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Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Round Shell Stitch Cowl

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Round Shell Stitch Cowl

Hey everyone!  Cute Outfits Online has put together a very sweet and comprehensive blog post featuring my style and crochet fashion HERE!  When they first contacted me, I was expecting a short blurb about my blog, but I was astounded by the very long post featuring everything from my cowls and headbands to my maternity and nursing fashion…and even a section on baby Myla’s style, hehe!  I could tell that Scarlett, one of the admins of Cute Outfits Online, had scoured my blog and put a lot of effort into the feature, and I was so honoured and flattered by her kind words about my style, projects and blog!
Scarlett recently let me know that they have launched an online shop!  They are offering us a 10% discount off the whole cart (excluding Mary Kay products) using the coupon code “AMI10" which is good until December 31st, 2013!  You can find their shop here!
The collage above shows some of the projects and outfits that are featured!  The free patterns and step-by-step blog posts are available for all of them, and from left to right, top to bottom we have my Chunky Double Crochet Cowl, Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanies, Knotted Headbands and Long Double Crochet Cowl!  With the cooler temperatures and fall approaching, now’s the time to break out your crochet hooks and start working on these cozy pieces!  Which of these have you made?

Hey everyone!  Cute Outfits Online has put together a very sweet and comprehensive blog post featuring my style and crochet fashion HERE!  When they first contacted me, I was expecting a short blurb about my blog, but I was astounded by the very long post featuring everything from my cowls and headbands to my maternity and nursing fashion…and even a section on baby Myla’s style, hehe!  I could tell that Scarlett, one of the admins of Cute Outfits Online, had scoured my blog and put a lot of effort into the feature, and I was so honoured and flattered by her kind words about my style, projects and blog!

Scarlett recently let me know that they have launched an online shop!  They are offering us a 10% discount off the whole cart (excluding Mary Kay products) using the coupon code “AMI10" which is good until December 31st, 2013!  You can find their shop here!

The collage above shows some of the projects and outfits that are featured!  The free patterns and step-by-step blog posts are available for all of them, and from left to right, top to bottom we have my Chunky Double Crochet Cowl, Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanies, Knotted Headbands and Long Double Crochet Cowl!  With the cooler temperatures and fall approaching, now’s the time to break out your crochet hooks and start working on these cozy pieces!  Which of these have you made?

Do you have any super bulky yarn from previous projects that you would like to use up?  I had a quite a bit left over from making chunky cowls for myself and for my friends this winter.  After looking through the Ravelry database, I came across this adorable baby hat pattern by Catherine Wiggins.  These super bulky newborn hats work up extremely quickly with only 8 rows and a 10 mm crochet hook.  I love the addition of the ribbons to finish off these hats- the ribbon bows give a very sophisticated and polished look!  Get the free pattern HERE!  You may recognize these yarns since I used the pink yarn to make my “Long Double Crochet Cowl" and the beige yarn to make my "Chunky Double Crochet Cowl”!   
And for all you nursing mamas and mamas-to-be, don’t forget to enter my $30 Momzelle giveaway (closing February 28) and access the discount codes for Momzelle nursing clothing and beautiful nursing scarves called CoverBoos in my blog post HERE!

Do you have any super bulky yarn from previous projects that you would like to use up?  I had a quite a bit left over from making chunky cowls for myself and for my friends this winter.  After looking through the Ravelry database, I came across this adorable baby hat pattern by Catherine Wiggins.  These super bulky newborn hats work up extremely quickly with only 8 rows and a 10 mm crochet hook.  I love the addition of the ribbons to finish off these hats- the ribbon bows give a very sophisticated and polished look!  Get the free pattern HERE!  You may recognize these yarns since I used the pink yarn to make my “Long Double Crochet Cowl" and the beige yarn to make my "Chunky Double Crochet Cowl!   

And for all you nursing mamas and mamas-to-be, don’t forget to enter my $30 Momzelle giveaway (closing February 28) and access the discount codes for Momzelle nursing clothing and beautiful nursing scarves called CoverBoos in my blog post HERE!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Long Double Crochet Cowl (an adaptation of my “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl”)

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & free pattern: Long Double Crochet Cowl (an adaptation of my “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl”)

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!  We had great family and friends time, delicious food and a chance to reflect upon what a wonderful year 2012 was!  We watched some of our favourite holiday movies such as “Home Alone” and “Elf” and got addicted to BBC’s “Sherlock” as we watched both seasons within a couple days!  Is anyone else a big fan?  Can’t wait for Season 3!
Over the holidays I also had a chance to crochet more cowls as quick gifts for my friends and family!  I made some variations to the base pattern for my “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl" which you can find HERE. 
The top two cowls are “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" in "Thunder" and "Golden Rod”.  There was only one skein left of each of these colours so I adapted my pattern slightly.  I chained 52 and managed to get about 10-11 rows at the end.
The bottom two cowls are “Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn" in "Grey Marble" and "Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" in "Stone”.  I purchased two skeins for each cowl.  I chained 55 and crocheted 15 rows for each of these cowls (with yarn left over).
I’m currently working on another variation of this cowl which is not crocheted in the round but rather row by row for a different look.  I’ll be sharing it with you soon!

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!  We had great family and friends time, delicious food and a chance to reflect upon what a wonderful year 2012 was!  We watched some of our favourite holiday movies such as “Home Alone” and “Elf” and got addicted to BBC’s “Sherlock” as we watched both seasons within a couple days!  Is anyone else a big fan?  Can’t wait for Season 3!

Over the holidays I also had a chance to crochet more cowls as quick gifts for my friends and family!  I made some variations to the base pattern for my “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl" which you can find HERE

The top two cowls are “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" in "Thunder" and "Golden Rod”.  There was only one skein left of each of these colours so I adapted my pattern slightly.  I chained 52 and managed to get about 10-11 rows at the end.

The bottom two cowls are “Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn" in "Grey Marble" and "Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" in "Stone”.  I purchased two skeins for each cowl.  I chained 55 and crocheted 15 rows for each of these cowls (with yarn left over).

I’m currently working on another variation of this cowl which is not crocheted in the round but rather row by row for a different look.  I’ll be sharing it with you soon!

Chunky Double Crochet Cowl

Winter officially begins on Friday, but it seems like winter has been in full swing for weeks on end where I live!  Winter is always the perfect time for cozy scarves, hats and mittens, and after blogging about the puff stitch cowl that I made for my sister, I really wanted to make myself a big chunky cowl that would help keep me warm! 

There are many cowls out there using solely double crochets, but instead of using double crochets all throughout, I decided to incorporate some chain 1’s!  This helped the cowl work up more quickly and also give it a looser feel.  I had just finished crocheting many baby hats where I crocheted in the spaces of the previous row, and I loved the look of the staggered rows as well as how quickly the projects went by!

Knowing that I would be extremely busy after having a baby, I completed this cowl about a week before giving birth.  Interestingly enough, I edited and added the instructional text to the step-by-step photos and typed out the pattern the day before I started having contractions!  I’m so glad I prepped this post ahead of time- all we then had to do was take final shots and write the story behind this cowl!

I wanted to look for a soft yarn in a neutral colour so that my cowl would be able to match most of my jackets.  I found this beautiful yarn called “Loops & Threads Cozy Wool" in the colour "Mushroom”!

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Using the biggest crochet hook I own (10 mm), I made a series of chain stitches, trying to judge how big I wanted my cowl to be.  I love crocheting with chunky yarn and a big crochet hook!  It’s such a different feel from crocheting my small amigurumi with a 2 mm hook ;)

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I joined the ends together with a slip stitch to form a circle.  I decided to crochet in rounds rather than rows so I wouldn’t need to stitch the ends together at completion.  Working in rounds also gives this cowl a more continuous look with no clearly visible seam :)

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To bring the round to the appropriate height, you chain 4 and then continue double crocheting and chaining 1 all around.

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Once you’ve repeated this pattern all the way around, slip stitch to the 3rd chain from the Chain 4 that you started with.

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Now you’ve completed the first round!

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Next you slip stitch into the space…

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This gets you into the correct positioning so you’re ready to start Round 2!

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You chain 4 once again to build the appropriate height…

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And then continue on as you did with Round 1, double crocheting in the spaces and chaining 1 in between.  Working in the spaces makes the project go by incredibly quickly!

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I was able to crochet 9 complete rounds using 1 ball of yarn!  You could definitely stop here if you wanted to use only one ball :)

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I wanted my cowl to be bigger, so I used another half ball of yarn to add 4 more rounds.  In total, my cowl was 13 rounds in height!

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This close-up view of the staggered rounds of double crochet shows the beautiful, chunky texture!

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Here is the official pattern to my “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl”!

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Materials:

  • 10 mm crochet hook
  • Super bulky yarn (6)- I used 1.5 skeins for my cowl

Chain 60.  Join with slip stitch to first chain, being careful not to twist the chain.

Round 1: Chain 4 (first 3 chains counts as double crochet), *Skip 1, Dc, Ch 1* around, slip stitch to 3rd chain of initial Chain 4 (30 dc).

Round 2: Slip stitch into Ch 1 space.  Chain 4.  *Dc into next Ch 1 space, Ch1* around, slip stitch to 3rd chain of initial Ch 4 (30 dc). 

Round 3-13: Repeat Round 2

Fasten off and weave in ends.

[IMPORTANT NOTE & UPDATE: I used “Chain 4"  since theoretically the first 3 chains counted as a double crochet and the 4th chain accounted for the "Chain 1".  However, this leaves a slightly larger than normal space at the seam compared to the other chain 1 spaces.  If you would like to make the gap smaller and more inconspicuous, "Chain 3" wherever it says to “Chain 4” in the above pattern and "Slip stitch to 3rd chain of initial Ch 3" to finish off each round.  Thank you to Karen for pointing this out- you can read her blog post about this HERE.]

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I love wearing my super soft Chunky Double Crochet Cowl!  It’s always so special wearing items that you made yourself :)

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[Gold oak leaf wrap ring by CoutuKitsch, Double Wrap Bracelet in Mint Green by Mikaylove]

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You can adjust the look of this chunky cowl by altering the number of initial chains and rounds.  If you want the cowl more fitted around your neck for extra warmth, chain less than 60 stitches.  If you want the cowl to have a fuller look with more folds, add more rounds.  Try adding big buttons for some beautiful detailing too!  Another option is to crochet this cowl row by row (not going around in a circle) and use big buttons for closure- the chain 1 gaps between the double crochets would be perfect button holes!

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I love wearing cowls with my hair up as I feel it helps accentuate the look of the cowl…that plus my hair tends to get “staticky” when it’s down as it rubs against the yarn ;) 

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Here’s a photo from my Instagram (@AllAboutAmi)!

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We took some outdoor shots to show this cowl worn with a winter coat!  It’s such a chic, warm winter accessory :)

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One of the best parts about wearing scarves and cowls is being able to burrow your face for warmth- gotta prevent your nose from falling off when the temperature drops >.<

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[Pink Dip-Back Striped Knit Top: Yesstyle, Jeggings: American Eagle, Green Parka: Aritzia]

Check out my other crocheted projects that will also help keep you warm this winter!  From left to right there is the Puff Stitch Cowl, Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie and the Knotted Headband

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I want to give a big thank you to baby Myla’s Uncle Corey for taking care of her while we took these photos :)  This “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl" is a very quick and easy project, and it would make a great last-minute gift if you’re scrambling to find or make one!  Cowls and infinity scarves are always so popular, and they instantly glam up any winter outfit!  Let me know if you will be making this cowl this winter and send me pictures of your finished products through e-mail (all_about_ami@hotmail.com), Facebook, Twitter (@AllAboutAmi)  or Instagram (@AllAboutAmi)!  I would love to compile a blog post showcasing how you all style your cowls!  Stay warm this winter, everyone :)  Thanks for reading!

[UPDATE #1: Check out this blog post HERE to see these cowls I made in different colours!]

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[UPDATE #2: My “Long Double Crochet Cowl" is a row-by-row adaptation.  See the step-by-step tutorial and free pattern HERE.]

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Mikaylove Giveaway! [CLOSED]

I still very vividly remember back in March 2011 when I received an e-mail from a blog reader named Kay.  I had just started my blog two months prior in January and not very many people knew about my work.  Kay said that she had found my Valentine Teddy pattern and had made her very own!  This was the very first time someone had sent me pictures of their work using my pattern, and I was so incredibly excited.  I had spent hours writing up my patterns (there were only two at the time) and figuring out my designs, so to know that someone was using it somewhere in the world was incredibly special!  You can see Kay’s Valentine Teddy here.

Kay started her own blog called “I’m Hooked" and I loved perusing it as she posted adorable pics of her popsicle keychains, mini wallets/pouches, and all the lovely items she made for her baby girl (what a shoe collection!).  What really caught my eye was her cute amigurumi penguin pattern that she had translated HERE.  It was my first time crocheting with two colours at the same time, and I absolutely loved how this cutie turned out!  You can read Penguin’s step-by-step blog post here.  I think this little penguin would make an adorable Christmas ornament, don’t you?

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Kay and I kept in touch, and I am so thankful for her love, support and prayers for our family.  We are now both moms to beautiful baby girls!  She even sent us a package full of goodies for baby Myla- this really brightened up my day and lifted my spirits as the first few weeks coming home from the hospital were challenging at times.  Her thoughtfulness and generosity blew me away! 

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As we were messaging each other, Kay revealed how she had started her blog when she was pregnant and a bit lonesome.  Kay wrote,

"It was your pattern that got people to even look at my page and from there I gained an audience that was interested in my work and most importantly, me. And even though I no longer blog, I will be forever grateful of the amigurumi bear pattern that changed my life.  So, thank you!" 

This brought me to tears, knowing how much of an impact my blog could have on someone.  I’ve received at least a half dozen e-mails from people all stating that they’ve been inspired to start their own blogs after seeing “All About Ami”, and I’m always so overjoyed to hear this.  God has given me this platform to express and share my creativity and love of crochet with others, and I am so happy to hear that it has impacted others in such a positive way!

Even though Kay no longer blogs, she too has found a way to do what she loves and share it with others through her Etsy store called “Mikaylove" that she has just launched.  Mikaylove is derived from her daughter’s name “Mikayla”, and as a stay at home mom, Kay was inspired by her love for her baby girl to create a handcrafted jewelry line that would appeal and be affordable to all audiences.  Kay sent me some of her pieces and I immediately fell in love with their elegant and classy designs.  I liked them so much that I ordered some more for myself and my family! 

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Kay sent me the “Cross Weave Bracelet in Peach" (LOVE this) and the "Double Wrap Bracelet in Maroon" (maroon/burgundy or ‘oxblood’ is such a trendy colour right now for the fall!).

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Kay’s classic designs go well with any outfit and you can definitely dress them up or dress them down!  I looove stacking bracelets to add interest to my outfits….can you ever have enough bracelets?

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I ordered the stunning “Mikaylove Original Design Necklace in Turquoise & Grey" for myself since I love the colour combo and bib necklaces are so popular right now!  Isn’t it gorgeous?

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I also ordered the “Double Wrap Bracelet in Mint Green" since I love this colour.  I think peach and mint green go so well together! 

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The little “Mikaylove” tag of authenticity on each piece is very cute too :)

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I think that all of the Mikaylove pieces are affordable, with prices comparable to those found in retail chain stores, except these pieces are all handmade!  I am all for supporting handmade artisans and moms who are working from home.  Kay has many different pieces available in a vast array of colours (see pic below for more of her designs).  Please check out her store HERE to see her collections!  You can also find Mikaylove on instagram too (@Mikayloveinc). 

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Kay has been generous enough to offer THREE GIVEAWAYS for my readers!  In order to enter, please visit the Mikaylove Etsy store HERE and select your FAVOURITE PIECE.  There are three ways to enter (one winner will receive their selected favourite piece from each of the following groups):

(1) Blog comments: Leave a comment on this blog post, stating your favourite piece (e.g. “I love the Cross Weave Bracelet in Cream”).  One comment per person please.

(2) Facebook: Leave a comment on the Facebook link to this post stating your favourite piece (click HERE to access the “All About Ami” Facebook page).  Like and Share the post (be sure to change the share settings to “Public” so I can see it) for additional entries.

(3) Tumblr: "Like" this post and reply with what your favourite piece is.  Reblog this post for an additional entry (only once please).  Tumblr winner must be a follower of BOTH “All About Ami" and "MIKAYLOVEINC" on tumblr HERE

You may enter all three ways!   If you are under 18, please ask your parents’ permission before entering.  The contest is open worldwide and will run until Wednesday, December 5 at 9 PM, MST.  Winners will be announced on Friday, December 7.

Chunky Crocheted Basket

While browsing the many lovely images on tumblr, I came across a picture of a beautiful chunky crocheted basket.  I was delighted to see that a free pattern was available through a wonderful blog called “Crochet in Color”.  Liz has three free patterns for baskets, and I decided to try this one here.

I immediately went out and bought the super bulky yarn Liz recommends to create a stiff and sturdy texture for the basket.  With this pattern, you hold two strands of yarn together, so if you use a smaller weight yarn, you will need to hold three or more strands together.  I used Lion Brand’s “Wool-Ease Thick & Quick” in the colour “Wheat”.  I made the smaller basket, so I only needed two skeins (Liz recommends 3 in her pattern), and I even had left-over yarn.  The pattern also calls for an 8 mm crochet hook- I was tempted to use my 9 mm crochet hook, but Liz recommends not using a larger hook as the stitches need to be tight so that the basket will be stiff and stand up properly.  And so, I went out and bought an 8 mm crochet hook as well!

I started off by crocheting the base of the basket by crocheting round after round.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger Magic Circle before!

To create the first row of the body of the basket, you work in the back of each half double crochet.

This creates a lovely seam separating the base of the basket from the body of the basket!

Adding more rounds…

And more rounds..

And now the fun part: making the handles!

Add another row after making the handles, and the chunky basket is complete!

This basket is incredibly practical as you can use it anywhere around the house to store anything! 

Right now I’m using it to store yarn that I’m using for current projects.  However, I could see myself using this basket in the baby room to store little socks, mittens and hats!

Here’s a pic to show the relative size of this basket!  Liz also includes modifications to her original pattern so you can make a larger basket if you prefer.

This is an absolutely wonderful pattern with great instructions and clear step-by-step photos, and I’m so happy that I stumbled upon it!  With 15 rounds, this project goes fairly quickly although it can be a challenge trying to crochet tightly with two strands of bulky yarn.  I tried to take breaks in between so my hands and wrist wouldn’t cramp up too much.  I love the look of this basket, and I am itching to make another one!  Liz’s most recent basket pattern, the Ombre Basket, found here is stunning, and I would definitely like to make one, possibly for our nursery to store books or toys!  Some readers commented how these would also make great gift baskets!  Imagine receiving a lovely crocheted basket that could be used again and again filled with goodies!

Check out Liz’s blog “Crochet in Color" for other free patterns as well :)  I hope you liked seeing the making of my basket and hopefully you’ve been inspired to make one for yourself too!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Chunky Crocheted Basket by Crochet in Color

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Chunky Crocheted Basket by Crochet in Color

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