Month: October 2019

THROWBACK: Candy Corn Sack

THROWBACK: Candy Corn Sack

**FREE CROCHET PATTERN**

In honor of my very favorite time of year, I decided to move my free crochet pattern for this Candy Corn Sack over to the new blog, for your hooking pleasure 🙂 This was hugely popular when I first released it. If you haven’t made one yet, you still have time before Halloween! If you love this, please share ♥

(Original post from 2017)

Here at Rows and Roses, we’re all so excited for cooler weather and scary good times. I created this pattern for Halloween this year, for my kids and for a round of Halloween specials that just recently closed in my group. You know I never publish free patterns, so I thought I’d spread a little spooky fun and share it with you 🙂

One thing, though: please make sure that if you choose to share this pattern with your friends (and I sure hope you will!) that you only provide a link to this blog or to the pattern on Ravelry. Writing a pattern takes a long time and always makes me want to cry a little, so please never claim a pattern as your own or copy & paste any part of it. Always link!

Alright, let’s have it:

Candy Corn Sack

Free crochet pattern

Materials:(1) skein I Love This Yarn (Hobby Lobby brand) in “Ivory” (40 yards)

(1) skein I Love This Yarn in “Desert Glaze” (75 yards)
(1) skein I Love This Yarn in “Yellow” (90 yards)
Hook- size 7 (gauge isn’t important, so whatever makes a good fabric for you)

Stitches Used:
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc) 
Slip stitch (sl st)
Increase (inc) two sc in next st
Decrease (dec) pull up a loop in each of the next 2 sts, yo and pull through all 3 loops on hook
Half double crochet (hdc) In this pattern, these are only worked INTO THE                                              STITCH BELOW the stitch you would normally work into. This is to create a thick, sturdy, reinforced handle.

The way I work up this bag is by putting 2 increases, an equal distance apart, into every round. This forms a nice, slow flare, making the triangle shape not too deep and not too shallow. I work in a spiral, so no joining rounds (until close to the end.) I use a stitch marker near the beginning of the rounds just so I know where I am.

Let’s get started!

With Ivory:
Ch 4. Join with sl st to form a ring. 
6 sc in center of ring. DO NOT JOIN, here and throughout until instructed.
*Inc in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts* twice. = 8sc
*Inc in next st, sc in each of next 3 sts* twice. = 10sc
*Inc in next st, sc in each of next 4 sts* twice. = 12sc

Continue in this manner until you have 50 sc around, or, as I prefer to count my sections separately, 25 sc from one inc to the next.

Change to Desert Glaze in last st.

With Desert Glaze:
*Inc in next st, sc in each of the next 24 sts* twice. = 52sc
*Inc in next st, sc in each of the next 25 sts* twice. = 54sc

Continue in this manner, remembering to move your stitch marker each time it starts to shift too much, until you have 90 sc, or 45 sc from one inc to the next.

Change to Yellow in last st.

With Yellow:
*Inc in the next st, sc in each of the next 44 sts* twice. = 92sc
*Inc in the next st, sc in each of the next 45 sts* twice. = 94sc

Continue for 3 more rounds, until you have 100 sc around, or 50 sc from one inc to the next.

NOW YOU WILL JOIN by slipping into the next st (which would be the first st of the next round.)
Ch 1.
Now you’re starting the even, joined rounds.
*sc around. Join with sl st. Ch 1.* 5 times altogether. You now have 5 even joined rounds of 100 sc.

Time to start the handles!
Still with Yellow:
  sc 15, ch 28, skip 20 sts, sc 30, ch 28, skip 20 sts, sc in 15. Join.

Now we will work 3 rounds of sc, while decreasing at the places where the handles “join” the bag.

*sc in each st to 1 sc before ch, dec in next sc and 1st ch, sc in each ch to last ch, dec in next ch and 1st sc after ch* twice, sc in remaining sts. Join. = 112sc

*sc in each st until 1 sc before dec, dec in next sc and dec, sc in each st to dec, dec in dec and next sc* twice, sc in remaining sts. Join. = 108sc

Repeat previous round. = 104sc

To finish up, we’re going to work a final round of hdc, working into the stitches one row below. THESE ARE THE STITCHES YOU JUST WORKED INTO ON THE PREVIOUS ROUND. This creates a thick reinforced ridge at the top of the handles.

hdc in each st BELOW, all the way around, skipping the decreases altogether. (You will see where the decreases from the previous row are, there will be 3 “holes” in which you can place a stitch. You will hdc into the first “hole,” skip the second, and hdc into the third. If reading this doesn’t make much sense, it will once you’re actually doing it. Don’t worry, keep going <3 )  = 104hdc

That’s it! You’re all finished! Grab a yarn needle and weave in your ends, then go collect as much candy as possible <3

If you like this free crochet pattern, please leave a comment here, on Rav, favorite it, queue it, Pin it, pass it on, visit my facebook page, join my group, or drop me an email.

Check out all the pretty stuff I’m offering in my shop right now!

Is Gauge Important?

Is Gauge Important?

Have you had trouble getting gauge with knit and crochet? Is getting gauge with knit and crochet even important? Read on and let me help!

An adventure in swatching- Getting Gauge with knit and crochet

The short answer: Yes. Getting gauge in knit and crochet *IS* important. This is true especially if you are unsure about sizing, or the pattern uses a technique that is new to you. Doubly so if your math skills are not up to snuff, or you have a specific amount of yarn with which to work. Basically, there are many good reasons why you’ll want to pay attention to gauge. Read on and see how you can make gauge work for you.

These swatches are all the exact same yarn, worked with different sized hooks.

Gauge? Huh?

So what is gauge, exactly? Well, to put it simply, gauge is how many stitches and/or rows you have per unit of measurement, usually 1″ or 4″ squared. If you’re looking at a pattern and it tells you that gauge is 20 sts x 24 rows = 4″ then you know two things. First, that 20 stitches needs to be 4″ across. Which also mean you’ll need 24 rows to be 4″ tall. Here’s where you need to swatch.

A gauge swatch is simply knitting or crocheting a small, square piece of fabric using the yarn and hook or needles specified in the pattern. Work your swatch before you do anything else so that you can see how close (or far off) you are from the intended gauge. If you’re getting less stitches per inch than the pattern calls for (for example you only get 12 stitches in 4″,) then you’ll need to go down a hook or needle size and try again. Same goes the other direction: if you’re getting too many stitches in your measured section, then your hook or needles are too small and you’ll need to go up a size.

Tell me why!

What happens if your gauge is close but not quite? What happens if you decide not to swatch and just hope for the best? Well…. maybe everything will be okay, but more than likely, you’re going to deal a with a good bit of frogging (rip-it, rip-it) and a whole lot of wasted time. Here’s why:

Say your gauge is too small, but not by much. Maybe you’re supposed to get 10 stitches per inch, but you’re  getting 11. Seems like not a huge deal, so you just go with it. Close enough is close enough, right? Well, maybe. If you’re just making a washcloth, or a scarf, then you may not mind one bit if it’s just slightly wider or longer that the pattern says it will be. In fact, you may never even notice!

But what if it’s a sweater? Or mittens? You must remember that you’re not going to be just one stitch too many in the finished item, but rather one stitch PER INCH too many. If your item is supposed to be 10 inches long, then at 11 stitches per inch, it’s going to be 11 inches long. For a mitten, that’s a good bit more than you bargained for. What if your finished item is supposed to be 30 inches long? Now it’s going to be 33.

Think about that. That’s a BIG difference, especially in something like sleeve length, or bust circumference! This is how being just slightly off in gauge can result in a hat or sweater that is completely unwearable. Look what happened when I tried to knit an adult hat and didn’t swatch:

Great, but is it ALWAYS necessary?

It is absolutely possible to turn this whole idea on its head though, if you’re good at math and know what you’re doing. One of my preferred methods of creating “my own” item out of someone else’s pattern is to swatch for fabric, rather than for gauge. Especially if the yarn contains any silk (swoooooon.) I will look at the recommended hook or needle size and start there, just to have a jumping-off point. Then I will make 3-4 swatches with hook/needle sizes close to the stated size .

For example, if a pattern calls for a 4mm hook, I may make swatches using 3.5, 4, 5, and maybe even 6. This is so that I can see how the fabric feels and drapes. I’ll pick the swatch that looks and feels the best to me, and then rework the math in the pattern to make it match my gauge.

This is fairly time consuming, and math isn’t something I’m great at, only passable. Therefore, I tend not to do this for a customer’s order as it takes an ample amount of extra time and effort, and I have to charge extra for that. As I progress in my journey, I hope to one day be good enough at it to start making most of my items this way.

Show us your gauge!

I’d love to see your pictures of gauges gone wrong! Send them to Sati@rowsandroses.com or post them on the facebook page with hashtag #GaugeGoneWrong and share your horror story with the world. Show everyone why getting gauge with knit and crochet is so important!

If you have any questions about what you’ve read, you can always contact me. And please, if you found value in this post, take just a second or two to hit some buttons for me. Like, tweet, pin, comment, and mostly SHARE SHARE SHARE!

What’s UP Sunday…

What’s UP Sunday…

Welcome back! I hope you’ve had a great week this week. We sure have. We went to Six Flags over Georgia on Monday (ghetto as all hell, not worth half the ticket price, would not recommend, but at least it was something…) the greatest Halloween party ever Friday night, and we’ve been enjoying tons of homemade desserts because it’s that time of year! And with only one more week of school left, we’re really living it up over here. I’m ready to get on with my glorious Sunday, so let’s have it.

MUSIC
What shall we listen to today? Sunday is a day full of music around here (really, everyday we have music, but Sundays are special.) While the little girl and I clean up the house and wait on the guys to get home from the grocery store, we like to rock out. I’m letting her pick today since I made her listen to Black Sabbath and Ozzy last Sunday (don’t let her lie to you, she liked it.) She looks to be settling on Ice Nine Kills and Melissa Etheridge. Sounds like an interesting combination, yeah? This girl always keeps me on my toes!

YARN
I cannot get enough of this Swish superwash Merino yarn today, y’all. I have been knitting a couple of cowls from the Warm Fuzzies buy that just recently closed, and this Marine Heather is the most stunning color! It’s a cross between Sapphire and Cornflower blue, but the heather is a lovely aqua that just barely peeks through in a soft sheen of fibers. It’s so soft and bouncy, and almost feels like velvet running through my fingers. When the sunlight streams through the window and hits it, it’s ethereal! I’ve long been a fan of Swish, but this particular color is really knocking me out. If you’re looking for machine-washable wool for you fall and winter crafting, click the pic and check it out! (Not an affiliate link, just sharing a great find.)

COFFEE
I can’t let another day go by without telling you what Isaiah and I found. It’s a coffee club called Atlas Coffee Club, and they send us coffees grown and roasted from around the world! These coffees are single-origin, meaning they haven’t been blended with cheap-ass filler coffee, and you can really taste the difference. The monthly subscription comes with an online passport that tells us all about the coffee we’re receiving that month, and lets us rate it after we’ve tried it. So far we’ve received Congo Kiniezire and El Salvador Chalatenango, and they have both been amazing! We get the lowest subscription they offer, which is $9/month and gets us a 9oz bag delivered every four weeks. It’s just enough for us to have Special Coffee Saturday three weeks out of the month with the fourth week giving us a chance to look forward to the next shipment! We’re really enjoying it and using it as part of our social studies ( #HomeschoolRocks ) If you’re interested in trying it out, clicking the picture above will get both YOU and me a $10 credit! (Yes, that is an affiliate link.)

So tell me, what are your plans for this day of rest? Is it rest? Or something else?

Yarn Selection

Yarn Selection

Part II: Weight

Gorgeous swatch in Lindy Chain, a fingering weight yarn by Knit Picks

Remember our little chat about yarn selection last week where we discussed why certain fibers were good for certain things (like cotton is absorbent and great for kitchen towels, while wool is light and springy and warm so excellent for sweaters,) and how some yarns may not work for certain items based on the fibers from which they’re made? Well there’s another thing we have to take into consideration when dealing with yarn selection, and that’s the yarn weight. Just to be clear, yarn weight doesn’t mean how much a ball of the yarn weighs, but rather the “gauge” of a single strand of the yarn. In other words, thickness. Let’s elaborate a bit.

Why yarn weight matters

Say we want to make a fluttery springtime shawl. A transition piece for those warm yet breezy late spring days (we don’t have those days here in SC very often: we tend to go from winter to pollen to full-on Hades. But I digress…) We pick out a pattern with an airy feel, like butterfly wings, perfect for mid-April. Now we need to find a yarn. We discover that our local yarn shop, or perhaps our favorite online retailer, offers a drop-dead-gorgeous yarn of merino and silk, which we know will be equal parts bouncy and drapey, in a colorway that just screams BUY ME!! This is it, this is the yarn. We check the yardage to make sure we order enough and now, finally, we are at home with our yarn and ready to start. Guess what? It’s a #6 bulky-weight yarn. Oh…… no. This shawl is going to wear like a carpet.

Or how about this: we want to crochet a rug for our living room. Brown and green to match our decor (assuming you all have decor. I do not, unless “third-hand cast offs” is a decor.) We find a brown yarn with green speckles in the perfect shades. We grab a bunch and head home. Now we’re ready to start hooking. We need to swatch (swatching will be a whole ‘nother post) to figure out which hook will give us the thick and unyielding fabric we want for this rug that’s going to be walked on for years to come. Oh wait, this gorgeous yarn is fingering weight. Oh man, that’s not going to work. It’ll take 10 years to make this rug, and then it’ll be thin like a cotton tshirt. Gotta take the yarn back and try again.

Or how about we just skip all this insanity and disappointment and jump right to the part in our yarn selection where we learn how to pick the right weight of yarn the first time around? Yeah? Awesome.

First, let’s get familiar with some weight terms here, and what they look like.

Getting smart

Weight Number

#0

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

Weight Name

Lace (think angel hair pasta, or even smaller)

Fingering

Sport

DK (great middle of the road weight)

Worsted

Aran

Bulky (think rug)

L to R: lace, fingering, sport, dk, worsted, aran, bulky

To find the yarn weight on a ball or skein of yarn, just look at the label. It will tell you! Thankfully, most patterns you’ll find already tell you which yarn weight the pattern is written for. However, if you’re writing your own pattern, tweaking a pattern for a lighter or heavier weight yarn, or just trying to make something up from scratch with nothing but a hook, some yarn, and your imagination, then you’ll need to have an idea of what these different weights can do, and what they probably can’t.

It’s usually okay to substitute a yarn within 1 of the original weight. For example, I’ve substituted fingering for sport, and aran for worsted, more times than I can count. The trick is to make a gauge swatch with two or three different hook sizes to either A) meet the correct gauge for the pattern, or B) get the fabric feel and drape that you want and then do the math according to the gauge of the pattern vs. the gauge of your swatch. If this is Greek to you, don’t worry, we’ll cover swatching in another post a little later on. Suffice it to say, substitutions can usually be made as long as they’re not too drastic.

Did you find this post to be informative? Did you enjoy it? Then please like it, tweet it, pin it, leave a comment, and SHARE SHARE SHARE! Every little action helps, and is so super appreciated ♥

What’s UP Sunday!

What’s UP Sunday!

Hey, what’s up? Let’s do it again. Sundays are just glorious, aren’t they? Well, at least over here they are. This is Brock’s first day of his 2 day weekend, we have no school, and it’s a great day for cleaning and baking and organizing. Thank goodness Sapphire is such a great helper. What’s UP Sunday is a little glimpse into our lives here in our humble home, and a place where you can share with our little community what you’re up to today. Are you planning your coming week? Putting together a supper menu? Going to visit family and have a traditional Sunday dinner? Or maybe…. playing with yarn? There’ll be some of that over here, I can assure you!

First, gotta have music

What better Sunday music than a little Sabbath? I've been on a bit of a Sabbath/Ozzy kick lately anyway, so today I'm diving right in. The Little Girl isn't going to be happy; she always stays home to clean with me on Sundays while the men go to the grocery store and she's currently digging on Ice Nine Kills in a bad way. I think she'll survive. I can't have her being one of those kids thinking Post Malone gave Ozzy his start...

Sourdough for the win!

Can you even believe I got this sourdough starter going back in January of this year? How crazy is that! It's the first one I haven't killed off within a month or two so I'm super proud. In fact, he's such a beast that if I forget to feed him for a day or even two, he's fine. And the flavor is exceptional, if I do say so myself. My sweet kitchen helper Tuga thought maybe we should make some sourdough cinnamon sugar donuts today. I'm thinking YES!

And OF COURSE THERE'S YARN

I can't seem to get enough kitties right now. Today I'm reclaiming the yarn from an old kitty hoodie and using it to make a bigger one for a sweet friend's baby. I can't wait to see her in it! As soon as I finish this today, I'll be moving on to finish the free samples I'm making for all the Warm Fuzzies packages. Fun day of yarn, for sure! But then again, every day there's yarn. And coffee. That's pretty much the only way I can live.

So what are your plans for this lovely Sunday? Tell us in the comments!

Wanna know how you can support Rows and Roses without spending a dime? Like, pin, comment, and SHARE SHARE SHARE! Every action you make, makes a difference, and is so very much appreciated ♥

Yarn Selection: How it works

Yarn Selection: How it works

Part I: Fiber

Have you ever fallen so deeply in love with a yarn or pattern that you had to have it RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW!! so you send me what you have and tell me what you want, and…. I dash your dreams by telling you that there’s no way this yarn and this pattern will work together? If you have, then I’m so sorry to have to be the person who ruins everything! But you know what? The ruination (new word, enjoy) would have been much more devastating if we had gone ahead and messed up your yarn with the wrong pattern, or messed up your finished item by using the wrong yarn.

What makes a yarn perfect for an item, or all wrong? There are two factors here: fiber content and yarn weight. We’ll discuss fiber today, and leave weight for a Part 2 post. For now, enjoy these gorgeous yarn pics while I babble.

There are two different kinds of fibers we will discuss here because the third type (man-made aka acrylic, polyester, nylon, etc.) are all plastics and I tend to stay far away from those if I can help it. For today, we have plant fibers and animal fibers. A few types include:

Plant:

  • cotton
  • hemp
  • bamboo
  • linen (flax)
  • jute

Animal

  • wool (all different breeds!)
  • alpaca
  • cashmere
  • angora
  • silk (it comes from worms)
  • mohair
  • yak

So how do we know what gets used where? Well, there are no hard and fast rules that apply across the board (that I’m aware of, anyway) but there are some basic ideas that can help us decide.

For example, plant fibers, like cotton and bamboo, tend to be very strong and absorbent (especially linen!) so they are great choices for kitchen textiles such as dishcloths, hand towels, and placemats. They do not, however, hold their shape very well, especially when wet, and can become heavy and stretched out. Because of this, you wouldn’t normally use cotton for a heavy sweater, or something that needs to spring back and “hug” you, like a hat, or socks.

On the other hand, animal fibers such as wool and alpaca, tend to be very warm, and very springy. They are excellent for things like sweaters and hats because they’re lighter than plant fibers and don’t usually pull out of shape. They are insulating and will help you retain body heat in the winter, but they’re also very breathable and will actually keep you from sweating. This is why cloth diapering parents LOVE woolies! They’ll absorb moisture while allowing the air to circulate and dry the skin off. No diaper rashes here!

Now don’t get me wrong, lots of items “could” be made with all different types of fibers and turn out just fine. I’ve made hats from cotton before, I just make sure to let the recipient know that it may require more frequent trips through the dryer to spring back into shape. I don’t normally make “kitchen stuff” with animal fibers, but I LOVE making coffee cozies and trivets out of wool since wool will hug my cup better AND keep things warmer, for longer.

It is my mission as a semi-professional yarny to make sure that you are aware of these things when deciding on an item you want, and while picking a yarn for it. I am always happy to make suggestions and will be sure to steer you in the right direction. I won’t let us run off the rails and make something that ends up being completely ridiculous and useless by choosing a yarn that couldn’t possibly work. Forever and always, I am committed to bringing you items that are wonderfully astounding and will be loved and cherished- and USED!- year after year after year.

Join me here again later on for more chatter on yarn in Part II: Yarn Weight. Until then, why not cruise the site and see what you can see? Every single like, comment, pin, tweet, and share, is so appreciated as it helps Rows and Roses to grow and thrive. Thank you so much for being here ♥

What’s UP Sunday

What’s UP Sunday

Sunday Share...

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. It’s my husbands first day off of his “weekend,” the kids and I have no school, and I usually spend the morning cleaning and the afternoon playing. It is GLORIOUS! But you know what’s not glorious?

My sofa aka “studio.” Do you see that mess? How do I live like this??Believe it or not, all of that stuff is exactly where it’s supposed to be, at least for the time being. I have 5, count them holy crap FIVE!! projects in bags, in various stages of completion. I have boxes of yarn, all grouped together into coming projects. Notions, a yarn caddy, a place for my coffee, and of course a cat lounge (which is what the back of the couch has become.) Today, I plan to clean off as much as I can, and reorganize most of the rest. What a project!

I'm gonna need good tunes, right? Today is a Rage-filled day, I've decided. The kids are happy about it, too. I definitely get more done when I'm jamming to something good. I wish Zach would come back and take on the current border situation, but I guess that's a topic for a different day. Oh well, a girl can dream, right?

Before I get started "clearing out my studio" (doesn't that sound so much nicer than cleaning off the couch?) I have a very special project I need to complete: a personalized baby blanket for a dear friend and customer! I found the most perfect crochet pattern for letters on Ravelry by StudioNyske (click the pic for the link) and I am so excited to be using it. Now I want to personalize E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Once these letters are sewn on, this package will be ready to go. Thanks for ordering, Izzy! I can't wait to see pics of Sweet Girl all wrapped up in it.

And finally, I've been talking to Isaiah, and we've decided on a "free sample" woven surprise for all Warm Fuzzies orders. We will be warping Weaverly Marsh this evening so that all you lovely people will be able to see what a yarn-woven piece of fabric looks and feels like. I am convinced that you will fall in love! But if you want the sample, you gotta order! (If you're not familiar with Warm Fuzzies, just go to www.facebook.com/group/RowsAndRosesCrochet and click into the event. It's still open for orders right now, but it closes tomorrow morning!)

So tell me, what are you working on today? Are you reading a great book? Are you reorganizing your craft supplies? Maybe you’re taking advantage of this slightly cooler weather and doing a bit of yard work. Leave a comment and let us know!

**Psst** Wanna know how YOU can support Rows and Roses without spending a dime? Like, follow, tweet, pin, and share share share! Thank you so much for riding along with us. You are extra appreciated.

Meet Weaverly Marsh

Meet Weaverly Marsh

Isn’t she gorgeous?

My son and I have jumped into rigid heddle weaving, and it is so much fun! Like anything worth doing, though, there is a lot to learn and we're not really good at it yet. We are forging ahead and making progress! We started with a small sample that my sweet daughter turned into a blankie for her favorite stuffed rabbit, Rabbity. Then we moved on to kitchen towels. Let me tell you, you'd think something like a plain rectangle would be simple, right?

YOU WOULD BE WRONG! Just like me...

It’s really okay, though. We’re not doing a half bad job learning, and we’re motivated! You know what this means, right? It means we’re going to get GREAT at it, and soon start offering woven kitchen textiles to our ever-growing list of delightful yarny items! It is my hope that by the Grand Reopen in January 2020 I will at least have dish towels available, with placemats, table runners, dish cloths following shortly thereafter. Must excitement to come!

Did you enjoy this post? Please follow and share! We can’t take over the world with yarn without you.