Category Archives: Crochet

Making Progress on New Year’s Resolutions: Recently Unraveled Projects

I didn’t get around to posting my New Year’s Resolutions online this year, but one of the biggies was to do something about all the unfinished projects I have hanging around. I’m glad to announce that I’m making some headway on this. Woohoo!

Resolution #1: Unravel every crochet project I’m not going to finish.

I’m just about finished with this resolution. It was easier than I thought it would be, although there were a few that I agonized over a bit before jumping in and ripping, ripping, ripping.

Like this:

This photo shows you an example of the shallow single crochet stitch combined with the tapestry crochet technique. The piece looks a little like knitted stockinette stitch, but the feel and drape of the piece doesn't AT ALL resemble knitted stockinette.

This photo shows you an example of the shallow single crochet stitch combined with the tapestry crochet technique. The piece looks a little like knitted stockinette stitch, but the feel and drape of the piece doesn’t AT ALL resemble knitted stockinette.

This just needed to be unraveled. There was no good reason for hanging onto it. It was ugly. It was full of mistakes. It was turning out completely the wrong size and the wrong scale. There was not a chance in this world I was going to finish it.

Yet, despite the flaws, there were many interesting things about it, and I invested more effort than you’d think into the piece.

Take a close look at it. Can you tell that it’s crochet? It looks a little like knitted stockinette stitch. Sadly, it works up even slower than stockinette. It’s actually shallow single crochet stitch. Despite being crochet, this stitch is most un-crochet-like in multiple ways; for example, it’s stiffer and less flexible than fabric made using many other crochet stitches.

So instead of pink stockinette stitch flying saucer lookalikes, I now have a pile of pink yarn that I suppose I could use for making some cute little Valentine lovelies. Or maybe a baby headband. Who knows?

Resolution #2: Finish every craft project I’ve started that I’m not going to unravel or give up on.

I haven’t made any headway on this part of the list yet, but that’s what I’m going to tackle next.

Resolutions #3 and 4, for now, will remain secret. But maybe — just maybe — I will let the secret out a little later this year.

For now, over and out.

September 26, 2014: Napkins and Napkin Rings / Today in Review

Today I Made…

…a cloth tea napkin. It isn’t finished yet; I still have to add an edging. Then I have to complete the set. Thus there will be more napkin-making in my future soon. Maybe. Hopefully. I’ve been known to make one napkin at a time, and then not finish a complete set, and so I have a bunch of oddball napkins hanging around. This time I’m hoping to get an entire set done, but we’ll see how that goes.

Today I Published…

Today I Worked on…

…updating my crochet pages at this website; I added a few things to a couple of pages:

If it seems like I got a lot done today, that’s because I stayed up all night working. I am exhausted now.

Today I Ate…

  • Organic homemade energy bars made from dates and seeds
  • Organic vegetable soup
  • Organic grapefruit
  • Organic mango

(So far.) Wondering what’s for dinner tonight.

A cat broke the pressure cooker lid this morning by knocking the whole thing on the floor. This might not seem like a big deal to you landlubbers out there, but it’s the only pot we have aboard our sailboat at the moment. Losing its pressure-cooking capabilities = total bummer. 🙁

Today’s Workout…

…hasn’t happened yet. I’m hopeful that it will, but it’s a little up in the air at this point.

This page was last updated on 6-26-2019.

Cindy the SuperModel Gets in on Our Headband Photo Shoot

Mike Wearing a Crocheted Headband and Holding Cindy the SuperModel Kitten. A free crochet pattern is available online for the headband pattern.

Mike Wearing a Crocheted Headband and Holding Cindy the SuperModel Kitten. A free crochet pattern is available online for the headband pattern.

A few days ago, I made Mike a couple of new, guy-friendly crocheted headbands. I asked him if he’d let me post his picture wearing them on various websites online, and of course, he agreed.

The cockpit of our boat was the most convenient location for the photo shoot, so we headed out there.

Cindy, one of our cute little kittens, just would not leave us alone while we were taking the pictures. She kept trying to climb up Mike’s leg during the entire photo shoot. It’s as if she were trying to say, “hey guys, I’m the supermodel in this family!” (Note: We did name her after Cindy Crawford, and we do jokingly refer to her as “Cindy the SuperModel.”) So what could we do but include her in the pics? Cute cats = lots of website clicks! Er, we hope.

Cindy seems to get prettier every day; I think she is really turning out to be a beautiful cat. And of course, Mike is my favorite model when it comes to guys’ crochet projects.

Our kitties used to be scared of the outside world, and in the past they were content to stay inside the boat. Not anymore; nowadays they are playing outside on top of the boat — with supervision only, because we’re worried that the naughty little cuties will end up in the water if they aren’t careful. Every time they see fish jumping, I get nervous that they are going to dive right in and go fishing.

When we were cruising around California, we knew a guy who lived aboard his boat with several fully-grown cats. He told us that the cats enjoyed fishing from his dinghy. Sometimes we’d see them out there, their little eyes intent on the water, watching for fish. It was really cute. He said the cats actually managed to catch some impressive fish from time to time, although most of the time their catch was basically bait material. Maybe our girls could be taught to fish too…someday. We don’t have actual plans to make that happen any time soon.

If any of you are interested in grabbing the free headband pattern, it’s available online. And for those of you who might like to see more pics of the headband< (or incidentally, more pics of Mike and Cindy,) those are used to be available too. At the time I originally posted this pattern, I also posted an image gallery that shows several different views of the headband plus a couple different colors of the design. I made a green headband first, then made the blue one afterwards to test the pattern. However, the editors at the publishing website have apparently decided that those weren’t worth migrating when they re-branded their website and moved domains.

Hope you’re all well and happy, and enjoying 2013 so far. It’s hard to believe we’re this far into the month of January already!

Related Resources

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since age 16. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, knittingandcrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.

My Warmest, Softest Scarf

The nights at our place have been chilly lately.

When my kittens were tiny, if the weather was chilly, they’d sleep piled on top of each other for warmth. Now that they can jump, they sometimes like to jump up into our bed and sleep with us. Sometimes they sleep piled on top of Mike and me, and sometimes they sleep piled on top of each other. Several days ago I awoke with four kittens piled on top of my right arm. I couldn’t move it until I woke up enough to figure out how to get them off. I can’t believe how heavy they’re getting.

On several of the last few mornings, I’ve awoken wearing an IzzyScarf. Meaning that, at some point, in the wee hours of the morning, Izzy climbed onto my neck, stretched herself out across it and fell asleep there.

Izzy is the warmest, softest, furriest scarf I’ve ever worn. I wish I could wear her out and about in cold weather.

But, for that, at least I have my knitted and crocheted scarves which are nice, although they are nowhere near as warm or as soft as my IzzyScarf.

I guess I should just be glad she lets me wear her sometimes while I am sleeping.

Yesterday morning, Mike got to experience the IzzyScarf too. Mike isn’t a big scarf fan, although I did make him a matching crocheted hat and scarf set. He wears the hat pretty often, but the scarf, not so much.

But the IzzyScarf? Well, that made his day! You shoulda seen the grin on his face. He loves his little baby Izzy sooooooooo much.

Wishing I had photos of this to show you! It was the cutest thing.

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at KnittingandCrochet.net , ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.

It All Started With Crochet…

Amy Crocheting

Me crocheting; when I crochet using dark-colored yarns, I often use a light-up crochet hook like the one you see pictured. It helps me see my stitches better.

Crochet was the craft that first sparked my interest in textile design.

When I first learned to crochet, it wasn’t because I specifically set out to do so. No, it was because my Aunt Nancy enjoyed crocheting, and she decided to teach me how to crochet too. It was her idea, but I went along with it, and I am glad I did!

In the 1980s, I used to go to the library in search of interesting crochet books. Unfortunately, the library’s selection was limited, and most of the library’s available crochet books did not appeal to me. I am sure that, in hindsight, all those books would now appeal to me. But at the time, I wanted new books, and the available selection consisted mostly of books from the 1970s. I appreciate the 1970s aesthetic more now than I did at the time.

Anyway, the knitting books and crochet books were shelved together, and the library’s selection of knitting books was more up-to-date and appealing than the selection of crochet books. So, I kept taking home knitting books. As a result of that, I taught myself how to knit.

Later, when I decided to make textile design my career, I learned how to machine knit. I later went on to design circular knits – mostly t-shirt weight fabrics – for public consumption through big-box retailers. I also designed prints (many of which were printed on top of my circular knits) and then later wovens.

But it all started with crochet…

It’s interesting that I’ve come full circle as a textile designer. I’ve designed just about every type of fabric there is to design, and I love them all. But crochet was my first love, and I couldn’t be more excited to be focusing my full-time efforts on crocheting, writing about crocheting, and designing crochet patterns.

Free Knitting and Crochet Stuff for You

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at ArtsWithCrafts.com, KnittingandCrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-3-2019.

Free Patterns for Crocheting Afghans

You can crochet a Pattern Sampler afghan that looks like this one, or customize your own afghan design using different crocheted squares, colors, motifs and an edging.

You can crochet a Pattern Sampler afghan that looks like this one, or customize your own afghan design using different crocheted squares, colors, motifs and an edging.

It’s amazing what you can find for free on the Internet. Case in point: check out all these lovely afghan patterns, many (but not all) of which are free. The list includes patterns for just about any kind of afghan you can think of. I’ve contributed several of the free patterns on this list, including the pattern sampler afghan you see pictured above. I’m hoping to get some more crocheted afghans completed ASAP.

Crocheted Squares for Making Afghans and Other Projects -- I've posted free crochet patterns for making most of these afghan squares at KnittingandCrochet.net.

Crocheted Squares for Making Afghans and Other Projects — I’ve posted free crochet patterns for making most of these afghan squares at KnittingandCrochet.net.

Pictured above: For several months, I’ve been working on designing new crocheted squares that will eventually become an afghan. This is my latest work-in-progress photo. I’ve uploaded free patterns for most of these afghan squares, although I still have to create the free charts for several of them. You are invited to subscribe to my free crochet newsletter if you would like to be notified when the rest of them are available.

See Also: My picks for the best crochet blanket pattern books.

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at ArtsWithCrafts.com, KnittingandCrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-3-2019.

Inspiring Crochet Books

I just got a whole bunch of new crochet books, and I am working on reviewing them for the web sites I write for. My most recent book review is for a book called Fair Isle to Crochet by Karen Ratto Whooley, published by Leisure Arts. I was really impressed by this book.

My favorite project from the book is a Southwestern-style afghan crocheted in appealing colors. I occasionally design Southwestern patterns for upholstery fabric, and know it is a challenge to do Southwestern designs well.

If you’re interested in crocheting colorful afghans, that book is a good one to check out. Want more details? Click on over to my detailed book review to see more info.

Judging from the amount of books she writes, I can only imagine that Darla Sims must be one busy lady. I can’t believe what a prolific author she is. Her book called Triple Play Pattern Stitches is one of my current favorite crochet stitch dictionaries; now I’m busy delving into two of her latest books. I haven’t had a chance to review them yet — too busy trying out the various stitches she designed — but I hope to post new book reviews soon.

More Inspiring Crochet Books

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at KnittingandCrochet.net , ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.

New Craft Projects — Free Crochet Patterns and More

Crochet Baby Afghan With Heart Pattern

Crochet Baby Afghan With Heart Pattern

This baby afghan was the best project I crocheted in 2010. I made it for my husband’s cousin’s new baby girl. So excited to have a little one to crochet for! I did post the free crochet pattern for others to use, so if you’d like to make a similar afghan, please be my guest.

I also made a few ugly projects, which I was brave enough to post at the time, despite feeling some embarrassment over them — however, the original publishing website has removed them. I may eventually re-post them as examples for you of what NOT to crochet.


Most of the stuff I crocheted in 2010 was easy no-brainer stuff — potholders, dishcloths, easy scarves, afghan squares, and stuff like that.

Crocheted Squares for Making Afghans and Other Projects -- I've posted free crochet patterns for making most of these afghan squares at KnittingandCrochet.net.

Crocheted Squares for Making Afghans and Other Projects — I’ve posted free crochet patterns for making most of these afghan squares at KnittingandCrochet.net.

More of My Recent Crafty Accomplishments

Lists

I love making lists — to do lists, lists of crochet patterns, project lists, shopping lists…Most of my lists are not internet-publication-worthy, but occasionally a few of them are. For example:

  • Checkerboard patterns — As a textile designer, I’m a bit obsessed with repeating patterns. I adore checkerboards. Yes, checkerboards. Please don’t yawn; there are zillions of interesting things you can do with checkerboard designs. If you doubt this, just click here and take a look.


  • Free crochet patterns for mix and match afghan squares — Several months ago I started crocheting a series of afghan squares. Eventually they’ll grow into an afghan. I’ve been publishing the patterns online. This is a list featuring most of the coordinating squares I’ve posted so far. I keep updating it as I add more.


  • Recycled crafts and green crafts — This list features a whole bunch of ideas for recycling ordinary junk into lovely treasures. Would you like to make handmade paper out of old junk mail? How about turning broken dishes into gorgeous mosaics? There are plenty of other ideas too. A couple of these ideas are posted in this blog in earlier posts, but a bunch of them are published on other web sites.

Crochet Resources:

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since age 16. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, knittingandcrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-15-2019.

Handmade Jewelry Ideas

Handmade Jewelry Idea -- This Beaded Necklace Is Crocheted Using Gold Embroidery Floss and Embellished With a Handcrafted Dichroic Glass Pendant.

Handmade Jewelry Idea — This Beaded Necklace Is Crocheted Using Gold Embroidery Floss and Embellished With a Handcrafted Dichroic Glass Pendant.

I’m feeling so inspired right now! I just took a look through Tammy Powley’s fab list of fiber necklace projects. She has created some amazing designs in a variety of different techniqes; you’ll find beadwork projects and macrame projects, plus some of her pieces incorporate crocheting.

Which reminds me, I never shared my latest bead crochet necklace with y’all.

For a long time, I have been wanting to learn how to make dichroic glass pendants. Several years ago I bought a bunch of them from Dichrohaven, and I’ve been using them for various projects ever since. (Anybody remember my Hanauma Bay scrapbooking layout? I used one of the smaller pendants as an embellishment on it.)

Anyway, Tammy posted a fantastic tutorial for how to make dichroic glass pendants. Thanks, Tammy, for satisfying my curiosity about how that is done; now I have a better understanding of why those pendants are so darned expensive (but worth every penny, IMO.) Maybe I’ll even make my own glass pendant someday.

How to Make the Necklace Pictured Above

If you’d like to make your own necklace like the one shown in the photo, check out my bead crochet necklace pattern. The pattern features step-by-step photos that show you many of the important details you need to understand to succeed with this project.

More Jewelry Making Ideas:

Would You Like to Try a New Hobby?

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile now, you already know that I like to crochet, knit, scrapbook, rubber stamp, paint, draw, collage and make jewelry. I also occasionally dabble in other crafts like sewing, quilting and embroidery. Over the years, I’ve posted free instructions and ideas for many of the craft projects I’ve made; and I also spend many hours looking at craft blogs and websites on the internet looking for interesting crafts to share. So if you want to try a new craft or hobby, I have plenty of fun suggestions. If you think you’d like to get started with any of those hobbies, or others, the following links can help get you started:

Crafts and Hobbies 101:

Crochet was the first craft I ever got serious about. I don’t even remember how old I was when I got started with it — maybe 6 or 7 years old? So, I am now thirtysomething fortysomething (haha) and have been crocheting for quite awhile.

Perhaps you’ve never given any thought to learning how to crochet. Has anyone ever explained to you how much fun it is? Or how relaxing it is? Or how easy it is? Or how affordable it is to get started with? Maybe not. Awhile back, I wrote a new article: Crochet for Beginners. The article provides basic considerations you should know about before getting started.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to crochet, this is a fantastic time to jump in and give it a try.


See Also: The Best Crochet Books for Beginners

More Wonderful Hobbies I Recommend:

Hope you’ll make good use of the information! Happy “hobbying”! 🙂


This page was originally posted on July 25, 2010 and was last updated on 6-26-2019.