Fighting the Growth in Your Crochet Garments

Now I’m not talking about the improvement of your skills in crocheting the garments…  that kind of growth is always a good thing!  I always say when you stop learning and improving, you stop living!

What I’m really talking about is when you’ve crocheted a garment, that you really really love, and then over time, it doubles in size… which is so dang depressing after you spend all the time and money to create that wonderful wearable!

Let me tell you a little story…

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Several years ago, I made this fantastic Glamour Fusion Blouson sweater designed by Glamour 4 You – and I was IN LOVE with this top.  I mean seriously GOO GOO GA GA!!!  Great texture, the fit was perfect, and it could be worn year round with a long sleeve tee under it.  It was one of the first garments I made to actually be worn out in public.   Man, I was so proud of it!  I wore it a bunch of times before I finally decided to wash it.

I tossed that bad boy right in the washing machine, and then the dryer, because the yarn label said I could.  What came out of the dryer was nothing short of heartache! There was no damage per se, but the sweater had grown 2-3 sizes!  When I crocheted it, I wore a size L, but it came out about a 2X/3X, and it was no longer wearable.  Lemme tell you – I was crushed!  I double checked the yarn labels, and yep, it said I could wash and dry.  But, alas, what I learned was this is another instance of “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”  Stupidly I tossed the sweater, which is really unfortunate!  Because I am now a 2X/3X and would totally rock that oversized beauty right now, LOL!

I had the same thing happen last year with a cardigan I was knitting.  Remember that post about dyeing the 8 year sweater?  If you haven’t read it, go read it now!  It’s a hoot!  Anyway, that cardigan started out as a size L too, but by the time I went through all the dramatic steps you can read about in that post, it too fits me fine now as a 2X/3X.

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And because I love y’all so much, I’m going to share a few tips I’ve gathered along the way that will help you to avoid this kind of heartache with your crochet garments.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Even though the yarn label says you can machine wash and dry, the label is referring to the fiber itself and whether or not the fiber will be damaged by the process.  But the yarn manufacturers  have no way to know what you will create with it or the stitches you will use.  The process of washing and drying in the machine involves a lot of agitation, tumbling, and weight from the water…. all of which put tension on the stitches causing them to stretch.  So if you are going to machine wash/dry your crochet garments, put it on gentle cycle and use a drying rack with the dryer on fluff/no heat.  Ideally it’s best to hand wash and lay flat to dry, but if that’s not an option gently cycle and rack/no heat are the way to go.

Why no heat you ask?  Well, the heat shouldn’t damage the fiber (if the yarn label says so), but it can cause the fibers to “relax” more than you’d want, which in turn causes the garment to “grow”.

Choose your stitches wisely.

The looser the stitches, the more chance for stretching and growing there’ll be.  That’s not to say that everything you crochet should be a tight dense fabric – quite the opposite!  I am a huge lover of lace & open weave designs… (OO LA LA!)  But if you are going to make a garment with a stitch like that, proper care will be even more critical.

Storage makes a difference.

Do you hang your knitted or crochet garments in the closet?  I did, because it takes up much less space…  I mean who has the room for a bunch of bulky folded sweaters?!?!  Well, if you don’t have room now, make room!  Gravity uses the weight of the yarn to gradually pull down on the garment, which… you guessed it – can contribute to stretching.  Fold those yarny treasures and store them on a shelf.

What  it all boils down to is this….  if you spend the time and money (and let’s face it, blood, sweat, and tears..) to create lovely wearable works of art, go the extra mile to take care of them and help them last a long time.  Treat those babies like the fragile treasures they are…  trust me, you’ll thank me later!

XOXO

Shelley

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New Pattern Release – Dainty Daisy Baby Blanket

I don’t usually think of summer time as the perfect blanket making weather…  Autumn & winter are what come to mind when I think of being able to snuggle under a bunch of yarn as I hook the night away.  But, babies are born year round…  And babies need to be all snuggly buggly (yep, that’s a real term… for reals!) year round!

Daisies symbolize many things in many different cultures, but a common meaning is daintiness, childbirth, and purity.  And I just knew it was perfect for the occasion!

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This is my Dainty Daisy Baby & Lap Blanket!  It was designed as a baby blanket, but at 46″, it is definitely big enough to throw over your legs for a little extra comfort.

The pattern features lots of great texture mixed with some basic stitching and fun joining methods that make it enjoyable for novice and experienced crocheters alike!

If you check out my Ravelry store and use the code DAISY18, you can get your copy for 50% off through Sunday June 10th!

Happy Hooking!

XOXO – Shelley

P.S. Here are some fun examples from my testers!

Serenity Spa Washcloth – FREE PATTERN!

I have been sitting on this pattern for awhile, but I kept getting sidetracked from getting it published.  I traveled to visit people, people traveled here to visit us, fungus amongus invaded, spring cleaning… and after all that, I’ve been just plain tired!!!  And what do we all usually dream of when we’re exhausted and worn out???  Yep – a spa day!

I don’t know about you, but money doesn’t grow on any of the trees in my yard, so that week-long luxurious spa vacation is still a pipe dream for me, LOL!  So I went with the next best idea and designed a really simple yet elegant washcloth that just feels so lovely!  And I thought to myself… “Self, I bet all your hundreds of thousands of friends would love to feel this awesomeness too! And if you give it to them for free, they’ll love you forever!”  Hehehe, you will, right?!?!

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This washcloth will remain free here on my blog, but if you purchase the ad-free PDF, you’ll be getting 2 bonus patterns for a back scrubber and a face scrubbie!  Check it out in my Ravelry shop!

Skill level: Intermediate
Yarn weight: #4 worsted weight

Yarn in sample: Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton in Pistache

Amount of Yarn Needed: approx. 120 yds
Hook size: G (4.25 mm)
Gauge: 4sc and 4 rows sc = 1” (but gauge is not important)
Additional materials: yarn needle, scissors
Finished size: 8-9”
Notes: Gauge is not important, but if you don’t meet gauge, your finished size and amount of yarn used may be different.

Abbreviations:
ch – chain
RS – right side
sc – single crochet sk – skip
st – stitch
WS – wrong side yo – yarn over

Special Stitches:
Puff – (yo, insert hook into st, yo, pull up loop, yo, pull through 2 loops on hook) 3 times, yo, pull through all 4 loops on hook

Washcloth

Ch 36
R1  starting in 2nd ch from hook, sc across (35 sc)
R2 (and all even rows) ch1, sc across, turn (35 sc)

R3  ch1, sc in same st, puff in next st,*sc in next st, puff in next st, repeat across to last st, sc in last st, turn (18 sc, 17 puff)
R5  ch1, sc in same st, puff in next st, sc in next 31 sts, puff in next st, sc in last st, turn (33 sc, 2 puff)
R7  Rep R5
R9  ch1, sc in same st, puff in next st, sc in 5 sts, (puff in next st, sc in next st) 11 times, sc in next 4 sts, puff in next st, sc in last st, turn (22 sc, 13 puff)
R11  ch1, sc in same st, puff in next st, sc in next 5 sts, puff in next st, sc in next 19 sts, puff in next st, sc in next 5 sts, puff in next st, sc in last st, turn (31 sc, 4 puff)
R13  Rep R11
R15  ch1, sc in same st, (puff in next st, sc in next 5 sts) twice, (puff in next st, sc in next st) 4 times, (puff in next st, sc in next 5 sts) twice, puff in next st, sc in last st, turn (26 sc, 9 puff)
R17, 19, 21, 23  Rep R15
R25, 27  Rep R11

R29  Rep  R9
R31, 33  Rep R5
R35  Rep R3
R37  ch1, 3sc in same st, *sc across to last st, 3sc in last st, rotate 90 degrees, rep from * twice more, sc to end, slst to 1st sc to join, fasten off and weave in ends
Voila!
Grab your hook and favorite cotton yarn, and start hooking your washcloths!  They work up fast, and you’ll be enjoying your own private spa day in no time!
XOXO – Shelley

ChiaoGoo Circular Needle Case – Product Review

You guys might not know this, but my birthday was yesterday.  Yep, I am now the ripe old age of 46!  There are lots of pros and cons to aging, but one thing that just makes my heart happy to be middle aged is that my husband and I have learned how to shop for each other.  Or rather, we have learned how to make sure we get exactly what we’ve asked for, LOL!  Before I explain, you should know this post contains affiliate links 🙂

Anyway, I have posted several times before about how much we love and use Amazon – especially now that it is hard for me to leave the house much.  Prime shipping is super fast, and I can shop in my jams from the comfort of my recliner!  And, the hubs and I have really embraced the Wish List feature as well.  And not just for Christmas either!  We have multiple lists – ones that we use for others to shop for us, ones that we want to shop for others, and ones that we buy from when we have a little extra pocket money.  And let me tell ya, this sure came in handy for my birthday!

One of the items on my list was this ChiaoGoo Circular Knitting Needle Case

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It has a small zipper pocket on the outside and  a large zipper closure around the outside of the entire case.  When it’s opened, it lays flat and you’re able to flip through all of your needles, sort of like a circular needle rolodex!

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And it’s super easy to get your needles in and out!  Each little pouch has a little velcro closure on the side to keep the needles from falling out or getting damaged… they stay tucked in safe and sound 🙂

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And if you’re like me, you may have more than one set of the same size needles… but never fear!!!  These pouches have room for multiple sets…  at least on these smaller sizes.  I have to confess that I haven’t tried putting more than one of the larger sizes in together, but that’s because I still have those on my shopping list, LOL!  I hope to remedy that though, because I tell ya…  knitting with 11-14″ straight needles is becoming a thing of the past… for me at least!  Circulars are much easier to finagle and they don’t get caught on whatever is within arms’ reach 🙂

So if you’re looking for something to hold your circular needles, I highly recommend this case!  And if you click on the image below to shop for yours, I would OH SO MUCH appreciate it, as it does help me earn just a few pennies 🙂

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Thank you all for stopping by my blog!  If you have a product you’d like me to review, feel free to comment or find me on Facebook to let me know!

XOXO – Shelley

New Pattern Release – FurEver Love Knit Scarf

I don’t know about you, but I am and have been my whole life a dog person!  We always had dogs as a kid, and I have both a pet dog (a Shih-Tzu Poodle mix named Piper) and a service dog (a black lab pit bull mix named Bella).  And let me tell you, aside from my own kids and grandkids, they are the center of my world!

So I just HAD to design a pattern in tribute to my fur-babies!

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This is my brand new FurEver Love Knit Scarf!

The pattern features primarily knit and purl stitches in a pattern that gives a heart shaped paw print detail.  There are also very thin cables on each side that provide a fantastic frame for the paw prints.  Cowls, traditional scarves, infinity scarves – any length is possible!

Hop on over to my Ravelry shop where you can save $1 on your copy with code FURKNIT  through 2/9/18!

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And keep your eyes peeled – a crochet version will be coming soon!

XOXO – Shelley

 

Valentine’s Day Treat Bag – FREE PATTERN!

Do you have little mini-you people that need some fun little treats for Valentine’s Day?  Do you have a stash of scrap yarn you don’t know what to do with?  Well I am here to save the DAY!!!

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This little gem works up so fast – you can make enough for a whole classroom in one evening!  You can fill them with candy hearts, stickers, lollipops, or anything else you’d like to give as treats 🙂

The pattern will remain free here on my blog, but if you’d like to purchase an ad-free PDF containing lots of different tester samples and photo tutorial for only $1.00, you can visit my Ravelry shop!

Skill level: Easy
Yarn weight: #4 Worsted
Yarn in sample: Caron One Pound
Amount of Yarn Needed – scrap amounts
Hook size: G (4.25mm)
Gauge: not important 🙂
Additional materials: yarn needle
Finished size laid flat: approx. 5 inches wide x 4 inches tall from center between humps down to bottom point
Notes: Since gauge is not important, you can use any yarn/hook combination you like.

Abbreviations
beg – beginning ch – chain
lps – loops
rem – remaining
rep – repeat
sc – single crochet
sc2tog – single crochet 2 together st – stitch

Hearts (make 2)

Ch2

R1  sc in 2nd ch from hook, turn (1)
R2  ch1, 3sc in same st, turn (3)
R3  ch1, 2sc in 1st st, sc to last st, 2sc in last st, turn (5)
R4-7 repeat R3 (st count will increase by 2 each row)
R8  ch1, sc across, turn (13)
R9  repeat R3 (15)
R10  repeat R8 (15)
R11  repeat R3 (17)
R12  repeat R8 (17)
R13  repeat R3 (19)
R14  repeat R8 (19)
R15  repeat R3 (21)
R16-17 repeat R8, do not fasten off after R17 (21)

Right Hump
R1  ch1, sc in 10 sts, leaving the rest unworked, turn (10)
R2  ch1, sc2tog over 1st 2 sts, sc to last 2 sts, sc2tog over last 2 sts, turn (8)
R3-4  repeat R2, ending stitch count should be 4 sts, fasten off

Left Hump
Join yarn in 2nd st to left of last st of Right Hump R1.

R1 ch1, sc in same st as join and last 9 sts, turn (10)
R2-4 repeat the instructions for Right Hump

Border

Join yarn in the unworked sc between the humps. Work 1 round of sc around the heart, working 2sc where necessary around curves and 3sc in point at the bottom of the heart. Fasten off.

Assembly

**Note** if any embellishments are desired (see Finishing section below), it is easiest to complete those before assembling hearts together.

Lay hearts on top of each other with wrong sides together. Join yarn on the left side at the widest part of the heart, making sure to work through both layers.

R1  Ch1, work sc evenly through both hearts down to the point at the bottom of the hearts, work 3sc in the point, and then work sc evenly up the other side to the widest part across from yarn join, Ch50 (or number of chains to achieve desired length) to create handle, do not turn

R2  sc in 1st sc from R1 and in each sc down to the point, work 3sc in the center of the point, sc in each sc up the other side, work 50 sc (or same number as ch) around ch handle, slst to 1st sc to join, fasten off

Finishing

Weave in all ends. If desired, you can backstitch words, names, or other designs on the hearts to add a personal touch! You can also add a fun tassel to the point

Think outside the box with this one, guys!  Treat bags are just the beginning!  One of my testers used the pattern to make Valentine’s coasters, and even a giant pillow made with Bernat Blanket yarn!

Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

XOXO – Shelley

Crochet Along With Me & Happily Hooked Magazine!

Have you ever wanted to create a project but worried you might need a little extra guidance along the way?  Have you ever wanted to participate with a group for fellowship and celebrating everyone’s accomplishments?  What about having the chance to win some really awesome prizes?

Well I am so thrilled to announce that I will be hosting the February Crochet Along with Happily Hooked Magazine!!!

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Together we will be hooking my Berry Swirl Slouch which was published in the January 2017 edition of Happily Hooked Magazine.

The pattern features some great color changes and fun stitch patterns that give the slouch delightful texture and visual appeal!

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If you already have the pattern, you are ahead of the game!  If not, visit the Happily Hooked Crochet Along page to purchase the January 2017 issue of the magazine.

You can also purchase the pattern directly from my Ravelry shop here!

Once you have the pattern in hand, head on over to the Happily Hooked CAL Facebook group and join in on the fun!

See you there!!

XOXO – Shelley

The Nitty Gritty on Dyeing the 8 Year Sweater

Before I get into the low down of dyeing this type of fiber, I should really give you the back story on why I had to do it in the first place…

Picture it, Sicily 1927, a little town north of Chattanooga TN in the summer of 2009… I was in Hobby Lobby, on the hunt for a new knitting project.  I bought a magazine, some skeins of acrylic yarn, and some appropriately sized circular needles.  It’s probably fitting to also admit that it was to be my first knitted garment, not counting the crudely crafted “halter top” I designed when I was 13. (trust me, that halter top is yet another example of why I am glad the internet was not around when I was a kid, LOL!) 

I had originally bought enough yarn per the pattern instructions, but over the years, the project was shoved in a plastic bag, unfinished, and left to gather dust.  And during that time, I robbed a skein or 2 for other projects, never imagining I would actually go back and finish the sweater.  Fast Forward to November 2017… Christmas is on the horizon, money is extremely tight, and I am going through my large mound of WIPs (works in progress) to select projects to finish and give as gifts.  In the back of the closet was this plastic bag containing a nearly finished sweater on old plastic circular needles, 1 skein of yarn, and a magazine that is so old it’s starting to yellow.  My sister-in-law immediately came to mind, and I knew this sweater would make the perfect gift for her!

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After spending a little time reviewing the pattern and counting stitches and rows, I figured out where I had left off, and the knit & purl & cable tango began.  So far so good, right?  I mean, that’s a major accomplishment since this baby had been in the bag for years!  Finish the front shoulder that was missing – CHECK!!  Bind all that off – CHECK!! Knit the 1st sleeve – CHECK!  Knit the second slee— OH CRIPES!!!  I ran out of yarn 😦  Remember when I said I robbed skeins?  Well, it came back to bite me… and HARD!  Luckily, though, the brand and color are still available, so I sent the hubs back to Hobby Lobby to bail me out.

When he got home, I cast on the remaining sleeve, and, when it was all sewn together, it was VERY evident that the dye lots were wayyyyyy off.  Even in the poorly lit living room in the evening, I could tell.  Heck, Stevie Wonder could tell it didn’t match!  I guess color matching after 8 years between dye lots was too much to ask, LOL…

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Of course the obvious solution would have been to frog back to a point where I could have added the change in yarn as a design element, but there was NO WAY IN H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS that I was going to frog one single stitch…  UH-UH, NO WAY, NO HOW!  Every single stitch in this 8 Year Sweater was precious to me!

You all have seen that I dye wool blends, but I had never tried to dye acrylic.  I thought “meh – how hard could it be?”  Welllllllllllllll….  Apparently acrylic and other synthetic fibers are not dyeable in the traditional sense.  Every bit of information I found said the only way to change the color would be to “paint” the yarn with acrylic paint.  And after reviewing the process, it didn’t sound like it would make me happy.  A friend happened to recommend that Rit had a new dye for synthetic fibers called Rit DyeMore.  Skeptical but desperate, I sent a silent prayer up to the Lord, and submitted my order on Amazon.  In just a couple of days, I was ready to go!

I gathered my giant pot, the Rit dye, and the dish soap, and again said another prayer.

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First, I had to bring some water to boil, and while I was waiting for that, wash the sweater in the sink to get all residue off.

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When the water reached 180 degrees, I added one bottle of dye and the dish soap.  I ordered 2 – thank the Lord, and you’ll see why in a minute.  But to start, I just used 1.  Submerge the sweater and then continuously stir, scoop with tongs, dunk, swish, swirl for 30 minutes… that’s what the bottle said, and I thought “meh – easy enough”.  Well, it only took about 5 minutes for my arms to feel like they were about to fall off!  I held out for as long as I could, but after 20 minutes I couldn’t take it anymore and called it done.

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Time to hand wash and rinse in the sink to get all the dye out.  And much to my dismay… ALOT of the dye went right down the drain instead of into the fiber.  Some of it did stick, but it was pretty splotchy and inconsistent.  And the worst of it was I could still tell the sleeve was a different color.  But, just like your hair looks different when it’s totally dry, I was hopeful that once the sweater was dry, the colors would appear to have blended better.  So I laid it out on the towel and let it dry.

Later in the day, it became abundantly clear that nothing changed – it was still splotchy.  My only hope was the 2nd bottle.  What did I have to lose?  If it didn’t work, the sweater was headed for the dumpster because I was getting FED. UP.  Did I mention how much of a pain in the RUMP all that dunking and stirring is?  groan!

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The second time around, I made SURE that the water stayed at 180 degrees.  I watched the time and diligently stirred for the entire 30 minutes, which incidentally resulted in a really bad sprain and a visit to the orthopedic surgeon.  I’ll be going for nerve conduction studies too to determine if I have to have carpal tunnel surgery, but hey – I digress!  Suffice it to say I really have a lot invested in this sweater, LOL!

After the 2nd round of cooking, the color change looked significantly better!  There are still spots that look a bit “marbled”, but at least the sleeve and border did not look like a completely different color.  Once again, I laid the sweater out on the towel and left it overnight to dry.

The next day, having decided to be ok with the color, I held the sweater up and quickly realized I was a little over zealous when blocking the sweater.  It grew from a size L to a size 3-4X…  ENTIRELY too big for my sister-in-law.  I said a lot of swear words, and put the sweater in time out.  And my husband picked up the slack and went to buy her a gift.

Last night, I thought I would try one final life-saving intervention to see if the sweater could be salvaged.  I through it in a net bag and ran it through the machine was and dryer.  Remember – it’s acrylic so it’s machine washable 🙂  I didn’t expect it to shrink, but my hope was that at least the fibers would redistribute a little more evenly.  I am SO GLAD I was patient and held out, because, even though the sweater is still a bit big, even on me and has some marbled spots, it is finally wearable!  Yay!!!!  I need to adjust the buttons a bit to compensate for the variance in the side lengths (I told you I was over zealous, lol), but over all, I will have a “new” sweater for Spring time!

The moral of this story is this….  buy enough yarn for the entire project.  And then LEAVE IT ALONE!  If you do decide to rob from the yarn supply, scrap the project or plan how to incorporate a new dye lot IN ADVANCE.  Trust me… You’ll thank me later, LOL!  All in all, I would say the Rit DyeMore was a success, but not worth the effort unless it’s a dire emergency 🙂

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12 Days of Christmas 2017

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Can you believe there are only 12 more days till Christmas?  I mean seriously, it seems like I blinked and this whole year passed!  But just like so many of you, Christmas is such a magical time for me – all over again now that I have grand babies.  11 of my favorite designer friends have their own Christmas spirit – and we are so stinking excited to bring you our version of the 12 Days of Christmas.

And yours truly is kicking things off….

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On the 1st day of Christmas, The Blue Star Boutique (that’s me) gave to you:

My brand new pattern – the Candy Twist Children’s Cape for only $1.00!

Candy Twist Cape Collage

This cape is so darling!!!  And believe me, I’m not just saying that because my granddaughter is such a cute model (although really, can you stand the cuteness overload?!?!?!)  The cable loops remind me of Christmas candy twists, and there are elements of lace that brings a touch of the Victorian era back to life.

The pattern features sizes Toddler (1-3), Child (4-10) and Preteen/Teen (11-15), so all the young ladies in your life are covered!

All you have to do to claim your copy for only $1 is click this link and enter code PARTRIDGE and your cart will be adjusted!  This code is good through Christmas Eve, so if Santa comes early and leaves a little moulah in your stocking, this adorable cape can be yours!  And if not, no worries – it’ll still be available at regular price of $4.95.

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On the 2nd day of Christmas, Sweet Potato Crochet Creations gave to you:

Her brand new pattern – the “Check” Me Out Bag!

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You can get the pattern for this snazzy bag, and any other pattern in her Ravelry shop, for 50% off with code 2TURTLEDOVES.  Visit her blog here to read all the details!

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On the 3rd day of Christmas, Ambassador Crochet gave to you:

Her awesome snuggly Arctic Snowdrift Cowl pattern!

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Check out her blog post here to find out how you can grab your copy for only $1!

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On the 4th day of Christmas, Blackstone Designs gave to you:

A big shop-wide 50% off sale!

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The code to use is CALLINGBIRDSgo to her blog to learn how to save BIG!!!

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On the 5th day of Christmas, Glamour4You gave to you:

A shop-wide 50% off sale!

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Visit her blog here to see the different ways to save with code  5GoldenRings!

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On the 6th day of Christmas, Snappy Tots gave to you:

A whole bunch of really cool stuff!

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Go visit her blog to see all the fun goodies she is bringing you today!

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On the 7th day of Christmas, Sweet Potato 3 gave to you:

Her brand new Hygge Wine & Coffee Cozy pattern!

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You can get this amazing versatile pattern for only $1 with code 7Swans, but she’s got even more goodies for you over on her blog.  Go check it out!

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On the 8th day of Christmas, Creative Threads by Leah gave to you:

A huge store-wide sale!
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If you visit her Ravelry store and have $5 or more in your cart, use code 12DaysChristmas to save 70%!

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On the 9th day of Christmas, Yarn Medleys From the Heart gave to you:

A store-wide sale!

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Visit her Ravelry store and use code 9LADIESDANCING to save 50%!

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On the 10th day of Christmas, AllieCat’s Hats and Crafts gave to you:

A store-wide sale and an extra surprise!

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Not only can you save 50% off of all of her patterns through Christmas day, she is giving you the Very Merry Stocking pattern FREE TODAY ONLY with code 10LordsLeaping – so leap on over to her shop!  If you are taking advantage of both offers, please make sure to create 2 separate transactions.

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On the 11th day of Christmas, Crafting Friends Designs gave to you:

A store-wide sale!

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Check out her blog to see how you can save!

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On the 12th day of Christmas, KMT Creations gave to you:

A store-wide BOGO sale!

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Go to her Ravelry store and save big!

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Shelley here…  I want to take a moment and thank you all for staying tuned in and participating with my designer friends and me for the 12 Days of Christmas 2017!  We have had the best time bringing you all the goodies and holiday cheer, and we hope you all have enjoyed celebrating with us!

It’s almost time to get the cookies plated, the milk poured, and the stockings hung by the chimney with care! Be sure you’re on the nice list, because St. Nick soon will be here!

Merry Christmas to all!

And in case you want to keep track of the participating designers, here are their links!

1st Day – The Blue Star Boutique (hey that’s me!)
2nd Day – Sweet Potato Crochet Creations
3rd Day – Ambassador Crochet
4th Day – Blackstone Designs
5th Day – Glamour4You
6th Day – Snappy Tots
7th Day – Sweet Potato 3
8th Day – Creative Threads by Leah
9th Day – Yarn Medley’s From the Heart
10th Day – AllieCat’s Hats and Crafts
11th Day – Crafting Friends Designs
12th Day – KMT Creations

Fellow Designer Spotlight – Sweet Potato Crochet Creations

Next up on my Fellow Designer Spotlight series is Carol from Sweet Potato Crochet Creations!

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TBSB:  Hi, Carol!  Tell my readers a little about yourself.

Carol: I’m a wife and a stay at home mom to 2 super energetic kids (4 and 1). When I’m not busy with them, I enjoy crocheting and Netflix binging. I love designing patterns using fun stitch combinations and my kids sometimes help me with my color choices!

TBSB:  At what age did you learn to crochet, and who taught you?

Carol: I was 21 when I first learned how to crochet. I didn’t have any family members around me at the time that knew how to crochet, so I learned the basics from YouTube. After that I taught myself how to read patterns and progressed from there with books, videos, blog posts, and lots and lots of practice!

TBSB:  Don’t you just love that there are so many more resources than there used to be?!?!

TBSB:  When did you start designing?

Carol:  I started designing at the beginning of 2015.

TBSB:  That is impressive, Carol!  Your designs are detailed and lovely, I would have assumed you’d been designing forever! What are your favorite things to design?

Carol: Hats – I love making hats. I really enjoy smaller projects that give me instant gratification, and for me, hats give exactly that!

TBSB:  Where do you find your inspiration?

Carol: I find inspirations from a lot of different things! I love skimming through Pinterest to get ideas. Even shopping helps ignite a spark! I also have several stitch books that I like to peruse through. Sometimes I find myself coming back to a stitch several times and just NEED to make something with it. People I know also inspire ideas and designs for me. I have a few designs that were made for a specific person in mind (Aidan’s Sunhat-my son picked the stitches for this one!, Olivia’s Sunhat, The Amelia Sundresses and my Chelsea Waves Slouch)

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Shelley here……  This is Olivia’s Sunhat that Carol was taking about – check out the awesome texture all over this hat!!!  Totes on my list to make for my granddaughters!

TBSB:  With regard to crochet hooks, are you on Team Bates or Team Boye?

Carol: I’m team Clover Amour! However, if I had to choose between the two, I prefer Bates.

TBSB:  Oh NO, not Bates?!?!  Say it ain’t so, Carol!  LOL!  (Before all the members of Team Bates want to strangle me, I am sure they are just swell, but I personally am not a fan, LOL)

TBSB:  What is your favorite yarn weight/brand to work with?

Carol: I love worsted weight yarn because I find it’s availability to be endless as well as its color options! It feels comfortable in my hands, and I can make almost anything using it. I do love using lighter yarns as well.

TBSB:  Is there a stitch or technique you would like to learn?

Carol: I would love to learn the crocodile stitch or broomstick lace!

TBSB:  What is your favorite tool in your yarny toolbox?

Carol: I love my pom pom makers! I used to make them by hand, and they never came out as good or as round as with my pom pom makers without having to trim them a lot.

TBSB:  I know EXACTLY what you mean – pom pom makers are total game changers!!!

TBSB:  What is your most popular pattern?

Carol:  My most popular free pattern is my Happy Little Elephant Applique, and my most popular paid pattern is my Twilight Horizon Hand and Shoulder Bag.

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This is Carol’s Twighlight Hand and Shoulder Bag – and again the texture is amazing!  Check it out in her Ravelry shop!

TBSB:  Where can readers go to see your work?

Carol:  My Blog (click here to view her blog).  My patterns are for sale on Ravelry (click here to visit Carol’s Ravelry shop), Twitter (click here to follow her on Twitter),  Pinterest (click here to see Carol’s Pins), and Instagram (click here to see her on IG).  I also have a Facebook page (click here to visit Sweet Potato Crochet Creations on FB).

Shelley here again….  If you are looking for a projects that work up fairly quickly yet features textural design elements and great opportunities for color use, Sweet Potato Crochet Creations can definitely meet your needs!  Go show her some love and tell her I sent you!

XOXO