Friday, November 25, 2011

Red Berry 4 You - a New Etsy Shop and Cyber Monday Sale Going on Now

I am excited to announce the opening of my new Etsy shop, RedBerry4You

You will find eReader covers, book covers for large and small paperbacks, and coffee cozies.

To celebrate and kick off the holiday shopping season, enjoy 15% off all items now through Monday.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crochet Machine?

I enjoy reading and have a Nook ereader which I love, love, love! I also like to search for free crochet books and patterns that are in the public domain. I found this interesting little booklet through Barnes & Noble:

The Merrow System of Crocheting Machinery

Of course I was intrigued! Crochet by a machine? Unheard of! The fact that handwork is the only means to crochet has long been touted as an advantage over knitting. Reading through the booklet, however, has put me at ease. Originally published in 1889 it seems that the "crochet machine" only creates finished edges. The most complicated stitch (and the only crochet stitch, as far as I'm concerned) capable by this machine is the shell stitch.

A neat little tidbit of history, but it's interesting that this type of machine is still being manufactured!

Merrow Crochet Shell Sewing Machine

Even if someone were ever able to invent a machine that could crochet a complete fabric it wouldn't be for me. It's all about the process and the satisfaction when I've completed that project and wove in that last yarn end. Ahhhh, sigh, it's a beautiful thing. Now, if they could ever invent something to help me crochet faster - oh wait . . . it's called caffeine!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Simple Single Crochet Dishcloths or Washcloths

Sometimes the simplest stitches and a simple project give me the greatest satisfaction. These easy dishcloths make a great carry along project and are quick to work up. They are a last minute gift idea and wonderful hostess gifts. You can use them in the kitchen or bath.

Materials: 100% cotton yarn (approximately 2 ounces per cloth)
size H (5.0. mm) crochet hook

Finished size: both cloth patterns measure approximately 8 ½ inches square

Gauge: exact gauge is not necessary for these

Pattern #1
The textured look of this cloth is achieved by alternating single crochet stitches in
the back and front loops.

Row 1: Ch 34, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. (33 sc)

Row 2: ch 1, turn, sc in first sc. *Sc in back loop only of next sc, sc in front loop only of next sc. Rep from * across to last 2 sc. Sc in BL of next sc, sc in both loops of last sc.

Rep row 2 for pattern until cloth is square. Do not fasten off.

Edging: ch 1, turn, (sc, ch 1, sc) in first sc for corner st. Sc evenly around the entire cloth making sure to work (sc, ch 1, sc) in each of the 3 remaining corners. Sl st to beg sc. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Pattern #2
This texture is achieved by working sc sts into chain spaces of the previous row.

Row 1: Ch 33, sc in 3rd ch from hook, *ch 1, skip next ch, sc in next. Rep from * across. (32 sts total (16 sc, 16 spaces, including beginning space)).

Row 2: ch 2, turn, skip first sc, *sc in next ch 1 space, ch 1, skip next sc. Rep from * across to last space, sc in ch 2 space.

Rep row 2 for pattern until cloth is square. Do not fasten off.

Edging: ch 1, turn, (sc, ch 1, sc) in first sc for corner st. Sc evenly around the entire cloth making sure to work (sc, ch 1, sc) in each of the 3 remaining corners. Sl st to beg sc. Fasten off and weave in ends.

I hope you enjoy making these patterns as much as I have!

Photos and content © 2011 Red Berry Crochet. These patterns are intended for your personal use only. Please do not copy, redistribute or sell these patterns. But please feel free to post and share the link to this blog page:

For a free pdf download of this pattern, click here

Friday, April 8, 2011

Comfort Shawls, Gift of Life Michigan Charity Crochet

I came across this info on Ravelry, and thought I would pass it along here for crocheters and knitters in Michigan.

"In January 2011 the Michigan Donor Family Council, MDFC, organized a program to provide comfort shawls to new organ, tissue, and eye donor families. It is our hope that this small gift of compassion will bring these families comfort in their time of sorrow and transition."

Click the photo to enlarge, or I have also included a pdf file link below that you can download.


Additional Links:
Gift of Life Michigan

Michigan Donor Family Council (MFDC)

I have started a comfort shawl in a pale yellow color with a simple hdc stitch and a large hook. I also hope to complete a second one in ivory. I will post pictures when I have them completed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Explorations in Color - Swatching it Square!

I am often amazed at the color combination's designers create. A friend and I were talking about this recently when I began to think that there must be a way to come up with unexpected color combination's. I have read about the basic principles of color theory, and I do have a color wheel that was a great help to me when I created a scrap afghan. But, I thought, there must be something on the web that I could use - and I was right!

Using this site you can create 6 random color choices. You can also lock one or more of the color choices and choose shuffle colors to change the unlocked colors.

Swatch #1

My first try I kept it completely random and decided I would crochet up a traditional granny square of 5 colors, matching the colors to yarn as closely as possible. I chose to leave out the bright green color, and to use the colors as displayed in order starting from the left.

I was pleasantly surprised and I really like the color combination! They are definitely not colors I would have thought of myself.

Swatch #2

For this swatch I decided to leave out the last color. And I didn't want to use another light mint green like I had in the first swatch, so I used a light gray color instead. I can't say that I like the colors, but it was a fun experiment in what colors I probably wouldn't use together.

Swatch #3

For this swatch I left out the blue colors and instead opted for a dark green for the last round. Not a surprising combination, but I could have used more of a gold color for round 4 instead of the buttery off white, which also would have worked well.

Swatch #4

For this swatch I kept choosing shuffle colors and locking in some of the brighter colors. I left out the dark brown in my granny square and again crocheted them in order of the color swatch. This was fun to play with, and I really like the color combo's except for the center beige color. It would have been better with a light pink or bright pink center.

I certainly enjoyed myself doing this experiment. And I will definitely use in the future to explore other color combination's. Check it out if you have a chance and I'd love to hear about your own unexpected or "different" color combination's.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's In Your Crochet Kit?

Some time ago while browsing at a thrift store I was lucky enough to find a "Stitcher's Mate" storage box. While it is intended mainly for sewers, it works perfectly for my crochet gear! It measures about 9 inches by 3 inches and stands about 2 1/2 inches tall. It holds plenty of stuff and yet is not too bulky for me to carry around in my project bag.

It is divided into 2 sections, the top section is shallow and magnetized. I carry yarn threaders (I can't live without these!), yarn needles, safety pins, pins and sewing needles.

The bottom section is deep and holds my "Knit-Chek" gauge checker/hook size gauge, pens, pencils, sticky notes, hooks, eraser, row counter, scissors, yarn cutter, tape measure, calculator, and crochet stitch markers. Can't forget the nail file for those pesky nail tears that snag the yarn, and lip balm!

So what do you carry in your crochet kit that you can't do without?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A New Logo and Other New News

I previously had a small berry logo that I really liked, but it didn't quite capture what I was truly looking for. So, I created and designed my own (and I must say that I am thrilled that I was able to do so!). I love that it compliments my tagline (for the love of hook and yarn . . .) I am in the process of changing my website, eCrater store, Ravelry, Twitter, and updating my patterns with my new logo. Eventually I will also incorporate the logo into my Etsy store banner too.

And I am excited to say that I am teaching another Beginner Crochet class. I have 5 students, which is a small class for me, but I think maybe it's because it's a Saturday morning class where my others were weekday evenings. But, I am really looking forward to it! It's a great group and having less students will allow me to be much more hands-on.

And just for fun - a cute mug perfect for the crocheter in your life. (I wish I had a nickel for every time that I had to tell my husband "hang on, I'm counting!")

Thanks for stopping in :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BeauFO - at least I think so!

I've been in the mood to work up some smaller projects for myself lately. Here's a few lovelies:

I crocheted this cute beanie (Mesh Cap) from a pattern I found in Vogue Knitting Crocheted Hats. I made it in black to match my coat. I needed something for those bad hair days of mine when all I really want to do is run out to the post office, or to the store, or wherever. This hat is perfect!

This pretty headband was made from a pattern by Drew Emborsky, the Crochet Dude. I made mine from Caron Simply Soft yarn. The pattern can be found in his book in all Caps! It works up very nicely and would be a great pattern for anyone interested in learning a basic cable pattern, and I like that it is reversible too!

I really love this project, made with Lion Brand Jiffy yarn, which is really soft and has the right amount of "give". It is the Scalloped Cowl pattern which can be downloaded for free from their website. You'll have to register first, but it's free to join and there are lots of great patterns to be discovered!

And in case you're wondering, BeauFO = beautiful finished object - I hope you'll agree!