Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Square Motif Pattern 100514A and Thanks a Million!

by M. J. Joachim

It all started as an original book of crocheted squares I was writing, which I hoped to publish and share with all of you. That was last fall; my hopes were to finish the book by the end of the year which came and went in a hurry, a bit of a flurry and to put it mildly was all rather blurry. Kids moving out, kids moving in - life has been busier than I ever had planned.

One of those days in the last two months when I found a moment to log in and check my blogs, I noticed this blog had reached more than a million page views. I smiled. Tears filled my eyes. I sighed about the book I’ve been working on for you, the one that needs so much more time before being ready to publish. I scratched my head and for a few weeks mulled over what to do.

I can’t hold out on all of you amazing followers any longer. The book will be dismantled. The original patterns will be turned into blog posts for you. It’s part of my personal philosophy anyway, you know, the one that says, “Don’t hold out on your friends. Follow the path of least resistance and trust your heart to let love lead the way.”

And now without further ado, here’s the very first pattern.

Square Motif Pattern 100514A (©2015 All Rights Reserved)

Step 1: Chain 4, make 1 sc in 2nd chain from hook and in each of next 2 chain stitches

Step 2: Chain 1, turn; make 1 sc in 1st stitch and 1 sc in each of next 2 stitches

[Repeat Step 2 one more time]

Step 3: Chain 4 (counts as chain 1 + 1 dc), make 1 dc in 1st chain of chain 4

Step 4: Chain 1, make 2 more dc in same stitch

{Note: Steps 3 & 4 make first corner}

Step 5: Chain 2; slip stitch into next corner of sc from steps 1 & 2

[Repeat Steps 3 & 4 to make next corner; Repeat Step 5 (2 more times) to make all 4 corners of square, ending with chain 2 and slip stitching to bottom of chain of 1st chain 4]

Step 6: Slip stitch around 1st chain 4; chain 3, make 1 dc around same chain 3

Step 7: Chain 1, make (2 dc + chain 1 + 2 dc) in next chain 1 space

Step 8: Chain 1, make 2 dc in next chain 2 space

Step 9: Chain 1, make 2 dc around next chain 3

[Repeat Steps 7 - 9 around, ending with chain 1 (omitting last 2 dc in Step 9), and slip stitching to top of 1st chain 3 in round

Step 10: Chain 3, make 1 dc in next dc; chain 2, make (2 dc + chain 1 + 2 dc) in chain 1 space of next corner

Step 11: Chain 2, make 1 dc in each of 3rd & 4th dc from hook, followed by 1 dc in each of next 2 dc

Step 12: Chain 2, make (2 dc + chain 1 + 2 dc) in chain 1 space of next corner

[Repeat Steps 11 & 12 around, ending with 1 dc in each of the 3rd & 4th dc from hook, and joining with a slip stitch to top chain of 1st chain 3 in round]

Step 13: Chain 3, make 1 dc in next dc

Step 14: Chain 3, single crochet in next chain 2 space, chain 3

Step 15: Make corner (2 dc + chain 1 + 2 dc) in chain 1 space of next corner

Step 16: Repeat Step 14; make 1 dc in each of next 4 dc

[Repeat Steps 14 - 16 around, ending with 1 dc in each of last 2 dc from previous round; join with a slip stitch to top chain of 1st chain 3 in round.

Finish off.

This blog wouldn’t be what it is without all of you, so thank you for being such amazing followers, people who have encouraged and inspired me every step of the way!

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved  Photo credit:  M. J. Joachim ©2015 All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 2, 2015

Crocheting Infinity Scarves

by M. J. Joachim

It’s as simple as choosing an interesting stitch pattern and making it wide and long enough for a scarf. Then, join each short end together, and wrap around your neck a few times.

Wouldn’t these stitch patterns be perfect? 
Click on each Stitch Name to go to its pattern.


Thank you for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches today. I hope this infinity scarf idea helps keep you and your loved ones warm this winter, especially since I heard Mr. Groundhog saw his shadow today, indicating it’s going to last a little longer than so many of us would have hoped.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: M. J. Joachim, ©2015 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Slip Stitch with Single Crochet Rows

by M. J. Joachim

Similar to my last post, this post combines slip stitch with single crochet. The difference is that I make 4 rows of single crochet, followed by 1 row of slip stitch. The detail is subtle. You don’t get ridges, per se. But you do get a lovely, closely woven fabric that is perfect for a warm winter sweater, towel or washcloth set or even a delightfully cozy blanket.

Thanks so much for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches today.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: M. J. Joachim, ©2015 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Slip Stitch & Single Crochet = Ridges

by M. J. Joachim

Alternating slip stitch rows with single crochet rows, I came up with this interesting ridge pattern. It’s probably been done somewhere before, but this is the first time I’ve done it. Keeping the edges straight was a little tricky. I chained 1 and made sc’s in the first sc; I chained 1 and made slip stitches in the next stitch. I also only slip stitched in the top loop of each sc.

It makes for a nice close weave fabric. I’m sure I’ll use this stitch combination for future projects. The above photos show both sides of the fabric I made.

Thanks for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches today.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: M. J. Joachim, ©2015 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How to Crochet Washcloths

by M. J. Joachim

Crochet washcloths are one of the easiest things to make. You can make them to use in the kitchen, as facial cloths and also for newborn babies. Using crochet 4-ply cotton and doily thread, you can enjoy a simple project that is great for personal use or to wrap up and give as a gift. Since Christmas is only a few days away, I thought this post might help you with a few last minute gifts that you can make up in no time at all.

Basic Crochet Square Kitchen Washcloth

Choose a close weave pattern to make your kitchen washcloth. Stitches like single crochet, half double crochet, ridge, spider or basket stitch work well for this. Pick coordinating colors of yarn so that your new washcloth will match the colors of the kitchen you are making it for.

You Will Need: 1 skein 4-ply cotton yarn, 1 medium size crochet hook, sewing scissors

Step 1: Choose the stitch you want to use and make a foundation chain for your square.

Step 2: Follow stitch pattern instructions to create the overall design of your kitchen washcloth.

Step 3: Measure until your kitchen washcloth is a square.

Step 4: Crochet a border or trim around your kitchen washcloth. (optional)

Step 5: Finish off and weave in loose ends.

Your new washcloth is machine washable. If you are giving it as a gift, be sure to let the receiver know that no special care is required. However, washing it with a little white vinegar the first time will help prevent it from fading. Once made, crochet kitchen washcloths last a very long time.

Personal Facial Washcloth

Personal facial washcloths can be made from thick or fine yarn, depending on your preference. You can design them to be a little fancier, using a lacier pattern, or more practical choosing a close weave pattern. They can be used as facial buffers or scrubbers; this will depend on the yarn and thread you choose. The thin strands of doily thread tend to create a rougher texture.

As with the kitchen washcloth, choose your yarn and all over pattern or design. Make your facial washcloth the appropriate size and add a decorative trim or border to it. If you make a facial scrubber, you can sew it to store bought washcloth that is soft. This way your facial washcloth will be both a skin buffer and scrubber, all in one.

Newborn Baby Washcloth
Choose your fibers carefully when making a newborn baby washcloth. You want to avoid thick cotton yarns. Your best choice is a light sport weight cotton yarn, but not doily thread. You can opt to use spools of embroidery thread because it is very soft, but you’ll need a lot of them. If you do use embroidery thread, be sure to add new thread only on the edges, and not in the middle of your project. Also be wary of dyes and chemicals used in processing it.

Use a small crochet hook to make a newborn baby washcloth. Make a small square following the pattern and design instructions of the stitch you choose. Select close weave stitches that little fingers won’t be able to poke through, tug on, or get stuck in. Prewash any newborn baby washcloth before giving it as a gift.

Thanks so much for visiting Lots of Crochet Stitches today. I hope you enjoy making lots of washcloths for yourself and others.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crochet Books for Beginners

by M. J. Joachim

You may have seen them, those books that have been thumbed through hundreds of times and are falling apart. The information in them is that good, and their reliability is timeless. These crochet books will help you improve your skills, challenge your abilities and create amazing projects:

The Pattern Library Crochet

This small book explains everything you need to know about crochet if you are a beginner. It is well organized with detailed graphs in the front that show you crochet techniques. Stitch patterns are logically sequenced, and each has a color picture of what the patterns look like when completed.

Patterns instructions include information on using different yarns and hooks sizes when making them. They tell you the multiple of stitches you need to make a project. This way you can use the pattern to make anything you want, as opposed to following one pattern for one specific item.

The Pattern Library Crochet: ISBN # is: 0-345-32711-X

The Crochet Stitch Bible

This spiral bound book contains over 200 stitch instructions, including several variations for Tunisian crochet, broomstick lace and beading procedures. Each stitch includes a stitch key and chart to help you visualize the pattern sequence. Colorful diagrams are strategically placed throughout The Crochet Stitch Bible, as well as helpful tips and information that make it easier to learn new stitches and techniques.

The Crochet Stitch Bible: ISBN # is: 978=0-87349-717-6

Super Finishing Techniques for Crocheters

This book shows you how to give crochet work a professional finished look. You will learn how to add zippers and buttons to your patterns, apply trims and embroidery, combine yarns, make pockets, add beads, filet crochet and more. An excellent feature in this book is “Be your own designer” at the end of each chapter. Here you are challenged to apply what you have learned into your very own unique project. Basic instructions get you started, but the rest is up to you.

Super Finishing Techniques for Crocheters: ISBN # is: 978-0-312-57049-1

101 Stitches for Afghans

While this book claims to be for afghans, you will find that these stitch combinations can be incorporated into many different projects. The organization of this instructional book is such that you can adapt its patterns to bookmarks, washcloths, clothing and probably just about anything else too.

Stitches patterns are listed with a picture, materials (meaning how many colors of yarn, plus color sequence), and special stitch instructions. Individual pattern instructions begin by telling you the multiple of chain stitches you need to follow it and listing the sequence of pattern rows in order. Right away you know how many rows it will take to make a specific design. Your design will then be repeated to make an all over pattern.

101 Stitches for Afghans: ISBN # is: 0-88195-763-1

All of these books are reasonably priced and available online. Use these crochet books to do many things with this wonderful craft. You are apt to steadily increased your knowledge and skills, design patterns, sell projects or teach others how to crochet because of them. Crochet might turn into one of your favorite pastimes as you continue to learn more from these invaluable resources.

Beginning crocheters will find more than enough information in these references to help them learn and master the art of crocheting. Intermediate to advanced students will also benefit as they challenge themselves to learn new stitches and techniques, ever improving their ability to crochet.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I truly appreciate your visits, comments and shares.

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Corkscrew Tassel Ornament -

Monday, December 15, 2014

Crochet Projects for Kids

by M. J. Joachim

One of the best crochet projects for kids is a simple chain. Give them a large hook and big ball of yarn and let them compete with their friends to see who can make the longest chain. They will sit for long periods of time inserting their hook and pulling out loops to lengthen their personal chains. Then they will run around with them, dragging them everywhere they go, measuring them to see who made the longest one.

Kids turn their crochet chains into games too. One child will spin around, holding the chain as he goes. Another child will try to hop over the chain without stepping on it. They might even make a few chains and tie them together into a cat or puppy toy. Teach a child how to make a crochet chain and they will surprise you with the many ways they think of using it.

Crochet chains are the foundation for all sorts of crochet projects. Once a child is hooked on chaining, it’s easy to teach them how to make their chains into other things. Begin with small projects and teach them how to single crochet after they are comfortable making the chain stitch. Square motifs made using chain and single crochet stitches can be turned into potholders and doll pillows. These projects work up quickly, preventing children from becoming bored with them before they have a chance to finish making them. It’s very exciting to see a child’s face when they feel such a sense of accomplishment after finishing a simple crochet project.

As children gain confidence in their ability to complete a crochet project, they can be introduced to crochet projects like pompoms, flowers and hollow ovals. They can continue using chain and single crochet stitches or learn double crochet to make these items. Pompoms and flowers can be attached to magnets that are proudly displayed on the refrigerator, while hollow ovals can be turned into rattles or colorful Easter eggs.

Children can fill plastic Easter eggs with rice, beans or a jingle bell. They can insert the egg into their hollow oval before they begin to seal off the Easter egg inside and make a rattle. Provide cotton stuffing for kids to fill their Easter egg ovals. Teach them to join stitches together (decrease), making them tight enough to close an opening.

Another great crochet project for kids is small stuffed animals. These are made in parts, so the child has a sense of accomplishment after finishing each section. Stuffed animals have limited instructions for each body part. This is a wonderful way to teach children how to read and follow crochet patterns and learn new stitches and techniques.

The best crochet projects for kids begin simply, allowing them to build on the previous skills they are already enjoying in crochet. They are easy to make and encourage creativity, without having to produce a perfect final project. Projects that produce quick, successful results are preferred. Kids who enjoy the rewards of their labor are more likely to continue doing it in the future.

Thanks so much for visiting, commenting on and sharing this post today. Crochet is one of those things that needs to be passed down from generation to generation. I’ve taught my kids how to do it and they really like having the skill of crochet in their personal bag of tricks.

Until next time, I wish you every good thing!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: