How to Crochet Foundation Stitches: Single, Half Double & Double

Have you heard of Foundation Crochet Stitches? Wondering what all the hype is? Well, today I am going to show you why I love beginning crochet project with Foundation Stitches.

Benefits of Foundation Crochet Stitches

Avoid the Dreaded Beginning Chain: How often do you begin a project (say a blanket) and the first row begins with a crazy amount of chains, like 250? When I see this, my mind immediately goes to the thought of how much I dread working my row of single crochets (or hdc, dc, tc) into each and everyone of those chains.

Quick: Well, for me, working into all those beginning chains is the worst part of a crochet project. It simply takes too long and if not done perfect can effect the final crochet piece. I want a quick solution! When crocheting a project with a Foundation row that beginning row will work up much quicker. It may take some practice, but trust me, it is so much quicker!

Stretch & Flexibility: Back to that beginning chain again (LOL-can you tell I am not a fan), not only does it take forever, but you have to have every chain the exact tension or a loop will stand out like a wine stain on your white rug. You also have to make sure you chain loose enough to avoid the inevitable tight bottom that causes your beautiful blanket to veer or fan out (caused from the beginning chain being too tight).

I need a solution to that beginning chain and the Foundation Crochet Stitches are the answer!

If you found this tutorial useful please share it with others, pin it for quick reference and follow along on my blog (subscribe by email in the right column) so you don’t miss any other quick tips, tutorials and pattern releases! Also, join me on Facebook for lot’s of crochet fun!

In A Cinch Handbag & Battle Blog Hop

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The In a Cinch Handbag is an extra exciting pattern release. Not only is it an adorable accessory for those spring & summer outings, it is also part of round 13 of The Battle of the Stitches.

Battle of the Stitches is a fun group of designers that work together to come up with a fun stitch that we think will be fun for designs in the season we are in… yay for Spring! Once a stitch is decided on we all go our own ways and design away. About 2 weeks later we come together and do a huge release of all our patterns. If you missed who all the challengers are this round check out the Blog post, here.

My Design: In a Cinch Handbag

The In a Cinch Handbag is a fun and lacy handbag for your quick grab and take items. The bottom of the handbag has tight stitching to help keep everything secure in the bag. It is decorated with a fun diamond pattern made in a contrasting color to grab your attention. The top of the handbag is crocheted with a fun slanting puff stitch (stitch from the battle). The slanting puff stitch creates a beautiful and lacy look that adds that girly touch everyone loves. Isn’t that ruffle on top the cutest?

In a Cinch Handbag

You can grab your copy of the In a Cinch Handbag on Ravelry for 50% off through Sunday, March 26, 2017 (no code needed, just add it to your cart). Or keep reading to find out how you can win a copy. Or to top that, win a copy of all the patterns from all the designers in the Battle of the Stitches round 13!

Now for the Blog Hop – Isn’t this FUN!

If you are seeing this blog hop for the first time, click here to begin at the start. Vote for your favorite design by giving it a “HEART” on Ravelry. Make sure to visit the next blog post by Laura, owner of Laura Mae’s Crochet. From there visit each designer, see their design and have chances to win something fun! You will end up at the main Battle of the Stitches Blog where 5 winners will win a copy of all the patterns in the challenge, and other goodies that you have to follow along to see (so much fun!).

Battle of the Stitches Blog Hop

Win with Sweet Potato 3

And for sticking with me I am going to offer 3 of my wonderful followers up to $20 in patterns from Sweet Potato 3’s Ravelry shop! Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you know someone who want to learn to crochet?

Do you know someone who wants to learn the art of crochet?

What is crochet? Crochet, pronounced [kroh-shey; British kroh-shey, -shee], is a process of creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials using a crochet hook. (definition according to wikipedia.com). 

Crochet is a fiber art that many of us probably saw a beloved great grandma, great aunt, or elder sitting in a chair making their yarn masterpiece. The popularity of crochet seemed to have decreased over the last few decades. However, in recent years the hype behind crochet is rapidly growing. Gaining in popularity even among youth and young adults. This brings us to why I am writing this post.

We want to help spread our love of crochet with anyone and everyone who wants to learn. I, Christine owner of Sweet Potato 3, have been crocheting for 30+ years. Having learned the art of crochet from my great Grandmother when I was in elementary school I have loved creating keepsake gifts for those close to me. Over the last 5 years I dove into designing patterns and haven’t looked back. I have teamed up with Shelley, owner of The Blue Star Boutique. Shelley is a certified teacher of crochet and brings a ton of expertise and knowledge plus a fun personality to the group. Also, joining me in teaching is Kim, owner of K’s Keepsakes. Kim has been a pattern tester for me for years and does amazing work and is excited about sharing her passion for crochet.

Learn to Crochet

We want you to spread the word and invite anyone who you know that may be interested in learning to crochet. The group will be hosted in a facebook group and is designed as an interactive experience. We will work on projects that were designed to help you master one set of skills before moving on. Live Session will give you the opportunity to get your questions answered. The official start date is Monday, March 13, 2017. A supply list has been posted, so grab those supplies and come join in on the fun!

Crochet Supply List

You can order these supplies online, or purchase at nearly every craft store, so feel free to get them wherever you wish.

CROCHET HOOKS

I recommend getting a hook set that will include the most commonly used hook sizes for crocheting most yarn projects. Hook size H (5mm), I (5.5mm), J (6mm) and K (6.5mm) are the most common hooks you will use while crocheting with yarn. As you shop for hooks, you will find there are many options. Find the one that fits your budget and you’ll be good to go. Hook materials will vary from Aluminum which is what I started crocheting with, there are plastic hooks (I am not a fan of plastic, because I feel like some yarn almost sticks to them), wooden hooks and then you can also opt for fancy handles. After many years of crocheting I have upgraded and love the Clover Amour Hooks which has a comfort grip handle, but this is not necessary. Also, with hooks you may notice there are two types of hooks: tapered or inline. To see the difference check out the great graphic from planetjune.com. This is a personal preference and will not effect your crochet piece. I prefer the tapered hooks but others love inline. Whatever you learn with you will probably prefer  in the long run.

crochet hook inline vs taper

YARN

When picking out yarn, just have fun! Pick colors you are going to love to work with but steer away from really dark colors like black, navy, etc. It is more difficult to see the details of your stitch with dark colored yarn when you are learning. Pick “worsted” weight yarn, the label will usually have a #4 on the label (see below image from Craftsy.com). For the first project you will need some small amounts of yarn, so if you have scrap yarn laying around you will be good to go. You can also purchase the small craft supply yarns at wal-mart for like $.88 per color. These will work for practicing and the first project. But, I do recommend getting a couples skeins of yarn for project #2 and just to have on hand.

Yarn Labels

SCISSORS / TAPESTRY NEEDLES

Make sure you have a sharp pair of scissors. They need to cut yarn without fraying the ends. A tapestry needle, or yarn needle, is a must. Most craft stores will have plastic ones. I prefer metal because it is easier to use, so I would recommend making that a priority. You may need to look in the sewing section of the craft store instead of the yarn section.

Come Join Us Now!

So if you have been, or you know someone who has been wanting to learn to crochet, now is the time! Join our facebook group now. You won’t regret it!

2017 Baby Blanket / Lovey CAL from Sweet Potato 3

Join Sweet Potato 3 for the 2017 CAL!

Our mission will be to complete a baby blanket (or lovey) during the month of March. This year I focused on texture and you will love seeing this blanket or lovey come together. Join now to save more, no code needed:

February 24 – 26 only $1
February 27- March 1 only $2
March 2 – 6 only $3
After March 7 full price of $6

The CAL will have two options. There will be a baby blanket or a coordinating lovey. You are welcome to choose whichever one you want. They will both be included in the group and we will work on them together. I hope this will allow those that do not have the time to dedicate to the full blanket project to still participate and enjoy the interactive crochet experience while making a smaller version.

CAL

Once you join (by ordering/purchasing), you will receive an invite to join a facebook group within 2 days. The CAL will be hosted in the facebook group and will include live sessions to show you step by step how to crochet the blanket sections. You can go at your own pace but below will be the outline for each sections:

Starting Feb 24 a supply list will be posted
March 1 – Section 1
March 3 – Section 2
March 8 – TBSection 1
March 10- TBSection 2
March 13 – TB Section 3
March 15 – TB Section 4
March 17 – TB Section 5
March 20 – Section 3
March 22 – Section 4
March 24 – Section 5
March 26 – Section 6
March 29 – TB Section 6 (completed)
March 31 – Award for anyone who has a completed project!

If you do not receive an invitation to join the CAL facebook group within 48 hours of purchase, please send me an email (mysweetpotato3@gmail.com), message me through Ravelry or send me a message on my facebook page (www.facebook.com/SweetPotato3).

I look forward to meeting you in the CAL!

Snow Drifter Hat Pattern & Faux Fur Pom Tutorial

I am so excited about my newest hat pattern release, the Snow Drifter Hat. The beautiful, fun and unique texture of this hat is very eye catching. A simple little pinch pleat on the brim of the hat is a cute touch of charm to the hat. The puff stitches that weave together create an appealing texture that you will enjoy creating as you crochet this hat that is perfect for a day in the snow.

Grab your copy of the Snow Drifter Hat Pattern on: Ravelry / Etsy / Craftsy

Find more details about materials used to make the Snow Drifter hat in the listings. Enjoy making it with or without the pom. If you like the faux fur pom, see the tutorial below on how to make your own.

  

Faux Fur Pom Tutorial

A couple weeks ago I ordered a couple online to add to a new hat design. I was so excited to receive them only to open the package and see that they were twice the size I was hoping for. A few of my wonderful fans on facebook had mentioned that they made their poms. So, I started to research how to make them. WOW… It is so easy!

I quickly made a new one and wanted to share with all of you how easy this really is. You can buy the faux fur at most crafts stores. Cut the fur into an oval about 3″ X 4″.

You may have to pull the loose fur off the edges. Doing this now will make the pom cleaner and shed free when you are done. Using a tapestry/yarn needle thread around the pom. These stitches do not need to be exact or uniform, they will be completely hidden when you are done. Add a small ball of fiber fill to the center of the oval.

 

Tie ends of yarn together and pull tight. Continue to pull, making sure the fiber fill is all enclosed inside the pom. Once the pom is completely closed, tie another knot to secure. Just like that you are done.

  

Use the yarn ends to attach the pom to a hat or other fun accessory. Tada, so cute!!!

This is the new Snow Drifter Hat design that I knew I wanted a faux fur pom on. Isn’t it fabulous!

Valentine Crochet Patterns from Sweet Potato 3

Where or where is January going?

Did you know Valentine’s Day is only 27 days away!

That means, we need to get those fun Valentine Crochet projects ready to go. Check out what special Valentines Patterns are available from Sweet Potato 3. Then grab any or all of them for 50% off with code “Valentine” (on Ravelry only), good through Sunday, January 22, 2017.

  

  

Newborn Love Bug Photo Prop (includes newborn hat and cocoon)

Lady / Love Bug Newborn Photo Prop (newborn only)

     

Tie Knot Top Hat with Heart Applique (newborn – child sizes)

Heart Tattoo Hat (newborn – adult sizes)

  

Puppy Love Hat (newborn – child sizes)

All these fun crochet patterns work up quick, so you still have plenty of time to crochet them up. I hope you find one you love and enjoy making it for your special someone the upcoming Day of Love.