Crocheted placemats in red, green, and white with a tea pot

A New Crochet Pattern, a WIP Update, a Sneak Peek

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I last posted. Time flies when you’re crafting! πŸ˜€

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

4 crocheted placemats designed and constructed by Catherine Chant on a kitchen table

This pattern uses the wonderful KnitPicks Dishieβ„’ 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.

Two square crochet pattern swatches in red, green, and white yarn

WIP Update

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! πŸ˜€ And sometimes, as you can see from the last picture, a WIP is still waiting to come out of the supplies box!

Pink knitted baby blanket with hearts on it

Plymouth Encore Baby Blanket

Pink knitted baby sweater

Raglan Baby Sweater

Knitted block motifs for a fall blanket

Knit Simple 2018 KAL Blanket

Crocheted shawll in light blue

Wild Wheat Crochet Shawl using Knit Crate Ice Pop yarn

Irish Crochet Motif Shawl in shades of purple

Irish Crochet Shawl (Crochet World April 2018)

Box with balls of yarn still in wrapping

Shania Shawl kit, Craftsy.com

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.

Crochet Hotpad prototyle by Catherine Chant

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! πŸ˜€

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September WIPs

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.

Zadie Sweater KAL Body in progress

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.

Two Sleeves at once with Magic Loop

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. πŸ™‚

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.)

Wonder Woman Shawl

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. πŸ™‚

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, IΒ  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.

Autumn Swirl Scarf wet blocking

I chose to use Manos Del Uruguay Fino yarn in a beautiful variegated hand-dyed green (like leaves) and the scarf came out beautifully.

 

Autumn Swirl Scarf

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! πŸ™‚ Hmmm….

Filatura Di Crosa Zara Fingerless Mitts

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this yarn. I receive it and the pattern in one of Jimmy Beans Wool Big Beanie Bags and then went and ordered more online.

Fingerless Mitt on hand

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! πŸ™‚Β  πŸ‘

 

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Celebrating National Craft Month With a New Stitch-a-Day Challenge

National Craft Month LogoMarch 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. πŸ˜€

If you’d like to follow along and try some of the new stitches I find with me, join me on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram where I’ll be posting about my efforts.

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!

Swatch of the crunch stitch with pink yarn

My Crunch Stitch Swatch

 

New Year, New Yarn, New Stitch

During the fall I fell in love with Jimmy Beans Wool‘s online store, where I’d gone to purchase lots of Cascade 220 Sport for the projects I wanted to make from 60 More Quick Knits (Sixth & Spring Books), which I’d received for my birthday over the summer.

While I was there, I signed up for their little sampler club called “Beanie Bags.” One of the samples I received was a a gorgeous vibrant blue yarn, Madelinetosh Vintage Tosh “Lapis.” It was to die for! The blue was exactly like the the stone. So pretty! The pictures here don’t do it justice.

I used my little Tosh sample to make a blue and white Chubby Chirp for the Christmas tree, but I needed just a smidge more yarn for the second wing to finish it. What better excuse than that to buy a whole skein, right? Knitters, I know you will understand. πŸ˜€

Sheep_ChubbyChirp

Of course, once I had the new 200-yd skein and finished the little bird, I had to find a project to use up the rest of it. I found a wonderful pattern called Simple Gifts in a Ravelry store . It’s a gorgeous Fisherman Stitch Scarf (it’s free, as of this writing, and as the title indicates, simple to make.)

As I read the directions, I realized this project would give me a chance to learn a new stitch, so I was very excited to get started. I love learning new things!

The pattern relies heavily on the Knit 1 Below stitch. This video here from New Stitch a Day demonstrates it perfectly (and the Simple Gifts pattern includes pictures to guide you, as well).

After I watched this video, away I went! And the results are looking great!.

Lapis Blue Fishinerman Stitch Scarf in Madeline Tosh Vintage yarn

It’s an easy pattern to work. You can do it while watching TV or other distraction -inducing activities, and it works up quickly.

As you can see, I’m down to a wee little ball* of my Madelinetosh yarn, so I’ll have a finished picture to post soon.

Happy Knitting! πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘

 

*I cut the fringe for the scarf first so I could knit to the end of the ball without worrying if I’d have enough yarn left or when to stop the scarf.

 

 

 

Crochet Spotlight: Edwardian Gowns, Part 3

Last month, I showcased two Edwardian style gowns from the Annie’s Attic Bridal Trousseau collection (1995). This month I have one more gown from that collection to show and then another Edwardian gown from the pattern collection that came out the following year, the Edwardian Lady Collection (1996).

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, lt blue with white lace

Bridal Trousseau Collection

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, lt blue with white lace-side view

Turn of the Century Afternoon Frock

This dress in shades of blue and white is definitely one of my favorites. I love the ribbed ruffle along the bottom, the ruffle neckline and especially the lace curls along the skirt.

The following year another Edwardian gown collection came out from Annie’s Attic and below is Miss October:

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, aqua with black lace

Promenade Costume

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, aqua with black lace

Edwardian Lady Collection

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, aqua with black lace

This pattern originally called for pink thread with black accents, but I decided to go with aqua instead of pink (You may have noticed from some of my previous posts that I have a thing for aqua and black).

The major trim accent on this dress is crocheted cord. I love working with that. It’s easy to create and you can make it the exact length you need (no measuring/cutting necessary as with store-bought trim) and it also blends in well with the rest of dress beacuse it’s the same material, and it’s easy to make the ends look seamless.

I love the hat for this outfit. If you read my post about the Gone With the Wind dress with the feathers, you know how I feel about those πŸ˜€ but the hat shown here wasn’t too bad. I only needed to cut the boa once, so there wasn’t too much “debris” floating around afterward.

Many of my previous dress models have been blonds and brunettes, but I specifically chose a red haired doll to wear this outfit because I loved how her hair stands out against the aqua color.

Both of these patterns are out of print now, but you can find copies for sale on eBay and Etsy quite frequently.