Lettuce Wrap

This pattern is part of the E’Claire Makery March Blog Hop. Each day a different designer offers a free PDF download of their pattern. There are shawls, wraps, scarves, earrings, cardigans, hats, and sweaters.

The Concept

I wanted a design that way perfect for the spring or summer. Something that was lacy and lightweight but still warm. We’ve all gone for a walk in the park and its too hot long sleeves but too cool for short sleeves. I needed to make something that would work for that type of weather, but it needed to be fashionable.

The Pattern

I love the look of the “double v-stitch” and wanted to use it in this design. I grabbed some yarn from my stash and after a few days work and a skein later, I didn’t like the results. First, I wouldn’t have enough yarn to finish the project. Second, the stitches were pulling on each other, so there wasn’t great drape and was wonky.

What did work?

The pattern was great and just what I was looking for, I just needed to make a slight adjustment. The results… AMAZING!!!!!

The "Lettuce Wrap" hanging from a pine tree.

The Yarn

After a trip to a local craft store and feeling and squishing all the yarn, I decided on Lion Brand’s Baby Soft in the colorway Sage/Sweetpea. The store has it listed as one color but the company has it listed as another, either way its the same.

Baby Soft is a light worsted weight yarn, or baby weight. The fiber contents are 60% acrylic and 40% Nylon.


Trista from Crochets By Trista modeling the crocheted "Lettuce Wrap" in a wooden landscape
The “Lettuce Wrap” kept me warm during the photo shoot. It was chilly and breezy spring-like winter day in New England.
"Lettuce Wrap" displayed on a rock wall.
There is a beautiful rock wall at the state park just down the street from where I live.

Supplies:

Approximately 1100 yards of Lion Brand Baby Soft yarn, or comparable #3 weight yarn.
H – 5.00mm Crochet Hook
Scissors
Measuring Tape
Yarn Needle
Blocking Materials

Gauge:

15 Hdc x 12 Rows = 4″
Finished Dimensions – 24″ x 74″ (before blocking)
Blocking isn’t necessary, but will keep border and edges pretty.

Stitches

Ch – Chain
Dc – Double Crochet
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Sk – Skip
Sp – Space
Tr – Treble Crochet

Availability

Available in my Ravelry Shop

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Zoe’s Aquamarine Infinity Scarf

Birthstone Collection


Zoe’s Aquamarine Infinity Scarf is the third pattern available in the “Birthstone Collection.” The theme for 2020, where each month I have cowl, scarf, or shawl pattern in the color of that month’s birthstone.

Other patterns available in the Birthstone Collection:
Garnet Cowl – January
Amethyst Scarf – February

The Yarn

My daughter Zoe’s birthstone is aquamarine. My husband has spoiled me over the years with jewelry that include the kids’ birthstones. When looking for a yarn, I wanted to find one that matched the stone in my ring. I had the hardest time finding one that would work, since its a different color blue.

I finally found a yarn that would work, at my local Hobby Lobby. Yarn Bee’s ‘Fresh Haven’ in colorway ‘Light Blue’ turned out to be the perfect shade of blue I was looking for. The yarn itself is 100% Tencel, which is made from wood pulp.

The Pattern

Zoe helped me design the scarf. I showed her so many pictures of scarves on Pinterest and Ravelry just to figure out what style she wanted. She obviously picked the infinity.

Next came the stitch pattern. This was the hardest part. We sat down with my “Crochet Stitch Dictionary” by Sarah Hazell and just started flipping through the pages. Zoe fell in love with the shell/scallop stitches. I then got to work.

I would ask her opinion on the scarf every step of the way. I’d finish a few rows, “Zoe, come look, what do you think?”
And this went on for the whole week until I got to a point where I felt I was almost done. She agreed! Can you imagine, my daughter (my mini-me in almost every way) finally agreed with me on something.

I still can’t get over how great this pattern came out. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Trista from Crochets By Trista wearing “Zoe’s Aquamarine Infinity Scarf”

Zoe’s Aquamarine Infinity Scarf Pattern is now available to purchase on Ravelry and Etsy.

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My Favorite: Yarns

I’m a big fan of yarns that I can purchase from my local craft stores, or local yarn shops, because I can squish and feel the yarn before it comes home with me. I don’t like to purchase yarn online without feeling it in person first, but I’ve also been known to splurge and just go for the pretty colors too.

Here are my top 5 favorite yarns in no particular order:

Caron Simply Soft

I enjoy working with Simply Soft because of how soft and squishy it is. It comes in so many colors. I designed my Winter Hills Coffee Cozie and my upcoming Winter Blues Scarf using Simply Soft.

A downfall to it is that it can be a little difficult to work with because the strands of the yarn tend to pull apart. I’ve been using it for years and have gotten used to it.

Another issue is that it tends to fuzz after a few washes. If you have a project that is very textured and want to show the stitch definition then Simply Soft probably isn’t the best choice.

I used Caron Simply Soft for my Winter Hills Coffee Cozie

Loops & Threads Joy DK

One of my favorite yarns for garments is Joy Dk, by Loops & Threads, available at Michael’s. It is really sturdy and the finished item drapes beautifully. It works great for a light weight sweater to help you get through the cool mornings and warm afternoons of spring.

I used Joy Dk for many of the patterns that I tested for Two Brothers Blankets, including the Sarasota Cardi.

Sarasota Cardi by Two Brothers Blankets using Joy DK

Knit Picks – Brava Sport

Another great yarn for garments is Brava Sport, available through Knit Picks. I really enjoy working with this yarn. I don’t think its as sturdy as Joy Dk but is just as soft. The price for Brava is great too, currently $2.00 for approximately 273 yards. Its available in over 40 colors.

When I made the Calgary Cold Shoulder Top for Two Brothers Blankets using Brava Sport.

I made my Calgary Cold Shoulder Top by Two Brothers Blankets in Brava Sport

Loops & Threads Woolike

A great yarn to use that is super soft is Woolike by Loops & Threads. I originally designed my Amethyst Scarf using this yarn. This is probably my new favorite yarn too.

Its really light and has AMAZING drape, perfect for scarves and garments. It is a great substitute for fingering weight yarn that you would get from your local independent yarn dyer.

Amethyst Scarf completed in Woolike – Project and Photo by Rhune.co

Loops & Threads Charisma

Charisma is my go-to yarn when I have a thick and warm project. Years ago, before my son was born, I made a twin sized blanket using Charisma for my daughter. The blanket is so heavy but so nice and warm, perfect for the seemingly never-ending winters here in New England.

My C2C blanket that I made using Charisma.

New pattern release scheduled for March 4th!

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Amethyst Scarf

Birthstone Collection

The Amethyst Scarf is the second pattern available in the “Birthstone Collection.” The collection is the theme of 2020, where each month I have a cowl, scarf, or shawl pattern the color of that month’s birthstone.

Other patterns available in the Birthstone Collection:
Garnet Cowl

The Yarn

The amethyst stone, in my opinion, is the best one. Can you guess why? Yes, it is my birthstone. It’s probably why my favorite color is purple too. There are so many shades of purple and violet within the stones, and depending on how they are cut, they can reflect shades of pink.

In December of 2019, I went to SOWA Winter Festival in Boston. SOWA is a whole art district within the city of Boston. Local artisans have their studios and shops within the converted mills. I was completely overwhelmed with how all these artisans took their medium and expressed themselves in such a way that made them so individually unique. Click here to find out more about SOWA.

One of the artists at SOWA was Mary Mandarino, a weaver who hand-dyes yarn for her scarves, ponchos, and shawls. She had many of her completed pieces for sale and they were GORGEOUS!!!

But since I’m a yarn addict, I had to have this yarn. The blends of purples and pinks was just calling to me. It didn’t help that my cousin Madison was whispering in my ear “Treat Yo self,” so the beautiful yarn came home with me.

The Pattern

I wanted a simple yet elegant scarf that could help showcase the colors within the yarn. This yarn isn’t just yarn, its more like thread so I was out of wheelhouse working with something so thin.

I knew I wanted a triangle scarf, but the thing I dislike about triangle scarves is that they are so bulky around the neck if you want it to sit a certain way. So I decided to just get rid of the middle neck section altogether and start with a large v-shape. After a few rows my hook just started flying and the results are SPECTACULAR!!!!

Model wearing the Amethyst Scarf
Add that touch of elegance to your wardrobe with the Amethyst Scarf

I hope you enjoy this design as much as I do!

The “Amethyst Scarf” is now available to purchase on
Etsy & Ravelry.

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Crochetpreneur Business Academy – CBA

***Post contains affiliate links***
If you haven’t read it the few times I’ve mentioned it, I’m a proud member of the Crochetpreneur Business Academy. I’ve learned so much about myself and where I see my business since I joined.

I initially joined CBA because I wanted to start a crochet business and had no idea where to even start. I know that I don’t want to do craft fairs because it takes away from family time on the weekends. I did know that I wanted to start designing patterns and selling the patterns.

While everyone is going to have a different experience than I do, I want to let you know what I’ve gained from joining this great community.

Why?

As much as I love to crochet, I wanted to see if I could turn my hobby into successful business as a designer instead of just a maker. What do I really have to lose? The membership is only $30/month; so what, I can’t go get expensive coffee every week or I can’t buy yarn I’m never going to use. You find a way to save money when you want to.

I saw what many of my favorite designers had joined and that they’ve recommended joining. I thought “Hey, if its working for them maybe it will work for me.” And it has been working for me.

Since joining CBA, I’ve learned so many things about myself and that has helped in where I want my business to go. I learned what my strengths and weaknesses are, and how I can use them to build a business.

One thing I learned is that I accomplish more when I set a deadline on something. When testing patterns for designers, I needed to have the item finished, photographed, and have feedback sent back to them by a certain date. I ALWAYS had it done on time. If I can do it for other people why can’t I get it done for my own business?!?!

How

I began setting deadlines for myself. In fall of 2019, I laid out my plan. The plan was; January 2020, I’m going to officially register as business, start a website, etsy shop, ravelry storefront, and keep up on social media for my business.

GUESS WHAT?! I AM!!!!

You want to know what else I’ve been doing? Stepping out of my comfort zone completely. Today I did my first live video ever! Because we all need a starting point that isn’t going to ridicule us, I did it in our CBA community group.

I had to do it, how am I going to be able to reach my audience if I don’t practice? There isn’t a better community or family than CBA. This amazing group of people are so supportive. We’re there to walk beside you in the journey, push you when needed, and help you gain your footing if you’ve fallen.

Who

In CBA we have members that are:
Blogger
Makers
Designers
All of the above and everything in between.

Click here to learn the “7 Secrets Every Profitable Crochetpreneur Knows

You have so much to gain, just by joining us. Pam Grise, The Crochetprenuer, just redid all the lessons within the academy. She decided to tweak a lot of the courses to make it more streamlined and easier to follow. What you get you get out of CBA is completely up to you but you can really SOAR with all that CBA has to offer you within the journey.

I hope I’ve convinced you enough to at the very least research CBA. I’d love to see what you can do with your crochet business!

Pam also has other courses for you to look into if you’re not quite sold on the CBA. Click here for the list.

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My Favorite: Crochet Hooks

We all have our favorites, and sometimes you don’t even realize the types of items we choose. I have my favorite coffee cup, burner on the stove (welcome to adulthood, you now have a favorite spot to cook your food), seat on the couch, and many more. Today I’m going to let you know about my favorite crochet hooks and what other designers use.

Hooks

You can’t crochet without a hook; you could use a traditional crochet hook, a Tunisian style, or just your finger if you wanted to.

There are two basic styles of traditional crochet hooks. These styles are inline and tapered. The only difference between the two is the hook part itself, the handles or the bodies are the same.

You can see in the picture below the slight differences. On the left is an inline hook, while on the right is a tapered style hook.

Inline vs tapered crochet hooks.  Inline on the left and tapered on the right.
Susan Bates Crochet Hook (inline style) on left. Boye Crochet Hook (tapered style) on the right.

The inline style hook allows you to carry the yarn through the stitches a little easier than the tapered hook. But the tapered hook allows you to get into tighter spots. You won’t know which one you prefer until you use both.

My Personal Favorites

I can use pretty much any crochet hook but prefer the most popular sizes. I tend to not use a hook smaller than US G/6 (4.00mm) and nothing larger than a US K/10.5 (6.5mm). My most used size hook is US I/9 (5.50mm).

My favorite hook at the moment is my Tulip Crochet Hook from LeitherCo. Santa delivered the hook this past Christmas and I’ve used it almost everyday since. Leither Co. handmakes the handles and are made to order. I just love how my hand is supported within the handle, it helps with any fatigue I might encounter while crocheting for hours.

Tulip Crochet Hook by Leither Co.

Before I had my beautiful Tulip hook, I used a set that my husband gifted me a few years ago. I have a set of 6 of these hooks from TooShayCrochet, and they are sized F-K.

My crochet hooks by TooShayCrochet

Did you know that depending on the type of project a certain style of hook is easier and better to work with?

Amigurumi

For Example with projects such as this Vincent The Dragon by Hooked By Kati and other amigurumi items.

A green amigurumi dragon designed by HookedByKati.
Vincent The Dragon designed by Hooked By Kati

Kati says “I prefer tapered [hooks] for amigurumi because it allows me to get slightly tighter stitches than the inline.”

Kati actually uses a Furls Crochet hook, its a hybrid of both an inline and tapered. I can’t wait to try them out for myself, like I need more crochet hooks.

Tighter stitches helps keep the shape of the items and leaves smaller gaps between the stitches for stuffing to come through. I have a hard time with amigurumi because my hands tend to hurt after a while with having to keep everything so tight.

Jewelry

Amber Bliss of BlissThis has many designs, but I know her to be the go-to jewelry guru. She recently released these heart earrings, the pattern is available to purchase on Ravelry.

Heart shaped crocheted earrings and necklace placed on a crocheted heart shaped placemat.
All Heart Earrings by Bliss This

Amber told me, “I always use tapered crochet hooks to create my crocheted jewelry. For one, I’ve never seen inline hooks that small; tapered seem to be what is available. Second, I want really tight stitches on my jewelry because they hold their shape better. That is the result I get with the tiny tapered metal hooks.”

Garments

With garments, it comes down to your personal preference on which style hook you should use, AS LONG AS YOU MEET GAUGE. Since garments tend to take a lot of time you want to pick a hook you’re comfortable with. You could always do a few different gauge swatches to see which hook and yarn work best too.

The last thing you want to do is pick a hook and that doesn’t meet gauge and your project coming out too big or too small.

We can cover gauge in another time, there is A LOT to cover on this topic. Until then…

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Garnet Cowl

Birthstone Collection

The Garnet Cowl is the first pattern available from the “Birthstone Collection.” The idea behind the collection is that I wanted a theme for some of my 2020 patterns.

I decided that a collection of cowls, scarves, and shawls would be perfect items to help bring the theme together. Each month I will release a pattern in the color of the month’s birthstone.

The Yarn

The garnet stone isn’t a simple solid red, it has hints of orange and yellow within it. Because of this I had a hard time finding the perfect shade. After searching all the yarn aisles of my local craft stores, I finally found the perfect color. Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in the colorway ‘Claret’ is the perfect color to help bring out the beauty of the garnet.

The “Garnet Cowl” Pattern is available to purchase on Ravelry and Etsy.

Black and white photo of Girl wearing "Garnet Cowl'
She loves the dramatic effect of the black and white. What she doesn’t get is that it doesn’t showcase the beauty of the yarn. But as you can see, the Garnet Cowl is a great fit at any age.
Trista from Crochets By Trista modeling the "Garnet Cowl"
This is what happens when the lighting is perfect to show how the beautiful colors of the yarn but you’ve put zero effort into your appearance for the day.

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Keep Moving Forward

Where I’ve been

For the last few months I’ve been a member of the Crochetpreneur Business Academy (CBA). Since joining the CBA I have learned so much about myself. I’ve learned about the strengths that I wasn’t aware of, but most of my friends and family are. I also learned more about my weakness and how I can build on them so they can’t hold me back.

One of my weaknesses is that I’m not really great with staying on task. I have intentions of doing it but I always delay it until I forget about it completely. For example, we all start the new year off thinking were going to start going to the gym daily or were going to start a new diet and stick to it. By the first week in February you’ve already stopped going to the gym and the new diet doesn’t exist anymore. That was always me; UNTIL NOW!

Since learning that staying on task is a weakness I’ve looked for help within the CBA community. Guess what, most of the members are too. When set with a deadline we can accomplish any goal you put in front of us, but without it the task just falls to the side. We need someone to keep us accountable so we can stay on task.

I stepped up

One way I’ve grown from this weakness is that I’ve become the accountability team leader. Each Monday I ask all the members what their goals are for the week. I check in every few days to see how we’re staying on task. Sometimes life happens and things don’t get done, but most of the time having a team member keep you accountable has really helped our businesses soar.

The CBA is by far the best group of crochet business owners you will meet. We are all each others cheerleaders. We are there to give you the small push that you need so you can move forward within your business. We are also there to catch you when you fall or struggle.

Here I Am

So here I am the third week of 2020 and I have already accomplished so much. I wouldn’t be here thinking I was 100% capable of what I have planned for the year without the support of my family, especially my husband, friends, and my crochet family.

As you can see; I’ve officially become a business with the city, started a blog, released my first design, opened an Etsy shop, opened a designer page on Ravelry, and the best part, I’m just getting started!

Want to learn more about the CBA?

Click here

Quick and Easy – Free Crochet Pattern – “Winter Hills Cozie”

The ‘Winter Hills Coffee Cozie’ is a great quick and easy gift idea.

Free Winter Hills Cozie Pattern

Simple And Easy Idea

We all know that gifts for the kids’ teachers are one of those things that we dread each holiday season. They deserve something more than a card that says “Happy Holidays,” but many families can’t afford to go and spend over $10.00 for each teacher.

Each year I try to make crocheted gifts for the kids’ teachers. Each of my kids has 3 teacher; the main teacher and then 2 paraprofessional. If I planned ahead, I would be able to make 6 completely different and yet similar projects. But lets be real, who is thinking about holiday gifts in September?

Like most parents, life happens and things slip through the cracks. Here I was the week after Thanksgiving and saying to myself “Oh crap, what am I going to do for the teacher gifts?!”

Luckily, I practically live at a local craft store. I spotted the reusable travel mugs while walking around one day and had my ‘Eureka’ moment. Decision made! I’m going to make cozies for the mugs, add a few bags of tea and I’ll be all done and it will be relatively inexpensive.

The Issue.

But of course I can’t make it that simple. I then decide that I HAVE to design the cozie, because if you know me I tend to always make things harder for myself.

I wanted a pattern that was easy and simple to follow but not just the same stitch each row. I’m a big fan of texture within my designs, although there may be few of my designs that aren’t. So after a few swatches I came to the conclusion: “This is it!” I hope that you enjoy this free pattern as much as I do.

Be sure to add your project to Ravelry.

Pattern:

Supplies & Materials:

Approx. 50 yards of Light Worsted Weight Yarn (Caron Simply Soft)

I (5.50 mm) Crochet Hook

Measuring Tape

Scissors

Yarn Needle

Gauge & Sizes:

Gauge:  14 sts by 13 rows= 4”x4”

Finished Sizes: Approx. 4”x 3” & 4”x 4”

NOTES:

This cozie is worked in the round.

Starting chain does not count first stitch.

Stitch count is listed at the end of each row.

Cozie fits most single use cups available at your local coffee spots. (Dunkin, Starbucks etc.).

The reusable cup I used is available at my local craft store.

Stitches & Abbreviations:

All stitches are in US. terms

Ch – Chain.

St – Stitch.

Sl St – Slip Stitch.

SC – Single Crochet.

DC – Double Crochet.

Pattern:

Ch 31.

Row 1.) SC in 2nd chain from the hook and each St across. Join with a Sl to the 1st St. (30)

Row 2.) Ch 1, SC in same St as join.  *DC in next St, SC in next St* repeat from * around to last St, DC in last St. Join with Sl St. (30)

Row 3.) Ch 1, DC in same St as join, *SC in next DC, DC in next SC* repeat from * around to last St. SC in last ST. Join with a Sl St. (30)

Row 4.) Ch 1, SC in same St as join. Sc around. (30)

Rows 5-10.) repeat Rows 2-4, ending with row 4.

Optional larger size – Rows 11-13. Repeat rows 2-4, ending with row 4.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

You can also purchase the PDF on Ravelry & Etsy

There you have it! My first official pattern release!