Crochet Potholder Swap!

Potholder swap 1 WEB

First completed potholder for the swap!

I’ve always loved potholder patterns.  There are so many cute, silly and fun patterns available.   I have a lot of crocheted potholders.  They were my first crochet projects.   It was a great way to perfect my tension.  But because they were so simple, they are plain and not at all exciting and are showing some wear.  I’ve had them for about 10 years now.    So when I heard about a potholder swap, I was super excited.

I’ve never participated in any swaps before and have always been curious about them.   I’ve learned that you make the item then mail it along with return postage to whomever the organizer of the swap may be.  She (or he) sorts them all and mails you an item made by another person.  For this swap we are each making three potholders of the same pattern.  The colors can vary but the pattern is to be consistent.  Then, we will receive back three potholders made by three different people!  I think it will be awesome to see the work of others.

I had a heck of a time deciding on which pattern to use.  I was tempted to go whimsical.  Many of my bib patterns could easily be converted to potholders and I was really leaning toward making three pigs (three little pigs, get it?)  But then I saw this Granny Stitch Potholder pattern by Recycle Cindy.  I thought it was adorable and genius in its simplicity.   And I’m really into grannies lately as I’m working on three different pattern designs that incorporate granny squares.  So, the combination of this cute potholder pattern with my quest to work from stash and I quickly became hooked (sorry, no pun intended).

So far I’ve completed one potholder.  Each one is using up a lot of scraps, which is great but results in a ton of ends to weave in.  My goal is to get them in the mail this weekend.  I have a lot of weaving and crocheting to do to in order to finish!

Are you interested in participating?  Check out the Ravelry group here: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/2016-potholder-swap

hotpadsHot Pads-Peppermint Pals, Snowman and Gingerbread Man

New Pattern Alert! The Modern Tote

New #CbyDH Pattern Alert! The Modern Tote is now available!

crochet pattern for a bog. The Modern Tote by Darleen HopkinsAn easy and versatile tote bag for you to make. Use yours as a gym bag, a project bag, a take my lunch and other necessities to work bag, a book bag, a beach bag, a large purse, or make yours in thinner yarn for a smaller purse. Whatever purpose it is made for, it will look fantastic. Pattern is written for heavy worsted/aran weight but it can be made in any weight yarn. Your bag will vary in size if you use different yarn.

Find out more about the pattern here: The Modern Tote

Modern Tote Bag crocheted by Jean, crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Crocheted by Jean!

And check out these awesome totes made by some awesome pattern testers!  Interested in testing patterns?  Read this post, How to be a Crochet Pattern Tester.

Modern Tote Bag crocheted by Amanda, crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Crocheted by Amanda!

Modern Tote bag crocheted by Sharon, crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Crocheted by Sharon!

Modern Tote bag crocheted by Erika, crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Crocheted by Ericka!

Modern Tote bag crocheted by Gina, Crochet Pattern by Darleen Hopkins #CbyDH

Crocheted by Gina!

Modern Tote bag crochet pattern in Lion Brand Vanna's Choice. Pattern by Darleen Hopkins

I was so inspired by the testers that I made a second tote for myself! Crocheted in Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice.

Crochet Pattrn for Kitty Cat Throw Blanket

The story behind the Baby Kitty, Patchwork Throw Blanket Crochet Pattern

The Baby Kitty Blanket

BabyKitty Halloween

Josh, dressed as a kitty for Halloween. He’s showing me his tail with his right hand and you can see Baby in his left.

Some people are dog people, some are cat people.  I’m a cat person.  I’ve had a cat for most of my life so it wasn’t much of a surprise that my youngest son, Josh, loved kitties too.  When he was about three years old, my mother bought him a beanie type stuffed kitty.   The kitty was named “Baby” and Josh carried her around everywhere.  At night I had to wrap Baby in a blue cotton blanket.  She had to be wrapped really tight, rolled up in the middle with just her head popping out.   Baby went on many adventures and very quickly became one of many stuffed kitties that had to be in bed at night with Josh.  But Baby was always his favorite and always the one to be wrapped up extra special.   Like all sweet little boys, Josh has grown and is turning into an amazing young man (14 just last month!) and the kitties have been replaced with things like an iPad and XBox.

Baby Kitty throw blanket crochet pattern by Darleen HopkinsA few years ago I was working on a new method for a blanket design, Made with Love, Patchwork Heart Baby Blanket.   When I was drawing it out, Josh watched me.  After a few minutes he said I should make a kitty blanket.  He said I should make it like the heart blanket, but a kitty.  It took me a while but I did design that kitty blanket.  Josh helped me a lot.  He worked with me on the preliminary drawings.  He helped me pick the right colors for both the kitty, blacks and grays of course, just like Baby, and the background, blue of course! And he helped me arrange the squares to avoid the placement of identical colors next to each other.  The child is a puzzle whiz and his help was greatly appreciated!  The naming of the pattern was easy, Baby Kitty.

This blanket has so many memories stitched into it.  Not only the precious memories of Josh’s suggestion and help, but I made most of the squares while on a family road trip.  It was a wonderful family adventure of which the blanket serves as a souvenir.  This blanket will be treasured forever, as will Baby, with her matted fur and scratched up eyes.  She is a sweet reminder of the past and of the sweet little boy who loved her.

In celebration of National Crochet Month and Crochetville’s Blog Tour, I’m giving away 5 copies of this pattern.  Find out more on how you can win a digital copy on my Facebook Page.

PatchworkKitty-001

 

New Pattern Alert-Peek-a-Boo Lion Baby Blanket

March-In Like a Lion

I remember, in either 1st or 2nd grade, an elementary teacher of mine having a huge calendar in her room.  Each month had a saying but the only one I really remember was March-In like a lion, out like a lamb.  I remember thinking it was really weird-how could a lion turn into a lamb??? and what does that have to do with March???  For whatever reason this saying stuck with me for many, many (many…) years.  So when it came time to publish my latest design, I thought the perfect day would March 1!  I’m pleased to announce that March 2016 is indeed, coming in like a lion.  A Peek-a-Boo Lion to be exact.

The Peek-a-Boo Lion Baby Blanket is now available!  Enjoy!!  and enjoy the rest of March!

And of course, is included in my Buy 2 Patterns, get a 3rd for FREE offer! No coupon needed and offered on my Ravelry site.  Shown below in Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn.

Lion Baby Blanket crochet pattern by Darleen Hopkins. Peek-a-Boo Lion #CbyDH

Shells of Love-001

Confessions of a Crochet Addict

You know you are addicted to crochet when…

KissyFishFace (1000x1000) …you are 2 stitches into a 100 stitch row and it is time to leave and you say, “I just have to finish this row first”.

…you keep a project bag in your car for the “just in case I have to wait five minutes to crochet while waiting for ______ to finish”.   (Fill in the blank with any child’s sporting or school event.)

…you find stitch markers in your slippers.

…you buy a new camera just so you can take better photos of your projects.

…you buy a smartphone just so you can take quick photos of your projects.

…instead of counting sheep, you count stitches.

…you don’t mind arriving early to work to secure a parking spot because you are happy to sit in your car and crochet for a few minutes.

…you recall your vacations by which project you made while traveling.  “Oh I remember that trip.  That was when I made….”

…you are more excited for a “snow/ice day” than your kids.

…when packing for vacation you pack your yarn first.

…you find stitch markers in every room of your house.

…you post more photos of yarn and your projects than pictures of your kids.

…road trip = more crochet time (oh, and family time too!).

…you compare how much something costs to skeins of yarn. (It’s how much?  Gosh that’s like five skeins of yarn!)

…your idea of a good date night involves a yarn store and coupons.

…your idea of an exciting Friday night is blocking a shawl.

…you have daily UFO sightings at your house.

…your teenage son actually knows the difference between knitting and crocheting.

…you find stitch markers in the dryer.

…you are having a panic attack because you can’t find your *favorite* G hook.

…you tell your son, “Sorry, your homework has to wait.  I need the computer for this pattern.”

…you’ve used the phrase “yarn diet”.

…you have more throw blankets than couches, loveseats and chairs combined.

…new car shopping involves checking for enough *leg AND crochet bag* room.

…you find crochet hooks under your couch.

…you find yarn under your couch.

…you find stitch markers under your couch.

…you have crocheted by candlelight.

…you get excited when your husband says “road trip” before you even know where he wants to visit.

…you take a vacation day to catch up on things at the house and the number one item on your list is to finish your current crochet project.

…your cat totally ignores the balls of yarn splayed across the floor, “Been there, done that-Meow!”

…you store yarn in your bathtub.

…you find stitch markers at work.

…you are annoyed when you DON’T have to wait at the doctor’s office.

…you have a room dedicated to just yarn and crochet.

…you think it is totally normal to ask someone his or her head circumference.

…you find pieces of yarn in your purse and your coat pockets.

…you find stitch markers in your purse and your coat pockets.

…you suffer from APDS* and AYDS*.

*APDS-Acquired Pattern Disorder Syndrome.  The inability to stop purchasing patterns, resulting in a collection of patterns that far exceeds your life expectancy.

*AYPS-Acquired Yarn Disorder Syndrome.  When you’ve acquired so much yarn you will never, ever use it all in 3 lifetimes.

…you find you can relate to all of the above!

We adopted our cat from a shelter so we don’t know a lot about her parents.  She does have some Manx in her as she does not have a tail.  So…. you might be addicted to crochet when your son asks you to crochet a tail for your cat and you pause a moment thinking over the possibility of this project.
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Relax! And enjoy your healthy addiction to crochet. Now go create something extraordinary.

EyeballPillow900

New Pattern Alert-Love Notes, Mixed Media Cards

Just Released, Love Notes – Mixed Media Cards

Love Notes crochet pattern for mix media cards to make for Valentines or any timeJust in time for Valentine’s Day!  Also perfect for weddings, anniversaries or “just ’cause I love you” days! What’s different about this pattern?  Pattern includes instructions for hearts as well as pre-made templates.  Crochet, print and mail.  It’s that easy!

Pattern available here: Love Notes

Remember, all Crochet by Darleen Hopkins patterns are Buy 2, Get a 3rd for FREE when purchased on Ravelry. No coupon needed!


Owl crochet pattern

Crochet and knitting and football and basketball

Crochet and knitting are as similar as two of America’s most popular sports-basketball and football. 

It's a crocheted shawl, not knit!  How to explaid the difference between knit and crochet.

What a beautiful knit shawl! Thank you but it’s CROCHETED!

“She’s crocheting, you know, knitting.” How many times have you heard that?? or “Isn’t crochet just the same thing as knitting?” or “What’s the difference, really? They both use yarn, right?” Well, yes, knitting and crochet both use yarn but as you and I know, they are very different in some ways and very similar in other ways. The next time someone comments how they are the same thing….try to explain the difference in a way many will (hopefully) understand..

Crochet and knitting are as similar as two of America’s most popular sports-basketball and football.
Let me explain.
Yes, knitting and crochet both use yarn and a pointy thing to stitch rows and ultimately a finished item. But they differ in three very important ways.

First, the tool. The crochet hook and knitting needle are about as similar as the balls used to play football and basketball. While both balls are filled with air, they are shaped differently and used differently. Nobody kicks a basketball and nobody dribbles a football.

Next, technique. Both sports have an offense whose purpose is to make a touchdown/basket but how the football offense is played is very different from how the basketball offense is played. Have you ever seen basketball players in a line of scrimmage? Nope. Same with both sport’s defense; they serve the same purpose but executed differently. Similarly, while both knitting and crochet have a goal to create stitches, how those stitches are made are very different. We, knitters and crocheters, use our tools differently. The result is the same, a lovingly stitched item, or for the sports-minded, a game well-played.

Last, language. While both fiber arts use patterns, our language is very different. A crocheter who has never picked up knitting needles is not going to be able to read a knitting pattern. It is a learned skill as is reading a crochet pattern. I have heard a lot of both football and basketball terminology in my house, I have a sports enthusiast husband and two teenage boys, but I really don’t know what most of them mean. I know the basics, a three pointer is good in basketball and a blitz is a football thing, but that’s about all I know. And although I can’t explain basketball terminology or football terminology, I know they are different.

I believe most people know how different the two sports are. That although they have similarities, they are played differently, the tools are different and the lingo is different. So the next time someone makes a comment about your “knitting”, take a second and try this analogy and maybe it will help them understand.  And when you are done explaining it, tell them you are hoping the Chicago Bulls win the Superbowl 🙂

Whispers