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  • How to Crochet the Sweet Baby Afghan!

    by Tamara Kelly,

    Even the simplest stitch patterns pop with the use of self-striping yarns! And Lion Brand's Ice Cream® and the granny stripe stitch make the perfect pair. This stitch is the basis for the Sweet Baby Afghan, and this is how you make it!


    The Sweet Baby Afghan in Lion Brand Ice Cream® is a free crochet pattern found right here in the Lion Brand pattern finder. Print out the pattern, and gather your supplies - we'll need a US-H, 5.00 mm crochet hook and 3 balls of Lion Brand Ice Cream® in your favorite colorway. The original pattern calls for Strawberry, but I used Blueberry for this tutorial.

    This pattern starts with a chain of 115 - you can use stitch markers to help you keep count as you go. The pattern uses a stitch multiple of 3 +1, so for this tutorial I'm making a tiny swatch starting with just 16 chains. For a full-size baby blanket, you'll just be repeating the stitches between the ends of each row more times. To begin Row 1, make a double crochet in the 4th chain from the hook. The 3 chains you skipped will count as the first double crochet of this row. So here, we have 2 "double crochets."


    Then, begin the repeat that will take you across most of the rest of the row - skip the next 2 chains, then work 3 double crochets in the chain after that. Then skip 2, then 3 double crochets in the next. Repeat on across until there are just 3 chains left.


    To finish the first row, skip the next 2 chains, and then work 2 double crochets in the last chain. For the baby blanket, you should see a set of 2 double crochets on each end of the row, with 36 groups of 3 double crochets in between. (On my swatch, it's just 3 groups of 3 between the ends.) Turn to go back for the next row...


    Time for Row 2! To begin this row, you chain 3, which again counts as the first double crochet of the row. From here on out, we're going to be working groups of 3 double crochets in between the other double crochet groups. So we skip over all the double crochet stitches, and work 3 double crochets in between each group of the row below. Then, finish up with one double crochet in the top of the chain 3 at the end of the row - this mirrors the chain 3 we started Row 2 with. And we turn to go back for the next row...

    Row 3 begins with a chain 3 (counts as a double crochet), followed be a double crochet in the top of the first stitch - so it's like 2 double crochets in the first stitch. Then, we go back to the plan from before - work a 3 double crochet group between each double crochet group of the row before.

    Finish up Row 3 with 2 double crochets in the last stitch - the top of the chain 3. So again, we have a mirror of the beginning of the row - a set of 2 double crochets on each end.

    And that's the basis for the rest of the blanket! Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until the blanket is about 33 inches long, or however long you want it to be!

    Once you've got the length where you want it, then it's time to make the Border rounds. To make the first round of the border, just chain 1 and single crochet all the way around your blanket. When working across the top of the blanket, just single crochet in each stitch, and work 2 single crochets in the side of each row. When it comes to turning corners: work 3 single crochets in the "corner" stitches (aka, the first and last stitch of the last row, and the first and last stitch of the foundation row).

    Once you've gotten all the way around the blanket, just join, then chain 1 and go all the way around again twice more - working one single crochet in each stitch, with 3 single crochets in each corner. Simple as can be!

    Need to see it in action? Here are tutorial videos where I demo this pattern, step by step!

    I hope this inspires you to make your own Sweet Baby Afghan! The Lion Brand Ice Cream® really makes this stitch pattern shine, and the finished blanket is wonderfully soft and easy care - and fun to crochet too! Thanks for watching and reading!

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  • Meet the Blogger: Mama In A Stitch

    Here at Lion Brand we love the yarncraft blogging community. Picking a favorite from the bloggers we work with would be like asking a parent to pick their favorite child -- it's just not possible. They all bring us beautiful patterns, interesting content, and unique perspectives on knitting and crochet. That's why we've decided to help you get to know the amazing people we work with, starting with Jess Potasz of Mama In A Stitch.


    Mama In A Stitch

    This is a perfect time to introduce you to Jess, since Mama In A Stitch just celebrated two years of blogging. She says in her anniversary post that she started blogging as a way to keep track of her creative pursuits after transitioning to life as a stay-at-home-mom. It evolved from a personal log of crafts and mom life into what we know today.

    After her patterns started to take off, MIAS was on the yarniverse radar. Since her start in January 2015, Jessica's unique patterns and beautiful photography have made her a crafting staple. It doesn't hurt that she has the vistas of Colorado to serve as a backdrop! She has also been featured in several different knitting and crochet publications, including many mentions right here on the Lion Brand Notebook.

    Kits and Patterns

    We started selling kits from her patterns, and many of them have been incredibly popular on our site! Her Light Frost Easy Blanket Sweater (pictured above) is one of our top crochet kits right now. She also designed the Big Beginner Shawl Scarf (knit), which another fan favorite. Her pattern designs combine sophistication and coziness in a way that makes them an absolute delight to both make and wear.

    One of the Heroes

    Last year, we worked with several bloggers for the Yarn Heroes series, where we helped promote various charitable causes. Jess designed a blanket for Project Linus as part of the campaign. The blanket is thick, soft, and washable. It could also double as a pet blanket (shelters need donations too!) if you left off the pom poms.

    After two years, Mama In A Stitch has become one of the yarniverse's favorite bloggers, and Jess is showing no signs of slowing down. We can't wait to see what she has in store!

    For more profiles of our favorite bloggers, keep an eye on the Notebook.

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  • Tame Your Hair with a Messy Bun Hat

    Messy bun hats (also called ponytail hats) are a huge trend. Everywhere you look, they're there. For anyone with long, thick hair, they're a borderline miracle -- you can keep your head warm without completely destroying your 'do for the day.

    Even if your hair isn't super thick or curly, these hats are handy. You don't have to deal with the discomfort of having your hair tie being pushed into your head, or that it will have strange new creases and waves from being squished under a hat. These are great projects to customize, as well. One inventive crocheter even used a ponytail holder around the top to make the opening stretchier.

    Since these have been such a massive trend, there are tons of different patterns out there. It seems to skew more toward crochet, but there are also knitting patterns available as well, including one of ours.

    Cabled Bun Hat (Knit) in Scarfie®

    Messy Bun Hats

    We dug around the internet, looking at Ravelry, social media, and of course our favorite bloggers, to find several great ponytail hat options. Check them out!


    Faux Cable Crochet Bun Hat by Make and Do Crew
    Seashore Messy Bun Hat by Celina Lane
    Linen Stitch Ponytail Hat by Jennifer Pionk
    Ribbed Messy Bun Hat by Elizabeth Shirley
    Messy Bun Beanie by She's Got the Notion




    Messy Bun Beanie by Knit Kritters
    Quick Ponytail Hat by Kristina Cotterman


    If you want a video tutorial on crocheting one of these hats, look below.

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