Sunday, January 11, 2015

Easy Boot Cuffs

Boot cuffs are everywhere these days! After Christmas, I noticed a surge of hand-made cuffs that I assume were Christmas gifts, and it makes me super happy to see the evidence of so many knitters and crocheters in my community.

I made my share of boot cuffs this season, as well. I sold some and gave some, and now I'm going to share an easy pattern with you.

Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn in any color, 1 ball (or any medium weight yarn)
Size 5.5 mm (I) hook


The bottom of the cuffs are made using a hdc in back loops (BL) only.
The project is not turned at the end of each row until the ribbing begins.

I have made these to a "standard" cuff size, but I recommend that you play with the size to customize them to your particular preferences of fit.

I made these with 36 stitches joined to make a round, but basically, you just need an even-number of stitches and you can make the cuffs bigger or smaller.

I don't include a tension because I never use a gauge swatch and I don't know a single person who does. When you're making these, consider your tension when choosing how big or small to make them.

Special stitches:

Front-Post double crochet (FPdc): yo, insert hook around specified stitch's post from front to back to front, yo, pull through the post, yo, pull through 2 loops on hook, yo, pull through last two loops on the hook.

(BPdc): yo, insert hook around specified stitch's post from back to front to back, yo, pull through the post, yo, pull through 2 loops on the hook, yo, pull through last two loops on the hook.

(Images borrowed from

Beginning of rows might start with a BPsc or FPsc, so just do the sc around the post as indicated.


Chain 36 (or an even number of stitches to fit your size). Join to first chain with a sl st. Turn. (This will be the only time you turn the project for the bottom part).

Row 1: ch 1, hdc in same ch and in every ch around, sl st to first hdc to join. DO NOT TURN.

Row 2-8: ch 1, hdc in BL of same hdc and in BL of every hdc around, sl st to first hdc to join. TURN.

This is how you insert the hook in BL only:

Here is another good picture to help you tell which loop you should insert your hook into (we are doing the back loop here):

Row 9: ch 3 (counds as one dc), dc in each hdc around, sl st to first dc to join. TURN.

Begin ribbing:

Row 10: ch 3, *FPdc around next dc, BPdc around next dc* to end, sl st to first dc to join. Turn.

Row 11: BPsc around same dc (the one you joined with), ch 2, FPdc around next dc, *BPdc around next dc, FPdc around next dc* to the end, join with sl st, TURN.

Rows 12 and 14: FPsc around same dc (the one you joined with), ch 2, BPdc around next dc, *FPdc around next dc, BPdc around next dc* to end, join with sl st, TURN.

Row 13: repeat row 11

Fasten off at end of row 14. Weave in ends.

You can play around with the length and colors to make these more fun and versatile. They are pretty quick to make and are great gifts or rainy-day projects. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Santa Coffee Cup Cozy

It's definitely the Holiday season and if you're like me, you might be scrambling for presents and stocking stuffers. If you are like me, you're also itching to crochet Holiday-themed stuff! Here is a cute little cozy pattern for the Starbucks-sized cups, and they make great stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, or White Elephant gifts. It's super easy and once you get the hang of it will only take about 15 min to make. I've made and sold at least 30 of these this season and I'm positive you will enjoy it, too.

I recommend that you read through the instructions and look at the photos before you begin. It looks more complicated than it really is, I promise!

This cozy is made using the sc in the back loops (bl) only.

Do not turn at the end of each round; the entire project is worked with the right side facing.

The color changes are done tapestry-style. Don't worry, I have pictures to help you along!

Red Heart Super Saver in Red, Black, and Yellow
Size I hook

Chain 28, join to first ch to make a circle.
Row 1: With red yarn, Ch 1, sc in same ch, then sc in each ch around. Join with sl st. (28 sc)
Row 2: Ch 1, sc in same stitch, sc in bl of each sc around. sl st to first st to join.
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in bl of 10 sc; switch to yellow and sc in bl of 8 sc; switch back to red and sc in bl of 10 sc. Pick up black yarn and sl st to first sc to join.

To switch to yellow, work the 10th red stitch as follows: insert hook into bl of the 10th stitch, pull up a loop, drop the red yarn, pick up the yellow yarn, yarn over once (with yellow), and pull through two loops. Here's a picture:
To switch back to red, work the 8th yellow stitch and switch color as explained above. This is what it should look like:

Here's the part that's a bit tricky. when you pick up the red yarn again, you'll have to bring it across the back. Be sure to keep the yarn on the back side so it doesn't show on the front. Once the project is finished, it's going to look a bit messy on the wrong side. Just be sure not to pull too tightly, otherwise the project will pucker.
To pick up the black yarn, finish the last sc, insert hook into the first red stitch, drop the red yarn, pick up the black yarn, yarn over, and pull through the stitch and one loop:

Row 4-6: Ch 1, 10 sc in bl of 10 sc, switch to yellow, sc in bl of next 2 sc, switch to blk, sc in bl of next 4 sc, switch to yellow, sc in bl of next 2 sc, switch to blk, sc in bl of last 10 sc. sl st to first sc to join. (Row 6 ONLY: switch to red to join last st)

Here's what this should look like:
Remember to give your yarn enough slack when bringing the yarn along the back side so it doesn't pucker!

Row 7: Repeat row 3.
Row 8-9: Repeat row 2. Fasten off.

Here's what the wrong side looks like with the yarn that was brought along the back side:


Tuck in and tie up loose ends on the wrong side of the cozy and you're all done!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Crochet Mason Jar Cozy Tutorial

Mason jars have been all over the place lately. I've seen them used as mugs, flower pots, tumblers, and even used for light fixtures. I'm a huge fan of them for their versatility and so naturally, sometime last year I think, I started looking for ways to make them pretty. I found several pictures of mason jar cozies and thought, hey, I can make that!

As I mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of following patterns for items, so I endeavored to figure out the basic form, and I'm going to share it with you now!

I like to make my cozies with a bottom. I think the majority of designs I have seen out there are bottomless, which makes them a bit simpler to make where you can either just make a length and sew the ends together to make a round cozy or just crochet in the round. However, if you intend to use the jar with candles, as I like to, then the bottom will get very hot very quickly and while I doubt it will damage surfaces, it can definitely burn your hand if you touch the bottom.

So here's how I do it:
Here are the materials I am using for this project:

The thread is Aunt Lydia's cotton crochet thread in size 3, the hook is size D, or 3.25mm. This is a standard mason jar. I start by picking out a lacy stitch; these make the light from a tea light candle inside play on the wall very prettily. For this project, here's the pattern I'm using from the Crochet Stitches Visual Dictionary by Robyn Chachula:
This pattern is a fairly simple lacy stitch. It calls for a foundation row that is a multiple of 10 stitches plus three. The extra three are there to even out the ends of a flat piece of work. However, I will be working this cozy from a circle, so I don't need the extra three. Since I need a multiple of 10, I start my circle with a magic circle, ch 2, and stitch 9 hdc in the circle, closing the circle with a sl st; this gives me 10 hdc to start with:
From here, I will increase the circle until it is big enough to cover the bottom of the jar:

ch 2 in the first hdc, hdc in the same hdc, 2 hdc in each hdc around; join with sl st (10 hdc). Do not turn.

ch 2 in the first hdc, hdc in the same hdc, 1 hdc in the next hdc, *2 hdc in the next hdc, 1 hdc in the next hdc;* repeat from * to the end and join with sl st (30 hdc). Do not turn.

ch 2 in the first hdc, hdc in the same hdc, 1 hdc in the next 2 hdc, *2 hdc in the next hdc, 2 hdc in the next 2 hdc;* repeat from * to the end and join with sl st (40 hdc). Do not turn.

ch 2 in the first hdc, hdc in each hdc around; join with sl st.

At this point, the circle should be big enough to cover the bottom of the jar.
Do not turn. Working in the back loops only, ch 2 in the first hdc, hdc in back loops of each hdc around; join with sl st (40 hdc) Working in the back loops will make the rest of the project work straight up.
At this point, you can start working the lace pattern normally, joining the rounds with a sl st. The cozy will work straight up because you aren't making any increases any more. Once the cozy is long enough to reach the top of the widest part of the jar, I finish it off with a row of hdc. The hdc row will be a bit tighter than the lace pattern, so it will be snug enough for the neck of the jar.
You can really use any lace stitch pattern, just look at how many chains are on the foundation row. For example, if the stitch pattern calls for a multiple of 8, start the circle with 8 hdc in the magic circle; if it calls for a multiple of 11, start the circle with 11 hdc. I have found that starting the circle with 7-12 is best. If your pattern calls for a smaller multiple, like a multiple of 6, I just go ahead and start the circle with 12 (6X2) and this keeps the circle from being too tight and curve up rather than stay flat. If it's bigger than 12, like 14, I start the circle with 7 and increase and even number of times to get the same effect. The cozy should fit snugly so it won't fall off or droop.

This jar is going to be a gift so I like to dress it up a bit. Flowers are great motifs to make for the jar lid, and ribbons or a single long chain threaded through the top and tied in a bow make a very pretty touch. I am going to fill this jar with chocolates, since the recipient is a chocolate lover, and include a tea light for when it's empty. The tea light effect is so pretty and makes great decor.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. Please comment with any questions or clarification requests. Sometimes I just kind of play around with these projects until I get it how I like it, and I encourage you to do the same.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Crochet Life

At first glance, I guess I don't seem like a crocheting kind of person because when I tell people that I do, I usually get a look that says "Really? You?" or people usually ask if I can do a granny square yet. They are usually surprised when I pull out my phone and show them photos of completed projects that include lacy shawls, stuffed animals, and even a sweater for my husband. Last year I even made up my own version of the Katniss Everdeen body wrap/cowl thing she wears in Catching Fire:
So, yes, I'd say I'm pretty advanced. Now, don't get me wrong, I've seen some really advanced stuff out there that I could only dream of making. But I'm pretty darn proud of my accomplishments, considering that I basically taught myself. Okay, yes, I had some help. I learned my first chain with my favorite aunt when I was a little kid, probably around 7 years old. I didn't pick it up much after that, and I didn't really start to take it seriously until after high school. My younger sister, who had taken home-ec class, taught me the single and double crochet stitches. I started making simple scarves with cheap yarn and found that the repetitive nature of the craft really helped my anxiety issues and gave me a satisfying sense of accomplishment. I joined the U.S. Army when I was 20 and began smoking more than I liked. When I got stationed in Germany, I decided to quit and found that crochet really helped to ease my cravings/anxiety. Since then, crochet has been a very therapeutic activity for me and I find that it helps me keep my thoughts in line. In the past few years I have been taking crochet a little more seriously. I started reading crochet magazines and wanting to make some of those things. I really hate pattern reading but I can follow charts like nobody's business! However, I don't like following patterns. I don't have the patience for it and I hate having to reference patterns every few minutes. So I generally make up my own stuff. It took me a while to learn how to shape a piece and how garments typically come together, and now I basically make up my own stuff. I love lacy, open patterns, and for the most part I learn stitches I like and implement them in items that I come up with. My favorite things have been mason jar cozies, lacy scarves/wraps, and of course, stuff for my kid:
I started a Facebook page last year, just to post stuff I made to friends, and found that a lot of people wanted me to make things for them. I'm still in nursing school, so my time is extremely limited, but I enjoy the challenges that come from these requests. I get sent pictures of things and "Can you make this?" And usually I can. More recently, I've decided to take a step forward and see if I can't make a little profit. I've started the process of opening an Etsy store and am retailing a few items. I've started with just one type of item, neck wear that includes wraps, scarves, and shawls. I'm excited to see how it will go, and maybe next year, when I'm a full-time, licensed professional nurse, I'll have some time to expand this idea. In the meantime, I'll be writing about my projects, inspirations, experiments, and all that. I hope to keep your interest and continue to share my love of crochet with you! Thanks for stopping by! Follow me on Facebook at