I truly believe Handmade = Love and always try to make gifts for the special people in my life.
If you’re looking for a quick project for gift-giving this holiday season, these cowls work up so fast you can make several in one day, and if you use the recommended yarn they’ll be super soft and squishy.
Best of all? These patterns are FREE!
The Crochet Cowl
This cowl, worked seamlessly in the round, starts with a round of Foundation Single Crochet so that the top and bottom mirror one another when you’re done, but if that stitch isn’t in your wheelhouse yet, no worries. You can start with a regular chain and a round of regular single crochet if you want instead.
The Knit Cowl
This cowl is also worked in the round. You can use a 16-inch circular needle or a set of double-pointed needles.
the recommended yarn
I used Knit Picks Mighty Stitch Bulky (TM) for both these projects. It’s super soft and squishy and worked up great on the big needles and hook. It has a beautiful sheen to it and comes in so many pretty colors that you can customize your cowls to whatever two-color combo strikes your fancy. I made a bunch in different colors while testing the patterns and can’t pick a favorite.
I hope you enjoy the patterns. That’s my gift to YOU this holiday season! Thanks for being a reader. 😀
That’s all for now.
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I last posted. Time flies when you’re crafting! 😀
And boy have I been crafting–knitting and crocheting almost every day. Mainly I’ve been working on some new original designs that I hope to release soon in my Craftsy Pattern Store, and this always involves a lot of testing, ripping out, testing again, etc… I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my patterns, so I usually end up making multiple prototypes as I check and recheck, and tweak the pattern I’m writing. Pattern designing is not a quick process.
A New Crochet Pattern
But the good news is that after several months of all that testing, I finally have a new crochet pattern to share with you! It’s available right now in my Craftsy Pattern Store for $2.99, which is a bargain because you’re getting not just one, but TWO patterns in the same document.
Textured Crochet & Tri-Color Placemat Set
This pattern uses the wonderful KnitPicks Dishie™ worsted weight cotton yarn. A delight to work with, and so many gorgeous colors! For the pattern I chose Begonia, Jalapeno, and Swan (a pinkish red, a medium green, and an off-white), but in the instructions I included some alternative color combinations you might like as well.
My initial inspiration for the pattern was simply that I needed some new placemats for my kitchen for the cooler months and I knew I wanted them in cotton yarn for the absorbancy and ease-of-care. Once I had my yarn, I did up a few swatches to test my ideas and went from there. Below are the two “winning” swatches that led to the final patterns.
In addition to creating new designs, I’ve been working on lots of items from patterns in my library, or subscriptions I have to various magazines. Some are gifts are for friends and family. Some are for me! 😀 And sometimes, as you can see from the last picture, a WIP is still waiting to come out of the supplies box!
A Sneak Peek
I’m currently finalizing another crochet pattern for my Craftsy store. This one will be for seasonal hotpads. The picture below shows one of the prototypes for autumn, to give you an idea of where the pattern is heading, but this is not the final version. Stay tuned for that! I’m hoping to have the pattern ready for release this fall. I’ll announce it in this blog when it’s ready for download, and on my CraftsByCathy Facebook page.
The hotpads pattern will be a paid for pattern (it’s going to be multiple projects in one document), but I’m also working on a new knitted cowl pattern that will be a freebie, and I just starting to test a crocheted version of that cowl as well, so keep an eye out for that.
That’s all for now.
Happy crafting! 😀
So what have I been up to lately? Here’s an overview:
The Craftsy Zadie Sweater Knit-Along (KAL)
The KAL started in July, but I didn’t hear about it until August when I stumbled upon one of the Grocery Girls videos on YouTube. I love these gals and their enthusiasm for this project made me want to do it, even though I long ago swore I wasn’t a sweater-making person (I have two 5 year old sweater projects in my stash still awaiting sleeves). But call me crazy, I got the 50% off coupon and bought the yarn. The Craftsy videos made it seem easy to make AND no sleeves to sew on! They’re all knit in, so I think I’ll like that.
But this is as far as I’ve progressed so far.
Well, a little more on the body, actually. That picture was taken in mid-August just before I went on vacation. I took the body part with me on vacation and did manage to work on it quite a bit while relaxing after a long day of doing touristy things. It was a great for travel because it’s just constantly knitting the round. No shaping yet. I have to get to 15″ before that happens. (I just made it to 15″ yesterday! Yay!)
So, I’m almost done with the body and I started the sleeves before I went on vacation, too.
I’m being daring and knitting both at the same time with magic loop, which I’ve only ever done once before for a pair of socks (to avoid one-sock syndrome that usually strikes if you knit the one at a time). So far, it’s going well. 🙂
Anyway, I’m making progress on Zadie, but way behind in the KAL since it’s over by now, but this project I’m confident I WILL finish before the end of the year.
Wonder Woman Shawl
I LOVE this pattern. It was so easy to make (once you get used to doing wraps and turns — I learned with the help of some videos on YouTube.)
I chose to use Cascade Heritage Silk yarn and I’m so in love with this yarn. It’s super soft and a dream to work with!
The pattern breaks every stripe out into its own section so what I did was knit a section a day and it took me less than 2 weeks to finish. Then I wet blocked the shawl and couldn’t believe how gorgeous it looked. This one I made for a friend, but I went and bought more of the yarn so I can make one for myself now, too. 🙂
The Craftsy Tealeaf Sweater KAL
I think the Zadie KAL has instilled in me a weird sweater-making confidence now, or I’m just crazy, because as soon as I saw this sweater KAL on the Craftsy website, I wanted to sign up. I let it go for a couple weeks, but finally, as the starting day (Sept 14) neared, I couldn’t resist any longer. I ordered the yarn.
I’m still waiting for the yarn to arrive, but it should be here this week . I’ve made myself promise i MUST finish the Zadie sweater first, though.
Crochet Autumn Swirl Scarf
This pattern was in the Autumn 2016 issue of Crochet!, and I’ve had the magazine and yarn in a bag waiting for me to work on it since then.
I chose to use Manos Del Uruguay Fino yarn in a beautiful variegated hand-dyed green (like leaves) and the scarf came out beautifully.
I just finished it this weekend. (It crochets up very quickly once you memorize the leaf pattern.)
The scarf is super soft and very warm! I’m trying to decide now if I should add it to my Etsy shop for sale, or give it as a Christmas gift. Or maybe even keep it for myself! 🙂 Hmmm….
Filatura Di Crosa Zara Fingerless Mitts
So far I’ve made 5 mitts, working on the sixth. No idea what I’ll do with them. Maybe I’ll put a pair in my Etsy store, but I’m definitely keeping a pair for myself.
I love using DPNs and this yarn is so soft and squishy it’s a dream to work with and so comfortable and warm to wear. I’ll be all set this winter with my new mitts!
And that’s all I have to share for September. As I gear up for the holidays, I’m sure I’ll have several more WIPs to report on.
Until then, happy crafting! 🙂 🐑
March is National Craft Month, also coincidentally, National Crochet Month (NaCroMo, for short).
I decided a fun thing to do this year to celebrate would be learning new stitches all month long. Almost like a stitch-a-day challenge, but probably more like every other day or so. No pressure. 😀
I started things off yesterday with the crochet Crunch Stitch. A pretty combo of the half-double crochet and slip stitch that looks perfect for placemats. I think I might make up a few after my little stitch challenge is over.
Here is my test swatch of the crunch stitch. I like this stitch a lot!