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The Leisure Arts Crochet Blog
  • New Crochet Books

    Have you checked out these new brand new crochet books yet?

    Aran Pillows to Crochet

    For great textured, home décor additions, you’re going to want Aran Pillows to Crochet by 41-year crochet veteran, Becky Stevens. Featuring 7 timeless, classic designs (most of them created with simple post stitches), this book offers up the opportunity to experiment with some unique stitch patterns like Basketweave, Mock Cable, Snowflake, Lattice, and more.

    More Projects from Your Scrap Bag

    Most crocheters I know have partial skeins and balls of yarn stashed away for a rainy day ’cause we can’t stand throwing anything away. With Spring comes rain, so you gonna want More Projects from Your Scrap Bag by Sandy Rideout. This sequel to Sandy’s previous Leisure Arts publication, Projects from Your Scrap Bag, provides six more scrap-using patterns, including pillows, a shawl, an afghan, a tote, and a vest.

    More 48-Hour Afghans

    Afghans are a favorite project for almost every crocheter. Once you get the pattern in your head, some afghans seem to make themselves. More 48-Hour Afghans, the sequel to 48-Hour Afghans, showcases a collection of 12 such designs from industry legends—Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss—The Creative Partners. Just think, with these afghan patterns, you can give a gift or provide comfort for yourself in around 48 hours—even if you just devote one hour a day for 48 days to it! Happy clock watching…

  • Curvy Crochet

    Okay, Pretty Little Skinny Girls, you don’t even need to read this blog post (unless you’re planning a crocheted gift). Don’t get offended now—I mean no disrespect to skinny girls…I have two skinny girl teenagers at home, and I was one of those skinny girls myself once…back about a million years ago for about 10 minutes in my senior year of high school.

    What I mean is that today’s blog post is for all the Lovely Lush Ladies out there searching for cool fashions to crochet that are actually designed with them in mind.

    Crocheted fashions that flatter your figure? Really? With Curvy Crochet from designers Marlaina Bird and Jill Wright, that’s exactly what you get! Lightweight yarn gives these feminine designs (8 projects in sizes Large-4X) the easy-wearing, beautiful drape that looks so good on your curves. That cool red vest on the cover, it’s a Ribbed Waist Tunic that skims your body just right—not too snug, not too loose.

    The lacy Peasant Top is scrumptious with its breezy design.

    For a carefree style you’ll want to reach for every day, make a Tieback Tunic.

    And how about an accessory or two, such as a glamorous beaded Stole or the Felted Handbag?

  • Learn to Crochet!

    I like to crochet. As I’ve said before, my Grandma Bessie tried to teach me thread crochet when I was a kid, but I never really got it. It wasn’t until one summer in high school when I was trapped at my parents’ house with no car and nothing to read that I taught myself to crochet from an old book I found in my mother’s closet, and I’ve had something to do with my hands and brain ever since.

    With March being National Crochet Month, this would be a ideal time for you to learn to crochet. Just grab a copy of our best-selling updated edition of I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting or the brand new edition of 10•20•30 Minutes to Learn to Crochet, a crochet hook, and a skein of medium (worsted) weight yarn, and you’ll be crocheting in no time! (One of the great things about both of these books is that it doesn’t matter if you’re right- or left-handed. They include instructions for both!)

    Do you learn more effectively from one-on-one with a teacher than you do from a book? Our DVD, I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting in Motion, hosted by popular designer/instructor Melissa Leapman, is the perfect resource as she guides you step-by-step through the process.

    If, unlike me at age 8, you think you might be ready to experiment with thread crochet, take a look at the Ultimate Guide to Thread Crochet. It’s got step-by-step instructions, a total of 23 projects including a necklace, coaster, doilies, snowflakes, baby stuff, pretty edgings, fashion accessories, and more, plus an introduction to filet crochet.

    Are you an experienced crocheter looking for something a little different? Try yourhand with ribbon. Teach Yourself Crochet Ribbon Accents by Lisa Gentry features 11 fun projects featuring ribbon used to crochet accents and even a necklace, scarf, and shawl.

  • Crocheted Socks Blog Tour

    To get March off to a great start, we have a guest blogger today! One of our Leisure Arts designers, Karen Ratto-Whooley wants to tell you all about the blog tour for her new book—I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks

    Blog Tour

    On February 1st, 2011, my newest book, I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks, was released by Leisure Arts! I wish I could travel all over and promote the book, but with my design and teaching schedule, that just cannot happen! So instead, my book is traveling all over the country via the INTERNET!

    I am thrilled to announce that starting today, March 1st, 2011, my book will be on a Blog Tour! Make sure you stop by all the blogs to read my guest posts about making crochet socks, reviews of the book, some Q&As, and have the opportunity to WIN a signed copy of the book at several of the stops!

    March 1: Ellen Gormley- Go Crochet

    March 2: Tracie Barrett – Fibers by Tracie

    March 3: Linda Permann – Lindamade

    March 4: Sharon Chance – Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

    March 7: Liz Sankbeil – Donna’s Decembers

    March 8: Lindsey Stephens – Poetry in Yarn

    March 9: Vashti Braha – Designing Vashti

    March 10: Amy O’Neill Houck – The Hook and I

    March 11: Andee Graves – Mama’s 2 Hands

    March 14: Mary Jane Hall –Positively Crochet

    March 15: Laurie Wheeler – Crochet Liberation Front

    March 16: Jocelyn Sass – Cute Crochet Chat

    Twelve days of socks! I hope you will join us for all the fun!

  • Hip 2 B Square with Crocheted Granny Squares

    I’ve been experimenting with crocheting granny squares again lately, mostly in cotton yarn, and mostly by turning them into potholders or dishcloths because they’re easy projects to carry around from breakroom to waiting room to craft group. Not particularly inspiring projects perhaps, but small scale has been all my schedule would allow for in the past month or so. Although…

    It’s possible that I have found a new and much more appealing option. Have you taken a look at the new Hip 2 B Square series from designer Melissa Leapman yet? There are three books, and each one includes 15 mix-and-match squares to inspire your creativity. The squares are even interchangeable between the three books (which include Totes & Bags, Throws 4 Home, and Baby Wraps) for a total of 45 squares to choose from and 15 inspiration projects.

    I’m really finding myself enamored with the Totes & Bags book. Guess I’ve kind of got a baglady thing going ’cause a tote bag (currently filled with knit projects to edit, two books I’m reading, a granny square in progress, some empty shopping bags, two notebooks containing info necessary to my life, a salt shaker, my e-reader, and a auction catalog) travels with me everywhere I go. I often trade out totes, so I may have to expand my crocheted square possibilities and get started on the tote on the front cover.

    You just can’t help liking Melissa Leapman’s designs. If you want to learn more about her, check out her bio.

  • Celebrity Style in Knit and Crochet

    We’ve been seeing them for the past couple of years, from the streets of Los Angeles to the high-fashion runways of New York City. They’re slouchy beanies—those loose, floppy caps sported by so many of our favorite celebrities. We first started spotting them on some trend-setting actresses but their unisex appeal soon had the boys getting in on the beanie action too. Now you can see them not only on television and movie stars, but rock and pop musicians and even a few famous athletes.
    We have to admit… we love them! Sure they’re great for keeping your head warm, but they also make fantastic fashion accessories. These hats are super chic and have a timeless style that’s simple, yet sophisticated. They go with just about any outfit, day or night and lend it a truly hip and urban appeal! Put one on, slip on the shades, and we feel just like one of those celebrities dodging the cameras of the paparazzi. What’s not to like?
    Now, I suppose you could pick one up at a pricey boutique, but we’re all creative types, right? Why would we pass up the opportunity to make our own hip headwear? And while we’re at it, we might as well work up hats for all our loved ones! That way, the whole family can feel like they’re in the spotlight. The good news is we’ve got two new leaflets from Leisure Arts that will help us all do just that.
    Are you a knitter? We’ve got you covered. Crazy about crochet? Never fear, we didn’t forget about you. Two versions of Celebrity Slouchy Beanies for the Family are available, one with knit patterns and one with crochet. How great is that? You can choose your preferred craft or dive into both. Each booklet has enough unique and inspired designs that you’ll definitely want to explore all of them!
    Both leaflets feature 7 designs from the fabulous Lisa Gentry, an amazingly talented designer who we always enjoy working with. She’s definitely outdone herself this time.
    Knit Celebrity Slouchy Beanies runs the style gamut, from the clean lines of the Easy-Going beanie to the vintage braids of the Cabled Classic. And what toddler wouldn’t look oh-so-precious in the Fun Stripes beanie?
    Crochet Celebrity Slouchy Beanies also encompasses a diverse selection of toppers. He’ll look great in the Textured Stripes beanie and she’ll be surprised how hip a classic design can be with the Granny Square beanie. Of course, the striped Kids Stuff beanie will have any child loving their fun, textured cap.
    We can’t wait to get stitching and make ourselves a slew of cool and contemporary headwear—hopefully you’ll be inspired to join the celebrity slouchy beanie revolution as well. After all, it’s always fun to feel like you’re the center of attention. Put yours on and you can almost hear the cameras clicking.

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