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Homespun

  • Learn to Knit with All About Ami: Garter Stitch

    Since we've been talking for weeks about crocheting after years as a knitter, it's time to give the opposite a chance to shine. Stephanie over at All About Ami, a long-time crocheter, recently started publishing a learn to knit series. It's a great resource for anyone who is looking to give needles a try after years on the hook.

    all-about-ami-simple-knit-series

    It can be tricky to transition between crafts, but it's not impossible. It feels awkward at first, though with enough practice it can start to seem like you've been doing it all along. Easy-to-understand instructions are a huge help, along with patience and determination.

    Fortunately Stephanie's directions are very easy to follow. She starts off by teaching garter stitch, which consists of casting on, doing the knit stitch on every row, and binding off. Her video instructions make the directions even clearer.

    (Trouble viewing? Click here.)

    In the video, she takes you through everything you need to know to make her Simple Garter Stitch Scarf. The scarf is a great basic knit piece that's perfect for a beginner. You only need to know one stitch, but the combination of yarns makes it beautiful and chic. No one will be able to tell it's your very first project!

    To make this scarf, you'll use both Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® Bonus Bundle and Homespun® (you can purchase a kit to make this scarf) and knit on size US 19 (15 mm) needles. Since you'll be holding the two yarns together, you want to get colors that coordinate or match. Stephanie used Thick & Quick® in Fisherman and Homespun® in Hepplewhite, which look luxurious and stylish together. But you can play with color all you want! They don't have to match exactly, but having the two textures in once color adds a bit of depth to the project, which keeps it from looking basic.

    The scarf can be finished off with fringe, though this is optional. If you've never made that before, fear not! Stephanie created a quick but thorough picture tutorial on making it. If you'd prefer, you can also make this into a cowl by stitching the ends together and foregoing the fringe. She provides instructions for that, as well. For either of those, you use a crochet hook to do the finishing, so you'll get to go back to an instrument you feel comfortable using.

    Stephanie's clear, well-written instructions will make learning to knit easy, even if you've only ever crocheted. Her patterns are both simple and chic, so they're exciting first projects to make as well. The All About Ami Simple Knit Series is ongoing, so check back for more.

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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.

    flip-flop-soles-1

    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.

    flip-flop-soles-2

    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

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    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.

    flip-flop-soles-5

    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.

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    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.

    flip-flop-soles-7

    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.

    flip-flop-soles-8

    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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  • Learn to Crochet a Ponytail Hat with Moogly!

    Messy ponytail hats are one of the hottest trends in the online craftiverse right now, and our friend Tamara Kelly (a.k.a. Moogly) has a great pattern you can crochet quickly. It uses one skein of Homespun® yarn -- which is 20% off until January 26 as part of our Made in the USA sale!

    ponytail-beanie

    The Pick Your Pony beanie can be made for anyone ages 3 and up, so if you've got a long-locked kid in your life, this is a perfect project to make for them!

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