Crochet, Knitting and Other Creative Classes at My New Favorite Website

I have a new favorite website. I love this site for bunches of reasons:

  • They make a huge variety of interesting video-based creative classes available on topics that interest me — crafts, photography, business and much more.
  • They let you view bunches of different video classes for free with no strings attached. If you enjoy the class enough to want to watch it again, you have the opportunity to pay for access to the class — but they don’t pressure you to do so. I think this business model is win-win for everyone.
  • The videos don’t have annoying ads on them the way Youtube videos often do.
  • Their instructors have a talent for making complex topics interesting and easier to understand.
  • This site has many famous class instructors on board. To give some examples, if you need a beginner’s class for knitting or crochet, you could take a class from Vickie Howell through this website. Anne Geddes has photography classes available through this website.
  • The videos I’ve seen so far have all been high-quality and worth watching.
  • I like hearing from the people at this site. They send interesting emails that I often open and read. Their blog is filled with helpful posts, and I’ve learned quite a bit from reading their posts and watching their classes.
  • They offer frequent sales and discounts on their paid classes. Their class prices vary greatly, but tend to be reasonable to start with — so their sale prices typically represent an outstanding value.

Want to check out this site? Here are some links you might find helpful:

No Need to Sew If You Join As You Go

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.

Learn More:

Crochet a 4th of July Necklace Using Strips of Fabric

Fourth of July Necklace Worked in the Fabric Crochet Technique
Fourth of July Necklace Worked in the Fabric Crochet Technique

(Plus Pendants or Beads for Embellishments.)


To make this project, I enjoyed playing with some of my favorite things — colorful material, sparkly glass pendants, and the fabric crochet technique. I’m delighted to share the free necklace pattern, instructions and step-by-step tutorial with you.

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.


Crocheting a Necklace in Red, White and Blue for July 4th, or to Wear Any Time at All.
Crocheting a Necklace in Red, White and Blue for July 4th, or to Wear Any Time at All.

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.


See Also:

A July Limerick, for Crocheters in the USA*

Red, White and Blue Crocheted Necklace With Pendants -- Perfect for the Fourth of July, or Any Time.


Our holiday in July’s on the Fourth.

Freedom — priceless its worth.

Let’s have fireworks and beer,

Parades far and near,

And picnics everywhere, from the south to the north.



We crocheters have other ways

To spend our holidays.

We stitch and create

Even staying up late

To work on our crafts and displays.



In July, we celebrate Independence.

To do so, we could crochet pendants

In red, white and blue

Or other colors too

And we’ll make plenty more projects hence.


*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 crochet-related, but they do have to stay family-friendly!

Related Resources

Make Crochet Potholders for July 4th, 2016 (Or Any Day)

Red, White and Blue Potholders -- A Crochet Project for Fourth of July, or Any Patriotic Holiday. A Free Crochet Pattern Is Available for This Design.
Red, White and Blue Potholders — A Crochet Project for Fourth of July, or Any Patriotic Holiday. Or for That Matter, Any Day at All. A Free Crochet Pattern Is Available for This Design.

Speaking to my fellow Americans — It’s almost July, and that means our July 4, 2016 celebration is coming up soon. Are you ready to take a day off to picnic, party, play and parade like the free-spirited, freedom-loving people that you are?

Maybe picnics and parties are your idea of fun — and maybe they aren’t. Maybe you find it just as enjoyable to relax with a lovely needlework project in hand…Sometimes I do. However you’ll choose to spend the day, here’s hoping your Fourth of July 2016 will be a spectacular one.

Pictured here: red, white and blue striped potholders that make glorious summertime crochet projects — not too time-consuming, and not too hot and heavy for afternoon craft sessions on the veranda.

If you knock out a few of these between now and the Fourth, you can bring ’em with you to whatever potlucks / parties / picnics you’ll be attending. Or maybe just place ’em on your picnic table so nobody burns their hands on the hot-off-the-barbecue dishes that will get passed around.

Some of y’all find holidays motivating; it’s always fun to tie your projects into whatever special day is coming up next. But the truth is, potholders like these are lovely to have on hand year-around. They make great accents for every patriotic holiday: Veteran’s Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day…and they work for everyday, non-holiday-days as well.

If any of you are outside the USA, you’re invited to make use of this pattern too. If red, white and blue is not the color scheme you have in mind, you are welcome to substitute any other colorway you please.

Give This Pattern a Try:

Setting the Table for Earth Day 2016

Setting the Table for Earth Day 2016 With Upcyled Wire Crochet Napkin Rings Made From Pull Tabs

For those of you who didn’t know, today — Friday, April 22, 2016 — is Earth Day. Happy Earth Day, everyone!

I’ve posted some lovely free patterns you can use for dressing up your Earth Day table, or any holiday table for that matter. Check ’em out!

Half Double Crochet Placemats — Free Pattern

Awhile back I designed a place setting featuring this placemat made with organic cotton yarn, an environmentally friendly choice. The green color is an added bonus which ties in nicely with the overall “green” theme. The placemat is finished with a scalloped crochet lace edging and some woven yarn.

Pull Tab Napkin Rings

This project calls for upcycling some pull tabs and transforming them into these beautiful napkin rings, which are pictured above. The instructions for these napkin rings are available online for free.

Best Napkin Fold for Crochet Enthusiasts

If you have napkins with stunning crocheted edgings, this is a great way to show ’em off. Bonus points if the napkins, or edgings, are green.


See Also:

Crochet Spring-Friendly Bath Accessories

Crochet Spring Friendly Bath Accessories. Free Crochet Patterns Are Available for These Designs.
Crochet Spring Friendly Bath Accessories. Free Crochet Patterns Are Available for These Designs.

Any time is a fantastic time to crochet a dishcloth or washcloth, but they make particularly wonderful projects for working on during the spring and summer months.

Pictured here: On the right, we have an easy, spring-friendly crochet dishcloth or washcloth worked in an interesting single crochet mesh stitch.

When I was in the planning stages of designing this crochet pattern, I intended for the finished object to be a dishcloth I could use in the kitchen for washing dishes and general cleaning tasks. I figured that such a dischloth would be fantastic for spring cleaning — and indeed it is.

However, when I made the discovery that the finished project is amazingly soft and touchable, I decided to make a few more of them to be used as washcloths. After completing those additional projects, I tested them myself and was delighted to find that they really do make dreamy washcloths too. Hooray!

Pictured at left in the photo above, we have a hand towel with a crocheted edging. My project sample is worked in a delightful lilac color that reminds me of the glorious wisteria flowers that are blossoming all over the place right now.

I’m loving these projects, and I hope some of you will also enjoy making and using these items as well.


See Also:

Crocheting for Earth Day and Every Day

Crochet an Eco-Friendly Rag Bag for Earth Day or Any Day
Crochet an Eco-Friendly Rag Bag for Earth Day or Any Day

Earth Day is coming up soon. This year, we’ll be celebrating Earth Day on Friday, April 22, 2016 — mark your calendars!

If you’d like to celebrate Earth day with an eco-friendly crochet project, there are many possiblilities to consider. For example, the gorgeous tote bag pictured above is a sustainable DIY project if you choose to upcycle old fabrics or clothes for your materials.

Another similar option is an earth-friendly market bag made using organic cotton. You can get the market bag crochet pattern on the Internet for free.

You could begin working on either of these projects today, and if you start using the bag every time you shop, it’ll result in fewer paper and plastic shopping bags that need recycling.

To see bunches more Earth Day project ideas, you might want to visit the About.com crochet library of projects for Earth Day.


Related Resources:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Valentine's Day Greeting, Plus Crochet Project Ideas. Free Crochet Patterns Are Available for All of These Designs.

Here’s wishing you a fun-filled, lovely Valentine’s Day this year. If your plans for today include a little crafting time, you’re invited to browse our website for free project ideas and inspiration.

If you’re interested in Valentine crochet or knitting projects, you can click here (or click the photo posted) to find a bunch of ’em.

Perhaps Valentine’s Day projects aren’t what you’re interested in making right now — and if not, no worries, we have plenty of other free patterns and ideas as well:

Thanks so much for dropping by today. Happy Valentine’s Day! And, happy crafting!

Project Ideas for Using Layered Crochet Stitches

I’m getting ready to move, so I am going back through all my projects and deciding which of my finished objects to donate, what to gift to friends, what to keep and what to unravel. This is a bit like traveling back in time. It’s refreshing my memory on so many different ideas I had in the past, and so many different directions my knitting and crochet could take next.


This swatch is comprised of single crochet and chain stitches that are layered over each other in interesting ways. This idea is further developed into some crochet necklaces which you can make using free patterns available on the Internet.
This swatch is comprised of single crochet and chain stitches that are layered over each other in interesting ways. This idea is further developed into some crochet necklaces which you can make using free patterns available on the Internet.



Here’s a peek at a swatch of layered crochet stitches I worked back in 2009, when I first began designing crochet patterns for public consumption.

I’ve learned a lot between now and then; there are good things and bad things about the direction of the growth I’ve experienced in that time. I think in many ways, I’ve become more adept at pattern writing, and my patterns are clearer than they were in the earlier days. The downside is that, in the early days, I was more willing to try complex things that were difficult to explain via crochet patterns. Since many of my readers are beginning crocheters, somewhere along the line I began making choices that are safer, simpler and more beginner friendly. So some of the resulting clarity has come at the expense of work that is a little more interesting, different and unusual.


Looking at this swatch is a good reminder of the kind of work that I used to do in the past but haven’t done much of lately. I used to take more risks with my crocheting, and I was more willing to spend time on pieces that failed, or at least failed to achieve “commercial success.” At the time, since I was just getting started with designing for the public, I didn’t even understand what “commercial success” was. I have a clearer understanding of that now, although I am still learning more every day.


In the swatch pictured above, the lower layer of the fabric is single crochet. The upper layer consists of arches of chain stitches and single crochet.

After I initially created this swatch, I developed the concept into several finished projects:

Looking at this swatch reminds me that there are so many other different directions this idea could go in:

  • Different ways to work out the stitch repeat
  • Different color combinations to try
  • Different yarns to use
  • Different finished projects that could result

I crocheted both this swatch and my necklaces with embroidery floss. I think that using a thicker yarn would make an awfully thick fabric, but I’d still be interested to try it and see what happens. When worked with bulkier yarns, it could perhaps make an interesting purse or tote bag…a coffee cup cozy…the cuffs of a garment or the lower edge of a sweater…the lower edge of a hat…so many ideas!


For now, though, I have to resume with my decluttering and destashing, so instead of working on new ideas and new patterns I will have to content myself with linking you up to pages I’ve already posted: