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  • Learn to Crochet: Let's Wrap Things Up

    We've reached the end of our Learn to Crochet series, and it's time to wrap things up.

    learn-to-crochet-wrap-up

    Over the past ten weeks we've learned the basic stitches -- sc, hdc, dc, trc -- as well as how to work in the round, change colors, read patterns and charts, and increase and decrease. We've made fingerless mitts, a hat, and two cowls. This has been an intense crash course on crochet, and we're ready to make our ways into the world, armed with our hooks.

    Basically, we've all become expert-level crocheters. So where do we go from here?

    OK, technically we're probably more advanced-beginner than expert, but we've learned a lot in a short time. We don't want those skills to disappear, so it's time to practice!

    Practice New Stitches

    Our Stitch Finder page is a great place for practicing new stitches. Check it out to find lace, motifs, colorwork, and more to play with. Try making squares out of Crochet Cable, Basic Shell, Checkerboard, and Fanfare, all pictured above, or any of the other stitches listed.

    We will be spotlighting different patterns from the Stitch Finder -- in both knit and crochet -- on the blog going forward, so keep checking back.

    Patterns to Try

    Saddlebrook Cape Scarf by Two of Wands

    We have tons of great patterns right here on our site, and you can even sort them by difficulty. Levels 1 and 2 should be old hat (pun intended) for you by now, and you could likely handle 3 as well. Challenge yourself a bit and try level 4. Level 5 might be a struggle at this point, but with practice you'll work your way up to it.

    Easy Blanket Sweater by Mama in a Stitch

    With the skills you've learned, you can make projects of any kind. Sweaters, bags, blankets, shawls, you name it. If you aren't sure about something, I've found that the best way to learn is to just jump in and do it. Try that new stitch, or the shape you thought was too hard. Follow the directions and see what happened -- you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

    Tea House Wrap by Two of Wands

    Let's Wrap It Up

    I genuinely hope that this series has helped you learn to crochet. It's definitely been useful for me to write it -- I know I've learned a lot over the past couple of months. Learning to crochet was my New Years resolution, and for the first time in many years, I actually fulfilled it!

    These posts aren't going anywhere, so if you ever need a refresher, just pull them up and read! And if you need even more help, our Learn section has instructions on many crochet techniques as well.

    Thanks so much for being a part of this series and learning with me. You've got a whole lifetime of crocheting ahead of you, so go forth and do it. There are always new projects to try and new stitches to learn. Get creative, and most of all, have fun!

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  • Try This Stitch: Crystal Chandelier

    Crystal Chandelier is a lovely lacy stitch that would work well for a shawl or scarf.

    chandelier lace

    This lace would look lovely on many different projects, and the width is extremely adjustable. The pattern is eight stitches wide, with one more cast on for symmetry. So you would cast on 9, 17, 25, 33, and so on.

    The sample above is three repeats, so I cast on 25 stitches, using DIYarn in Hot Pink.

    In general with lace, it's best to choose a yarn that's not too fuzzy, so you can really see the stitches. You may also want to steer clear of colors that change to often. Something with a gradual or ombre effect might look nice without being distracting.

    We have a large selection of knit and crochet stitches and motifs, called the Stitch Finder. In it, you'll find all kinds of interesting things. Lace, cables, flowers, trims, you name it. You can make an entire blanket from the blocks you'll find on that page, too. All the patterns listed are reprinted with permission from various books.

    Crystal Chandelier

    Cast on multiple of 8 stitchess plus 1.

    Row 1 (RS): K1, *k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2; rep from * to end.

    Row 2 and all WS rows: Purl.

    Row 3: K1, *k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1; rep from * to end.

    Row 5: [K2tog, yo] twice, *k1, yo, ssk, yo, S2KP, yo, k2tog, yo; rep from * to last 5 sts, end k1, [yo, ssk] twice.

    Row 7: K1, *k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1; rep from * to end.

    Row 9: K2tog, yo, *k5, yo, S2KP, yo; rep from * to last 7 sts, end k5, yo, ssk.

    Rows 11–19: Rep rows 1–9.

    Rows 21, 23 and 25: K1, *yo, k1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1, yo, k1; rep from * to end.

    Row 26: Purl

    Rep rows 1–26

    This pattern comes with a chart, as well, if that's the pattern method you prefer to use.

    If you are unsure how to do any of the stitches mentioned, see our Learn section for instructions.

    Reprinted from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume Five: Lace, with permission from 6th&Spring Books; copyright 2010; photos by Jack Deutsch Studio. All rights reserved.

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  • Project Knitwell Offers Comfort Through Crafting

    Knitting, crochet, and other kinds of crafting can have healing, comforting properties. Project Knitwell brings that exact form of comfort to those who need it.

    project knitwell knockers

    Lion Brand Yarn partners with Project Knitwell by donating yarn to their cause, so they can focus on helping people in need. In 2015, we published a booklet, titled The Comfort of Knitting, the proceeds of which are donated to Project Knitwell as well as the Alzheimer's Association.

    Carol Caparosa founded the group in 2010. She had experience with the extremely stressful situation that is being the parent of a child with health problems. She looked to knitting to help pass the time in waiting rooms while her daughter underwent multiple heart surgeries. This is when she realized that crafting provided a welcome distraction from her worries.

    Patients, families, and caregivers all benefit from the therapy of knitting. It can help with relaxation and positive thinking. Plus, it's a way to pass the time and create something tangible.

    Project Knitwell for Caregivers

    Project Knitwell operates in the Washington, D.C. area, but you can discover the comforts of crafting no matter where you live. 

    Our booklet, The Comfort of Knitting, doesn't just teach the basics. It features several beginner projects, as well. On top of that, there's a lot of really great information about the health benefits of knitting.

    This booklet is tailor made for caregivers. People who play the very important role of tending to someone who is sick or in another stressful situation have a unique set of needs.

    Knitting improves health and well-being. Self-care is vital for caregivers, both to be there for the person they are helping and for themselves. This guide features several pages of information about the comforts and benefits of knitting.

    Lion Brand is proud to support Project Knitwell. Their cause is a worthy one, and it's great to use our craft to help others.

    If you would like to donate or volunteer, visit their website to learn more.

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