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  • Moogly Shows You How to Crochet the Openwork Shawl!

    How to Crochet the Openwork Shawl by Lion Brand Yarn!

    by Tamara Kelly, www.mooglyblog.com
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    Lion Brand Yarn has a plethora of free crochet patterns on their site, and one of the best ones for beginning crocheters is the Openwork Shawl! It uses simple stitches combined with a gorgeous yarn to stunning effect. Of course, it's great for experienced crocheters as well - a pattern that is relaxing to crochet with a beautiful one skein result!

    To begin, you'll want to grab the Openwork Shawl pattern here on Lion Brand Yarn, as well as the materials listed: one ball of Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, a US-J, 6.0mm hook, and a yarn needle and scissors - though you won't need the needle and scissors until the very end. Then, you can follow along with the photo tutorial below... or go all the way to the end for the video tutorial!

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 1

    Step 1: Like most crochet patterns, you begin with a slip knot! This is implied, not spelled out in most written patterns.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 2

    Step 2: Chain 67. Remember that the loop on your hook is NOT included in this count!

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 3

    Step 3: Double crochet into the 5th chain from the hook. You can go into whichever part of the chain you prefer for this, but do your best to be consistent as you work back across the chain.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 4

    Step 4: Then we begin the way we'll continue all the way across - chain 1, then skipping the next chain, double crochet in the next chain after that. Then chain 1, skip the next chain, and double crochet in the next chain... over and over again, until you end up with a double crochet in the very last chain.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 5

    Step 5: To being Row 2, you chain 4. This chain 4 will "count as" a double crochet stitch and a chain 1. Sound familiar?

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 6

    Step 6: Next, you skip over the chain 1 in Row 1 below, and double crochet in the next double crochet. Do your best to go under both loops of the stitch.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 7

    Step 7: From here, it's just the same - chain 1, skip the next chain, double crochet in the next double crochet... repeating all the way to the end of Row 2! The very last stitch of Row 2 will go in the top of the chain 3 that represented the first dc of Row 1. So, skip the chain closest to the last Row 1 double crochet, and put you last Row 2 double crochet in the chain right after that.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 8

    NOTE! To keep track and make sure your shawl will have even sides, don't forget to count your stitches! Including the chain 3 that counts as a double crochet, you should have 33 double crochets in each row. 

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 9

    Step 8: Repeat what you did for Row 2 to make Row 3 and beyond (steps 5-7). Keep going until you don't have enough yarn left to make a whole nother row. Here's where we use the scissors and needle - cut off the excess remaining yarn, leaving about 6 inches after the last stitch. Pull this end through the last loop on the hook to secure it, and weave in the ends with the yarn needle! You can see a demo of this - as well as the rest of the shawl - in the video below!

    And that's all there is to making the Openwork Shawl from Lion Brand Yarn! I hope this tutorial has helped you feel ready to tackle this lovely free crochet pattern!

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  • Thank Goodness for Grannies!

    Tamara Kelly of Moogly Blog shares new takes on this classic crochet staple!

    Granny squares, and the granny stitch, haven't always gotten a lot of love - maybe because they got so much love in the '70s! But fresh modern colors and creativity make the granny square hot over and over again, and with it's versatility and simplicity, it will always have something new to offer! Here are 7 fantastic free crochet patterns that show just how lucky we are to have our "grannies!"

    1. Mini Granny Square Bookmarks - The perfect small project for summer crocheting - and summer beach reading!
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    2. Multi-Color Granny Square Shawl / Scarf - Summer ready for all those times your shoulders need just a little something!
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    3. Diagonal Granny Afghan - Turned on their side and dripping with fringe - the perfect boho blanket!
    4. Corner Granny Afghan - A new spin on the classic!
    5. Graphic Statement Cardigan - Bold black and white grannies are right on trend!
    6. Brand New Baby Sweater and Hat - Clever construction means if you can crochet a granny square, you can make this sweater!
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    7. Rosehill Cottage Afghan - Ripples plus grannies equals gorgeous!
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    To me, granny squares are like tangram puzzles - a simple shape that, when turned and combined and used creatively, can surprise you with what you can do! What's your favorite granny project? Which of these has made it onto your summer crochet list?

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  • Travel Tips for Crocheters and Knitters from Moogly!

    Travel Tips for Crocheters and Knitters from Moogly!

    by Tamara Kelly of  www.mooglyblog.com

    Summer time is fun time - and that can mean lots of travel! Us yarny folks don't travel without our crochet and knitting - so here are some great tips to make it a little bit easier this year!

    1. If you are flying, check the latest TSA rules, as well as the rules for any country you are flying to!

    Hooks and needles are officially allowed in carry-ons by the TSA, but stick with aluminum, wood or plastic if you can - those tiny steel hooks don't always get a pass! Scissors are another concern. According to the TSA site, "Metal with pointed tips and a blade length greater than four inches measured from the fulcrum are not allowed." So stick to small sewing scissors or children's scissors to be safe. You can read more about what the TSA allows on their site. Of course, the TSA is only in charge in the US - traveling outside the country means researching the rules there too.

    1. Pack up your project and supplies securely!

    Whether it's a long drive with multiple stops, or a flight to an exotic destination (or grandma's house), you don't want to be fumbling through your luggage looking for your needles in this pouch, and your yarn in that other bag... Get organized before you leave the house! Make sure your project bag closes securely, and your notions pouch as well. Don't lose your hook and get stuck being unable to play with your yarn! Then pack it on top of the other items in your carry-on for easy access!

    1. Leave your most precious items at home!

    We all love to treat ourselves on vacation! But that expensive hand-carved hook, great grandma's scissors, and premium luxury fibers should probably stay at home. Even if it's allowed by the TSA, you might end up with someone who isn't playing by the rules. Add in the risk of theft and leaving it in the hotel room, and it can be a gamble! If you can't bear the thought of losing it, leave it behind.

    1. Don't forget the stitch markers!

    Unless you're saving it for that long day at the beach, you're going to be starting, and stopping, and starting that project throughout the trip. Use stitch markers in the active loop of your crochet, or loops of your knitting, to keep your work from coming undone during the journey. And pack a couple extras - they have a way of disappearing!

    1. Don't forget the pattern either!

    You can't always depend on finding free WiFi! If it's an online pattern, you can print it out using PrintFriendly.com, or download it to your phone. If it's from a book (and you don't want to bring the whole book), you can make copies of those pages to travel with - just remember that those copies are for personal use only!

    1. Plan a good travel project!

    Blankets and sweaters are fun to make, but that doesn't mean the passenger next to you wants to wear it. Make sure that your project is something you can keep on your own lap. Motifs, socks, and other small items are great for travel - small and quick, and you can put the finished ones in your packed luggage to lighten the load on your way home!

    1. Prepare your yarn for travel too!

    Lightweight yarns are a great bet for travel - more yardage for the weight and space! It can also be a good idea to pick a yarn that pulls easily from the center, or use a yarn winder or nostepinne to make the skein into a center pull ball. Asking the people 10 rows back in the airplane to pass your yarn back to you under the seats is not a good time. And who knows what's on that floor - ew!

    1. Bring a backup project!

    I've learned this one myself the hard way! Getting to a destination and finding out the one project you brought isn't going to work out is a real bummer. Something simple like a ball of Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton means you can whip up an impromptu market tote to hold your souvenirs or some dishcloths for your host - and save your down time!

    1. If you're traveling with kids, bring an extra little ball of yarn for them!

    Whenever we travel as a family, as soon as I pull out my project the kids want to get involved too! This is a great opportunity to teach them how to finger crochet or finger knit. It keeps them busy during travel times, and it's so fun to craft together! And isn't that what family vacations are all about?


    We both know yarn is way more distracting that texting. Let's all get home safe this year, okay?


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