As a child, I adored Valentine’s Day. It delighted me to make paper Valentines for all the other children I knew.
As an adult, I haven’t outgrown my fondness for making Valentines. Nowadays I enjoy adding crocheted edgings to some of them, and putting other artistic touches on them as well. I find it satisfying to make lovely things to give to others, even small things like Valentine’s Day cards.
I’ve discovered that it’s even more fun to make Valentine gifts for my loved ones — or at least, to add handmade touches to my gifts at times when it isn’t practical to create an entire gift from scratch.
If you celebrate this holiday, and you plan on giving Valentine gifts this year, here are some ideas for things you can make:
Let’s say you want to give candy or some small item as a Valentine gift to a sweetheart, friend, or colleague. A heart-shaped pouch would be a fun way to package it.
This is one of those designs where you can really showcase your own creativity. There are many different ways you could decorate this pouch — so feel free to dress it up with appliques, beads, ribbons, buttons or whatever other pretty baubles your heart desires.
If your intended recipient is a guy and the heart idea isn’t quite right for this occasion, you could always choose another pouch design instead.
Crocheted Hats for Him
If your intended gift recipient is a guy, perhaps a crocheted hat would be a nice gift for him. The one pictured here is part of a hat and scarf set that I think is particularly nice for guys. It’s a bit of a time-consuming project, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a gift for casual acquaintances – but for the right guy, I think it’s worth spending the time on it. I can say that, having made the set for my own husband (although not specifically as a Valentine’s gift…) and he got significant, daily wintertime wear out of the hat for years before it got too shabby to make any more public appearances. Which reminds me that perhaps it’s time for me to begin making him another one…
There are all kinds of interesting things you can do with pretty crocheted flowers. You can attach them to hair accessories like headbands and hair clips. You can transform them into brooches or magnets. You can use them as embellishments on gift packages. Et-cetera!
More Valentine Ideas
Here’s a link to a list of free Valentine crochet and knitting patterns. The list includes bunches more ideas for interesting Valentine and heart-themed projects you can crochet. Happy crafting!
Would you believe this bracelet is crocheted? To my eyes, a piece like this doesn’t look much like crochet — but it definitely is, since the project was made using a crochet hook and crochet stitches. The difference is basically in the materials I used; instead of thread or yarn, I used wire to work the stitches. The entire bracelet is comprised of the ultra-simple beaded chain stitch.
Crochet stitches look different when worked in wire than they do when worked in yarn or thread. If you add chunky beads to the mix, like I did here, they can obscure the crochet work even more.
I find beads completely fascinating, not to mention irresistible. Do you share this fascination too?
I think beads are gorgeous all on their own — and I enjoy looking at them even when they are unused, sitting on a shelf, packaged in their humble little tubes and containers.
But when you combine them with crochet, and start using them to make beautiful beaded baubles — that’s even better. When you find a combination of beads and thread or yarn that work well together, the results can be spectacular.
This beaded heart applique is one example of a little crocheted trinket that is greatly enhanced by the presence of beads.
In the photo collage pictured here, you can see two different views of the beaded heart shape. At left is how my sample heart looked after I finished crocheting it, but before I figured out what to do with it. If you follow the pattern as directed, you’ll hopefully end up with a heart shape that looks something like that. Of course, you can choose different colored beads and thread to make the design your own.
On the right, you can see one idea for what you can do with this heart; you can use it as a mini photo frame in a scrapbook page or album. It also makes a lovely applique on crocheted, knitted or sewn craft projects.
I picked this particular project to highlight since Valentine’s Day is coming up soon — and it’s an ideal Valentine project. However, there are many beautiful examples of beaded crochet, and many lovely free patterns and tutorials on the Internet.
Find More of Our Web Pages on the Topic of Bead Crochet:
I will create an exquisite family heirloom to be passed down to a child or grandchild- perhaps a beaded bag worked from a vintage pattern, or an elegant lace tablecloth
I will organize my yarn / thread stash, and donate or give away any yarns / threads I don’t plan to use
*__= fill in this blank with whatever number you think would be a good goal. Pick a number that is small enough to be manageable, yet large enough that you’ll feel like you really accomplished something when you’ve reached the goal.
Resources for Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions:
Learn How to Crochet or Knit; Learn New Crochet and Knitting Skills: You can take a variety of different crochet, knitting and crafting classes either online or in person. If you’d be interested in the the online version, there are several resources I can recommend:
Get Inspiration for Organizing Your Yarn and Craft Supplies:
Take a look at my favorite yarn organizers and yarn organization strategies on this page. One higlight: A former colleague of mine, Beth Peterson, shared some truly inspiring photos of her organized crochet supplies. She’s been keeping everything in a basket, which is lined with a custom-made holder for her crochet hooks. Check it out!
How are your knitting, crochet and supplies organized? We’d love to have information about how you approach it; please share tips in the comments section.
Learn New Knitting and Crochet Skills
We’ve posted a wide variety of resources to help you with learning new skills and techniques in crochet.
If there’s ever a time that you want to set a pretty table, it’s Christmas dinner. The table sets the mood for the entire meal; you want it to look amazing for your loved ones, not to mention for the family photos (especially if you’ll be posting them online.)
There are many possible ways to pretty up your table, and many different elements that could enhance you table settings and make them spectacular.
Of course, if you have a set of fine china or holiday dishes, it’s the ideal time to get them out and put them to use. Christmas is also the ideal occasion for using a pretty tablecloth or table runner. If you own a beautiful vase, it would be lovely to fill it with flowers and create a unique centerpiece.
And once you’ve done all that, you’d feel pretty silly putting paper towels on the table to use as napkins, wouldn’t you? Of course you would.
This realization could lead you down a whole new rabbit hole: How do you fold the napkins and keep them in place?
The answer, of course, is that you’ll want to use napkin rings to do that.
For you DIY types who like to make creative pretties to dress up your home decor, I invite you to consider the following free patterns for crafting your own napkin rings:
If you like the idea of making napkin rings, but the ones pictured above aren’t quite what you have in mind for your table, you’re invited to check out this list of 16 ways to make napkin rings. The list includes bunches more ideas, some of which involve craft techniques other than knitting or crocheting.
Send your scavenger hunt entries to the Craft Yarn Council before the deadline, which is October 21st 11:59 pm CT, and you will be entered to win 1 of 20 prizes totaling more than $1,200:
Interchangeable “Takumi” Circular Knitting Needle Combo Set
Interchangeable “Takumi” Tunisian Crochet Hook Combo Set
Prize package of Red Heart yarns
3 Clover PomPom Makers
2, 1- year subscriptions to Creativebug online classes
3 sets of booklets from Leisure Arts: Emoji Crochet, New Twist on Macramé and Yarn Crafts
Prize package of yarn from Lion Brand Yarn Co.
Amazon gift card from Prime Publishing
1-year subscription to I Like Crochet digital magazine from Prime Publishing
3 Boye Pom Pom Tassel Makers
2 Prize packages of newest yarns from Yarnspirations
2 Vogue Knitting Ultimate Knitting Books
Just imagine all the gorgeous projects you could make if you were to win any of these goodies! If you’re new to knitting or crochet and you don’t already have a yarn and pattern stash accumulated, winning one of these prizes would definitely be a great start! And if you’re an experienced crafter, as you already know, you can never have too many yarncrafting supplies…
Stitching It Forward: Teach Others How to Craft With Yarn:
Knitting, Crocheting, Weaving, Spinning and Yarn Bombing
As part of this special celebration, the Craft Yarn Council has requested that ALL fiber fans will share our love for yarn and “stitch it forward” by teaching at least one other person to knit, crochet, weave, spin or yarnbomb. Since crochet is the yarncraft I’m most proficient at, I would be honored to teach YOU how to crochet if you do not already know how. To get you started, I’ve put together the following list of free tutorials and easy crochet patterns for beginners:
Learn How to Crochet With Free Instructions and Tutorials:
A slip knot is NOT the only way to start crochet projects — but it is one of the most popular ways. See how to start crochet for some other insights about how to get a crochet project started.
When I teach beginners how to crochet, I recommend the granny square as an ideal first crochet project. To crochet the most basic, beginner-friendly granny square, you’ll need to know how to work the chain stitch, the slip stitch and the double crochet stitch:
This easy crochet neck warmer is another beginner-friendly crochet project:
There are many other amazing crochet stitches to learn, but there are bunches of projects you can make with only the chain, double crochet and slip stitch. The pretty neck warmer pictured above is a crochet project that only requires the chain stitch and the double crochet stitch.
Brenda K.B. Anderson’s pattern book, Beastly Crochet, wasn’t specifically intended to be a book of Halloween patterns. However, if you celebrate Halloween, October is a great time for crocheting the patterns in the book. That’s because this pattern collection is all Halloween friendly.
For example, let’s take the critters on the Beastly Crochet book cover (pictured.) If you look closely at their mouths, you’ll see these little monsters are stuffed with candy. They’re the perfect storage units for all the Halloween candy your little trick-or-treaters or party-goers might collect on Halloween night. Cute, aren’t they? You can crochet and felt them using the pattern and instructions given in this book.
If you want to make Halloween costumes for yourself or a child you know, this book has patterns you could use. There’s a super cute pattern for Sasquatch Slippers and Mittens, which I think might also work as bear claws. So you could dress up as a sasquatch or a bear if you make these. There’s also a vampire hat which could be the basis for an interesting Halloween costume.
The sweet skull hairpins are totally Halloween friendly. If those aren’t quite what you had in mind, you can check out bunches more knit and crochet skull patterns on our website. The link takes you to a list that’s mostly free patterns aside from the ones included in this book. The book also includes a sugar skull bag pattern, which I think is a little creepy — but I guess that’s the idea, right?
One of the fantastic things about this book is that the patterns are great for Halloween, but you can also use them at other times too. That translates to a great value for the time and money you spend on both the book and the projects. A big thumbs up to that!
Overall I really enjoyed this book, which tells you a lot since I am not someone who ordinarily enjoys crocheting skulls or creepy projects.
There are bunches of compelling reasons you might want to learn how to crochet corner to corner. For starters, corner-to-corner crochet is one of the hottest craft trends right now. Perhaps you’ve already seen some of the amazing projects people are designing using this technique. Blankets, throws and afghans are some of the most popular corner-to-corner crochet projects, but you can make a wide variety of different projects using this technique. I’ve seen beautiful scarves, pillows, dishcloths and table runners made in corner-to-corner crochet.
What I find most appealing about this technique: It offers you an interesting new way to create colorful pictorial patterns in crochet. In this regard, it has some similarities to the other techniques you can use for crocheting graphic designs:
Cross stitch on crochet
BUT this technique is pretty different from all of those, and it offers some advantages over each of those techniques. For example, I LOVE tapestry crochet, but the fabric can get thick and cumbersome when you’re working with more than 3 colors in the same piece. This is not a worry with corner-to-corner crochet.
I LOVE pictorial filet crochet patterns, but most filet crochet patterns are only one color. It’s also easier to see the picture when you crochet with fine threads and small steel hooks — which can get fiddly. With corner-to-corner crochet you have the option to make your designs either colorful or monochromatic, and the yarns can be as thick or thin as you like without having it adversely affect the visibility of the picture you are crocheting. If you enjoy fiddly projects with fine threads and steel hooks, you can certainly use those materials to create spectacular corner-to-corner crochet projects.
Cross stitch on crochet gives you unlimited options for colors and color placement, but its disadvantage is that it is a really slooooooooow technique. I find corner-to-corner crochet to be much faster.
Pictorial patterns aren’t your only possible design options with corner-to-corner crochet. Even solid-colored projects are interesting to work in this technique. If you want to crochet a diagonal stripe, it’s much more intuitive to do so using corner-to-corner crochet than it is to use tapestry crochet.
So whether you prefer solid-colored projects or colorful ones, either way, this is a technique that is well worth learning. I was really excited to learn about it and am excited to incorporate the technique into my repertoire of crochet skills.
If this sounds like a technique you would like to learn how to do, Sarah Zimmerman is a crochet designer who should definitely be on your radar. Sarah has mastered the corner-to-corner crochet technique — and she can help you learn how to master it, too.
Sarah has teamed up with Annie’s Crafts to create a high-quality video class intended to teach you the basics of corner-to-corner crochet. The practice project for the class is an adorable baby blanket featuring cute animal motifs: a lion, a panda bear, an elephant and a monkey. The animal squares are alternated with solid-colored blocks. This is an ideal design for beginners to the technique. That’s because all those solid blocks give you the perfect opportunity to master the single-color version of the corner-to-corner crochet stitch before you move onto learning how to do the more complex blocks that require color changes.
This practical project also gives you a chance to make something really useful while you perfect your corner-to-corner crochet skills.
You can attend Sarah’s class without ever leaving your house, so it’s about as convenient as you can get. In times past, you had to go out of your way to attend a class of this quality; if you were lucky enough to have an innovative local yarn store in your area, or lucky enough to attend a convention, you’d have been able to. Luckily, now there’s no need to invest in expensive airfare, hotel rooms and convention admission if those things are not in your current budget; Annie’s Crafts has made it easy and affordable to access amazing craft classes from home. While I do recommend attending classes, conventions and workshops in person if you have the opportunity to do so, those are no longer your only options for taking truly outstanding crochet classes.
There are two different ways you can access this corner-to-corner crochet class: on DVD, or through Annie’s online portal. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to ask the instructor, Sarah, questions. The video is really clear and helpful, so you’ll probably find that you won’t need to take advantage of this option — but it’s nice to know you do have the option if you need it. If there’s something that just doesn’t seem clear to you when you watch the video, or if you get stuck when you’re working any part of the baby blanket, the class materials include instructions for how to contact Sarah and ask for her help.
Crochet Skill Level Required for This Class: “Confident Beginner”
The team at Annie’s has given this DVD a skill level rating of “confident beginner”. What that means: Your chances for success with this class are best if you have already learned your basic crochet stitches. For this particular project, you’ll want to have a working knowledge of the chain,slip stitch,single crochet and double crochet stitches. This class does not make any attempt to teach you how to crochet starting at the beginning; in this class, Sarah focuses specifically on teaching the corner-to-corner crochet technique. She does, however, teach you several of the other mechanical skills you’ll need to construct and finish a blanket (like how to join your squares together, how to weave in your loose ends, etc).
One thing you have to beware of when you learn new crochet skills online: There are some crochet bloggers out there who are not really all that experienced with crochet. (No, I’m not going to name any names here). I’ve been crocheting for more than 35 years, and when I spend time looking at other crafters’ tutorials and videos, it is painfully obvious to me that there are some bloggers out there who have not put in the time it takes to master the techniques they are attempting to teach you.
This is not a worry with Sarah Zimmerman’s corner-to-corner crochet class. It is obvious to me that Sarah Zimmerman has invested the time it takes to become an expert at the technique she is teaching you. This is one reason you’ll want to consider learning this technique from her class.
I think you’ll find this class especially beneficial if you are not already an experienced crocheter. If you’re a beginner at crochet, I think you will find it helpful to watch Sarah’s way of working — the way she holds her yarn and her hook, and the way she manipulates them to work her crochet stitches, and the speed at which she is able to work because of the way she expertly uses her hands in harmony with each other. If you’re attempting to learn how to crochet by using books, and you’re struggling but not ready to give up yet, my opinion is that this class could really be helpful to you. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to watch an experienced crocheter with the aid of exceptionally helpful camera angles.
In some ways, I think this class is going to be more helpful than even taking an in-person crochet class would be. There are a couple of reasons for this:
There are cultural “personal space” barriers to worry about with a real live instructor. Unless it’s your mom, sister or grandma teaching you how to crochet, you can only comfortably get so close to your instructor. This video has removed those cultural “personal space barriers” and gets your attention focused right on Sarah’s hands in such a way that you don’t even think twice about it; it isn’t an uncomfortable experience at all. Whereas it could be an uncomfortable experience trying to get this close to a crochet instructor in a live class setting, particularly one where there are many students participating and you have to sort of fight for space to see what the instructor is doing.
You don’t have to worry about anyone thinking you are an idiot if you don’t get everything the first time the teacher explains it. Whereas in a live class setting, you might feel uncomfortable asking the instructor to demonstrate another 13 or 56 times, with this class, you can watch any part you need to as many times as you want. Just play it again. And again. And again. As many times as it takes for you to get it right.
Crochet Skills, Techniques, Tips and Tidbits You’ll Learn in This Class
The primary focus of this class, of course, is learning how to do the corner-to-corner crochet technique. There are additional crochet skills and techniques you’ll learn from this video:
How to weave in your loose ends of yarn securely so they will not come undone. This is important!
How to join your blanket squares almost invisibly using the mattress stitch. I personally found it difficult to learn this stitch from written tutorials, and I didn’t really get it until I saw it demonstrated on video. This stitch is really useful to know; if you haven’t already mastered it, I think you will be glad to see Sarah demonstrate it for you. She is an expert at this stitch; her expertise shines through in both her clear and simple explanation and the tidy, even stitches she makes in her demonstration. This stitch is really helpful for any crafter to understand, as you can use it for seaming just about any type of crochet or knitting project that requires one side or piece to be stitched to another. In this class, you’ll be using mattress stitch for joining your crocheted squares to create the finished baby blanket. Long after you’re finished with the class, you’ll be able to continue using it in other ways — perhaps for things like seaming one side of a cowl to the other, sewing up the sides of fingerless gloves or attaching trims to your projects.
How to prep your yarn and keep everything organized. It is obvious that Sarah has put a TON of thought into this, so the insights she shares on this topic are valuable.
How to read a corner-to-corner crochet graph — including a genius tip for how to avoid having to keep re-counting over and over again. If you’ve struggled with understanding C2C graphs before, I think Sarah’s simple and straightforward explanation will clear up the mysteries for you (but if it doesn’t, she is happy to answer your questions if you message her through the online class portal).
How to change colors in corner-to-corner crochet. Sarah demonstrates this for you multiple times throughout the class because it is a technique you’ll use frequently. This is an important skill to master, and you’ll have the benefit of seeing how she does it in several different places throughout the pattern.
How to carry a yarn color up to your working position. This is another exceptionally helpful skill for use on some multicolored corner-to-corner crochet projects. If you don’t already know how to do this, you’ll definitely want to learn this secret; there are many instances in which it will enable you to avoid having to cut your yarn and re-attach it, saving valuable yarn as well as working time and end-weaving time.
When it comes time to finish your project, you might be disappointed if there are areas in your colorwork that look a little messy. Sarah shares a secret for easily fixing the messy-looking areas — without you having to unravel or re-work anything. I think you’re going to love this! (For those of you who’ve worked some of my multicolored crochet patterns in the past, I’ll give you a hint: It IS NOT my usual, totally time consuming method of using surface crochet slip stitches around the messy areas.)
The Best Things About This Class
The video class makes this technique marvelously clear, whereas written tutorials do not generally manage to accomplish the same level of clarity. Before I watched this video, I looked at bunches of different corner-to-corner crochet tutorials — and had a hard time figuring out what exactly I was supposed to be doing. As it turns out, this is technique is easy and logical when you see a human being demonstrating it. However, there are some complexities that are hard to communicate using only written text and pictures.
The videography is exceptional. I had to watch parts of the class again because instead of paying attention to the subject matter, I was busy wondering about how they managed to get the shots so perfectly aimed above Sarah’s hands that it seems you’re looking right down at them. Amazing!
Many crochet videos are shot at awkward angles that don’t allow you to see the instructors hands as clearly as you might like to. That is absolutely not an issue here. You’ll be able to see Sarah’s hands just about as clearly as you can see your own hands when you crochet.
The crochet baby blanket presented in this video is attractive, appealing and worth the time investment, yet easy enough for people who have never crocheted corner-to-corner before.
Sarah is a wonderfully engaging teacher. Her presentation in the video was well-rehearsed enough to be nearly flawless, yet spontaneous enough to be interesting to watch.
Sarah uses clear, precise language throughout the entire one-hour and 21 minute class video presentation. I didn’t catch any factual errors or unclear instructions in my initial screening of this video. There is one bit of errata that the video team at Annie’s clearly corrected right in the online portal — there’s no need to go looking for it online.
I’ve watched hundreds of crochet videos on the Internet; fact checking independently produced craft videos for a media company was also part of a former job description of mine. Thanks to those experiences, I became aware that many of the crochet videos in existence contain unclear instructions, horrendous factual errors, logic errors, math errors, incorrect terminology, mediocre projects, inefficient methods and/or unworkable camera angles. My conclusion has been that a lot of unsuspecting people are wasting a lot of valuable time with crochet videos that are not worth watching. YIKES!
I bring all this up to help you understand how significant it is that this video does not have any such problems.
My opinion: Your time is the most valuable thing you have. If you want to learn new crochet techniques, you’re wise to seek out videos as a fast-track method for achieving the skills you want. It’s one of the quickest, smartest and most efficient methods available to you — but that’s only assuming you start with top-quality videos to watch. When you’re serious about improving your skills, you unfortunately have to be really picky about the videos you learn from. It is all too easy to waste time on second-rate videos that don’t teach you what you really need to know — or worse yet, teach you things that are downright incorrect. While there are some high quality free crochet videos available online, my experience has been that you are likely waste a lot of time looking for the good ones. That’s time you could be spending on actually learning and improving your crochet skills.
This is a top quality video featuring a professionally designed project and expert instructions — exactly the type of resource you want to invest your time in.
About Sarah Zimmerman, the Class Instructor
Sarah is not only a talented crochet designer; she actually has been formally trained in the art of graphic design.
I highly recommend Sarah Zimmerman’s “Learn Corner-To-Corner Crochet” class from Annie’s Crafts. If you have a desire to learn how to crochet corner-to-corner plus money to spend on improving your crochet skills, this video is a wise use of resources.
Annie’s offers quite a few interesting video classes. I chose this class as the one I wanted to review because corner-to-corner crochet was a technique I found perplexing at first. I’m pretty adept at deciphering cryptic crochet instructions — so I figure that, if I had a hard time understanding this, bunches of you probably would, too. My experience was that it took a HUGE investment of brainpower and deductive reasoning to figure out the corner-to-corner crochet technique just from studying the free photo tutorials that are available online. But once you watch this video, I’m positive that you’ll be empowered with the ability to better understand all the amazing free corner-to-corner tutorials, patterns and resources that crochet designers have been posting — at least, that was the case for me.
Other Crafters’ Testimonials for Sarah Zimmerman’s Corner-to-Corner Crochet Class
I’m not the only crocheter who recommends this class. Here’s what a few other reviewers have posted about it:
“Extremely helpful, instructions are demonstrated beautifully! Would love more classes on a different pattern by Sarah.”
— This quote is from a customer tutorial posted by Kathleen M on August 14, 2017 at the Annie’s website.
“Very well done! Sarah is very easy to follow. I would take another class from her no question.”
— This quote is from a customer tutorial posted by Kathy S on August 11, 2017 at the Annie’s website.
” This is a great class. I love the animal baby blanket, too. Sarah, you do a wonderful job explaining the entire process. I especially liked the color changes.”
— This quote is from a customer tutorial posted by Suzanne M on June 3, 2017 at the Annie’s website.
Where to Buy the Learn to Crochet Corner-to-Corner Class
Both formats for this class are available for sale at the Annie’s website:
A DVD version— You have to wait for the DVD version of the class to be sent to you by snailmail — but once it arrives, you’ll have a tangible, gift-wrappable item you can hold in your hands. This is a great buy if you want to give the class as a gift to another crafter, or if you prefer to watch the class on your TV / DVD player instead of a laptop, computer or tablet. (Of course, you can also watch it on any computer or device that has a DVD player).
Do you ever get inspired just from looking at pretty materials? I often do. Case in point: I find these rag balls utterly charming. They make me want to pull out my hooks and needles and dive into creating some new projects.
I think these red, white and blue printed rag balls would be smashing if combined in the same project. This would be an ideal color combination for those of you who are fans of Americana designs or country-style decorating.
These colorful rag balls would also make up into charming projects for Fourth of July. I’m imagining sturdy placemats for the picnic table…coasters that look fab, plus protect the table from drippy, icy drinks…potholders to save your hands from those burning-hot-fresh-from-the-barbecue dishes you’ll want to be grilling up this summer…plus fashionable things too — bags, totes, jewelry and more.
Have you ever made a rag ball? Do you want to give it a try? If so, click here for free instructions. They aren’t hard to make at all, just time-consuming. However, it’s well worth the effort if you’re looking to try something a little different than yarn. Or also, if you have a bunch of no-longer-needed linens or textiles accumulating at your place, and you think you’d like to up-cycle them.
There are bunches of different things that you could use your rag balls for: