Crochetville Blog Tour: Shawl Talk, Free Pattern & Book Giveaway

Update: 4/1/2016: The book giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Rubra! Thanks to all who participated!

Update: 4/3/2016: Bellamy shawl pattern is back to its normal price of $5.99.

Chugga chugga CHOO CHOO!

sara.kay.hartmann.crochet.express.ticket

Welcome to my stop on Crochetville’s NatCroMo blog tour. My name is Sara Kay Hartmann and I am a crochet designer and the author of Poetic Crochet: 20 Shawls Inspired by Classic Poems.

PC cover image

Have you ever made a crocheted shawl? There is no project I enjoy more. Shawls are luxurious and beautiful. Even though they look exquisite, they aren’t difficult to make. The same kind of stitches you already use to make baby blankets or potholders can be worked to make shawls that will last a lifetime and add a little romance to your wardrobe.

How I Got Started Making Shawls

I was a relatively new crocheter, and spent a lot of time online admiring the work of other crochet artists. I am a passionate knitter as well, and often read about the process of knitting and blocking lace shawls. I thought making lace was too hard for me, and my finished projects never seemed to look like what I saw in pictures–crisp openwork, ethereal fabrics, and elegant styles. I learned that with the help of wet-blocking and steam-blocking techniques, even simple stitches took on new life and achieved a more polished look.

Bellamy A

Wearing Crocheted Shawls

Even though we are modern folk who no longer lose our amethyst brooches in the lace of our country shawls (Marilla Cuthbert, anyone?), I advocate the wearing and enjoyment of shawls–the lacier the better. But how to wear a shawl without feeling stuck in the 19th century?

It’s all about the wrap. Shawls look stunning when swirled about the neck and top of the shoulders, allowing the arms to move freely. Unexpected. Chic. Almost urban, with a little of that European flair for using scarves and wraps as wardrobe-enhancing accessories. Cowls are all the rage these days and most shawls can be worn cowl-style to great effect. That said, if you are comfortable rocking the full-body wrap, you should go for it and look amazing doing it. Ponchos, ruanas, kimonos and shawls have been coming back in a big way so it’s our time, shawl-makers!

Aurelie5

Odette Shawl 3

aa

Freebies & Giveaways

Now for the good stuff…I have a couple fun things to share with you in honor of National Crochet Month!

♥ ♥ ♥ To celebrate National Crochet Month, the Bellamy Shawl is free for this week only! The pdf file is available here: this giveaway is now closed.

Bellamy Blog Tour

♥ ♥ ♥ I am doing a giveaway of a signed copy of Poetic Crochet. To enter, just leave a comment on this post! On March 31st I will do a random drawing from the commenters and the lucky winner will receive a free copy of Poetic Crochet plus the bonus material shawl pattern–if you have purchased Poetic Crochet, let me know so I can send you your PDF free pattern!

Thank you for stopping with me on Crochetville’s blog tour, I hope you’ll leave comments to enter the book drawing, enjoy the freebie, and try making a shawl!

♥ Sara

 

 

 

In the Press: Perfectly Pink Headband

Hi Crocheters,

Update 3/4/2017:

This pattern has been out for over one year, so I can now offer it to you free! Enjoy.

Free PDF Pattern Download: perfectly-pink-headband

I Like Crochet Magazine published a fun little design of mine in their February 2016 issue–the Perfectly Pink Headband!

If you’ve never worked with crochet post stitches, this is an easy design to get you started. I love the woven texture, and it’s pink for Valentine’s Day of course. Also, it’s a one-skein wonder making it a great stash-buster project.

Perfectly-Pink-Headband

Happy Stitching,

Sara Kay

Last-Minute Granny Square Gifts: 6 Charming Projects Made from 1 or 2 Granny Squares

I was hard at work on an everlasting blanket of colorful crocheted granny squares when I realized I barely had enough for a crib-size baby blanket.

I couldn’t bear the thought of making 3-12 times as many squares to get the size I wanted and having to stitch them all together.

You know what I needed?

Instant gratification.

crochet

I started playing around with the squares I had to see what I could make with them as they were.

It was fun and yielded some ideas for this little series of gifts you can make from just 1 or 2 squares plus some extra yarn for the seaming and small details.

YARN, HOOK, & TOOLS

I used Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton! yarn in many, many colors and a size F (3.75 mm) crochet hook to make each of my squares. The Clover Amour crochet hook set is my go-to for every project but any old hook will work, of course!

Various other tools include a yarn needle, scissors, spray starch, fabric steamer, the odd button, a smidgen of sewing thread, headband elastic, wings, prayers, etc.

Please note that all of these tools are optional except the yarn needle and scissors.

NOTES

  • I finished each project with a gentle steaming to polish the stitches and make corners lie flat and smooth instead of curling. And a little spray starch wouldn’t go amiss on items like mug mats and tiny envelopes! I don’t usually starch items for wearing.
  • If you are new to granny squares, check out this link for help learning to make grannies. My grannies were made with 2-chain corners and 1-ch between each set of 3 dc along the sides. I changed colors for each round, and simply attached my yarn at any corner to get started.
  • Try to work over yarn tails whenever possible to cut down on the number of tails you need to weave in at the end.

One-Square Gifts

Tiny Envelope

Use this little pouch for giving gift cards, keeping love notes or holding business cards!

Materials:

  • 1 7-round granny square
  • button
  • sewing thread

Instructions:

Lay one 7-round granny square out  as a diamond with RS up. Fold lower three corners into center and crochet or sew seams to close. Turn right side out. Sew on a button at the bottom front of the envelope, fold top point down using the top corner eyelet as the buttonhole. Stuff with a love note and give!

Mug Mat

This little charmer is just a 5-round granny surrounded by a single round of single crochet. Give one as a mug mat or 4-8 as a coaster set!

Materials

1 5-round granny square (more if you want to make a coaster set gift)

Instructions:

Join contrast yarn at corner and work 3 sc in the corner, and 1 sc in each st; rep 3 times more around granny. Join with slip stitch and fasten off. Break yarn and weave in yarn tail.

mug mat

Bows, Bows, Bows!

Adorn a headband, a gift, a hat, or ear warmer with these sweet bows.

Materials:

1 4-round granny square

Instructions:

Pinch one 4-round granny square neatly in the center (adjust the pinch to make the bow folds even. Tie a length of about 20″ contrast color yarn into a square knot at the back of the granny to hold the bow shape with 10″ tails. Now wrap each tail around the bow center 8-10 times to reinforce and cover the gather, tie another knot at the back to hold the yarn wraps. Weave in both tails.

Other ideas: decorate gifts, make Christmas tree ornaments, baby bow ties, sew onto brooches or hot-glue onto hair clips. Try with smaller grannies to make them even more twee!

Two-Square Gifts

Arm Warmers

These colorful mitts will keep your mitts warm this winter. They are nice for texting, but for warmth you can also wear them over those cheap, stretchy $1 gloves to fancy them up a bit and extend the cuffs. Hate that chill that creeps in between my coat cuffs and short gloves, don’t you?

Materials

  • 2 8-round granny squares (I chose to make my 8th round in the same color yarn though my squares did not match)
  • Extra matching yarn to extend the cuff edge and sew up seams.

Instructions:

With RS facing, fold granny square so that 2 opposite edges line up and sew a seam from bottom for 4th ch-sp opening. Fasten off and break yarn leaving a 6″ tail. From the opposite (top) end, sew a seam to the 2nd ch-sp opening. Fasten off and break yarn leaving a 6″ tail. Weave in yarn ends. Turn RS out.

Rnd 1: Join yarn at bottom edge seam and pull up a loop. Work hdc in seam and each st or ch-sp around cuff, join rnd with a sl st.

Rnd 2-3: Ch 2, *hdc betw next 2 sts; rep from * around.

Fasten off. Break yarn leaving a 6″ tail. Weave in yarn ends. Steam lightly to finish.

Repeat for second arm warmer.

Fancy Gift Bag/Trinket Pouch

Fill this colorful little drawstring bag with marbles, candy, special soaps or any small gift.

Materials

  • 2 7-round granny squares
  • Extra yarn for seaming, making bag top, and braiding drawstrings

Instructions:

Lay 2 squares out with RS facing, lined up evenly. Sew or crochet a seam around 3 edges, leaving the 4th edges open to form the mouth of the pouch. Fasten off, break yarn leaving a 6″ tail. Turn pouch right side out. Join extra yarn at a side seam and crochet one granny round around the mouth of the pouch as follows:

Edge Round: Ch 3, dc in next ch-sp, *ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-sp; rep from * to other seam, work 1 dc in last ch-sp, 1 dc in seam, 1 dc in next ch-sp; rep from * across other side. Join with a sl st to close round.

Braid drawstrings (make 2)

Cut 3 lengths of 20.” Tie a knot at one end and make a 12″ braid. Pinch to hold braid in position and tie another knot. Trim knotted ends evenly.

Thread both drawstrings in 2nd row of eyelets and tie to close pouch.

Pixie Bonnet

Sizes: Baby (Toddler, Child)

Note: The sizing is quite free for this design. The size shown was made for a toddler but modeled on a 4-month old baby.

She’s cute, isn’t she?

Yes, I am her mother.

Materials:

  • 2 7-round (8-round, 10-round) granny squares
  • Extra yarn for seaming and colorful braided ties
  • Optional adornment such as a bow, flower, or other doo-dad. Doo-dad is a technical term.

Lay grannies out lined up evenly with right sides facing. Sew a seam along 2 adjacent edges, fasten off, break yarn leaving a 6″ tail. Turn bonnet right side out and join yarn at a seam corner.

Edge Round: Work granny row (3 dc in each ch-sp, ch 1 betw dc shells) along 4 open edges and join rnd with a sl st to close.

Make chin straps:

Cut 2 30″ lengths of yarn in 3 different colors (6 lengths of yarn total).

Thread yarns through chin corners of bonnet and pull until even. Create 3 sections of 2 strands each. Mix the colors as you like. Work a 7 (8, 10)” braid and tie off in a knot. Trim knotted yarn neatly. Repeat  for opposite chin strap.

Finishing

Weave in all yarn ends. Push the top corner seam outward for maximum pointiness–the more point, the more pixie. Steam lightly.

Decorate with optional adornment. Put on the nearest child and take adorable, winter-wonderland type Instagram photos.

I hope you enjoyed this series of gift ideas. Let me know! #lastminutegrannysquaregifts

Happy Stitching,

Sara Kay

Mabel Mitts

Hi Knitters,

The Mabel Mitts are made in a plush lace rib that will keep you texting, stitching, and cozy all the while.

mabel

They are worked flat and seamed at the inside wrist leaving a thumb hole. You’ll pick up thumb stitches and work an easy-peasy gusset–so easy we should really just call it a tube–because it has no shaping whatsoever.mabel2

Cute and practical, these mitts work up in a snap of your fingers.

mabel snap

They also make nice gifts for friends you deem worthy of knitted lace.

The pattern includes a chart and written instructions so you can choose your own adventure!mabel8

 

 

Free PDF Pattern Download: mabel-mitts

In Stitches,

Sara Kay

Whirlwind Romance Beret

Hi Crocheters,

Got something for you!

It’s a ♥ free ♥ PDF download for my crocheted beret, Whirlwind Romance. The link is at the end of the post, but if you stick with me I’m taking you on a little trip to Paris first.

Ooh la la!

Whirlwind1

The Whirlwind Romance Beret is worked seamlessly in the round from the top down in a full-bodied lace–hang on–

I just said ‘full-bodied lace.’

If you make it, I think you’ll know what I mean.

Whirlwind5

It’s edged with post-stitch ribbing worked on a smaller hook that makes a tidy brim.

You may not know this about me, but I like tidy! I like it very, very much.

The pattern is offered in a single size to fit heads 20-22″ (teen – medium adult), but you can make larger or smaller sizes by following the tips in the pattern notes.

You can whip it up as quickly as a whirlwind romance!

Which is an actual, measurable amount of time.

Obviously.

Whirlwind2

Imagine wearing it as you stroll down a Parisian boulevard [say it with me: “bool-vahhhhr.”]

There’s a fresh baguette under your arm,

and a twinkle in your eye,

when you look up and spy the love of your life…♥ ♥ ♥

Whirlwind3

You can also wear it to the grocery store to cover your dark roots like I do.

And I don’t eat wheat so there goes my baguette,

but it was a nice story.

PDF Pattern Download: Whirlwind Beret Pattern

Thanks for visiting me today. If you enjoy using this pattern, please share with others, meet up with me on social media, or let me know in the comments!

♥ knit, crochet, love; rep from ♥ forever.

Sara Kay

Ellie Headband

Hi. Thanks for visiting!

Ellie is a low-stress bit of crocheted fun that I’m very excited to share with you.

1

I’m going to chat a little about the idea behind the design, but if you want to get straight to the juicy stuff, the pattern download awaits you at the bottom of the post. If your scroll wheel spins wildly out of control while I’m in mid-sentence, you won’t hurt my feelings. ♥ ♥ ♥
DSCN0252

For months, I admired all the cute turban-style headbands I was seeing on Pinterest, in boutique shops like Francesca’s, Anthro online, (which I troll for the pretties but have never visited a brick-and-mortar store) and of course in mass-market discount stores as well. DSCN0238

I found a few sewing tutorials for making them from 2 tubes of fabric crossed over one another and sewn together with a seam at the back. Ever intrigued by the the voodoo magic of twisting rectangles into something interesting and wearable, [Knitters, see Miss Sadie. Crocheters, see Pip & Emma.] I thought, okay I’m in.

I thought that in crochet, there might be an even easier to create the wrap top without having to stitch 2 separate strips.

There is.
DSCN0239

By crocheting a single long strip…

centering it at the nape of your neck…

criss-crossing into a full twist at your forehead….

stitching down the two short ends to the opposite sides of the band…

and turning the headband right side out…

you get the turban twist from a single strip with no visible stitching!

This method is nice because you can size it perfectly to your [daughter’s/sister’s/roommate’s] head and there’s no double-thickness of crochet fabric beneath you fashionably messy bun or pony tail.

The stitch pattern is just alternate rows of half-double crochet with single crochet which gives a surprisingly nice fabric with a honeycomb look. It’s plain enough to show the knot design, textured enough to keep it interesting, and has enough flexibility to allow the crossed strips to squish softly together without flipping over or pinching over in an awkward way.2

Fun to design! And fun for you to make, I hope!

Here’s the PDF pattern download, just for you.

Ellie Headband

♥ knit, crochet, love; rep from ♥ forever.

Sara Kay

Poetic Crochet and a ♥ SPECIAL OFFER ♥

Poetic Crochet‘s Amazon “Look Inside” book preview is up and the pre-order price is only $18.62! Take a peek by clicking here or on the photos below.

You can also buy the ebook now from the Crochet Me Store!

Scroll down to see the ♥ special offer ♥ — a free pattern giveaway with your purchase of Poetic Crochet [print or ebook]!

PC look inside 2

PC look inside

♥ ♥ ♥ SPECIAL OFFER ♥ ♥ ♥

Get a Free Shawl Pattern with Your Pre-Order!

Pre-order the book and send me a photo or screenshot of your receipt, you’ll get a free copy of Odette, a lovely shawl & lace collar crochet pattern that was part of the original manuscript but had to be cut for space.

Normally, Odette is $5.99 but comes as free bonus material with your book order.

Interested? Email a photo or copy of your receipt to sarakayhartmann@gmail.com or message the pic to my Facebook page, and I’ll send you back the PDF pattern download. Easy!

If you already ordered Poetic Crochet, please claim your free pattern! Just send me your receipt photo to claim your freebie.

Odette offers 2 sizes: full-size shawl (purple sample) & collar size ruffle (dark teal sample).

Odette Shawl 2

Odette Shawlette 1

Odette Shawl 3

Odette Shawlette

Just a few more months until the book hits shelves on October 26th, and a few weeks until the e-book is available for purchase.

PC cover image

I can hardly wait to share it with you!

♥ knit, crochet, love; rep from ♥ forever.

Sara Kay