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!

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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.

 

 

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!

You have enough hats.

A hat is easy to crochet and, most likely, was the first thing you attempted after you learn to crochet.

After 1…2…4…8…

Move on.

I might be a bit controversial but hear me out.

Crochet is amazing. There are literally thousands of things you can make. If you just challenge yourself.

For years I only wanted to crochet hats. I didn’t want to bother with learning different stitches, reading patterns, or doing anything more than what I had. I enjoyed it, it was fun, and I got a lot out of it.

Then…one day…I learned to work a post stitch. Then I learned to crochet lace. Then I learned to make a purse. Then a tote bag. Then a scarf. Then a shawl. THEN A SWEATER.

My confidence skyrocketed and I was making all the things I could. Trying all the yarn I could.

I wanted to crochet everything.

I began making gifts for everyone. Not just the same hat in a different color but personalized gifts that they would love. Seeing the look on their faces and actually using what I made them…it was incredible.

Sure it hurt when they washed the 100% wool hat and it shrunk to the size of a newborn. You know what? That just meant I got to make something else AND there was a hat for a new member of the family.

So, crochet a sweater. Make socks. Do something out of your comfort zone and tuck in. Remember, you’re going to make mistakes (it’s natural) and you might hate it at some point (hell I hate every sweater I make when I’m at the 80% mark) BUT you’ll love the final product and the enormous sense of achievement you feel.

xoxo, Rohn

My Most Popular Crochet Pattern!

This week I thought it would be fun to take a look at my crochet patterns and see which is the most popular. I have a lot of crochet patterns, so I wanted to narrow it down. Of course, I chose socks. What else is there?

So…what’s my most popular crochet pattern?

Candied Crossbones

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These socks are my fav too! So, here is the story behind these socks. In 2013 I started running my Holiday Crochet Sock Club. It was always SO much fun and I loved running it. As a matter of fact, make sure you are on the lookout this year for a new an improved crochet sock club!

Anyways, these socks were designed as the Halloween socks! The yarn I used was called Farmer’s Market and looked like a bowl of candy. The cross cables make me think of crossbones. So. It was a no-brainer.

I worked these socks up and LOVED every single stitch. The socks are just awesome and fit really well.

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They also look great in both solid and variegated yarns. I would even love to see it in self-striping yarn – that would be a whole heck of a lot of fun.

If you’re interested in working these up just click here to get the pattern for only $4.00. It comes in three sizes to fit a 7 (8, 9)” circumference! The length is totally adjustable and the repeat for the cuff is pretty customizable.

Anyways, have a great weekend yall!

xoxo, Rohn

The Ultimate Sock Crocheting Kit

If sock crocheting is your passion that you definitely need an Ultimate Sock Crocheting Kit, filled with all the best tools of the trade. From different size hooks (to make sure you always reach gauge) to clever tools, groundbreaking books, and a bag to keep everything in one place, below you’ll find everything you need to become a sock-making genius!

1. Hooks – The best hooks for crocheting socks, in my humble opinion, are from Skacel. The Addi crochet hooks come in a variety of sizes AND you can choose between a standard hook and an ergonomic style hook.

I recommend keeping a collection of at least four sized in your bag at all times, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.25mm, and 3.5mm. This should make sure all bases are covered. One thing to keep in mind, I listed the MM measurement here, letter sizes are not an accurate way to measure your hooks. In fact, if you are like me, shop according to mm size, anything other is not a scientific nor reliable measurement.

2. Sock Blockers – Sock blockers allow your socks to hang dry without losing shape. While they’re not necessary they are a great feature to have on hand. Especially if you’re one of those people (like me) who take photos for Instagram all the time.

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Sock blockers are typically made out of plastic (as above) or wood. I find the plastic are a bit better at drying. The wood, however, is a lot nicer in overall appeal.

3. Sock Book – I’m a bit biased here but I recommend my book, Step Into Crochet, which can be purchased for just $22.99 at this link. A great reference book is perfect to have on hand and can only make the process that much easier.

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While pattern books are great, you definitely need something with a bit of meat on it. Step into Crochet is definitely your guide to perfect fitting crochet socks.

4. Split Ring Stitch Markers – These are invaluable. I keep as many on hand as I possibly can. I’ll be honest – I lose them all the time. So, having extras on hand means that I never have to worry one bit.

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They help you keep your place for the beginning of the round, allow you to mark out stitch pattern repeats for complicated patterns, and help you keep progress on those endless knee socks.

5. Bent Tip Tapestry Needle – I think this is a bit obvious. Maybe not. You need these to weave in ends. That’s pretty much it.

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6 – Project Bag – A project bag is a must. It helps keep everything organized and (if you’re like me) the dog hair off your amazing yarn.

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My bag is from Coastal Hillbilly. If you’re not a fur/leather person then this might not be your jam…but there are literally thousands of bags to choose from.

I hope this helps yall craft your own ultimate sock crocheting kit! If you have any questions (or recommendations) make sure to comment below! Is there anything that I missed?

xoxo, Rohn

 

 

 

It’s Time for a Change…

Last week I decided that it was time for a change. Nothing drastic but a change nonetheless.

What was that change?

Well, I wanted to finally get to re-editing all my patterns and putting them in my new fancy layout. Which everyone seems to really love.

You see, when I was a fresh designer on the scene, I didn’t know what a technical editor or graphic designer was. Nor did I know how important they were.

That means I have a whole bunch of patterns to work my way through. I’ve made it through two – of the over 250 designs I currently have published. The goal – one a day. For the next year. Beginning with my oldest and working my way up to the most recent.

I’m really hoping all of you love the new changes you’ll see from Rohn Strong Designs in the coming months.

Now, I’m off to crochet!

xoxo, Rohn

It’s All About the Yarn, Darlin…

Last Friday I had the wonderful opportunity to join my friend, and fellow crochet designer, Salena Baca, to chat all about Step Into Crochet.

I just wanted to share that video with y’all here!

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It was so much to hang with Salena for awhile and gush about my love of crochet socks and yarn and all that good stuff!

Have a listen and then go here to enter the giveaway to win a free copy of my book!

Thanks!

xoxo – Rohn

Who wants a copy of my book?

Hey Crocheters,

First, we made it through the week. Let’s all celebrate that! Oh, and don’t forget you can download my two newest free patterns the Sunday Stole and the Puff Stitch Gradient Cowl! Now is the time to get started on all that Christmas knitting, and free patterns make it easier!

Anyways, today I have a quick and fun giveaway for you today! I’m giving away a copy of my new book, Step Into Crochet! In case you don’t know, Step Into Crochet is a complete resource book on sock making with 18 patterns for you to practice all you learn! You’ll be able to make socks for just about anyone in your life!

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To enter to win please leave one comment on this blog post. Make sure to leave your Ravelry username or an email address so I am able to contact you, if you should win. I will be back in a few days to randomly select a winner. If you’d like to go ahead and just order a signed copy of the book, you can click here.  You’ll be take right to PayPal for a secured checkout process. I’ll sign the book for you and ship it out the next day!

Good luck! You will LOVE this book, I promise.

Happy weekend,

xo – Rohn

Free Crochet Pattern – Sunday Stole

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Growing up Sunday was the day all the women of my church would dress up. From shawls to hats to dresses, it was a concert of modesty. This shawl is an ode to those women, each of them unique in their own way, each holding a place in my heart.

Sunday’s were also about my Nana and I. The love and kindness she put in my heart is still there. And while I was making this shawl I couldn’t help but think of her. That’s why when I finished it…I gave it right to her.

So, I’m giving it to you all as well. The Sunday Stole is my gift to y’all for being just about as special to me as anyone can be.

 

You can download the Sunday Stole Pattern, or get it from Ravelry Here.

As for the shawl…here’s a bit of info:

Starting at one end a large number of stitches are cast on and worked up to create the base of the stole. The edging is picked up and worked in a join as you go fashion, anchoring the scarf with a fun pop of lace.

Get creative – this is YOUR shawl! Use 1 color, or 2, or as many as you want. Make it with bright colors, or more relaxed. This is the perfect opportunity to play!

Yarn: Dk/Sport Weight Yarn – Approximately 1100yds/300g in multiple colors

Suggested yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo

Hook: 5mm

Notions: Tapestry Needle

Gauge: 4.5 sts in pattern stitch equals 4”

Finished Measurements: Wingspan – 65.5in

Techniques to Indulge In: Chain, Double Crochet, Chain, Clusters, Decreases…you know…FUN!

 

Gradient Puff Stitch Cowl

I love crochet and lately I’ve been obsessed with working with those gradient yarns, you know the ones. They’re being made by just about every yarn company out there from indie dyers to big box companies.

A few months ago…well…more than a few months ago Premier Yarns (my FAV yarn company) contacted me and asked if I’d like to design something with their new yarn, DIY Gradient. Thus the Gradient Puff Stitch Cowl was born!

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I mean…how can you not love this? It will work with ANY worsted weight gradient yarn you’ve got but I do kinda love this DIY Gradient…why? Well…you DIY! Each DIY Gradient Box contains five 40 gram balls of medium weight, 100% anti-pilling acrylic yarn. That’s plenty of yarn to make a scarf, a cowl, a hat and mitten set, or a baby sweater. So, that means you get to choose which order to work it in. Of course, you could also work it in one color, if you’d like.

You can download the free pattern from Premier Yarns here or just go ahead and follow along below!

Gradient Puff Stitch Cowl

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Circumference: 36”

MATERIALS
Premier® Yarns D.I.Y. Gradient Yarn (100% An – pilling Acrylic; 40g/72 yds per skein; 200g/360 yds total)
• #1046-04 Violet – 1 box
Hook: US Size I-9 (5.5 mm) crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge
Notions: Tapestry needle

GAUGE

6 Long Puff Stitches x 6 rows = 4”

Save time, check your gauge.

PATTERN NOTES

Cowl is worked in the round from the bottom up. The colors in the box are worked in order, starting with the darkest color and ending with the lightest color.

 

STITCH GUIDE
Long Puff Stitch – yo, insert hk in next st, yo, pull up loop matching loop height to previous ch-3 or lp, [yo, insert hk in same st, yo, pull up lp matching loop height to previous lp] twice, yo, pull through all 7 lps on hk, ch 1 to close st.

Cowl

With darkest color, ch 100, join to work in the round being careful not to twist sts.
Rnd 1 (RS): Ch 3, *Long Puff St, ch 1, sk next st; rep from * around, join with a sl st to beg ch-3. Rnds 2-10: Rep Rnd 1, working 2 rnds in each color from darkest to lightest.
Rnd 11: With lightest color, ch 1, sc in each st and ch-1 sp around.
Rnd 12: Ch 1, sc in each sc around.

Bottom Edge
Rnd 1: Working in unused lps of beg chain, join darkest color, ch 1, sc in each ch around, join with sl st in sc. Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in each sc around, join with sl st in sc. Fasten off.

Weave in ends. Block gently.

No Needle Knits – Our First Episode

I’m SO happy to announce my new podcast…No Needle Knits!

Some links mentioned in the video:

Leather Bag: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CoastalHillbilly

Premier Yarns Wool Free Lace: https://www.premieryarns.com/products/pwlfrlace

Red Heart Yarns Heart & Sole: http://www.redheart.com/yarn/heart-sole-0

Craft Habit Raleigh: https://crafthabitraleigh.com

Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted: https://www.premieryarns.com/products/dneswsp

Premier Yarns Mega Tweed: https://www.premieryarns.com/collections/6-super-bulky/products/pmegatweed

Premier Yarns Serenity Chunky: https://www.premieryarns.com/collections/deborah-norville-collection/products/dnscnkysp

Wool Ease Thick and Quick: http://www.lionbrand.com/wool-ease-thick-and-quick-yarn.html

What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QkOTdD-R5g

Boye Looms: https://www.walmart.com/ip/17331480?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227015420991&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40940922032&wl4=pla-78877485392&wl5=9009737&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=17331480&wl13=&veh=sem

Cindwood Looms: https://www.cindwoodlooms.com

Vogue Knitting Magazine: http://www.vogueknitting.com

Sock Loom Basics: https://www.amazon.com/Sock-Loom-Basics-Leisure-Arts/dp/1609004167/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_img_0/146-4038462-1920016?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=9WXWN31GQ29DSRMGV7YN

Step Into Crochet: https://www.amazon.com/Step-Into-Crochet-Crocheted-Techniques/dp/1632504782/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493219997&sr=1-1&keywords=Step+into+crochet

Ravelry Group: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/rohn-strong-designs

It’s Nearly Time: A Springtime Crochet Along is Here!

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It’s Spring!

And with spring means it is CAL time. Right? Is that how that all works?

For me spring always puts me in the mood to crochet something fresh and new. Something quick to crochet, since spring is the season of instant gratification and constantly shifting weather patterns. The perfect pattern for such a season is my Adirondeck Tunisian CAL! A few skeins of yarn, a quick to stitch tunisian knit stitch, and an easy to wear shape that is easy to make.

Let’s do this!

This is going to be a pretty lazy CAL. You don’t have to hit any crazy deadlines. Crochet as quickly or as slowly as you’d like. Post pictures with the hashtag, #adirondeckTCAL, and you’ll be entered to win prizes every week. From free patterns to yarn to hooks.

So, let’s get crocheting and make something to wear, now, and to celebrate spring.

There are just a few simple steps:

1. Purchase the Pattern for just $3.00 (that’s over 50% off).

2. Join the Facebook Group.

3. Gather Your Materials.

4. Get started and win prizes!

See you all on social media!

Rohn

 

Different Colors and Some Tips for an Adirondeck Cardigan

I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite colors you can use while making my new tunisian crochet pattern, Adirondeck, that I actually think would work really well. If you missed last week’s post, you can read more about this great summer cardi there.

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The sample is (shown above and below) is show in this great Mist colorway from Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Everyday Worsted. It is a great choice for any garment as the yarn doesn’t pill (you know that unsightly shedding that happens) but instead softens with each wash and looks great. Not to mention you can throw it in the washer and dryer after each wear.

This year I am all about one color palette I found while scrounging around pinterest. I’m not sure who to credit…pinterest is tricky that way…but isn’t this palette amazing? I truly feel it could transition from spring to summer to fall to winter. It is the perfect blend of warm and cool colors and I think it would look great on all skin tones.

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While on the Premier Yarns website I was able to find some similar colors in our yarn of choice that I think would work great.

 Black

 Magenta

 Pine Green

 Baby Yellow

 Orchid

With all of these options you are sure to find something that fits in both your wardrobe and your personal comfort level.

Some Top Tunisian Tips

Working tunisian crochet can be a bit scary. Heck…us crocheters are used to throwing the loop off the hook as soon as we get a chance. With tunisian crochet however, you keep on the loops on the hook and work your way across the entire row, then work the loops off one by one on the way back. Confused?

Don’t be.

Stacy over at Very Pink Knits has some great youtube videos that delve into Tunisian crochet and teach it in an approachable and easy to understand way.

There’s also a great short video from one of my Tunisian Crochet Hero’s Kim Guzman which you can view here.

Getting Started

I know that there is a lot of information here but seriously…don’t freak out. You may not get it right the first time, or the cardigan might not fit just right…that is totally okay! This is crochet and you are not a machine. It might be a little wonky but it is going to look amazing and you will love it. I promise.

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I’d love to see your versions of Adirondeck, so if you work one up, please tag me on social media! I’m rohnstrong on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And feel free to use the hashtag #adirondeckcardi.

Haven’t picked up the pattern yet? Queue it up on Ravelry or purchase it there, or for those who aren’t members, you can purchase directly via this link.

Adirondeck Cardi: New Tunisian Crochet Pattern Release

I’m so happy to share that I’ve just released my latest Tunisian Knitting pattern, Adirondeck. You can purchase Adirondeck on Ravelry, or keep reading for more links at the end of this post.

If you are a sucker for a cropped cardi like I am, I hope you’ll fall in love with Adirondeck.

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Adirondeck is a tunisian crocheters take on the favorite summer accessory…the cropped cardi. Named for my favorite summer porch accessory (those chairs are SO comfy), Adirondeck is a fetching lace detailed cardi that’s a little bit retro and a little bit traditional.

Because Tunisian crochet can be a bit unruly (we all hate that curl), Adirondeck takes advantage of that curl and uses it as a design feature while sticking to an easy to work garment perfect for summer. It’s an enjoyable, quick crochet, and the results look much more complicated than it is!

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In my teaser post earlier this week, I said that Adirondeck uses a great acrylic yarn from Premier yarns to really give the piece an overall polished look and feel. For the best results, your yarn should be an aran/worsted #4 yarn in any fiber (wool or acrylic or silk).

Adirondeck is a relatively quick crocheted piece, great for a last minute gift or super quick summer project!

Materials

  • Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Everyday Worsted, 100% Acrylic, 4oz/113g/203yds/186m, 100-23 Mist, 3 (4, 4, 5) balls
  • 6mm Tunisian hook
  • Yarn Needle

Yarn Alternatives

You can use any Aran or worsted weight yarn in this pattern for a similar effect.

Tension

Work 14Tks and 16 rows to measure 4x4in./10x10cm using 6mm Tunisian hook, or size required to obtain tension.

Sizing

S

M

L

XL

To Fit Bust (in.)

30-34

34-38

38-42

42-46

To Fit Bust (cm)

79-83

88-94

98-103

109-113

Actual Bust (in.)

31 1/2

35 1/2

39 1/2

43 1/2

Actual Bust (cm)

80

90

100

110

Sleeve Seam (in.)

1

1

1

1

Sleeve Seam (cm)

2.5

2.5

2.5

2.5

Length (in.)

14 3/4

15 3/4

16 3/4

17 3/4

Length (cm)

37.5

40

42.5

45

How to Buy the Pattern

You can buy the pattern directly from Ravelry, even if your not a member!

Or, you can visit the Adirondeck pattern page to add it to your Ravelry queue or purchase from there.

Interested in one of my other patterns? Visit my design page on Ravelry for a few more links.

I hope you LOVE Adirondeck as much as I do. It is truly of of my favorite patterns I’ve ever designed. I’ll be sharing a bit more about this pattern later next week…and more info about our Tunisian Crochet Along!

Rohn

Get Your Tunisian Hooks Ready for My Next Pattern (Perfect for Spring/Summer)

Hi y’all! I’m just about ready to release my latest tunisian crochet pattern, a fun cropped cardigan! I think y’all are going to love it!

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Amiright? Look at that lacey knit-like goodness!

Tunisian crochet lace is no small eat, usually involving rows and rows of charts and extra loops here and there. However, this pattern has the spirit of tunisian lace without all the hard work. It’s worked in pieces, from the bottom up, and easy to seam. That’s all it takes!

It’s a bottom up cardigan, worked in a very soft worsted weight yarn. The back, sleeves, and fronts all feature the standard tunisian knit stitch. Lace adorns each front and is easy as it is beautiful. Not to mention it is repetitive and easy to memorize.

All of this means it is going to be a quick-ish spring/summer pieces, if your a crocheter looking for a wardrobe staple. It will also make a great gift for girls of all ages.

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The cardigan is sized for women from 30 inches all the way to 46 inches and is easy as pie to customize. Want to make sure you’re as ready as can be to crochet this pattern as soon as I release it? (It’s cropped! It’s cute! It’s quick! You know you need to knit one!)

  • You’ll need at least 609 (696, 783, 957) yards of a worsted weight yarn. The pattern gauge is 14 tsk and 16 rows to measure 4 inches, using a 6.0mm tunisian crochet hook. (The pattern uses Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Everyday Worsted in Mist).
  • The yarn doesn’t need to have wool in it BUT you may need to steam block the piece to prevent a lot of curling. I am comfortable blocking acrylic, if you are not, I recommend working with a wool yarn that can easily be washed and blocked. This is a great tutorial on blocking acrylic.
  • Choose a hook that is comfortable and easy to work with. I love these from Denise but any will work. Tunisian crochet is all about comfort.
  • This is a total intermediate beginner pattern. The instructions explain all you need to know…so make sure to dive in with an adventurous spirit.

That’s it! I’ll see you back here later this week when I release the pattern. Have a nice week!

 

 

Aprils No-Foolin Sale! 

It’s here! One of my FAV months of the year and to celebrate we’re going to have one heck of a sale to welcome in spring and say good bye to winter!
Today and tomorrow buy any 3 patterns from my shop and you’ll get $10 off! That’s like buying 1 and getting 2 for FREE! And you can use it as many times as you like! 
No coupon code needed…just add the patterns to your cart and go to town!
Link to shop: http://www.ravelry.com/stores/rohn-strong-designs