Carol Alexander is Annie's Executive Editor for crochet and the editor of Crochet World magazine. She also edits the special newsstand issues of Crochet! and Crochet World magazines, and manages the various Annie's e-newsletters.
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May 25, 2016
With Memorial Day approaching we thought we would share a way you could use your crochet talents to honor those who have served in the military.
With the release of Annie’s new publication, Military Tartan Throws, you can crochet a throw to give to a family member or friend to honor a loved one who served and gave their life for our country. The pattern book includes a unique throw for each of the five branches of the military, including the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy, plus there is even a tartan throw for West Point Academy.
U.S. Army Tartan Throw
We first met the designer, Anita Wilburn Darras when she submitted her U.S. Army Tartan Throw that was published in the October 2015 issue of Crochet World. We loved her unique design and asked her to share the story behind her afghan. Anita told us, “I was so thrilled to see my design in Crochet World magazine as it was my first published pattern! A lot of the credit for its creation goes to my husband, Norman. You see, I love plaid. And even more than I love plaid, I love the way a man looks in a plaid kilt. So after much nudging my husband finally agreed to wear a kilt, but only if I could find a tartan to which he was “entitled”. He did not want to wear a clan kilt or a regional kilt since he is not Scottish. At last I came across a U.S. Army Tartan kilt. As a Korean War draftee, my husband said he would be proud to wear the Army’s colors. To commemorate the occasion of his first wearing o’ the kilt, I created this afghan.”
Many people contacted us asking if we would be publishing patterns for all the branches of the military and Anita happily obliged!
Anita says, “I have heard from so many people looking forward to getting a copy of Military Tartan Throws. Here’s what some of them have said, ‘My dad was in the Marines. I want to make one in memory of him.’ ‘My grandson has been accepted to West Point, I want to surprise him with an afghan.’ ‘My brother just joined the Navy and I am giving him one when he graduates from Boot Camp.’ ‘I plan to crochet several and take them to our local VA hospital.’
Looks like there are many, many reasons to commemorate a loved one’s military service. I have been so deeply touched by everyone’s reasons for making one of my patterns. Creating one of these throws really is a labor of love.”
May 18, 2016
If you crochet, at some point you have most likely crocheted a project using the shell stitch. Often one of the first patterns many new crocheters try, the shell stitch is not only easy to learn, but fun to do! With hundreds of variations, the pattern is easy to memorize and the results are always so pretty. The shell stitch is made by crocheting 3 or more double crochet stitches in the same space or stitch, usually separated by a single crochet stitch to give that scalloped-shell look. There are hundreds of shell stitch variations and we thought we would share some of our favorites from June 2016 issue of Crochet World.
From talented designer, author and teacher Melissa Leapman comes this cute Summer Shells Hat. Using a basic 5-double crochet shell, and crocheted in a fun raffia yarn, you can make this in one evening and wear it to the beach the next day.
The Seaside Cowl is another great accessory from designer Gwen Buttke McGannon. Using a pretty variegated sport weight yarn to achieve a light and lacy cowl with alternating shells, the softly muted color range of this piece reminds us of a warm summer day at the beach. Cowls are great summer accessories because they can be worn around your shoulders when the air conditioning is blasting!
For the home, we love Margret Willson’s Trade Winds Throw with its large, open lacy shells. The undulating shell pattern seems to mimic ripples on the surface of a lake. Crocheted in a beautiful turquoise color, this lovely throw would make a stunning accent for a lake cottage or sun room at home.
Designer Debra Arch’s Moon Lanterns crocheted in an open shell pattern are perfect for your patio. The lacy pattern lets candlelight peek through creating dazzling patterns.
We hope you find time this summer to explore a few new shell stitch patterns and crochet up some summery projects!
May 11, 2016
It always fun to see what crocheters are pinning on Pinterest. Today we’ll share some of the top pins from Crochet World.
From the latest issue of Talking Crochet, our web newsletter, comes this free pattern for a great travel tote, just in time for warm weather vacations. Although the original yarn is no longer available, you’ll find plenty of options here.
Also in the most recent issue of Talking Crochet, co-editor and designer, Dora Ohrenstein, explains the various terms used to describe different sizes or weights of yarn. In her article, What’s That Yarn? you’ll find helpful advice that will make it easier when choosing yarns for your next project. Save this Pin-worthy article on your own crochet board as a handy reference.
Afghans and throws are a perennial favorite and this one keeps popping up on Pinterest. If you have a bunch of scraps, and what crocheter doesn’t, here’s the perfect project!
Free patterns are very popular on Pinterest and Pretty Pineapples is one of our most pinned doilies. With three variations on the traditional pineapple motif, this set of doilies is not only fun to crochet, but would also make the perfect summertime accent for your table. Find your favorite colors here and grab your crochet hook!
Want to see even more pins from Crochet World? Visit our Pinterest page and have fun pinning your favs!
May 4, 2016
When we think of spring, we think flowers! Each week brings new surprises as we watch the latest blooms emerge. The abundant display of colors like brilliant blues and purples, shocking reds and pinks and sunburst yellows are a sight to behold and make us happy it is spring again!
Maybe that is why flower motifs and floral designs are such favorites among crocheters; it reminds us of the unlimited variety of colorful blossoms that entice our senses!
To celebrate the joy of spring, our June issue of Crochet World features designs that remind us of our love of flowers. Today we’ll share some of the designs from our Garden Party chapter and offer a few different ways to use the floral motifs featured in each of the designs.
Who could resist making these cute puff-stitch flowers used in the Behind the Picket Fence Throw. The colorful little blooms in this throw work up quickly in join-as-you-go style, so there is no sewing! Once you crochet a few of these simple flowers, you may find yourself looking for other reasons to crochet more of them. How about a hot pad in worsted-weight cotton joining 3 rows of 3 motifs together? Or join enough motifs together to make a pretty floral cover for a ready-made pillow.
The Gerbera Doily updates a vintage pineapple design by adding a vibrant pink center flower and picot edging. This beautiful piece is sure to get noticed when on display in your home due to its large size and striking design. The flower motif could be crocheted separately and added as an applique to a favorite jean jacket or used on a head band as a cute accessory for summer outfits. Or make a bunch from your leftover size 10 crochet cotton and glue them to a lampshade for a fun look in a little girl’s room or summer cottage!
We love the Posy Toesy Sandals also featured in the Garden Party chapter. What a cute way to complement a summery dress for your favorite baby girl! In addition, the flower and leaves, which are crocheted with embroidery floss, would make a fun bookmark. Just make an 8-inch long chain in green add a few leaves to the chain and sew the flower motif to one end of the chain. You could use the same idea to make a bracelet too!
The Blooming Checkbook Cover uses a different technique to make flower motifs, which we think pairs perfectly with crochet! The little flowers are actually made on a mini flower loom simply by wrapping yarn around the pegs and tying off the center. The checkbook cover is crocheted in a simple pattern and after the flowers are added, the crocheted cover is slipped into a clear vinyl sleeve to keep it clean. This little flower loom is another great way to use up scraps of leftover yarn. Make up a bunch of these mini blooms and then have fun decorating clothing, totes and purses, and items around your house!
We hope you enjoyed learning about some new ways to use the pretty flowers featured in the June issue of Crochet World. We would love to see your projects. Send a photo of your completed project to email@example.com.
May 1, 2016
Summer is one of our favorite times to crochet! We love taking our latest project outside, sitting in the sun and enjoying a relaxing afternoon of stitching. Crochet also makes a great travel companion for long car rides or flights to vacation destinations.
Today we would like to share two sources of summer crochet inspiration with you that are sure to inspire you to pick up your crochet hook and get stitching!
Crochet World magazine’s newsstand special, Creative Crochet in a Day is filled with 40 projects that can be crocheted in 12 hours or less by most crocheters.
We love the Go Granny Bag designed by Jennifer E. Ryan in Berroco Weekend, a worsted weight cotton/acrylic blend that comes in a great range of colors so you can customize your bag to suit your wardrobe.
Another one of our favorites from Creative Crochet in a Day is the Easy Days Jacket. Crocheted in Berroco Comfort Chunky this light, short-sleeve jacket is a great transition piece taking you from spring through autumn. Crocheted with a L/11/8mm hook, you’ll find yourself making fast progress!
Great Yarns, Great Styles to Crochet, the latest newsstand special from Crochet! magazine is filled with inspiring projects crocheted from a variety beautiful yarns that showcase each design to its best advantage.
We love the Waterfall Swing Jacket designed by Lorna Miser in Malabrigo Rios, a beautiful hand-painted worsted yarn. Or crochet it in Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable for stunning results that are easy care! This popular and versatile style is the perfect way to finish off an outfit for work, or wear it with jeans for a trendy look.
A fun and quick project, the Bohemian Shawlette is sure to become a favorite spring and summer accessory. Crocheted in Heritage 150 prints from Cascade Yarns, you’ll want to make more than one! Make a second one in a solid color like Premier Yarns Cotton Fair to change the look. You’ll find yourself grabbing this cute shawlette to dress up an outfit or take the chill off when the air-conditioning is blasting!
Be sure and check out both of these best-selling issues that we feel sure will give you lots of inspiring ideas for your next project. Go to the Annie’s catalog website to see more patterns to crochet this summer!