Thursday, December 31, 2015

Warm Climate Temperature Afghan - Free Guide

I've been seeing a lot of guides for temperature afghans and think this is a great idea. What you do is crochet a row on an afghan and use the temperature outside as the guide for the color. What you end up with is a record of the temperature during the year, and a lovely scrap afghan. But what if you live in hot climates like Florida? The guides that are out there would make your afghan all one set of colors like reds and oranges.

Well you know me, I get a wild hair and have to create something to meet a need I think is out there. So I've come up with a Florida Temperature Guide for an afghan, but it can be used for any warm climate, not just Florida. I hope this helps my fellow crochet artists who live in warmer climates. If you use this or come up with one of your own, I'd love to see your afghans as you work on them so be sure to come to my Facebook page and post your pics!

Free Books! Yes I Said Free!

Hello and Happy New Year to one and all! To ring in the new year how about some free ebooks? You may know I write crochet and knitting books under a pen name for a client. Right now several of them are free on Amazon and I just had to share this good news with all of you. Check them out, and if you get some (I hope you get them all...) please leave a comment for me. Comments really help other folks pick out the right books.

The Almanac of Crochet by Dorothy Wilks

The Encyclopedia of Crochet by Florence Schultz

I'll keep you posted when more of my books go on sale or are free. These offers are good through January 1st or 2nd depending on the set you choose. I hope you enjoy them and learn from them. Please feel free to offer me any comments or questions, I always love to hear from my readers.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Seed Stitch Dishcloth

I really like making my own dishcloths and washcloths. Not only are they fun and quick to crochet up, but I think they are much thicker and softer than store bought versions. You can also crochet them up in your favorite colors, and give them as thoughtful gifts.

Today I'm sharing a very easy pattern. I've used two colors, but you can just use one, or use as many as you like. The finished dishcloth measures about 7 inches wide and 6 1/2 inches long. The gauge is 20 stitches and 19 rows per four inches using a size G/4.25mm hook. The gauge really isn't that important for this pattern, and you can use a larger or smaller hook if you'd like a looser or tighter fabric.

Materials Needed

2 balls of cotton yarn; I used Premier Home yarn in Sunshine (Color A) and Orange (Color B)
Size US G/4.25mm crochet hook and a tapestry needle

Special Stitches

Single Crochet Foundation Chain: Chain 2, insert the hook into the first chain, yarn over and pull through. Yarn over and pull through the first loop on the hook. This creates the chain stitch you will need to begin the next stitch. Yarn over and pull through the 2 loops on the hook.

Begin the next stitch by inserting the hook under the 2 loops of the chain stitch you created with the first step of the last stitch. Yarn over and pull through the loop on the hook (I find it helpful to grab the chain stitch so I know exactly where to insert the hook for the next stitch), yarn over and pull through the last 2 loops on the hook.

As you work the pattern the double crochet stitches are worked into the single crochet stitches of the previous row, and the single crochet stitches are worked into the double crochet stitches of the previous row. You can make the dishcloth any width as long as your foundation chain is an even number of stitches. 


With Color A crochet 20 single crochet foundation chains

Row 1: ch1 *dc into the next st, sc into the next st* rep across ending with a sc into the last st

Row 2; ch3 *sc into the next st, dc into the next st* rep across ending with a sc into the last st

Rows 3-10: Repeat Row 2, change to Color B at the end of Row 10, fasten off Color A

Rows 11-20: With Color B repeat Row 2, change to Color A at the end of Row 20, fasten off Color B
Rows 21-30: With Color A repeat Row 2, fasten off and weave in tails

Edging (Optional)

I didn't crochet an edging on this dishcloth, but if you want to add an edging turn your work at the end of Row 30 and chain 1. Single crochet across the top and work 3 sc into the corner. Single crochet evenly along the side and work 3 sc in the corner. Single crochet across the bottom, sc 3 into the corner and single crochet evenly along the side. When you reach the last corner work 2 sc into the corner and join in chain 1. 

You can now crochet another round of single crochet, or crochet a decorative edging if you'd like. 

That's it! Now you can enjoy your new dishcloth. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or comments about this pattern. Have fun!