Sign Up to Receive Exclusive Email Offers:

quick crochet

  • Cowls, Mods, and the Best Laid Plans

    I crocheted a cowl from Scarves & Cowls!  It was the Anna cowl, to be exact.  It's lovely.

    A few words about Scarves & Cowls.  All of the patterns have names, and each pattern has a cowl version and a scarf version.  And then--then!--there's a chart to help you customize your cowl or scarf to difference widths or lengths.  This is a dream come true for anyone picking out patterns based on their stash. 

    I've wanted to try the Anna cowl for a while.  One, it calls for Lion Brand Amazing and I automatically love anything that calls for Lion Brand Amazing.  It's my favorite.  And two, it's a very simple pattern.

    There are times when I want a project that's incredibly involved and challenging.  And then there are times when I want to work on something that includes phrases like "And then work Row 2 until your project reaches this certain length or until you're happy with it. Whatever."  I may be paraphrasing a bit, but I was in a mood for one of those 'Row 2 forever' patterns and this really hit the spot.  It's a mix of single crochet stitches and half double crochet stitches worked flat and I think the stitches look like little flowers.

    I had two partial skeins of Lion Brand Amazing, so I made a beginning chain from the chart.  I used the Roses and the Aurora colors.  I think the red blended into the pink pretty well!

    Also, the cowl doesn't have to be twisted before seaming, but it's an option for people who want to.  And I always want to, at least with crochet cowls. This was an easy and quick project.  Amazing yarn is Aran weight, and the pattern calls for a J hook.  I made this in one (somewhat late) night last week before my husband was set to take out daughter to visit my mom.  I had intended to make her something earlier in the week, but the day sort of sneaked up on me and there I was--giftless the night before.  So I got started on this that night, and then I took these pictures before I went to work.

    And then my husband didn't take it with him.


    Ugh.  At least I enjoyed working on this, and I think it turned out beautifully.  I'm looking forward to trying more of the patterns from Scarves & Cowls because they look like fun and I think they'll be wonderful gifts.  

    One more thing: hi Mom!  I hope you like this!  It's very warm, and it's headed your way!


  • I Crocheted the Shells Beanie and I Want to Wear it for the Entire Winter!

    It is August and I have crocheted a slouchy hat with bulky weight yarn.

    I don't even mind.  The Shells Beanie from Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps is quick and easy and adorable and perfect for my sister's birthday present.  The chunky yarn made this warm and squishy project fly by like a dream.  I loved working the shells up with a big ol' J hook, and this took up just one skein of Wool-Ease Chunky (153 yards).

    And I have to confess: I skipped one row of shells because I was worried about running out of yarn.  This wound up saving the day, and the hat body is still plenty slouchy.  This is, I have decided, just the right amount of slouch.  You know what I mean.  Some hats barely have more room than a skullcap, and some hats look like they belong on elves!  This little hat has enough slouch to it to look casual and roomy, but not so much that it looks sloppy or that the wearer will have to worry about it being pulled of her head because of its own weight.

    Like I mentioned before, crocheting this hat was a little like making a granny square for a head.  And I love that idea far more than I should.  But it's so pretty and I love crocheting shells so much and this is truly a pretty little design.  The holes between between the shells let this bulky hat breathe a bit, but this crocheted fabric is thick enough to keep someone warm.  But stylishly warm!  This hat pattern feels so perfect, I bet its perfection can be proven by science!  Or math because, you know, of row counts and stuff.  I don't know. I was an English major!   But I'm also a crocheting hat-wearer and I  know that this is a great hat.

    Also, I think it kind of looks like a flower.  It reminds me of giant purple zinnias.  I love zinnias.  Just about any pattern that makes me think of flowers is a good pattern.  It's pretty without being too precious.  It's also going on my sister's head in just a short while and I'm going to miss it!  I really think I'm going to have to make another one for myself.  I don't think I'll use the same colorway, but there are plenty of other yarns out there to make me think of zinnias. 

    I'm just going to wait until it's no longer August to make one for myself.

  • WIP Wednesday: Crocheting a Bright and Bulky Dream Hat

    I'm crocheting the Shells Beanie from Crochet Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps!  It's a bright and bulky dream project.  Even if it does look a little like a hot pad from the 1970s right now.

    Which is a fine way to look, I must say.

    I'm using a J hook and a skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Jiffy that I hopes lasts me to the end of this hat.  It's a nice, squishy project with rows and rows of shells.  I love shells.  This is so close to feeling like I'm crocheting a large circular granny square hat that I smile every time I think about it. 


    I'm halfway through the body now, and I think I can finish this up over the weekend.  I'm not sure if this is going to go straight to my gift stash, or if I'll give this to my sister for her birthday next week.  But someone's going to love it, that's for sure!  It's been a while since I've crocheted a pattern from Crochet Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps, and I'm not sure why.  These patterns are lovely!  Cooler weather is just a couple of months away, and I want to make a few more patterns from this book before fall!  I love a good slouchy hat, and this hat in particular is just too dadgummed cute for me to not make it.  Hats are a great summer project. 


    Even though this summer has been beautifully not-terrible, I still have a hard time focusing on big cold-weather projects.  I bought the yarn for a sweater a month ago and haven't knitted anything other than a gauge swatch.  My plans for blankets?  Just plans.  All my lofty goals of baby booties and hats?  We don't have to talk about it!  It's summertime and the living's easy!  We're riding high on piles of zucchini and squash and flip flops and long, sunshiny days!  Cold weather crafting is the farthest thing from my mind.  But I know I'll need some warm hats and scarves in my gift stash soon enough. 


    This great bulky weight project is going to crochet up quickly and cutely.  I'm so happy my spellcheck didn't flag "cutely."  I like that word.  And I like this hat pattern. I can't wait to see it all worked up!

    Happy crafting!  And good luck with all of your works-in-progress!
  • Crocheting a Sweet Little Pixie Bonnet

    I crocheted the Pixie Bonnet from Baby Hats and it's incredibly darling. 

    You might remember me mentioning how much I like this little hat back when I posted about this little pattern booklet from Annatasia Cruz, and I was pretty excited to try out one of these quick and easy pattern.  Also, like I said, it's incredibly darling. 

    And simple!  This is crocheted with worsted weight yarn and worked flat.  If you can manage half double crochets and double crochets, you'll be set.  You just work a few rows, fold this in half, and start crocheting your seam together.  The ties are added on in a way that's simple and tidy, and the whole simple design of this pattern makes me love it even more. 

    I had already wanted to try this pattern because pointy baby hats are always delightful, and because there was something so classic about this little bonnet.  This is beautifully old-fashioned and very cozy.  I'm sure this will keep a little baby plenty warm when it gets a little cooler.  I went ahead and made the 6 month size because most of the babies I know are being born right now, and because some babies have ridiculously large heads.  I want someone to get some adorable usage out of this!

    I went with red yarn because it's gender neutral.  It's a classic little baby color.  It's bright and easy to find in the piles that wind up appearing out of nowhere in the first year you're trying to keep a tiny human alive.  And really, I just wanted to make a little red bonnet.  I just wish I could have taken some pictures of this on an actual baby.  I know it's going to look wonderful surrounding some sweet little face.  And how could it not?!  A sweet baby wearing a snug little bonnet is a classic look for a reason.

  • Crocheting A Cowl of Many Colors


    I crocheted the cowl from the Toasty Set in Hats & Scarves.  This cowl is going to be incredibly toasty once cooler weather comes, I can assure you!

    The pattern calls for approximately 370 yards of any bulky weight yarn with an N hook, and the model in the book uses Lion Brand Homespun. I even tried that at first.  Y'all, I want to love Homespun so badly.  I really do.  But I can't crochet with it!  Knitting is okay, but crocheting is just not a good idea.  I can chain my stitches just fine, but once I start trying to find my stitches to crochet into it's all over.  This is how far I made it last time:

    Yup, that's a beginning chain. And nothing else.


    This time, I decided to use up some of the bits of Patons Roving instead.  You and I both know that Patons Roving is super bulky weight yarn, and so does the yarn page on Ravelry.  But!  The label will tell you it's merely bulky weight.  The label is a liar.  I was super surprised when I was halfway through the Garter Ridge Cowl at my knit night a few weeks ago--which calls for super bulky weight yarn and was knitting up just fine with #13 needles--and happened to notice that the yarn was labeled as being bulky weight.  I couldn't believe it, and neither could the other knitters at the table when I demanded they all check the label as well just so I could make sure I could trust my eyeballs.  So weird!

    Anyway!  I bet you could use either a bulky weight yarn or a super bulky weight yarn to crochet this.  As long as you've got a hook you're comfortable using (I had my N hook) and enough yarn, you can really do whatever you want.  This is made of eight rows of double crochet stitches worked in the round.  You can use all one color of yarn, or you can use a different color for every stripe!  It's a cowl!  There's not much that can go wrong as long as you don't run out of yarn! I used the remains of some skeins in Aran, Orchid, Pacific Teal, and whatever colorway the pumpkin-orange yarn is.  I thought they would look fun mixed together, and they do!


    It's also 100% wool, so this is fluffy and warm.  Whatever yarn you use, I would advise you to make sure it's good and fluffy.  This thing is large and you don't want to carry around too much weight!

    I think this is going to be a great accessory in the fall.  I could wear it alone, or layer it over a cardigan or jacket.  The teal keeps this from looking too stereotypically fall-esque.  It's warm and lovely and can be looped around THREE whole times if I want it to, and I'm pretty pleased with this cowl of many colors.  I'm sure it will bring me luck and happiness.*

    *With apologies to Dolly Parton for ripping her off a little bit.  And apologies to you if listening to that song made you cry the way it always makes me cry.  But I do always think of Dolly Parton's sweet and resourceful mama whenever I get the chance to use up every last bit of my resources to make something.

  • Crocheting the Granny Stripe Blanket!


    I have crocheted the Granny Stripe blanket from Baby Afghans and I'm so thrilled I can barely stand it.  I love it.  I love it.  I love it!


    After a bit of a false start with the wrong hook, I tried again with some more worsted weight yarn (Caron's One Pound for the brown and Red Heart Super Saver for everything else) and the pattern's recommended J hook at my weekly knit night.  And then I made the body of the blanket.  Yes.  That night.  And I still went home early.  Yes.  Even after getting a bit lost and having to count out loud for my beginning chain during the middle of an interesting story.  It's a rookie mistake and that's why I normally get my projects started before going to knit night.  But still.  I crocheted the body of this little blanket in one evening with a break for supper.  And then I crocheted the border on an hour-long car trip! 

    This is fast!  I am a golden god!  I even wove in all my ends!

    [Laughs maniacally just remembering the experience.  WHAT A RUSH!]

    I'm just very excited about this baby afghan!  It has shells, which I'm an absolute sucker for.  I used easy-to-care-for acrylic, which is going to wash and dry beautifully.  It's a little over 2' wide and nearly 3' long, which means it can be wrapped around a little baby perfectly this winter.  And it can cover a little baby in a car seat next winter.  And it can cover a little toddler's legs the winter after that.  And on and on and on.  I dearly love the sweet baby girl I made this for even though I don't know her yet (no one does. She's not even born!) because I dearly love her mama.  I'm so thrilled to be making little baby items for my friend, and it's doubly exciting that I liked this pattern as much as I did.

    And it's going to be soft and lovely when I give it to my friend because I'm totally washing this before mailing it out.  If she ever sees that I placed this blanket on several surfaces on my parents' farm, she might get a bit panicky!  Plus, I want this to feel completely ready to be next to a little person's skin.  It's going to be great.  I don't know what else I'm going to make for this little girl, but I'm very glad to have made such a sweet little afghan for her.

  • Crocheting a Fluffy Lamb Hat!

    I made the Lamb Hat pattern from Hats & Diaper Covers!*  Then I squealed a little as I stared at my handiwork because this is just too adorable!


    Most of the patterns are pretty quick, but the Lamb hat pattern calls for super bulky weight yarn.  You can make this quicker than two shakes of a lamb's tail. (I had to do that!)  But this really is an incredibly quick little project!  The hat is for little heads that are around 3-6 months old, and is only 7 rows.  I went ahead and added an eighth for my much-older daughter.


     Unfortunately, she'll have nothing to do with it.  Ugh, it almost makes me wish I'd crocheted just a few more rows on this to fit me.  This is a darned sweet little hat.  And I haven't even gotten to the ears!


    Look at these ears!  So sweet and quick and simple.  It's just two rows, and that includes crocheting in the free loops of the beginning chain.  They're floppy and kind of goofy-looking, and they remind me of a lamb's floppy little ears.  Sometimes it's tricky to find animal hats that aren't too cutesy, but I really like this straightforward look.  And if my little girl decided she wanted a bunny hat, I could definitely convince her that this is a hat for one of those floppy-eared bunnies.

    Anything's possible, I guess.  Or this could just turn into a hat for my nephew.  For now, this is sitting all fluffy and cozy in my gift stash.  I used scraps of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Oatmeal and the recommended N hook.  I didn't time myself, but I think I made this in about an hour--and that includes quickly stitching the ears to the hat and weaving in my ends.

    I cannot stress how quick and easy this little hat is.  And pictures are not doing it justice.  This would look ten times more precious on a head.  You should try it yourself to find out!

    Mark my words, I'll be finding a small person to wear this before Easter and this is going to be amazing and awesome and cute.  There's really nothing else to say, but I keep hoping I'll think of another lamb-related pun so I can put it in here.  But nothing's coming to me, and that's too baaaaaa-d.

    I'm really sorry.  Just enjoy this great baby pattern and ignore me.

    *I originally linked to Hats & Diaper Covers by accident.  I've fixed the link now.  Hats & Diaper Covers has many lovely patterns, but Hats & Diaper Covers 2 has the pattern for the Lamb set.

  • Crocheting the Hybrid Scarf

    I crocheted a shawl!  Sort of!  Fine, I crocheted the Hybrid Scarf from The Cuffed Shawl and More!, but I feel like it's close enough because I can pose like this:

    And that's how people pose when they've made shawls.

    I really super absolutely love this project.  It's fast, it's beautiful, and once you've set up your pattern you just zone out and crochet along with the Olympics and try to guess which color is coming up next.  The book model is made with Red Heart's Boutique Treasure yarn.

    But I looked at what my craft store had to offer and decided to use Lion Brand's Amazing.  It's the Ruby colorway and I will use Amazing just about any chance I get.  Because it looks like this:

    I used a J hook instead of the recommended K hook for gauge reasons.  I'm wondering if I should have used an I hook so this wouldn't be as holey, but I have to remind myself that this is kind of a shawl and those tend to get pretty holey.

    Because I have to say, this is a bit holey.  This isn't a super thick yarn, and it's crocheted into double crochet stitches.  But because the yarn is super fuzzy (and about 50% wool), I know this will all felt together to the point of never unraveling ever in the next few days and I'm pretty excited about it.  I want this to stick together a bit, get felty, and turn into a well-worn scarf-shawl-beautiful creation of warmth thing that I can enjoy for many more winters.

     I left off the edging because it involves shells and I generally don't like the scalloping look that a lot of crochet projects tend to have.  So I just didn't do it.  I went crazy with another row, and then got carried away and tried to crochet another extra row.

    I didn't quite make it.  But it's not too noticeable since I usually wear my scarves all scrunched up.


    Also: if you know how to work foundation stitches, I strongly encourage you to start your project with them.  Chaining over 100 stitches wasn't a big deal, but I think working a row with foundation stitches would have given the edge a lot more elasticity.  And that's pretty important if you plan on wearing this as a scarf instead of as a wrap or a shawl.  That's definitely what I'll do the next time I make this.

    I realize every time I talk about all the mods I did on a pattern--especially when it's on top of all the mods I'd like to add to a pattern--it sounds like I don't like the pattern.  But I do.

    See? Look at how happy I am!

    I think a good pattern is one that has clear instructions (duh), gives you a beautiful project (duh), and is flexible.  I feel like that third one deserves a 'duh' as well.  Crafters should be able to add or delete pattern elements from their projects without the whole thing falling apart.  And the Scarf Hybrid had a lot of opportunities to play around with the design--and even gave tips on how to make your shawl larger or smaller!  It's a perfect pattern, and I really would enjoy making this again.

    This delightful little project took 3 skeins (450ish yards) of yarn, and a little over 24 hours to make.  It's a pretty perfect weekend project if you're ready to crank out something simple, create a lovely gift, or you feel like you need to keep yourself warm with something new because you've learned that YET ANOTHER cold front is coming through and you have to boost your spirits somehow.
    Or maybe you're just a crocheter who's always wanted to be able to take a shawl picture.

    I think those are all excellent reasons, and you should definitely take my very biased word for it.

  • Finishing and Wearing the Cuddly Cowl

    It's done!  I finished up the Cuddly Cowl from Hats & Scarves!  I don't know why Hats & Scarves isn't called "Hats & Scarves & Cowls," but it isn't.  However, there are some great cowl patterns in the booklet and I guess you're just supposed to consider them really great bonuses.  I do.

    Anyway, this cowl is very cuddly.  Look at it all up on my neck's business:

    I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.  I knew it was pretty small, but I didn't realize it would be so tight that I would need to take off my glasses to get this on and off my head.  Your neck will be good and protected in this thing.

    I don't mind the small circumference of the cowl because it's incredibly tall.

    It's only around 18" around, but nearly 12" high!  That's a pretty tall cowl to be so small, but I like it.  I'm not making a necklace and if I'm going to make something too small to loop around myself, I want my neck to be nice and warm.  And this really does kind of cuddle you!  You can fold it in half, or just kind of scrunch around yourself how you want.

    I think it looks a little bunched up in this picture because I have both my arms up in order to keep from dropping my camera.  Priorities.

    Besides, there are worse things than a cowl that's up close to your face.  It was warm enough to run outside for a minute in a tank top (I love you, Arkansas!), but I know I'll need winter accessories that keep me completely covered most of the time this winter.

    I love the patterning, which is just chains and single crochet stitches.  It would be great for a newer crocheter, but the end result is enough incentive for a more experienced crocheter to enjoy this.  The pattern was super-intuitive and I didn't zone out while working on it, but it didn't call for too much concentration.  It was a perfect weekend project.

    To sum up:  A++ cowl pattern, would make again.  I'm really excited about trying out other patterns from Hats & Scarves.  I am still in love with this almost garishly bright yarn.  I'm warm.   I really love cowls right now.  I hope things are a little warmer wherever you are!  Make this!

    Oh! Lastly, and probably most importantly, I should tell you that the stripes are made by loosely carrying your strands in the back of your work.  I meant to take a picture of this turned inside out, but forgot.  Just trust me when I say you won't have a hundred or so ends to weave in because I would never lie to you about that.  Never. 

  • Christmas Gift Guide: My Favorite Crochet Cowls

    It's December!  Your Christmas gift stash is probably not as adequate as you originally thought!  You need quick patterns! You need gift ideas!  I'm going to pretend like I can help!

    My gift suggestion for everyone is nearly always either a knitted hat (we are SO going to talk about this later!) or a crocheted cowl.  I was thinking about crochet cowls already because they're pretty perfect.  A good double crochet stitch takes up so much space that you'll have a ready-to-wear item in next to no time, cowls are incredibly fashionable and pretty, and there are approximately a million good designs out there.  Here are four that I've already tried out.  They're all from Crochet Cowls, which is a great pattern book.  I was looking at some of the patterns I haven't tried yet when I realized I could definitely talk at ridiculous length about the patterns I have worked up because I'm pretty dadgummed enthused about crochet cowls in general, and in the patterns in Crochet Cowls.

    The first pattern from Crochet Cowls that I tried was the Quick & Easy Button-Up.  Actually, I think this is the first crochet cowl pattern I ever tried, period. 

    This was an absolute winner.  It calls for a skein of Lion Brand Amazing, but I think this would look lovely in a solid.  I think it looks best in some kind of gradient or striping yarn, but a solid would work also.

    You also get to pick out a couple of cute buttons to dress it up a bit without the fussing around with buttonholes.  The whole pattern is shells, so the entire one-skein wonder is practically buttonholes!  Really attractive and stylish buttonholes.

    Depending on your speed and skill, you could finish this in an evening or two.  I am assuming your evenings do not involve toddlers.  Even if you do have life things beyond knitting and crocheting, this would be an ideal quick project and an incredibly lovely gift.

    An officially super fast and really lovely cowl pattern is the Quick and Easy Twist.  It takes two skeins of Lion Brand's Thick & Quick yarn.  I wish I'd done this in that tweedy brown colorway.  You know the one.  This would look amazing.  Or in some mustard yellow.  Or in any color, because it certainly doesn't look bad in this off-white yarn.  

    This is worked flat and then stitched up.  I think it took up part of my weekend to make.  I was in no real hurry, and I think my hands move more slowly in the summer.  That's not how it normally works, but it's difficult to manipulate yarn into cold-weather creations when you're distracted by heat advisories.  Even so, this cowl was quick and easy.  Duh.  Titles don't lie.

    There's also the Short and Sweet Cowl.  I'm not sure why it took me as long as it did to make, but whatever. The extra bit of time was well worth it to make such a thick and scrunchy cowl.  I'm not sure if we can say "scrunchy" in this context.  I'm going it for it, guys.  This cowl fits too closely to be doubled, but it drapes and folds in a nice layering sort of way and it is incredibly extra super warm.  It calls for bulky yarn.  Not SUPER bulky, but you know....chunky.  Husky. Voluptuous.  Full-bodied.  You get a mostly bulky cowl from it. 

    I am, as always, sorry about my face.

    Plus, please look at this stitch pattern.  I love it.

    And lastly, the Shells with a Twist Cowl

    It's not quite as quick as the others, but it still doesn't take very much time to crochet to be so long.  It's the same two rows over and over and I have yet to get tired of it.  I also apparently never get tired of talking about it, either.  I make no apologies.  This cowl makes me look tall.

    It can be worn doubled (maybe tripled?).

    I've made it in worsted weight yarn and in sport weight yarn.  It looks fine either way. Better than fine.  Glorious.

    You absolutely need this in your gift stash.  This is another cowl that's worked flat and twisted before stitching your ends together, but I guess there's no reason not to just weave in your ends and call it a beautiful scarf.

    Man, I want to make another one of these just thinking about it.

    So to recap:  you should make a cowl.  You will be happy. Your recipient will be happy.  My face is odd.  Crochet Cowls is a national treasure.  You can't go wrong with shells. 

    Happy hooking!

1-10 of 14

  1. 1
  2. 2

Please wait...

Copyright: © 2021 Leisure Arts. All Rights Reserved.