Happy Clappy Crochet

Celebrating Crochet with a Positive Spin

New Patterns Released for Cascade

It has been a while, but I’m happy to say that two new patterns that I designed for Cascade Yarns have been released, and I would like to share them with you here.

The first is the Bloomfield Shawl.

©Cascade Yarns 2016

  ©Cascade Yarns 2016

©Cascade Yarns 2016

©Cascade Yarns 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bloomfield Shawl is a half circle shawl which alternates solid rows of double crochet stitches with increasing bands of lace stitches to create an airy, swingy shawl. The pattern uses Heritage Wave by Cascade Yarns, a fingering weight yarn with color transitions. The yarn does all the colorwork and you just have 4 ends to weave in.

 

The second pattern that was released is the Easy Cable Lace Stole.

©Cascade Yarns 2016

©Cascade Yarns 2016

©Cascade Yarns 2016

©Cascade Yarns 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Easy Cable Lace Stole is a quick project where the crochet stitch pattern give you lots of bang for your buck! The post stitch cross over gives a great texture to the fabric you create, and the nature of the stitch allows for lots of different blocking options, from a tighter stitch to really open and lacy. The project in the picture used a medium block – wanted some openness but didn’t want to lose the texture of the post stitch. You can see the light coming through on the second picture, so you can see how open it is. The yarn used is Longwood Sport by Cascade Yarns, a sport weight yarn with lots of spring. I really liked using this yarn and will be using more of it in the future.

So there you have it – this brings the total number of patterns I have had published up to 30! Thanks for celebrating with me! I can’t wait to see what you crochet!

 

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January Hat Campaign for Halos of Hope

For the past several years, I’ve decided that the first crochet project of the new year would be a hat for donation to Halos of Hope. Why crochet a hat for donation? And why do it for Halos of Hope specifically?  The answer is a personal one. I am a cancer survivor – I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2008. It wasn’t at a stage where it was health threatening or life threatening, but having cancer before the age of 40 makes you sit down and think a bit. My mom is also a cancer survivor. She’s dealt with cancer three times, and it was during the third battle, which was the most serious, that I was introduced to the comfort provided by Halos of Hope. Not only was I able to get a couple hats from Halos for my mom, but I also used my time at chemo treatments with my mom to crochet hats for donation to others.  I also like the idea that the first thing I make isn’t for me, or someone I know, but for the comfort of a stranger, and I think that puts me in a positive mindset for the rest of the year.

 

© Laura Krzak

© Laura Krzak

This year, using scrap yarn donated by my friend Vickie, I used the Reversible Strands Hat crochet pattern by Nancy Smith (link goes to her Ravelry pattern page). I’m a big fan of this pattern, as it is easy to make and you can customize it quite easily. The hat I made uses three colors of grey yarn, from light to dark. Hat as shown is with the rib side out, but you can also wear the hat with the ribs on the inside and the smooth side facing out.

 

 

© Laura Krzak

© Laura Krzak

 

One of the things I like about this pattern is that you can change the ribs, so they can go straight down, like this hat, or you can have them spiral. Since I had more scrap yarn I could use for hats, I decided to try the spiral version and it turned out something like this. Three colors on this one again – mid and light grey on the increase section of the crown, and then a heathered blue for the body of the hat. As I was using yarn scraps, this is a smaller sized hat which would be great for a teen or child.

 

I had posted about my hat adventure to my Facebook page on January 1st, which in turn inspired my friend and local knit and crochet designer Jen Lucas to make a hat as well.

All this stripy hat making was a stroke of great luck, as Halos of Hope is currently running a January Campaign. Called the 7th Annual Stripe It Up January, it encourages crocheters and knitters to dive into that scrap yarn stash we all have and create some hats that will bring comfort and happiness to others. And, if you are unsure of your color pairing abilities, self-striping yarn makes a great hat as well. Check out the Halos website for yarn material choices and hat sizes. All the yarns used in the three pictured hats are acrylic.

© Laura Krzak

© Laura Krzak

It’s not too late to join the campaign! I’d love to know what kind of hats you are creating.

ETA: Halos of Hope is collecting hats until the end of February 2016 for this campaign! Please check out their website for more information.

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Quarterly WIP CAL/KAL Update

Not sure if the work-in-progress CAL/KAL, is for you? Please check out the following information and maybe that will sway you into participating.

Quarterly WIP CAL/KAL Rules & Regulations

1.  Contest will start at 12:01am CST on April 1, 2015 and will end at 11:59pm CST on June 30, 2015. Any entries time stamped after 11:59pm CST on June 30, 2015 will not be eligible for that month’s prize.

2.  There will be THREE prize drawings:

  • one for items finished in April
  • one for items finished in May
  • one for items finished in June

3.  Contest is open to all; International winners will be responsible for any VAT taxes on their prize, but I will pay to ship the prize to you.

 

How can you win?

Starting April 1, 2015, the WIP CAL/KAL Begins blog post will go live. To participate in the CAL/KAL, please do one of the following:

  1. Post a comment to the blog post starting April 1, 2015, which includes your name, email address, and link to a Ravelry project page for the unfinished item.  When you have finished the item and posted that information on the Ravelry project page, comment again on any of the future WIP CAL/KAL blog posts (they will be published weekly) with your name, email address, and link to the Ravelry project page for the now finished item. Each finished item will get you one entry into that month’s drawing.
  2. Not on Ravelry? Comment on the blog posts as listed above, but send an email to decchilddesigns@gmail.com that includes your name, the Project name, Pattern used (if applicable), yarn used, hook / needle size, and attach a picture of the work in progress. When you have completed the item, send me another email with your name, the project name, and a picture of the finished item. Each finished item will get you one entry into that month’s drawing.

I ask for your email so that I can contact you two ways – first, to let you know that I have seen your finished item and that you are entered into the drawing for that month, and second, to notify the winner for that month.

You may have multiple entries for each month, but you are only allowed to win once over the three month period.

Want to increase your chance of winning? I’ll offer you this option. I’m a BIG supporter of Halos of Hope. Send me an email at decchilddesigns@gmail.com letting me know that you have a knitted or crocheted hat for donation. I will respond to your email with an address where you can send the hats. Please include your name and email address on a piece of paper shipped with the hats so I can credit you. Each hat I receive will be eligible for one entry for that month’s drawings. Collected hats will be donated to Halos of Hope at Stitches Midwest in August.  Please see the link for Halos of Hope for information on hat sizes and acceptable yarn choices.

So that’s the contest in a nutshell.  If you have any questions, please comment below and I will answer them as soon as I can. Otherwise, I look forward to see all of the projects that will be completed over the next three months.

 

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Welcome Blog Tour Readers

If you have arrived at this webpage because you read about me on the Crochetville blog tour, I’d like to extend a very warm welcome. I hope you find this blog both informational and entertaining, and that you’ll come back in the future to check out what is going on.

First of all, I love crochet. I love the feeling of calm I can achieve with yarn sliding over my fingers and looping around my hook. I love watching a pattern grow into something beautiful. I love all of the different ways you can crochet – broomstick, tunisian, hairpin, love knot, slip stitch. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish an item. I love the feeling of hope in my heart when I crochet something for charity.

I also believe that crochet can equally co-exist in the crafting world with knitting. Neither craft is “better” than the other. Both create amazing works from incredible designs and should be appreciated for that artistry. Plus, we all like to play with yarn, so why should there be a problem 🙂

I hope you will take a little time and look at previous posts, and that you will share your crochet journey with me in the comments section. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

©Laura Krzak

©Laura Krzak

Okay, now to the stuff you have been waiting for. Last week, I released my very first indie pattern on Ravelry – the What’s Behind the Ivy Cowl. In honor of being part of the Crochetville Blog Tour for the very first time, I am offering this pattern for free for a limited time. Between March 13-31, you can purchase the cowl for free on Ravelry with the coupon code “birthday” – because today is my Mom’s birthday. You may only use the code once during this time period, and after the 31st, it will go back to its regular price.

In addition, anyone who posts a (non-spam) comment on any of my blog posts from today to the 31st will be entered into a drawing to receive three (3) balls of Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in the colors of the winner’s choice. The yarn will be enough to make the cowl pattern I designed.

That’s it for today. I’m really glad you checked out my blog, and I hope you will keep coming back.

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More Quick Crochet Holiday Gifts

On Friday, I posted six pattern links for quick crochet projects that I designed for Cascade Yarns.  Today, I am sharing some of my favorite quick crochet projects that I’ve stitched over the years.  This is going to be a quick post, with all of the links below connected to Ravelry project pages.  Not on Ravelry? You can sign up for free at http://www.ravelry.com

Cable Wrist Warmer by Julee Reeves   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cable-wrist-warmer

Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf by Khebhin Gibbons   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/queen-annes-lace-scarf

Mrs. Murdock’s Mittens by Brenda K.B. Anderson   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mrs-murdocks-mittens

South Bay Shawlette by Lion Brand Yarn   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/south-bay-shawlette

Reversible Strands (hat) for Men by Nancy Smith   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/reversible-strands-for-men-and-women-too

Sous Chef by Marly Bird   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sous-chef

Valentine Romance Headband by Tina Rodriguez   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/valentine-romance-headband

All of the above listed patterns are one to two skein projects – great if you need to do a little stash diving for a last minute gift.

 

Have a favorite quick crochet gift to share? Comment below and post a pattern link if you can. I look forward to seeing what you share.

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