Square Crochet Motifs Pattern: Star Flower

Crochet Pattern Tutorial: How to make a square Star Flower motifMy big project this month has been a new afghan. I started off with a plan to make a basic Granny Square afghan, but decided to design some of my own blocks with a floral theme. I'm using lavender and green to match the purples and greens in out master bedroom.

I needed a few tries to develop this square. I started with the six-pointed star flower at the center. Transforming the flower into a four sided square took a little bit of geometry, but I am really pleased with the finished design.

Gauge: This motif is 7 inches square.

Materials


Directions


There's one special stitch you'll need to know for this pattern:

2dc bobble - Work 2 dc into ring until 1 loop of each remains on the hook, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops. 

With white, ch 4, join with sl st to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 2, 1 dc in ring (counts as first 2 dc bobble), *ch 3, 2 dc bobble into ring* 5 times, ch 3 sl st in top of first bobble, fasten off.
Rnd 2: Join pale plum with sl st in a ch 3 space, ch 1, (sc, hdc, dc, tr, dc, hdc, sc) into same ch 3 space, ch 3, *(sc, hdc, dc, tr, dc, hdc, sc) into next ch 3 space, ch 3* 5 times, sl st in first sc.
Rnd 3: *Ch 4, position the ch 4 behind the petal formed in Rnd 1, sc in next ch 3 space* 6 times.

Note: This picture shows the WRONG side of the block.
Rnd 4: *(sc, hdc, dc, tr, ch 2, tr, dc, hdc, sc) in next ch 4 space, ch 3* 6 times, sl st in first  sc, fasten off.
Rnd 5: Join frosty green with a sl st  in a ch 2 space, ch 1, sc in same ch 2 space, ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 3 space, ch 3, *sc in next ch 2 space, ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 3 space, ch 3* 5 times, sl st in first sc.
Rnd 6: Ch 1, *sc in each sc and dc, 3 sc in each ch 3 space* around for a total of 72 sc, sl st in first sc.
Rnd 7: Ch 1, sc in same sc, sc in next 2 sc, hdc in next 3 sc, dc in next 3 sc, ch 2, dc in next 3 sc, hdc in next 3 sc, sc in next 3 sc, *sc in next 3 sc, hdc in next 3 sc, dc in next 3 sc, ch 2, dc in next 3 sc, hdc in next 3 sc, sc in next 3 sc* 3 times, sl st in first sc.
Rnd 8: Ch 1, sc in same stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, dc in next 3 st, (3 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space, dc in next 3 st, sc in next 6 st, * sc in next 6 stitches, dc in next 3 st, (3 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space, dc in next 3 st, sc in next 6 st* 3 times, sl st in first sc, fasten off.

Coming soon, my finished Lavender Garden Afghan!


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Square Crochet Motifs Pattern: Blossom and Buds

This is the third block pattern for the Lavender Garden Afghan that I am designing. I was going to make a Granny Square afghan, but decided to add a little flare by designing some flower themed motifs as well.

I really like this block because it has a little bit of dimension. The blossom at the center is slightly raised over the rest of the design.

Materials



Directions


With pale plum, ch 4, sl st in first chain to form ring.
Rnd 1: Ch1, 8 sc in ring, sl st in first sc.
Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 4 dc  in same sc, *ch 1, drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back in first dc of 5dc group, draw dropped loop through, ch 3, 5 dc in next sc* 7 times, ch 1, drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back in first dc of 5dc group, draw dropped loop through, ch 3, sl st in first dc of the round, fasten off.
Rnd 3: Join frosty green with a sl st in a ch 3 space, ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in same ch 3 space, * 1 dc in each ch 1 sp, 3 dc in each ch 3 space* around, sl st in first dc.
Rnd 4: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same stitch, ch 3, skip next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 3, *skip next 3 dc, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next dc, ch 3, skip next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 3* 3 times, sl st in first dc, fasten off.
Rnd 5: Join pale plum with sl st in a ch 2 space, ch 3 (counts as first dc), 4 dc in same ch 2 space, ch 3, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next sc, ch 3, *5 dc in next ch 2 space, ch 3, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next sc, ch 3* 3 times, sl st in first dc, fasten off.
Rnd 6:  Join white with sl st in a ch 3 sp between two 3dc clusters, ch 1, sc in same ch 3 space, ch 3, dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, skip 2 dc, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next dc, ch 3, dc in next ch 3 space, ch 3, *sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, skip 2 dc, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next dc, ch 3, dc in next ch 3 space, ch 3* 3 times, sl st in first sc.
Rnd 7: Sl st in next 2 ch, ch 6, dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, *(3dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch 2 space, (ch 3, dc in next ch 3 space) 4 times, ch 3* 3 times, (3dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch 2 space, (ch 3, dc in next ch 3 space) twice, ch 3, sl st in ch 6 space, fasten off.

More flowery crochet blocks are on the way!


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Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #7

Love Birds by Everybody Needs Peeps
It's my favorite day of the week, Crafty Saturday! There were some great items submitted to last week's link party.

The most popular item from last week was this watercolor painting entitled "Love Birds" by Everybody Needs Peeps. It is so springy and fun I can see why so many people clicked it.

There were two jewelry items from last weeks party that I really enjoyed.

The first is a crocheted necklace. It looks like it's beaded, but it's actually made completely from yarn. That is such a clever design!


Crocheted Necklace by Crafts, Names and Things
The next necklace caught my eye because of the blend of colors in the bead work. Then I read more about Diana, the artist who created this piece. What a lovely story! It's always interesting to learn more about artists and their process.

Turtle Necklace by Charmed Baubles N Beads

If you'd like to see more of my favorites, check out my Facebook and Twitter. I also pin many of the listings on my Crafty Saturday Show and Sell Pinterest board. Please stop by to see if your item is there.

And now, the moment you've been waiting for all week!




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Tutorial: Mascot Mouse Ears

Tutorial: Let your favorite mascot show their Disney side with some easy to make, felt Mickey Mouse earsIn Tucson, the rodeo is a big deal. There are nine days of rodeo fun, a parade, and all of the kids in Tucson get two days off from school for rodeo break. Seriously.

The official name for the event is "La Fiesta de los Vaqueros" which many Tucsonans translate as "Since the kids are out of school, let's go to Disneyland!" A few years ago, my daughter and I traded our cowboy hats for mouse ears and jumped on the Disneyland bandwagon.

Of course Disneyland is fun anytime, but I love it over rodeo break because we run into so many of our friends and neighbors while we're there. I guess it really is a small world. The Tucsonans at Disneyland are easy to spot too, because we're all wearing our University of Arizona Wildcat gear.

Here's how my Wilbur Wildcat shows his Disney side.

Materials

  • mascot shirt
  • ruler
  • paper
  • black felt
  • scissors
  • needle and thread

Directions


Start by measuring your mascot to get an idea of what size mouse ears he'll need.
There are plenty of Mickey Mouse line drawings available online. You may need to print them in a couple sizes until you find the one that one that fits perfectly.
Cut out your paper template and let your mascot try it on.
Once you find the perfect fit, use your paper pattern as a template to cut mouse ears out of felt.
Place the felt ears and hand stitch around to secure them to your shirt. Then, they can be easily removed later.

Since we are a house divided, we decided to invite Sparky along for some Disney fun, too.

Tutorial: Let your favorite mascot show their Disney side with some easy to make, felt Mickey Mouse ears

Happy Rodeo Break!


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The Etsy Experience: Write a Captivating Description

I've been an Etsy seller for a couple of years now and from time to time, people ask me for tips about using Etsy. Last month I shared a bit about how a good product photo is like an invitation for customers to visit your Etsy shop. But, after you've caught a customer's attention with a stunning photo, what's next?

Once someone clicks on one of your item photos, they'll want to see and know more about your item. Even though they say a picture is worth a thousand words, it doesn't mean you can skimp when you are writing your product description.

The product description is your chance to WOW them with words.


Before you list your item, take the time to remember some of the writing process basics you learned back in elementary school.

Know your purpose and audience.


You have an advantage as you write because you already know that people shopping on Etsy are interested in handcrafted and unique items and aren't looking for something that was mass produced. They want something special. They want to know the story of how your item was created and what makes it special in addition to specifications (size, color, style...).

Brainstorm.


What makes your item special? Before you start writing the description, make a list of words that tell about your item. It could also be useful to include words that a customer may use to search for your item. Here's a general list of words I would use to describe the roll-up cases in my Etsy shop.

My Descriptive Words - handmade, roll-up, cotton fabric, case, crochet hooks, knitting needles, craft supplies, art supplies, tools, organizer, storage, compact, ribbon ties, feminine, pretty, cute

It also make sense for me to make a list of descriptive words about the specific fabric I use to create a case.

More Descriptive Words - butterflies, flowers, daisies, buttons, swirls, spring, pink, blue, green

Write a rough draft.


Now it's time to tell the unique story of how and why your item was created using your list of descriptive words. Make sure to also include specific dimensions, sizes, etc. that your customer may need.

I know it's really tempting to just sit down and write your description on the computer as you are listing your item, but it's worth taking the time to write a draft, either by hand or on your computer.

Revise and edit your draft.


Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Not only will it help you tell your story better, but it also shows your customers that you pay attention to details.

Sometimes it's also useful to have a new set of eyes look over your draft. Let a friend or family member read your description. They may be able to give you a different perspective and help you think of important details you may have omitted.

Publish your description.


List your item on Etsy and include your well written description.

Google it.


You may be wondering if it's really worth taking a lot of time to write your descriptions. Trust me, it is. Not only does your description tell the one of a kind story about your item to customers on Etsy. You'll be excited to know that a well written description does one other thing that can tremendously help you expand your potential market.

The words you use in your item descriptions are searched by Google!

Don't believe me? Here's a simple line from some of my Etsy listings that tells why I started making my cases.

I became frustrated, however, that there were no pretty, compact storage cases available.

Copy that line into a Google Shopping search and see what items come up.

Be aware, it may take a couple days for your items to appear in Google searches, but they will.

When you are writing descriptions of your items, wow them with words. Not only will it help inform and entice your potential customers, but it will also help you get found on Google.


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Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #6

Soft Green Handbag by creatingbyVilly on Etsy
Welcome to Crafty Saturday Show and Sell! If this is your first time visiting, let me take a moment to explain how it works.

Crafty Saturday Show and Sell is hosted on two craft blogs, here at The Chilly Dog and also by Teena from Serendipitini.

Relax and browse the items submitted each week and feel free to add an item or two from your own on-line shop by clicking on the blue "Add Your Link" button at the button of this post. When you add a link it is visible on both host blogs.

Teena and I each share a couple of our favorite items from the previous week on our blogs, so make sure to visit both sites to see if your item was featured. I also share some of my favorites, on my Facebook and Twitter and pin all of the listings on my Crafty Saturday Show and Sell Pinterest board.

The most popular item from last week's link party was the lovely, soft green handbag pictured above by creatingbyVilly.

Since I am learning about needle felting, one of my favorite items was this beautiful, felted iPad sleeve. What a beautiful design!
Hand Felted Tablet Case by Dagneart on Etsy

I also loved this Siamese cat knitting bag. Not only does it look handy, it also made me think of the Siamese cat song from Lady and the Tramp (one of my daughter's favorite movies when she was little.) Adorable!
Cat Knitting Bag by SewFlo on Etsy

Now let's see what new items you have in your shop this week.



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Square Crochet Motifs Pattern: The Columbine Square

The Columbine Squar Crochet Pattern: Learn how to crochet a square motif resembling a beautiful purpe and white columine.I'm in the process of making an afghan for our master bedroom. I originally planned to crochet a basic Granny Square afghan, but later decided it would be fun to design some of my own flowery, garden themed blocks as well.

The first block I designed reminds me of a columbine. The center is white and it blossoms out into light purple petals.

Like all of the motifs for this afghan, it measures 7-inches square.

Materials


Directions


There are two special stitches you should know before we get started:
3 or 4 dc bobble - Work 3 (or 4) dc into the next st until 1 loop of each remains on the hook, yarn over and draw through all 3 (or 4) loops.

3 dc dec - dc in next dc until 1 loop remains 3 times, yarn over and draw through all 4 loops.

Rnd 1: With white, ch 4, work 11 dc in first ch, sl st into top of beginning chain 4.
Rnd 2: Ch 3, work 2 dc into same st as sl st until one loop of each remains, yo and draw through all 3 loops on the hook, (ch 1, 3 dc bobble into next dc) twice, ch 5, *(3 dc bobble into next dc, ch 1) twice, 3 dc bobble into next dc, ch 5* 3 times, sl st into top of first bobble, fasten off.
Rnd 3: With pale plum, join with sl st in any chain 5 space, ch 1, *(3 sc, ch 5, 3 sc) in chain 5 space, ch 3, 4 dc bobble in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, 4 dc bobble in next ch 1 sp, ch 3* 4 times, sl st in first sc.

Rnd 4:  Sl st in next 2 sc, sl st in next 2 ch, ch 1 *sc in ch 5 space, ch 5, sc in next ch 3 space, ch 3, 4 dc bobble in next ch 1 space, ch 3, sc in next ch 3 space,ch 5* 4 times, sl st in first sc, fasten off.
Rnd 5: With frosty green, join with sl st in top of a 4 dc bobble, ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in top of same bobble, ch 2, (3 dc in next ch 5 space, ch1, 3 dc in same ch 5 space, ch 2) twice, *3 dc in next 4 dc bobble, ch 2, (3 dc in next ch 5 space, ch 1, 3 dc in same ch 5 space, ch 2) twice* 3 times, sl st in first dc.
Rnd 6: Ch 3, (dc in next dc until 1 loop remains) twice, yo and draw through all 3 loops, (ch 3, 3 dc dec) twice, ch 1, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch 2 space, ch 1, *(3 dc dec, ch 3) four times, 3 dc dec, ch 1, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch 2 sp, ch 1* 3 times, (3 dc dec, ch 3) twice, sl st in top of first bobble, fasten off.
Stay tuned. I'll be sharing another original motif design soon.

Happy Crocheting!

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Crochet Tip: Paper Clip Stitch Marker

I love to crochet. It's one of those hobbies that I always return to and it's like riding a bicycle. It's relaxing and once you learn how to do it, you never forget.

When I am following a pattern I rarely find it necessary to use stitch markers. I don't own a single one.

However, right now I am in the process of designing some motifs for an afghan. I started crocheting and quickly realized that it would be simpler if I could divide up a round into fourths so I could evenly place the corners of the square.

With no stitch markers available I used the next best thing, paper clips.

Crochet Tip: In a pinch, paper clips make great stitch markers!

Crochet Tip: Just slip a paper clip around a stitch whenever you need to mark the beginning of a crochet round or to help you keep track of the number of stitches you have worked.


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