I know it’s only September, but the holiday season is just around the corner. It’s only a few short months until December rolls around. With that in mind, I’ve posted a Christmas-friendly symbol crochet chart you can use for crocheting a little Christmas tree motif similar to the one pictured here.
If you crochet this little Christmas tree, you could use it as an applique; it would be nice to stitch it to a hat, sweatshirt, tote bag, Christmas stocking, Christmas tree skirt or other creative craft project for a bit of holiday pizzazz. It would also make a fantastic ornament if you prefer to use it that way.
Please keep in mind that this motif doesn’t specifically need to be a Christmas tree. If you’d rather have a plain pine tree, it’s even easier than the Christmas tree you see pictured — just leave off the buttons, doodads and decorations.
Plain pine trees would be nice for embellishing projects that you want to be able to use throughout the entire winter season; you won’t feel obligated to put a pine tree project away on December 26th, when Christmas is over and done with. Which reminds me that I should also mention this pretty pine tree square, which you can crochet in Christmas colors if you like — or not. Whichever you prefer.
If you want to crochet a large project like a blanket in time for Christmas, it’s definitely time to get moving on that — just to be sure you get it all finished in time. Of course, now is a great time go get started on all your holiday crafting — because at this point, you have time to get things finished before the crazy-busy holiday rush begins.
More Fun Seasonal & Holiday Crochet, Knitting and Craft Projects:
It’s September. Is it snowing yet? No? Well who cares if it’s too early for a blizzard; I love crocheting snowflakes.
Here at KnittingandCrochet.net, snowflakes are one of our favorite design themes. There’s something irresistible about them; every time I see one, it seems to me that their symmetry and their intricacy just beg to be captured in crochet. I adore beaded crochet snowflakes,filet crochet snowflakes, and just about every other type of snowflake you could dream of.
Where to Find Snowflake Patterns and Other Fancy Crochet Hexagon Motifs
There are bunches of places you can go to grab gorgeous snowflake patterns. One of my favorite resources for hexagon-shaped crochet motif patterns that you can use for making snowflakes is a book called Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng, published by Interweave. This book includes a spectacular variety of different motif patterns, plus finished projects like blankets, a table runner and others. So if you don’t want to spend all your crafting time making snowflakes, you’ll be able to use this book for crocheting some snowflakes as well as some other sorts of projects, too.
If you’d prefer to have a pattern book that’s completely dedicated to crocheted snowflake patterns, check out Crochet Snowflakes Step-By-Step by Caitlin Sainio. This book is published by St. Martin’s Griffin. If you’re a beginner to crochet, this is exactly the book you want — because it has some beginner-friendly projects, plus each snowflake is demonstrated using step-by-step color photo tutorials. The book also includes international symbol crochet charts, which are easy and intuitive to understand.
More Crochet Snowflake Patterns:
Be sure to check out our list of snowflake crochet patterns, which includes some excellent free snowflake patterns as well as some options for snowflake patterns for sale
(that are worth the money, in my opinion).
More Wonderful Crochet Patterns for Winter:
I hope you’ll take advantage of these and all the other outstanding winter knitting and crochet patterns we’ve made available for you — and that you’ll enjoy them. Many of our winter crochet patterns are available for free.
At the moment, it seems to me like Halloween is far in the distant future. In my neighborhood, the weather is now a little cooler than it was last month — but that doesn’t mean it’s chilly here, by any means. The slight temperature drop around here just means that it’s now tolerably hot outside, instead of being unbearably hot.
Weather aside, a look at the calendar reminds me that fall is fast approaching, and that Halloween is less than 2 short months away. Halloween falls on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 this year. For crafters and do-it-yourselfers who celebrate Halloween, the time has come to plan for Halloween projects, Halloween parties, and handmade Halloween costumes.
With that in mind, I’ve begun collecting patterns for, and links to, knitted and crocheted Halloween projects and ideas.
27 Skull Patterns to Knit and Crochet — So far, this page of skull and skeleton patterns is one of the most comprehensive pattern hubs on our website. I’ve posted links to every free knitted or crocheted skull pattern I could find on the Internet, and I also posted some links to some pay-for patterns as well. I hope you’ll find this list helpful if you want to make a Halloween project featuring a skull or skeleton motif.
This list is in its infancy, and I plan to update it with bunches more patterns as I discover them. If you’re a crochet or knitting pattern designer who has recently posted a new Halloween pattern, I invite you to let me know about it by email. I’d love to share bunches more quality patterns with my readers here.
Here’s a fun limerick I wrote awhile back in celebration of joining crochet motifs as you go:
Piles of projects have ends that are loose.
Their numbers, I’d like to reduce.
So I’ve learned to join as I go.
Although it is slow,
There’s no longer any excuse.
Once you learn how to do join-as-you-go crochet motifs, you’ll love how you won’t have to weave in zillions of loose ends when you’ve finished your projects. It’s definitely a technique worth learning.
Check out Continuous Crochet and Seamless Crochet, two books by Kristin Omdahl that explore the join-as-you-go technique in depth. In my opinion, Seamless Crochet is the go-to reference on this topic. I had a hard time wrapping my head around how to turn any crochet motif pattern into a join-as-you-go pattern until I read this book. Continuous Crochet is a follow-up to that book featuring even more amazing, up-to-date clothing and accessory patterns that require minimal finishing.
I’ll be the first to admit that skulls aren’t really my thing. Even so, I thought of bunches of different reasons a person might want to crochet or knit some skull motifs.
Know any punk rockers, skateboarders and / or goth fans? If so, skull appliques could be useful for accenting projects you make for them; you could add ’em to plain hats, fingerless gloves, etc, to give the project an “edgier” look.
Wear them to horror movies and / or rock concerts.
For those of you who celebrate Halloween, skulls make great Halloween decorations.
They’re also useful additions to handmade Halloween costumes.
Use ’em on any occasion that involves pirates, or dressing up as pirates.
You can use skull appliques to mark any dangerous item in your home. This may sound a little silly, but it would be a good visual reminder to be cautious in the presence of that dangerous item.
I used some of my skull appliques as embellishments in a scrapbook.
They would make creepy additions to hair pins, headbands and hair clips.
Additionally, we’ve found patterns where skulls are featured in just about every kind of configuration you could think of, and they are used for embellishing everything from blankets to garlands.
If these ideas sound appealing to you, I invite you to visit our list of 27 skull patterns to crochet and knit. Most of these patterns are free and easily accessible on the Internet. Drop by anytime and check ’em out.
In 1997, I paid more than $16,000 for the classes that resulted in my degree in textile design. That was actually a bargain compared to what many other students pay for a design school education — especially these days. I was able to earn that degree in only 9 months since I already had a Bachelor’s degree and didn’t need to take any of the foundational courses like Art 101. Hmmm. Well, considering it was only 9 months worth of classes, maybe it wasn’t a bargain at all. That’s debatable. $16,000 is a lot of money to spend on classes, no matter how you slice it. But as to whether or not it was worth it, that particular debate isn’t the topic of today’s blog post.
Why I’m telling you all this: Today, more than 20 years later, I’m still a textile designer. And today I’m going to share with you a couple of the most important takeaways from my design school education on the topic of color. If you aren’t inclined to pay whatever the going rate is for a design school degree, now you’ll at least have access to several of the most important things I learned after having paid my $16,000. Here are 3 of my $16,000 secrets for knitting and crocheting with color:
Secret #1: Flower Centers Should Visually Pop Out From the Flower Petals
I see a lot of knitters and crocheters making a big mistake when they choose the colors for their floral projects. They pick colors that match each other too closely for the flower centers and flower petals. This works FANTASTIC when you’re choosing a skirt and a blouse to wear — but it makes for boring flowers.
Instead, choose a color for your flower center that’s much bolder than the color you use for your flower petals.
Secret #2: You Can Make Any 2 Colors Match Each Other
I didn’t actually learn this secret in design school. I learned it on the job shortly afterward. (One of my design school classmates helped me get the job). I was working as a textile print colorist. As the newest member of the team, I was typically assigned to work on the weirdest, oddest projects for the company’s least important clients. What fun!
Except, it did turn out to be fun. I learned a TON in the process. And, through trial and error, I figured out that you can make any 2 colors match each other. It was necessary for me to learn this, because I was forced to work with my clients’ color palettes — and they came up with some bizarre color palettes.
So here’s the secret: In any computer program that has a gradient function, you take color #1 and color #2, and you plop them into a blank document. Then you create a gradient between the 2 colors. Then you use the color picker to choose the most interesting-looking color that’s somewhere in between the 2 shades you’re trying to coordinate. Use all 3 of these colors in your finished design. Usually, you’ll want to use the gradient color or one of the other 2 colors as the main color, and then you’ll use the other 2 colors as accents.
When you’re knitting or crocheting, there’s one obvious step missing here: You need to translate these colors to yarn colors. The key is to work with a yarn that has a massive color palette. Cascade 220 is the yarn I recommend. Red Heart Super Saver is also an option, although I don’t personally recommend crocheting with acrylic. You might not be able to find exact matches in these yarns for the colors you’ve selected, but their color palettes are large and significant enough that you’ll most likely be able to find workable options.
I bet you’d like to see some examples of this, wouldn’t you? OK. I don’t have any ready at the moment, but I’ll work on putting them together for you soon. You’re invited to subscribe to my newsletter, if you don’t already, to keep up with my upcoming posts and projects.
Secret #3: When You Create a Color Palette for a New Design Collection, ALWAYS Consider Including a Green.
This is a tip that will likely prove to be more helpful to knit and crochet pattern designers who create complete collections rather than single designs — but if you do happen to create collections, I hope this tip will help you.
Green is one of the most important accent colors to consider including in a color palette — and this holds true for both fashion and home furnishings. For starters, it’s hard to create appealing floral designs without green — and many of the top selling textile designs in both fashion and home decor are florals.
Even if you aren’t working on a floral, if a colorway you’re designing somehow seems wrong, injecting a small amount of green into the design can often improve it.
Along with that tip is another important one: Not all greens are created equal. A pale celery green usually beats a vivid emerald green — although right now, vivid emerald green is totally on-trend, so use it to your heart’s content if it’s a color that appeals to you and otherwise works well in your designs.
(Temporarily FREE) Color Theory Classes
Creativelive is my favorite website — and they have some upcoming color theory classes scheduled to stream for free. These are classes you would ordinarily have to pay a bundle for; so if you’re interested in watching them, it’s worth it to RSVP for the classes and note them on your calendar so you can tune in when the free broadcast is available. I haven’t actually watched these particular classes yet. I’ve RSVP’ed for the free broadcasts and I do hope to catch them when they air.
If you’re interested in taking these classes, I suggest clicking the “RSVP” button at the top right hand side of the screen on the class information page to reserve your spot. Once you’ve RSVPed, you’ll get a confirmation email, and they will also send you a reminder before the class begins (assuming you opt in to receive emails). You’ll also have to register for Creativelive (if you haven’t already).
My Favorite Books About Knitting and Crocheting With Color
Crochet Kaleidoscope is almost like 2 books in one; it’s part color theory manual and part crochet pattern book. I own other books on the topic of crochet motif patterns, but this one is my new favorite; it has inspired me to crochet bunches of projects, and there are dozens more patterns from the book I still want to try. You can see photos of some of the projects I made in my book review of Crochet Kaleidoscope.
If you don’t know how to do Fair Isle knitting / stranded colorwork knitting, this book will not only teach you how to do it; the book will also give you some fun and useful colorwork patterns to try as well as some instructions for outstanding finished projects to work on.
This colorful book is super-duper creative. Read it if you want to learn how to design your own colorful knitted panels; or you can also knit the SPECTACULAR examples shown in the book exactly as is. The authors explore lots of fun themes and motifs — floral designs, animal patterns, rock and roll themes, and others. This is one of the most inspiring knitting books I own. It includes designs for the whole family — ladies, gentlemen and children — and includes a broad range of projects including sweaters, socks and more.
So there you have it: Those are my $16,000 secrets for knitting and crocheting with color, along with a list of some of my favorite color resources. I hope you find this information helpful when you choose colors for your knitting and crochet projects in the future.
*To those of you who are outside the USA, please feel free to re-color any of our Fourth of July projects into other colors — maybe your own country’s colors if you like, or whichever color combinations you prefer.
Also, I invite everyone else to join in the limerick-writing fun, if you like. I’m writing these from my own limited experience, and since I have lived in the USA for most of my life, those are the experiences I have to draw on. I really don’t mean to exclude anyone, and would be happy to see family-friendly limericks from crocheters around the world expressing other viewpoints. Bonus points if they’re silly, tongue-in-cheek, and knitting or crochet-related, but they do have to stay family-friendly!
Have you ever tried crocheting with fabric before? If so, I think a necklace like this one would be a piece o’ cake for you to make.
If you’ve never attempted this technique before, and you’d be interested in giving it a try, this is one of the quickest and easiest projects you could choose for getting started. It’s wonderful if you end up loving the technique, but you never know until you try it. If you’re going to end up hating it, I think it’s a good idea to make that discovery using a zippy-quick project like this one — before you spend one zillion hours cutting fabric strips to make a more time-consuming project like a rag rug or rag bag tote.
If you like this idea, I invite you to give the pattern a try.
If you choose to use red, white and blue materials for crocheting your project, you could create a necklace that’s perfect for wearing on July 4th, Memorial Day or any similar patriotic holiday or occasion. (Or really, any day — because those colors are classic and look great together any time.) However, there are endless different pleasing color combinations you could try, so you can have bunches of fun experimenting to find ones that express your style best.
Pictured here, we have a necklace that I made using red and white batik fabric plus blue and silver wire-wrapped pendants. All of these materials work well for an Independence-Day-themed jewelry piece.
These circles are eye-catching, don’t you think? But because of all the colors, they look more complicated than they really are. I crocheted them using self-striping yarn, so I didn’t have to do anything special to make all those interesting color shifts happen. The yarn is responsible for most of the intricacy.