The Christmas Mouse

First let me introduce a NEW Felted Creation, my Christmas Mouse! It may be way early for this post, but I sure have heard about Christmas in July a time or too, so I think I’m okay at least for today. My cute little mouse was needle felted, meaning I administered lots and lots of pokes with a barbed needle, using alpaca and wool wrapped around a fiber core. His arms are movable, his tail bendable, and he sports a Santa suit and hat complete with fur trim.

I’m also offering a class to make this cheery fellow, for those you that live in Ohio or not too far away. New classes always fill up quickly, so don’t delay registering for the Christmas Mouse Needle Felting Class.

I had a lot of fun creating this little guy, and love him even more, after reading this story of “The Christmas Mouse” by the editors of Publications International, Ltd.

The fun and laughter disappeared when the family sold this big house.

Walter Whiskers was a sad little mouse. This big house was his home. In fact, he had lived in a mouse hole in this very same house since he was a tiny mousekin himself. His little mouse hole had always been a warm, cozy place. And there was always plenty to eat — at least, up until a few months ago. Then, the family that lived here moved out.

Now there were no children in the house, no music or parties or fun anymore. And there were no good things to eat. Walter sighed, thinking how much he missed it all. Walter lived in the house with his wife, Wanda Whiskers, and their four mousekin children, Willie, Warner, Wilma, and little Winifred.

They used to be well-fed and happy, because there were always scraps of food to pick up off the kitchen floor or from under the dining room table. And there were usually delicious tidbits to be found behind the kitchen stove. But now, Walter and his family grew each day more hungry and cold. And to top it all off, Christmas was coming! What was Walter to do?

After the big house was sold, Walter Whiskers, his wife, and his poor little mousekins were left with nothing to eat.

Then, just two days before Christmas, something happened. Wanda shook Walter awake early. “What is that noise!” she exclaimed. They heard banging and shouting right outside their mouse hole door. Walter ran to the door and looked out. There were people moving into their house!

Rugs and chairs and a large green sofa were being carried into the big living room. And a huge piano was taking up one whole corner. As Walter watched, three children ran in. They were laughing and looking around excitedly. One of them said, “Oh, I’m going to love our new house!”

Walter called for his whole family to come and see the sight. Wanda and all the little mousekins were delighted to have a new family moving into their house. “Now there will be plenty of food for us, and our mouse hole will be warm again,” Walter told Wanda and the children. “It will be just like in the old days, you’ll see.”

As Walter and the mousekins watched the new family moving in, they knew there would be plenty of food and warmth to go around.

But Walter didn’t know what a terrible commotion and racket all that furniture moving would make! The whole mouse hole shook with the noise. The floor seemed to dance. And that night, there was still no food for the little mice. But the next morning, the Whiskers family woke up to heavenly smells. And there was nice, warm air coming into the mouse hole.

Today was Christmas Eve, and the new family was getting ready for its celebration. That afternoon, Walter sniffed a different smell. He peeked out of the mouse hole, and again he called Wanda and the little mousekins to come and look.

The family was putting up a huge, beautiful Christmas tree! It reached all the way to the tall ceiling. And they were decorating it with sparkling lights and balls of all colors. At the top of the tree was a gold star.

The new owners of the big house decorate the tree for a fun-filled Christmas celebration.

That night, after the children had hung up their stockings and gone to bed, Walter and his family crept out into the living room to have a look around. They saw the most amazing sight! “Look, Papa,” cried little Winifred. There, running all the way around the Christmas tree, was a tiny toy train — just their size. It had a big red-and-orange engine, with three cars — blue, green, and orange — behind it, plus a red caboose at the end.

The tracks for the train went over a bridge and around a toy mountain. Beside the train was a tiny toy village. There were trees and shops and even a mouse-size house. Walter and his family could scarcely believe their eyes. Walter said, “I know what we must do. Let’s have a Christmas party of our own!” “Oh, yes!” cried all the little mousekins.

At that, Wanda ran back into the mouse hole to get some old beads she had been saving. The mice hung the beads on a tiny tree to decorate it. They were of beautiful colors and looked like shiny balls on the little tree.

Then Willie remembered some apple seeds he had. The mousekins strung them together to make more decorations for the tree. Wanda even cut a scrap of gold paper in the shape of a tiny star to put on top. Now they had their very own Christmas tree!

Then Walter went into the dining room where the family had eaten its Christmas Eve dinner. He gathered crumbs from beneath the table. There were bits of delicious cheese, scraps of tasty bread, and even tiny morsels of cake. What a feast the Whiskers family had!

Walter Whiskers and the moueskins just knew the train would be a perfect fit — so, they hopped aboard for a ride!

Finally, Walter said, “We must have one last treat to celebrate our good fortune. We will all take a ride on the train. And I will be the engineer.” So Walter climbed up into the train’s engine, while Wanda and the little mousekins piled into the cars behind. Willie insisted on sitting in the caboose. And they rode all the way ’round and ’round the Christmas tree!

Finally, Walter said, “It is time for all you little mousekins to be in bed. We have had the best Christmas celebration ever!” “Oh, yes, Papa!” cried Willie and Warner and Wilma and Winifred.

Next morning, the children of the house ran downstairs to see their stockings. They looked at the train and toy village. The tiny tree had Christmas decorations on it. And there were small crumbs scattered around. Little paw prints led to the train.

Their father smiled and said, “It looks as if someone else enjoyed our Christmas, too. Why, I believe we have our very own Christmas mouse!”

On Christmas Day, the family was happy to discover that the Christmas mouse had been there.

Deep inside his mouse hole, Walter Whiskers smiled. He was thinking of last night’s Christmas treat and of the many wonderful Christmases to come.

See original post here.

Purchase my Christmas Mouse here!

Learn How To Spin With A Drop Spindle

 I had learned how to spin on a spinning wheel, but not a drop spindle.  My daughter had figured out how to spin with a drop spindle, and my neighbor, and I’ve been to fiber festivals and seen kids walking around spindling.  It looked hard. Finally, when a group of gals wanted me to teach a drop spindling class, it was time for me to learn.  It takes some practice, and it takes some time.  Here are some resources that will help you on your journey into drop spindling.  It really is quite relaxing, therapeutic even, once you’ve learned.

Top Whorl Drop Spindle

First you will need a spindle.  The top whorl spindles pictured above are made by Amelia Garripoli of Ask The Bellwether, and her family.  They are well weighted, general purpose spindles.  Which Spindle Spins The Best is a very detailed article by Amelia in which she compares the different kinds of spindles.  There are various different kinds of spindles, some very beautiful made from exotic hardwoods, others painted with fun designs.  A spindle can also be as simple as a dowel rod, a CD, and a hook.  See How to Make a Drop Spindle to make your own.

There are three parts of a drop spindle, the shaft, the whorl, and the hook at the top of the shaft.  The shaft is basically what the drop spindle revolves around and it holds the yarn after twist has been applied to the fiber. The whorl acts as a weight to help the drop spindle continue to spin.  The hook, or sometimes a notch, in the shaft holds the yarn while the drop spindle is spinning.

Productive Spindling

Amelia has also written a book called Productive Spindling, which is a terrific resource for drop spindling.

alpaca roving

Next you will need some roving.  Some say you need to use wool when you are learning.  I learned with alpaca, so soft and nice to work with.  Might as well enjoy the fiber you’re spinning!  There is some Spinning Fiber Terminology that you might want to familiarize yourself with.  Drafting is a spinning term meaning to pull apart fibers to the thickness desired before introducing twist to create yarn.  Pre-drafting or splitting the roving is helpful, and makes the business of spinning go quicker.  3 Simple Steps to Preparing Fiber for Spinning explains and pictures how to prepare fiber for spinning.

Spinning with a drop spindle involves these easy steps:

Spin

Park

Pinch

Draft

Release

Wind On

 

 Drop Spindle Spinning: The Ultimate Guide to Drop Spindles from Interweave is a great article with more detailed instructions.

Alpaca Drop Spindle Kit

Our Drop Spindle Kit includes a top whorl drop spindle, six ounces of alpaca roving in three different colors, and illustrated instructions, a very nice beginner’s kit.

Spindling: Making Yarn From Fluff...to Stuff

Craftsy offers an online class called Spindling: Making Yarn From Fluff to Stuff   Taught by seasoned spindler Drucilla Pettibone, she will walk you through the yarn-making process, from carding natural fibers to creating stunning yarns in a variety of textures all on a portable drop spindle.  Drop spindling does take practice,  and learning anything new can be frustrating at the onset, but worth it once you master the skill.  Check out  Craftsy’s blog post on Tips and Troubleshooting for Drop Spindles .

One of the first things I wanted to learn after purchasing alpacas was how to spin.  Though a drop spindle is far less of an investment than a spinning wheel, I just knew I would like spinning, so I took the plunge and went straight to a spinning wheel.  It can be done.  Drop spindling is not a prerequisite to spinning on a wheel, though they are nice to travel with.  The essence of spinning is to twist the fiber so that it holds together in the form of yarn, whether it’s with a spindle or on a wheel.

Picnic in the Pasture

 

The group of gals that wanted to learn how to drop spin asked if they could bring a picnic.  They sat in the alpaca pasture and had a ball.  Be sure to check out Picnic in Alpaca Pasture is Highlight of Farm Tour.  I do teach a Drop Spindle Class here at the farm.  Click on the link to see when it might be scheduled.  You might also want to check out other Craftsy Online Spinning Classes.

How to Use Hand Cards

Needle Felted Bears

I’ll be teaching two Needle Felted Bear Classes this weekend. For those of you attending, or trying this at home, I’ve put together a Pinterest Board with lots of inspiration for you!  There are bears of all shapes and sizes and colors and breeds, felted by many talented felting artists.  You can keep it simple but making a roundish shape, adding some bears, a face, and a little bear muzzle, or spend more time adding legs and feet, and feet pads, even clothing and accessories.


 

for those that live nearby, be sure to check out the classes at Alpaca Meadows.  For online classes, be sure and check out the wide selection of Craftsy classes available on our website.  You might also be interested in our Needle Felt An Animal Friend Kit by Back to Back Alpaca.

Felted Rabbits and Bunnies

In preparation to teach another Bunny Felting Class, I thought I would gather pictures of some of my favorite bunnies.  Pinterest was a great place to do that!  Felted rabbits really do come in all different shapes and sizes, some that are very simple designs that would be great for a beginning felter.  Those that have some experience with felting might want to tackle a bunny with more detail, perhaps even with bunny clothes and accessories!

Follow Alpaca Meadows’s board Felted Rabbits on Pinterest.

When it comes to needle felting, there is more than one way to felt a bunny. The following are some tutorials to help you to decide what your preference might be.

Mama Bunny and Three Bunnies Felting Tutorial
Needle Felting a Bunny: A Photo Tutorial
How to Make a Cute Needle Felted Bunny for Easter

Though I don’t have a Bunny Felting Kit available yet, the House Mouse Kit or Needle Felt an Animal Friend Kit both come with instructional DVD’s to help you learn three dimensional felting.

House Mouse Felting Kit

House Mouse Kit

Needle Felt An Animal Friend Kit

Needle Felt An Animal Friend Kit

If you don’t live too far away, and would like to learn how to needle felt a bunny in The Fiber Studio at Alpaca Meadows, click Bunny Felting Class.  Organize a group of friends to come do a class with you, or join a class already scheduled!

Private Lessons – Knitting and Crochet

Been wanting to come to a class, but your schedule never coincides with mine?  Or you’ve come to a beginner’s class and now you’re ready for more?  Perhaps a private lesson is in order.  Some people learn easier one-on-one.  Schedule the day and time that works best for you.  An hour lesson is just $20 and you get a one-on-one lesson focused on what you need the most.  Or bring a friend and share the cost.  Choose a project you’d like to start on, or I can make suggestions.  Bring your own yarn, or enjoy a 10% discount on any yarn in The Fiber Studio.  Fiber friends ages 7 and over are welcome.

Check your calendar then call or contact us to schedule your private lesson!

Beginner Knitting

Transfix Alpaca Shawl

Knitting is the new yoga!  You will learn to cast-on, knit, purl and bind-off.  Your private lesson also includes an overview of knitting vocabulary, materials, accessories and more.

Beginner Crochet

Bulky Ribbed Crochet Scarf

Crochet is is enjoying a renaissance and is my personal favorite.  This cherished fiber art is faster than knitting, and easier to correct mistakes.  Yes, I make them!  Learn to crochet or refresh your memory.  You will learn to create a foundation chain as well as single, half-double, double, and triple crochet stitches. Your lesson also includes an overview of crochet vocabulary, materials, accessories and more.

Back to Class Schedule.

Picnic in Alpaca Pasture is Highlight of Farm Tour

 A group of gals from Columbus, Ohio came for a Farm Tour over the weekend.  They had asked if they could bring their lunch, then do a Drop Spindle Class in the afternoon.  Though they enjoyed learning to spin, and they enjoyed shopping in The Farm Store, their picnic in the alpaca pasture was the highlight!

Picnic in the Pasture

When given some options where they could have their lunch, they opted for in the pasture under a shade tree.

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What a spread they had … they were very kind and invited me to join them!

Picnic in Pasture is Highlight of Farm Tour

Mabelle, Martha, and our guard llama, Silver Beauty ventured over to the picnic spot to see what was going on.

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Before long, curiosity got the best of some of our other girls and they ventured over to check out who was in their pasture.

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Having been a little disappointed during the tour that our alpacas were not more social, our guests were now getting undivided attention.

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I thought they might end up having to share their lunch with their new fiber friends.

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 That is what Miss Miami was hoping!

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Lunch in the pasture after a Farm Tour was definitely a first, and very much enjoyed by our guests!

:

See it live!  Watch it on YouTube.

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Little Martha enjoyed some lunch too!

Bunny Felting Class

 Enjoy pictures from the Bunny Felting Class held a few weeks ago here at the farm!

Bunny Felting Class

The craft I was teaching is called needle felting.  This is the process of poking a special felting needle with barbs at the end of it,  into fiber, which agitates, compresses, and locks the scales of fiber together into a more dense mass of fiber, in this case a bunny rabbit!

Bunny Felting ClassBunny Felting Class
Bunny Felting ClassIMG_1263 (561x640)Bunny Felting Class
 Bunny Felting Class Bunny Felting Class Bunny Felting Class at Alpaca Meadows

It is always fun to see how different each bunny turns out!

Bunny Felting Class - Jill's Bunny

One gal purchased roving and tools to take home and later added some color to her bunny!

Felted Alpaca Easter Bunny

This is “Sweet Pea”, one of my bunnies.  See more of my needle felted one-of-a-kind creations here.

Interested in learning to needle felt?  See the Class Schedule and register for a class!  Don’t live nearby or want to try felting on your own?  It is not difficult.  Felting kits are available in The Farm Store online and in The Fiber Studio at Alpaca Meadows.

For inspiration, tutorials, and tips on needle felting bunnies, see Felted Rabbits and Bunnies!










 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE Crochet Pattern – Headband Ear Warmer

This year in my Learn To Crochet Class, we’ll be making headbands.  As I began to prepare for the class, I found there are many different styles, and FREE patterns too!  And headbands seem to be very popular right now!

Learn To Crochet

The headband we will be making in class is pictured above in a handful of different colors, using our Snuggle yarn.  I love to use this bulky yarn because it works up quickly.  It is nice when first learning to be able to complete a project in a relative short amount of time. This yarn makes it that much easier!  Snuggle yarn is available in Snuggle Solids and Snuggle Hand-Dyed.

For those that have never crocheted before, there is some helpful information is below:

How to Hold a Crochet Hook

How to Hold Yarn for Crochet

How to Make a Slip Knot

Here’s the pattern:

Simple Ear Warmer Crochet Pattern

The stitches used in this pattern are the most basic, chain stitch and single crochet stitch.

You will need a Size N crochet hook.

Ch 11.

Row 1:  Place a stitch marker or safety pin in the first ch from your hook. Sc in 3rd ch from hook. (Ch 1, skip next ch, sc in next ch.) Rep across entire row. Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: (Sc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1.) Rep the sequence in parentheses across the rest of the row.  At the end of the row, work a sc st into the st where you placed the marker (you can remove the marker before working the stitch). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 3 and Up:  The rest of the rows are all exactly the same as row 2, with one minor difference.  At the end of the row you will work your last sc st into the turning chain of the previous row. Rep this row until the headband is the length you want it to be.

I worked 49 rows total.  Depending on how tall your stitches turn out, you might need to crochet a different number of rows.

If you would like to check the fit before you sew the edges of the headband together, put a safety pin in your active loop and pin the sides of the headband together. Try it on. If i t is too big, you can unravel a bit.  If it is too small, crochet another row or two until it is the size you want.

Finishing the Ear Warmer

When you are satisfied that the ear warmer is the correct size, cut the yarn leaving an extra long length of yarn (around ten inches long.) Thread a tapestry needle using this end of yarn.  With right sides together, use the tapestry needle to stitch the ends of the headband together. Weave in your ends. Turn the headband right side out. You are finished!

For notes on Gauge, Finished Size, and Design, go to Simple Crochet Ear Warmer Pattern.

Abbreviations Used In This Pattern:

ch = chain
ch-1 sp = chain-1 space (This is the space formed when you crocheted a chain stitch in the previous row.)
rep = repeat
sc = single crochet
st = stitch

Simple Ear Warmer with Flower

If time allows, we’ll make a flower too!  I have found there are many patterns for Knitting and Crocheting Flowers.  The pattern for this flower is here.

A good book on crochet packed with hundreds of tips and ideas is The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.

Be sure to check out my FREE Headband Crochet Patterns board on Pinterest!

Follow Alpaca Meadows’s board Crochet – Headband Patterns on Pinterest.

Enjoy more …

FREE HEADBAND CROCHET PATTERNS

Crocheted Headband with Flower – Celestial’s Creations
This pattern uses chain stitch and single crochet with rows going horizontal across the band, and has a button closure.

Stretchy Headband with Flower – Flower Girl Cottage
This pattern uses chain stitch, single crochet, and double crochet and has a lacy look.

Knit Look Crochet Headband Earwarmer – Craftster
This pattern uses chain stitch, double crochet, front post double crochet, and back post double crochet, and would be a little more challenging pattern for a beginner.

Crochet Headwrap Pattern – 4T Designs
This pattern uses some special stitches like back loop single crochet which is just like it sounds, a single crochet through the back loop of the stitch.  The pattern has good pictures showing how to do this.  I love the flower on this headband!

Adorable Headwrap Pattern – Sweet Sweezers
This pattern uses chain stitch and double crochet, and something new, double crochet two stitches (dc next 2 sts tog) together!

Amazing Grace Headband – Beatrice Ryan Designs
This pattern uses chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet, half-double crochet, and reverse single crochet.  The pattern was designed in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.  Opportunities to crochet and donate headbands are available on this site.

Knot Knitted Headband – Cotton Fables
With this pattern, you will learn to use a foundation single crochet, and also a back post double crochet.  It is a crochet pattern with a knit look.

Headband and Cuff – Little Birdie Secrets
In this pattern you will learn single crochet in back loop only, and how to crochet a half-double cross stitch.  Both have videos showing this technique.

Textured Headband/Earband – Cotton Gin Studios
This pattern uses three stitches, slip, single crochet and double crochet.  A chainless foundation technique keeps the headband from tightening up on one edge.

FREE VIDEO

How To Crochet an Earwarmer Headband

Learning to Knit – What You Will Need

Learning to knit can be a bit overwhelming, but once you’ve learned it can be very enjoyable, calming your mind while your hands stay busy.  All you really need is some yarn and a couple of knitting needles.

Choosing Yarn

One of the pleasures of knitting is working with beautiful yarn textures and colors, though choosing which yarn to use can be puzzling.  It is important to choose the right yarn for your knitting project.  This article from the Craftsy  on How to Choose and Use the Right Yarn Every Time is a very helpful resource.
Guide to Different Types of Yarn

Some suggest that beginners start with a medium worsted weight yarn. I like to use bulky yarns when teaching beginners to knit, because knitting goes faster, and gratification from a finished project comes sooner!  Yarn that is a solid color and light colored makes seeing the stitches easier.

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I frequently use a bulky yarn called Snuggle when teaching classes.  We typically use solid colors, but there are also some very pretty hand-painted colors too.

Hand-Painted Snuggle Yarn - A Plethora of PinksHand-Painted Snuggle Yarn - A Group of Greens

The yarn label tells you the size of the yarn.  Find something that is pretty and soft to the touch.  I highly recommend Alpaca Yarn, you can’t go wrong.  It is a treat to work with and helps make the learning curve of knitting more enjoyable!

Yarn Labels

Yarn has labels that provide lots of information, such as the type of yarn, the amount or yardage, fiber content, recommended needles to obtain the gauge, and care instructions. On the label you will also see yarn color names, numbers or dye lots. There can be subtle color differences between yarns dyed in different batches, so if yarn has a dye lot number, always be sure that you purchase enough of the same dye lot to finish a project. Some yarns will say “No Dye Lot Yarn” which means the fibers were dyed before they were spun so there should be no color differences. Many labels also include free patterns.

Here is How to Read a Yarn Label.

All yarn patterns require specific types of yarn, some mention a specific brand of yarn. Each type of yarn has a different thickness or “weight.” The knitting industry has adopted a Standard Yarn Weight System and uses number symbols from 0 to 7, with 0 being the finest called lace weight and 7, the thickest, called Jumbo.

Yarn Weights

Tools

Knitting Needles

There are many to choose from.  Straight knitting needles, which come in aluminum, plastic, wood or bamboo, are the most common. There is a point at one end of the needle, and a knob at the other, which prevents stitches from slipping off.  You may want to experiment with different needles to see which ones you like.  Every knitter has their favorites!

Bamboo or wood needles are great choices for beginners. Knitting stitches don’t slide off the needles as easily. They’re also very comfortable to work with. Plastic and aluminum are quite slippery and your knitting stitches can easily slip off the ends.

A numbering system is used for determining needle sizes, while in other countries a metric designation, which represents the actual circumference of the needle, is used. In most packaging you will see the metric sizing shown first, followed by the U.S. sizing in parenthesis. Knitting needles come in varying sizes, from 2.25 mm (1), the smallest, to size 19 mm (35) and larger.  They are sold in pairs, and come in 10″ or 14″ lengths.

The most important size you need to look for is the diameter.  This number will determine the size of the stitches on your needles and ultimately the size of your finished knitting project. The thicker the needle the bigger the stitches and the thinner the needle the smaller the stitches.

The length of the knitting needle is more of a personal choice. For bigger projects like sweaters or blankets that require lots of stitches, you will need the really long needles.  For smaller projects, shorter knitting needles are more comfortable. Again though this is a matter of personal preference.

Circular knitting needles, long, flexible needles with a point on each end, are less cumbersome, especially for large projects.  They eliminate the need for seams and to continually be turning turn your knitting at the end of a row.

For smaller projects that do not have seams (socks and mittens) “double-pointed knitting needles” are used. These come in sets of four and as their name suggests, there is a point on each end.

Essential Knitting Tools: How to Put Together a Knitting Kit
Essential Knitting Tools: How to Put Together a Knitting Kit

from: Craftsy

To start knitting, you only need two things: a pair of needles and a ball of yarn. If you want to finish a project, though, you’ll need a few more items. So what does an experienced knitter keep in a knitting kit?  Check out What’s in Your Knitting Kit?

Learn Essential Beginner Knitting Skills ins New Class | Craftsy
Learn Essential Beginner Knitting Skills in New Class

from: Craftsy

Depending on how you learn, a Knitting Class is always helpful when you are first learning, as well as when you’ve mastered the basics and are ready to move on to something more.  Craftsy offers many online Knitting Classes, with hours of instruction, and access anytime once you have purchased the class.  If you’re in our area, be sure to check out the Learn to Knit Class at Alpaca Meadows!

So, let’s move on to Getting Started!

 

Other good knitting resources:

Top 10 Yarn Questions

Scarf Crocheting Class

Eight people braved the weather on Saturday and came for the Scarf Crocheting Class at the farm.  Three of them were teenagers!  It did my heart good to see young people interested in something non-electronic!

Growing up, I enjoyed doing most anything with my hands.

According to an article titled Knitting & Crocheting are Hot by the Craft Yarn Council, creativity is, by far, the number one influencing factor that attracts women (28%) to the craft and it’s most important to women in the 18-24 age group (31%).

Creativity is followed by “keeping hands busy” at 15%, “making gifts” at 13%, and “stress relief” at 10%. Most respondents, 26%, spend 1–5 hours on their craft per week, 16% spend between 6–9 hours and 18% between 10–19 hours.

The yarn we used in this class was a bulky yarn called Snuggle, available in The Fiber Studio here at our farm or in The Farm Store online.  It comes in a number of great colors, including NEW multi-colors!

Crocheted Alpaca Scarf

The pattern we used is called Fast and Easy Scarf, which works up quickly and is good practice for chain stitch and double crochet.  The pattern calls for chaining 87 stitches which is not near long enough, in my opinion.  I chained 101 stitches and even that was a bit short.

Skinny Scarf - Winter White

I have found some links that I would recommend if you are wanting to learn how to crochet.  Stitches – For Dummies has great pictures of the different stitches and simple, easy to understand directions.  At the Craft Yarn Council there is a Crochet Abbreviations Master ListCrochet Chart Symbols, and help for How to Read a Crochet Pattern.  

If pictures and written instructions don’t work for you, the You Tube video below may help.

Are you left-handed?  There are Crochet Lessons for Left-Handers available on the Crochet Guild of America website.

If you find you just can’t stop crocheting once you have learned how, you could always Crochet for Charity.  There are many worthwhile causes and people in need that would benefit from the work of your hands.

Some sites I found with FREE patterns are:

All Free Crochet Patterns
Crochet Pattern Central
Lion Brand Free Crochet Patterns
Naturally Caron Free Crochet Patterns
Ravelry 
– Just do a search for Free Crochet Patterns.

Of course, there are lots of good books on crocheting too!



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