Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Grace's Infinity Scarf for Nana

My mom bought some truly gorgeous yarn from the Serenity collection by Deborah Norville. This color is Red Bayou.  It has these great reds, roses, greens and browns in it and it has this velvety look to it.  It reminds me of vintage fabric.

I used my Grace's Infinity Scarf pattern, but had to adjust a bit because this Serenity yarn is a bulky weight instead of super bulky like the Hometown. The bulky weight uses an L hook.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

In the beginning...the first pattern I ever learned

Twenty years ago, when I was in college, my boyfriend's mother taught me to crochet.  I was a biology major, carrying a full course load and working.  I was a huge stress ball.  Rosi decided that I needed a creative outlet and she sat me down next to her and taught me a pattern.  She did not teach me stitches...those came along by accident.  Instead, she taught me a pattern:

3 DC in one stitch, chain 3, skip two chains, 1 SC, chain 2, skip two chains, 3 DC in the same stitch. 

It was lovely and lacey and it made me feel wonderful as I worked on a scarf.  I had no clue what I was really doing. I had no idea about chaining and how many chains I needed to skip in the beginning.  I did a lot of guessing.  Most of the time it worked, but sometimes it didn't.  As I look back now, I had no idea how many different patterns there actually were.  I just thought that this simple lacey pattern was it.  I loved it because of how beautiful it was and I used it to make scarves and ponchos.

Years later, I would learn what the stitches were called and how to create different heights of stitches.  I learned how to create hats and so much more. Recently, I set out to work out the exact pattern Rosi taught me and soon I plan to share the pattern for a cowl, but you can use it for so much more.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Zombie Girl Doll

Ever make something you are totally proud of? That is me today. I made a zombie doll out of the pattern I bought on Ravelry. It came out so well that I just had to share!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Homespun Boot Cuffs

I have a confession to make.  I don't understand boot cuffs.  Maybe it is because I don't wear boots, but I just don't get it.  These things are all the rage and I just don't understand them. As a result, I've never made any.  That is, I hadn't until a friend of mine begged me to make some.  Challenging in and of itself, yes.  But then she threw down by choosing Lion Brand Homespun yarn.  I say "threw down" because there are no free patterns out there for boot cuffs using Homespun.  There may be a paid one, but I wasn't interested in looking at paid patterns.  So this is how a person who knows nothing about boot cuffs decided to design a pair.

I did a fair bit of research.  Turns out the standard cuff is between 12 and 13 inches in circumference, so you need to be certain you are taking careful measurements.  You also want the cuff to be tall enough to stick out of the top of the boot, but low enough that it can hide inside the cuff as well.

Good gravy.  Do you see the challenge I had here? 

I spent most of the week playing around until I came up with this pattern that seems to work and is pretty darn simple.


K Hook (6.50 mm)

Lion Brand Homespun yarn

tapestry needle
Fancy schmancy button


Chain 9
Row 1: 1 sc in second chain from hook and in the rest across (8 sc).
Row 2: 8 sc across.  Chain 1 and turn.
Rows 3 +: Repeat until piece reaches 12.5 inches. (mine was 36 rows of  SC)

To form the cuff, you have two options:

1) Slip stich beginning and end together to form cuff.
2) Use the join as you go method of taking the loop off of your hook, inserting the hook into the side you want to join with and pulling the loop through that side. Form a SC back on the other side.  This forms a seamless join.

After joining, continue the cuff by crocheting around one side of the cuff.

Row 1: Chain 1. Sc in each stitch around. Join to the beginning sc. Chain 1
Repeat this row for 10 total rows of sc.

Attach your fancy schmancy button on the vertical SC rows. If possible, use a strand of the Homespun yarn to attach the button.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Grace's Infinity Scarf - Free Pattern

Have you ever had a Secret Snowflake? Secret Snowflakes are kind of like Secret Santas.  In pondering how to end our school year, my homeroom got together and drew names to give gifts to one another.  We decided to make it last a while, but wanted to limit the gift commitment as everyone is in seventh grade.  On the first day, we wrote a note to our Secret Snowflake.  On the second day, we gave a treat.  On the third day, we gave a gift.

My Secret Snowflake's name is Grace.  She is 13 years old and when I think of her, I normally picture an athletic person.  She is not a girly-girl in the slightest. However, I was suprised to discover that her favorite color is pink!  So, when I started to picture the gift I would give to her, I knew it was going to be pink.  I decided to crochet her an infinity scarf.  My students are forever asking if I will make them something, so I figured Grace would love this and she did!

Whenever I would like to make a scarf for someone, I tend to go with bulky or super bulky yarn.  I love the quickness and beauty of the large stitches.  My favorite patterns are ones that Fiber Flux dreams up and usually, my scarves are heavily inspired by things she creates.  This scarf was inspired by a stitch pattern she uses in her Pavement scarf.

A note about my infinity scarves:  I used to start my beginning chain and join the two ends so that I could simply crochet in the round for my infinity scarves.  However, I found that my chain sometimes twisted and it left me with a twisted mess of a scarf.  Now, I start my chain and crochet the first row as if I were going to make a blanket or a regular scarf.  At the end of the first row, instead of turning, I join the two ends with a slip stitch at the top of the first stitch in the row and then continue from there.  At the end, I use a tapestry needle to use the beginning tail to sew the bottom ends together.  Viola!  beginning disappears!

6 rows and 2 skeins of Super Bulky yarn!

Super Quick Infinity Scarf for Grace


2 skeins Lion Brand Hometown Super Bulky yarn
N Hook
tapestry needle.

The pattern:

Beginning Chain:  136, Grace may be 13, but she is already taller than I am.  136 was a perfect number to allow her to wrap the scarf twice.  It fell just below her waist before she wrapped it.
(You can make this as long or short as you like.  It has to be a multiple of 3, plus 4.)

Row 1: HDC in the third chain from the hook and in each stitch to the end.  (134 HDCs).  Using a slip stitch, join the last HDC to the top of the first HDC.

Row 2: Chain 4 (counts as 1 DC and 1 Ch).  1 DC in the same stitch. * Skip 2 chains and crochet 1 DC, chain 1, 1 DC in the same stitch*.  Repeat from * to * around.  Skip 2 chains. To join, slip stitch in the third chain of the beginning chain 4.  (44 V stitches)

Rows 3-5: Repeat Row 2.

Row 6: Chain 2.  *2 HDCs in each chain 1 space (top of V) and 1 HDC in the next.* Repeat around. Fasten off.

See?  Totally easy peasy.  I finished mine in an hour and a half and Grace loved it.

I did not get any pictures of Grace wearing the scarf.  These are my test pictures last night.  Needless to say, she put it on right away and wore it the rest of the day.

I hope you enjoy this pattern!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Emmy's ladybug dress

There's no pattern. I made it up as I went long. I tried it on Gracie, made adjustments as needed. In the end, it came out perfectly!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Easy Car Seat Blanket Pattern - Free Pattern

Last year, BreeAnna from String with Style shared her awesome pattern for a fantastic car seat blanket. It is a great pattern and the resulting blanket is lovely.

String with Style's Bobble Car Seat Blanket

Do you see those two slits right there? Those are holes for the bottom buckle of the car seat to fit through.  The beauty of this blanket is that it stays on the infant car seat without dropping our falling off without interfering with the safety straps.  Just that little part of the blanket is held under the buckle and this keeps it on!  Brilliant.

This has become my go to pattern for baby shower gifts.  Not only does it look like I worked really hard on it, but it is awesomely functional.

The other day, I started working on a new blanket for a coworker and was not feeling the bobble love.  BreeAnna's pattern uses the bobble stitch to make those great bumps in the blanket.  They are adorable, but frustrating at times.  You have to keep careful count of your stitches to make sure that the pattern works.  I was feeling blah and wanted to just make a blanket I didn't have to think about after the first row of chains.  In addition to that, I only had DK weight yarn which is much too thin for the Bobble Blanket pattern to work correctly.

Using BreeAnna's pattern as inspiration, I came up with a pattern for my own car seat blanket.  The part for the buckle holes is all BreeAnna's work applied to my pattern.  Thanks, BreeAnna!

Easy Car Seat Blanket Pattern by Tw-In Stitches

Simple Baby Car Seat Blanket

K Hook (6.5 mm)
2 strands of Sport Weight (size 3) yarn held together (I used Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly Yarn)
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Gauge: 11 stitches = 4 inches, 9 rows = 4 inches

Note: throughout, the chain 2 does not count as an HDC

Chain 44.
Row 1: HDC in the third chain from the hook and in each chain across. (42 HDCs)
Row 2-15: Chain 2 and turn.  HDC in the same stitch and in each stitch across. (42 HDCs)
Row 16: Chain 1 and turn. SC in the same stitch and in the next 17 stitches.  Chain 6 and skip the next 6 stitches. SC in the next stitch and in the remaining 17 stitches. (18 SC, 6 chains, 18 SC)
Row 17: Chain 1 and turn.  SC in the same stitch and in each stitch across.  Make sure to SC in each of the 6 chains from the previous row. (42 SCs)
Row 18-19: Chain 2 and turn. HDC in each stitch across. (42 HDCs).
Row 20: Repeat row 16.
Row 21: Repeat Row 17.
Row 22-37: Chain 2 and turn. 1 HDC in each stitch across.

You can do whatever you would like for your border.  For mine, I wanted a feminine look, so I made a ruffle border.

Row 38: Chain 1. SC in each stitch around.  Place 2 SCs in each corner.
Row 39: Chain 2. 2 DCs in the same stitch, 3 DCs in the next stitch.  Continue around the blanket.  Crochet 3 DCs in each corner stitch. (You can stop here, but I went a little bigger)
Row 40: Chain 2. 1 DC in each stitch around.

I also added a flower to mine because it did not feel finished.

Easy Car Seat Blanket Pattern by Tw-In Stitches

I hope you enjoy making this blanket as much as I did.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Spiral Flower Pillow Pattern - I'm a Crochet Ninja

A friend of mine called me a Crochet Ninja.  She has determined that there is nothing I can't figure out by looking at a picture and testing what I think works.  There's this pillow pattern on the Herrschners website.  It is called the Vintage Rose Pillow pattern.  It is beautiful.  This is the link, but it may or may not work.  Herrschners has done something with its website that messes with urls. Anyway, I am fascinated by this pillow pattern.  Rather than be individual rows of petals like my other pillow pattern, the design is a spiral and the petals spiral out from the center.  It is actually quite beautiful.  However, I'm not really interested in paying $19.99 for the kit,  even if it does come with the yarn.

So, I started testing. First, I crocheted a circle in spiral form.

Row 1: Magic Circle with Chain 2 and 12 DCs. Do NOT join.
Row 2: Starting in the top of the first DC from Row 1, in back loops only 2 DC in each stitch around. (24 DCs)
Row 3: In the back loops only, 2 DC, 1 DC, repeat around. (36 DCs)
Row 4: In the back loops only, 2 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, repeat around (48 DCs)
Row 5: In the back loops only, 2 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, repeat around (60 DCs)
Row 6: In the back loops only, 2 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC repeat around (72 DCs)
To finish my test, I did 2 DC in the next stitch, 1 HDC in the next stitch, 1 sc in the next stitch, a slip stitch in the next.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Then, starting with the loops at the center of the circle, I made 2 HDC in one stitch, 3 DC in the next and repeated around the spiral for 2 rounds. Then I switched to 2 DC in one stitch, 3 DC in the next for the remainder of the spiral. The key to this pattern is that the petals are not too wavy, so 3 DC in every stitch is too many and makes the petals too wavy.  2DC then 3 DC seems to be the perfect combination.

I'll post pictures when I get some more yarn. I ran out of the color I was using.  :(

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Rebecca Cowl

Cowls are really popular right now.  I've made at least 10 in the last few weeks.  Cowl patterns are best when they are simple and use chunky yarns.  There is something about the texture of a chunky yarn that is beautiful and warm at the same time.  Perfect!

One of my favorite patterns is a blanket pattern.  I've used it for hats and scarves as well as blankets.  The other day, I decided to try and see if it would work for a cowl.  Look what I came up with! The Rebecca Cowl.

The Rebecca Cowl with 4 rows.

Front Post stitches facing out.

Front Post stitches facing in.
 It is flexible in that you can elect to make it longer or shorter and wider or thinner depending on your preferences.  You can also use bulky yarn or worsted. It really is up to you!

The Rebecca Cowl Pattern is now available for free using the link below. It has pictures to help you create the pattern.  You will love it!
Click here to get your copy of the Rebecca Cowl Pattern.
Or here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hats with Baby's First Yarn by Lion Brand

The other day, I was buying yarn for some cowls I am making and I ran across a new yarn.

Lion Brand Baby's First Yarn
Lion Brand Baby's First yarn comes in 8 colors, all baby colors, but it is a really wonderful yarn.  A size 5 bulky weight yarn, it feels like someone took t-shirts and made yarn out of them.  So lovely.

I have a coworker who is having a baby girl in March and another coworker who is having a baby boy that same month.  I bought some pink (fairy tale) and some blue (splish splash) and started looking for patterns.  Alas, no one has thought to design patterns specifically using this yarn.  So, I winged it.

The first hat I made is probably more of a 6-9 month size than a newborn size.

K Hook (join each row)
Row 1: Magic Circle and make 8 HDC.
Row 2: Chain 1, then 2 HDC in each stitch around (16 HDC)
Row 3: Chain 1, then 2 HDC, 1 HDC repeat around (24 HDC)
Row 4: Chain 1, then 2 HDC, 1 HDC, 1 HDC, repeat around (32 HDC)
Row 5: Chain 1, then 2 HDC, 1 HDC, 1 HDC, 1 HDC repeat around (40 HDC)
Row 6-11: Chain 1, then 1 HDC in each stitch around (40 HDC)
Row 12: Chain 1, skip 1 stitch, in the next stitch 5 HDC, skip 1 stitch, slip stitch in the next, repeat around (10 scallops around)

I was amazed to find that I still had yarn left, so I made a second hat.  This one I wanted to make sure would  fit a newborn.

K Hook (join each row)
Row 1: Magic Circle and make 8 SC. (8 SC)
Row 2: Chain 2,  then 2 DC in each stitch around (16 DC)

Row 3: Chain 2,  then 2 DC, 1 DC repeat around (24 DC)
Row 4: Chain 2,  then 2 DC, 1 DC, 1 DC, repeat around (32 DC)
Row 5-7: Chain 2,  then 1 DC in each stitch around (32 DC)
Row 8-10: Chain 1, then 1 SC in each stitch around (32 SC)

I still had yarn left, so I decided to make some embellishments. The heart is the one I used for my Heart Necklace pattern.  The flower is a new pattern I created today.

Row 1: Magic Circle and make 6 SC, join. (6 SC)
Row 2: Chain 1, 2 HDC, chain 1, slip stitch all in the same stitch. In the next stitch, 2 HDC, chain 1, slip stitch. Repeat around. (makes 6 petals)

What I love most about this yarn, other than how soft it is, is how beautifully it shows the stitches used.  Often yarn hides the texture of the stitches, but this yarn highlights them.  I'll definitely use it again!