Monday, March 25, 2013

Crochet Project Ideas


by M. J. Joachim

I did it! All my crochet posts for this year’s A – Z Challenge are complete as of yesterday! Woohoo!
Last year, I shared individual stitches. This year, I’ve worked hard on creating special projects for each and every post. Coming up with the projects wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be, and I will be using this method again for future crochet projects.
Pick a project or theme – something you’d like to crochet, but need an image for. 
Maybe you want to make doilies look like clouds or afghan squares with animal pictures in them. (Neither is what I’m doing for the Challenge. These are simply examples, nothing more.)
Do a computer search for your idea. If your idea has multiple possibilities, narrow it down and use each possibility for a separate project. Save the picture and refer to it for your project. Once you have a point of reference, you can start designing and creating your piece.
Finally, don’t let reality stifle your creativity. If you think your project would look better in a different color or maybe even a different shape, by all means, design your creation accordingly. Crochet is a unique and special art, not a real life animal, place or thing. A point of reference is a guide, and your work doesn’t need to replicate it at all.
Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches.
M. J.
P. S. I’m sharing an article about spamand anonymous commenters over on the A – Z blog today. You’re cordially invited to join the conversation.
Photo credit:  Crochet Hyperbolic Kelp, Margaret Wertheim, Creative Commons Attribution
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cup of Leaves


by M. J. Joachim
This pattern can be made in various sizes, depending on your need. Use the pictures to guide you, and create a cup of leave plant that fits your need, space and project. The cup of leaves in the photo is small. I used a small ring and 6 inch pieces of pipe cleaner (folded in half) for most of it. These are general instructions and can be tailored according to need and preference. This is an original design, so all copyright rules apply. You are free to link to my work. In fact, I would greatly appreciate it if you do.

You Will Need
Plastic ring
Pipe cleaner
Yarn 

Step 1:  Join green yarn to plastic ring


Step 2:  Chain 1, single crochet in center of ring as many times as necessary to cover it. Each single crochet will be the base for one leaf.


Step 3:  Insert pipe cleaner piece through each single crochet. Fold in half and twist to secure.


Step 4:  Chain 1, single crochet up and down length of leaf. Chain 1 at tip of leaf, and poke pipe cleaner end through this chain, to create a point. Begin each new leaf by slip stitching onto it from the base of the previous leaf.


Please keep in mind this is not an exact science. Each leaf can be a little bit different, with fewer and more stitches accordingly.

Step 5:  Once you’ve crocheted over all pipe cleaner leaf stems, fold them up to the center of your ring. Take a long strand of pipe cleaner and spiral it around the base of your leaves, poking in the loose end to secure it.



Step 6:  Spread leaves out to mold and shape them as desired.


Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches.
M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chain Links – Single Chain Pattern


by M. J. Joachim
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with crocheting chain links. They can be used for a variety of projects like garland and jewelry. Single chain links are simple enough to make. Here is a basic pattern for you to try.
Step 1:  Chain 6; make a ring by slip stitching into 1st chain
Step 2:  Chain 1; make 10 single crochet in center of ring; join with slip stitch to 1st sc in round
There are numerous ways to join single chain links together. I’ll be sharing a few of them on our website. In fact, I just posted a new tutorial showing how to make a continuous chain link strip today.
Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches.
M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lacy Oval Motif 031913


by M. J. Joachim
Ovals are a handy shape that can be used for a variety of projects. This particular oval has a bit of give to the pattern, making it suitable for things like pockets, cell phone holders, eyeglass cases, a change purse and lots of other things.
If you want to make some of the latter projects, make 2 motifs and join them together. Line them and add clasps or zippers as desired.
Step 1:  Chain 10 for foundation chain
Step 2:  Half double crochet in 3rd chain from hook and in each chain across


Step 3:  Make {1 dc + 1 triple + 1 dc + 1 hdc} in same place – last chain of row
Step 4:  Working on other side of foundation chain, make 1 hdc in each stitch to end
Step 5:  Make {1 dc + 1 tr + 1 dc} in last stitch and join with slip stitch to next hdc to finish round
Note:  Each end of oval has {1 hdc + 1 dc + 1 tr + 1 dc + 1 hdc}


Step 6:  Chain 1, single crochet in same place
Step 7:  Chain 3, sc in each stitch around, ending with chain 3 and joining with a slip stitch to 1st single crochet in round
Step 8:  Slip stitch into next chain 3 space; chain 1, single crochet in same place
Step 9:  Chain 3, sc in next chain 3 space around, ending with chain 3 and joining with slip stitch to 1st sc in round
[Repeat Step 8 & 9 once more time.]


Finish off. Weave in loose ends.
Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches.
M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Clover in a Square Motif 031613


by M. J. Joachim
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, good people!
It’s been a bit busy around here with Spring Break this past week. Plus I’m still getting ready for the A – Z Challenge – only 2 weeks away! Speaking of which, I’m sharing an article on their blog today, and hope you have a moment to join the lively conversation taking place over there presently.
Clover in a Square Tutorial
Step 1:  Chain 6; join with a slip stitch to 1st chain to make a ring
Step 2:  Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc); make 15 more double crochet in center of ring; join with slip stitch to top chain of 1st dc in round


Step 3:  Chain 1, single crochet in same place and in next double crochet
Step 4:  Make {1 sc + chain 7 + 1 sc} in next double crochet
Step 5:  Single crochet once in each of the next 3 dc
Step 6:  Repeat Steps 4 & 5 two times; repeat Step 4 one more time; single crochet in next stitch and join with a slip stitch to 1st sc in round
Step 7:  Chain 1, single crochet in same place
Step 8:  Make shell {2 half double crochet + 17 double crochet + 2 half double crochet} in next chain 7 loop; single crochet in 2nd sc from hook
[Repeat Step 8 around, joining with a slip stitch to 1st sc in round]


Step 9:  Slip stitch in each of next 8 stitches, to reach (near) center of 1st shell
Step 10:  Chain 1, single crochet in same place
Step 11:  Chain 9, single crochet in 6th double crochet from hook
Step 12:  Chain 7, single crochet in 8th stitch of next shell
[Repeat Steps 11 & 12 around, ending with chain 7 and joining with a slip stitch to 1st sc in round]


Step 13:  Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc); make {8 double crochet + 1 triple crochet + 8 double crochet} in next chain 9 loop; double crochet in next sc
Step 14:  Make 7 double crochet in next chain 7 space
Step 15:  Double crochet in next sc; make {8 dc + 1 tr + 8 dc} in next chain 9 loop; make 1 dc in next single crochet
[Repeat Steps 14 & 15 around, ending with 7 dc in chain 7 space and joining with a slip stitch to top chain of 1st dc in round]
Finish off. Weave in loose ends.
Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches.
Until next time, happy crocheting!
M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 8, 2013

Swirling Circular Motif 030813


by M. J. Joachim
You can make interesting patterns with your stitches by crocheting traditional stitches, followed by making a stitch directly around the stitch just made. Today, I made two patterns using this technique:  Small Crocheted Bowl Decoration and the circular motif pattern shown on this blog page.  
It’s important to note that when using this technique, you need to add stitches between, to keep your project flat. Otherwise, you will make a bowl or hat or some other project that develops in multiple dimensions. 
Both these patterns are my own design. Links to them are welcome; all copyright rules apply. 
I used 4-ply cotton yarn for the motif pictured and a size F crochet hook.

Step 1:  Chain 4, join with slip stitch to 1st chain to form a ring
Step 2:  Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc); double crochet around chain 3 just made


Step 3:  Chain 1, double crochet in center of ring, dc around dc just made (6 times), so you have seven spokes in a small circle. End with chain 1 and join to 2nd double crochet made at beginning of round.


Step 4:  Slip stitch into 1st chain 1 space; chain 4 (counts as 1st triple crochet); triple crochet around chain 4; triple crochet in same chain 1 space, followed by making a triple crochet around tc just made
Step 5:  Chain 1, {triple crochet in next chain 1 space +tc around triple just made (twice)} in next chain 1 space
[Repeat Step 5 around, ending with chain 1 and joining with slip stitch to 1st triple in round]
Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches.
Until next time, I wish you every good thing.
M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 7, 2013

8-Sided Burst of Color Motif 030713


by M. J. Joachim
I’m in the mood for color today. Let’s see what I come up with…
Motif uses 4 colors: A, B, C & D
I used size 10 doily thread and size 1/2. 75 steel crochet hook to make motif pictured.
Step 1:  Using Color A, chain 8; form ring by slip stitching in 1st chain
Step 2:  Chain 4 (counts as 1st triple), make 24 more triple in center of ring; join with slip stitch to top chain of 1st triple
DO NOT FINISH OFF COLOR A
Step 3:  Join Color B around 1st triple; drop Color A behind work, using Color B, chain 1, single crochet around same triple


Step 4:  Using Color B, chain 3, single crochet around next triple
[Repeat Step 4 around, joining with slip stitch to 1st single crochet]
Step 5:  Pick up Color A. Using both colors (A & B), slip stitch into next chain 3 space; chain 3 (counts as 1st double crochet), dc in same place
Step 6:  Make 2 double crochet in each chain 3 space around; join with slip stitch to top chain of 1st dc in round


Finish off Colors A & B.
Step 7:  Join Color C to 1st stitch; chain 4 (counts as 1st triple); triple crochet in each stitch around; join with slip stitch to top chain of 1st triple.


Finish off Color C
Step 8:  Join Color D around 1st triple; chain 4 (counts as 1st triple); make {2 triple + chain 2 + 3 triple} around same stitch
Step 9:  Make 1 double crochet in each of the next 5 stitches
Step 10:  Make corner {3 triple + chain 2 + 3 triple} around post of next triple
[Repeat Steps 9 & 10 around; join with slip stitch to top chain of 1st triple in round.]


Finish off. Weave in loose ends.
That’s all for now,
Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches.
Until next time, I wish you every good thing.
M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lucky Charm Bookmark 030613


by M. J. Joachim
Step 1:  Chain 2, single crochet (6 times) in 2nd chain from hook


Step 2:  Chain 1, turn; single crochet in each stitch across row
Step 3:  Triple crochet in 1st stitch, as if joining last  & 1st stitch together


Step 4:  Chain 1, single crochet (6 times) around triple crochet stitch


Step 5:  Repeat Step 2; finish off and weave in loose ends
Step 6:  Join thread to center 2 single crochet stitches with a slip stitch


Step 7:  Chain 24*, single crochet (6 times) in 2nd chain from hook; join with slip stitch to 1st single crochet
Finish off. Weave in loose ends.


*Note:  You can make the chain as long as you want.
I used 6 strand embroidery thread and a size E crochet hook to make the Lucky Charm bookmark pictured in the photo.
That’s all for now.
Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches.
M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 4, 2013

National Crochet Month


by M. J. Joachim
It seems March has been designated National Crochet Month in America. Honestly, I had no idea and my first thought upon stumbling over this information last weekend was, “Another way for retailers to cash in on what so many of us like to do anyway.”
Fear not, my fellow crocheters! We are not alone in this fine month of celebration – March has the esteemed title of National Craft Month too!
Call me crazy, but I always thought crochet was considered a craft…hmmm…
Next thing you know, we’ll be celebrating National Hobby Month in July – wait, that month is already reserved for Christmas…wouldn’t want all those Christmas in July sales to have to share now, would we? After all, Christmas is a biggie!
You know, I want to share my work with the rest of the world like everyone else. But this idea of turning everything into an opportunity for a glorified sales and marketing campaign turns me off BIG TIME!
I’ve given lots of thought to this whole thing, and personally, I think it’s a way to add a whole new pile of work to those of us who already work so hard, just so multi-million dollar companies can promote and sell items on our pages, which diligently promote their products in absentia.
In other words, we share the work that requires these products to be used. So naturally, people are going to purchase some of these products, if they want to make our designs and projects.
Regarding the many fine crafters and crocheters actually selling their products on sites like Etsy and Ravelry, I sincerely wish you every success and am thrilled we have a month to call our own to this effect. I’ve given much thought to the idea, and never found it a viable option for the work I do. (I’ll share more about my thoughts on this in future posts.)
In the meantime, I won’t be pulling out all the stops this month and doing all sorts of National Crochet Month promotions for our blog and website. I’m not comfortable getting in your face with a bunch of advertising nonsense, when I’m sure you have way more to do than focus on how to help me celebrate March in grand style, because it’s a party month, and we all need to go all out and whoopdeedoo it up or something.
Instead, I’ll enjoy sharing with you like I always do, and continue working on my A – Z patterns for the month of April. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with the energy I’m spending on next month’s posts and projects. Personally, I’m even amazed by a few of them myself. I started these daily designs in January, and the work has definitely been worth it!
From one craft and crochet enthusiast to another, I sincerely hope you’ll sign up and join me in the A – Z Challenge. There’s so much you can do with it, and the traffic to your blog will make it more than worth all your efforts to participate. More than that, however, you’ll be promoting yourself and your work, instead of playing into something akin to a Vulcan mind meld, similar to the likes of what only Spock can do!
Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches.
Until next time, I wish you every good thing,
M. J.
Photo credit:  M. J. Joachim
©2013 All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 1, 2013

Column Stitch


by M. J. Joachim
The column stitch works up quickly and uses basic stitches to create a lovely overall crochet pattern. It would be a lovely stitch for a decorative shawl or scarf, but I could also see it as an afghan, if you use a small enough hook to keep the stitches from being too tall, and the spaces from creating too much of a lacy effect. Of course, thinking outside the box, this would also be a perfect stitch for a tablecloth. 
Foundation:  Make a multiple of 5 chain stitches (+ 6 more chain stitches)
Step 1:  Make {1 double crochet + chain 2 + 1 double crochet} in 8th chain from hook
Step 2:  Chain 3, make {1 dc + chain 2 + 1 dc} in 5th chain from hook
[Repeat Step 2 across row to last 3 chain stitches; chain 2, double crochet in last chain]


Step 3:  Chain 4 (counts as 1st triple crochet), turn; make 5 triple in 2nd chain 2 space and in each chain 2 space across row
Step 4:  Make 1 triple in 3rd chain from hook at end of row in Step 3


Step 5:  Chain 5 (counts as 1 dc + chain 2), turn; make {1 dc + chain 2 + 1 dc} in 3rd triple from hook; *chain 3, make {1 dc + chain 2 + 1 dc} in 4th triple from hook
[Repeat Step 5 from * across row, ending with chain 2 and making 1 double crochet in 4th stitch from hook at end of row]


Repeat Steps 3 – 5 for continuous pattern.
That’s all for now,
Until next time, happy crocheting and have a great weekend!
M. J.
©2013 All Rights Reserved