Friday, February 26, 2016

Stash Busting with Happily Hooked Magazine

I know every yarn aficionado has a drawer (closet? spare room?) full of those half-skeins and little leftover bits of yarn that you don't know what to do with, but you know they're still good for something! If only you could find the right pattern...

There's something especially satisfying in making something you love out of all those little bits. This month's issue of Happily Hooked Magazine is all about stash busting and includes 10 patterns, so there's sure to be something in there for every stash.

My design for a Puffed Wheat Beanie is included in the issue, and I have to say it's pretty fun to make. Using super bulky yarn, Lion Brand WoolEase Thick and Quick in this case, means the hat works up quickly enough that you can sit down with your yarn in the afternoon and wear your finished hat out that evening. The largest size uses just a half a skein each of two colors, so you can make a hat for a friend with the leftovers.

I got hooked on the tweedy look of the Oatmeal colorway for this hat, and made a couple different hats pairing it with other colors. 

The Teen Size in Barley and Oatmeal

The Adult size, in Oatmeal and Claret

The Toddler Size in Oatmeal and Black
Of course, there are lots of other fun things to make in the issue, including this adorable Spring Caterpillar by Megan Barclay.


This fun and super colorful Frida Shawl by Divine Debris

This Multi-Colored Hooded Cowl by Busting Stitches that could really bring some springy brightness to your winter wardrobe. 

And this clever Geometric Tote by Daughterofanace. It goes with everything!

Enjoy busting those stashes and making yourself some fun new goodies! 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Free Crochet Pattern Roundup

Valentine's Day is coming up very soon, but there's still plenty of time to whip up any number of these quick, free designs to share with the sweethearts in your life. I've compiled a list of ten patterns that can all be made in an evening and don't require a ton of yarn.

Since you've got to love yourself first, I've started and ended the list with two of my very own patterns. Enjoy!

Candy Hearts is a fun design I whipped up last year. It's an easy pattern that works up quickly with basic stitches, topped off with a little surface crochet to write your message. The hearts can be stuffed for a bean bag, stress ball, or tiny pillow, or you can leave an opening in the seam and fill them with treats for your valentine. Either way they make a fun, quirky gift.

Danish Heart  by Ali Pyper
I love the woven design on these Danish Hearts. I can imagine them as potholders, wall hangings or fancy valentines, maybe with a message tucked in somewhere.

My Foxy Valentine by Emma Varnam
This cute little amigurumi fox can hold a love letter in his tail. I think it's an ingenious way to deliver your valentine with a gift the recipient can hold onto for years.

Love is Cold Ear Warmer by Moogly
Cute and cozy pattern with a unique heart design. I really like how the hearts pop, and it sure does look like it'll keep your valentine warm through the rest of winter.

Love is Cold Ear Warmer - free #crochet pattern in 2 sizes on Moogly!

Heart Granny Square from Petals to Picots
Granny squares can have any number of uses depending on how you seam up the individual pieces. I can imagine a single one of these decorating a card, or many used to make a bag, a scarf, or even a Valentine's afghan (though there probably isn't time to put that last idea together--maybe next year).

heart granny square crochet pattern

Valentine's Day Mini Treat Bags from Crochet is My Happy Place
Fun idea to personalize your treats. They remind me of tiny Easter baskets and would be great for children to carry their Valentine's goodies.

Love Bug Amigurumi by Heliinä Swerdlyk
I love the quirky-cuteness of this little guy. The heart details in the eyes, wings, and antennas really turn up the volume on adorable.


Hershey's Kiss by Heather Jarmusz
A kiss for your sweetheart! What more could anyone want? The simple features of the face are charming, but you could certainly personalize them to be as sweet or saucy as you like.


Valentine's Kitty Hat by Knot Your Nana's Crochet
Cute and cozy gift for the little ones in your life.The colors and heart detail make this a lovely Valentine's gift, but it's not too cutesy for everyday wear.

Last but I hope not least is another one of my own free patterns, these Chocolate Candy Earrings. These are super duper quick to make, but do require a little bit of embroidery in addition to crochet and some glue gun skills to attach the earring backs. One of the fun things about crochet earrings like these is that even when they're very large, they're super light and comfy to wear.


Happy Valentine's Day!