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Sunday, March 14, 2021

Happy NatCroMo 2021!

 Hello Crocheters, yes, incredibly, it is already March again and time to celebrate National Crochet Month!  


  I'm so excited to once again be a part of Crochetville's NatCroMo Blog Tour for 2021.  This year's theme is "The Crochet Concert" and an exploration of whether music serves as a source of inspiration for crochet creativity.  I have to admit, I'm much more of a visual person and get my creative juices flowing through colors and shapes.  But this year's theme got me thinking about how music often is a motivator for my creative endeavors and how it can enhance or even change my mood when I'm crocheting.  Instrumental, calm music in the background will definitely yield a much different outcome than disco or 80s music!

So, I decided to put on some tunes to see what would emerge!  And, here it is...

The Coffee Cup Crochet Cosie:

With worsted weight yarn and an H hook, ch 32.

Row 1: (WS) In the "nub" of the ch, 1 sc in next 7 chs, 3 scs in next ch, 1 sc in next 7 chs, skip a ch, 1 sc in next 7 chs, 3 scs in next ch, 1 sc in next 7 chs, turn.

Row 2: (RS) Ch1, in BLO, 1 sc in next 7 sts, 3 scs in next st [note: this should be the center st of the 3 scs from below], 1 sc in next 7 sts, skip 2 sts, 1 sc in next 7 sts, 3 scs in next st, 1 sc in next 6 sts, 1 sctog in next 2 sts, turn.

Rows 3 - 8: repeat Row 2.  Don't bind off when done with Row 8.

Fold the piece in half, with the RS facing out, the point at the top., and the edges to the left.  The working loop should be at the top left.  Slip stitch the edges together, fasten off, and weave in yarn tails.

 I hope you find crochet inspiration from music as well, and please check out all of the offerings on Crochetville's Blog Tour throughout March.

Please follow me on Instagram (@PhyllisofMCG) - you'll be the first to find out about my latest crochet patterns.  One's about to drop... and here's a sneak peek!


One last plug -- my Handcrafted Baby Gifts eGuide is available on Gumroad for $1.99  Want to crochet the perfect gift for a new baby?  Then grab this handy eGuide that will help you gather baby's measurements, pick just the right pattern and yarn, keep track of your projects and gift giving, and craft a gift that will make parent and baby so happy!  You'll also receive a $2.00 coupon code for my Ravelry store, so the eGuide is free!

Have a wonderful NatCroMo 2021!


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Transitions

Hello Crocheters, I hope everyone is staying safe and being well during these pandemic times!  Faced with all the new adjustments, I had to step away from a number of activities, and, unfortunately, the blog was the first to get set aside.  But I seem to eventually get drawn back in each time, recognizing that this blog still remains a steadfast way for me to communicate with you all (and a Fall newsletter is in the works too).

A lot has actually been happening behind the scenes!  I've got a number of new designs in the works, two of which have been posted to my Ravelry store:  one is a mid-century modern baby blanket and one is a knitted baby sweater with the sweetest heart buttons!  There's a theme here: babies!  We've got friends still having them, and Many Creative Gifts wants to make it easy and fun to craft the perfect baby gift.  And we've got some new affiliate relationships for a quick and meaningful gift when you're still working on your crochet or knit project and time just slips away from you (don't worry, we've got you covered!).  As a result, the website is getting a bit of a revamp as well.  Yes, that's right, we're finally giving the website an updating :-).  It's a process, but, in the mean time, you can visit the site to get updates on Chausette, the adopted sheep - I've got new photos and an unfortunate but fitting end to the Sheep Saga.

So, what do you think, should we adopt an alpaca?!



Tuesday, April 7, 2020

A Cute Crocheted Mask

A friend of mine posted this adorable crocheted mask on Facebook, and I thought I could help out by typing out line-by-line instructions in English about how to make it:


Ch 38

Row 1: 1 sc in second ch from hook and next 5 chs, 1 hdc in next 3 chs, 1 dc in next 19 chs, 1 hdc in next 3 chs, 1 sc in next 6 chs, turn

Row 2:  Ch 1, 1 sc in same and next 2 sts, 1 hdc in next 3 sts, 1 dc in next 19 sts, 1 hdc in next 3 sts, 1 sc in next 6 sts, turn

Rows 3 - 8:  Repeat Row 2

Row 9:  Ch 1, 1 sc in same and next 2 sts, 1 hdc in next 3 sts, 1 dc in next 8 sts, 3 dcs in next st, 1 dc in next 10 sts, 1 hdc in next 3 sts, 1 sc in next 6 sts, turn

Row 10:  Ch 1, 1 sc in same and next 2 sts, 1 hdc in next 3 sts, 1 dc in next 21 sts, 1 hdc in next 3 sts, 1 sc in next 6 sts, turn

Mask is done, but then to create the straps to place around ears, you'll make stitches all the way around the mask.

Round 11:  from end of Row 10, ch 28 and connect to bottom right corner of mask by making 1 sc in ch at bottom right corner and 1 sc in each of the chs along the edge of the bottom of the mask, ch 28 and connect to top left corner of mask by making 1 sc in each st along the top of Row 10.

Round 12: make 1 sc in each of the 28 chs from Round 11, sl st along bottom of mask, and make 1 sc in each of 28 chs on other side of mask.  Fasten off.

Now, you can decorate the front side of the mask however you'd like.  And it looks like a fabric liner has been sewn in the inside of the mask.

Post Script:  I made one in about an hour with an F hook and worsted weight yarn.  It came out about the right size for a man's face, but the ear loops were too long.  I'm going to try another one with DK yarn and a D hook and see how that turns out!



Monday, April 6, 2020

Knitting with Common Household Items

Hi crocheters!  Until I figure out how to make a crochet hook with supplies around the house, I had to switch over to knitting.  I know everyone's getting a little stir crazy being at home all the time, sometimes without access to craft items, so I came up with a video demonstration of how to knit with two pencils and some twine.  It's a kid-friendly project and fun for everyone!


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Tip: Best Scissors for Yarn

There are so many different types of scissor!  I wouldn't have guessed that before going on my own quest to find the right scissors for cutting yarn.

The important feature to consider in selecting yarn scissors is the length and sharpness of the blades.  You'll want short but sharp blades for cutting and trimming yarn ends, especially in ; you'll want a bigger blade yet still sharp for cutting felted projects.

My favorite scissors so far are my classic "stork" or "crane" scissors.  They just exude craftiness and evoke a simpler time in stitch work.



I also love my flower scissors because they are just so beautiful (you know how I feel about flowers!), and I bought them on a special trip to London a few years ago.


These little rubber scissors are great because they have a protection rubber cap.  I found them in a needlepoint/embroidery shop.


For cheap and easy but effective scissors, you can't go wrong with these "thread nippers" that tuck right into your project bag without worry.


And for travel, nothing beats the "yarn cutter pendant" available on Amazon (affiliate link):



This article by Creativebug gives great scissor options for all fabric and needle craft projects.  We'll be covering other tools that you need to have on hand for crochet projects (we've already covered stitch markers here), so please come back for more!


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Tip: Storing Your Yarn

There are so many different ways to store yarn, but you should have a storage system.  First, think about the type(s) of containers you want to keep your yarn in.  My long-term solution is to keep yarn in clear plastic containers (because I was to ensure that the yarn will stay dry and safe from moths, etc); my short-term solution is to keep an ongoing project in its own tote bag or plastic basket so that I'll have everything I need for that project already together in one place.  I've also been experimenting with canvas closet shoe hangers so that I can more easily see yarns grouped together.

Which brings me to a second consideration:  once you've determined how you want to store your yarn, you should determine how you want to sort your yarn.  The two most popular ways are either by color or by texture/weight.  Since I've decided that I really prefer to work with only DK and worsted weight yarns, it made sense for me to organize by color.

In a future tip, I'll go through some methods for making an inventory of all of your yarns!




Tuesday, March 31, 2020

#NatCroMo2020 Comes to an End

It's hard to believe that March is almost over!  I'm taking a break today from posting crochet tips to mark the end of another great National Crochet Month.  I guess an upside to being at home all of the time now is that I had a chance to see all the beautiful posts by other crochet designers during Crochetville's month-long celebration.  I hope you'll get a chance to catch up too, and if you missed my post for NatCroMo, here it is.

But Many Creative Gifts is not yet ready to end the party!  Since it will be our 15th Anniversary on April 5th, we've extended the one-time use 50% off coupon code for your total purchase in our Ravelry store.   The offer is good until April 5th (11:59 PM EDT).  Just use the code "50for15" in the coupon section at check out.

I hope you've been enjoying the crochet tips, we've got 10 more to go, but if I don't cover something you wish I had, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page!