Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tutorial - Basket Weave Crochet Stitch

Before I get started, this tutorial was one witch with a capital B to put together.  I needed a new video camera, my tripod wasn't working, my first youtube video.  And I spent 4 hours editing the video only to find out that my work was lost due to the formatting of HD not being compatible with Window's movie maker.  I had a stage 4 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown that my husband had to talk me through.  Here is a clip of our dialogue:

Me:  "I told people on my blog that this would be done by the end of last week, a lot of people are asking!"
Husband:  "This is a hobby, it's not like this is a job where your going to get fired for missing a deadline."
Me:  "There are people from other countries asking about this!" (listening to myself, then realizing how crazy I am starting to sound.)

On with the show!
 Here is the youtube video if you want to know how to do the stitch.

Here is the pattern for the blanket above, along with some pictures of how to do the 4x4 Basketweave stitch.

Step 1:  Create the base - Ch 79 

Step 2: Create the foundation - Ch an additional 2 (this will be your first post).  Then DC (double crochet) in each of the original 79 chains.  When you are finished with that row you should have 80 posts.

Step 3:  Turn your work and Ch 2 (that is your first post) 3 FDC (front double crochet), [4 BDC (back double crochet), 4 FDC] Repeat sequence in brackets until end of row.
Step 4:  Turn your work and Ch 2 (that is your first post) 3 BDC, [4 FDC (back double crochet), 4 BDC] Repeat sequence in brackets until end of row.
Step 5:  Repeat Step 3.
Step 6:  Repeat Step 4.  By the end of this you have just created your first 4x4 row of squares.
 (You are now starting a new 4x4 so you are going to switch up the pattern now)
Step 7:  Turn your work and Ch 2 (that is your first post) 3 BDC, [4 FDC (back double crochet), 4 BDC] Repeat sequence in brackets until end of row.
Step 8: Turn your work and Ch 2 (that is your first post) 3 FDC, [4 BDC (back double crochet), 4 FDC] Repeat sequence in brackets until end of row.
Step 9:  Repeat Step 7.
Step 10:  Repeat Step 8.
Step 11:  Repeat Step 3 - 10 until desired length of blanket is achieved


  1. If you don't know how to FDC or BDC then watch the youtube video.
  2. In the blanket pictured above I used 1 strand of bulky yarn & N hook.
  3. If you double regular yarn worsted yarn or triple like I did in the scrap yarn blanket used a larger hook your blanket will produce larger stitches and go a lot faster.  But keep in mind you may not need to start with 79 chains since it will be larger.  Always do a test swatch (size of a washcloth) to test your stitch gauge.
  4. In the scrap yarn blanket I used the 2x2 method which is 2 FDC, 2 BDC in pattern above instead of 4.
I hope this answers everyone's questions, if not please let me know.  Thanks!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beginner Knitting Project - Fast Knit Decorative Throw Blanket Tutorial

When I first teach people how to knit I usually teach them how to knit a scarf.  However I think this blanket is more gratifying, and takes about the same amount of time.  The secret to making this blanket so fast is huge needles!  For this blanket I used the biggest needles I can find which were US size 50 which is 25 mm. I find using huge needles are the easiest to learn how to knit.  Think about it?  You can see what you are doing better like one those huge remote controls or calculators.  LOL!

Another key is using huge yarn.  The yarn I used for this blanket was 8 skeins of Bernat Really Big Yarn in the color Denims.  The regular craft stores do not normally carry the needles in stock, I suggest buying them online.  And when making a blanket I suggest buying the yarn online too if you know what kind you want to use, otherwise you might be disappointed on how many skeins the local craft stores have in stock of the color and  type you have in mind.  I also provided links at the end of getting the supplies online.

Once you have the correct supplies you are ready to knit!  Cast on 40 stitches then knit every row, which is otherwise called the garter stitch.  Once you run out of yarn cast off.  This blanket is super easy and super fast because the stitch is huge and loose, which is o.k. for a decorative blanket.  I estimate you can get this blanket done in 3 days knitting a couple hours each night.

Friday, March 22, 2013

DIY Easter or Spring Wreath

Sometimes an idea for a project it doesn't always transform into what you thought it would.  This mega wreath is more for a showpiece that can be seen from far away, such as the road.  What I like about this is that not only can you customize the ribbon to match for Easter, you can remove or change the ribbon easily and transition it as a spring wreath.  This particular wreath would look cute for a girl baby shower too!  So lets get started!

Here is a picture of the supplies I was originally going to use.  I bought them all at Hobby Lobby and the mesh was 40% off that week.  For the end product I used the wire wreath, pipe cleaners, 2 Large rolls of extra wide mesh, 2 rolls of wide mesh of different color, wire trim white ribbon, and a Easter theme ribbon.

This was what the wreath would of looked like if I used the original materials.  It was a little to Toddlers and Tiaras for me so I started over.

Step 1 you want to take the pipe cleaners and twist 3 per segment of the wire wreath.  This is the anchor to hold all the ribbon.  Make sure you twist the pipe cleaners to have them stay in place before you start wrapping the mesh around.  In the picture above I cut the pipe cleaners in half.  It works better if you just use a full pipe cleaner though.

Fasten the mesh into the first pipe cleaner.  Then take 16 inch sections of mesh and fasten into the next pipe cleaner.  And then keep working 16 inch sections all around the wreath.  The mesh becomes an animal once you start working with it!

This is what it will look like after your first round of mesh.

Now add the second layer of mesh.  I used another tone of pink mesh that subtly blended with the first layer.  Do the same thing as you did with the first layer by taking 16 inches of mesh. Another tip is don't unfasten the pipe cleaners to add the second layer, just twist on top of the first layer.  And above is what it will look like after the second layer is added.

Finally I added a white ribbon as the final layer.  And just repeated what I have done for the 1st and 2nd layer.  You can add an accent ribbon like I did below for an Easter theme.  I didn't even fasten the Easter accent ribbon, all the mesh just held it in.  So after Easter I can just pull it out and replace it with something more Spring like or nothing at all!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fun Easy Easter Wreath Tutorial

The Easter bug has hit me and here is a fast and easy wreath to make. This is a kid friendly project if they are  old enough to manage a glue gun. I bought all my supplies at Hobby Lobby, however you can go to any craft store to get something similar. 

The Supplies I Used:
Plain Wreath
Ribbon of choice 30 ft of 3 inch wide 
Miniature Easter Eggs 6 bags
An Embellishment Ornament
Glue Gun 

Next wrap the wreath with ribbon. You want to do this because there will be some tiny gaps showing through. I would suggest not buying a hay wreath like I did because it looked like I lived in a barn and was super messy just getting it out of the package.  Once its wrapped in ribbon its not an issue.

Next start hot gluing away!  There is no rhyme or reason to the pattern of eggs.  When you are to this point wrap you ribbon that will be hanging the wreath.  Next put your embellishment in place over the ribbon.  Then finish gluing your eggs on and working them around the embellishment.  Another suggestion I would have is to use a wire ribbon for a more exaggerated bow.  The one in the picture was just regular ribbon.  To finish I glued an egg on to the knot of the ribbon.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Scrap Yarn Blanket - Tutorial

In the craft cave I have left over skeins of yarn from past projects.  Well you can't exactly make too much with 1 skein of yarn.  I decided to make a crocheted blanket with all my leftover yarn.  With this particular blanket I used all my bright yarn, and saving my neutral colors for another blanket.
This is what the finished blanket looks like
Step 1
You need to have an abundance of leftover yarn as shown below in the craft cave.

Step 2
Grab a huge hook.  For the particular blanket above I used a "P" crochet hook.  The bigger the hook the faster.  The point of the blanket is to use all your scrap yarn and its not really a project you want to spend a lot of time on.

Then grab 3 skeins of different yarn.  For this blanket I used the "basket weave" stitch.  However I have used the basic double crochet stitch in the past and it turned out beautifully.  With this blanket I was going for  for color and  a lot of texture.

Make the blanket to the width and height you desire.  Then once one skein runs out add on with another color.  All skeins are not going to run out at the same time which makes this blanket cool and fun.  There is not an abrupt change in color or pattern, its just gradual.  Look below at the color graduating from one color to another.

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