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Afghans

  • Wildlife Afghans: Choose Your Own Adventure Crochet

    Wildlife Afghans lets you mix and match your favorite wildlife and side panels to crochet your own afghan masterpiece.  Do you remember choose your own adventure books? Wildlife Afghans is the crochet equivalent.  First you choose between a bear, moose, deer or wolf.  Then you choose your favorite side panel and corner pieces and you have a one-of-a-kind afghan! We love Wildlife Afghans so much that we invited today's guest blogger, Christine Naugle, to talk about the inspiration for her fabulous designs. Welcome Christine!

    Hey everyone, this is Christine Naugle, the designer behind the Wildlife Cable Afghans book. I am so excited to see the release of this book with Leisure Arts. I am even more excited about why this book is unique, it is unique because you get to design your own blanket!

    https://www.leisurearts.com/wildlife-cable-afghans.html Wildlife Cable Afghans by Christine Naugle

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    When I decided to design a new set of blankets I wanted them to focus on the outdoors and wildlife. I wanted the blankets to be appealing to the men in our lives and/or have a more rustic feel to them. So many designs feature beautiful flowers and romantic colorways that I adore but, to put it simple, they are more feminine. In this new design set, I wanted the afghans to be all about creating unique and eye catching textures, I wanted them to be perfect for someone like my Husband, Dad, or Grandfather. For inspiration I scoured Pinterest for Cabin Decor and found many framed cabin images and sayings. So, I went to my sketch pad and started jotting down multiple frame ideas. The idea of a silhouette came to me first and I decided to try a deer.

    Deer in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle. Deer in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The deer was fun to draw, my husband even got involved and taught me the differences between mule deer and white tail deer. He was excited about this blanket design which made me even more excited too. Next up was the side panels. I knew I wanted rich textures, cables, and an eye catching design. Many hours where put into making swatches of different stitch combinations and finally the panels where coming together. Boy, it was so much fun to see this project working out like I envisioned. The corner squares where fun and quick. I knew I wanted them to represent a wagon wheel but in my own design style. Boy Howdy! It worked. I knew immediately that I had to do another afghan design.

    Moose in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle Moose in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The moose was next up. I loved the prints along the side panels with the simple embossed-like diamond corners. Again, some rich texture to pull the blanket together with the striking silhouette was a success. I was on a roll and had to do at least 2 more designs.

    Bear in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle Bear in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle
    Wolf in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle Wolf in Wildlife Afghans by Christine Naugle

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The bear and wolf blanket designs where just as fun to work up. The bear was extra fun because my children call me, "Momma Bear". My favorite part of the wolf design is the feathered or arrow look to the panels, it is unique and fun to work up.

    But, once again, the best part about these blankets is that you get to decide which pieces you want to work up. The Wildlife Cable Afghan book is designed for you to pick and choose each piece of the blanket to make it unique and to your liking. Simply choose the animal silhouette you like best: deer, bear, wolf or moose. Next select the side panels. The panels is where your texture will really begin. Each panel has a unique cable like pattern that will draw your eyes to the blanket as if it were a photo being displayed. Lastly, you get to select the design of each corner piece. Again, each one of these pieces is unique and feature different looks from a diamond accent, to a dream catcher whimsical design, to a circular cluster (almost wagon wheel effect), to a more simple cabled square. No matter which piece you select, your finished blanket will be personalized to your liking and will be a masterpiece when you are completed.

  • Easy Afghans

    Easy Afghans provides exciting crochet projects using a variety of techniques to create interesting pattern designs. Read how Guest Blogger, Sharon Silverman, creates unique and easy crochet designs that make her afghans anything other than ordinary!  Welcome Sharon!

    My motto for Easy Afghans was, “`Easy’ doesn’t mean `boring!’” I wanted to create projects that would boost the confidence of newer crocheters and expand their skills, while also providing interesting stitch patterns, techniques, and use of color for crocheters at any level. Leisure Arts was in agreement with the concept.

    Leisure Arts' item #6725 - Easy Afghans, by Sharon Silverman. Leisure Arts' item #6725 - Easy Afghans, by Sharon Silverman.

    Variety was important to me, so I started by choosing yarn for each project. I selected a solid color for two afghans, “Snow” Bernat Satin for Icefall and “Pistachio” Lion Brand Babysoft for Green Willow.

    Icefall. Icefall Afghan from Easy Afghans
    Green Willow. Green Willow Afghan from Easy Afghans

    Each of those projects can add a new technique to a crocheter’s bag of tricks. For Icefall, it’s filet crochet, which combines open and filled squares in a mesh pattern used for lacy items. Charts show how to use chain stitches and double crochet to create the two filet patterns used in the project.

    The solid color for Green Willow is a great way to update a classic look. Anyone who is new to making motifs will master the two styles used here in no time. Clusters and openwork highlight an “X” shape on half the squares and an “O” theme on the others. Maybe I should have named it the Tic-Tac-Toe Afghan! Chunky tassels decorate the corners.

    Seaview. Seaview Afghan from Easy Afghans

    Next I used four solid colors, “Silver Blue,” “Dusty Blue,” “Bright Blue,” and “White,” all in Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice®, in the design for Seaview. The stripe sequence and the shell pattern are reminiscent of sea and sky. I love the way one row of shells nestles in the middle of the next row.

    Hearthside Coziness. Hearthside Coziness.

    Solid color stripes have an added twist in Autumn Ridge: simple crocheted mesh background is then woven through with individual strands of yarn to create a large plaid afghan perfect for snuggling! Fall colors in Patons Classic Wool Worsted are “Burgundy,” “Pumpkin,” “Winter White,” “Chestnut Brown,” and “Sunset Gold.” Corresponding color fringe is added to the top and  bottom. The effect created by weaving yarn “in and out the windows” is really cool, and elevates this afghan from a plain striped project into one that’s a lot more exciting. The weaving is also something a school-age child can help with. Get ‘em started young!

    Chetwynd Miters. Chetwynd Miters.

    A solid yarn (Red Heart Super Saver “Lavender”) is the perfect counterpoint to the vividly variegated “Sherbet Print” in Chetwynd Miters. Mitered squares look complicated but are actually quite simple to make. Using variegated yarn with a contrasting solid balances the colors and emphasizes the right angles in this square afghan.

    Arundel Castle was inspired by a visit to that English site in the summer, 2013. Look at how many shades of off-white, tan, beige, ecru, and brown are in the stones.

    Interesting stone walls. Interesting stone walls.
    Arundel Castle. Arundel Castle Afghan from Easy Afghans

     

    Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in “Cappuccino” captured all of those colors in a variegated yarn. The two-row pattern repeat is easy to master. Gradual color changes keep the project interesting, and the yarn does all the work!

    The other project in the booklet, Hearthside Coziness, uses a simple peek-a-boo chevron pattern in warm tones of bulky weight yarn, Patons ColorWul “Jardin.”

    Hearthside Coziness. Hearthside Coziness Afghan from Easy Afghans

    It was a pleasure working with Leisure Arts on Easy Afghans. Along with doing the editing and photography, they added helpful video links to the patterns. What a great way for crocheters to learn something new or to get reacquainted with a technique they haven’t used in a while.

    My hope for the leaflet is that relatively new crocheters will discover easy items to suit their skill level (and maybe learn a few new things along the way), experienced crocheters will find the stitch patterns and techniques fun and interesting, and that the finished projects will delight those who make them and any lucky recipients who get these afghans as gifts.

    As for my professional background, I am the author of more than a dozen crochet books (14 so far!) and a private line of patterns. I’m a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America and a design member of The National NeedleArts Association. I was a featured guest on HGTV’s fiber arts program, “Uncommon Threads,” and have been interviewed on numerous radio podcasts. Recently I expanded my crochet work to include large-scale museum installations, indoors and outside.

    My inspiration comes from diverse sources, everything from the beauty of nature to the stunning creations of architects and furniture-makers. Because I live near Longwood Gardens, a horticultural showplace in the Brandywine Valley west of Philadelphia, I get a lot of ideas from their amazing flowers and plants. You can find me on Facebook and Pinterest at Sharon Silverman Crochet; on Ravelry and YouTube at CrochetSharon; and on my website, www.SharonSilverman.com. I would love to hear from you. Happy crocheting!

    Designer, Sharon Silverman. Designer, Sharon Silverman.
  • Crochet for Guys: Sportacular Afghans

    Crochet afghan patterns for guys are hard to find.  Not only does our new crochet book, Sportacular Afghans offer crocheted afghans men will love, but you'll be hard-pressed to find more uniquely designed crocheted afghans. Today's Guest Blogger is Karen Barnes. Karen designed the manly patterns you'll find inside of Sportacular Afghans and she's here today to talk about her inspiration for them. Welcome Karen!

    Hello fellow crocheters! My name is Karen Barnes and I am the designer of Sportacular Afghans. I first want to thank Leisure Arts for believing in my designs, and the Crochet Team for putting together this wonderful book. I wanted to create designs that are realistic without having to do a graph pattern, and can be used for guys but work just as well for anyone. It was important to me to keep the patterns as easy as possible.

    Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes Sporatcular Afghans by Karen Barnes

     

    The pool table was my very first design. You might ask why a beige felt for the pool table? Well, that is the color of my pool table. I needed to see the table in order to create it. I have made many of these in different colors for “men” friends who are using the afghan as a blanket or to cover their pool table.

    Crochet Afghan Pool Table Pool Table Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes

    My second design was the poker table. Originally it was going to be an octagon, but I didn’t like the shape. So I chose the Texas Hold’em Poker Table. This was fun to make. I actually enjoyed setting up the cards and chips. While sewing the pieces on, I was telling my husband whose hand was whose. My husband actually wanted to frame the afghan and hang it in his Man Cave.

    Crochet Poker Table Afghan Poker Table Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes

    The 3rd design was the bowling alley afghan, inspired by my mother. She loves to bowl at the young age of 74. My second inspiration was how I met my husband on a blind date at a bowling alley. With all of the wonderful color yarns now, it was not hard finding the wood looking yarn to make this. This is a project that you can take with you. You make the lanes in strips, bowling pins and ball are the separate pieces. I drive a school bus, so this was very easy to take along and work on this while I was waiting for the kids.

    Crochet Bowling Alley Afghan Bowling Alley Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes

    The 4th design was the golf course. My husband and I like to enjoy taking whatever Sundays we can and go play a round of golf. So I went through my encyclopedia of crochet stitches and I saw the grass and fairway stitches (in my mind) and got inspired right away! Originally I was going to make this in a rectangle but I am glad I didn’t. It is a unique shape to where there is no doubt of what it is. The texture on this afghan is wonderful! Makes you want to rub your hands on it.

    Crochet Golf Afghan Golf Green Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes

    Last but not least is the slot machine. My husband and I enjoy treating ourselves once in a while to go to a casino. In my mind when I was creating this, the 7’s had to look right and be easy to make. I must have wasted 20 sheets of paper printing out casino 7’s looking for the right one to imitate. I have to admit this is one of my favorites and super easy to make. PS: I have to thank my son. He is the one who drew me the picture of the slot machine.

    Crochet Slot Machine Afghan Slot Machine Afghan from Sportacular Afghans by Karen Barnes

    I hope all of you enjoy the afghans as much as I did creating them. I have gotten many compliments on the finished products and the book itself. Stay warm and keep crocheting!

  • Lacy Chevron Afghan from Breaking Amish & Return to Amish

    Today's Guest Blogger is Ann Elaine from Craftdrawer Crafts.  Her blog is full of ideas for crochet, knit, crafts, sewing and cross stitch.  Today, she tells us about one of her favorite Leisure Arts patterns: Lacy Chevron Afghan.  You may recognize this as Mary's Afghan from the TV shows Breaking Amish and Return to Amish.  Welcome Ann Elaine!

    Lacy Chevron ePattern by Leisure Arts Lacy Chevron ePattern by Leisure Arts

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Lacy Chevron Afghan is an interesting afghan to crochet. It combines a repeated shell stitched with the look of the ripple afghan pattern. I have always been a fan of the ripple afghan and enjoy the way it looks when combining it with other colors. The Lacy Chevron takes it one step further and gives the afghan the feel of movement within the colors of the yarn. The wave pattern of the Lacy Chevron afghan is one similar to the one featured on an Amish reality television show.

    Leisure Arts Afghan Parade eBook Leisure Arts Afghan Parade eBook

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In addition to the ePattern, the Lacy Chevron Afghan can also be found in the Afghan Parade eBook along with three other designs for a total of four patterns.  The afghan made by Mary on the shows Breaking Amish and Return to Amish is actually called a Lacy Chevron.  I've tried the pattern with a few random scrap colors for practice and found it’s was fairly easy to crochet once you got the hang of it.

    Close-Up of Lacy Chevron Afghan Close-Up of Lacy Chevron Afghan

    I did find similar patterns to the Lacy Chevron online but the instructions in the original Afghan Parade eBook are written better and much easier to understand. It reminds me of crocheting a repeated shell stitch afghan along with granny squares. It’s best to crochet with a worsted weight yarn and with similar colors to enhance the wave effect. My sample pattern was modified and I crocheted a smaller ripple from the pattern to give it a slightly different look.

    When crocheting the Lacy Chevron it’s good to read through the pattern and take your time. The directions are clear and if you use shades of yarn in the same color it works up beautifully. In the Afghan Parade eBook the afghans featured are all worked in one piece so there are no seams to sew. If you like the look of the Lacy Chevron you will also enjoy crocheting the V-Stitch Shell, the Small Shell Afghan, and the Stained Glass afghan included in the Afghan Parade eBook.

    - Ann

    Thanks Ann!  You can find Ann Elaine everyday at her Blog Craftdrawer Crafts.   If you want more information about the connection between the shows Breaking Amish and Return to Amish and the Lacy Chevron Afghans, check out her blog entry on the subject here: Mary's Crochet Afghan Patterns from Breaking Amish and Return to Amish.

    P.S. If you'd like to make your own Lacy Chevron Afghan, we've just released a new Lacy Chevron Afghan Kit with a modern neutral yarn palette.  You can check it out here: Lacy Chevron Afghan Kit.

    Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 4.25.42 PM Lacy Chevron Afghan Kit with Yarns Included

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