Friday, March 7, 2014

Free Pattern Friday & Link-a-Long!

When my crochet hobby morphed into a crochet business, I never knew that I'd encounter so many wonderful people in the process of promoting my work. Crocheters are a special group...the people I've encountered have been supportive, encouraging and they appreciate the fact that crochet adds so much more to their lives than just a few handmade items.

Before arriving to this point in my life's journey, I've worked as a teacher, and I've been a writer and businesswoman for nearly two decades. As a small business coach, I've always enjoyed seeing others succeed. It's in that spirit that today marks the first Go Crochet Crazy Free Pattern Friday!!!!

In yesterday's blog post, I invited people who blog about crochet and offer occasional free patterns to contact me so I could promote their blog and a free pattern of theirs. Not a lot of responses poured in, but for the first Free Pattern Friday, it's okay. Directly below you'll find a mixture of some of my free patterns, free crochet patterns that I'm promoting in response to yesterday's post and a few favorites from some of my most beloved blogs (I get a lot of inspiration from reading others' crochet blogs). Pictures used for this promotion are original from the crocheters and all credit for the patterns go to the people listed with each of the patterns.

**If you visit any of these blogs/patterns, please leave the crocheters a comment (we all love to receive comments) and let them know you heard about their pattern from Mary at the Go Crochet Crazy blog.**

After sifting through the free patterns available (links to the patterns are in the titles), continuing scrolling to participate in today's Link-a-Long, where we spread a little crochet love by visiting one anothers blogs!

Free Pattern Friday: March Promoted Patterns

Easy skill level and quick to make, these spa cloths are a wonderful gift or fantastic, functional treat for yourself.

Wrap yourself in beauty and warmth, with the easy-to-crochet infinity scarf that works up quick with a chunky stitch.

Such a fun and educational item to crochet for babies! The skill level is easy, and the play block has pockets and embellishments to keep baby busy. 

Linda has a lot of beautiful patterns on her blog (they're all free to download on Ravelry). This snow cape, for sizes 0-3 months, is so elegant it even makes wintertime special. 

Granny Square Crochet Diamond Pattern by Crochet Geek

If you're in the mood for something a little bit different and pretty for your next crochet afghan, Crochet Geek's Diamond Pattern YouTube tutorial will get you on your way. She also offers many patterns for left-handed crocheters.

Happy Flower Block by Annie's Place

Just looking at this afghan square makes me happy...the colors say spring, summer and happiness all at one time.

Raindrops Stitch Cushion by Attic24

This newest of free patterns from Lucy at Attic24 is a beautiful color explosion. She uses it for a cushion/couch pillow, but you could easily use the stitch for an afghan, as well.

So there you have it, Free Pattern Friday on the Go Crochet Crazy Blog! I hope you'll stop by and tell me what you think, and visit some of the other crocheters, too!

Onto this week's Go Crochet Crazy Link-a-Long!

    I AM so excited! I can't wait to visit all your blogs, see what you're up to and spread a little crafty love! One things I've found as I've become more involved in the crochet community is that we're really a great group of people. I invite you to join in today's Link-a-Long to give and receive some of that wonderful kindness, camaraderie and a little love from fellow crafters. 

    Happy Yarny Crochet Crazy Friday!!

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Let's Get Ready for Free Pattern Friday!

    Even though I'm a freelancer whose "weekends" seldom take place on the weekend, there's still something about the impending arrival of Friday that excites me. Each Friday on this blog I try to do something a little extra special to spread a little crochet love and help promote other crafty crochet bloggers. A couple weeks ago, I hosted a Link-a-Long (which I'll be including in tomorrow's promotion to increase exposure for participants even more. Last week, we celebrated Off-the-Hook Friday to showcase our recently finished crochet projects.

    Tomorrow, in celebration of Friday and our love for all things crochet, I'm hosting the first (of many) Go Crochet Crazy Free Pattern Friday! My greatest wish is that you'll be a part of it.

    It's hardly a question of whether or not we're going to crochet, now is it? It's just a matter of getting our hands on the next pattern we want to work. That's where you come in! On Free Pattern Fridays, I want to promote a free pattern you have available on your blog. Come one, come's what you have to do:

    Free Pattern Friday Guidelines
    1. Email me at or through the Contact Link on my blog. Include a link to your blog with the free pattern you want to promote.
    2. If there's not an About You blurb on your blog, just give me a couple sentences about you and your blog.
    3. Comment on my Free Pattern Friday blog post tomorrow.
    4. Promote Free Pattern Friday blog post (this increases exposure for you and the other participants) through your most active social media venue (Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, etc). 
    I love love love the opportunity to promote fellow crocheters and crafty friends! Nothing would please me more today than to have you light up my email inbox with links to your free patterns. Lets spread the crochet love and get more visitors to everyone's blogs. Happy Almost Friday!

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    Wintery Weather & Exciting Crochet Projects

    Snow was falling lightly when I woke up this morning. I could feel the crispness in the air as I opened my eyes, so Sophie (one of my cats) and I snuggled down under the heap of covers for a little bit longer. She's always happy to oblige when it comes to snuggles. :) Judging by the amount of snow on the ground and the bunny footprints going through it, the snow must have started an hour or two before waking time.

    Neither the rabbits or birds seem to be too concerned about the snow.
    Meanwhile, I continue to play a game of Tag-You're-It with this nasty head cold. One day I'm nearly better, and the next day it's gotten the best of me again. Having managed to avoid every illness in the past three years, I believe this cold has decided it's time I get caught up!

    But you can't keep a good woman (or avid crocheter) down, can you? I'm armed this morning with a large cup of dark Italian roast coffee to remind me of warm summer days in Verona or along Lake Garda. Even my coffee cup is willing me on toward health.

    And I have two crochet projects I'm very excited to share with you! One is nearly's the last of four infinity scarves (here's the first) I've created for an upcoming pattern book. Here it is in it's work-in-progress state.

    Another project has been on my Crochet To-Do list, which I talked about here, and I'm excited to allow myself to start on it today!!! I'd forced myself to exercise self-control until I was coming down the home stretch of the final infinity scarf. Now that I'm there, I can begin working with this scrumptious yarny treat to make myself an asymmetrical poncho.

    As I sit here on this wintery March morning, with my hot cup of coffee and cozy blanket, I can almost imagine my poncho -- in lovely hues of purple, blue, green and pale yellow -- keeping me warm like a favorite blanket. I envision myself wearing it inside to keep warm on a chilly day and outdoors to keep the slight chill of springtime or autumn away. I'm looking forward to showing you the finished project and sharing the pattern with you! In the meantime, it's another good day for "cozies", just as it was this past weekend. Happy Wintery Wednesday, friends!

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    Yarny Sale News & National Craft Month

    March is National Craft Month, and Joann Fabric and Craft Stores are celebrating with some fantastic sales, while Michaels is Thinking Spring! If you're planning any new crochet projects, now is the time to stock up on the yarn you need. Here's are a few yarn goodies I'm highlighting from the selections both stores are offering:

    Joann Fabric's "Big on Creativity" Sale, March 2-22
    • Redheart Super Saver Yarn, 2 for $5
    • Lions Brand Vanna's Choice Yarn, 2 for $5
    • Bernat and Purl Essence Yarns, 25% off
    • Caron One Pound, Lions Brand Pound of Love and Lions Brand Homespun, $2 off
    Michaels' "Think Spring" Sale, Weekly Ad for March 2-8
    • Hot Buy Yarn! Lions Brand, $1.99
    • Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly, $3.99
    And again....drum roll, please.....
    • Sugar n Cream, 4 for $5
    Get your Michaels' online coupons here and your Joann Fabric coupons here. Since I am not in any way affiliated with either store, I have nothing to gain by sharing this information. I offer it merely as a service to my comrades, armed with crochet hooks and ready to create all sorts of wonderful, yarny delights!

    I'm especially excited about Joann's sale on Redheart yarn because I have an upcoming project that's a variation of the Giant Granny Square Afghan I blogged about, and it requires 10 skeins. This weekend, I'll be paying a visit to pick out 10 different scrumptious yarny colors. :)

    Tomorrow, I have more exciting news of a crochet and yarny nature. In the meantime, Happy Shopping!!

    Monday, March 3, 2014

    Multi-Use Crochet Gift Holder

    A personal touch is what makes a gift special. Many people -- myself included -- love to receive gift cards for birthdays or holidays. As I prepared to gather with my family yesterday to celebrate my daughter R's birthday and give Baby S her new scrapbuster afghan that I blogged about here,  I considered what I might add to make the gift card my daughter had requested a little more personal and special. What I came up with was my Multi-Use Crochet Gift Card Holder.

    A Go Crochet Crazy Design

    This Multi-Use Gift Card Holder is wide enough to hold a gift card and tall enough to hold an iPhone. A simple crochet floral embellishment gives it an extra special touch, and the drawstring closure makes it easy to open and close. By using a single crochet until the last row at the top, it's sturdy enough to be repurposed as a coin purse, small cosmetic bag, cellphone holder or decorative sachet. I used a half-double crochet for the last row to make it easier to thread the drawstring through. As you can see from my balls of leftover yarn, this was another scrapbuster project, such as the scrapbuster afghan and the scrapbuster cat toys.

    And then off we went, through the frozen tundra, also known as rural Illinois. As bitter cold as it is, I love love love that I can still see wide open spaces, working farms and small town churches within minutes of my home. :) Seeing them as we drove by made me feel as peaceful and content as crocheting.

    If you're planning to start a new crochet project soon, I invite you to stop by my Amazon store to pick up the supplies you need!

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

    A Weekend of "Cozies" and Finishing the Scrapbuster Afghan

    It seems it's been an odd winter everywhere this year. As I enjoy a long, working visit with my family in Arctic Illinois, my boyfriend M keeps sending me reports of how spring- and summer-like the weather is where we live together near Dusseldorf, Germany. This past Friday night, another snowstorm was forecast for our area. I could almost hear the collective groans from just about everyone living in the Chicago area.

    But there's no point in groaning the whole weekend away, now is there? My glass is always half-full, and I find that life seems so much more cheerful and wonderful that way. With the impending snowstorm on its way, I decided to make this a weekend of "cozies". And, since I'll be visiting with the entire family this Sunday afternoon, I wanted to finish my "Flowers in Bloom" scrapbuster afghan to give to three-week-old Baby S. :)

    From inside -- where it's warmer and cozier -- a fresh blanket of snow can look beautiful.  

    Yesterday afternoon -- my mom's cat Buddy enjoying "his" garden as the snow begins to fall.

    Last night outside The Little White School House to see my son acting in "Harvey".

    This morning
    The view outside my living room window.
    As pretty as it all looks, the temperature is quite cold. Which means its a good day to stay inside where it's cozy, crochet the last few scallops on the edge of Baby S's Flowers in Bloom afghan, and make a yummy, fresh fruit salad (think warm summer days!) for our family gathering later today. But first, a few cozies to start the morning out right....

    Warm blankets and the rice-filled tube daughter R made that warms me after a minute in the microwave.
    Flannel PJ bottoms and fuzzy socks
    A steaming cup of hot tea
    "Thank you" to whomever invented electric fireplaces!
    Crocheting and staying warm at the same time.
    Even Alice wants to be cozy and warm this morning.
    In wintertime, the lovely thing about crocheting an afghan is that it keeps you warm while you work. The finishing touches have been put on Baby S's afghan, and I can't wait to give it to her this afternoon (see the final picture below). In the meantime, the next crochet project beckons, as does another cup of tea, a snuggle with the cat and enjoying Nature's beauty from within the warmth of my home.

    Ta-dah! Flowers in Bloom is ready for its new home!