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.
If you want more details about the book and its contents, I invite you to click here for my detailed book review.
Why Learn How to Crochet Corner to Corner?
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:
- Filet crochet
- Tapestry crochet
- 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 Zimmerman is the Instructor for a Fantastic Corner to Corner Crochet Video Class From Annie’s.
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).
- An instantly accessible digital / online version, available through Annie’s online portal — If you’re impatient to get started with learning the corner-to-corner technique as soon as possible, this is definitely the way to go. This is also a fantastic option for tiny home and apartment dwellers, college students in dorm rooms or anyone else who doesn’t have a lot of storage space or doesn’t want to accumulate extra clutter.
- Sarah Zimmerman has also written a book featuring fun corner-to-corner lap blanket patterns. Here’s a link to my book review of this title. The short version: I highly recommend the book. Click here if you’d like to shop for this title at the Annie’s website.
- Click here to see my review of another Annie’s crochet class: Sharon Silverman’s Learn to Crochet Ripples class
This page was last updated on October 6, 2017.
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.
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:
- Glam it up with a colorful DIY necklace. (It’s easy!)
- Try crocheting a rag rug. (A little more challenging, plus time-consuming — but fabulous.)
- Make yourself a stunning rag bag tote. (You’ll never get tired of hearing “Where did you get that gorgeous bag?”)
If you would like to try making those types of projects, be sure to grab the free patterns from the pages linked here.
May is also a great time to sit
outside in the sunshine and knit.
Grab your needles and yarn,
your wire and your plarn,
and work on your projects a bit.
This year, Mother’s Day will fall on Sunday, May 14, 20167. That gives you some time to delight a special Mom (or perhaps a grandmother, mother-in-law, or stepmom) by making a handmade gift to give her this Mother’s Day.
If this is an idea that sounds interesting to you, we invite you to browse through our Mother’s Day gift ideas to find ideas for the perfect gift. Here we’ve presented a roundup of a few fantastic ideas for Mother’s Day craft projects; we hope you’ll be inspired by these suggestions.
Design a Sweater That Your Mom Would Love!
Melissa Leapman is an authority on sweater knitting design. She’s enjoyed a successful career as a knitwear designer and has designed sweaters and sweater patterns for bunches of books, magazines and clothing companies. Melissa shares a simple, beginner-friendly, step-by-step sweater design process in a brand new book called 6,000+ Pullover Possibilities. So if you’ve always wanted to design custom-made sweaters to give as gifts to your loved ones, this book will guide you through the process. If your mom knits, the book itself would also be a spectacular gift for her. Click here to shop for the book at Amazon, or click here for more info in my detailed book review of this title.
Shawls make delightful gifts for moms and grandmas. Shawls can be warm, substantial and comforting; or light, lacy and frivolous. They can be casual or dressy, chic or unassuming, fancy or simple.
- Get free knit and crochet shawl patterns
- Check out Vogue Knitting’s second collection of SPECTACULAR knit shawl patterns
Cozy Blankets for Mom
If you’re a fast and dedicated crafter, you have plenty of time left to make a customized blanket just for mom. You could use granny squares or other crocheted squares if that type of blanket would appeal to her. Be sure to add a pretty border or edging to finish it off.
Jewelry makes a great gift for mom, and this pattern allows for a lot of personalization that would make each piece unique and perfect for your mom (or for whoever you want to make it for.)
A Spa Gift Basket
Crochet a basket for mom. Fill it with fancy, extra-special crocheted washcloths plus scented lotions, beautiful sculpted soaps and a bath puff — or whichever toiletries your mom would find most enjoyable.
There are so many things that moms might love that it's hard to fit them all in one blog post. I invite you to browse our website to find even more knitting and crochet patterns, some that mom might love, some to make for Dad for Father’s Day, and hopefully even some to use for making something nice for yourself too.
If you enjoy crafts other than just knitting and crocheting, check out a list of the best Mother’s Day craft ideas at The Free Crafts Website.
Are you looking for stylish ways to bundle up this winter? If so, a crocheted cowl is a fantastic wardrobe piece to consider making. These two warm, trendy crochet cowls are both perfect additions to any stylish lady’s winter 2017 wardrobe.
This thick, warm, textured cowl is a super quick crochet project that’s as easy to make as it is to wear. I’ve used a jumbo-sized vivid teal-colored wool yarn to crochet my project sample; this color is really trendy right now, and it pairs well with lots of other colors for maximum versatility. If your winter 2017 wardrobe basics are black, gray, navy blue, khaki or brown, this color will complement them beautifully.
- Click here to get the free crochet cowl pattern.
- Click here to shop for the yarn at the Knitpicks website.
The Chepstow cowl looks like a bulky or jumbo crochet project, but it’s a clever illusion; you’ll actually use medium-weight yarn to crochet this design. The project sample is worked in a lovely neutral colored yarn that’s completely versatile and looks great paired with lots of other colors, textures and fibers.
The pattern for the Chepstow cowl is by Sharon Silverman, and it is included in her book called Crochet Cowls: 15 Bold & Beautiful Designs, published by Stackpole Books. If you want to learn more about this book and see some of the other projects it includes, we invite you to check out our interview with Sharon Silverman and our book review of Crochet Cowls. The short version of the review: we highly recommend this book.
This pretty flower applique is useful at any time of year, but it’s especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day. You could pin it to a hat or lapel, or use it to embellish a Valentine gift you’re giving to a friend or loved one.
I’ve crocheted my sample flower in shades of pink and purple, but it would be even prettier in red and white, or pink and white. Or perhaps you could even use red, pink and white all together in this flower, assuming you can find the right combination of button, ribbon and yarn. Any of these options would be ideal color schemes for crocheting Valentine’s Day themed flowers.
If you’d like to crochet a different style of flower motif, you’re invited to visit our index of free crochet flower patterns. You’ll find many more flower designs to choose from.
Update From 12/16/2016: If you celebrate Christmas, please be sure to check out our brand new 2016 Christmas gift guide featuring our suggestions for the best gifts to give crochet and knitting enthusiasts. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Holidays, cooking and baking seem to go hand-in-hand, don’t they? So I think it’s a great idea to turn our attention to some of the pretty holiday-themed kitchen accents we can crochet.
You could take any design on the potholder pattern list and crochet it in Christmas colors, but some of the designs on the list are already “Christmas-y” as is. For example, this striped potholder resembles a candy cane if you crochet it in red and white yarn. (If not, it’s just an ordinary striped potholder, as you can see here.)
This red, white and green striped potholder is also festive and Christmas-y.
I haven’t got around to crocheting this Christmas tree design in cotton yarn to use as a potholder yet, but it’s on my to-do list to try. Please feel free to use that idea if you’d like. If you do, keep in mind that the design as originally written was meant to be used as an afghan square, and was crocheted in acrylic. You don’t want to use acrylic or other synthetics for making potholders, as I explain in my article about which yarn to use for crocheting potholders.
Happy stitching, and happy holidays!