Whispers in Knit Picks Chroma, in processhttp://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whispers-shawl-shawlette-or-scarf

Crocheting with the Scouts

Yipee! It’s Monday!!!

Whispers in Knit Picks Chroma, in processhttp://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whispers-shawl-shawlette-or-scarfSome people hate Mondays.  Garfield hated them and Mondays made the Carpenters feel bad.  But I love Mondays.  Actually, I love 6 to 7:30pm on Mondays because that is when my youngest son’s boy scout troop meets.  I drop him off and I have a good hour and 15 minutes of alone time.  When it’s cold and the days are short and it’s dark out, I often go to a fast food restaurant, get a cup of decaf and sit in the back and crochet.  Sometimes in the hotter months, I find a quiet place at the local university, enjoy the AC and crochet.  Most of the time though I park my car at the park, open the windows, enjoy the quiet and crochet.  Wherever I may be, if it’s just after 6pm to about 7:15pm on a Monday night, I am likely crocheting.

The weather in north Georgia this time of year is beautiful and a lot of people come out to enjoy the park.  This week, I’ll be there with them working some more on my Whispers in Chroma.  This yarn is gorgeous and perfect for this pattern.  I can’t wait to finish it and block it.

Buy 2 Get 1 Free on Ravelry, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins

Three times the charm…crochet shawl pattern

Naming Crochet Patterns

On more than one occasion I’ve been asked where I get the names for my patterns. Some are obvious, The Happy Pets pattern set, for example, includes both a smiling kitty hat and a smiling puppy hat in the pattern set.  Sometimes my family members make suggestions on the name.  My mom named the Picture Perfect Baby Blanket and my husband suggested the name for the shawl, Whispers.  Occasionally a name just pops in my head, Nighty Night Baby Blanket is one of those.

Black Raspberry Shawl http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/black-raspberry-shawl-shawlette-scarfBut not every pattern has a name that easily jumps out to me.  Often I have to ponder the options during the design process.  When this happens, the final name can appear to be a little obscure or random but there is always a logical reason.  For example, the Black Raspberry Shawl was named after one of my favorite candles. Every fall the local high school and middle school bands sell candles as a fundraiser. My oldest son plays trombone in the band now but I’ve been buying these candles from the neighborhood kids for a number of years. My favorite scent is one that is a mix of black raspberries and vanilla. While I was working on the shawl design, I had one of the candles on the table next to me. I enjoyed the scent for many hours while I worked out the details of the shawl. In addition, the yarn I used was very similar in color as the candle itself. So when it came time to name and publish the pattern, it was obvious (to me) what to call it. I realize not everyone will use the same yarn and color used to write the pattern.  So if you choose to make your Black Raspberry Shawl in orange or beige, then go for it!

Charmed Shawl Crochet Pattern http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/charmed-shawlette-shawl-wrap-crochetMy latest pattern has a story to its name as well: The Charmed Shawl. When I swatched, drew out, chose yarn and started crocheting the initial design, the shawl had a different name.  I’m keeping that name in reserve as it may appear in a later design.  Unfortunately, I ran into a couple of issues as I worked the pattern.  My goal was to design a shawl that used a specific amount of yarn, no more than the 6 balls I had. As I neared the end of the shawl I realized my supply was going to fall short.  So rather than order more yarn, I reworked the body of the shawl a total of three times before I was happy with the results.  In addition, I had to work the edging three times to perfect the lovely eyelet lace with the given amount of remaining yarn.  So…you’ve heard the saying…Three Times the Charm…that is this shawl!  I believe the finished design was well worth reworking as the shawl turned out stunning AND it can be made with exactly 6 balls of Knit Picks Galileo! Phew!

Buy 2 Get 1 Free on Ravelry, Crochet by Darleen Hopkins

Handmade Holidays-Winter Crochetvolution is a great place to start

If you are like me, and if you are reading this blog about crochet, it’s likely you are, you like to include handmade items in your holiday gift giving.  I’m always looking for something unique to make and to give.  It’s also nice to be able to gift something special that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.  One great place to start looking for gift pattern ideas is Crochetvolution (it’s FREE!).  This “new” eMag has been growing over the last 14 months; both in readership and in pattern offerings.  The latest issue, Winter 2012 is fantastic (yes,  I’m a little biased as I contributed an article and a pattern).  But I’m talking about the other fantastic patterns, beside mine.

There are too many patterns to highlight them all here, so you’ll just have to take a look yourself, but here a few of my favorites and the ones I hope to incorporate in my gift making this holiday season.

Mitten Bookmarks!  Adorable!!!! 

I’m making 4 sets of these to give as teacher gifts.   Best part, each one uses only about 5 yards of yarn!

Anastacia’s Textured Scarf is a unique twist on a warm winter scarf.  The yarn she chose for this project is gorgeous and works wonderfully with the pattern.

Sarah Jane’s Cowl is gorgeous too!  How can I choose which one to make???  And she has a fingerless mitt pattern to match  (see above), both can be made with just one skein of yarn, fantastic!

Last, but not least, my contribution to the issue, the Snowflake Ice Scraper Mitt.  The mitt part is made from a damaged wool sweater (instructions on felting here) and the snowflake can be made with just scrap yarn. Upcycle an old sweater and give a great gift!

This issue is jam-packed with fantastic gift giving ideas, from quick projects to larger ones for the very special individuals in your life.  Check it out, read the articles too and sign up to be on the mailing list (it’s FREE).