featuring five wrap-style fashions to crochet!
  • A New Crochet Pattern Book—Urban Edge

    Urban Edge Fashion Show—Day 1

    Welcome to Day 1 of the unveiling of the fashions you'll find in the just released new crochet pattern book by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby—Urban Edge! May you enjoy being awed by these cutting edge styles as Shannon’s own words describe his inspiration and vision for each one!

    Dublin Cables Dress
    “I have always loved the striking look of the cables in Aran sweaters and I also love the way a great sweater dress looks fantastic on such a wide range of body types. I combined classic Aran cables with a sweater dress silhouette to create luxury with a funky twist. You will feel fantastic in this piece whether you are shopping downtown or taking a casual stroll along the waterfront on a cool day.”

    Rio de Janeiro Sleeveless Hoodie
    I love hoodies. To me, a hoodie is the go-to piece for versatility in just about any wardrobe. For this design, I combined the look of a hoodie with the added layering possibilities of a vest and worked the entire piece up in an easy stitch that lays flat without adding bulk to your look. I finished the design with draped front panels for a little laid back chic.”

    St. Tropez Butterfly Sleeve Top
    In every hustle and bustle, there are the quiet moments we take. I designed this top with a nod to the softer side of the city. The easy fit of this top and the butterfly feature of the sleeves are soft, feminine and flattering on most body types. Urban professionals, weekend window shoppers and soccer moms alike will all find this piece the perfect soft balance to the rigors of the urban jungle.”

    Buenos Aires Maxi Vest
    I believe every woman deserves to put a little pizzazz in her wardrobe. I used a classic filet crochet stitch pattern to build this twist on a classic duster silhouette. The result is a fun layering piece with the versatility of a vest and the added drama of a duster. The Buenos Aires Maxi Vest will look FAB with your jeans, slacks or skirts, tanks, tees, turtlenecks and button-up shirts.”

    Amsterdam Vest
    I can’t help but draw my design inspirations from the dramatic architecture of the buildings that surround me here in the city. The graphic lines created by the ridges in the fabric of this vest echo those architectural details. Created with my favorite side-to-side construction technique, the Amsterdam Vest is classic enough to wear on a date, contemporary enough to walk the halls of academia and edgy enough to hang out at the skate park.”

    Helsinki Sweater
    A boyfriend sweater is such a fashion essential that I just had to create one for this book. Using side-to-side construction, I created a sweater with just the right amount of relaxed fit while still conforming to your feminine curves. The bottom ribbing is worked in a pattern that won’t bunch up around your hips and the shoulders are set in to the neckline so you have plenty of room to move without feeling confined. The final touch is the oversized cowl neck that is both flattering and adds just the right amount of luxury.”

    Seattle Cross Front Vest
    With versatility in the front of my mind for the designs in this book, this vest is exactly what I was aiming for. Worn one way, you have a classic drape-front vest with long panels for wrapping in front or tying around your waist. Flip the vest upside down and instantly you have a contemporary twist on a neck wrap that will look FAB as a layering piece. Classic or contemporary… your choice!”

    Tune in tomorrow…same time…same station…for the Urban Edge Fashion Reveal continued!

  • Crochet For Valentine’s Day!

    It’s Saturday, and The Cat and I are sitting here scheming about last minute Valentine’s Day presents. As usual, I’m thinking of resorting to pattern downloads to get me motivated to crochet something for my daughters. If you start right now, you, too, still have time to crochet up some special little gifts for Valentine’s Day, especially if you take advantage of the downloadable patterns available from Leisure Arts! Check out some of my favs:

    Stars & Stripes & Heart Hot Pads (Crochet the Heart now & save the Stars & Stripes for the 4th of July!)

    Sweetheart Panda Toy

    Heart Edging

    Heart-Winning Dress & Hat

    Nursery Hearts

    Homespun Hearts Bookmark

    Sweetheart Swag

    And if you’re really an overachiever, give this beautiful Heartwarming Doily a try!

    Or get ready to cuddle under this pretty Sweetheart Wrap!

    Happy Valentine’s Day crochet, y’all!

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