Tag: crochet

Craft-alongs

Craft-alongs

Why community is so important

I’ve always been quick and easy to make friends. All my life, I’ve enjoyed getting to meet up with other humans and hang out and chat. I love getting to know people: their interests, their stories, what makes them tick. Sharing my thoughts and ideas, and interests and plans, is very important to me when connecting with people. If I’m currently feeling the urge to get creative in the kitchen, I seek out others who love to cook. When we’re struggling through a difficult time in our homeschool, I reach out to homeschool communities locally and on facebook to share my frustrations and get new ideas, as well as gain a new perspective. Human beings connecting with other human beings- REALLY connecting and not just smiling and sipping coffee and remarking on the weather- is the single most important thing in life that I can think of. It’s no wonder then that craft-alongs are one of my very favorite things to do.

What are craft-alongs?

When I think of craft-alongs, I think specifically of crochet-alongs (CALs,) knit-alongs (KALs,) spin-alongs (SALs,) and weave-alongs (WALs.) I’m sure there are other craft-alongs out there, but these are what I’m into since I’m a yarny. 

In a CAL, for instance, a group of us get together and pick a crochet pattern- or pattern type- and then we all crochet it at the same time. We share our yarn choices, our pictures of our works in progress (WIPs,) and we ask questions and encourage each other. It’s a great way for crocheters to connect with each other and gain inspiration and offer help. Furthermore, it gives us the sense of community and  camaraderie that many of us so crave. We laugh and cut up, and just have an all around great time. There is really something to be said for doing the same thing with a bunch of other people, all over the world, at the same time.

Craft-alongs for motivation

Sometimes I just want to make something different. Or sometimes I need to make something custom ordered and just really don’t know about this pattern or design. Possibly, I’m scared of messing it up. Then again, I could just be in a creative rut. 

Craft-alongs to the rescue! I love joining into a community of other makers who are making the same thing. I’ve found it especially helpful during a daunting project to be able to chat about our experiences with the pattern. If anyone has questions, they ask in the group and everyone else chimes in with their helpful answers. Errors happen in patterns sometimes, and when someone catches it, posting in the -along helps everyone else who hasn’t made it that far yet.

Rockstar Ravelry

If you’re looking to join a craft-along or two, my advice to you is the check out Ravelry. This website is FULL of everything yarn. From their massive database of knitting and crochet patterns, to their forums full of groups of every kind of yarn crafting imaginable, Ravelry has it all. I have a group there for Rows and Roses, and we actually have a CAL for my Felici on the Double cowl going on right now! Pictures are being shared and encouragement is being given as we speak. Please come join us, we are having so much fun! It’s free to join, and only takes a second (username and password. Done!) You can create project pages for everything you knit or crochet, find groups of people for just about anything you can think of, and I’ve never seen so many patterns in my life. Many of them are free! Come join our community, cast your voice with the rest, and show us what you’re working with!

Felici On The Double Cowl

Felici On The Double Cowl

FREE crochet pattern!

Felici cowl

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am giving you all this Felici On The Double Cowl crochet pattern I wrote, for free. I am so thankful for you! If you don’t know about Felici, this is a Knit Picks Special Reserve yarn that only stocks twice a year, and is much loved and coveted by Felici lovers such as myself. In fact, we tend to be known for never using it, in fear that no pattern we choose will do it justice. In my humble opinion, this pattern does! If you decide to crochet this cowl, please hit the “favorite” button and create a project page on Ravelry. There are precious few crochet patterns written specifically for Felici, and I’m hoping to remedy that. On to the pattern!

Get your printable .pdf copy of this pattern for just $1.99 and help support my little business!

**Find the matching hat pattern HERE **

Felici On The Double Cowl

Crochet Cowl

Materials:    Hook size I/5.5mm, 2 balls of Felici (can be same or different colorways)

Before you get started:

~ This pattern is written for two strands of yarn held together at the same time.

~ There is a strangeish stitch here where you work a DC2tog decrease over 3 sts instead of two. Basically you will skip the middle of the 3 sts completely, working your decrease into the 1st and 3rd sts.

~ The ch 2 at the beginning of each row does NOT count as a stitch.

Gauge is not important, just know that you may have to stop a row early if you use a bigger hook or get a bigger gauge. No big deal 🙂 For more on why gauge IS usually important, check out this post.

My finished cowl was 8″ wide by 28″ circumference. Your size may vary, and this is okay! This pattern is meant to be laid back and stress free, so don’t overthink it!

 

felici cowl

Time to get hookin'!

Instructions:

  • ch 33, with both strands held together
  • Foundation row: 2DC in 2nd ch from hook, *DC in next 3 chs, DC2tog over next 3 chs skipping middle one, DC in next 3 chs, 3DC in next ch** repeat * to ** to end, ending with only 2DC in last ch. Turn. = 31 sts
  • Ch 2, 2DC in first st, *DC in next 3 sts, DC2tog over next 3 sts skipping middle st, DC in next 3 sts, 3DC in next st** repeat * to ** to end, ending with only 2 DC in last st. Turn. = 33 sts

Repeat previous row until almost out of yarn (I got 48 rows.) Then, line up ends and sl st together to form the cowl. Weave in ends. Was this the easiest thing ever?

felici cowl

I can’t wait to see your color combos! Post your finished object on facebook or instagram with the hashtag #FeliciOnTheDouble so we can all be inspired!
I hope you enjoy this Felici On The Double Cowl FREE crochet pattern. Writing patterns is time-consuming and labor intensive, so I don’t often offer them for free. Please, if you love this pattern, share this post! Share on facebook, link from your blog, or share in Ravelry forums. We need more Felici crochet patterns, so let’s help get this one out there! ♥

I have uploaded a .pdf version of this pattern to Ravelry to make it easier to print and take with you. For the month of January (2020) you can get it free using the code CAL when you check out. Otherwise, it’s just $1.99 like all my patterns. Thanks for your support! Get it here

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!

%d bloggers like this: