Free Pattern – Sampler Fingerless Gloves

Loving texture, and interesting, unique patterns that also keep me interested while I’m making them, I was inspired by a blanket pattern.  Thinking about a class to teach at the farm, for those that had taken my Learn to Crochet Class, were tired of making scarves, interested in making fingerless gloves, and ready for a bit more of a challenge, I designed my first pattern!

The inspiration came from the Chunky Sampler Blanket Crochet Pattern – Wintertide Throw on the Mama In A Stitch website.  I thought that a sampling of different stitches in one project, would make a great next crochet class.  I’ve had to reschedule, and cancel, and reschedule my classes again, like many others, due to the worldwide pandemic we are currently experiencing, in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Since I still have not been able to hold the Sampler Fingerless Gloves Class, I thought I’d share the pattern, the beautiful yarn I used, and make a Kit available to purchase.  I am not a pattern designer, so please allow some forgiveness if you find an error in the pattern, and by all means, please let me know so that I can correct it.

The yarn I used is called Espiral Yarn, it is a worsted weight yarn, and 100% alpaca.  It is fairly new to the line-up from The Alpaca Yarn Company and is meant to replicate the look of hand spun yarn with every skein being unique.  I like that the randomness of this yarn just adds even more to this pattern for a fun pair of mis-matched, yet matching pair of fingerless gloves.  The yarn comes in both Natural Colors and Hand-Dyed Colors.  The color shown in the gloves is called Blue Curacao.

This pattern was meant to be shared in a class, so for that reason I’ve included links to instructions and videos to help you with the stitches that might be unfamiliar to you.   The following is a list and abbreviations of the stitches you’ll be using in this pattern.  What You Need to Know to Read any Crochet Pattern is an article you might find helpful.

Abbreviations (US) & Skills:

ch – chain
sc – single crochet
dc – double crochet
hdc – half double crochet
blo-work stitch through the back loops only
flo – work stitch through the front loops only
hdc flo – half double crochet through the front loop only
hdc blo – half double crochet through the front loop only
bphdc – back post half double crochet
sts – stitches
sk – skip
ch sp – chain space
yo – yarn over
sl st – slip stitch

Bobble Stitch
Yarn over, insert hook into st, pull up a loop, yo and pull through two, * yo, insert hook into same st, yo pull up a loop, yo and pull through two more, repeat from * three more times for a total of 5 loops on the hook, yarn over, pull through all loops on the hook.

Bean Stitch
Row 1 Insert hook in st, pull up a loop, yo, insert hook into same st, pull up another loop (4 loops on hook) yo, insert hook in same st, pull up a loop (6 loops on hook) yo, pull through all 6 loops on hook (bean stitch made), * ch1, sk 1 ch, work bean stitch in next st, repeat from * around.
Row 2 Work bean stitch in 1st ch sp, *ch 1, sk st, work bean st in next st; repeat from * around.

Granite Stitch
Sc in 2nd st from hook, *ch1, sk st, sc in next st, repeat from * across the row.

Finished Size:
Instructions are given to fit size Small. Changes for Medium and Large sizes are in parentheses (). S (M, L)

To fit Hand Circumference:
7″ (8″, 9″)

Finished Length:
9″

Materials:
One Skein Espiral Alpaca Yarn

Instructions
Make 2.

CUFF
1. Ch8. Turn, Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Turn. – 7 st
2. Ch1. Hdc blo in 1st st and each st across. Turn. – 7 st

 

Lesson 12: How to Crochet in the Front and Back Loop

Working in the back loop

To crochet in the back loop of a stitch, insert your crochet hook underneath the back loop only and make the stitch as indicated in your pattern.

Lesson 12: How to Crochet in the Front and Back Loop

3. Repeat Row 2 until you have a total of 17 (19, 21) rows.

Gauge check: Your band should be 7″ (7 3/4″, 8 1/2″) long x 2″ wide

Slip Stitch the ends of the cuff together.
Turn your work as if you’re going to another row of hdc blo, but don’t ch.
Fold up the bottom row so that it is behind your top row.
Insert hook through the back loop of your top row and the bottom loop of your starting chain. Slip stitch.
Slip stitch in this manner across (this is the wrong side of your cuff).

Turn the cuff right side out. Do not cut. The first round will be worked into the side of the cuff where your hook is. You will now be working in the round, but turning after each round.

BODY
Round 1 Ch2. Work 28 (32, 36) hdc evenly around the cuff. Ss to 1st hdc. Turn. – 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 2 Ch1. Dc in next flo of same stitch and each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts

Working in the front loop

To crochet in the front loop of a stitch, insert your crochet hook underneath the front loop only and make the stitch as indicated in your pattern.

Lesson 12: How to Crochet in the Front and Back Loop

Round 3 Ch1. Work row 1 of Bean Stitch Pattern in each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 4 Ch1. Work row 2 of Bean Stitch Pattern each ch sp around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 5 Ch1. Work row 1 of Granite Stitch Pattern, working through front loops only in each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 6 Ch1. Hdc flo in same stitch and each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 7 Ch1, BPHdc in same stitch and each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 8 Ch 1, work Bobble Stitch in flo of same st, * dc flo in each of next 2 sts, bobble flo in next st; repeat from * across to last 2 sts, dc in last 2 sts of row. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 9 Ch 1, turn, work row 1 of Granite Stitch, working through the front loops only, across the row, working last sc in the turn ch 3 of previous round. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 10 Ch1, turn, work hdc flo in same st and in each ch st and sc each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 11 Ch1, turn, work BPhdc in each st each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 12 Ch1, work round 1 of Bean Stitch Pattern, working through the front loops only each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 13 Ch1, work round 2 of Bean Stitch Pattern in same ch sp and each ch sp around (work normally, not flo). Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 14 Ch 1, sc in 1st st, ch1, sk1, *sc in next st, ch1, sk1* 2 times, sc, ch4, sk4, sc in next st, ch1, sk1* until end of round. (Thumbhole made) Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts
Round 15 Ch1, turn, hdc blo in each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts.
Round 16 Ch1, turn, hdc flo in each st around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts.

The next round calls for Back Post Half Double Crochet

Yarn over, insert hook from back to front to back around post of corresponding stitch below, yarn over and pull up loop, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook.

Back post half double crochet (BPHdc) how to article from Interweave.

Round 17 Ch 1, turn, BPhdc in same hdc space and each hdc sp around. Ss to top of ch1. Turn. 28 (32, 36) sts

Tie off and weave in ends.
Block to shape and size as desired.

 

Interested in purchasing a Kit to make these gloves?  Click here.  Again, you can find the Espiral Yarn here.  The classes below are Online Classes by Bluprint that I thought you might be interested in.  I do a small amount of affiliate marketing so if you purchase one of these classes, I do receive a small percentage of the sale, and I thank you, especially during these difficult times!

Improve Your Crochet: Essential Techniques   Seaming Crochet  Next Steps in Crochet

Is My Alpaca Pregnant?

Pregnant, or not pregnant, that is the question.  Bred just one time on May 14th of last year, to our herdsire Thunderstruck, Lorelei was still refusing to be bred again when behavior tested in August.  To me, that looks like a pregnant belly, and she is eating like there is no tomorrow.  What do you think?  I have been wrong before.

 

There was a time that our males got in with our females, we found them together, and determined they probably had been together the whole night!  Not a good thing.  Alpacas are pregnant nearly a year, so we calculated  approximate due dates, and realized we would be having babies in the winter.  Not an ideal time!  The closer it got, the more I watched, and each day I was sure I saw another baby move inside a pregnant belly, or so I thought.  We prepared for twelve babies, gathered cria coats, borrowed heat lamps, called alpaca friends to be on hand, gathered together towels, and supplies for birthing babies in the cold of the winter.  It turned out we had two babies born that winter.  Our eyes, and imaginations, sure can play tricks on us!

There was a day, that we would have a vet come do an ultrasound to determine alpaca pregnancy.   That is expensive and we haven’t done that in many years, so now we behavior test to determine pregnancy.  Once bred, we periodically put the male and female back together, first on a weekly basis, then monthly.  If the female is not pregnant, she will cush (lay down) and want to be bred.  If she is pregnant, she will either kick or spit at the male.  I always feel a little sorry for the males.  Rejection is tough.  The picture below is a male and female on opposite sides of the fence, cushed.  Sunshine is not being behavior tested, but she is definitely expressing interest in being bred!

As a female approaches her due date, she eats and eats and eats.  After all there is a cria (baby) growing inside that will weigh between 12 and 24 pounds!  Towards the end of her pregnancy, she will do a lot of laying around and resting up for the big day.  When birth is close, she will isolate herself from the rest of the herd, will often do more humming than normal, and make frequent trips to the dung pile.  Sometimes she will do some rolling to get the baby in position.

Alpaca business is full-time for us, so we have been fortunate to see many of our cria be born.  There’s nothing better!  At times nerve wracking, most mothers need no help from us, but that doesn’t keep me from thinking I need to assist.  We try to watch from a distance, so as not to make mother nervous and slow down the process.  Most crias are born early in the day, before 2pm.  This is the case in alpaca’s native country of South America, because in the high altitudes of the Andes mountains, if a cria is not born early in the day before the temperatures drop, it does not survive.

 

It is quite spectacular, though my mother will have nothing to do with it, to watch the miracle of alpaca birth.  Crias know that to survive, they must find food.  To find food, they must figure out how to use the long, lanky legs that have been folded beneath them for the last 11-12 months.  Usually within about an hour, a cria will be nursing his mama, and on its way to meeting the rest of the herd, then watching and learning from the others just how to be an alpaca, almost as if God had planned it that way!

The picture below is Lorelei and her first cria, named Shiya.  Shiya was one of the suspected 12 winter births I had anticipated a few years back.  She was born in January and her name means “ability to survive”.

So if Lorelei is pregnant, she would be due around April 13th.  Stay tuned!  Though we have bred just a few of our alpacas, it won’t be long before Birthing Season is Upon Us!  Next we’ll be Preparing for Shearing Day, or maybe we’ll be doing both at the same time!

Read more about Alpacas here.  Interested in raising alpacas?  See our Alpaca Sales List and schedule a visit to Alpaca Meadows.

Free Crochet Pattern – Primrose and Proper Fingerless Gloves

This FREE crochet pattern is called Primrose and Proper Fingerless Gloves, and it is designed by Kirsten Holloway.  The pattern is an easy one.  I love the feminine, lacy look of these pretty fingerless gloves!  I used just one skein of our Classic Alpaca Yarn which is available in dozens of colors.   I can imagine them also in a Classic Alpaca Tweed Yarn.  Pure alpaca equates with very soft, wonderful to work with and feels wonderful on your hands … warm too even with the open stitch pattern in these elegant gloves!

 

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Free Crochet Pattern – Ridged Wrist Warmers

These Ridged Wrist Warmers work up super quickly using our bulky Snuggle yarn.  One of my favorite yarns for teaching, because learning something new can be challenging, and gratification that comes more quickly is sometimes the motivation we need to hang in there and get past that learning curve that we have to push through.  The color I chose is called Majestic, a fitting name for this deep, beautiful shade.  This yarn is a blend of 55% alpaca, 30% wool, 15% acrylic and comes in a number of great colors, as well as multi-colors.

Free-Crochet-Pattern-Ridged-Wrist-Warmers

The first round of this pattern calls for a chainless Foundation Half Double Crochet stitch. It’s a technique I really like as it creates your stitch and chain at the same time.  It seems faster to me, and produces a foundation row that is sized similarly to a regular row.  This method eliminates the chain altogether and makes your foundation row and the rest of the rows and stitches in your project more evenly aligned.

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What is a Ruana?

So what is a Ruana, anyway?  Quite fitting, both alpacas and ruanas are originally from the Andes region of South America. The word Ruana means “Land of Blankets”.  Simply put, it is a blanket you can wear!  Usually they are thick, soft, sleeveless, and about knee length.  The shape is square or rectangular, with a slit for your head and the front piece split down the middle to drape over the shoulders.

 

Garnet Gem Ruana

Ruanas are quite easy to throw on and take off, and add an extra layer of warmth without having to be all buttoned up as you would in a coat.  They can also be worn over a winter coat for extra warmth and style.   Ruanas are great for dressing up, or dressing down.

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Free Crochet Pattern – Chris Cross Snuggle Scarf

I ran across a crochet pattern that I really liked, used a different yarn than what the pattern called for, tweaked it a little, and I’m quite happy with the results.  I love the texture that is created with a combination of front and back crossed double crochet stitches.  Sound hard?  Not really, once you understand the stitch and get going with it.  The pattern is worked lengthwise so this scarf can be made whatever length and width you’d like.   For a longer scarf start with more foundation chain stitches.  For a wider scarf add more rows in the pattern repeat.

Free Crochet Pattern – Chris Cross Snuggle Scarf with Tutorials on Crocheting Crossed Double Crochet Stitches

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Small Business Saturday Prize Program Starts Monday

Small businesses in Richland County will be participating in the Small Business Saturday program, and Alpaca Meadows is one of them!  The program will kick-off this coming Monday, November 25th and you’ll have chances to win prizes all week long.  So we’ll be closed on Thanksgiving next week, but we’ll be open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 12pm-4pm.

Small Business Saturday

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Free Crochet Patterns for Bulky Weight Yarn

Enjoy my collection of crochet patterns, none of them mine, but rather my favorites by other talented designers.  Each pattern calls for bulky weight yarn and would be perfect for our Snuggle Yarn.  This yarn is currently available in many solid colors, as well as a handful of hand-dyed tonal multi-colors that coordinate with one or more of the solid colors.  Snuggle is a wonderful lofty alpaca blend yarn that feels light and has an incredibly soft hand. Free Crochet Patterns for Buly Weight Yarn

Created for those who like immediate gratification, or perhaps need some quick gifts for Christmas.  Start scrolling … and enjoy!

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Free Knitting Pattern – Simple Autumn Mittens

Usually, I crochet, but I saw this knitting pattern for Simple Autumn Mittens by Halldora J on Ravelry and thought I just must share it. I love the feminine, lacy, pattern … don’t they just look soft and wonderful?

 

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Remembering Louie

Losing a pet is difficult, making the decision to euthanize a beloved member of our family, even more difficult. Many of you knew Louie. He was our farm greeter. He loved being outside in the middle of things when we had an event at our farm. People asked for him. If I was having a class and he wasn’t with us, people would ask where he was, and I would have to go get him. Families would bring children to our farm, and they enjoyed our alpacas, but even more so they loved Louie. And Louie loved the attention. To the annoyance of some, he loved me, and wanted to be wherever I was, sometimes crying and whining until he could be with me. He would sit on a table underneath the front window of our house, and wait for me to get home. Apparently he even knew the sound of my car coming down our gravel driveway, and would cry to be let outside to come greet me. As a puppy, neighbors would have to bring him home because if I would leave, he would take off to come find me. I would imagine that’s how he ended up at the pound, where we found him. I think there must have been someone else that he loved before me.

2012

This picture was taken seven years ago, long before he started going downhill, losing control of his back legs, and all the other sad things that followed. It was amazing how he still got around, having to drag his back legs behind him. Should I have made this decision sooner? Maybe. He didn’t seem to be in pain, still seemed to enjoy being outside in the sunshine, with me in the bunny shed, or laying at my feet wherever I was. When I realized he couldn’t stand on his own more than a minute, I knew it was time.

A dear friend sent me the following, titled “A Dog’s Plea”. I hope it might help you should you ever be faced with a tough decision involving a pet.

Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me. Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I might lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me things you would have me learn.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest muci, as you must know by the firece wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear. Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.

Feed me clean food that I may stay well to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger. And. ,u friend, when I am very old, and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave the earth knowing with the last breath I draw that … my fate was always safest in your hands.

I love this picture, though he always managed to squirm out of the sweater.

Laying in the sun in our gravel drive must have felt good to him, knowing I was nearby.

I’m imagining he’s been reunited with his good friend Lizzie, and all the other family pets that have gone before him … Sammie, Babe, Marshall, Chelsea, and Bojangles.

R.I. P. Louie … I love you!

Alpaca Meadows