$16,000 Secrets for Knitting and Crocheting With Color

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.

Which Flower Colorway Is More Interesting? While the BUTTON on the left is undoubtedly more interesting than the button on the right, it is the wrong choice for this particular flower. Why? Because there is no contrast between the color of that button and the color of the nearest flower petals. The button on the right, although it is kind of boring, is a much better choice -- because the color of the button pops out from the color of the nearest flower petals. What would be even better: A Czech glass button like the one on the left, but in a deeper color like the button on the right. If I could find one like that, it would be the best choice of all.
Which Flower Colorway Is More Interesting? While the BUTTON on the left is undoubtedly more interesting than the button on the right, it is the wrong choice for this particular flower. Why? Because there is no contrast between the color of that button and the color of the nearest flower petals. The button on the right, although it is kind of boring, is a much better choice — because the color of the button pops out from the color of the nearest flower petals. What would be even better: A Czech glass button like the one on the left, but in a deeper color like the button on the right. If I could find one like that, it would be the best choice of all.
Which Flower Colorway Is More Interesting? Again, the flower on the right has much more color contrast, which makes it the more interesting choice -- despite the fact that the baubles on the left are actually the more interesting of the pair.  Since they're too similar in color to the flower petals, the interesting details get lost. They'd be better used in a different-colored flower, where their intricate details would stand out more.
Which Flower Colorway Is More Interesting? Again, the flower on the right has much more color contrast, which makes it the more interesting choice — despite the fact that the baubles on the left are actually the more interesting of the pair. Since they’re too similar in color to the flower petals, the interesting details get lost. They’d be better used in a different-colored flower, where their intricate details would stand out more.

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.

My Favorite Books About Knitting and Crocheting With Color

Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng


Crochet Kaleidoscope, a Book of Crochet Motif Patterns. Find a Variety of Lovely, Colorful Crochet Motif Patterns by Sandra Eng. Interweave Press Is the Publisher of This Crochet Pattern Book.
Crochet Kaleidoscope, a Book of Crochet Motif Patterns. Find a Variety of Lovely, Colorful Crochet Motif Patterns by Sandra Eng. Interweave Press Is the Publisher of This Crochet Pattern Book.

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.

Where to Buy Crochet Kaleidoscope:

The Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel

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.

Where to Buy The Alterknit Stitch Dictionary:

Knit Yourself In by Cecilie Kaurin and Linn Bryhn Jacobsen

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.

Where to Buy Knit Yourself In:

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.

Tea Time Is Always Nicer With Crocheted Potholders

I enjoy savoring a cup of organic herbal tea and a sweet treat with my family — perhaps some fruit, a bowl of yogurt or a freshly baked treat. What I don’t love: burning my fingers on a hot teapot or teacup. Between all the cooking and baking we do and our newly instituted afternoon tea time tradition, the potholders I crochet get bunches of use around our place.

Tea time is always nicer with crocheted potholders. A potholder will help you avoid burning your fingers on a hot teapot or tea cup during afternoon tea. Not only that, the potholder can add a pretty touch to your tea table setting. Want to crochet your own potholders for tea time or any time? Read on for fantastic crochet potholder pattern suggestions.
Tea time is always nicer with crocheted potholders. A potholder will help you avoid burning your fingers on a hot teapot or tea cup during afternoon tea. Not only that, the potholder can add a pretty touch to your tea table setting. Want to crochet your own potholders for tea time or any time? Read on for fantastic crochet potholder pattern suggestions.

We recently moved several times, and we couldn’t take everything (truthfully, we couldn’t take much of anything) with us. Our old potholders were left behind when we made the transition — so I’ve been crocheting new ones. I’m super proud of how they’re turning out. If you’d enjoy crocheting some of your own lovely new potholders for tea time, dinnertime or any time, I think you’ll be excited to get your hands on the patterns I’ve been using. Want to take a peek at a couple of my new favorites?

The Sunny Daisy Crochet Potholder

Sunny Daisy  Crochet Potholder: This potholder is made using two octagon motif patterns from Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng, published by Interweave. The potholder is finished with a simple shell stitch edging and a hanging loop. Crocheted and photographed by Amy Solovay.
Sunny Daisy Crochet Potholder: This potholder is made using two octagon motif patterns from Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng, published by Interweave. The potholder is finished with a simple shell stitch edging and a hanging loop. Crocheted and photographed by Amy Solovay.

To create the golden daisy-themed crochet potholder you see pictured here, I used two different octagon motifs from Sandra Eng’s amazing new book called Crochet Kaleidoscope, published by Interweave:


Motif #98 — motif #98 is an 8-pointed star motif with a crochet flower in the center. If you choose a golden-yellow yarn for the center of the flower and a white yarn for the flower petals, the way I did here, the flower resembles a daisy. Of course, you could customize your potholders by choosing any yarn colors that match your tea set, your dinnerware, your bakeware, your kitchen or your dining room décor. I used Cascade 220 wool yarns to crochet this potholder.


As far as crochet flower patterns go, this daisy is a really easy one; it isn’t complicated at all. There are lots of other ways you could use it besides just making potholders. You could incorporate the same design into a crochet daisy blanket, a doily or lots of other sorts of projects.

Motif #97 From Crochet Kaleidoscope Is an Octagon Shape Featuring a Sun Shape or Star Shape. This motif was designed by Sandra Eng. Crocheted and photographed by Amy Solovay.
Motif #97 From Crochet Kaleidoscope Is an Octagon Crochet Shape Featuring a Sun Shape or Star Shape. This motif was designed by Sandra Eng. Crocheted and photographed by Amy Solovay.

Motif #97 — motif #97 is an octagon shape with another polygonal shape in the center. This polygon could be interpreted as a sun or a star. I’m choosing to think of it as a sun for this particular design.


After crocheting these two motifs, I whip stitched them together to create a double-thick potholder that’s extra protective (no more burnt fingers!). Then I added a simple shell stitch edging around the outside, placing 2 shells comprised of 5 double crochet stitches on each of the potholder’s 8 sides (these are alternated with slip stitches). In the same round, I also added a hanging loop comprised of 15 chain stitches.


The finishing touch is a round of surface crochet slip stitches worked in white yarn in the spot where the white ground of the potholder touches the golden yellow edging. It’s interesting to me that this looks quite a bit like a round potholder or crochet mandala after adding the edging — although you can tell it’s an octagon shape if you look carefully (especially at the back).


If you do all your stitching carefully, the potholder turns out totally reversible — with a daisy or other flower on the front and a sun or star on the back.


I’m working on trying bunches of other variations on this design using other colors and perhaps (we’ll see) other edgings and other details. I’ll be excited to share information about how they turn out.

Vintage Potholder From Crochet Loom Blooms by Haafner Linssen

Crochet Loom Blooms is one of my new favorite craft books. The patterns in the book are simply beautiful! One of the patterns is called “Vintage Potholder”. I crocheted a modification of this design, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out. Take a look!


Vintage Potholder from the Book Crochet Loom Blooms by Haafner Linssen, published by Interweave. This Colorway of the Potholder Was Crocheted and Photographed by Amy Solovay. Yarn: Cascade 220 (Note That It Is Much Thicker Than the Yarn Suggested in the Pattern, Resulting in a LARGER Potholder That Is More Like a Hot Pad!)
Vintage Potholder from the Book Crochet Loom Blooms by Haafner Linssen, published by Interweave. This Colorway of the Potholder Was Crocheted and Photographed by Amy Solovay. Yarn: Cascade 220 (Note That It Is Much Thicker Than the Yarn Suggested in the Pattern, Resulting in a LARGER Potholder That Is More Like a Hot Pad!)

Isn’t it gorgeous? I LOVE IT!


The Crochet Loom Blooms book is simply amazing. It’s filled with patterns and instructions for making lovely flowers using a flower loom and then finishing them with crochet work. The technique works well for making potholders, blankets, throws, shawls, wraps, doilies and bunches of other projects. This flower loom technique is a fun and interesting way to mix things up a little and keep your crochet from getting repetitive or boring. If you want to learn a new craft without introducing a huge learning curve, this is definitely the way to go; I found the flower loom technique to be intuitive and easy to understand — especially since the author of the book, Haafner Linssen, has provided such clear and helpful instructions for the technique.

See Also: An interview with Haafner Linsssen, where she answers your frequently asked questions about the flower loom crochet technique and more.

Find More Knit and Crochet Potholder Patterns

Don’t worry if fancy floral potholders aren’t your thing; there are zillions of other crochet potholder patterns available in a dazzling variety of different design styles. If you want basic potholders, textured potholders, striped potholders, snowflake potholders, Christmas potholders or just about any other type of potholders imaginable, you’ll find excellent pattern suggestions on our page of knit and crochet potholder patterns. Many, but not all, of the patterns we’ve suggested on that page are free patterns.

Find More Flower Loom Crochet Resources

If the flower loom crochet technique interests you, we invite you to check out our page on the topic. You’ll find information about some of the flower looms and pattern books that are currently available.

Find More Crochet Flower Patterns

Find More Excellent Crochet Books

The Summer 2018 Issue of Crochet! Magazine: Bohemian Chic Edition Defining Crochet

The latest issue of Crochet! magazine (Defining Crochet) is now available, and the theme of this issue is “26 Modern-Day Bohemian Chic Projects!” The issue includes a diverse grouping of projects that includes women’s clothing, a sporty hat, a unique and unusual purse, a baby dress and headband set, a matching unicorn lovey and rattle for babies, jewelry, 3 blankets and a couple of pillows. Here are some of the highlights:

Women’s Clothing Patterns Included in the Summer 2018 Issue of Crochet! Magazine:

Crochet Magazine Summer 2018 Issue -- 26 Bohemian Crochet Projects and Patterns. Photo courtesy of Annie's and Used With Permission.
Crochet Magazine Summer 2018 Issue — 26 Bohemian Crochet Projects and Patterns. Photo courtesy of Annie’s and Used With Permission.

The cover photo shows you a carefree, on-trend peekaboo top crocheted using a lacy stitch pattern. Some of the other clothing patterns in this issue are as follows:

  • Circle All That Apply Crochet Jacket Pattern
  • Easy Top-Down Crochet Macchiato Sweater Pattern
  • Lahaina Crochet Top Pattern
  • Golden Crochet Mesh Cardigan Pattern
  • Summer Swag Tee-Shirt Pattern
  • One-Piece Crochet Wrap Vest Pattern
  • Maya Vest Crochet Pattern
  • Keep It Simple Shawl Pattern
  • Jade Isles Shawl Pattern

Crochet Blanket Patterns Included in the Summer 2018 Issue of Crochet! Magazine:

Blanket Surprise — A Crochet Blanket Pattern That’s Easy Enough for Total Beginners


Blanket Surprise Pattern by Bendy Carter, an Easy Crochet Blanket for Beginners. Photo Courtesy of Annie's, Used With Permission.
Blanket Surprise Pattern by Bendy Carter, an Easy Crochet Blanket for Beginners. Photo Courtesy of Annie’s, Used With Permission.

On a scale of 1 to 6, with 1 being the easiest, the team of Annie’s assigned this blanket a skill level rating of 1. To look at it, you’d never guess it’s such an easy pattern, would you? The design looks fresh, sophisticated, complex and lovely.


Part of the appeal comes from the eye-catching colorway in the suggested yarn for the project. The interesting puckered stitch pattern adds even more interest to the three-dimensional appearance of the blanket. This pattern looks much harder than it really is; the stitch is actually super-duper simple to crochet.


Mandala Granny Afghan


This insanely colorful blanket is comprised of blocks that could be either granny squares or mandalas, depending how you look at it.


Bold Boho Mini Throw


This round throw is embellished with colorful pompoms.

Jewelry Crochet Patterns Included in the Summer 2018 Issue of Crochet! Magazine:

If you enjoy crocheting jewelry, I bet you’ll LOVE the Summer 2018 issue of Crochet! magazine. There are several GORGEOUS jewelry projects that all look like they’d be both interesting to work on and lovely to wear:


Beachy Tassel Crochet Necklace Pattern


Beachy Tassel Crochet Necklace Pattern -- This Project Is Featured in the Summer 2018 Issue of Crochet! Magazine. Photo Courtesy of Annies; Used With Permission.
Beachy Tassel Crochet Necklace Pattern — This Project Is Featured in the Summer 2018 Issue of Crochet! Magazine. Photo Courtesy of Annies; Used With Permission.

If you make this casual tassel necklace, you’re likely to get a lot of use out of it during the summer months. It pairs well with everything from sundresses to t-shirts and jeans.


Dreamer’s Geometry Crochet Mandala Earrings


Dreamer's Geometry Mandala Earrings by Cherie Bernatt, featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Crochet! magazine. Photo courtesy of Annie's; used with permission.
Dreamer’s Geometry Mandala Earrings by Cherie Bernatt, featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Crochet! magazine. Use size 10 crochet thread and a few other craft supplies to make these spectacular, on-trend mandala earrings. Photo courtesy of Annie’s; used with permission.

Turkish Crochet Bracelets and Watch Band


Turkish Crochet Bracelets With Beads; This Project Is Featured in the Summer 2018 Issue of Crochet! Magazine. You Can Learn the Turkish Flat Stitch Technique and Use It to Make the Beautiful Bracelets Pictured, or Other Projects of Your choice.  Pattern Design and Technique Article Are by Debra Arch. Photo Courtesy of Annie's and Used With Perrmission.
Turkish Crochet Bracelets With Beads; This Project Is Featured in the Summer 2018 Issue of Crochet! Magazine. You Can Learn the Turkish Flat Stitch Technique and Use It to Make the Beautiful Bracelets Pictured, or Other Projects of Your choice. Pattern Design and Technique Article Are by Debra Arch. Photo Courtesy of Annie’s and Used With Perrmission.

There are several different ways you can get your hands on Crochet! magazine:

Related Resources

Celebrate “I Love Yarn” Day 2017 With Easy Crochet Projects for Beginners

I Love Yarn Day --Celebrate With  Crochet, Knitting and Yarn Crafts
I Love Yarn Day — Crochet, Knitting and Yarn Crafts
Guess what! Today is “I Love Yarn Day”, an extra-special day the Craft Yarn Council has designated for fun activities, yarncraft project ideas and free patterns just for the occasion. If you’d like to win some new knitting and crochet supplies, check out the I Love Yarn Day scavenger hunt featuring a spectacular prize package:

List of FUN, AMAZING Prizes for YARN LOVERS:

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 the first thing you need to know when you’re learning how to crochet. Click here to see a free crochet slip knot tutorial.


    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.


    Learn How to Crochet a Granny Square for Beginners
    Learn How to Crochet a Granny Square. Cascade 220 Is the Yarn I Used to Crochet This Square.

    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:


    Easy Crochet Neck Warmer Pattern for Beginners
    Easy Crochet Neck Warmer Pattern for Beginners

    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.


    If you want to learn even more, I invite you tocontact me and ask to be added to my list of knitting and crochet newsletter subscribers. I often make new patterns, stitch tutorials, book reviews and other resources available that I think you will enjoy.

    See Also:

    This page was last updated on October 15, 2017.

    2 Warm, Trendy Crochet Cowls for Winter 2017

    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.

    1. Quick, Easy Jumbo Crochet Cowl: A Free Crochet Pattern by Amy Solovay

    Crochet Stitch Pattern on the Quick, Easy Jumbo Crochet Cowl
    Crochet this quick, easy jumbo crochet cowl using Knitpicks Knitpicks Super Tuff Puff jumbo weight yarn, a large crochet hook and our free crochet cowl pattern.

    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.

    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:

    Sewing Lessons for Knitting and Crochet Enthusiasts

    It’s helpful for knitters and crocheters to understand basic sewing techniques. Perhaps you’ve crocheted a bunch of granny squares, and you want to stitch them together to create a blanket. Maybe you’ve knitted a beautiful tote bag, but it isn’t as practical as you’d like because you don’t know how to sew a lining for it. There’ll likely be times you need to know how to ease a knitted sleeve into your latest sweater or stitch the side seams in a baby hat you’re crocheting — and sewing skills are helpful to have when these tasks arise.

    Free Video Sewing Classes for Everyone

    This month, Creative Live is offering some of their sewing classes for free. You’d ordinarily have to pay a bundle for all these classes — so if you’d be interested in learning some new sewing techniques you’ll want to head over there and sign up ASAP.

    Crochetterie: A Beginner-Friendly Craft Book That Teaches You Both Crochet and Sewing Techniques

    When it comes to combining sewing and crochet projects, Molla Mills is an expert. Molla stitches up designer-quality crochet bags with leather details, fabric linings and other distinctive details. If you’d like to learn her secrets for how to do this, you’ll want to check out her brand new book called Crochetterie: Cool Contemporary Crochet for the Creatively Minded:

    Free Sewing Tutorials for Knitters and Crocheters

    You can learn how to sew fabric strips together to make rag balls. The rag balls are excellent substitutes for yarn; use them to crochet rugs, purses and tote bags, placemats, trivets and more.
    You can learn how to sew fabric strips together to make rag balls. The rag balls are excellent substitutes for yarn; use them to crochet rugs, purses and tote bags, placemats, trivets and more.

    If you want to finish your knitting or crochet projects flawlessly, here are some free sewing instructions you can use for that purpose.

    • Free Lining Tutorial — Learn how to sew a lining for a crocheted or knitted pouch or bag.
    • Free Whip Stitch Sewing Tutorial — Whip stitch is one of my favorite methods for joining granny squares and sewing seams on crocheted pieces. Here’s a step-by-step whip stitch tutorial with photos.
    • Side Seams Sewing Tutorial — This tutorial shows you how to sew the side seams on a pair of simple crocheted fingerless gloves. You can use the same basic method on other projects like hats and sweaters too.
    • How to Make a Rag Ball — Learn how to sew fabric strips together to create rag balls you can use instead of yarn for fabric crochet and fabric knitting.

    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:

    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:

    Are Dye Lots an Issue With Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread?

    Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread: Do You Have to Worry About Dye Lots?
    Are Dye Lots an Issue With Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread? Our Readers Weigh In.

    Floy writes,

    Can you tell me if I need to worry about dye lots on crochet threads?

    It’s been a long time since a made a large project. I’m going to start a tablecloth, I’m not sure if I should go ahead and get all my thread online or not. I don’t really find a dye lot # on Aunt Lydia’s purchased at JoAnn’s. I purchased 6 balls of burgundy, and I’m unsure about starting without getting it all.

    However when I look online I don’t find any reference to dye lots. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your time.


    Floy

    Hi Floy! Thanks for getting in touch.

    This is a great question. I totally understand your reluctance to start on such a large, substantial and time consuming project without verifying this for sure.

    I haven’t made a large project with this particular brand of crochet thread, so I am going to turn the floor over to comments from my readers. I’m betting you’ll get some helpful answers from the community here. Who here has experience with matching (or not matching) dye lots of Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread? Thanks in advance for any help you can give Floy.

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