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The Leisure Arts Crochet Blog
  • Knit or Crochet Dog Warmers

    Happy Sunday One-And-All! I’m just sitting here (all wrapped up) on my back deck, drinking coffee, and watching the world go by (by “the world” I mean about half a dozen squirels, a couple of crows, and the neighbor’s dog)…

    The Cat who lives at my house isn’t pleased by any of this—my being outside or by the wildlife. He’s inside, we’re outside, and although he may be complaining rather stridently, his situation isn’t changing…it’s too cold for him out here!

    In fact, the neighbor’s dog looks pretty cold himself. And, of course, that leads me to contemplating the doggie coats and blankets that have shown up in the most recent Leisure Arts knit and crochet publications. Do you have a pooch that needs some knitted or crocheted TLC? Take a look—

    The Best of Knit Along With Debbie Macomber features Baxter’s Cozy Coat to knit in six sizes!

    Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Knitting-Revised offers up a Best-Dressed Dog Coat by Joanne Clark in medium size paired with a pattern for matching socks for the master (or mistress).

    Canine Comfort’s what it’s all about in this adorable doggie coat pattern from Everyday Crochet For All! In four sizes.

    Every dog loves a good blankie, and this one from Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet-Revised comes with a crocheted Weenie Dog Toy—both by Carolyn Christmas.

    And last, but not least, I really love this snuggly Kennel Blanket to crochet from Hug It Out by The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky! I think The Cat might even approve of this pattern (Drew does have cats himself, so I’m sure he consulted them on the design!).

    Speaking of The Cat, he’s gotten quiet. Guess he’s gone to tattle on me. Oh well, it really is too cold to be outside this morning…and I do need more coffee…

  • Everyday Crochet For All

    You’re really going to love the home, apparel, and toy designs in this new crochet pattern book—Everyday Crochet For All! It includes 17 projects featuring Deborah Norville’s Everyday Soft Worsted Yarn, and even more exciting, it showcases projects from some of our favorite Leisure Arts designers!

    I really may need to make this Cowl So Cozy from Shibaguyz Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby!

    Kim Kotary’s Casual Comfort afghan is crocheted with some of my favorite colors!

    Loving the airy look of Lisa Gentry’s Spanish Lace afghan.

    This Soft Stacking Rings toy for baby by Sharon Mann is just too cute!!! What a unique baby shower gift!

    What guy wouldn’t want you to throw Vicki Blizzard’s Rugged Ribs afghan over him for an afternoon nap?

    And most adorable of all, these stuffed Hippo, Rhino, and Flamingo toys from Michele Wilcox.

    And that’s just some of the great designs from these fabulous designers! I’m definitely adding this book to my crochet library…maybe you should, too!

  • More Crocheted Hats…

    My charity hat crocheting continues! I’ve finished the Cabled Tam from Drew Emborsky’s In All Caps! Very cute and very thick and warm!

    Now, I’m going from The Crochet Dude to the Shibaguyz! Specifically, I’ve grabbed a couple of skeins of Lion Brand Vanna dusty purple yarn, and I’m trying my hand at The Chinese Acrobat Hat from Shibaguyz Designz Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby’s wonderfully fun pattern book—Heady Affairs.

    I’ve made it through the rows of the ribbing. Now, I’m ready to tackle the rounds of Front Post and Back Post Double Crochets that make up the body of this way cool hat!

    Hope you’re having a peaceful Sunday! We’re off to a library book sale where the youngest child is volunteering as a worker. (I’m sure to come with lots of wonderful reading material to add to my stash!)

  • Hat Crocheting Continues…

    Hope you’re having a grand Sunday! I’m still crocheting hats for charity. Remember the little hat kits I put together for myself from a pattern in Kay Meadors’ Teach a Group of Kids to Crochet so I could crochet brainlessly anywhere?

    I finished all but one of them! These starter kits were one of the best ideas I’ve had in awhile—perfect for picking up and putting down!

    This is the one I haven’t finished—’cause I’ve put it somewhere safe…somewhere I could find it when I wanted it…but now I can’t remember just where that is…

    So instead, I’m using purple yarn (I think it’s Lion Brand Vanna) and working on a hat from The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s great little book—In All Caps. (I love the size of this book. It fits right in my take-it-with-me bag!)

    I’m crocheting Drew’s Cabled Tam which features Back Post and Front Post Double Crochets plus, obviously, Cables. It’s rated Easy and worked in the round. I’m having to pay attention to what I’m doing, so it’s not a TV watching pattern, but rather a—the family’s still asleep, weekend kind of project. Perfect for today! I like what I’ve accomplished so far!

  • Still Crocheting Hats…

    Happy Saturday Everybody! The Cat and I are communing over coffee, and I’m still working on the hats that I’m crocheting to donate to the Knitting for Noggins program at our local children’s hospital.

    I finished my Eco Green Hat from Lisa Gentry’s Celebrity Slouchy Beanies to Crochet! (My oldest daughter is coveting it...)

    And I finished this little pink infant hat from Kay Meador’s Teach A Group of Kids to Crochet. It’s another really simple pattern that I can work on anywhere…

    …which resulted in this!

    I made myself a bunch of little easy-to-tote hat kits. While I was home by myself the other day with no one to confuse my counting, I crocheted my way through the increase rounds on each one until a reached the round to start making the body of the hat. From there on, it’s smooth sailing! I’m just working single crochets in a circle, and I can do that wherever I end up waiting on whatever I end up waiting on…

  • Crocheting Hats—Update!

    Just thought I’d touch base with you on my charity hat crocheting progress. I finished the little green hat I was making from a pattern in Teach a Group of Kids to Crochet. Yes, it really was super easy! (Perfect for mindless crocheting wherever you get stuck with time on your hands.)

    Well, I was finished. Then, I felt compelled to crochet a flower to go on it…

    Now, I’m done! Think a little girl might get a kick out of it?

    I’ve also picked the yarn and pattern for my next crocheted hat. I pulled some unlabeled burgundyish medium weight yarn out of my stash and grabbed a copy of Lisa Gentry’s Celebrity Slouchy Beanies to Crochet.

    I’ve made it to Round 7 on Lisa’s Eco Green hat. (No, I don’t currently have any good green yarn in my stash. Must go shopping!) This design is a little more challenging, but, so far, all is going well. I think I like V-Sts!

  • Afghans to Crochet This Fall…

    Lately, I’ve babbled about sweater weather, sock weather, and now I’m moving on to afghan weather. Each Fall, I try to commit myself to completing at least one crocheted afghan. (I like to work on smaller projects during the hot summer months and take on larger ones when it cools off.) With all of the wonderful patterns out there, it’s hard to pick just one, but this year, I thinking squares in Fall colors…

    I’m leaning toward this Autumn afghan from the Leisure Arts Afghan Lover’s Collection. Done in ecru, brown, green, and gold, it really fits into my current fascination with Fall.

    Or I could take this Buds & Blooms blanket from The Big Book of Baby Afghans, change up the colors to rust or maybe burgundy and tan, and create my own Fall floral-themed wrap. (I like to make baby afghans that call for light weight yarn with medium weight because you get a bigger afghan with the same number of stitches, and they’re a great size for wrapping up in.)

    Even though it’s gorgeous just like it is, I think this Rose Promenade afghan from Floral Touches by Rena V. Stevens would turn out nicely crocheted with Fall colors.

    Love the rust, gold, and red mixed with black in this Zig-Zag & Rick-Rack afghan from Rena V. Stevens Take-Along Afghans.

    My most favorite pattern so far is this Sampler Throw from Melissa Leapman’s Hip 2 B Square Throws 4 Home. I wouldn’t get bored crocheting all those different squares, and I really like the colors it’s pictured in!

    What afghan do you have on the hook for this Fall?

  • Crocheted Autumn/Winter Sweaters

    I spent my quiet Sunday morning time today shopping for the cool weather sweaters, jackets, and cardis (that I hope I will need soon) without even leaving my coffee, The Cat, or my dining table. I shopped my way through some of my favorite Leisure Arts crocheted fashion books.

    Look at what I wish I had time to make:

    This Bracelet Length Cardi from Lisa Gentry’s Unforgettable Crochet would be a wonderfully practical piece to add to my closet. I love the sleeve length, solid color, and simple pattern design.

    Looped Loops from CrochetWear by Ann Regis—I like the great, boxy shape of it.

    For a dressy/really girly addition, Lisa Gentry’s Wrap Sweater from Teach Yourself Crochet Ribbon Accents might fit the bill.

    Of course, I hit the jackpot of fashion with Lisa Gentry’s The Crochet Closet which features 15 designs to enhance your wardrobe. Check out the ones I’m coveting:

    Carefree Cardigan

    Buttons & Shells Jacket (Love the huge buttons!)

    Best Boucle Cardigan

    Belted Pant Coat

    Weekend Warmer Sweater

    Sweater with Flair

    Elegant Swing Coat (For the date nights I imagine in my wildest dreams that the Love-Of-My-Life will take me out on…right after the auction.)

    The cardigan that I absolutely must have to keep me warm (the one I might actually manage to make for myself because I like it so much) is from The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s Crochet It. Love It. Wear It:

    Debra (featuring all-over cables in a solid color)

    And I just had to show you, also from Drew’s book, the design I just wish I had the fashion presence to actually wear—Budapest Nights. Inspired by romantic Budapest, this full-length asymmetrical coat is a combination of traditional and modern with luxurious faux fur trim. Gorgeous!!!

  • Trying to Crochet a Tube Scarf!

    The kids and the husband were all gone for part of last weekend, so I actually got a little me time…I read a little, watched a lot of Cary Grant movies, and started crocheting a scarf.

    Have you seen the new Leisure Arts Tube Scarves book by Barbara Shaffer? I think I like it! (It’s from our Little Book series, so it fits right down in the gallon zip bag that I like to store my WIPS in.) All five of the scarves in the book are made with light weight yarn (so I picked mocha Lion Brand Micro Spun) and are at the intermediate skill level. Until I actually got started, I was a little intimidated because I’ve never crocheted with yarn in the round before, I’ve never worked with Micro Spun before (but it feels yummy), and usually my crocheting skills are rank beginner…

    Here’s the scarf project I chose, Wrapsody in Blue (except mine’s going to be mocha).

    Since I seem to be math-impaired (can’t count sometimes…), I goofed making the initial chain and ring, but once I got that right, this scarf just started flying along in a pattern of double crochets and front/back post double crochets. Amazingly enough, I’ve discovered that I like crocheting in the round on this scale and with the Micro Spun (you just have to be careful not to split the yarn) and, evidently, my skills will extend to this intermediate scarf pattern. I’m feeling a little proud!

    Take a look at the other patterns in Tube Scarves:

    Cloud White

    Rose Garden

    Pastel Pleaser

    Blushing Beauty

    Wanna try your hand at something different? Try tube scarves, and I’ll try to keep you updated on my progress.

  • Crocheted Baby Sweaters

    The weather in Little Rock has been a little cooler lately—80s and 90s instead 100+, and that reminds me that sweater weather will be here before we know it. I love sweater weather…and especially sweaters on babies—too cute!

    Cute, sweet, adorable, precious, all those classic baby adjectives, certainly describe the two newest baby sweater books from Leisure Arts—Surprise Crochet and Playtime Jackets!

    In Surprise Crochet Sweaters for Baby, designer Darla Sims has recreated Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic knitted Baby Surprise Jacket in crochet with lots of variations. Each of her patterns is worked in one easy piece then folded and stitched together to form a sweater in sizes 6-, 12-, and 24-months. Take a peek:

    Basic Sweater

    Hooded Sweater

    Ruffled Sweater

    Bobbled Sweater

    Picot Sweater

    Ribbed Collar Sweater

    V-Neck Sweater

    Basic Buttoned Sweater

    Playtime Jackets by Holly Fields offers up four toddler jackets and one little vest—in sizes 12-, 18-, and 24-months, all with motifs added! Look at how cute:

    Monkeying Around Jacket

    Breakfast on the Farm Vest

    Fairy Tale Forest Jacket

    Ice Cream Jacket

    Bead Toy Jacket

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