Sunday, July 7, 2013

Broomstick Lace Clutch Purse free crochet pattern courtesy of Lion Brand and St. Martin's Press

Lion Brand is once again offering a free pattern from my book Crochet-opedia on their website. This pattern is available for download courtesy of the publisher St. Martin's Press. Click here for the pattern. You'll need to register if you haven't already, but it's free to join, so why not?

I really wanted to showcase the beautiful broomstick stitch pattern in a very modern project. I think this clutch handbag does that wonderfully. It is made in two panels which are then single crocheted together. The clasp is different, something that I hadn't thought of before this design. It is worked in one piece directly onto the clutch and consists of chain and slip stitches to form the clasp.

The yarn I used is Vanna's Choice in Cranberry. It is a wonderful yarn to work with and the deep red color makes this clutch perfect for an evening on the town!

Broomstick lace is a fun technique to learn. If you've never tried it, grab a copy of Crochet-opedia. In it you will find how-to instructions. The book also includes patterns and how-to's for hairpin lace, Tunisian crochet and many more crochet techniques!

Broomstick Lace Clutch crochet pattern
and last week's pattern
Hairpin Lace Mobius Wrap crochet pattern

Enjoy :)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hairpin Lace Mobius Wrap free crochet pattern courtesy of Lion Brand and St. Martin's Press

I am so happy to see that one of the patterns from my new book Crochet-opedia is available for free download through the Lion Brand website, courtesy of the publisher, St. Martin's Press.

Click this link for the pattern. You'll need to register if you haven't already, but why not? It's free to sign up and you'll have access to many other patterns, crochet and knit. I also receive the Lion Brand newsletter's and I enjoy them very much. Along with patterns there are yarn and kit sale notifications, amusing stories, videos and more.

Out of all the 30 patterns in the book, this hairpin pattern is my favorite. (Okay, so they are all my favorites!) I really enjoyed designing this wrap, it came together easily and works up surprisingly quick once you get the hang of making the hairpin strips. I love the yarn, Vanna's Glamour in Topaz. It was easy to work with, drapes beautifully, and the gold thread running through the yarn really makes it shine.

If you've never worked hairpin lace before, grab a copy of Crochet-opedia, which includes how-to instructions. In my book you will also find patterns and how-to's for broomstick lace, Tunisian crochet and many more crochet techniques!

Enjoy :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Finds - Ergonomic Crochet Hook Holders

Awhile ago I was talking to a co-worker about crochet. She was telling me that her mom used to crochet a lot but had stopped because the arthritis in her hands was making it too uncomfortable and painful. I remembered seeing egg shaped ergonomic holders in the stores and mentioned that it might help her mom. To my delight, my co-worker brought in an afghan that her mom had made for her using an ergonomic holder. Her mother is back crocheting with a vengeance! I am so happy that my suggestion was able to help her mom, and I hope that maybe this blog post will help someone else too.

This handle by Boye will adjust to fit hooks size B (2.25mm) to size K (6.5mm) and is available online through Annie's.

For those who also like to thread crochet, I found this Eleggant Hooks set which includes 3 hook heads for thread and 3 for yarn in the basic kit. Additional hook sizes are also available on their website. 

I have not used these types of handles myself but I would appreciate any comments from those that have. 

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Glorious Spring Has Sprung!

Finally the weather has turned springlike and it's been a gorgeous week! I've been spending as much time as possible outside and took some pics of the pretty daffodils growing behind our house. It gave me a chance to fiddle around with my new tripod. It didn't get very good reviews, but for what little time I've used it so far it has worked very well for me. I love the flexibility that allows me to get perspectives that wouldn't have been possible with my other tripod.

I've taken a few rides on my bike, but sadly the tire was completely flat last night when I wanted to take a spin. I'll have to get it fixed as soon as I can to take advantage of this perfect bike riding weather! I've found a few terrifically cute crochet patterns to spruce up my bike in the mean time.

Bike Seat Cover Crochet Pattern

Bike Streamers Crochet Pattern

Happy crocheting - see you around the bend!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thrift Store Rescue - Just in Time for Summer?

After a dreary and rainy week here in Michigan, and an unexpected snow shower yesterday, today we've had a bit of sunshine at least. The colder temps have have really got me wishing for warmer weather.

Last week while shopping at a thrift store this pretty bag caught my eye. The person who made it did a wonderful job and I'm thankful it was donated. I just had to rescue it! The cotton yarn colors are so bright and cheery. It will make a very nice beach bag and I've already got my towel, book, and sunglasses ready to go!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Celebrating National Crochet Month

Welcome and thank you for joining me on the first stop of today's Tour Through Crochet Country. I am honored and happy to be included in this celebration of National Crochet Month with so many fabulous designers! As a group, the participating CGOA designers have chosen a special charity to support this month -Project Night Night.

With that in mind I am offering a free blanket pattern. This easy blanket is a great carry-and-go project. It is made up of 9 individual 12 inch blocks which are then joined with crocheted seams. You can add rows or columns of blocks to make larger size blankets. This would also make a great scrap yarn project. Please consider donating a blanket or making a monetary donation to Project Night Night. If you do make a donation, please add to our group totals here.

I have been a Professional Member of the CGOA since 2009 and I started a local chapter, the Mi Stitchin' Time Crochet Guild. We crochet for local charities (as well as Project Night Night) and I really enjoy our meetings. We have a lot of fun! Click here to find a local chapter near you. It's a great way to share your love of crochet and meet new friends.

I am fortunate to have had patterns published in Crochet World and Country Woman magazines. I am also the author of Crochet-opedia which is set to be released in June of this year. (I am so excited about that!) I hope to be adding new patterns to my shops soon. You can find my patterns at, Etsy, Ravelry and Craftsy.

Thanks for stopping in, and please visit Cari Clement for CGOA, your second stop of the day.

Tomorrow's stops include April Garwood and Mary Colucci for CGOA. 

 In case you've missed any of the previous blog posts click here for a complete list of participating designers.

I would like to thank Amy Shelton and Donna Hulka of Crochetville for organizing this amazing tour - thank you so much!

Bright Striped Blocks Blanket pattern
download now


Friday, March 15, 2013

Crochet-opedia - my book is now available for pre-order!

I am so excited to announce that my book Crochet-opedia is now available for pre-order!

US edition -

UK edition -

The release date for both editions is June, 2013. Click on either photo above to be taken to the appropriate Amazon site.

Crochet-opedia is a comprehensive reference guide to crochet. The book is designed to help the readers learn and master each skill before moving on. With step by step instructions, color photographs, detailed diagrams, and 30 enticing patterns, Crochet-opedia will appeal to newcomers as well as advanced crocheters. It also comes complete with a handy stitch directory, allowing the reader to browse through thumbnail photographs to easily choose a crochet stitch. 

Years ago I taught myself to crochet from a book, so I realize the importance of clear instructions and good illustrations. As I was writing the book I continually asked myself the questions I had when I was learning. As a result, I have also included tips to help avoid pitfalls with each technique. There are many techniques covered including: basic stitches, increasing/decreasing, working in rounds, colorwork, and so much more. More advanced techniques explore thread work, broomstick lace, hairpin lace, and tunisian crochet, and again, so much more. It is my hope that this book will become an invaluable reference guide for anyone who crochets. It is truly the book I wish I had when I was learning. Crochet has brought so much joy to my life and I am so happy to be able to share it with others. It's been an incredible journey!

Craft Gossip Crochet posted a review which you can read here. I have to say Wow! It doesn't get much better than that!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Celebrate National Crochet Month!

Take a Tour Through Crochet Country with 48 crochet designers this month to celebrate March as National Crochet Month. All the participating designers are Professional or Associate Professional members of the CGOA. Each day a different designer (or two) is being featured through a blog roll. Click here for the introductory blog post and a complete list of participating designers. If you haven't been following along, catch up on the previously featured designers here. At each stop along the tour each designer has a special surprise for you! It may be a free pattern, a sneak peak at the designer's crochet studio, or a stitch or technique tutorial.

All the participants have voted to support Project Night Night, a charity that helps homeless children. You can help by donating blankets or a gift of money to this worthy cause. If you do make a donation, please add to the group totals on the Tour page here.

Many thanks to Amy and Donna at Crochetville for coordinating and sponsoring this special event. Please join me here on March 19th for my tour stop - I hope to see you then!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Patons Pattern via Pinterest

Previously I posted of my newly found fixation with Pinterest. I was quite taken with a crochet hat pattern I came across and had to make it for myself. I chose to make it in the heather gray color of the original, and I found the pattern easy to follow and well written. It also includes a symbol crochet chart for quick reference, which I love!

Here is my finished hat:

And below is the original pin from Pinterest. This will link you to the pattern by clicking on it, or you can click here for the Patons pattern (login is required, but it's free to sign up).

It was easy enough for me to embed this into my blog. I clicked on the pin from my original board that I had pinned it to and was then given the option to embed it. I clicked on the embed button, copied the html information, then in my blog post I changed from compose to html view. I then pasted the html code and that was it - fantastic!

I really enjoyed making this pattern and my next project will be a pair of fingerless gloves to coordinate with my new hat. Perhaps it will be another pattern found through Pinterest?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Finds: Boye Yarn Threader

This Boye yarn threader is a tool I just can't live without! These little yarn threaders make quick work of a tiresome job of weaving in ends. You simply push the hook of the threader through the eye of your yarn needle, grasp the yarn and pull it back through the needle. Now you're ready to roll!

What I love about this particular brand is that they are sturdy and strong. There are two hook sizes, one on each end, for threading different size yarns.The smaller end works great for crochet threads. I use the larger hook end for medium weight and larger size yarns. You can see in the photo below that you can also easily pull through two ends of yarn at the same time. You just have to use the correct yarn needle size to accommodate your yarn thickness.
There are other types of yarn threaders out there, particullarly ones with thin wire ends. I don't like those threaders because it doesn't take long for the wire to break, and to me, the whole point is not having to try and jab the yarn through the needle, and with the wire ends you are still jabbing the yarn through the needle threader.

I have several of these and keep them in my crochet kits so they are always at hand. If you've never used this type of threader, give them a try, you'll be pleasantly surprised at their usefulness!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Finds: Laurel Hill Crochet Hooks

Today's Friday Find will be focusing on Laurel Hill Crochet Hooks.These hooks are crafted of fine hardwoods "available in sustainable, exotic woods of Ebony, Nam Oc and Trai" according to the website. They are available in sets or can also be purchased separately. A lady in my crochet group had brought along her new set one evening and we all admired them. She let me try them out and I was "hooked" and decided to jump in and purchase a whole set.  Sizes include: D, E, F, G, 7, H, I, J, K, L, and M. They are extremely smooth and silky with no annoying burrs that snag yarn. My set are Nam Oc and arrived in the lovely green and blue hook holder pictured below.

Another thing I like about these hooks is that the end of the handle doesn't jab into my palm as happens with some aluminum hooks when I work with them. Perhaps it's the placement of the thumb notch which corrects this. The thumb notch makes the hooks comfortable to use for extended periods of time and I find it helps me to keep a consistent gauge. 

I usually like longer hooks than the 6 inches that these are (mostly because of the annoying palm jabbing that I mentioned) but I like that this set takes up less space in my project bag. I also tend to worry less about them than my other longer wood hooks. I don't worry as much that somehow I'm going to snap them in half accidently as they are made of very hard wood. Truly made to be a workhorse of a tool.

I do like these hooks very much, I just wish they had the larger sizes too!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Pinterest Crochet Boards

I use Evernote as my go to note taker and to save links and webpages so that I can easily find them. I didn't think I would find Pinterest useful to me. Even so, with encouragement and an invitation from a friend, I decided to sign up. I haven't been on very long, but I really do like it! I love that I can easily organize all my pins into relevant boards. I've set my boards into different crochet categories and now I can easily find patterns, gadgets, tools, and amazing crochet projects all from a photo pin.

My newest discovery is this picture of Bette Davis crocheting. I love the movie "The Letter" that she stars in. Throughout the movie she crochets a shawl (which she refers to as "making lace"). It starts from a small motif and she works on it throughout the movie. It's one of my favorites! If you haven't seen this movie, check it out, it's a classic and will keep you in suspense to the very end.

If you've been reluctant or undecided about joining Pinterest, go ahead and give it a try - you might like it! Let me know and I'd be happy to send you an invitation. I'm also interested to know how you use Pinterest.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

An Early Valentine Just For You! Candy Heart Crochet Pattern

These candy conversation hearts are cute embellishments that can be sewn to purses, bags, hats, scarves, or whatever you like! You can also sew on a pin back to make very cute and easy Valentine pins.

Candy Hearts Valentine Appliques Crochet Pattern
Small amounts of worsted (medium) weight yarn in these colors: coral, light blue, mint green and shocking pink for the edgings.
Size F (3.75mm) crochet hook
Fabric Puffy Paint in medium pink color
Small paint brush

Gauge: 1 inch = 5 sc
Finished size: Heart measures 3 x 3 inches when completed, including the edging.

Special stitches: rev sc (reverse single crochet). For right handed crocheters - Instead of working from right to left like you normally do for single crochet, rev sc is worked from left to right and the stitch is made exactly the same way as a single crochet stitch. Insert the hook into a row end, yo and pull up a loop (you will have 2 loops on your hook) yo, and pull through both loops on hook. 1 rev sc made. Now, insert your hook into the row end to the right of your previous stitch and continue working this way. Lefties - work the stitches opposite to the above instructions.

Row 1 (RS): ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook (1 sc)
Row 2: ch1, turn, 3 sc in sc (3 sc)
Row 3: ch1, turn, 2 sc in first sc, sc across to last sc, 2 sc in last sc (5 sc)
Row 4: Repeat row 3 (7sc)
Row 5: ch 1 turn, sc in each sc (7sc)
Row 6: Repeat row 3 (9sc)
Row 7: ch 1 turn, sc in each sc (9sc)
Row 8 and 9: Repeat row 3 (11sc, 13 sc)
Row 10: ch 1 turn, sc in each sc (13 sc)
Row 11: ch 1, turn, sc in next 6 sc, sk next, sc in next 6 sc (12 sc)
1st bump of heart:
Row 12: ch 1, turn, sc in next 6sc, leaving rem sc unworked (6 sc)
Row 13: ch 1, turn, sc dec over next two sc, sc in next 4 sc (5 sc)
Row 14: Repeat row 13 (4 sc)
Row 15: ch 1, turn, sc dec over next two sc twice (2 sc) Fasten off.

2nd bump of heart:
Row 1: With RS of heart facing you, attach yarn with a sc in top of row 11. sc in next 5 sc (6 sc)
Row 2 to 4: Follow Row 13 to 15 instructions. (5 sc, 4 sc, 2 sc) Fasten off and weave in ends.

Edging: Beginning at the bottom of the heart attach shocking pink yarn with a sc. Work a rev sc into each end around the heart. (See Special Stitches for instructions.) Fasten off and weave in ends.

Adding the words:
Make a sample swatch and practice a bit to get the hang of it. Using a small brush and the puffy fabric paint outline the letters you wish to add to your heart. Go over them several times with the paint brush until you have solid lines. Now you will once again go over your letters, but use the paint directly from bottle. Squeeze slowly while holding the bottle slightly above the fabric so the paint “drops” a bit. This will give the 3D “puffy” effect to the words. Set aside and allow to dry according to your paint instructions, usually 24 hours.

Abbreviations used in this pattern:
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
sc dec - single crochet decrease
rem - remaining
rev sc - reverse single crochet
sk - skip
RS - right side of fabric (the side you want to be seen)
yo - yarn over

I hope you enjoy making this pattern as much as I have and Happy Valentine's Day!

Photos and content © 2013 Red Berry Crochet. This pattern is intended for your personal use only. 
Please do not copy, redistribute or sell this pattern. 
Please feel free to post and share the link to this blog page.

For a free pdf download of this pattern, click here

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hello 2013!

It's amazing how fast 2012 has flown by! It was a very busy year for me and I have some incredible news to share - which I will be posting as soon as I can. (Pssst! Lots of new designs ;)

No matter what project designs I'm working on I always have the idea in my head that there must be a way to make the process easier. From my original sketches and working copies of a pattern, to editing photos of the design and polishing the completed design, keeping everything organized is key. But what exactly does that mean, and how does a crocheter accomplish such a feat? In forthcoming blog posts I will be sharing tips and describing some of the software that I use to make it happen.

Until next time - Happy Crocheting!