Crochet Challenge for Warm Up America with b.hooked Crochet

Challenge Featured ImageClover is teaming up with the Warm Up America! Foundation and b.hooked Crochet to challenge you to create afghans for those in need. Warm Up America is a charitable organization that distributes afghans, caps, and other items thanks to the generosity and donations of knitters and crocheters around the country. Learn how you can get involved in other ways by visiting their current needs page HERE.

Detailed information on the challenge (pattern, timeline, PRIZES, and more) can be found on b.hooked Crochet’s site. Brittany at b.hooked has generously provided written instructions, diagrams, and videos to help you along the way!

Afghan for SM

The challenge will run from August 1- 31st. The Clover Team is excited to be a part of this great cause and hope you will join along too.

Join the challenge! Join the fun! Follow along on Instagram and Twitter using #challengeforwua

Wonder Knitter: Kid’s Cat Headband!

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I don’t know about you fellow parents, but my youngest kiddo wants to be entertained. All. Of. The. Time. As we hit the homestretch of school break, I’ve found that it’s harder and harder to find things to do that don’t require me acting as her own, personal cruise director! So, as I have my whole life, I turn to crafting for some solace.

Thanks to the Wonder Knitter, kids can create knit pieces with relative ease. With that in mind, I set-off to collaborate with my kitty-fanatic daughter! We came up with a cute-as-a-kitten headband (the tail was all her idea!) that’s constructed by sewing together one, continuous strand of Wonder Knitting. We took turns knitting, I assembled, and voila: a kids craft that’s the cat’s meow! Here’s how you can make one, too.

Materials
1 ball, bulky-weight yarn (I used, Patons Classic Wool Roving, in color: Natural)
Clover Wonder Knitter
Clover Jumbo Tapestry Needle
1 felt sheet each, in 2 ear colors
Felt scraps in 3 colors for eyes
Sewing needle & thread OR felt glue
Scissors

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Finished Size
Toddler (Child)

Finished Measurements
Fits 18″(20″)/ 46(51) cm head

Directions
Knit headband fabric:

  • Using Wonder Knitter with bulky disk and yarn, knit an 84″(92″)/213.5(234) cm piece.
  • Fasten off.

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Assemble headband:

  • Make an 18″(20″)/ 46(51) circle with end of piece; use tapestry needle and yarn to sew into place (this will be the back of your project). You now have the top of your headband.
  • Wrap the piece in a spiraling formation, taking care to measure every round to ensure circumference stays the same, using whip stitch (or whatever stitch gets the job done for you!) to sew rounds together, 4 times, and ending at the back.
  • Make an extra stitch or two to secure piece, letting the last 12″/30.5 cm or so hang. This will be the cat’s tail.
  • Weave in ends; flip piece over so tail hangs downward.

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Make cat face:

  • Using template as guide, cut outer & inner ear, nose, and eye component pieces out of appropriately colored felt. Cut 6, matchstick thin pieces of grey felt for whiskers.

cat band template

  • Using needle & thread OR glue attach pink, inner ear to outer ear pieces. If you’re sewing, also pinch ears and tack to create a pucker at the bottom-center (see below). Attach ears to inside of the top-front of headband.

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  • Assemble 3 layers of eye components; attach eyes to upper-front of headband.

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  • Attach whiskers, then layer and attach nose to lower-front of headband.

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That’s it; you’re feline-fantastic!
xx,
Vickie
@VickieHowell (on FB, Instagram & Twitter)
@iamvickiehowell (Pinterest)
Yarn Arts Ambassador, Clover Needlecraft

Psst! Bookmark this project for a gift, Halloween, or ski season!

Get Kids Sewing in a Pinch by Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs

When I was little, I had a favorite blanket and my sister had a favorite pillow. Looking back, I think she had the right idea. While sometimes it was too hot for me to snuggle under my blankie, she was never without her pillow. She used her pillow everywhere, year-round – in the car, snuggling with mom, even a trip to the hospital when she had her tonsils out. Remembering how my sister loved her pillow, I designed the In A Pinch travel-sized pillow. Read on for details and a giveaway.

Here’s the cute travel pillow I made for my nephew. I used a soft brushed cotton novelty print, perfect for long car rides or flights.

Here’s the cute travel pillow I made for my nephew.
I used a soft brushed cotton novelty print, perfect for long car rides or flights.

Perfect First Project
This little pillow project is a great fit for young and new sewists. There’s nothing like accomplishing a quick project that looks awesome to help build confidence and skills. Use anything from novelty prints to elegant designs for the pillow cover, and make/buy a pillow form.

Pretty pillows In A Pinch, LGD133 Fabric is ‘Piper’ by Dear Stella.

Pretty pillows In A Pinch, LGD133 Fabric is ‘Piper’ by Dear Stella.

There’s a little ‘pinch’ detail at the side that gives the pillow shape and a little fun. Here’s a better look at that detail.

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Buy or Make a Pillow
For this quick project, you can either buy a ready-made travel-sized pillow which is 12″ x 16″, or make one from the instructions included in the pattern.

A basic pillow of this simple construction offers room to build skills and sharpen techniques. This is two rectangle cuts of fabric, stacked, and stitched on all edges, leaving an opening to turn. That’s the easy part, right? A frustrating part can be turning in that open seam allowance so it’s nice and even with the rest of the seam. I have two tricks for you here.

Perfect Seam Closing
First, use a slightly larger seam allowance on the edge with the opening for better control. I used a 1/4″ seam on three sides, and a 1/2″ seam on the edge with the opening.

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Second, use the Hot Hemmer (item #7806) from my Clover Press Perfect line to fold and press the seam allowance before turning the project right sides out. Fold the seam allowance over the Hemmer and match the edge to the 1/2″ mark, then press. Do this for both pieces of fabric at the opening. Once turned, the seam allowance will be easy to finish by machine or hand.

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I like to make the pillow form and I don’t put too much stuffing in. I love a pillow with a little give.

Pillow Cover
The next place the Hot Hemmer saves me on this project is the hem on the pillow cover. Fold the fabric over the bottom edge of the Hemmer and match the edge to the size needed, then press. Rather than measuring and marking, here and there, you can tackle the whole hem in one step. The long firm edge of the Hemmer allows you to press a good portion of the project at once, rather than approaching it piecemeal. Press with the Hemmer in place – it can take the heat and steam without getting too hot to touch.

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That Little Pinch
The pillow has a little pinch at the sides that draws the fabric in around the pillow form for a more elegant option. It’s a simple open ended dart or tuck, and it’s a great way learn about structure and design. This little detail is simple, yet takes the project to a whole new level. Use the Hot Hemmer to measure and mark the pinch, then stitch.

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The In A Pinch is a great project to share with someone new to sewing. Learn about fabric selection, construction, working with different materials and tools. It’s a very forgiving project, so it will look great whether it’s perfect or not. But it will be loved plenty by the sewist or gifty recipient.

lazy girl   WEB_7806_Hot_Hemmer

Pattern and Hot Hemmer
The In A Pinch pattern is available at local quilt shops, online and at Craftsy. Ask for the Hot Hemmer wherever Clover products are sold or buy it here!

Three lucky winners will win a Hot Hemmer! Here’s how, we want you to tell us how you can use the Hot Hemmer, most helpful tips will win!!!

Hot Hemmer Giveaway

One Year of Tool School!!!

Tool School GiveawayWe are pleased to celebrate one year of Tool School during the month of July. Throughout the year we have explored Clover tools with Steve Butler the sales manager here at Clover. Steve has expertise in the sewing and needlecraft industry. Co-founder of Superior Threads. Steve has taught numerous classes at all major sewing machine conventions, regional trade shows, international Quilt Market, various machine embroidery venues and has been a four time repeat guest on Martha Pullen’s popular PBS series, “Martha’s Sewing Room”.

We’ve had a blast and hope you have too! We want to celebrate by doing a special giveaway on the first three tools from Tool School, the 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge the Hot Hemmer and the No Hassle Triangles Gauge. If you haven’t been with us through the entire journey, don’t worry you can still look at all past Tool School posts here on our blog and coming soon to our website http://www.clover-usa.com. Sign up for Tool School Today!

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Three lucky people will receive one item from the first three Tool Schools, follow the link to find out how!!

Enter to win a tool from one of the three first Tool Schools

Project: Takumi DNP Stocking Ornament!

Clover VH_BLOG_BANNERstocking copy

I’m loving the new, sharper tips on the Takumi double-pointed needles so much that I’ve been thinking about gifting them to some of the knitters in my life. I know I’d love receiving a set either by themselves, or bundled with some luscious yarn! Well, here we are barely into mid-summer, and I’m already pondering holidays — so this week, I thought I’d post a little (literally), “Christmas in July” gift idea that you can either start churning out in advance, or else bookmark for later. Stitch a wee stocking for a set of DPNs for the perfect, parcel topper or tree ornament. Not only is a sweet sock sure to put a smile on any stitcher’s face, but it’ll also keep the needles together when they’re not in use. Bonus: you can use the same needles to knit the stocking that will later keep them all Christmas-cozy. Enjoy! xx, Vickie

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MATERIALS
Scraps (about .2 ounces), DK weight yarn
Set, size U.S. 6 (4 mm) Takumi Bamboo Premium Double-Pointed Needles
Waste yarn
Clover Tapestry Needle
Optional: size U.S. E (3.5 mm) Takumi Bamboo Crochet Hook

FINISHED SIZE
Fits one set of up to size U.S. 6 (4 mm), double-pointed needles

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Approx 6″/15 cm (from cuff to toe)

GAUGE
22 sts x 28 rows = 4″/10 cm in Stockinette Stitch

STANDARD ABBREVIATIONS (Click here.)

DIRECTIONS
CO 10 sts; divide evenly onto dpns; join, taking care not to twist.

Cuff:
Rnds 1-3: *K1, p1; rep from * around.

Rnd 4: Knit.

Repeat Rnd 4 until piece measures 4″/10 cm from CO edge.

Next Rnd (Heel prep): K 5 sts with waste yarn; slide sts back onto LH needle, k sts again with working yarn; k around.

Continue knitting until piece measures 5 1/2″/14 cm

Toe:
Rnd 1: K2, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k1. –8 sts.

Rnd 2: Knit.

Rnd 3: [K2tog] 4 times. –4 sts.

Cut yarn, leaving a tail. Using tapestry needle, weave tail through live sts, letting them drop off of needles; cinch shut. If any gaps show, sew together using tail. Feed tail end through toe.

Heel:
Carefully remove waste yarn; place sts on dnps. –9 sts.

Set-up Rnd: Knit sts, picking up 1 additional st at each gap. — 11 sts.

Redistribute sts on needles as follows: Needle #1 (back of “leg”), 5 sts; Needle #2, 3 sts; Needle #3, 3 sts.

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Rnd 1: Needle 1: ssk, k1, k2tog. Needle 2: ssk, k1. Needle 3: k1, k2tog — 7 sts

Rnd 2: K4, k2tog, k1 — 6 sts.

Place 3 sts each on two needles; hold parallel. Bind-of using the 3-needle BO method.

Use tail to sew together any gaps.

FINISHING
Create hanging loop by either braiding 3-strands of yarn and attaching, or crocheting as follows:

Join yarn at top edge of stocking; place slip knot on hook. Chain 12; slip stitch in same place as yarn joined.

Fasten off.

Weave in ends.

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#NotJustforChristmasPresents