Category Archives: stitches

Town and Country Tote

My latest bag design…..a sassy little tote for city girls or country girls. These totes are made in one piece, so they’re easy peasy. And, depending on the choice of yarn, they can be made extra dressy or laid-back casual. The bag shown in unlined (I don’t have the patience) but would be simple to do so.

Click on that big ‘Etsy’ button in the sidebar to see my listings ūüôā


Tahiti Tote

Crochet has been showing up alot lately in stores. One of the current trends I’ve noticed are crochet purses and totes. I love the look and the added texture adds lots of interest.

My latest design is a handy tote that’s small enough to be manageable while offering plenty of room for the essentials like keys, phone, lipstick and wallet. While the purse shape is relatively simple, the colors and stitch pattern kick the design up a notch to become a sassy fashion statement. It’s a quick project that can be completed in 8 hours or less and requires intermediate crochet skills. You can create totes to match different outfits simply by changing the colors…the possibilities are endless.

I named it ‘Tahiti Tote’ because it reminds me of summer breezes and tropical beaches. The finished size is 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″. The pattern is for sale at my shop, Crochet Cottage.

Don’t Bother Me, I’m Counting

Before I have to enter one of those posts that says, ‘Gosh, I haven’t posted for months, sorry’, I figured I’d better check in ūüôā

With the advent of warmer weather, I’ve been doing some more much needed yard work…pruning, mowing, planting, etc….so that’s distracted me somewhat from blogging. But I’ve been busy hooking, too.

wips-and-fos-008-small.jpg¬†FO – I finished my shawl and named it ‘Provence’, not because it has anything to do with France, but because I’m a Francophile and the colors remind me of the french countryside.


wips-and-fos-014-small.jpg¬†WIP – A baby project I’m working on. I’ve wanted to do something in these colors for awhile but never had the inspiration for what exactly I wanted to make. This one makes me smile; I love the stitches & I love the colors.


wips-and-fos-017-small.jpg¬†This is a test swatch for my latest obsession…spirals. The spiral shawls, aka Carnival shawls, popping up around the ‘net are absolutely gorgeous/fascinating/mesmerizing/addicting. Check these pictures on Flickr to see why.


So, see, I have been a busy little hooker. There’s one or two other WIPs sitting in the wings, but those I’ll save for another post. Hope everyone has a great week. Keep those hooks a’smoking.




What’s Worsted Weight?

hpw2-small.jpg¬†The Elann order has arrived ūüôā

¬†This is my first time ordering from them and, so far, I couldn’t be¬†¬† more pleased. Pain-free ordering, smooth service and lovely yarn.¬†¬†¬† This particular yarn is, to my hand, slightly scratchy. I wouldn’t want to wear it directly next to my skin. But I think it would be suitable for a cardigan or, in my case, a wrap. It’s already on the hook. Which leads me to the title of this post.

I’m the type of person who, as soon as I get my hands on new yarn, I have to grab a hook and swatch….just to get the feel of the yarn and see how it works up. My first response when I unbanded this yarn was, “huh?”. It was a much thinner yarn than I was expecting….more of what I would consider sport weight. This has only added to my confusion about yarn weights in general. I’ve seen contradictions between sport and dk weights, one being the thinner and vice versa. ??? My logical mind doesn’t get the logic. So I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best to follow my intuition in that I let the yarn dictate what it’s best suited for according to how it feels and works. This stuff is light as a feather and crochets like a dream. I’m loving it and already thinking of ordering more.

248_soleil_300-small.jpg¬†¬†The Soleil¬†Shawl¬†was my inspiration when I ordered the yarn (sorry Berroco). I’ve lusted over this picture¬†for ages. The colors are so appealing to me and the drape of the wrap look so feminine in an old-world sort of way. If anyone is a fan of ‘Quiet Man’, you’ll remember the shawl(s?) Kate wore¬†throught the movie. They’re so feminine and versatile and I’ve wanted one for a long time. Knowing me, however, I’ll probably end up giving this one away….which will give me a good excuse to order more yarn.

Diamond Trail Scarf Pattern

diamond-trail-wm2-small.jpg¬†My latest design project is a pattern for a one-skein scarf that’s easy enough for beginning crocheters.

The model was made using Caron Simply Soft in Country Blue. Gauge isn’t critical for this pattern, but I wanted something with good stitch definition and CSS fit the bill.

The pattern is for sale at Crochet Cottage.

Red Lace and the Red Man

Outside my window, the colors of winter have settled upon the land. The sky is grey and threatens more rain, the fields are tan and lifeless from the heavy frost we had last week. January is a restless month; it’s too miserable to¬† stay outside much longer than to walk the dog and yet, finding things to keep one occupied indoors is a challenge. On this blustery, wintry day, I crochet and watch movies.

burgundy-lace-003-small.jpg¬†Here’s a sneek peek at my latest project. No, not the tomato seed catalog, although there has been ordering and planting of seeds. The project involves Knit Picks ‘Gloss’ fingering weight yarn. I love this yarn. My only complaint is that the color selection of this line is rather minimal. The yarn itself is easy to work with and produces a soft fabric. Oh, and it frogs relatively easy. There has been much frogging until I was finally able to come up with a¬†stitch pattern I was satisfied with.¬†¬†

Since it made it’s way into the picture, a bit of history about the footstool is in order. One day, my better half brings home the stool and matching rocker¬† that he’d found curbside in front of someone’s house. The rocker, which was given to our daughter,¬†was of the mission style, with a¬†needlepoint-covered seat. The footstool¬†has the same needlepoint cover. It’s old and rather battered but I¬†cherish it nonetheless and cannot bring myself to part with it or even give it a makeover. It serves me well.

Our local libraries are a treasure-trove for movie hounds like us. One selection in the current batch we brought home is ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’, an HBO TV movie starring Aiden Quinn and Adam Beach. I’ve always been sympathetic to the plight of¬†the Red Man¬†and the unfair treatment they received at the hand of the government and settlers moving onto their lands. I admire the reverence Native Americans had for their land and the wisdom of their chiefs. The brutality with which they were dealt with is shameful and is the theme of this movie. It was a good movie and I recommend it. In spite of the sadness, the history should be remembered.

Now my tummy says it’s suppertime….it looks like baked potato weather and so it shall be, with lots of butter and cheese ūüôā

Ziggy Lace Scarf Pattern

lace-scarf-wm2.jpg     lace-scarf-wm1.jpg 

¬†The projects I most admire in knitting are the¬†delicate scarves and wraps worked in lace and fingering weight yarns. Sadly, there aren’t many comparable patterns in crochet. I’m not sure why that is but, hopefully, more crocheters will be inspired to experiment with designs in these lighter-weight yarns.

In the meantime, this is my first¬†(humble) design attempt¬†using lace weight yarn. Technically, the pattern would call for fingering weight as I used lace weight doubled. The yarn I used in my project is Knitpicks Shadow in Lost Lake Heather colorway.¬†I have nothing but praise for the yarn….it’s a breeze to work with and the scarf is delicate and soft. I just might keep it for myself ūüôā

Be forewarned, the pattern hasn’t been tested, so if you run into a problem, let me know.

Ziggy Lace Scarf

Materials used: size H hook, approximately 440 yds. Knit Picks’ Shadow.

Finished size: approximately 4 1/2″ x 57″.

[ETA: I used the lace weight yarn doubled for this project. You could substitute with 220 yds. of fingering weight yarn instead.]

Ch. 25.

Row 1) 2 dc in 4th ch from the hook, ch 1, sk 2 ch, sc in next ch, (ch 2, sk 2 ch, 3 dc in next ch, ch 1, sk 2 chs, sc in next ch) 3 times, ending with sc in last ch. Ch 3, turn.

Row 2) 2 dc in same st as turning ch, ch 1, sk 2 dc, sc in next dc, (ch 2, 3 dc in next sc, ch 2, sk 2 dc, sc in next dc) 3 times, ending with sc in top of turning ch. Ch 3, turn.

Row 3) 2 dc in same stitch as turning ch, ch 1, sk 2 dc, sc in next dc, (ch 2, 3 dc in next sc, ch 1, sk 2 dc, sc in next dc) 3 times, ending with sc in top of turning ch.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 to desired length.

Foundation/Base Chain

Crocheters are all abuzz about this ‘new’ technique for creating the base chain and foundation row stitches at the same time (instead of making a chain, then going back across with foundation stitches). I emphasize the word ‘new’ because apparently the technique has been around for many years, although not widely used by most hookers.

Besides shaking up the designing world with her fabulous crochet work, Doris Chan has brought this method for creating a foundation chain to the spotlight. It’s worth taking notice when the hottest designers are converting and singing it’s praises.

There are several advantages for using this method, but the one that stands out in my mind is that it does away with having to count the traditional starting chain…over and over and over….which is something I always have trouble with when starting a new project. Using the foundation chain method, you just complete the required number of stitches….the starting chain and foundation row are all done in one fell swoop. Brilliant!

Oddly, there are¬†not many sites that have visual tutorials on the method. I found several sites that give written instructions, but I’m one of those that sometimes needs visuals to help me ‘get it’. It took some digging, but I managed to find a few. The best, in my humble opinion, is on Serendipity Crochet, where there are tutorials for not only¬†single crochet,¬† but half-double crochet and double crochet base chains as well. Check it out and let me know what you think.