Quilting Masterpieces: A Conversation with Nancy Scott

When I met Nancy Scott a few years back, I wasn’t a quilter. Heck, I’d barely sat at a sewing machine since 8th grade home economics…that was back in the day when it was required for graduation! 

Nancy, for those of you that may not know, is an author, designer, teacher, and owner of Masterpiece Quilting, LLC. She is Masterpiece Quilting on FB, @masterpiecequilting on IG, and via her blog at www.masterpiecequilting.blogspot.com.She even has a new book out that I can’t wait to dive into. More about that later!

Now, onto the conversation!

Hey Nancy! Thanks for stopping by today! I can’t wait to get to know you a little better. Okay, so, we all love a good origin story! Tell me, how did you get started sewing?

I grew up with an incredibly crafty Grandmother, so I was exposed to crochet, quilting, and needlepoint at a young age.  Grandma made a lot of my clothes when I was little, so it only made sense for me to start sewing too. Participating in 4-H I completed craft and sewing projects which further honed my skills.  Since I was always “large” as a kid, it was hard to find stylish clothes in my size – but sewing allowed me to wear items I couldn’t find in my size.

What led you to quilt design?

As a competitive person, I started entering quilts that I had long arm quilted into national level shows.  Many shows required a letter of permission from the pattern designer to enter the quilt, which sometimes was challenging to get. Since I knew how I wanted the finished quilt to look, I started to design my own patterns “in reverse”, so I would have room for pretty quilting in the borders and setting blocks and then fill in with the piecing blocks that complemented the quilting I had planned.    

I love hearing about the ‘maker journey’. The journey that leads all of us creative entrepreneurs right where we are supposed to be. Can you give us a glimpse into your journey? Your struggles? Your triumphs?

I switched careers in 2006 and allowed my creative side to come out. Previously I had been using my degrees in production management and economics so well that many people didn’t know that I even had a creative side! I still struggle between left brain / right brain control of my business – so I have ultimately let each part have time in my schedule.  I have a time dedicated to design, creativity and play and a time set for business stuff – marketing, bookkeeping, etc.

You have such an eye for design, what continues to inspire you?

If I had to classify my design style, I’m a modern traditionalist.  I allow traditional quilt making to inspire what I do now. It’s like paying homage to quilters of previous generations (such as my grandma) who created and crafted without the fancy design software and sewing and quilting gadgets that we have today.

I allow nature to play a role in my inspiration.  I take photographs of nature and then play around with the color schemes that God has given us.

Do you have a particular design you love more than others? I recently saw you traveled to Quilt Market and, let me tell you, that Fractured Quilt Pattern worked in Island Batik’s Oh Deer? I want it! It’s gorgeous. So, if I had to choose – that would be it! Ha!

It’s hard to pick a favorite!  It’s like picking a favorite child – which is impossible.  I like each of my designs for different reasons. I see my growth as a designer as I look back over my designs.  I love the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson “Life is a journey, not a destination” and that applies to my designs as well.  I’m on a design journey, not a design destination. Every designer faces the challenge where there are patterns that we love personally, but customers might not love from a purchase standpoint.

You’ve recently released a book, can you tell us a bit about it?

Masterpiece Quilting’s 2018 Christmas Collection is my latest book and it features 11 different designs that are perfect for Holiday decorating.

As I designed each of the projects for this book, I focused on getting the most impact out of each piece as possible. Regardless of your decorating style, there is something in this book that is sure to please.  I’ve divided the projects based on the primary areas of the home – dining room, bedroom and living room. The holidays are traditionally associated with celebratory meals and the projects in this book will have your dining room set for any occasion. Regardless of whether you have guests spending the night or the bed is simply a gathering place for coats and hats, your bedroom will be seasonally styling with these options. And for those who sit and visit, your living room will be comfortable and inviting.

Why do you think the Holidays and quilting go hand in hand?

The Holidays tend to reflect handmade – whether it be food, gift or decor.  Quilts fit perfectly as they allow you to gift, to decorate and to share your love with others.

If you could give a beginner sewist some advice, what would it be?

Don’t be hard on yourself – enjoy the process.  Even if you are a perfectionist, if you have made something with love – the love will be reflected in the finished project.  

Lastly, where can readers find you?

I’m Masterpiece Quilting on FB, @masterpiecequilting on IG, and via blog at www.masterpiecequilting.blogspot.com

Thanks so much for stopping by Nancy! And thank y’all for stopping by! Make sure you head over to Nancy’s website and take a peek around! You’re bound to find something you love!

Till next time, 

Rohn

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Finding Inspiration

It’s the number one question all of us designers are asked. Where do we find inspiration?

Seriously. 

Every interview I’ve ever done has featured some iteration of this question. Honestly, ever time I’m stumped. Where do I find my inspiration? It seems like the minute I think about it, it’s gone. 

Today, while trying to think of what to blog for Day 4 of my 31 days of Blogging challenge I’ve set for myself…I was stumped. I’ve spent most of the morning on mundane tasks that most of y’all would find boring as all get out. Rearranging the couch, planning the day, finding the perfect classical radio station to listen while I dive headfirst into emails. Things we all do. 

Then, while sitting down at my computer I noticed a small icon. A rug from a few months back I found on Pinterest and saved the photo. I’d share it here but I’m not sure who owns the copyright…so let me describe it. 

It’s a large welcome rug that reads, “Home Sweet Home. There is a blue background with a lime greed edging and three pineapples. The Pineapples are large and welcoming. I fell in LOVE with this rug a few months back and wanted to design my own version.

This time, inspiration came in the form of a picture. 

Last night, while crocheting a new design for Red Heart, I was using a new unique stitch pattern I’m in love with. Immediately I thought, this would make the perfect afghan. 

This time, inspiration came in the form of a stitch. 

The other day I was looking at my favorite website for knit designs. I saw a hat and thought, “I wonder if I could do something similar in crochet? Probably not. Well…why not try?”

This time, inspiration came in the form of a knit design. 

Last month while at Colonial Williamsburg I saw a quilt on display and fell in love with the simplicity. Whilst there I purchased fabric and came up with a plan to sew it right away. 

This time, inspiration came in the form of a museum trip. 

That’s the secret of inspiration. It can come from just about anywhere. It never runs out. It never really goes away. You just have to be willing to see it. When you do? Take it. Run with it. Because sometimes…it does hide. 

When you get a good idea, write it down. I keep a folder of design ideas on my computer. I have one for each rug hooking, quilting, knitting, and crochet. I find that when I’m hurting for inspiration this folder is often a good jumping off point. It doesn’t always mean I’ll design something similar to what’s in these folders, it often just gets my creative juices flowing. The more creative you are, the more creative you’ll continue to be. That’s how that works…right?

Rohn

Crocheting with Color Gradient Yarns!

In recent months I’ve really come to love color gradient yarns. Those soft and slow color changing yarns that have been the friend of a knitter for ages. The first time I used one of these yarns was in 2015 with my knit shawl, Fuente. 

I really loved knitting this design up. It’s worked in a simple garter stitch lace pattern from the top down. The biggest issue we crocheters have had is that the color changes aren’t often long enough, which leads to pooling. Pooling (as pictured below) is when small blips of color cluster together and create these unintentional (or planned in some cases) pools of color. They’re cute, and can really work for a design – but when working with gradient yarns, not the look we are going for. 

In 2018 we’ve had a slew of new gradient yarns on the market, available from Indie Dyers to Big Box Brands such as Lion Brand and Red Heart. The best thing about these new yarns is that they’re formulated to work with crocheters. That makes my heart happy. 

As most of you know, I design for Red Heart quite a bit – they’re my fav yarn company after all – and this year I had the opportunity to really play with gradient yarns. My favorite, by far, was It’s a Wrap Rainbow. A unique color gradient yarn made from a super soft and strong blend of cotton/acrylic. 

At a WOPPING 623 yards, this yarn is a steal at around $12 a ball. I know, I know, I’m not here to sell you on this yarn. But, seriously, get some. 

I was able to design a tunic that really showed off what this yarn can do. My favorite part of the process was brainstorming how to use the yarn and where to place the colors. These yarns are amazing, but no one wants big blocks of color running horizontally across us, especially if we are trying to design a tunic (it would add an unnecessary heaviness to the hips). 

So, top down it was. But…did I just want a simple top-down raglan or yoke style sweater? Not really. It just didn’t sing to me the way I wanted. Then I went into my design inspo folders and did a bit of pursuing in the Japanese section. 

Japanese crochet is amazing and delicate and soft and…{insert adjectives here}. I adore the way Japanese designers play with yarn and color. I’d seen this design style a few times and thought I could make it work with a simpler stitch. Then I thought of a granny rectangle…and had it. I would make a granny rectangle tunic.

Working from the top down in a rectangle, increasing at four distinct points allowed me to show off the yarn without overwhelming with complicated stitches. The class 3dc cluster was perfect and aided in the transitions. You see, many gradient yarns don’t have smooth transitions, but instead, have very harsh switches from one color to the next. It’s a Wrap Rainbow doesn’t have this, but I wanted to keep in mind that not everyone would design with the yarn that I did.

You can definitely see how, beginning at the neckline facilitates an even and soft flows out to the waist, which is then worked in the round down to the hem. My biggest regret was not cutting out the white-ish colors. Honestly, if you just skipped those colors and joined the blue, it would look ten times better. But, that’s just me. So, that’s how the Not-So-Granny Tunic was born. Necessity really is the mother of invention, isn’t it? 

Crocheting with Gradient Yarns is easy and with just a few tips and tricks you can really get the best bang for your buck. I’ve put together a few tips for you and a giveaway! Look for those below!

  1. If possible, work in the round. You just such a smooth and even transition that really shows off the yarn. 
  2. Choose colors you love – and make sure you love all of them. If not, don’t worry. I’ve been known to cut a section of color out!
  3. Plan your colors, keeping in mind where you have the most stitches, this will use the most yarn and will create thinner stripes than the sections with fewer stitches. 
  4. Choose a simple stitch. Keep it as basic as possible. This is about the yarn, not the stitch. 
  5. Have fun! These yarns are meant to shine! Let them do their thing and experiment and have fun! You got this!

Now – for the giveaway! Today, I’m going to give away 2 skeins of Red Heart It’s a Wrap Rainbow! How cool is that! Two skeins is enough to make the Not-So-Granny Tunic in almost every size!

Simply leave a comment on this post with the word, “Gradient” and you’ll be entered to win. Open to US residents only. Giveaway will close on Monday December 10th. =

Photo shoot Day and Pattern Sneak Peek!

Some days are just made for a photo shoot. Today was one of those days! The sun hid behind the clouds long enough for us to get a few pictures of a couple of new designs I can’t wait to share with y’all – a color work hat and a knit-look hat!

Did you know those cloudy, kinda rainy, and cold days are the best for photo shoots? Seriously! It really gives the perfect conditions for editing your photos! Can you believe these were all taken on my iPhone? I edited them using a free App too. It’s called VSCO and, while there is a bit of a learning curb, once you get the hang of it editing you photos is quite simple!

Should I write a post up all about how I edit my photos?

Anyways, the patterns for these hats will be available this month. Both work up in NO time, and require just basic knowledge of crochet stitches and working in the round. Even the color-work hat! That one right there? Wait y’all. It’s going t blow your mind how simple it is!

You’ll see each of these great hats over the next two weeks! Which one is your favorite?

Have I Got a CAL for YOU!

Christmas came a bit early for all of y’all! This week my Roll Stitch Afghan CAL was released on the Annie’s Creative Studio website! How cool is that? 

I’ll be blogging a bit more about this pattern over the coming month, but here is the rundown:

Introducing the Roll Stitch Afghan Crochetalong! The roll stitch, also known as the bullion or rice stitch, features a beautiful texture that is oh-so touchable. This gorgeous afghan, designed by Rohn Strong with motif designs by Bonnie Bloom Pierce, features six different motifs with variations of the roll stitch. 

The beautiful yarn used in the Roll Stitch Afghan Crochetalong is courtesy of Premier Yarns.

Each episode will cover one of the motifs, which are worked from the center out. They feature three different colors of Premier Yarns Everyday Soft Worsted. After all 48 motifs are complete, they are then joined and the border is worked in the round, with a few more roll stitches for good measure!

For the Afghan you’ll need:

Materials

  • Premier Everyday Soft Worsted medium (worsted) weight acrylic yarn (4 oz/203 yds/113g per ball): 6 balls #100-23 mist 5 balls #100-02 cream 4 balls #100-20 orchid
  • Sizes F/5/3.75mm regular crochet hook and 7/4.5mm in-line crochet hook without thumb rest or sizes needed to obtain gauge
  • Tapestry needle

You can sign up for Annie’s Creative Studio for FREE today and get started right away! The first two episodes are now available on the website! How cool is that?

Happy December, 

Rohn

$10 off $10 – Cyber Monday is Here Early!

Look, it comes around once a year and we’ve got to do it big around here at Rohn Strong HQ!!!

I run this sale once a year. That’s it. It’ll happen this one time and then not again!

Simply head to my Ravelry Shop, click the link here, and add at least $10 of patterns to your account. Then enter the coupon code, 10off10, this will give you $10 FREE! Yep! It’s a no strings attached gift from me to you. 

If your cart comes to over $10, no problem! Use the code and it’ll take $10 off your total purchase. 

You can use this coupon code once and it’ll expire on Tuesday at 12am EST. 

Happy Holidays to you all! 

Top Tips for Combating Hand Pain While Crocheting

I hear it all the time…”Why does my arm/hand hurt so much?” 

In fact, I was just teaching a class at my local yarn shop and a knitter, who wanted to learn a bit more about Tunisian crochet, told me it was quite painful and difficult to get used too.

Crochet can hurt. “Can” being the operative word. For many, it doesn’t. For most, it does. 

Why is this? Well, I’m not exactly a medical professional. Dropping out of community college kind of disqualifies you from giving medical advice. However, I am a crocheter, and have been crocheting most of my life. 

Crochet can hurt but, it doesn’t have to. 

Today I’m going to give you a few of my ways to combat the general aches and pains that come along with crocheting. 

Take Breaks
It’s the number one advice that I give. Crocheting, especially if you’ve never done it before/in a long time, uses a whole set of different muscles and you may not be used to using them. So, take breaks. You’ll thank yourself later. I crochet for about 8 hours a day, most days. So, every hour (or an episode of Gilmore Girls) I get up, walk around and stretch. That’s all you need to do. That little bit of movement gives your hands the break they need. 

Ice Baths
Okay, so, not like your whole body. That’s crazy. But a good ice bath for your hands does wonders. It improves circulation, gives you the blood flow that you need to your fingers, and is very refreshing. I’ve used Ice Baths for years and they really do help. Especially for pain management.

Take Longer Breaks
Sometimes, you can overdo it. Sometimes, that means you need to take some time off from crocheting. Right now, I’m on a break. Why? Well, I’ve been working on a bunch of Tunisian crochet projects. This means, my forearms and fingers are quite numb and in pain. Why? Well, I’m testing out new Tunisian hooks and SPOILER, I don’t like them. Not one bit. So, I won’t be crocheting for at least a week. 

Stretch
Hand and finger stretching is a routine you should be getting into each day. Most people don’t think they need to stretch. You do. Finger and hand pain can be easily relieved by simply stretching in some cases. Here is the exact routine I useP.S. want to treat yourself? Get a massage!

Choose a Different Hook
Choosing ergonomic crochet hooks can be the best option for many crocheters. Often, the pain we feel is because we’re not used to holding that thin object in our hands and working with it. So, when we use a hook with a large handle, it can make life a lot easier. Skip the skinny metal hooks and go with a wooden or plastic ergonomic hook. These are lifesavers. 

These Furls hooks are amazing!

And there you have it! My top tips to combat the aches and pains associated with crochet. Have you tried any of these? Do you have any tips? Share them in the comments below!

5 Tips to DIY Your Autumn Decor!

 

There’s a day, usually just one, in October, when the wind cuts through my jacket. When my nose can detect the hint of a chill in the air. This year…that day didn’t happen until November 2nd.

No matter when it happens, it’s always a welcomed feeling here in North Carolina. Fall is our gift for making it through the harsh and humid winter. When the days begin at six and the nights at five. When we can sit outside wrapped in our outerwear, sipping our tea, and enjoying those fleeting fall feelings.

It also means I get to decorate for fall. As a crafter, autumn has always been my very favorite time of year to decorate for. Those three weeks between Halloween and Christmas when orange and gold hues fill my small one bedroom apartment.

This year, I thought it would be a grand idea to share my favorite crafting patterns, to add a special DIY touch to your home!

  1. The Northwoods Sunset Quilt Pattern – really this could be an all year kind of quilt but I love the browns, oranges, greens, and tan hues! It’s perfect for 10″ precut squares too, which I always have a handful of. Listen, quilts are the perfect accents to any room. I love to leave mine folded over the arm of the couch. It adds a pop of color in an unexpected place and you’ll always be ready to snuggle up on the sofa when the time comes.
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  2. Serenity Wall Hanging Crochet Pattern – this year is definitely the year of the wall hanging. They’re a huge trend all over Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. This wall hanging is the perfect accent for your home, and uses just a few skeins of chunky yarn! The great thing about these wall hangings is that you can make a few, in different colors, and switch them out throughout the year!
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  3. GIVE THANKS Large Palette Sign – This gorgeous and easy to make palette sign would look amazing in any entryway. Mine hangs right above my entryway table and instead of yellow, I went with green to give it a more farmhouse chic look!
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  4. Fall Leaf Floating Frame Wall Decor – these easy and fun to create frames are perfect for above the mantle, in the kitchen, or (like mine) hanging right above my desk! It’s also a fun time to jump on the calligraphy train!
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  5. DIY Holiday Doormat with Snapfish – Amber over at Damask Love has done. it. again. The minute I saw her on Home and Family making this easy DIY Gingham Table, I knew I had to make one. It’s the perfect addition to my studio! It’s a simple, colorful, DIY project that’ll make one heck of a first impression! (Sorry for the bad photo – just click on the link to watch the video!)
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Adding a touch of DIY to your fall decor shouldn’t be difficult. With these fun and easy DIY projects, you’ll have the handmade home you’ve always wanted – in a jiffy!

xoxo,

Rohn

 

Punching Into 2019

It’s inevitable.

Really, it is.

Right around October of every year, I manage to find something new I love and I just have to immerse myself. Right up to the neck.

2018 is the year of the Punch Needle.

I heard your gasp through the computer screen. You’re probably thinking, “Rohn…what’s punch needle?” or “I used to do that in the 70s…or 80s…” or “I LOVE PUNCH NEEDLE!”

There doesn’t seem to be an in between. You love it or have no idea what it is. Well…let me give you a sneak peek at my very first punch needle project/design.

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Isn’t that gorgeous? Alright…so…moving on from all the gorgeousness let’s talk about exactly what Punch Needle is and why I’m obsessed.

Punch Needle Rug Hooking is just a different way of traditional rug hooking. Instead of using strips of fabric (as in traditional rugs) it often uses 3-ply wool rug yarn. What you see in the picture above is the wrong side, which you work facing you. The Right Side, the side with all the loops, is on the back.

I discovered Punch Needle Rug Hooking on Instagram. Specifically from Bookhou (give her a follow). That led me to a Youtube video (it always does…doesn’t it?) and after watching this video I was hooked!


Buy My Books!

1.  Crochet Lacy Shawls / 2. Step Into Crochet / 3. New Methods for Crochet Socks


Over the weekend I made my way out to Creative Threads, a local yarn shop here in Wake Forest, NC. It was a great little shop and without really intending to, I bought two yards of Monks Cloth and a Punch Needle…and a little wool. Always a little wool.

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I spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday punching the piece above. It’s incredibly relaxing and so much fun. It really is like painting with yarn.

And it’s easy.

Did I mention that? It is incredibly simple to do! You just press your threaded punch needle through the monks cloth, it pushes down a long end of yarn, you pull the needle back up and it folds the end into a loop. That’s it! There are no knots, no tying, nothing. It’s fast, fun, and…you guessed it…easy!

Today I’m working on building myself a carpet tack frame to make larger rugs on. I thought I’d try that out before investing in some of the more expensive frames. I’ll share my process here on the blog so you can follow along.

If you’d like to follow my punching…along with all the other stuff I love doing. Make sure to give me a follow somewhere below:

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rohnstrong

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rohnstrong

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1043187465772601/

Talk to y’all soon!

Rohn

Hurricane Update: Windy With a Chance of Yarn

Hello Loves!

We’re battening down the hatches here in Raleigh as the first major hurricane of the season inches near. I always get a little (okay, a lot) nervous when a hurricane is on the horizon. It’s the Michigander in me, we just don’t deal with tropical storms well. Give me 20 inches of snow and a blizzard and I’m fine.

On a similar note, did you know the term ‘batten down the hatches’ is a nautical term to secure a ship’s hatch-tarpaulins? The phrase was first used in 1883. That google machine is handy when the Monday morning coffee hasn’t quite kicked in yet.

With all that said I thought I’d let you all in on a little SALE I’m having. Actually, it’s a BIG SALE! Right now, through the end of the week, if you head to my Ravelry shop here you’ll get 75% off your entire pattern purchase.

It’s a big sale, right?! Snatch up those patterns now because I won’t be having another one of these sales again this year!

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This week has been all about crochet socks. I know, I know, isn’t my life mostly about crochet socks? Sure, but some weeks more than others I find myself daydreaming and designing them. It’s really because of the amazing finished pairs of my Surf and Sand Socks we’ve been seeing in the Facebook group. The FREE CAL is a hit and it makes this crochet designers heart extra happy. And, there is still time to join! Click here and join.

I’ve also been busy working on my next season of Annie’s Creative Studio. Have you heard about that yet? It’s this amazing online streaming service where you can learn all sorts of things from quilting to knitting to interior decorating. They’ve even got a free 30-day subscription you can sign up for to try out.

Well, I’m into my fifth season filming and can’t wait to head up to Indiana for a week to film! It’s always nice to get out of the city and spend some time in the country. My mother lives up there too, so I get a chance to see her, which is always nice.

This next season we have a Crochet Along for an afghan that’s going to be amazing and three other very special classes. Today, actually, my recent class on a cardigan is being released! So I’m extra excited about that! There’s some more info below!

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Snuggle up in the cozy, textured fabric of this casual sweater with an oversized hood! It’s perfect for all your weekend activities. Join crochet expert Rohn Strong as he offers a pattern overview and demonstrates how to work the crinkle and sideways rib stitch patterns in this Learn, Make, Create! episode.

While I’ve been crocheting like a madman, which most of you who follow me on Instagram know, I’ve also been knitting. I know! It’s been quite a while since I picked up the knitting needles and dug into a skein of wool, but I just had this great idea and couldn’t resist.

Many of you know that I started my career in Vintage Knitwear design, and it’s still incredibly close to my heart. Knitters are such a monumental force in this world, and the women who’ve built the foundation of this industry are continually inspirational.

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The picture on the right is a peek of the direction I’m heading in! Gorgeous right?

Until next week, I hope you find love, happiness, and joy in every day.

xoxo,

Rohn

New-ish Beginnings and A New Pattern!

Hello Loves!

Here in North Carolina, as August gives way to September, we begin to dream of fall. Muscadines, watermelons, and peaches fill the grocery stores, and summer sends her final bit of warmth our way. It’s a time to reflect on the gifts that summer has given us while preparing for the cool fall temperatures we all love so much.

For me, fall means the opposite of what it means for most yarnie folks. I know, I know…I’m a heretic but I just don’t crochet a whole lot in the fall/winter. Most of my crochet is done during the spring and summer. For me, fall means being outside. Exploring the mountains and valleys around me. Traveling to see the beauty of North Carolina. I really do love my home here.

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I mean, just look at this view! Okay…so this isn’t in my backyard but it’s just a few hour drive! The Smokey Mountains really do have my heart. Have you ever visited a place and thought, “This is home?”, even if you’ve never been there? These mountains did for me.

Along with all the fun stuff I’ve been doing over here, last week was full of new pattern releases and fun excitements!

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Most of you heard about my new Crochet Along right? It’s totally free to join our CAL. Simply head to our Facebook group here and join. Once you’re a member you’ll find lots of information about sizing, yarn choice, and how we’ll loosely structure this CAL. We’ll be crocheting the Surf and Sand Socks!

We also have PRIZES! For every finished pair of sock you make, you’ll be entered to win one of two Prize Packs courtesy of Red Heart Yarns! A pair of crochet socks and a chance to win a prize pack? That’s one heck of a September!

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for daily updates!

I’ve also got a new pattern out today. It’s named the Harlan Top! It’s an easy and unique construction, worked side to side, seamed, and then it’s ready to wear! The sample is shown in an X-Small/Small on a 38-inch bust. Model is approximately 5’5” in height.

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This pattern is three pages, with very straightforward directions. Two panels are created separately and seamed up the center with a single crochet seam. This is an easy pattern perfect as a first garment!

It is also extremely easy to size up and down – just work fewer or more rows!

The individual pattern has been released and is available for 50% off, that’s just $3.25 for the pattern! Get the pattern here!

Until next week, I hope you find love, happiness, and joy in every day.

xoxo,

Rohn

‘Tis the Season Cowl – Pattern and Class

Most of you know that I’m an instructor with Annie’s Creative Studio! Right?Annie’s Creative Studio gives you unlimited Access to Exclusive Programs in Crochet, Knitting, Quilting & More!

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Here are my fav things:

  1. Over 500 how-to videos.
  2. Beautiful patterns.
  3. Watch on any device 24/7.
  4. Expert video instruction.

There are also some GREAT shows you can tune into such as Creative Living, Knit and Crochet Now!, Learn Make Create!, Products We Love, Quick Stitches & Tips.

Well, the cool thing is that I have a NEW class out! It’s a step by step walkthrough of the ‘Tis the Season Cowl!

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Whether you crochet it in neutrals or your favorite colors, this gorgeous cowl is sure to become a favorite in your cool-weather wardrobe! Measuring 18 1/2 inches-wide and 37 inches in circumference, this project worked in turned rounds is loaded with texture and style!

Alright…let’s get down to the knitty gritty (see what I did there?)…you can sign up HERE for a 30-day FREE trial membership today! How cool is that? Oh…and yes before you ask, you DO get the patterns FREE with every class! So, it’s kind of like getting step-by-step instruction with a free pattern. Cool, right?

Scipio Shawl Crochet Pattern

This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy for details.

You can purchase the pattern HERE for just $3. The price will go up on July 27th, 2018, so get it while you can.

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I have this thing about shawls. Especially Pi shawls, those shawls that are as easy to design as they are to crochet up! If you’ve never crocheted a shawl before…The Scipio Shawl is for you!

You can purchase the pattern HERE for just $3. The price will go up on July 27th, 2018, so get it while you can.

This shawl was originally designed with the beginner crocheter in mind. It’s one of those ‘skill builder’ projects. You begin with a few stitches in single crochet and work your way up to triple crochets. All the increases are really simple to do and done all at once.

The best thing? Gauge and counting don’t really matter all that much! Seriously!

The beauty of math.

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The super simple shape and basic stitches make this piece the perfect canvas for color changing yarns, like Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, which is what I used here, but more on that later.

You can purchase the pattern HERE for just $3. The price will go up on July 27th, 2018, so get it while you can.

Looking for Cool Comfy Crochet Hooks? Check out Twin Birch Products HERE!

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The best part about this shawl? It can be made in a number of sizes. Seriously! Because it is crocheted from the top down, you don’t have to worry about having enough yarn or getting too bored…just stop whenever you want!

The pattern is written for a nice sized shawl, about 60 inches across and 24 inches deep. Honestly, it doesn’t take long to get their either. A lot of the stitches are triple crochet, which means it flies right off the hook. I made mine in just two days.

You can purchase the pattern HERE for just $3. The price will go up on July 27th, 2018, so get it while you can.

Buy My Books!

1.  Crochet Lacy Shawls / 2. Step Into Crochet / 3. New Methods for Crochet Socks

Let’s chat about yarn for a minute, shall we? I love color changing yarns…but I hate that I can’t choose the colors inside. I chose to use Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball in the colorway, Unique Unicorn. This was the perfect blend of colors for me…except the grey. That color just threw it all off for me. I actually didn’t work with the yarn I purchased because of that color. Then, I got an idea, why not just cut it out? So…that’s what I did. I worked right up to that color, cut the entire color out, rejoined the yarn and kept going! DIY Maker HACK!

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This shawl can be made in just about any weight yarn, you’ll just want to adjust the hook size for the yarn you have. Here’s a handy guide:

Fingering: I/9
DK: J/10
Worsted: K/10.5
Bulky: L/8mm
Super Bulky: 10mm

Keep in mind that although I used Shawl in a Ball, and it happens to be a worsted weight yarn, it works up like a fingering, which is why I chose a I/9 5.5mm crochet hook.

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You can purchase the pattern HERE for just $3. The price will go up on July 27th, 2018, so get it while you can.

Don’t forget, by joining my Facebook Group you’ll get access to ME! I’m always around to answer any questions you may have, help you get through those crochet snags, or just to share photos of your FO’s!

Buy My Books!

1.  Crochet Lacy Shawls / 2. Step Into Crochet / 3. New Methods for Crochet Socks

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My Top 5 FREE Crochet Sock Patterns

This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy for details.

Crochet socks are, as most of you may know, my favorite item to make. They are quick, easy, fun, and don’t take a whole lot of skill to complete. If you can crochet a hat, you can crochet a sock! Seriously!

The biggest thing you’ll have to tackle is fit. Once you’ve got the fit down, you’ve got the skills you need!

Today, I want to share with you my Top 5 FREE Crochet Sock Patterns I’ve made. They come from Lion Brand, Red Heart, and Myself. Working on these socks will help you improve your skills and set you up for success when you want to start working on more complicated socks later on.

These socks are all beginner and listed in no particular order. Simply click the links, head to the websites and go to town!


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1.  Crochet Lacy Shawls / 2. Step Into Crochet / 3. New Methods for Crochet Socks



1. Le Becque Socks

We’ll begin with one of my favorite patterns I’ve designed. The Le Becque Socks. These were for a free Crochet Along I had with the folks over at Furls Crochet Hooks. The pattern is still available online, though. The pattern is in three parts so you’ll just want to follow weeks 1-4 for all the info. They are a lot of fun and super stretchy. So, you won’t have to be too persnickety about fit!

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2. Surf and Sand Socks

Okay so these might not be the most beginner of all the beginner socks but I can’t express just how fun they are. I designed these with variegated yarn in mind. I really wanted a type of stitch that would play with the yarn in the best way possible! I love how they came out…and that heel? So comfortable!

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3. Men’s Crochet Socks

Lion Brand hit the mark with these fresh and fun crochet socks designed for men. A reinforced heel and classic toe allow the vanilla style sock construction to shine through. I love these socks and they’d work for just about anyone – not just men. I’d only caution on the fit. Take time to make a gauge swatch and measure well! Lion Brand sock yarn doesn’t have the most amount of stretch in it.

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1.  Crochet Lacy Shawls / 2. Step Into Crochet / 3. New Methods for Crochet Socks


4. Cozy at Home Crochet Socks

I learned to crochet socks from Karen Whooley and it wouldn’t be polite to list all my fav crochet socks and not include a design of hers. The Cozy at Home Crochet Socks are made for wearing around the house and look as comfy as they probably are. I’m not a huge fan of calling slippers…socks…because, well, they’re not. But I’m forgiving this small mistake because…honestly…look at that pink!

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5. Colorful Crochet Socks

These socks are just fun to look at and easy to make. The cuff is worked horizontally which means you get all the east of working in rows and the stretch it offers! They work up super fast too. I’d work both cuffs, then move onto the feet from there! No second sock syndrome.

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1.  Crochet Lacy Shawls / 2. Step Into Crochet / 3. New Methods for Crochet Socks


 

Crochet Woodburn Tee

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Summer is here and I’m all about it. I get it from my Mama (who just might be my beautiful model here!!) who loves the sun just as much as I do. Summer in the south is exciting and perfect and just MADE for crochet! The Tunisian Woodburn Tee is perfect lightweight crochet project that works up in a day or two.

I knew as soon as I saw this yarn floating around Instagram, I just had to have it. Wool and The Gang XL Cotton is, by far, my fav super bulky cotton yarn I’ve seen! It’s soft, lightweight, hardwearing, and comes in a range of soft colors that are right on trend.

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I wanted to design a fun summer garment for you all that showcased this yarn and featured my favorite crochet technique, Tunisian Crochet. It’s an easy tee, worked side to side, that’s as easy to wear as it is to make! You just need to know how to work the Tunisian simple, knit, and purl stitches! Not sure how to work those? Check out some of my FAV youtube tutorials from Kim Guzman below!

Tunisian Honeycomb Stitch

Tunisian Purl Stitch

Tunisian Knit Stitch

Tunisian Simple Stitch

Looking for Tunisian Crochet Hooks? Check out Twin Birch Products HERE!

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You know that I LOVE Tunisian crochet and simple summer garments. I hope you’ll love working up this top as much as I did. Before we get started, just a quick note, while the bust of this top is easy to adjust once you get going, the length should be adjusted before beginning. This is a pretty standard tee length, but if you’d like a longer top, try going up a size (this won’t affect the bust just the length).

Let’s chat about yarn for a minute, shall we? I love super bulky yarn – how can you not? This top can be made in ANY super bulky yarn you have on hand. You could even hold a few strands of worsted weight together if you want.

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Let’s get started, shall we?

To make this garment, you’ll need:

1. Wool and the Gange XL Cotton (Weight: 6/Super Bulky – 100g/82yds)

  • Color A: Light Blue Jeans 2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4) Balls
  • Color B: Oh My Blush 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5) Balls

2. Size M/N-13 (9mm) Hook (see below)

  • This is a larger hook size and I’m sure you’re wondering what the heck those letters mean, so here’s the thing. The M/N is because hook makers can’t make up their mind and change hook letters and sizes like crazy. It’s silly. So, this size has TWO letters. The number ’13’ is because it’s corresponding to a number size when the letters got all confusing. My advice is to shop based on the Millimeter size, in this case, 9mm. A quick Amazon search will yield tons of results.

3. Tapestry Needle 

4. Measuring tape and/or ruler

Sizes

XS (S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL)

Finished Bust Size: 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56) inches.
To Fit: 30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54)

Finished Length: 22 (22.5, 23, 23.5, 24, 24)” Length

  • Choose a size that is about 2″ smaller than your actual bust measurement. The best way to find out what size you’ll like it so measure your favorite shirt or sweater. Just keep in mind that crochet doesn’t stretch a whole lot, so if you are bustier you might want to choose a size or two larger. 

Gauge: 6.25 Stitches and 10 rows = 4inches in Tunisian Knit Stitches

Abbreviations (US Terms):

Ch – chain

Tss – Tunisian Simple Stitch

Tks – Tunisian Knit Stitch

Tps – Tunisian Purl Stitch

Sl St – Slip Stitch

St(s) – Stitch(es)

Skill Level

Level 3 – Advanced Beginner

Notes

  1. This top fits true to size. The model shown is 5’4″ tall with a 38″ bust and wearing the size medium.
  2. The pattern is written for size small with other sizes shown within the parenthesis. To make the pattern a bit more easy to follow, simply print it out, highlight your size, and work through the pattern.
  3. Read the pattern from beginning to end first.
  4. Each row of the written pattern accounts for the fwp and retp of that stitch whereas “Tss each stitch across” = work tts forward pass and return pass before moving on to Row 2.
  5. This top is worked in 2 pieces. 1 each identical front and back panels.
  6. All sizing is fitted and based on the CYC sizing regulations. Use this guide or the measurements above to determine what size range you fall into. Always choose one size up in tunisian crochet. 

Buy My Books!

1.  Crochet Lacy Shawls / 2. Step Into Crochet / 3. New Methods for Crochet Socks

Pattern:

Front and Back

With A, Ch 50 (56, 62, 68, 74, 80, 86)

*If a longer tee is desired, choose one size up.

Foundation Row: Draw up lp in 2nd ch and in each ch across. Rtn: Yo, draw through 1 lp, *yo, draw through 2 lps; rep from * across. 

Return pass (RetP): Yarn over and draw through the first loop on hook, *yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook; repeat from * to end, ending with 1 loop on hook.

Return Pass is same throughout.

Row 1: Tps, *Tss, Tps; rep from * across to last st, Tss in last st.

Row 2: *Tss, Tps; rep from * across to last st, Tss in last st.

Rep these two rows once more. 

Next Row: Tks in each st across.

Change to Color B, if desired. 

Continue in Tks for a further 44 (45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50) rows. If a wider top is desired, simply add more rows until it is your desired width.

Change to Color A.

Next Row: Tks in each st across.

Next Row: *Tss, Tps; rep from * across to last st, Tss in last st.

Next Row: Tps, *Tss, Tps; rep from * across to last st, Tss in last st.

Rep these last two rows once more. 

Next Row: Sl st in each st across.

Finish off yarn, weave in all ends.

Finishing

Shouler Seams

Once finished, you’ll want to turn the work 90 degrees so that Color A will be on the sides of the garment, and the stitches are running horizontally instead of vertically. Beginning at the outside and working your way in, seam the shoulders using a mattress stitch. You’ll need to leave a large enough opening for your head to fit through. This can vary, so try it on and see if you like the way it looks at this point.

Also, as you’ve noticed, the tunisian knit stitch has a tendency to have a nice edge of stitches and a wonky edge. The wonky edge is often on the right side of the work. Try hiding this near the waistline.

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Side Seams

With a spare piece of yarn (about 24-36 inches long), use a mattress stitch to seam up the sides of your cardigan. The ends with Color A will be on the sides of your cardigan.

Leave armholes that measure approximately 7.5 (7.5, 8, 8, 9, 9)”

With Crochet Hook about 2 sizes smaller than that you used in the garment (that would be a K/6.5mm for me) and Color B, single crochet in each stitch around the neckline. Using the same hook and Color A, work 2-3 rounds of single crochet at the hem to finish off the tee and give it a more polished look. This is totally optional but I do love how it looks.

Finish off and weave in the remaining ends.

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Buy My Books!

1.  Crochet Lacy Shawls / 2. Step Into Crochet / 3. New Methods for Crochet Socks

How to Test Knit for Rohn Strong!

Hey Y’all!

I get this question. A lot. Like…a lot a lot. So, I thought it might be advantageous for me to create a post I can link people back to every once in awhile! So, you want to test a pattern for me? Cool! But, it’s a job and it takes a bit of dedication…so read on to see how I choose my testers and how you can get your pretty face signed up!

Every designer is different. Some of us use a whole slew of testers and change them out each time. Others have a dedicated team they use again and again.

Me? I do my own thing. Sometimes, I ask friends. Sometimes, I don’t use testers at all. Other times, I sign up everyone that asks! It just depends on how I’m feeling and the project I’m working. With that said, I’ve decided to tell you some of the things I consider when choosing testers!

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I have quite an extensive-ish application to become a tester. That’s because it is a job to me. You are creating the item and in return getting the pattern for free! That’s a sweet deal because most of my patterns sit in the $6-8 range. You’ll also get the first crack at all future tests.

The application to test changes with each pattern. For example, if it’s a Tunisian shawl…I will need to know your Tunisian skill level.

Tip: Don’t lie about your skill level. I purposely choose crocheters from skill level! This helps me ensure the pattern is beginner friendly enough, or if I need to be more clear somewhere!

I’ll ask for photos of past completed projects as well as your Instagram handle. Why? Well, I want to make sure you can take awesome photos of your piece that I’ll be able to share on social media and on my Ravelry listing. This will all be done with your permission and you’ll always get credit for the photo…which means more traffic to your instagram and Ravelry/website. With that said…I do not choose based on the numbers of followers…that’s silly. I just want to make sure you can take a rockin’ photo of my design when you’re finished! It also means that the more you post about the project on your feed the more people will get to know me. Win – Win – Win – Win!

Here’s the big kahuna though: Pattern Testing Experience.

You do not have to have tested before. You absolutely do have to be willing to give feedback on the pattern we are working.

SO, ROHN, HOW DO I APPLY?

Each pattern test will be announced on Social Media. That’s here on Facebook in my group, here on Facebook on my page, and here on Instagram!

If you follow along there, you’ll get all the info for the application. Fill that out and I’ll email you back within a week or so if you’ve been chosen. If not, then you’ll just need to apply next time! I’ll also create a page here (link in progress) that lists all of my current pattern test calls.

So, I hope that helps you all!

April 2018 CAL – Pistachio Lace Scarf

Today’s the day! Let’s get ready to dive head first into our first Crochet Along of the year!

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Before we dive into the pattern and yarn details and all that good stuff…let’s talk about what a Crochet Along is! A Crochet Along (sometimes called a CAL) is a community-based event in which we all crochet the same or similar project, share photos, and progress pics, get help and connect with others. It’s not just about the crochet, it’s about the friends we make along the way. I’ve met some of my best friends through crochet along’s and community-based crochet events. Seriously!

So, here are the details.

Beginning now, we’ll start gathering supplies and crocheting. This is a pretty free-form kind of CAL. We’re not going to stick to a schedule, you crochet when it works for you.

We’ll turn in all of our projects by June 1st, 2018…then I’ll choose a winner (or two) that’ll get a nice little package from me!

There are a few things you need to do:

  1. Head on over to Ravelry and Like/Queue up the Pistachio Lace Scarf!
  2. Create a project page! I’ll only be choosing a winner from those who have a project page.
  3. Join the Rohn Strong Designs Facebook Group here.

Note: If you are not on Facebook you can still get in on all the fun! Simply create the project page as stated above and follow me on Instagram @rohnstrong! Post your photos and tag #rohnstrongCAL for a chance to be featured!

That’s it!

You can post photos in the group here and on Instagram with the hashtag, #chicandstrongcal! You can also follow me on Instagram here!

Alright, that’s all for now!

xoxo,

Rohn

Friday…FriYAY!

Everyone looks forward to Friday’s…especially me! That’s because Friday’s are for finishing!


This week I worked on A LOT of different stuff. Each Sunday I make 9 goals for myself. Three for crochet, three for quilting, and three for Happily Hooked Magazine. I work to accomplish each of those goals to the best of my ability! So, how did I do?

Good!

Quilting

I was able to finish a new quilt design which I’ve been sharing sneak peeks on my Instagram. You can follow me over there @rohnstrong. I also made a few project bag samples (cause I might have something up my sleeve) and I finished up Chase’s Quilt. My first huge quilt that my dog Chase claimed his.

Crochet

I finished my newest free pattern for Red Heart Yarns, that’ll be out this summer but it’s killer Y’all. So gorgeous and fun to crochet! It uses their new It’s a Wrap yarn…get this yarn if you can. It’s the perfect summer yarn. I also finished up a tunisian crochet cowl and planned a few projects using some of my favorite yarns from Unplanned Peacock Studios.

Happily Hooked

This is boring technical stuff but I finished a few email sequences, blog posts, and wrote an article for the next issue…along with our usual meetings and newsletter writing!


This weekend I need to get my butt in gear and crochet as much as I can. I’m feeling behind on my self-imposed deadlines but they are there for a reason. I’m working on a new collection, filming Annie’s Creative Studio season 4, and prepping for teaching next year. I’m hoping to teach at a lot more festivals and events! If you know of any…please let me know!

Lastly, I thought I’d share a few things that I’m currently loving with y’all!

Yarn

I just finished up a big commission with Red Heart working with their yarn, It’s A Wrap. It’s a great fingering weight cotton/acrylic yarn that you’re going to love for summer! Promise!

Hooks

I talked about these in my Carolina Fiber Fest Wrap Up…but Twin Birch crochet hooks are my new favorite. They’re a local company and I want one of each of their hooks. All of them. All.

Books

I ordered a copy of The New Tunisian Crochet by Dora Orhenstein, which I think (sadly) is going out of print…so order it if you want!

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Well, that’s it for this week! I’ll see y’all on Monday with a new FREE pattern! Make sure to subscribe to the blog to stay up to date! And the newsletter! And my Instagram @rohnstrong!

xoxo,

Rohn

 

Carolina Fiber Fest Wrap Up!

This past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to teach and attend my local fiber festival, Carolina Fiber Fest!

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It usually takes place right around this time of year at the North Carolina State Fair Grounds. Now, I’ve taught at CFF before, but not in the past few years. So, it was a nice surprise to be invited back.

I had one class that sold out (YAY!) and it was…CROCHET! Now, for any of you that don’t know what a big deal that is clearly don’t crochet. Not only is crochet hard as hell to sell, getting people to sign up for your classes is even more difficult. Crocheters love great instruction…so when I’m able to offer it I jump at the opportunity.

This year I taught, Learn Tunisian Crochet! It’s one of my favorite classes and techniques to teach and watching the students go from beginners to accomplished tunisian crocheters was thrilling. We even had a few students who hadn’t ever crocheted walking out of class confident in what they were doing. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

Psst…this was the view from my classroom!

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Now, teaching a sold-out class is never easy, but always thrilling. Every single person is an individual and I love giving them the time and attention they deserve! You’re paying a lot for a class with me and I want you to have the best 3 hours of your day!

I also managed to get a bunch of shopping in! From Unplanned Peacock (to stock up on yarn) and then to Twin Birch (to stock up on crochet hooks)! It was SUCH a blast and I cannot wait until next year!

Want me to come teach at your Fiber Festival, Crochet Guild, or Yarn Shop? Contact me today!

Free Pattern Monday and a Hook Review!

Monday’s…aren’t my thang.

They usually consist of me struggling to get up and out of bed. Stumbling to the kitchen. Fixing a smoothie. And sitting in a chair where I’ll inevitably fall asleep and wake up to the wonderful feeling of Chase licking my face.

Well…I’m changing that. Right here and right now.

From now on, we’re going to celebrate Mondays with a FREE Pattern! Yep. It’s the best way to knock Monday right in the face.

Today, I’m sharing with you one of my new-ish patterns I think I forgot to share a while back. The Surf and Sand Socks!

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I designed these for Red Heart a few months back and really…really…love them. They are quick to stitch up, fit a large variety of sizes, and are SO fun to make. Seriously. You’ll want a pair in every color!

Need some tips on crocheting socks? Head to a blog post I wrote for Red Heart Here!

If you really really love crochet socks you can always purchase my Annie’s book, New Method’s for Crochet Socks or take my online class, Learn to Crochet Socks! Not to mention my book, Step Into Crochet!


Now…onto the hook review!

A few months ago I was contacted by Louet Yarns and asked to give their crochet hooks a whirl. I’d not used them before, which meant I just had to give them a test drive.

The first thing I noticed was…these are different.

Not in a good or bad way but in a…”Huh…this is different” kind of way. Does that make any sense? Clear as mud? Good.

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Now, right off the bat, you’ll notice that the thumb rest is quite deep and recessed. If you like this kind of thing, it won’t take as much of an adjustment as it did for me. I’m more of a round hook with a raised thumb rest kind of crocheter, so, such a deep groove felt strange.

The hook is also surprisingly light. I mean, this sucker could fly if it were any lighter. There are two options for heads, round and pointed. I chose to test both of them in the same yarn in the same size. Scientific…right? Here’s an up-close look at the heads.

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I have it the good college try with these. I worked back and forth between them. Crocheting with one style and then the other.

Did I notice a big difference?

Yes and no. The pointy one is really pointy. Like take an eye out pointy and it split the yarn I was working with over and over. That was on me. The round hook is recommended for those split prone yarns and it worked perfectly. Both hooks are lightweight, easy to use, and great on the hands.

Do I think it made a difference in my crochet and hand fatigue?

YES.

The square shape was easy to hold and felt quite…natural. I love a good wood hook, the metal ones bug me. I also don’t like the tactile feel of the letters/numbers on those metal hooks. Overall, I really like these hooks and plan on using them!

 

ZigZag Crochet: A Craftsy Class Review

So…lemme start right off and say that YES, Kim and I are online friends and we’ve known each other for some time…but this review was my own doing. She doesn’t even know that I’m doing it! Promise! I’m a member of Craftsy Unlimited…so I purchased it all by my lonesome and am giving you the unfiltered review of her class. Now…onto the review!

Zig Zag…Ripple…Wave…Chevron…whatever the heck you call it, we crocheters love it. The bright colors and undulating lines draw us in every time. Modern to classic, these patterns resurface every few years and we fall in love once more.

Zigzag Crochet:  A Beginner's Guide to Ripples & Waves

I’ve known Kim for a while, and in the years I’ve known her she’s taught me one thing above many…to be passionate about what I do. In her past Craftsy Classes, which can be viewed here, she’s shown crocheters of all skill levels that it’s easy as taking the first step. This class is no different.

 

 

In ZigZag Crochet: A Beginner’s Guide to Ripples & Waves, you’ll get access to six lessons:

  1. Basics of Zigzag – an in-depth overview of the ZigZag process including making peaks and valleys.
  2. Color Play – choosing colors, changing colors, and managing those tricky ends.
  3. Gauge (my fav lesson) – understanding gauge…it’s a lesson that is worth the cost of the class alone.
  4. Ripple Variations – how to alter those ZigZags to suit your needs.
  5. Pattern Variations – try new stitches and techniques for unique looks!
  6. Finishing Touches & Tips – everything you need to know to finish up.

Now, for the Knitty Gritty. The handouts are pretty great. They include both written and charted instructions, have high-quality photos, and include a pattern for a Classic Ripple Baby Blanket!

The instruction is top-notch and just what I would expect from a world-class instructor like Kim Werker.

Take a chance, take a step, and learn to ZigZag Crochet with Kim Werker!

xoxo

Rohn

Chic and Strong Crescent Shawl Crochet Along

Today’s the day! Let’s get ready to dive head first into our first Crochet Along of the year!

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Before we dive into the pattern and yarn details and all that good stuff…let’s talk about what a Crochet Along is! A Crochet Along (sometimes called a CAL) is a community-based event in which we all crochet the same or similar project, share photos, and progress pics, get help and connect with others. It’s not just about the crochet, it’s about the friends we make along the way. I’ve met some of my best friends through crochet along’s and community-based crochet events. Seriously!

So, here are the details.

Beginning on Monday, March 12, 2018, we’ll start gathering supplies and crocheting. This is a pretty free-form kind of CAL. We’re not going to stick to a schedule, you crochet when it works for you.

We’ll turn in all of our projects by April 1st, 2018…then I’ll choose a winner (or two) that’ll get a nice little package from me!

There are a few things you need to do:

  1. Head on over to Ravelry and Like/Queue up the Chic and Strong Crescent Shawl by clicking here.
  2. Create a project page! I’ll only be choosing a winner from those who have a project page.
  3. Join the Rohn Strong Designs Facebook Group here.

That’s it!

You can post photos in the group here and on Instagram with the hashtag, #chicandstrongcal! You can also follow me on Instagram here!

Alright, that’s all for now! Make sure to grab the free pattern here, buy your Chic Sheep Yarn here, and join the Facebook Group Here!

See you all on Monday!

xoxo,

Rohn

 

 

Chic and Strong Crescent Shawl Crochet Pattern – The Marly Bird One

 

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Chic and Strong Crescent Shawl

I’m excited to share this brand new crochet shawl today! The Chic and Strong Crescent Shawl has been off my hook for quite awhile now and is a FREE pattern from Red Heart Yarns!

 

Last year right around the time my book, Step Into Crochet, came out, I was The Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird! It was one hell of a good time, as it always is with Marly, and afterward, I got an email from her asking me to design something and she told me she loved my shawls. I love my shawls too…hell I even wrote a book about them. I agreed and we were off to the races.

Marly’s new yarn line, Chic Sheep, was used for the sample and lemme tell you…this stuff is like buttah. Soft as all get out and stitch definition that’ll make you want to crochet with it again and again! The yarn lent itself to the pattern so well, and honestly, it was fun choosing colors and seeing them work so well together. Marly and her team really did a great job creating a line of coordinating solids that will work for most projects you have! It’s a solid, plump, worsted weight yarn and blocks beautifully.

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Chic and Strong Crescent Shawl is a simple crescent shaped shawl that uses worsted weight yarn. This shawl pattern comes in one size.

Use your favorite worsted weight yarn for this one or dig through the scrap stash and choose a couple of your old stand by’s. Choose a cool main color to really show off your stitch definition and skills!

This shawl does require a bit of blocking. This is needed for the crescent shape. So, brush up on those blocking skills y’all!

Oh…and before you think the edging is a little too daunting? The pattern includes full charts, so we’ve got you covered!

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Get the pattern here for Free from Red Heart Yarns! Stock up on some Chic Sheep once you’re there too. You can’t find it in stores!

I’ll be hosting a FREE CAL (crochet along) in my Facebook Group Here, so make sure to join and we’ll get started on Monday, March 12th!

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Join Furls and Me For a FREE Sock CAL

Sock CALs (or Crochet Alongs) are a dime a dozen. Y’all know that my Sock CALs are just a little different though. I want you to crochet but I also want you to learn. That’s why I am SO excited to host this Sock CAL with Furls!

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Today, we begin Week One of our three week CAL! I won’t be posting the free pattern here, you’ll need to head to the Furls Blog HERE to get all the details, they’ll be updated as the folks at Furls are available! You’ll also want to join the CAL group HERE in order to join in on the fun! You’ll also be able to have your questions answered by me! How fun is that?

‘Till Next Time Y’all,

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Fun with FURLS – A New Sock CAL

I love a good sock CAL, don’t you?

Now, for those few of you out there that may not know, a CAL is a ‘Crochet – Along’ and essentially it just means you crochet at your own speed with a bunch of other crocheters who are working at their own speed! In the end, you have a beautiful project you’ve made AND hopefully made some friends along the way.

This month I’ve teamed up with Furls, who make some of the best high-quality crochet hooks around, to design a pattern that is perfect for beginners and advanced sock makers alike!

The Le Becque Socks

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Before we chat about the socks let’s talk about why I love Furls crochet hooks first. Furls continues to make high end, high quality, crochet hooks year after year. Supporting the crochet community by elevating the tools we use. However, the hooks aren’t just pretty. They’re extremely practical as well.

My favorite is the Furls Odyssey.

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While there may be pretty options on their website, this crochet hook called my name. It’s a perfect weight, well balanced, quick, and wonderfully ergonomic. All of that means I can crochet socks again and again and not get hand cramps!

Now…back to the crochet.

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The Le Becque socks clock in at complete beginner ratings. These puppies are as easy to make as a hat. They actually feature a toe with increases much like a standard crochet hat, a simple all over half double crochet stitch, a short row heel, and some simple post stitch ribbing that is just for visual effect (y’all know that stuff doesn’t hold up your socks for nothin’).

They are worked from the toe up, in joined rounds, which does present a seam but it is pretty well hidden.

I love these socks. I think they look gorgeous in Tilting Plante Yarns, the colorway is Mochi…and goodness is it gorgeous!

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You’ll need to head to the Furls Blog here to get the full list of supplies and watch there for the remaining blog posts which will feature the full pattern and all of that good stuff. Head to the Fun with Furls Facebook Group to join us and get help along the way! I’ll be checking in each day around 9am to see how everyone is doing!

We will get started on the Le Becque socks next week, we will begin with the toe on Monday, January 15, move on to the foot and heel on Monday, January 22, and finish up with the leg and cuff on Monday, January 29.

You can grab your supplies, listed below and enter our January CAL giveaway below!

Don’t forget to add this pattern to your Ravelry Favorites to stay up to date on all the releases and links.

Lastly, if you aren’t already a member, be sure to join our sister CAL group on Facebook, Fun with Furls.

We’ll see you next week!!!

 

Black Friday Starts Today!

You Get A Sale And You Get A Sale InstaSo, here’s the deal. I’m going to be shopping on Black Friday like most of yall! That means our Black Friday Sale will happen today!!

Head to my store and use the coupon code 10off10 for $10 off your Purchase of $10 or more!

https://www.ravelry.com/stores/rohn-strong-designs

Seriously…that’s all there is to it. All patterns are included. From socks to scarves to sweaters to cowls. You name it, I’ve probably got a pattern for it. Ebooks and Collections are also included.

This deal will last until 12pm tomorrow Wednesday, November 22, 2017!

Remember you have to place $10 into your cart, then apply the coupon code, for it to work. If you have any issues simply comment below!

Classes at Downtown Knits!

Want to take an in person class with me? Now’s the time! I’ll be teaching 3 classes at Downtown Knits in Apex, NC next month! Sign up quick…because there are limited spots (only 6)!!
 
Crochet Sock Bootcamp
 
Two at a Time Cuff Down Socks
 
Beginner Baby Sweater
 
Head to the website and get signed up today!

Where are the WWII service patterns for women?

Today, I’ve already been knee deep in WWII research on uniforms. You see, I wanted to design a service sweater (a sweater worn by each arm of the military) that was pretty accurate to the time period. One such sweater was for women serving. The truth is…I couldn’t find anything on why there don’t seem to be many knitting patterns for women in service except for one, which was published by The American Red Cross.

So…I did some digging.

A lot of digging.

It’s one of my favorite parts of my job. I feel like Miss Marple looking for clues in old bookshelves and manuscripts when, in reality, I’m here in my air conditioned apartment.

Nevertheless, would you like to know my findings?

To be blunt, there are no patterns. None. Why? There were a lack of proper uniforms for women at the time. No matter the arm of the military women were serving, American military services were unprepared to design women’s uniform garments when the WAAC was formed during WWII in 1942. Several revisions were made but women were told to wear out the bad fitting items before they would be issued new uniforms.

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Women were given the shortest end of the stick when it came to our country at the time (and still are – let’s face it) but it was more evident in service. They were given the leftovers and told to make do. Which they did. It was a duty and an honor for them to serve, some right near the front lines.

Some historians agree that the ill fitting (and lack of) clothing was one of the reasons enlistment in such branches as the WAAC diminished.

So…what does this have to do with knitting? Well, while we have a slew of men’s service patterns for WWII it seems that, save for a few hidden from the internet, these patterns just weren’t produced. If I put on my knitstorian hat I’d confidently say that women of the time knitted their own sweaters using the men’s patterns as a guide and altered them to fit their personal size and shape. I could be wrong, but it does seem to be the most logical conclusion.

xoxo, Rohn

Let Me Tell You About Raoul Wallenberg…

Most of you know my love of WWI and WWII history, especially the knitting related stuff. I thought it’d be fun to share with you all a topic of my research as of late.

Today I’d like to tell you about Raoul Wallenberg.

 

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http://www.historynewsnetwork.org/article/164710

 

Wallenberg was a highly educated Swedish businessman born into a very wealthy family. He was educated in Paris and Michigan. He hitchhiked the back roads of the United States saying, “When you travel like a hobo, everything’s different. You have to be on the alert the whole time. You’re in close contact with new people every day. Hitchhiking gives you training in diplomacy and tact.”

He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1935 with a degree in architecture. Eventually, he would take a job with an export-import company owned by Kalman Lauer, a Hungarian Jew.

Now, it’s important to note the time period here. In 1935 the Nuremberg Race Laws had gone into effect. It wasn’t until 1938, however, that Hungary decided to follow with its own anti-Jewish measures. These laws focused heavily on restricting Jews from certain professions, reduced the number of Jews in public service or governmental jobs, and prohibited inter-faith marriages.

As Wallenberg continued to work with his boss Lauer, it became increasingly aware that Lauer could not travel to Hungary, or most of Europe for that matter, for work and Wallenberg went in his place. Wallenberg would even travel to Germany and Occupied France.

It was in 1944 that Hitler would invade Hungary citing their peace talks with the US and UK. Mass deportation of Hungarian Jews began under the control of Adolf Eichmann.

During this same time, Wallenberg was recruited by the War Refugee Board, a too-late attempt that trying to help end the Holocaust (I’ve more to say on this but that’s a whole different story).

I encounter one example after another of how relative truth is. - Raoul WallenbergWallenberg arrived in Budapest in July 1944, the Nazi Final Solution had been in effect just three months and already Eichmann had deported nearly 400,000 Jews. Most of which were sent directly to Auschwitz-Birkenau and murdered. There were about 260,000 Jews left in July 1944.

Wallenberg began to work. He issued Swedish passports to the Jews that, while fraudulent, allowed the Jews to be treated as sweetish citizens making them exempt from wearing the yellow badge required for Jews. He also rented 32 buildings and declared them the property of Sweden and therefore they benefited from Diplomatic Immunity. These buildings would eventually house nearly 10,000 people.

My favorite story of Wallenberg’s bravery came when he intercepted a trainload of Jews about to leave for Auschwitz. As the Germans shot at him he continued to calmly hand out passports to the Jews on the train. He saved dozens of people and the Germans simply let him leave.

Wallenberg was such a fascinating man and even to this day, there is speculation about what happened to him. It’s interesting to note that he was just declared dead in October of 2016 and his actual death is a mystery but it seems to be universally acknowledged that the Soviet’s murdered him.

In 1981 he was made an Honorary Citizen of the United States, only the second person to ever receive this and he was the only person (up until then) whose parents were both foreign born.

History teaches us many important lessons, learning about Wallenberg has taught me that life, however precious, must be used for the good of us all. We must be willing to stand up for those of us that are being persecuted and hated by society because of propaganda and isolationist thoughts. We must be willing to do all we can do to save as many people as possible.

xoxo, Rohn

Cottage Breeze Cardi

001_4002Cottage Breeze is **the** cardi for summer. Light, breezy, open filet fabric, and easy construction all come together to create a fun and quick to stitch cardi. Seriously. Quick. The sample took me all of a night to make.

You’ll need two skeins of Lion Brand Scarfie for the gradient ‘faded’ look BUT you can use any bulky weight yarn (or even two strands of worsted held together if you’d like) just make sure you achieve the correct gauge.

Is gauge important? Kind of. I didn’t make a swatch I simply worked the first 18 rows of the pattern and tried it on for fit. If you’d like to use this method – just make sure you’re prepared to frog if it comes to that!

Overall I LOVE this cardi and it’s SO much fun to stitch.

Get the Pattern Here!

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## Pattern Information ##

**Materials**
Lion Brand Scarfie (78% Acrylic/22% Wool) 150g/5.3oz 312yd/285m – 2 (3) Skeins
8mm crochet hook
Yarn Needle

**Yarn Alternatives**
You can use any Bulky yarn to achieve a similar piece.

**Tension**
Work 8 (dc, ch1) sts and 5 rows to measure 4x4in. in pattern stitch

**Pattern Notes:**

Cardi is worked in one piece from the back of the neck down. If more increases are needed, simply work increase rows and try on as you crochet for a perfect customized fit!

The gradient of colors occurs simply by changing color when one ball runs out, I joined the other color. You may choose one or two or three colors! Have fun!