24 September 2013


This week, I'm having a giveaway over on my Facebook page. I'm giving away a FREE Bow Bracelet (s&h included)!

To enter all you have to do is:

1. Like the Facebook page.
2. Like the Bow Bracelet link.
3. Share the link.
4. Comment on the link.

Each participant will receive a 50% off coupon code at the end of the week to share with their friends and family. The winner will be announced on MONDAY 30 Sept. 2013.

Bueno suerte & happy stitching! xo

23 September 2013

Magic Circle Tutorial

After posting the original pattern for the Neko Ear Warmers, a friend of mine suggested that I post a tutorial showing how I make my magic circles. (Julie, this is for you, dear.) Although I'm fairly certain I actually cheat when I make them, this is the easiest and fastest way I have figured out how to make the ever-useful magic circle. Plus, it holds up well in the work.

Before we begin, here's another disclaimer: don't judge me for how I hold my yarn. I know it's not technically correct. For whatever reason, though, my pianist fingers are strong enough to hold the yarn taut without wrapping it around my pinky. I just don't think about it. It works for me. Do what works for you.

Anyway, here's your snazzy little photo tutorial:

First, hold your yarn like you're about to cast on.

Keep acting like you're about to cast on by inserting the hook on the left side, and making a loop with the yarn. Hold that X the yarn makes between your middle finger and thumb:

Next, insert your hook into the loop from the front side:

Draw up a loop:

Then, follow the pattern and make the stitches over the 2 strands to the left of your hook. For this example, I'm making one of the ears that belongs on the Neko Ear Warmer.

NOTE: there will be one short end. Make sure that, no matter how many stitches you make, you can always grab the short end! That short end is essential. It's what puts the "magic" in "magic circle." No lie.

Once you've finished your stitches, pull that short end before you sl st to join or continue on to the next round (if working in continual rounds).

Make that hole in the middle of all the stitches as small as your little heart desires, and boom! You're done.

Magic circles are ideal for making hats, and, well, anything that's round except maybe a doily. I wouldn't use a magic circle for a doily. Let's not be silly, now.

By the way, in case you can't tell, YES that is a smaller version of the Neko Ear Warmer. The updated pattern is available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

I hope this tutorial is helpful to you! If you have any questions, concerns, or find an error in the tutorial, PLEASE contact me via e-mail, Facebook message, Etsy message, a comment on here . . . basically, whatever. Just let me know, so that others who use this tutorial won't have any problems.

Happy stitching! xo

18 September 2013

Pattern Review Rubric

The holiday season is quickly approaching! In order to save money, I typically crochet at least 75% of the presents I give to others. Because of this, over the next few months, you'll be seeing a lot of pattern reviews. The last one I did was not as organized, though, as I'd like the rest of them to be.

How many of you are experienced with education? My degree is in music education. Because of the nature of music, most of the assessments music teachers give are not written. Therefore, we normally include a performance rubric with our lesson plans to give to principals or other supervisors to show how we are assessing the students. In order to make future pattern reviews more clear and organized, I have created a rubric that the patterns must meet to attain a precise score out of 20. I've included it below:

I have multiple patterns to review that will be popping up on the blog over the course of the next few weeks. If you have any patterns you'd like me to review, though, please send them my way!

Happy stitching! xo

17 September 2013

What have YOU made?

In the past month, I've made 2.75 projects for myself & my family. They are a sweater for my daughter, an afghan meant for the entire family, but used mostly by my dog, and another sweater for myself that I haven't finished the sleeve edging on. I need to do that.

It should be known that I honestly do not usually buy my patterns. I adore the ones available for free. However, I have a subscription to Crochet Today and it's fantastic. Also, that crocodile stitch sweater is super cute, and totally worth the money.

Do you sometimes start a project and then set it aside to go chase that figurative squirrel?

What have you made recently?

I want to hear from the awesome YOU!

Happy stitching! xo

12 September 2013

Neko Ear Warmer Reprise

Hey, awesome you!

A week or so ago, I introduced a pattern called, "Neko Ear Warmer."

I would like to announce that the pattern is also available to purchase in the shop!

Remember that right now, 10% of all proceeds benefit the American Heart Association.

Happy stitching! xo

11 September 2013

Bow Bracelet Pattern!

Hello, awesome you! Here is that new pattern I promised to you earlier this week.

 I wear bow ties now. Bow ties are cool.

The pattern is available to purchase here. Remember that 10% of all proceeds benefit the American Heart Association this month!

If you make this pattern, pretty please take pictures and send them to me! You could be featured in the blog!

Happy stitching! xo

06 September 2013

Awareness Bracelet

Blue Cloud Crochet is proud to present to you a new pattern! This one is for purchase, instead of for free. Why? Because, as I mentioned in the previous post, a dear friend of mine has passed away. She suffered from a stroke. Other relatives have passed on in the same manner. My grandmother also has suffered from a stroke, and congestive heart failure. So has another dear teacher that taught both myself and my husband. The list of folks I care for who have suffered from heart complications goes on.

Even I have a heart murmur. (Yeah, it's kind of like Laman and Lemuel. Bad Mormon humor. I'm not sorry.) The murmur is minor, but my doctor still keeps a close eye on it because of my family history of heart disease.

The thing is, though, heart disease and stroke are definitely not just problems that affect my family. They run rampant everywhere. Be aware of your body. Go to the doctor for regular check-ups.

The pattern I've created is an awareness bracelet, in memory of my dear friend that recently passed (her name was L.A.). It's also in honor of my Nana, our relatives, our family, as well as our friends who have struggled with heart disease and stroke.

With every purchase of either a bracelet or the pattern for it, 10% will be donated to the American Heart & Stroke Association.

Here are some photos of the finished product:

You can purchase the pattern here, or the item itself here. Again 10% of all proceeds will be donated to the American Heart & Stroke Association. Thank you for your support!

Happy Stitching! xo

04 September 2013

Fire & Rain

Have you ever had a dear friend pass away?

I haven't. That is, until yesterday. Sure, I've known others who have passed away before, but we weren't necessarily close. I wasn't even, honestly, super close to this lady. She just helped save mine and my daughter's lives, is all. She also photographed mine and my husband's wedding just this past June.

Have you ever sympathized or empathized with someone that you physically hurt from the sadness?

My heart aches for her husband.

She died of complications following a stroke from which it seemed she was healing. I want each and every one of awesome you to be aware that strokes often happen without notice, and can steal your life away in an instant. Sure, LA is in a better place, and is without pain now. But you are here. You are living. You are awesome and you have so much to live for.

Think of the ones you love. Think of how much they love you. Be grateful, awesome you.

Be on the lookout for a new product coming to the shop in honor of my friends and family that have suffered from strokes and heart disease. 10% of all the proceeds from this item will be donated to the American Heart & Stroke Association.

Happy stitching, my loves. xo