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  • Learn to Crochet, Project 3: Three Color Tonal Cowl

    Welcome back to the Learn to Crochet series! Today we'll be making our third project, the Three Color Tonal Cowl.

    learn-to-crochet-roulearn-to-crochet-tonal cowl

    Last week, we covered how to crochet in the round. There are a few methods for doing so, but we focused on the using a slip stitch to attach the end of a round to its beginning. We also discussed how this week's project alters that method by making the slip stitch, then working back in the opposite direction instead of continuing in the round.

    Have You been practicing? Working in the round isn't too difficult, but it can take some getting used to.

    The Tonal Cowl



    For the Three Color Tonal Cowl, you need three skeins of Wool-Ease® Tonal, one each of three different colors. I like the gradient feel of using three similar shades, so I went with Cabernet, Raspberry, and Fuchsia. You could do something similar or make it your own. This would look lovely in three shades of gray (Charcoal, Smoke, and Grey Marble) or with some unrelated brights (Fuchsia, Aqua, and Lime). It's up to you!

    You use a size N-13 (9.0 mm) hook for this. With that size and the chunky yarn, this is actually a pretty quick project.

    The Process

    This cowl is made up of chains and double crochet stitches. That's it! Do them in sequence to get the nice open pattern you see.

    It starts with a ch of 74, which you join with a sl st. Make sure you don't twist the chain when you join it, which is something that took me a few tries.

    After you ch 3 to make the first stitch, you'll dc into the chain all the way around. This shouldn't increase or decrease at all, so make sure you've still got 74 stitches at the end. I find that the first row is the easiest place to inexplicably gain or lose things.

    At the end of each round, you'll sl st into the first stitch, make your turning ch, and turn the piece to work back in the direction you came from.

    On this second round, the turning ch is 4, because it counts as the first dc as well as one ch. You'll only be working into every other stitch, so it goes sk 1 st, dc 1, ch 1. That means you skip over a stitch, dc into the following stitch, and ch 1. The chain stitch makes up for the one you skipped over, so you should have the same size piece at the end of the round.  The next round is all dc, so you work into every stitch and chain from the round before. Don't forget to work back the way you came after your turning ch!

    Changing Yarn

    After doing the two pattern rows a few times, you'll switch colors. We've done this before, in the hat, so you should be able to do it without trouble. Do the sl st in the color you've been working with, then use the new color for your turning ch.

    You'll repeat the same pattern with the new color, then change again. Repeat the pattern with the third color, fasten off, and you're done!

    Of all the projects we're doing for this series, the Tonal Cowl is the one I've gotten the most use out of. I love both the look and feel of Wool-Ease® Tonal, and it's a warm piece to wear on windy winter days in New York. It's tall enough to cover the face, but the open stitching means you won't feel like you're suffocating (and you won't fog your glasses as much). Depending on what else I'm wearing, I can either put the bright Fuchsia side up or the darker Cabernet side. Both look great!

    While making it, I discovered I'm not the only one who likes it. Beware adorable animals who steal your cozy craft projects.

    Up Next

    Next week is our last (!) lesson. We'll be working on increases and decreases, so get your practice yarn and hooks ready! After that we'll be making the Crochet Level 3 Ripple Cowl, which requires two skeins (one in each color) of Heartland®.

    Can you believe we're so close to being done? You're almost a crochet expert!

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  • Shawl in a Ball® is Now On Sale for 20% Off

    Since the weather is already growing warmer, this is a great time to start thinking about light spring projects. What better than something soft and flowy made from Shawl in a Ball®?

    This yarn is 20% off* for the next two weeks. That means you can save while you stock up on supplies for your warm weather knits and crochets. The sale of course includes the eight newer metallic shades, so you can add some shimmer to your style.

    *online only. Sale ends March 9. Not applicable with other offers or coupons.


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  • Cozy Up in Crochet Boots with Flip-Flop Soles

    There's nothing quite so comfy as a soft pair of boots. They can go out, but also double as slippers around the house, and keep you warm and toasty when there's a chill in the air. They are the very embodiment of hygge, and now you can make your own pair with flip-flop soles.


    Jess over at Make and Do Crew has already established herself as the queen of crocheted footwear. This unique set of designs has already gone viral on more than one occasion,  and her newest pattern, the Breckenridge Boots, is another fantastic addition to the family.


    To make the Breckenridge Boots, you will use a pair of flip-flops for the sole. Crochet the foot and shaft in Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick© Bonus Bundle. The trim is made from Homespun®, so it has a great texture to emulate the sheepskin of Ugg boots. You also need a small amount of Vanna's Choice® to match your flip-flop soles for attaching them to the body of the boot.

    Working with Flip-Flop Soles


    You start off the boots by removing the flip-flop straps, then poking holes around the sole to attach the foot. This is done by crocheting around with the Vanna's Choice®. Then you switch to the Thick & Quick®. Jess provides detailed instructions in the pattern. If you want to wear the boots outside, you can glue the plastic plugs from the straps in place after the boots are finished. If you will be using this solely (pun intended) as slippers, that particular step is optional.


    Crocheting into holes on flip-flops is likely a new technique for you, unless you've made one of Jess's previous patterns. However, if you use the image above as a visual cue, it's not as hard as it might seem. If you're worried about messing up, buy more than one pair of flip-flops. They aren't too expensive. Jess also recommends buying your sandals a size smaller than you normally would, to help with the fit of the boots. You should also be crocheting at an extremely tight gauge during the foot portion, so keep an eye on tension as you go.


    Crocheting the Boot

    You'll work the foot in the round, using a slip stitch to join them. The shaft of the boot is done in a couple of pieces. The side seams are where the white "sheepskin" trim will go. You'll sew the buttons on the outside of each boot.


    Once the feet and shafts are complete, move onto the trim and finishing. Jess covers this in detail in the pattern as well. While the effect of Homespun makes it look like these boots are fully lined with fur, they are actually just trimmed. You get the look without the dangers of your feet overheating. You will also attach the buttons, make loops, and, if you wish to, glue the plugs in place within the soles.


    Once you finish, it's time to curl up and get cozy. Put on some comfy leggings and a tee or sweatshirt and sit on the couch on a chilly day. Netflix, tea, pets, and a window overlooking a snowstorm are all optional, but highly recommended.

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