Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Giveaway from Lion Brand Yarn and FaveCrafts

Another great yarn giveaway for all you needleworkers and crafters out there.   Here's the link - http://www.favecrafts.com/sweeps/Lion-Brand-Yarn-Prize-Package-Giveaway/ml/1

I love Lion Brand Yarn because they keep up with trends in knitting and crochet and their yarn and free pattern selections prove it.

You can find just about any material of yarn for a reasonable price, too.

And, almost best of all, EVERYONE carries their brand, so no hunting around and, likely, you have a store within driving distance, so don't have to sweat the shipping charges from online sites.

Best of luck, everyone.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pumpkins and Falling Leaves

Autumn colors

I'm inspired by the palette of fall, aren't you? I used to live up north where the leaves changed on cue, it seems. In the south, it's not as predictable or pretty, most of the time. For one thing, there aren't as many maple trees here. More walnut (black variety) and other nut trees, elm and cottonwoods, which all seem to turn a similar shade of golden brown and yellow, and evergreen cedars which don't turn at all, dress up the treed hills around here. We do have some stunning shrubs, though. The flaming color of  sumac can be a real surprise when driving along a curvy, hilly backroad. There's one down the road in full brilliance right now. It's magnificent! 

Crochet Pumpkins

I promised a crochet pattern and I think I've got one for you now. It only takes a few hours to complete, so there's still plenty of time to make one for Halloween or, even more time, for Thanksgiving.  I'm new to pattern writing, so bear with me and here goes:

Yarn: Sport (3) or worsted (4) weight  - in two (or more) colors (yes, pumpkins are usually orange, but they can be yellowish or more reddish, and stems can be green, olive or brown. Or go crazy and make a purple pumpkin with a black stem!).
Hook size: G or H, depending on yarn

Begin with a Magic circle (Wrap yarn around finger twice, go under one wrap of yarn on top of finger and pull up a loop from the other wrap of yarn, and then make one chain. That's about it. When you are done with the first round, pull the beginning tail to tighten the circle and join together or whatever your pattern suggests.) Make 9 scs in circle and join to first ch 1. Mark this last stitch.
Round 1: ch 1, *2sc in next stitch, sc in next*; repeat from * around and join. Move marker up to join stitch and continue to do this after each round is completed.
Round 2: ch 1, *{1sc, 1hdc, 1sc} in next sc, sl st in next sc*, repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 3: ch 1, *{sc in next sc, hdc in hdc, sc in sc, sl st in sl st}* repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 4:  ch1, *{sc in next sc, 2 hdc in hdc, sc in sc, sl st in sl st}* repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 5: ch1, sc in each st around (including sl sts); join and mark.
Round 6: ch2 , skip first stitch, *{dc in next st, 2 dc in next, dc in next, sc in next, skip next st}* repeat around and join to sl st join of previous row.
Round 7: Repeat Round 5.
Round 8: ch1, *{sc in dc, hdc in next 2dc, sc in next dc, sl st in sc}* repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 9: repeat Round 8.
Round 10: ch1, *{sc in sc, sc2tog in next two hdc sts (decrease made), sc in sc, sl st in sl st}* repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 11: ch1, *{sc in sc, sc2tog in next two scs, sc in sl st}* repeat, join and mark.
Round 12: sc2tog around, join and fasten off.
Stuff the pumpkin before you go any further. [I've used traditional polyfil, but I've also used broken-up packing peanuts, yarn clippings, and dried beans.]

Round 13: Join new color using regular method. ch3,  (sk1, dc in next) around. No need to join or mark.
Round 14: sc in each dc made around and repeat this for 3 to 4 more rounds until your stem is a long as you want it.
Round 14: ch1, begin to dc in skipped stitch from Round 13 and continue the stitch by picking up dc stitch in previous round as well. Do this same stitch around and then continue in sc around until stem is of desired length. Fasten off.
 - OR-
make your stem any way you want to, you just start decreasing until it's closed enough, then work even around to make a column. Not rocket science, right?

Section off your pumpkin using the same color yarn as you did for your pumpkin. Thread a good length onto a tapestry needle. Starting at the bottom center, thread it up and out the top near the stem. Go back into the center bottom and continue in that way until you have 5 or six sections. Make last stitch come out the center bottom and tie the two ends together in a square knot. Trim ends.
Decorate with a leaf , coiled pipe cleaner or wet a length of yarn in school glue and wrap it around a pencil until dry and use that as a coiled piece of vine. Don't forget to leave a length of un-glued yarn so you can fasten it onto the pumpkin.

So, there you go. Feel free to message me with any corrections or problems noted. As I said, I'm new at pattern writing.
Hope you have fun with it!