The Importance of Gauge Swatches

Today I want to talk about crochet gauge swatches. What many crocheters don’t know is that gauge swatches are important in a lot of patterns, especially if you are making some type of clothing. If your gauge isn’t correct your finished product could come out all wrong.

So what exactly is a crochet gauge swatch? A gauge is a small swatch sampling either from a small piece of the pattern or one of the stitches used in the pattern. The overall purpose of making these gauge swatches is to make sure that your tension is even. If your tension is too tight or too loose, the sizing of your crochet item may not match the original design. If this happens, you want to try using a bigger or smaller crochet hook to test out first and see which matches better with the gauge swatch.

Depending on what you’re making, the correct gauge can be important. If you’re crocheting clothing for someone, such as a sweater, you’ll want to make sure your gauge is correct so that the finished product will fit the person it’s intended for. I like to think I’m a very neat crocheter as my tension seems to be even throughout my projects, but that’s not always the case. One time I tried making a particular slouchy hat, using the same hook size and yarn as the original pattern, and my gauge was way off! The hat came out super big and not at all what I wanted. This is why it’s important to check your gauge/tension when doing particular projects.

If you have any tips on gauge swatches or would like to share your experience, please leave me a comment.

Are you still looking for that perfect Christmas gift? Look no further than my Etsy Shop where you find cute penguin and snowmen hats as well as cute baby blankets, baby sweaters and newborn hats.

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Yarn Review: Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn

Today’s review is going to be on Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn. This yarn is 100% acrylic and considered a 4-worsted weight yarn. This yarn has been compared to Red Heart Super Saver, but it’s much softer. For the crocheters out there, the recommended hook size is a size I-9, while the recommended needle size for knitters is a size US 8.

20150721_084129The color selection for this brand is AMAZING! There are so many different solid and variegated colors to choose from that it is hard to not pick them all. There are bright in-your-face colors and also subtle neutral colors. The colors even have some sheen to them, much like Caron Simply Soft. For a store brand yarn, I was very impressed with the color selection. Each solid color is 7 oz. while the variegated colors are 5 oz. This yarn is machine washable.

p1070071p1070076I HIGHLY recommend using this yarn for a variety of projects such as hats, scarves, blankets, and sweaters. You won’t be disappointed in the quality or the softness of this brand.

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Black Friday Yarn Haul

Hey everyone!

Today I’m going to share with you my Black Friday yarn haul! There were a TON of great Black Friday yarn deals, so I thought it would take advantage of what they had. I’m sure there are still a lot of different sales going on this weekend, but here is the yarn I picked up.

img_2575img_2576I really love working with the Deborah Norville Everyday Yarn. This yarn is super soft and plush. I already had these two colors at home, but I wanted to stock up some more in order to have enough for a baby blanket. These colors are in Baby Pink and Snow White.

img_2578img_2577I also picked up a skein of Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread in the color Ocean. I saw online that a few people have crocheted over their phone charger cords to help protect them and help them distinguish theirs from other people’s phone charger cords. I’ve become obsessed with wanting to do this with my own phone charger cord, which is why I picked some of this up. I haven’t started on this yet, but I’m hoping to do so soon. There are a TON of different crochet projects running through my mind right now that I just want to do them all!

Did you do any Black Friday (yarn) shopping? What was your experience like?  What did you pick up?

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Why I Love to Crochet

Crochet is one of those hobbies that I can never let go. Not only is it a form of relaxation for me, but it also helps to relieve some of my stress and anxiety. It’s also one of those hobbies where I feel like I can really show off my creativity. There are a ton of different reasons why people crochet, so let me tell you some of my reasons.

♥ Crochet gives me something to do with my hands. Oftentimes I get restless if I have to sit somewhere for an extended period of time with nothing to do. Some people bring a book to read while others are content with being on their phones. I bring a crochet project. Sometimes there’s a wait when I go to the dentist, so working on a crochet project helps pass the time. I also like to crochet when I watch TV or a movie.

♥ I am always amazed at what you can make with some string and a hook. The possibilities are truly endless. Some people are really creative in what beautiful masterpieces they come up with. While I’m still working on improving my creativity, I love seeing other people’s work and becoming inspired.

♥ Crochet gives me a sense of purpose. Whether I am making a handmade gift or I am making something to be donated to charity, I feel like I have a true purpose when I crochet.

♥ Crochet helps relieve any stress or anxiety I may have. It’s nice to be able to sit back after a stressful day and crochet my stress away. Getting into the repetitive motion helps me to focus on my project in front of me. After a while, I can feel my shoulders beginning to relax and my mind stops racing.

♥ Finding crochet patterns and yarn are among some of my favorite things to do, aside from actually crocheting that is. There are so many wonderful patterns out there that I just want to crochet them all, even though I know it’s impossible. I love looking at all the different yarn brands and colors out there. I have to run my hands along the yarn whenever I walk past it as I love the feel of the different soft yarns out there.

Crocheting, for me, is a way for me to create something beautiful and be able to show it off to others. It’s a way to help develop my creative skills even more. I have been crocheting since I was a teenager. At first, I was very awkward as I didn’t know how to hold the yarn and crochet hook. Once I developed this muscle memory, I felt like things got a little better. It took me a while to learn how to make a chain as well as each stitch. While my stitches weren’t perfect, I knew that if I kept at it, I would get better.

My first item was a scarf. I remember the edges being all over the place as I didn’t know how to finish the row properly. I tried making a few different items, but my ends were still all over the place.  Once I finally mastered how to get the edging straight, I made scarves like crazy. I felt confident enough to make scarves so I moved onto other projects.

Fast forward to now. I have made hundreds of crochet projects since first starting out. I am so happy that I stuck with it and have found something that I can practice my creativity on. Crochet is not only a hobby, but it has become a way of life for me.

Why do you love to crochet? Leave me a comment below and let me know all about it.

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Yarn Review: Deborah Norville Everyday Yarn

Today I will be reviewing Deborah Norville Everyday yarn. This yarn is considered a 4-worsted weight premium 100% acrylic yarn. The yarn label says that it is anti-pilling. For the crocheters out there, the recommended hook size is a size I-9. The recommended needle size for knitters is a size US 8. Each solid skein is 4 oz. while the variegated colors are 3.5 oz. This collection comes in a beautiful array of colors and is one of the softest yarns I have ever used. It is machine washable.20150501_16291720151228_205543I absolutely LOVE this yarn!! I love the richness of each solid color and love the combinations of the variegated colors. The solid colors pair up well to match the variegated colors. I have used this yarn for a variety of different projects such as hats and baby blankets. I bought a TON of this yarn a while back when it was on sale at Joann Fabrics for $1.99. Working with this yarn is an absolute dream as it glides easily on your crochet hook and is very soft to work with. This is one of my go-to yarns. I HIGHLY recommend picking up a few skeins and trying it out yourself. You won’t be disappointed. If you are looking for a soft acrylic yarn, this is the yarn for you!

Pattern Credits: Divine Hat and Granny Stripe Blanket

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Snowmen and Penguin Hats Available!

Snowmen and penguin hats are now available in my Etsy shop! Snowmen hats are available in dark purple, royal blue, cherry red, forest green, and berry pink. Each snowman hat features a pom pom on top. Penguin hats come with or without a cute bow. Each hat is big enough to fit over the ears and has a pom pom on each side. All hats listed are in child size. If you would like a bigger size, you can request a customization.

Hurry now and pick up these cute hats, which are perfect for the upcoming holiday season!

Book Review: Crocheted Softies by Stacey Trock

Hi everyone!

Today’s book review is going to be on Stacey Trock’s second Amigurumi book titled Crocheted Softies. Comparing this book to her first book, which you can check out here, she has done another wonderful job in coming up with more adorable designs. With this book, the designs featured are animals from around the world.

book-review-crochet-softiesMuch like the first book, Stacey provides information about different stitches, yarn and yarn substitutes, and how to make child-safe eyes. She also has different yarn weights, a glossary of abbreviations, and resources where you can purchase different yarns and other materials towards the back of the book. Throughout the book, Stacey provides little tips to help you create each stuffed animal. Featured in the book are two different animals from each part of the world. For example, from Africa she features a cute giraffe and elephant. She even created two different aliens from outer space.

crochet-softies-book-reviewWhat I love about this book is how well-written it is. Stacey makes it easy to create each of these animals by providing detailed instructions that are easy to follow. Most of the animals start off with a basic head and body shape, so once you have that, you can continue on with whatever animal you are making. I highly recommend checking this book out and discovering your next project.

To find out more information about Stacey Trock, please visit her website:

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My Favorite/Most Used Yarn Brands

Hey everyone,

Today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite/most used yarn brands. I’m sure I will be adding to this list, but for now these are the yarns I tend to gravitate towards. These aren’t in any specific order.  I’ve also included some pictures of some items I have made using these yarns to help you get a better understanding of what it looks like once it’s worked up in a project. I hope you enjoy my list, and let me know what some of your favorite/most used yarns are.

Deborah Norville Everyday Yarn-This is a soft, acrylic yarn that doesn’t pill. I really enjoy working with this yarn as I feel like it glides smoothly on my crochet hook. There are many solid colors available, but some variegated colors as well.

Bernat Softee Baby-This soft, acrylic yarn is probably my most used yarn for baby items. This yarn has many different solid colors as well as some variegated colors. This yarn also has a pretty sheen to it, much like Caron Simply Soft.

Bernat Softee White Mint GrayChevron Baby Blanket 3Caron Simply Soft-Much like the other yarns, this is a soft acrylic yarn. This is classified as a #4 worsted weight yarn, but it’s more on the thinner side. This has a nice sheen to it and many, many different colors to choose from. I love working with this yarn, especially for scarves as I feel like everything turns out really pretty.

caron-simply-softbaby-sweaterBernat Blanket Yarn-This yarn is a super plush yarn that is perfect for blankets (hence the name). You can purchase just the Bernat Blanket Yarn, which can be used for home décor or you can purchase Bernat Baby Blanket for baby projects. Of course, you can always mix and match these two together as they are the same. The baby line has more baby colors while the regular blanket yarn has more colors you would find in homes. I love the squishiness of this yarn and have made many blankets.

Bernat Baby Blanket 2Bernat 4Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly-This is more of a DK weight baby yarn, but I find that it’s comparable to Bernat Softee Baby. This acrylic yarn is available in many different baby colors.

I Love This Yarn-This is a Hobby Lobby exclusive yarn. This yarn comes in TONS of different solid and variegated colors. This is one of the softest acrylic yarns I have ever used. A lot of people have compared it to Red Heart Super Saver in terms of color options, but it is noticeably softer.

There you go! I hope you enjoyed my list of favorite/most used yarns. Have you tried any of these yarn brands? What are some of your favorite yarns to work with?

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Where Do I Typically Purchase Yarn?

Hey everyone,

Today I’ll be talking about where I typically purchase my yarn from. As any crocheter knows, you need to have lots of yarn on hand for any projects you are working on. Everyone has their favorites, but these are some of the places where I find I frequent the most when I need to pick up some more yarn.

20161025_13144220161025_13125520161025_131227The first store is Joann Fabrics. I like to go here as it’s pretty close to my house. However, I do stop at other Joann Fabric locations if I’m in the area. The one near my house has a small yarn section, unfortunately, which is why I sometimes prefer to go to other bigger locations. I’m signed up for their mailing list as well as their email list, so I’m constantly getting bombarded with coupons. In store, you are able to use multiple coupons per transaction, as long as it isn’t the exact same coupon. Online, though, you are only able to use one coupon per order. I find a lot of my yarn here for a cheaper price, as I’m able to use many different coupons. I really enjoy the Big Twist yarn, which is sold exclusively at Joann Fabrics.

20161022_14401320161022_14354720161022_143537I also enjoy going to Michaels stores. Sometimes I can find great deals on yarn, but I don’t feel as though they have as many coupons as Joann Fabrics does. I am signed up with their Michaels Rewards Program, which helps me save an additional amount on each transaction. There is a Michaels store near me that has a pretty good selection of yarn. However, I tend to go to different locations to see what they have. Caron Cakes are sold exclusively at Michaels stores, so that’s always a plus. I have bought yarn online from Michaels, too.

20161103_15330920161103_15375720161103_153559Occasionally I will purchase yarn from Walmart or Hobby Lobby. I don’t go to Hobby Lobby often, but I do enjoy their I Love This Yarn line. I feel like they have a great selection of colors to choose from. I wish their yarn would go on sale more often, and for a much better price than only 30 cents cheaper, but that’s just my opinion. I don’t purchase yarn from Walmart too often as I feel like it’s just much of the same. Most of the time my Walmart is picked over and not properly stocked. Plus they usually just carry Red Heart Super Saver, when instead I’m looking for a Bernat brand. However, if I do want to purchase Red Heart Super Saver, I can usually get this much cheaper than I would at either Joann Fabrics or Michaels stores.

Overall, I tend to buy my yarn from big box stores. I haven’t branched out and bought any handspun yarn yet, but I have a feeling I might at some point. For now, I will stick with my big box stores.

What are your favorite stores to purchase yarn from? Let me know in the comments below.

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