Free Crochet Pattern – Simple Ridged Fingerless Mitts

This is a simple crochet pattern for fingerless mitts using our Snuggle Yarn.  The color pictured is called Knot of Naturals.  All but the foundation row uses half double crochets, with four different rows crocheted in the black loop only, creating texture in this simple design.  These fingerless mitts work up quickly in this bulky alpaca blend yarn.

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

HOOK

5.5 mm (H)

MATERIALS

Approximately 90 Yards of Snuggle Yarn

NOTES

Row 1 calls for a Foundation Single Crochet, or FSC.  Instead you may just chain 24 and slip stitch to join, making sure you don’t twist the chain, then do a row of single crochet into your foundation chain.  I prefer the FSC as it is a bit stretchier.  Below is a tutorial that will show you how.

How to Crochet Foundation Single Crochet (FSC)
How to Crochet Foundation Single Crochet (FSC)

DIRECTIONS

RIGHT MITT:

Row 1: Fsc 24. Join with sl st.

Row 2: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 3: Ch 2, hdc in each blo of each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 4: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 5: Ch2, hdc in each blo of each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 6: Ch 2, hdc in each blo of each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 7: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 8: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 9: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 10: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 11: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 12:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 13:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 14:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row15: Ch 2, hdc in the first 2 stitches, chain 3, skip 3, hdc in remaining stitches. Join with sl st.

Row 16:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 17:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 18:  Ch 2, hdc in each blo of each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

LEFT MITT:

Row 1: Fsc 24. Join with sl st.

Row 2: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 3: Ch 2, hdc in each blo of each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 4: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 5: Ch2, hdc in each blo of each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 6: Ch 2, hdc in each blo of each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 7: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 8: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 9: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 10: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 11: Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 12:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 13:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 14:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row15: Ch 2, hdc in the first 19 stitches, chain 3, skip 3, hdc in remaining 2 stitches. Join with sl st.

Row 16:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 17:  Ch 2, hdc in each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

Row 18:  Ch 2, hdc in each blo of each st across, 24 hdc. Join with sl st.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

These gloves measure 8 inches (20.32cm) around and are 9 inches (22.86) in length and which should fit a medium to large size hand.  Pattern can be adjusted by adding or subtracting from foundation row.

Crochet Abbreviations
ch = chain
fsc = foundation single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
sl st = slip stitch
st(s) = stitch(es)

To purchase these Simple Ridged Crochet Mitts in any of the Snuggle colors available, click here.  Interested in learning more Foundation Crochet Stitches?  Check out the Craftsy online class below.

Mastering Foundation Crochet Stitches Online Class
Mastering Foundation Crochet Stitches Online Class

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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

Thursdays in the Alpaca Barn

Thursday is my day in the alpaca barn, my turn to do farm chores.  Of course chores get done every day, but Thursday is my day, and today I think the alpacas are excited to see me!

When we first had alpacas, I did all the chores.  My husband was busy working a real job.  Years passed, life happened, and Matt found himself with time to do farm chores.  We took turns for awhile but before long, he was doing them every day.  This freed me up to develop and grow our alpaca business, process fiber, run the store, teach classes, work on the website, crochet, knit, spin, felt, weave.   It worked, for awhile.  He found that there just really isn’t much  stress in the barn, and that was very appealing to him.  I found that I missed caring for the alpacas.  So we’ve made some changes and now Thursday is my day … and I am loving it!

I love it most on sunny days, but that was not the case today.  It seems to have turned to mud season … ugh!

  

Certainly, not a job everyone would love, but I do.  Getting outside, caring for animals that count on me to bring them hay, feed, and fresh water is a privilege, really.  Clearing my mind of all except the task in front of me, is therapeutic, and a welcome relief from some of the tasks of running a business that weigh me down.

                                                                                                              

I don’t waste any time putting their feed out, spreading it out in numerous different feed dishes to keep the arguing (and stress level) over who eats first and who stands where to eat, to a minimum.  Yes, alpacas do spit (mostly at each other), and feeding time is when you will see it.  Hence, this is the reason the inside of our barn is covered with spit.

This is Mabelle, waiting patiently.   I like to put the alpacas out of the barn, then put their feed in their dishes, and then let them in.  This way I have a chance to touch each one, and they have a chance to learn to trust me enough to walk that close.

                                                                                                                                  

 

This is Savannah, Amelia, and Amelia’s sister, Annalise.  Sorry if there mouths are full, but it is feeding time.  I put out hay in different locations, both inside and out, in Rubbermaid wheelbarrows that can be moved to different places as needed.

     I start clean-up, working amongst the alpacas, wanting them to feel comfortable with me in their midst, and also because I just like being with them.  In the winter, chores are actually a bit easier because we layer fresh straw over the manure each day, a system called deep bedding.  The water and urine seep down to the lower layers of straw and the straw on top keeps the animals dry.  Find out more caring for Alpacas in Winter.  Did you know there actually is a Manure Management Handbook?  I discovered it just today.  It actually is quite interesting.

I add fresh water to the water troughs and heated buckets, that we switched to mid-winter, because the floating heater in the boys’ water trough gave out.  The chickens get feed and water.

 

Fitzgerald, our angora rabbit, and the latest addition to Alpaca Meadows, gets some leafy greens, and fresh water.  More about him later.

Chores don’t take that long, just depends on how much time I want to spend.  It’s very peaceful in the alpaca barn.  Sometimes I just enjoy sitting on a bale of straw watching the alpacas interact.  Caring for the animals on our farm, as well as the two that are inside, seeing that their simple needs are met, is the least I can do for them compared to the joy they give back to me.

I finish up my chores each week by working with one or two of the alpacas, on halter training, and going on walks out of the pasture back through our woods and hay field.  I worked with Martha today, three years old, but still resisting having a halter on and being led anywhere.  I’m making progress, but it takes time to build trust.  Today Amelia (left) and her sister Annalise go for a walk with me through the hay field.  They are somewhat tentative, but have each other so it’s not quite as scarey.  The walk back to the barn is at a much quicker pace.

Tour our Farm Store

Holiday Hours in the Farm Store are Wednesday thru Sunday, 12pm-5pm, through the end of the year.  Take a look at what you might see by clicking below.

 

Purchase Gift Certificates online for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list, to use in our Online Store.

Or purchase Gift Cards in our Farm Store.

Happy shopping!

 

 

Free Crochet Pattern – Squish Cowl

I love this pattern by Tamara Kelly that she calls her Squish Cowl.  She uses a special stitch called Split Bullion Stitch that involves yarning over six times which creates lots of gorgeous texture and squishiness!
Tamara’s pattern is FREE and can be found on her blog that she calls Moogly, by clicking here.

Squish Cowl - Snuggle Yarn

I chose our Snuggle Hand Dyed Yarn, which is a soft and lofty, bulky alpaca blend yarn, and used a 9.0 mm (M/N) crochet hook.  This color is called Knot of Naturals.  I love the effect that the shades of grey produce with this yarn and pattern.

Squish Cowl

SPECIAL STITCH

spbs: Split Bullion Stitch – Yo 6 times, insert hook in first indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 4 loops (5 loops remain on hook), yo, insert hook in next indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through all 7 loops on hook.

 There is a video tutorial on Tamara’s blog for both right and left hand folks demonstrating how to do this fun stitch.

squish_cowl (2)

 The finished measurements of my cowl were 42″ circumference (21″ laid flat) x 8″ wide which took 172 yards of the Snuggle Yarn.  To customize the length, begin with a starting chain in a multiple of 2, plus 1.

squish_cowl_3

 

Tamara Kelly is a Craftsy instructor and offers an online class you might be interested in called Quick & Easy Crochet Cowls (w/Tamara Kelly).

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

 

Adult Coloring Books on LeisureArts.com

Free Crochet Pattern – Striped Triangular Shawl

Striped Triangular Shawl - Astral Yarn

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

HOOK

4.0 mm (G)

MATERIALS

Total of 512 Yards of Astral Yarn

This pattern is a good one for using up leftover yarn, which is what I was doing.  For this shawl, I used five different colors of our Astral Yarn.  If you happen to be using leftover yarn, use your smaller lengths of yarn first. The rows will get longer as you work, so you’ll want to save the yarns you have more of for later in the project.

The pattern instructions won’t tell you when to change yarn colors.  Change colors as you see fit, making sure to switch colors after completing a row so each stripe is a solid color.

NOTES

This shawl is worked from the center of the wingspan out and downward. Constructing it in this manner means that you can continue until the shawl is the desired size without making any modifications to the pattern.  Each row of the shawl increases by 4 stitches. There will be 1 stitch increased at each end and 2 stitches increased at the center point. Using locking ring markers to note the center 2 stitches will help prevent loosing your place. The pattern notes when to begin using them.

Striped Triangular Shawl - Astral Yarn

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

I crocheted 52 rows and the finished measurements were approximately 60 inches/ 152.4cm across the top, is 29 inches/ 73.66cm long from neck to point of triangle, and 76 inches/ 193cm around the bottom edge.

Striped Triangular Shawl - Astral Yarn

DIRECTIONS

Ch 4 loosely, 2 hdc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 hdc in each of the next 2 ch sts — 6 hdc.

Row 1: Ch 1, 2 hdc in 1st st, 1 hdc in next st, [2 hdc in next st] twice, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in last st — 10 hdc.

Row 2: Ch 1, 2 hdc in 1st st, hdc in next 3 sts, [2 hdc in next st] twice, hdc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in last st — 14 hdc.

Place locking stitch markers on the center 2 sts. To do this begin counting at one edge and place marker on the 7th and 8th hdc st.

Row 3: Ch 1, 2 hdc in 1st st, hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in next st with stitch marker, replace marker on last st made, 2 hdc in next st with marker, replace marker on first st made, hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in last st — 18 hdc.

Row 4: Ch 1, 2 hdc in 1st st, hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in next st with stitch marker, replace marker on last st made, 2 hdc in next st with marker, replace marker on first st made, hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in last st — 18 hdc.

*Continue working Row 4 until shawl is desired measurements. Be careful to place the stitch markers on the second of each increased stitch or the center point will begin to veer off in the wrong direction.

Finishing
Fasten off and weave in ends.  I always like to block my projects for a nicer finish.  To do this wash or simply wet your shawl, roll in a towel to absorb excess moisture, then stretch your shawl out on a flat surface. Gently shape your shawl to your satisfaction and let dry.  Did your shawl come out slightly smaller than you anticipated? It is made out of natural fiber so you can block it to larger dimensions.

Striped Triangular Shawl - Astral Yarn

Crochet Abbreviations
* = a repeat in the pattern
[ ] = repeat instructions within brackets as many times as indicated
ch = chain
hdc = half double crochet
inc(‘d) = increase(d)
st(s) = stitch(es)

See more Shawl Patterns

 

 

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.

Free Crochet Pattern – Swizzle Alpaca Ribbed Scarf

I use this pattern by Prague Loop over and over.  This scarf was made with our 100% Alpaca Swizzle Yarn, and took just one skein of yarn for a scarf that measured 60″ long  by  5.5″ wide.  The scarf is worked lengthwise, back and forth in rows, and gauge is not important.  Any yarn could be used and any size hook. Super easy one row scarf, very suitable for beginners.

Swizzle Alpaca Ribbed Scarf

The color of the Swizzle Yarn pictured above is called Goldenrod.

HOOK

US Size I – 5.5 mm

MATERIALS

197 Yards of Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

5.5 inches wide, and 60 inches long

DIRECTIONS

Decide how long a scarf is good for you.  Chain an amount of stitches that is the length you want.  The scarf above was made with 145 stitches.

Setup row: HDC (half double crochet) in each st.

Row 1: HDC into back loop of every HDC of previous row.

(Note for the beginner: Unlike single or double crochet, the HDC stitches appear to have an extra loop at the top.  You will be using the loop that is at the back of the stitch.  In a few rows, you will see that the two loops you have not been using form a “chain” along the length of the scarf.)

Repeat row 1 until the scarf is as wide as you want or you run out of yarn.

You might want to work one round of single crochet around the whole thing, so the edge looks neat, but it is not necessary.  Weave in ends.

Blocking is optional.

Swizzle Alpaca Ribbed Scarf

The color of this Swizzle yarn is called Plum Perfection, and the yarn below is Academy Blue.

Swizzle Alpaca Ribbed Scarf

This scarf pattern is easy, mindless and quick, especially with a bulky yarn.  See the Bulky Ribbed Scarf made with this same pattern, and our Snuggle Yarn.

Free Crochet Pattern – Dixie Alpaca Charm Shawl #2

For the second Dixie Alpaca Charm Shawl, I used three different yarns, one our Swizzle Alpaca Yarn, color Plum Perfection, our Astral Yarn, color Libra, and our Classic Baby Alpaca Yarn, color called White House.

Swizzle Alpaca Yarn - Plum Perfection Astral Yarn - Libra Classic Baby Alpaca Yarn - White House

Kathy Lashley of Elk Studios Crafted Crochet Designs designed this pretty shawl pattern that she calls Dixie Charm – A Summer Shawl.

Dixie Alpaca Charm Shawl

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

HOOK

US 5.5mm (I)

MATERIALS

One skein each of Swizzle Alpaca Yarn, color Plum Perfection, our Astral Yarn, color Libra, and our Classic Baby Alpaca Yarn, color called White House or colors of your own choosing.
Tapestry Needle for sewing in the ends

NOTE

Note: Each row increases by 8 st.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

66 inches/ 167.64 cm across the top, and 31 inches/78.74 cm long from neck to point of triangle

Dixie Alpaca Charm Shawl

Click here for the pattern, and see the color changes below:

DIRECTIONS

Plum Perfection – PP
Libra – L
White House – WH

Ch 3, sl st to first ch to make ring, using Plum Perfection (PP)

Row 1 – PP
Row 2 – PP
Row 3 – L
Row 4 – PP
Row 5 – PP
Row 6-7 – PP
Row 8 – WH
Row 9: (L)
Row 10-13 – PP
Row 14 – WH
Row 15 – L
Row 16-19 – PP
Row 20 – WH
Row 21 – L
Row 22-25 – PP
Row 26 – WH
Row 27 – L
Row 28-31 – PP
Row 32 – WH
Row 33 – L
Edging – PP

Dixie Alpaca Charm Shawl

Enjoy!

Free Crochet Pattern – Dixie Alpaca Charm Shawl

Kathy Lashley of Elk Studios Crafted Crochet Designs designed this pretty shawl pattern that she calls Dixie Charm – A Summer Shawl.  I’m changing the name a bit and calling it Dixie Alpaca Charm Shawl, because I used alpaca yarn of course!  I’ve made two so far, the first one was out of our Paca Paints Yarn, a hand-painted 100% alpaca yarn, by The Alpaca Yarn Company, a color called Wisteria Way.

Dixie Alpaca Charm Shawl

Stitches Used:

SC- single crochet
HDC – half double crochet
DC – double crochet

Paca-Paints Alpaca Yarn - Wisteria Way

Dixie Charm Alpaca Shawl

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

HOOK

US 5.5mm (I)

MATERIALS

Two skeins of Paca Paints Yarn
Tapestry Needle for sewing in the ends

NOTE

Note: Each row increases by 8 st.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

66 inches/ 167.64 cm across the top, and 31 inches/78.74 cm long from neck to point of triangle

Dixie Charm Alpaca Shawl

Click here for the pattern.


For the second shawl, I used three different yarns, one our Swizzle Alpaca Yarn, color Plum Perfection, our Astral Yarn, color Libra, and our Classic Baby Alpaca Yarn , color called White House.  I’ll list the order of yarn colors I used in my next post, or just alternate as you wish.  The White House has the least amount of yardage, so save that one for single rows.

Both alpaca shawls are available to purchase, just click one of the images.
Enjoy!



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