Sweet Bee Ear Warmer Crochet Pattern

Every now and then I run across a new stitch that I absolutely love. That is exactly what happened when I first saw the honeycomb crochet stitch. Once I saw how easy it was to crochet my ‘design mode’ went into action and the Sweet Bee Ear Warmer crochet pattern was done.

Sweet Bee Ear Warmer

Discovering the honeycomb crochet stitch

I browse Pinterest fairly often, usually scrolling through to find something new that inspires me. Stopping at many knit or tunisian stitches only to be disappointed that they are not corchet. I have always admired the way the Tunisian Smock stitch looked and when I saw the honeycomb stitch I nearly scrolled right on past, but then I saw that the photo was using a single ended hook it peaked my interest.

After clicking on link after link to finally get to a page with a tutorial only to find it in a foreign language, however, I was intrigued. I had to decipher through the language barriers and piece a few steps together. However, this was so much fun!

Crocheting this stitch was too much fun, I knew it needed to share it with all of you. I sat down and started taking notes to make sure I had the stepst down correctly. I am not claiming that I created this stitch, I am just reteaching the stitch in U.S. English terms.

The stitch is worked basically working single crochets and spike stitches. A thick fabric is created so the idea of ear warmers popped into my mind. No cold air is going to blow through this design! Your ears will stay nice and toasty.

The yarn

A few months ago I had Radhika from Yarnveda send me some yarn and she included this gorgeous skein of Katia Concept Yarns. It is a cotton-merino blend and is some of the softest yarn I have worked with. The yarn has a nice woven texture with a gorgeous loft to it.

cottom merino yarn

Upon discovering the honeycomb stitch and having this ball of yarn on hand I knew they would be perfect together. You can find this yarn on the Yarnveda website by clicking HERE.

About the Sweet Bee Pattern

Using the honeycomb stitch meant that the name of the ear warmer pattern should reflect the theme. So, I carefully choose “Sweet” because of my business name, Sweet Potato 3, and decide to included “Bee” to relate back to the honeycomb stitch.

The pattern includes the following sizes: child (age 12-teen), youth/ladies and of course adult/men.

Materials Needed

  • Crochet Hook K (6.50 mm)
  • Worsted Weight Yarn (#4) – 70, 80, 90 yards depending on size
  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Yarn Needle

Stitches

The honeycomb stitch looks very intricate, but essentially it is all single crochet and spike stitches. This is explained in great detail along with photo tutorials in the pattern. A link is also include to this video tutorial I put together HERE.

Where to get your copy of the sweet bee ear warmer pattern

Other Samples Made

I love to showcase other versions, or samples, of my pattern designs. The Sweet Bee had to be make in a rich yellow just because of the “bee & honey” reference in the stitch and name. Here is one made using Premier Anti-Pilling yarn in the color Mustard.

Check out these lovely samples here from my amazing group of pattern testers.

More Ear Warmer Patterns you may love by sweet potato 3

Stay Connected

I love crochet and know you do too! Therefore, I would like to personally invite you to join my newsletter so you can stay up to date on all the newest pattern releases, sales, and such.

Another fun and personal way to connect is to join my SP3 Crochet & Conversations group on Facebook. This is a wonderful group of fellow crocheters who enjoy interacting about all things crochet. Come join the fun!

Crochet & Conversations

Crochet Hooks: Plastic, Aluminum & Wood

Crochet hooks are typically made out of plastic, metal or wood. What have you used? Which ones do you prefer and why?

Crochet Hook

My First Crochet Hook

You never forget your very first crochet hook, mine was plastic. My mom bought it for me because it was the cheapest one at the store (being frugal runs in my family-LOL). She also came home with some yarn and sent me off to learn crocheting from my great grandma.

Plastic Crochet Hook

Plastic hooks were fine at first, I didn’t know any better. I made many things my first year that I learned to crochet. But, then the couch ate my hook!

Moving Up – Maybe?

This time, since it seems as though the hobby was going to stick around for a while I was lucky enough to get a metal aluminum hook set. It was the Boye set, to be exact, you can still find it HERE. Immediately I was happy that the couch had eaten my hook.

Boye Aluminum Crochet Hooks

As I would crochet, the yarn would slide through the hooks with more ease allowing my gauge to stay on track. Gauge is so important and a simple change in hook elevated my skills to the next level. I honestly used those metal Boye hooks for close to 20 years and was 100% happy with them.

About 10 years ago, when I turned my hobby into a business (I know, so lucky) I decided to “invest” in a set of Clover hooks. Now I really felt high up in the crochet hook world! These Easy Grip Handles allowed less strain on my hands while crocheting and I loved the warmth of the handles compared to the aluminum set I had been using.

Clover Easy Grip Handle Crochet Hook

I didn’t know what I was missing

About a month ago, Knitter’s Pride (they carry lots of crochet stuff too) reached out and asked if I would like to try their Dreams Symfonie Wood Crochet Hook Set. Um, I didn’t even have to think about that one. YES! Yes, I would love to try out wooden crochet hooks.

Knitter's Pride

Thanks to Knitter’s Pride I was going to be able to see what all the fuss was over wooden crochet hooks. I have to admit I was so excited when they arrived, kind of like a kid on Christmas morning. I ripped open the box, poured a cup of coffee and dove into a new skein of yarn, then another skein and another.

What I noticed first was how light weight they were. You can notice the difference even though aluminum is relatively light-weight. These wooden hooks felt like they were floating in my hands. I felt like an artist weaving my yarn with new interest and inspiration.

Dreamz Symfonie Wood Crochet Hook

As I kept pulling out different yarns I was trying to get different weights and work different stitches to really test them out. Each time I tried a new yarn or stitch I loved something different about the Symfonie Wooden Hooks.

The tip of the hook is actually more pointed than any of my aluminum hooks. This was perfect for finding non-traditional stitch placements.

pointed head of crochet hook

My first projectusing these new hooks was my Colors of Courage Hat for my Crochet Cancer Challenge. This design has stitches that work in the front loop, back loop and the back bar. The pointed tip of the crochet hooks glided through the right spot every time.

Colors of Courage

My next project was my Sweet Bee Ear Warmer (pattern coming very soon). For this project I used a cotton-merino yarn that has a loft to it. I was a little worried that using wooden hooks would cause this more delicate yarn to snag. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Once again, the smooth surface and pointed tip of the Symfonie hook wove through the yarn so smoothly.

Other details about the Symfonie Wooden hooks

  • Head of the hook is pointed
  • Hook is inline with the shaft (handle) of the hook
  • The throat of the hook is the same width as the entire hook, it does not taper
  • There is minimal thumb grip which made the hook feel bigger in your hands
  • You can see the wooden grain in the hook
  • The set comes with a variety of colors ranging in shades of red, green and blue
Parts of a Crochet Hook

The set includes 8 sizes:

  • E/4 (3.50 mm)
  • G/6 (4.00 mm)
  • G/7 (4.50 mm)
  • H/8 (5.00 mm)
  • I/9 (5.50 mm)
  • J/10 (6.00 mm)
  • K/10.5 (6.50 mm)
  • L/11 (8.00 mm)

I also love that the hooks come in a nice plastic case that snaps shut. Being clear allows you to see what hook size you are grabbing which is super convenient. The case is super easy to toss in your travel bag, it doesn’t take up any room yet it is large enough that you can reach in your bag and easily find it. I do wonder how long the plastic case will hold up, though it does not feel like cheap plastic so it may hold up for a long time.

Final Thoughts

I really do enjoy crocheting with the Dreamz Symfonie Wooden Crochet Hooks and I would recommend them. I like to have a handful of hooks in my stash because some projects are easier to work with certain hooks.

As your crochet skills grow and you start working more detailed stitches that require unique placement, I do think the pointed tips will be extremely helpful. I also love how they are made out of an organic material and you can see the wood grain in them.

It is a luxury crochet tool. It took me 30+ years of crocheting to get a set. Sometimes you need to treat yourself and I would recommend this as a way to treat yourself this year!

2021 Crochet Cancer Challenge – Charity Crochet Event

Fall is almost in full swing here, the temperatures are dropping and the air is nice and crisp. This is a sign that October is nearing and that means my Crochet Cancer Challenge is coming up! This is my favorite charity crochet event and this year we are celebrating its 9th year!

crochet charity event cancer challenge

It has been such an honor to host this event every year and I am able to witness how charitable our crochet community is. I receive messages daily about how this is a project that is close to home for so many. It is a blessing to witness how our crochet community makes a difference one hat at a time.

what is the crochet Cancer Challenge

The Cancer Challenge is a crochet charity event that lasts the entire month of October. Each day of the month a new crochet pattern designer will be featured. In this feature they will release a new hat pattern that has been designed in honor of someone they know who has battled cancer or to help bring awareness to a specific type of cancer. Their hat design will be FREE for 48 hours in EXCHANGE for a pledge. By downloading the pattern for free you are taking a pledge to make a minimum of one hat from that pattern to donate.

cancer charity event explained

Over the last 9 years, the Crochet Cancer Challenge has grown and reached so many. It is a personal charity that means so much to so many crocheters and so many of us designers. The time and efforts put into this event by everyone is greatly appreciated.

Each hat made has a special meaning for the designer, the maker and the recipient. Help spread the word and encourage our efforts to grow by sharing the challenge, the links, photos of your completed hats and your donation piles. Use the hashtag #CrochetCancerChallenge in your posts and shares to help identify our efforts.

crochet cancer challenge charity event

The more people that see our challenge the more it will grow and the more we can touch others in a positive way.

Daily Crochet Cancer Challenge Features

Every day this blog post will be updated with the new featured designer’s crochet hat pattern links. All you have to do is go to their website, take a minute to read their post, learn the significant meaning behind their design and reflect on that as you make their design.

Just a reminder, each design is available for 24 hours only. If you miss a pattern, don’t worry, there will be plenty of others available. To get the pattern for free you will need to use the code “CancerChallenge“. Look for this button in their blog post:

Button for Charity Crochet Event

Do you have more questions about the Crochet Cancer Challenge? Scroll to the bottom of this post for more informative links.

Add a Tag to your donation

It’s fun to add something personal to your hats that you plan to donate. I created these simple tags that you can print, then punch a hole in the top and tie them to your completed hats. The tag gives you room to write the size of the hat (sometimes specifying childrens, adult small vs. adult large helps when they pick out a hat), plus you can write down your name as the maker.

Crochet Cancer Challenge Tags

You can optionally add a note on the back saying you were thinking of them as you crocheted their hat. Or, that you said a prayer for them, their family and or the doctors and nursing staff as you made the hat. It’s these personal touches that can make a generous gift even more personal.


October 2021 Featured designs

Oct 1 – Sweet Potato 3

The Colors of Courage Hat is designed in multiple colors to recognize all those fighting this awful battle. As you make this hat think about and pray for their journey.

Find Pattern HERE

This pattern will be available for FREE through October 31, 2021.


Crystalized Designs – 1st Bonus Weekend

The Adelaide Beanie was created for Breast Cancer and uses pink yarn.

Find Pattern HERE

This pattern is available for FREE through Monday October 4, 2021.

Eye Love Knots – 1st Bonus Weekend

This Striped Dylan Claire Beanie features stripes of white to represent Retinoblastoma Awareness, and gold to represent Childhood Cancer Awareness.

Find Pattern HERE.

This pattern is available for FREE through October 31, 2021.

Simply Melanie Jane – 1st Bonus Weekend

For my hat, I chose the color teal for ovarian/cervical cancer in honor of my sister. When she got the diagnosis, she was terrified, as so many others are as well. She lived too far away for me to give her a physical hug, but my thoughts and good vibes were always with her.

Find pattern HERE.

Get this pattern FREE through Oct 2, 2021.

Inspire Creation Designs – 1st Bonus Weekend

The 6th will be free with your pledge, but for the rest of the year Valerie will be donating $1 from each sale to donate.

Find Pattern HERE.

This pattern is FREE through Sunday Oct 31, 2021.


Crochet Cancer Challenge

Oct 4 – Made with a Twist

The Karen Strong beanie was created in honor of one of Pam’s dearest friends who lost her battle to multiple cancers in August of 2021. It’s the personal touch of this challenge that makes it so meaningful to so many.

Find Pattern HERE.

This pattern is FREE through Tuesday October 5, 2021.


Oct 5 – Straight Hooked

Today is a very special day because it is my father’s birthday and to celebrate, I designed him a hat! If you were not aware, my father has been in Heaven for over 15 years. He got an early ticket to meet Jesus with the assistance of Glioblastoma, which is a form of brain cancer.

Malena, www.straighthooked.com

Find Pattern HERE.

This pattern is available for FREE through 10/6/2021.


Oct 6 – Briana K

This year I chose the color black to highlight Melanoma Cancer. Skin cancer can be largely preventable. Since Iiving in Florida, I’ve become more aware of the need to protect my skin against the sun. 

Briana K, www.BrianaKdesigns.com

Find Pattern HERE.

This pattern is available FREE through Oct 7, 2021.


Oct 7 – Simply Hooked by Janet

The Eternal Dawn Beanie! Why orange? I chose the color orange for this hat to bring awareness to Kidney Cancer for this challenge.

Find the pattern HERE.

This pattern is available for FREE through Oct 8, 2021.


Louka Cancer Challenge Beanie

Oct 8 – Through The Loop Yarn Craft

This year I have chosen to deign the Louka Beanie in Emerald for Liver Cancer Awareness.

My Nana, passed away after her battle with Liver cancer when I was just 24 years old.

www.ThroughTheLoopYC.com

Find the pattern HERE.

This pattern is available for FREE through Oct 31, 2021.


2nd Weekend Bonus – Fosbas Designs

TI have chosen to talk about tobacco cancer, as it is one of the common cancers where I grew up. This beanie is dedicated to everyone fighting cancer caused by the use of Tobacco. My thought and prayers are for you all.he Pebble Beanie

www.FosbasDesigns.com

Find the pattern HERE.

This pattern is available for FREE through Oct 10, 2021.

cancer Challenge

2nd Weekend Bonus – Hooked for life

Hooked for Life designed the Lavendula hat in lavendar to recognize all types of cancer.

Find the pattern HERE.

This pattern is available for FREE through Oct 10, 2021.

cancer challenge

2nd Weekend Bonus – Lakeview Cottage Kids

The “Hope” Beanie is made with white yarn which is the color that represents lung cancer.  Lung Cancer is the horrible disease that took my beloved Dad’s life.  Here is the story of his cancer journey.

www.lakeviewcottagekids.com

Find the pattern HERE.

This pattern is available for FREE through Oct 31, 2021.


Oct 11 – Endless Crochet Creations

Tammy designed the Endless Textured Beanie in black to help bring awareness to Melanoma Cancer. The hat is made using a worsted #4 weight yarn.

Find the pattern HERE.

This pattern is available for FREE through Oct 13, 2021.


Oct 12 – Underground Crafters

My maternal grandmother who taught me to crochet passed away after a short battle with pancreatic cancer in 2007. I miss our weekly calls and her laughter so much!

Purple is the awareness color for pancreatic cancer,

www.undergroundcrafter.com

Find the pattern HERE.

Pattern is FREE through Oct 31, 202.

Find more information about the Crochet Cancer Challenge Below:

  • Information explaining what the Crochet Cancer Challenge is, click HERE.
  • What type of hat should I make? What Sizes? Where do I get the patterns? Click HERE.
  • Yarn Recommendations to use for the hats, click HERE.
  • Where should I donate my hats, click HERE.
  • A fun start early project you can add to your hats, click HERE.

Colors of Courage Hat – Crochet Pattern

Crochet hats have always been my go-to designs. When the hats have a purpose, such as for the Crochet Cancer Challenge, the meaning behind them means even more. Those that have to battle through a cancer diagnosis must have courage and support. To honor them my design for the 2021 challenge is called the Colors of Courage Hat.

Colors of Courage Hat

Colors of Courage

Unfortunately, there are so many different types of cancer. Over the years I have designed hats for someone specific each year. This year I wanted to honor them all by recognizing all the colors of the cancer ribbons.

Colors of Courage Cancer Ribbons
You can purchase items with this logo on them by clicking HERE.

The Hat Design

After years of hosting the Crochet Cancer Challenge I have heard from so many participants. I hear which designs you love and which ones you find more challenging. The designs that tend to get the comments about “so quick and easy I made more than 1 hat to donate” usually have quick and easy stitches.

I have been listening! I know a huge “like” are top-down patterns, so this year that is exactly what I designed. The pattern uses a simple stitch that works up quickly but still has amazing texture. The texture does not affect the feel of the hat, it is still soft and comfortable against the head.

Texture of Stitches

Materials Needed for the colors of courage Hat

  • Crochet Hook size I (5.50 mm)
  • Crochet Hook size H (5.00 mm)
  • Worsted Weight Yarn (#4) – 100-130 total yards
  • The samples made were using Lion Brand Mandala Ombre – color: Tranquil
  • Yarn Needle
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape

colors of courage hat design with tutorials

The pattern comes in sizes for children, youth/ladies and of course adult/men. As mentioned earlier, the hat is made in the traditional top-down method. I have included tutorials for the stitch combination used to create the texture in the main body of the hat.

Create the band of the hat using only the back bar to give the band a braided look. This is soft against the head but gives the hat the slight “hug” it needs to stay on.

Get the Colors of courage hat pattern

The Colors of Courage Hat pattern will be FREE for the entire month of October 2021 as part of the Crochet Cancer Challenge. You MUST use the code “CancerChallenge” at checkout on Ravelry to get the pattern for FREE.

Crochet Cancer Challenge Information

Designs will be released each morning Monday through Friday with a bonus weekend release on Saturdays. The challenge will run the entire month of October.

  • Information explaining what the Crochet Cancer Challenge is, click HERE.
  • What type of hat should I make? What Sizes? Where do I get the patterns? Click HERE.
  • Yarn Recommendations to use for the hats, click HERE.
  • Where should I donate my hats, click HERE.
  • A fun start early project you can add to your hats, click HERE.

More Hat Patterns you may Love from prior crochet cancer challenges:

More Crochet Fun

Follow Sweet Potato 3 on Facebook to see more pattern releases, sales and crochet fun, just click HERE.

However, if you would enjoy a more interactive group experience, you need to join my Crochet & Conversations facebook group, click HERE. It is a ton of fun and I encourage everyone to share their projects, WIPS (works in progress) and inspirations. Plus you get exclusive deals, are the first to see new releases, give input on designs and have opportunities to win patterns. Join now and get to know others who also enjoy the art of crochet.

Crochet & Conversations

Inspiring Nature Landscape Blanket Crochet Patterns

What inspires you? I get asked this questions often about my crochet designs and the answer always stays the same, nature. There is so much beauty, texture and colors in nature that inspire my creations. The Nature Landscape blankets showcase many of these traits.

The layers you see in the gorgeous landscapes of our country are awe inspiring. Living in the mountians I see this every single day. The colors are the same but fade as they get further in the distance. My hope is that these designs will resonate that same calm and awe inspiring feeling in you.

Nature Landscape Blanket

About the Blanket Designs

Included in the Nature Landscape book are 4 different designs. Each design has a different color scheme that matches the mood/design of the blankets. I will share what yarns and colors I used in the following paragraphs. I live in a mountain town so that is what I generally think of and 3 of the designs feature mountains. But, my daughter is obsessed with cacti so I had to include a dessert theme as well.

Each blanket is made using the same stitch. This stitch is a unique stitch that aligns right on top of one another making it ideal for graph designs. The stitch is explained with photos and include how to carry or change colors.

alligned crochet stitches in Nature's Landscape Blankets

Another feature I love about the designs is the detail is in the blanket its self. I didn’t want to take away from that so there is NO border. Yay! That means when you are done crocheting the rows you are done. No dreaded crocheting in row ends, it’s simple and looks great.

Blanket Size

The blankets will vary slightly in size depending on the yarn you use. However, they are the size of a larger throw and with most #4 worsted weight yarns the blankets size will range from 41″ wide and 52″ high (typical throw size) up to 50″ wide and 62″ high (large throw).

About Each Blanket – the details

mountain River

The Mountian River blanket was designed with my families favorite body of water, the river. We spend so much time on rivers so I think this one is my favorite. My husband loves the color green so this one was designed with him in mind.

Mountain Rivers Landscape Blanket

Finding the right colors can be tricky because you need to find shades that compliment each other and are available in a specific line of yarn. I was excited to find these yarns in Berroco Comfort yarns, the colors are amazing and the yarn is so lovely to work with, you can check out this line of Berroco Comfort yarn HERE.

The Berroco Comfort yarn is a worsted #4 weight yarn, but it is a little finer so this is the smallest throw size. The completed blanket came out to be 41″ wideand 52″ high.

purple mountain majesty

The most common mountian inspiration we see is the layers of mountain ranges. See this during a sun rise or during a sun set can be one of the most spectacular views one can witness. Capturing the natural pink/purple hues that cast on the mountains during these few magical moments inspired this color scheme.

Purple Mountain Majesty Landscape Blanket

The yarn I choose to use for this design had so many different shades taht it was so fun to pick and choose. I used Bernat Premium yarn and it is so plush and ideal for soft blankets. The colors I used to create the Purple Mountain Majesty blanket are below and you can see all the options available in the Bernat Premium yarn HERE.

Since the Bernat yarn was so plush (a thicker) #4 worsted weight yarn, this design came out the largest throw blanket size of 50″ wide and 62″ long.

Desert Skies

The Desert Skies blanket was designed with my daughter in mind. She loves the desert landscapes of sand, bluffs and cacti. I do love the variations with the colors in this design. I used rich red, orange, shades of brown and a deep teal for the sky. It is very eye catching.

Desert Skies Landscape Blanket

The Desert Skies Blanket was made with a traditional worsted (#4) weight yarn. I used Premier Yarns Anti-Pilling Everyday yarn. I also used this yarn on the next blanket design, Blue Mountian Lakes. This yarn is great to work with and comes in so many shades it is almost too difficult to pick out what to use.

I used the following colors that made this design really pop.

The Desert Skies Blanket came out to be an slightly larger throw (not quite as big as the Purple Mountain Majesty) at 46″ wide abd 58″ high. You can find the Premier Anit-Pilling yarns HERE.

Blue Mountain Lakes

The Blue Mountain Lakes is also close to home for me. We live half a mile from a beautiful lake on the edge of town. My favorite time to see the lake is when it is calm and you can see the reflection of the trees in it. Again, it is a majestic and inspiring snapshot of nature.

Blue Mountain Lakes Landscape Blanket

For the Blue Mountain Lakes I also used Premier yarns. I love the shades of blue and how calming those colors are. But, I also practically drool over the golden colors of the aspen trees in the fall so wanted to capture that along the sandy shore of the beach.

The colors in this design are below or you can select your own custom colors of the Premier yarn HERE.

The Blue Mountain Lake is the same size as the Desert Skies blanket at 46″ wide and 56″ high.

Where to get the book

The Nature’s Landscapes Crochet Blanket Book includes all four of the blanket designs shown in detail above. You can currently find the book through Annie’s Crochet Website using the button/ link below.


Nature's Landscape Blanket

WIN a copy

Before you purchase your copy of the book I would like to offer a Giveaway. Win a digital copy of the Nature’s Landscape Blanket below. It’s easy, just enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find More Graph Blanket Designs by Sweet Potato 3 / Christine Naugle

  • Interchangeable Wildlife Blankets – Click HERE
  • Music To My Soul Blanket Collection – Click HERE
  • Music To My Soul Blanket Expansion Pack – Click HERE

Mountain Lodge Crochet Blanket Pattern

Someone asked me what inspires your designs. The answer is simple: textures, colors and eye appeal. When I design crochet blankets many things can spark an idea, but I will admit that quilting has always amazed me. I love all the small pieces, straight seams, and the eye for perfection. Log Cabin quilts are one of my favorites and inspired my latest, Mountain Lodge blanket design.

Mountain Lodge Blanket crochet pattern

If you are not familiar with some of the history behind the Log Cabin Quilt designs and the meaning, I would love to share just a small tid bit with you. The design dates back as early 1830 in Egypt, but became popular in the 1860’s in during the Civil War. The following explains the importance of the center color square:

Early Log Cabin blocks were hand-pieced using strips of fabrics around a central square. In traditional Log Cabin blocks, one half is made of dark fabrics and the other half light. A red center symbolized the hearth of home and a yellow center represented a welcoming light in the window. 

http://www.aqsblog.com/log-cabin-quilts-a-short-history
Mountain Lodge Blanket crochet pattern

Mountain Lodge Designs Modern Twist

While I was designing the Mountain Lodge blanket, I had a few things I wanted to acheive. I’ll explain each of those below and hopefully you will get a good understanding about the design, the construction and the richness in the pattern.

The Stitches create a light fabric

I wanted the blanket to be a lighter weight design and a pattern that wouldn’t eat up a ton of yarn. My hope was to be able to grab this blanket and wrap up for a morning cup of coffee on the front porch in the spring and fall.

Mountain Lodge Blanket close up

To acheive this, I went back and used one of my favorite stitches, the Extended Single Crochet. I have a tutorial on the stitch combination I used that you can watch to help see how easy the pattern is. The tutorial is not specific to this pattern, but shows how to work the combination of stitches. You can view the video by clicking HERE.

Deciding on Colors

Choosing your colors for a design can change the entire look of the blanket. I knew I wanted to stick with the “warmth of the home” for the center of the blanket. I was hoping for a softer look so decided on a light pink. Instead of doing all the squares a different color I stuck with the tradition of a dark and light color side but kept the light side all cream. I went with calming greens to accent the pink and kept the naeutral grey for the outline.

Choosing the square layout

In my designs I typically don’t like to do things in a traditional way. Stacking the squares directly on top of one another is lovely but I was hoping for a more modern twist. Deciding the angle the squares in a diamond shape gives the blanket an whole new look.

But, this creates a challenge with making the blanket a rectangle. I had to put my thinking cap on and design some half and quarter squares (triangles) to fill in those edges and create a nice shape to the blanket. By making these odd shaped edge pieces in a solid color really makes the actual log cabin pieces pop in the design.

Mountain Lodge Blanket

A Simple Border

A simple border allows for the eyes to really focus on the design elements of the blanket. I didn’t want to loose the focus on the details in the log cabin squares so a very basic border was crocheted. This is easy to adjust the thickness as well by adding or deleting rows.

Easily adjust the size

The sample blanket was made using a light weight yarn called Mighty Stitch, I loved how this made the blanket so light weight. The final size was 35” wide X 42” high.

You can use a heavier weight yarn. However, that will effect your gauge. Gauge on a blanket does not have to match like it does while crochet garments and such. However, be aware that not meeting the gauge will alter the amount of yarn needed.

You can easily adjust the size of the blanket by adding more squares. I would love to see this design made in a full throw or bed spread size.

Mimmo Caddy

My Mimmo Caddy

While making the Mountain Lodge Blanket you make a lot of small pieces. This makes it an ideal project for on the go. But, you need something to tote all the pieces around with. This is why I am in love with my Mimmo Caddy. If you don’t have one your should check it out, I have a full review of why this tote is my favorite.

Where to Get the Mountian Lodge Blanket pattern

If you like this, you may also like…

More Crochet Fun

Follow Sweet Potato 3 on Facebook to see more pattern releases, sales and crochet fun, just click HERE.

However, if you would enjoy a more interactive group experience, you need to join my Crochet & Conversations facebook group, click HERE. It is a ton of fun and I encourage everyone to share their projects, WIPS (works in progress) and inspirations. Plus you get exclusive deals, are the first to see new releases, give input on designs and have opportunities to win patterns. Join now and get to know others who also enjoy the art of crochet.

Crochet & Conversations

The Between Seasons Crochet Top Pattern

Crocheting garments has always intimidated me for so many reasons. Will it fit right? Is it going to be too warm? Will the style look okay on me? I think I found a perfect project for a crochet top garment for beginners, introducing the Between Seasons crochet top!

Chosing the Design for the Between Season Crochet Top

One of my goals for 2021 was to work on some garment designs that are easy to make even for beginners. I wanted them to be styles that flatter nearly all body shapes and that everyone can feel comfortable wearing.

These are the reasons my design has nice capped sleeves that make it ideal for between seasons (not as cool as top but not as warm as a sweater with full sleeves. Plus the boat neckline makes it a modest choice even with the open stitch work at the top of the shirt.

Between Season Cochet Top

This is a crochet top I will actually wear! I’ll get pictures of me in it soon and share them with you. Until then, you can see how well it fits “Gladis”, my manniquin that my daughter happliy named.

Picking the Yarn

The Between Seasons Top was made with Berroco Comfort yarn. Although this yarn is a worsted #4 weight, it is on the thinner side of worsted weight yarn. This was choosen carefully because I didn’t want a heavy yarn and wanted the fibers to be breathable. It isn’t a cotton yarn but the 50% nylon makes a huge difference (it is also 50% acrylic). I love how soft the yarn is and how defined the stitches look when working with it. Plus, the color options are endless!

Berroco Comfort Yarn

The Stitches

I carefully selected the stitches of the Between Season top. As I mentioned earlier, I was really worried about the top being too warm and too heavy. Even with a finer worsted weight yarn, using a traditional stitch can make it heavy to wear.

The main body of the top is made using a combination of stitches including the Extended Half Double Crochet. There is a video tutorial linked in the pattern, but take my word, this stitch is amazing. It works up fast, has the height of a double crochet but is very thin, resulting in a nice laying fabric for the garment body.

Stitches in the Between SEason Top

The open stitch work of the top is just fun. It adds a simple yet fun eye appeal with the change. This stitch pattern works up even quicker than the main body of the top.

Easy Construction for Beginners

I believe what makes crocheting garments so intimmidating is that there are certain angles for the arms and sleeves. But, this top with capped sleeves is so easy that beginners will wish they tried making one sooner. The top is made by crocheting two rectangles. You simply place them on top of one another and seam up the sides and the shoulders…. that is it!

Between Seasons Top

This creates a perfect arm opening with a flirty cap on the sleeves. The boat neckline drapes in a flattering way as well. If this is your first garment, you may just fall in love and decide you want to make more advanced tops going forward. I know I will be designing some more in the near future. If you want to stay up to date, make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/SweetPotato3Newsletter

Sizes & Where to Get the pattern

The Between Seasons Crochet Top comes in sizes from adult Small up to adult XXL.

Between Seasons Top Crochet Pattern

Other Summer Patterns you would enjoy

Crochet & Conversations

I would liek to invite you to join my interactive Facebook group. It is called SP3 Crochet & Conversations, it is full of like minded people who enjoy learning about crochet as much as you do. As a member (which is totally free), you will get to help decide pattern names, colors, what designs will be coming, and so much more.

Come join by clicking HERE.

Crochet & Conversations

Self Care with Quick and Easy FREE Crochet Patterns

I believe it is the best day of the year!!! Did you know that August 15th is Relaxation Day? Yes, you heard me right, there is a day that is devoted to relaxation. Personally, this means a little Self Care and pampering are in order (and maybe a little crochet too).

self care free crochet patterns

Relaxation Day is a day to kick back and do nothing. Ahhhh!

What a great day. The stresses, the hustle and bustle seemingly consumes us, every day of the year. Even Sundays are no longer days of rest and relaxation. There never seems to be a day to just kick back and relax. For those us with a hectic lifestyle, Relaxation Day is a day to look forward to.

It provides a break from the madness of your busy work and personal schedule. Todays is the day to enjoy either doing absolutely nothing, or partaking in your favorite relaxation activity. Avoiding stressful activities today is the rule.

http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/August/relaxationday.htm

Crochet & Self Care

When I think of “self care”, I think of the things that I enjoy and love. As a mom, and know many of you are moms (even if you have grown children), we live hectic lives and rarely get time to ourselves. So, when we do, we MUST take advantage of that time.

Self Care & relaxation

What do I do when I have time to myself, and do I dare say it, the house to myself! I take the time relax….

If I had a day (or even just a morning), I would sleep in, roll out of bed and have a cup of coffee, or two. Then I would take a long hot bath, and take the time to shave my legs (hahaha, no I don’t do this everyday-remember, I’m a mom). I may steal a face mask from my daughters bathroom and pamper myself with a little skin care.

Then I would sit down and crochet. I don’t even know what I would crochet, but I would make something for me, I do know that.

What would you do, if you had a day to just yourself to focus on self care and relaxation?

self care with coffee

Self Care Crochet Patterns

Well, that is the dreamy stuff. Until that “me time” actually happens, I can prep for it! And, I can even do that with the hustle and bustle of life going on. These are some quick and easy crochet patterns that you can sit and make when you have just a few minutes or take them and work on them while you are waiting in the school pick up line.

Self Care - Free Crochet Pattern Round Up


Peppermint Twist Hat – Christmas In July Free Crochet Pattern

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Half way through July-Oh My! I cannot believe how quick the year is flying by, we are only 6 months away from Christmas. So, to celebrate this mid-way point I want to offer you all my Peppermint Twist Hat pattern for FREE. This is such a fun and unique design you are sure to love.

Peppermint Twist hat crochet pattern

July 15th is a National Holiday for “giving something away”. I love the meaning behind this special day:

“Giving benefits us all… The giver also benefits. Giving not only makes us feel good but it teaches gratitude, too. Whether we give financially or by offering our skills and services, we lift others up. Our words can be a gift, too. Showing empathy, encouragement, and compassion to someone during a time of need may make us feel vulnerable, but it empowers those we offer it to as well.”

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-give-something-away-day-july-15/

Memories Of Peppermint & Christmas

When I think back on my childhood and Christmas time I think of all the goodies that are always readily available at parties. My favorite was homemade peppermints and how refreshing they were as they would melt in my mouth.

Homemade Peppermint Candies

The Design Inspiration

See those twists of color? That was the inspiration behind this whimsical hat design. My favorite is the red and white, but it is so fun in other colors as well.

Peppermint Twist Hat

The Peppermint Twist hat pattern comes in sizes from newborn up to adult. The hat is made as a flat piece that is a parallelogram, and then sewn together along the ends. This is an easy pattern that is fun to see different color combinations.

Materials:

  • Hook size J (6 mm)
  • Hook size K (6.5 mm)
  • 40-120 yards Worsted Weight Yarn (#4) in 2 colors – I used Red Heart Super Saver 
  • Yarn Needle
  • Scissor

Stitches & Abbreviations Used:

  • Ch = Chain
  • Hdc = Half Double Crochet
  • Slst = Slip Stitch
  • 2Hdc = work 2 Half Double Crochets in the same stitch
  • Hdc2tog = Half Double Crochet the next 2 stitches together

Gauge Check:

Please check gauge for appropriate sizing, change hook to correct size to obtain gauge. Each size uses a different hook size, so find what hook is recommended for the size you plan on crocheting, them complete your gauge check accordingly.

With Hook J: 8 rows with 14 hdc = 4 inches square (newborn, 6-12 month, youth)

With Hook K: 7 rows with 12 hdc = 4 inches square (3-6 month, 12-24 month, adult)

Hat Sizing:

The sizing of the Peppermint Twist Hat is slightly different than other Sweet Potato 3 Patterns, this is due to the design of the hat and the stretch.

  • Newborn (13” around & 5” high not counting top twist – fits up to 14” circumference)
  • 3 to 6 Months (14” around & 5 ½ “ high not counting top twist – fits up to 15″ or 16″ circumference)
  • 6 to 12 Months (16″ around & 6” high not counting top twist – fits up to 18″ circumference)
  • Toddler (18 ½” around & 7” high not counting top twist – fits up to 20″ circumference)
  • Youth (20” around & 8” high not counting top twist – fits up to 22” circumference)
  • Adult (22” around & 9” high not counting top twist – fits up to 24” circumference)
    
Peppermint Twist Crochet Hat

Notes About The Peppermint Twist Hat Design

  • Count the beginning chain as a stitch in each row.
  • Switch color of yarn every 2 rows, fasten off and bury yarn as you go.
  • When measuring the completed item measure from top to bottom, not along the diagonal stripe.
  • Hat height measurement given is the length from the base/crown of the hat up to the gather (or part that sits on top of the head), the gathered top is not included.

Peppermint Twist Hat Crochet Pattern

  • Newborn, 6-12 month, youth sizes use Hook J (6.00 mm)
  • 3-6 Month, toddler, adult size use Hook K (6.50 mm)
  • pattern is written for the newborn size with subsequent sizes in parenthesis.
    • For example: hdc in the next 24 (24, 29, 29, 37, 37) correlates to hdc in next Newborn (3-6 month, 6-12 month, toddler, youth, adult).

R1: Ch 29 (29, 33, 33, 41, 41), 2hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc in next 24 (24, 29, 29, 37, 37) st, hdc2tog, turn (28, 28, 32, 32, 40, 40)

R2: Ch 2, hdc2tog, hdc in next 24 (24, 29, 29, 37, 37) sts, 2hdc in last st, turn (28, 28, 32, 32, 40, 40)

Change Yarn Color

R3: Ch 2, 2hdc in 1st st, hdc in next 24 (24, 29, 29, 37, 37) sts, hdc2tog, turn (28, 28, 32, 32, 40, 40)

R4-24(24, 28, 28, 32, 32): repeat rows 2 & 3 while continuing to change yarn color after every 2 rows.

Final Row: Lay hat flat, fold lower left corner over so it is aligned with the bottom edge. Next fold the upper right corner over. The bottom of your first row and the top of your last row will be aligned at an angle.

To crochet together, slst the sts from R1 and R24 (24, 28, 28, 32, 32) together. The ends that you are stitching together are at angles, match up the 1st sts and as you work each stitch the edges will come together to create the diagonal design. After sewing rows together, fasten off and bury ends. Turn hat right side out, this will leave the seam on the inside of the hat.

Drawstring: Ch 40 (40, 50, 50, 60, 60), fasten off. Drawstring should measure about 11″ (11″, 12″, 12″, 13″, 13″). From the top of the hat count down 6 (6, 8, 8, 10, 10) sts, weave the drawstring through the sts of each row. Pull drawstring tight, wrap until the ends of the chain are left, tie tightly and weave in loose ends.

Peppermint Twist Drawstring

More Christmas Crochet Patterns You May Enjoy

More Crochet Fun

Follow Sweet Potato 3 on Facebook to see more pattern releases, sales and crochet fun, just click HERE.

However, if you would enjoy a more interactive group experience, you need to join my Crochet & Conversations facebook group, click HERE. It is a ton of fun and I encourage everyone to share their projects, WIPS (works in progress) and inspirations. Plus you get exclusive deals, are the first to see new releases, give input on designs and have opportunities to win patterns. Join now and get to know others who also enjoy the art of crochet.

Crochet & Conversations

Some Fun Ways Others are Celebrating “give something away day”

  • Check out a cute Hooded Tiger Blanket by Timmel Crochet – click HERE.
  • See How to Make a Crochet Dolphin by Creative Snugglies – click HERE.

Summer Breeze Swim Cover Up Crochet Pattern

The temperatures have been rising and sandy beaches have been calling, therefore it is definitely time to bust out the swim wear. But, I believe many of us like having a cute cover up to throw on as we tromp down to the beach with all our gear in tote. So, I think you will love my latest design, the Summer Breeze Swim Cover Up crochet pattern.

As a crochet designer I try to come up with creative projects to work on in the summer. I am not into crocheting heavy blankets when my thermostat is above 80 (we don’t have air conditioning). So, I tend to work with light weigh yarns or on small projects.

After inquiring with “my favorite people” in SP3 Crochet & Conversations (if your not a member, be sure to check it out HERE), they said they really wanted me to design a swim cover up. When I design something, especially a wearable, I want it to be something I personally would wear.

The Summer Breeze Swim Cover Up is modest, loose fitting, lightweight but oh so dang cute!

Color Changing Blended Yarn

Radhika from The Yarnveda had contacted right around the time I was planning my Swim Cover Up design. She had some gorgeous color changing yarn that was an ideal 50% cotton/50% acrylic blend. I knew this would be the perfect yarn to use, plus, the colors are spot on for beachwear!

Yarnveda

The Stitches in the Summer Breeze Cover Up

With the yarn in hand, I knew the style of the cover up so now I was on the on the hunt for some fun stitches. I usually try to create something brand new but there were a few stitches that kept coming to mind from past designs.

I knew I wanted something that created a finer stitch, not heavy. It was important the stitch would be flowy and lightweight. My Forest Friends blanket was just that and I knew I wanted to combine the main stitch of that blanket into the cover up. Plus, I LOVE crocheting the Extended Single Crochet Stitch.

Summer Breeze Stitch Tutorial

But, I had to throw in a few more stitches for some eye catching appeal. A few years ago I did a CAL for a Big & Comfy Equanimity Blanket and everyone fell in love with a double row X stitch. I knew this stitch combination would leave some open gaps in the cover up and would coordinate well.

Summer Breeze Stitches

But, still hunting for another “quick” row of stitches, my Whispering Willows Poncho was another fun summer design and I decided to pull in those stitches as well. So, I guess I took my favorite stitches from past designs, add some gorgeous yarn and came up with my newest design that I absolutely love.

About The Design

The Summer Breeze Cover Up fits loosely with a decorative belt used to showcase a gathered waistline. The length is designed to hang a couple inches above the knee when standing. The pattern includes sizes from adult small up to XXXL.

Find the Summer Breeze Swim Cover Up

Other Summer Patterns you would enjoy

Crochet & Conversations

As I mentioned above, my facebook group helps me decide on upcoming designs and it is just a fun interactive group of fellow crochet lovers. I would like to invite you to come join in on all the crochet fun, just click HERE. You can also sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest, I promise you won’t get spammed, just lots of fun crochet patterns and ideas. You can sign up for my newsletter by clicking HERE.

Trade Show: Profiting from your passion

Being able to make a little (or a lot) from your favorite hobby of crochet is a dream many of you have. I feel so fortunate that I am able to design crochet patterns and love the feedback I get from all of you. Many of you talk about doing a trade show, so when Abby from Craftability asked to share an article with you all, I was excited to share her thoughts on getting ready for trade shows, I hope you enjoy her article below.


Trade Show
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Weiqi Xiong

How to Get Started selling at a trade show

Turning a love for craft making into income is a dream come true for any crocheter, knitter, painter, photographer, or other inventive creator. Contrary to what people say, it is possible to make good money by selling art, especially at trade shows. A recent industry analysis proves that the craft world is pulling in billions of dollars. All it takes to profit is a great product, an understanding of the vendor world, and the right amount of elbow grease.

Find Your Event

Begin by deciding where you will be selling, then, knowing whether the venue is indoors or outdoors, and think about the setting’s implications for your booth. Consider the size of the show. Larger ones mean more people, but a high number of craftspeople might cause your display to be overlooked. On the other hand, smaller events might not attract enough buyers.

Trade Show Location & Size
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Oxana

Network with other crafters to learn the inside scoop on which shows do the most business. Submit your application on time and fill it out correctly remember, missing the due date or failing to follow instructions might cause you to be denied entry.

Create Your Trade Show Display

Maximize your booth’s visual appeal by incorporating props and backdrops into your staging. Arrange products with the buyer in mind. Scan the booths of other crafters and incorporate what works.

Trade Show Set your display
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Red Hat Factory

Place piles of creatively designed business cards in multiple places around your booth and double-check that they have the correct information. Undecided shoppers might get in touch with you later once they’ve decided to make a purchase.

Set Your Prices

Charging the right amount is vital. Take the base cost of your products and then add the cost of overhead to figure out pricing minimums.

Perform market research. Match price points with those offered by sellers who hawk similar items. Over time, you’ll learn what dollar amounts are best for getting items to move.

Trade Show Set Pricing
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Scott Graham

Connect With Your Customers at the trade show

Welcome browsers into your booth and inform them that you’re happy to answer questions. Don’t be offended if shoppers say nothing and walk away, because customers who’ll adore your work might be nearby.

Build rapport with interested purchasers. The better you are at creating personal bonds, the more likely it is that customers will return and send referrals your way.

 Customers & Payments
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Christiann Koepke

Handle Your Payments

Many craft aficionados prefer to make purchases with cash. Go to the bank and get ample change before the show.

That being said, more and more commerce is being done electronically. Vendor apps allow independent crafters to accept credit card payments with their phones. Bring a portable charger so that you never miss a sale because of a drained battery.

Manage Your Inventory

Having enough of your products to satisfy demand is critical. You can’t move what you don’t have, so get crafting!

 Keep Crocheting
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Kelly Sikkema

Keep track of what you’re selling. Fail to do this and you’re setting yourself up for an accounting nightmare. Bring a laptop with an electronic spreadsheet that can be updated with every sale, and don’t forget to turn on autosave.

You’re likely to run into bumps during your first time selling. Don’t let these incidents discourage you. The more experience you earn, the fewer problems you’ll encounter and the more money you’ll make.

My Team of Crochet Besties at Sweet Potato 3

I love discovering random holidays to celebrate. When I first read about National Best Friends Day being on June 8th, I was excited. Any chance to celebrate the wonderful people that we choose to surround ourselves with is fantastic. As a business owner I definitely have a few besties that I rely on.

Running an online business you connect with certain people. Many of these people you begin to rely on and chat with as though they are your pals. Through the 8 years of designing crochet patterns there is a group of crocheters, that I consider my besties, that are behind the scene here at SP3. This team of people is one of the primary reasons I am able to offer quality crochet patterns.

Besties in my crochet business

my besties aka testers

We all have the team of people we go to and talk about our ideas, our inspiration and our dreams. My go to group is my pattern testers. I am always bouncing ideas off them and the reaction and support I get is tremendous. This team of ladies (they just happen to be all ladies but, I would be totally open to adding some guys too), is always there for my ramblings-LOL!

I ask these gals about whether a design is silly or great, and the best part is, they are 100% honest. Now that is what I consider besties! I can trust them on color ideas, yarn suggestions, thoughts on designs, styles, sizes and so much more.

As we celebrate National Best Friends Day, I am want to introduce you to some of these amazing ladies. I hope you all take a minute to check out their business pages and follow them along their crochet journey as well.

I also want to take this opportunity to let them know how much I appreciate them and all that they do.

Thank your bestie

Meet some of my besties Team!

Kim Potter of K’s Keepsake

Kim has been testing for me practically from the very beginning. I love the excitement, knowledge and ideas that Kim is always willing to share. She runs a crochet business where she sells her finished crochet pieces called, K’s Keepsakes (follow her on IG HERE, or FB HERE).

K's Keepsake

A great example of how a pattern tester becomes a friend, is about 4 years ago my husband had a work conference across the country. This brought me to Washington DC and Kim took the time to drove an hour into the city and we took our kids to the zoo.

This was no easy task, she fought the crazy traffic and came with twin boys that if I remember right were barely walking! We had a great afternoon and it was so great to meet her in person! Only a bestie would do that-right? Here is one of my favorite tests Kim has done over the years, the Sleep Tight Teddy Bear Set (you can find this pattern HERE).

sleep tight teddy bear blanket

Linda Ann from Unique & Beyond Boutique

My friend, Linda, is the owner of Unique and Beyond Boutique. You can follow her crochet on facebook HERE or on Instagram HERE. Linda started testing for me back in 2017 and has been someone I could always count on for anything. She is very loyal, professional and always follows through, I love working with her. Here is a very sweet quote from Linda:

I enjoy testing for you because you have helped me learn & grow with your talented designs & with new stitches. Your Christmas stocking was so easy to make I made several for gifts. I enjoy selling at craft fairs & creating custom orders. My family also enjoy my gifts(both blankets). 

Linda Ann, Owner of Unique & Beyond Boutique

Here are some of Linda’s favorite tests that she has done over the years. The Grandioso Guitar Blanket (found HERE), Joyeux Noel Christmas Stocking (found HERE) and the Don’t Moose with Me Blanket (found HERE).


Trish Bouwman

Trish has also been a long time tester for Sweet Potato 3. Like Kim and Linda, Trish has always been willing to give her time to help me out and test. She is very thorough and has been a great asset to have on my team.

I have so many favorites I’ve tested…Sleep Tight Teddy Blanket, Tool Belt Toys, Bunny in Britches set, Snow Drifter Hat, Reversible Puffy Vest, Chevron Swaddle Pod, Chasing Arrows Blanket, Diagonal Delight Baby Blanket, 18″ Doll PJ set, Pygmy Seahorse Stuffy, Some Bunny to Love and the list could go on! I started crocheting for fun, made it a business and got burnt out so now I’m back to just doing it for my own pleasure.

Trish Bouwman, Pattern Tester for Sweet Potato 3

Check out some of her amazing crochet tests below: Diagonal Delights Blanket (click HERE), Tool Belt & Tools (click HERE), Chevron Swaddle Pod (click HERE), 18″ Doll PJs (click HERE), Sleep Tight Teddy Bear Set (click HERE), Bunny in Britches Set (click HERE) & the Chasing Arrows Blanket (click HERE).


Sarah Kwolek

Sarah is one of my new testers (started in November 2020) but has been so wonderful to get to know. When I asked Sarah what her favorite test was she said the Lovely Ladders Cowl (found HERE), this is also one of my favorite designs, I am wearing the same cowl in my photo on my blog image).

lovely ladders cowl

My fave test so far was the first one (Lovely Ladders Cowl). Testing is fun because you get a sneak peek and because I love to solve problems so it’s great to help a designer ensure her pattern is problem free and easy to follow and make. Since I already loved your patterns, testing for you felt especially gratifying. You’ve designed so many great patterns. I would love to see another blanket but summer weight with a more lacy design.

Sarah Kwolek, Pattern Tester for Sweet Potato 3

I love suggestions, so I have a light weight summer blanket on my list of things to design now… so keep an eye out for one!


Christina Chisholm from gayle’s handcrafted gifts

Christina is another fairly new tester who began in the fall of 2020. I love her reason she enjoys testing because I try to teach through my patterns, here is what Christina says about testing:

I love testing because it pushes me to be better and expand my skills.

Christina Chisholm, Gayle’s Handcrafted Gifts

You can follow her craft page on Facebook HERE.

gayles handmade gifts

Christina’s favorite test so far has been one of my favorite designs from last year, the Winter Wishes Cowl. I designed this as a cowl and after making it Christina suggested I also show it work as a triangle scarf. Not only did she suggest it but sent lovely photos showing it both ways. It was a brilliant idea! You can find the Winter Wishes Cowl by clicking HERE.

Judy Pasero

Judy & I have know each other for nearly 20 years, I worked with her daughter in our churches youth group. I was surprised when years later we re-crossed paths in the crochet community. Judy just recently started testing for me and she said,

I love learning new stitches with your beautiful patterns.

Judy Pasero, Pattern Tester for Sweet Potato 3

I would love to share her most recent test, but guess what? I haven’t released it, but the pattern will be part of the 2021 Crochet Cancer Challenge. If you are not familiar with the Crochet Cancer Challenge you can read more about it HERE. Until then, her pattern test is TOP SECRET!

Top Secret with your Bestie

Trudy Wolstenholme from trudy’s crazy crochet

Trudy is one of my newest testers and I absolutely love her commitment and help she has already offered. She is always ready to jump in and test and is timely, detail oriented and always has great suggestions. Here are a few thoughts from Trudy:

I’m Trudy, I have only been testing for you (Christine) since early this year. My first test for you was the Winter Wishes Ear Warnmers, but I think my favorite so far was the Easter Egg pocket bunny chick. So fun and well received. I love being a tester as it expands my crochet knowledge and I feel I am being useful helping to create the best pattern possible for the designer. I have a Crochet Page called Trudy’s Crazy Crochet, but I wouldn’t call it a business. I have stacks of orders for all types of crochet items at the moment. I am a dental assistant who loves to crochet every spare moment.

Trudy Wolstenholme, Trudy’s Crazy Croche

You can follow Trudy’s crochet Facebook page HERE. So far this year Trudy has tested the Bella Borsetta Clutch (found HERE) and the Easter Chick/Bunny in the Egg Pocket (found HERE).


Tanya Mullis-Kunz

Tanya was just a wonderful person in my SP3 Crochet & Conversations group, she was always upbeat, positive and active. She just had one of those kind hearts that I had to ask her to join my testers group. She is a recent add but I enjoy our chats. She is so uplifting and feels like she is a friend I have known for years. She often asks about my kids and how life is going, she is a genuine person as you can see in her sweet comment below:

How sweet that you put friends & testers together. I fully agree. I do feel that it is like a friendship. You asked me to help you (still riding on cloud nine for that honor). I gladly do so when I can… You have the talent to create, I think I am good at the proof reading details (and making hats 🤪). To me it feels like a true collaboration, friends putting their talents together to finish an awesome “end product”. If you think about it, it is the same in your “real life” (as in non crochet) friendships. Your friend asks for help, you help because you can and the end result is fabulous, everyone happy. Darn…if the whole world could just get along like that!

Tanya Mullis-Kunz, Pattern Tester for Sweet Potato 3

And yes, Tanya is amazing at proofreading, a skill I totally lack!


Thank you to my crochet besties

So, once again, I want to thank these testers/besties as well as the many others in my testing group! I couldn’t do what I do without your time, energy and support. Even though we are all at different ends of this planet we are in this fun crochet community together and couldn’t love that more!

Bestie like a herd of alpacas

Some other great reads celebrating best friends day

I wanted to features my besties within my own crochet business. But, this topic can be looked at in so many ways. I would love to share some other articles from some great bloggers that wrote about their best friends in their crochet world. Click the links below and continue to read about National Best Friends Day.

My friend Zenzali over at Millennial Makers shares her 3 designers to honor, she choose creators and designers that inspired her and those that push her to do her best as a creator and designer. I love how best friends motivate you to do better, read her great article below:

Debbie over at Madame Stitch decided to take the opportunity to introducing us all to five of her favorite crochet designer friends. She discusses how being a crochet designer can be lonely because there are not many opportunities to work along side others. However, Debbie understands how important having relationships are and sought out other designers. Check out her very well written article below:

Christina, designer over at Creative Snugglies also wanted to celebrate National Best Friends day. She choose to feature her besties not only in crochet but in the crafting world. One of those relationships was with a local author and she talks about the unique and wonderful friendship they created and helped one another grow from. Check it out below:

A Customized Crochet Woven Basket / Pot Holder Pattern

Crocheting home décor items are a perfect way to showcase your love for working with yarn. However, it can be challenging to find modern designs that add a little texture and warmth without making your display to cluttered. The Woven Basket/Pot Holder is just that, it doesn’t add an extra object (clutter), it just adds that missing piece of texture you’ve been longing for.

I created a full tutorial that will walk you through how to customize this design to suit your need. It can be made as a plant pot cover, for any sized plant, or you can create a shallow basket as a catch all. You could even crochet it smaller to work as a crochet hook holder or can cozy. If you can think of a fun idea, this tutorial will work!

Woven Basket Design

The Accident that lead to the woven basket design

I had a plant that was displayed in my entryway. One afternoon my daughter was goofing off with her brothers and threw something (I honestly can’t even remember what it was) and it bounced off one of the boys, hit the plant which crashed to the floor. The pot completely shattered. Now, all I had was a cute plant with an ugly Styrofoam base.

pant base

I had some leftover home decor yarn from a project I had previously worked on (a whole book on home décor you can find it HERE… link coming soon) and thought the yarn would be fun to use to create a new base for the plant.

The Woven Look of the Stitch

When I stumble upon a new stitch my mind usually starts to buzz with ideas on how to incorporate it into a new design. When I saw this gorgeous woven stitch, I knew right away it had be worked into a basket design. Isn’t this stitch amazing?

Woven Basket Stitch

Materials Needed

Honestly, this is the fun part about woven basket design. The pattern is designed so you can customize it to the size you want. I encourage you to go to your yarn stash and grab the color of yarn you really want to use. Don’t worry about the weight of the yarn, just estimate if you will have enough. I made 3 samples, seen below, in the next paragraph I will let you know how much yarn I used for each one.

Woven Basket Pattern

The short basket that I left empty (we use it as a catch all for keys) uses Berroco Comfort Yarn (color: 9709). This yarn was in my stash and was left over from my Bella Borsetta Clutch pattern, you can find that by clicking HERE. The Berroco yarn is a finer worsted weight yarn. Therefore, I decided to crochet the basket holding 2 strands together and used about 80-100 yards total. For this sample I used a crochet hook size K (6.50 mm).

I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in the smallest sample in the color, Ivory. I used 1 strand of yarn (crochet hook size I (5.50mm) ) and the entire pattern worked up in about 60 yards.

For the larger pink basket I used Lion Brand Rewind yarn which is a (finer) bulky home décor yarn. I used about half of a skein, or 100 yards, and used a crochet hook size K (6.50 mm). The Mahogany Rose color is very soft and muted.

Lion Brand Rewind

Other items you may want to have on hand are a stitch marker, scissors and yarn needle.

Stitches and abbreviations Used

  • Ch(s) = Chain(s)
  • St(s) = Stitch(es)
  • Sc = Single Crochet
  • Hdc = Half Double Crochet
  • Spike Sc = Spike Single Crochet
  • Reverse Sc = Reverse Single Crochet (also known as the Crab Stitch)
  • FP = Front Post
  • BL = Back Loop Only
  • FL = Front Loop Only
  • R = Row/Round

The ridged bottom of the Woven Basket

The woven stitch creates a nice thick fabric which holds up great for sides of a basket. However, when you create something with sides are are thicker/heavier it is important to have a sturdy base. This took some trial and error but I eventually came up with a fun way to do just that.

Plus, the technique I used created a ridge on the basket bottom/base which helps keep the circular shape of the basket.

Woven basket bottom

Gauge Check

This pattern is very unique since it can be customized to any size and can be made with any type of yarn. Due to all the customization available, you do not need to check your gauge. Just follow the instructions to make the basket the size you want. Make sure you use the recommended hook size on your yarn label.

A step by step video

Beginning your custom basket or pot holder

R1: Ch 2, 8hdc in 2nd ch from hook, join with a slst in the top of the 1st hdc of the round (8) pull beginning strand of yarn to close hole *note: you may begin with a magic circle if you prefer

Woven Basket Round 1

Part 1 of R2: you will crochet 2 layers in this round, Ch 1, work this section in the BL only, 2hdc in each st around making sure not to work into the joining slst of R1 (16), do not join

Part 2 of R2: you will now work a round in the unworked FL (1st image) repeating the 2hdc in each st around, this will create a 2nd layer (2nd image) join in both of the 1st stitches from both layers (3rd image) to complete the round (4th image)

R3: Ch 1, work this round working through both layers of R2, 2hdc in 1st st, hdc in next st, [2hdc in next st, hdc in next st], repeat [] around (24)

Woven Basket Round 3

R4: using the same technique you used on R2, crochet 2 layers in this round, Ch 1, work this section in the BL only 2hdc in 1st st, hdc in each of the next 2 sts, [2hdc in next st, hdc in each of the next 2 sts], repeat [] around (32) do not join, you will now work a round in the unworked FL repeating [] around, join in both of the 1st stitches of each layer in this round

R5: Ch 1, work this round working through both layers of stitches from R4, 2hdc in 1st st, hdc in each of the next 3 sts, [2hdc in next st, hdc in each of the next 3 sts], repeat [] around (40)

*note: at this point you will continue to crochet increase rounds working every even rows with a double layer. Odd rows crochet as a single layer while working through the double layer of the previous row. Continue this pattern until the bottom of your basket in your desired size. You can end on either an even or an odd row.

Final Round: Ch 1, sc in each st around, join

Creating the turn from bottom to side of basket

R1: Ch 1, loosely FPsc in each st around, join and turn

If you are wondering what a FP (front post) single crochet is, take a look at the photo tutorial below: Ch 1, insert hook around the post of the st from the prior row (see image 1 & 2), yarn over and pull up a loop (image 3 & 4), yarn over pull through both loops on hook to complete the FPsc (image 5), repeat around row (image 6).

R2: Ch 1, sc in each st around, join

R3: Ch 1, spike st in each st around, join

See the tutorial below for the spike stitch: Begin with a ch 1, insert your hook into the base of the sc from the prior row (image 1 & 2), pull up a loop (image 3), yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook to complete the spike st (image 4), continue working a spike stitch (image 5) around entire row, join (image 6).

The Woven Stitch / Side of Basket

R4: Ch 1, skip first st, in next st work 1 row below , working into the skipped st of current row repeat [], {skip next st, in next st work 1 row below repeat [], working in the skipped st of the current row repeat []}, repeat {} around, join (see photo tutorial below).

Repeat R4 to desired height – I recommend watching the video to see stitch placement. It is much easier to show than try to explain. Video is further up in the blog post.

A Rolled Finished Edge

Once you finish the sides of your basket it is nice to have an easy and clean edge. I love the rolled look of the last round. It helps create a clean and professional edge that doesn’t take away from the beautiful stitching throughout the design.

Rolled Edges

R1: Ch 1,reverse sc (crab st) in each st around, fasten off and weave in all ends.

Reverse Single Crochet Tutorial: You will work backwards going from left to right. Insert hook into 1st st (image 1 & 2), pull up a loop (image 3), you now have 2 loops on your hook.Yarn over and pull through both loop on hook to complete your first reverse sc (image 4), insert your hook into the next st to your right, remember you are working backwards (image 5-see where needle is pointing), repeat in each st (image 6).

Other patterns I think You’ll like

  • Free Simple Basket Pattern – click HERE
  • Free Coffee Cozy Patterns – click HERE
  • Free Hot Pad & Scrubby Pattern with Free Gift Tag Printable – click HERE
Crochet & Conversations

For an interactive group of fellow crochet enthusiast, I invite you to come and join my Facebook group.

Ideas to Clean Up Your Craft Room

Oh how I miss having a craft room. As many of you know, we sold our home earlier this year and are renting while we build, so space is extremely limited. But, as we are starting our design process I am dreaming of ways to organize my craft room in our new home.

National Clean Up Your Craft Room Day

Clean Up Your Room Day is a day parents eagerly await……….. and kids dread!


If you’ve got kids, it is very possible that their rooms are a vast wasteland, completely filled with “good stuff”. “Messy” is too kind of an adjective to describe the conditions. Its impossible to walk through the room. Every dresser and shelf (and under the bed), is packed with everything imaginable. Dust has been piling up as long as your child has been around. Comfy, cozy, and quite livable to the child, its an everyday source of frustration for the “folks”.


To mom and dad’s delight, and every child’s chagrin, Clean Up Your Room Day arrives every May 10th. Get out the shovels. Call in an industrial sized dumpster. Its time for everyone to clean your rooms!


Note to Kids: Clean Up Your Room Day also applies to your parents. You may want to inspect to assure that mom and dad practice what they preach!

http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/May/cleanuproomday.htm

So maybe it is not specific to craft room. But, now we have an excuse to give our children a job and we may have some time on our hands to organize our own space. Don’t take this time to do the dreaded bathroom, laundry, hall closet or such. Instead, let’s have some fun and dive into our craft space.

Craft Room Mess

Tidy Up Our Craft Room

In my previous home I had a lovely designated space for my office/craft room. I even wrote a fun post about creating the display I made, it includes a tutorial on how I customized a wall hanging with crochet. Check out the entire post HERE.

Craft Room Custom Display

But, What if I am not a tidy person?

I know many of you are the type that have tried over and over again to organize and clean your room and are at a point where you are going to give up. That is okay! My friend Debbie over at Madame Stitch has a great article just for you, “How working in a Messy Office Space Keeps me Productive & Happy”.

Tips & Storage ideas for your Craft Room

Since I don’t have a home office right now and can only dream, I wanted to share some ideas from other crocheters out there.

Yarn Labels

Check out how Jo to the World organizes her yarn labels after a project has been completed. This is a great way to see your yarn and reference it from past projects. I would recommend adding a note in the envelope on what project I used the yarn on.

Organize yarn Labels

What about if you are winding yarn into cakes or balls and want to keep the label with the yarn. This is something I would recommend so you have the correct info for future stash busting projects. Check out these great suggestions from Sweet Bee Crochet.

Yarn Labels for your craft room

Yarn Stash Organization for your Craft Room

If you have so much yarn you are not sure what to do with it, read how to organize it in 4 easy steps. This tutorial by Ambassador Crochet helps break it down into a manageable process. You will feel like you have accomplished so much when you are done.

Organize you yarn

Here are 7 steps, from Desert Blossom Crafts, you can take to help you prepare to organize your stash. I love step 1 to access your current situation and then #2 to list out what your goals are with your re-organization. It is good to have a plan laid out.

Craft Room yarn Storage

I love the idea of storing yarn in a hutch, I actually had one about 4 years ago (but, when we moved I had to sell it). You are going to love this video from This Yellow Farmhouse, she did such a lovely job of storing her yarn and creating a beautiful display space.

Shopping your Stash

Now that your stash yarn is labeled and organized you have to feel amazing. Now when you find a new pattern to work up, life is going to be fun when you find a pattern to help you use up that yarn. I love this article by Dora Does, she gives lots of suggestions on shopping your stash for those new patterns.

craft room yarn storage

Pattern Organization

Go ahead and admit it, you have so many patterns you loose track of them. Your not alone. If we are all honest we are all in the same boat. I usually keep mine saved digitally, but when I actual use the patterns I print them so I can make notes on them. What should I do with them when I am done?

Here is a great tutorial from Sweet Bee Crochet on organizing a binder. This isn’t just for crochet though, as I read her blog post I was thinking I need to do this for my recipes too.

pattern organization

I’m Ready Now

After reading all these great articles I am definitely inspired to organize my own craft room, or area, next year when we get to move into our new home. I hope you found some of these suggestions and tips helpful. Come join my Crochet & Conversations Facebook group to share your craft space, your tips and your ideas with me.

A few more fun reads about cleaning up your craft space

  • How I keep my small space tidy – Creative Snugglies – click HERE

Paradise Beach Tote Crochet Pattern

With Spring upon us and the sun shinning, I know we are all dreaming of visiting the nearest sandy shores for a splendid day at the beach. Grab your tote, fill it with goodies such as a towel, sunscreen, water, snack and flip flops. Oh wait, is your old tote need to visit the recycle bin? No worries, take the stress out of it and crochet up a new Paradise Beach Tote with this fabulous crochet pattern.

Paradise Beach Tote Crochet Pattern

Not only is this an ideal size for a day at the beach, you may learn a few new tricks of the trade (our crochet trade)!

the Paradise Beach Tote

Designed to be just the right size for a day trip, the totes completed size will come out at about 14” wide by 15” tall and is 3” deep. The square base allows for more room to place those essentials in a more organized fashion.

As the crochet pattern progresses up towards the top, you will follow a graph. But, don’t fret over this. If reading graphs is not your favorite thing, I have included a “cheat sheet” on the graph. It will tell you exactly how many stitches in each color need to be worked in each row.

So Many Tutorials – Twist Cord

The Paradise Beach Tote was so much fun to design and see it develop into what I had envisioned. As I neared the top I had to make a decision on what type of strap I wanted. I have always loved the look of Twist Cords so thought that would be a fun way to reintroduce the colors back into the design.

But, it is a little tricky to explain how to make one of these fun and colorful twist cords. As in so many of my designs, I decided to just make a quick video tutorial to help demonstrate how easy they really are to make.

More Tutorials on Grommets too!

The Twist Cords for each strap of the tote are completed! Yay, you may have just learned something new. But, adding them to the tote can be a little tricky. Leaving holes in your crochet piece works but over time, they stretch and won’t hold their shape.

The solution: Grommets! You will be amazed at how easy they are to add. Again, I went to my video camera and threw together another quick tutorial:

Where Can I get My Grommets & Tools

Hopefully you are convinced this is a great tool to use and so easy! Now, are you wondering where to get the grommets, and what about those tools? Well, it is easy to purchase a small kit. I used this one on Amazon:

The great part about this Grommet Kit is that it comes with multiple grommets and all the tools you need including that scrap piece of wood.


See Samples Made by my Pattern Testers

One of the greatest rewards with designing crochet patterns is seeing the completed projects from those that have made something from them. This test was so fun when I got the feedback and photos from my testers.

Susie made her tote using Red Heart Ombre yarn (in the color ‘scuba’) and it created lovely color fades. The bold contrast of the Hobby Lobby I Love that Yarn (in the color ‘coral sparkles’) was the perfect color for the lettering. Susie said, “I can fit my large beach towel, water shoes, mask, snorkel and so much more.”

Nancy tested the tote and I love the alterations she made. The bold colors are perfect for spring. She also adjusted the final round to be made in a contrasting color showing off the texture. More alterations included her brilliant addition of the pegs on the bottom of the bag and the strap running straight across from one end to the other (instead of 1 strap on each side like mine).

Paradise Beach Tote Bottom

The next test that came is was done by Heidi. She made the straps slightly shorter and in 3 colors (instead of 4) and I love how distinct all the colors are in it! Heidi also topped the bag with the same colors as the middle lettering which really tied the bag together.

The final test that was completed was by Vickie, she did a fabulous job and shows off the size and how useful the tote is! Pluss her decision to use the same multi-colored yarn for all the lettering turned out perfect.


Materials Needed for Paradise Beach Tote Crochet Pattern

  • Crochet Hook size H (5.00 mm)
  • Worsted Weight Yarn (#4)
  •          920 total yards
  •          Sample Made using Premier Anti-Pilling Everyday   
  • Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Yarn Needle
  • 4 – 3/8” grommets (hammer for installation)

Paradise Beach

Where to find the Paradise Beach Tote crochet pattern


More Handbag Patterns you may Love:

More Crochet Fun

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However, if you would enjoy a more interactive group experience, you need to join my Crochet & Conversations facebook group, click HERE. It is a ton of fun and I encourage everyone to share their projects, WIPS (works in progress) and inspirations. Plus you get exclusive deals, are the first to see new releases, give input on designs and have opportunities to win patterns. Join now and get to know others who also enjoy the art of crochet.