Gambel Oak Leaves—A Photo-Tutorial

November 25th, 2014

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Patricia, a crocheter who contacted me through Ravelry, asked for clarification of the instructions for the Gambel Oak Leaves on pages 21-23 of Crochet Garden. Thank you for asking, Patricia!

We’ll start with the Small Leaf (page 23). You will need the book for complete stitching instructions:

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Both Gambel Oak leaves are made with long rows that comprise the lobes (always odd-numbered rows) and short rows which are the spacers between the lobes.

Here are the first two rows of the Small Leaf. Row 2 has a long turning chain, because Row 3 is a long row. Some of the sts of Row 3 are on the chain, and some are made into the sts of Row 2, as you can see from the marks on the photo.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Row 3 is finished, and includes a turning ch for Row 4.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

These are the rows through Row 5.

Design Note:

Think about a ripple afghan. To make the bottom of the “V” in a ripple afghan, we decrease stitches to pull up the stitches on each side of the bottom point, to make the V. By decreasing at the center of the leaf, we’re pulling the lobes up from the bottom point of the leaf. We’re making half of a V.

Also, in Rows 1-4, the stitches toward the center of the leaf are long. Rows 5-9 have sc or sl st as the last st toward the center of the leaf. The short stitches curve the lobes around the top of the leaf to start down the other side.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

After the last st of Row 9, we join to the first half of the leaf with a sl st in the base of Row 5. The base of Row 5 is the stitch in which the last st of Row 5 was made.

Then ch 1, sl st into the base of Row 4. The base of Row 4 is as close as you can get to the first ch of the turning chain at the end of Row 3 (which leads up to Row 4). The marks show the base of each row you need to stitch into.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

This is what the leaf should look like at the end of Row 9, just before you turn.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

For Row 10, skip the sl sts that join to the center of the leaf, and work sts as shown.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Row 11 is done, and this shows where to join in the base of Rows 3 and 2.

Design Note:

Back to the idea of a ripple afghan. To form the peak of a chevron in a ripple afghan, we increase stitches at the top. This pushes down the stitches on either side of the peak to make an upside-down V or arrow point ?.

Hold the leaf, with the top lobe pointing down. The lobes join at the top of the peak. That is why, on this side of the leaf, working from tip to base, we increase sts close to the center of the leaf. We do it to push the lobes down toward the tip of the leaf.

Think about it this way: an increase is an upside down decrease; a decrease is an upside down increase. This is a good thing to know when you’re designing your own patterns.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Row 13 is finished and joined to the base of Row 1. Now we’re ready to make the stem.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

After crocheting the stem, take the yarn to the wrong side of the leaf. Read the full instructions for making the central vein, page 22.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Working up the middle of the leaf, insert the hook from front to back, yo at the back, make ch sts where the space is long, if you’re close to a joining stitch, sl st in that st. Work these ch and sl sts until you are at the base of the top lobe. Cut yarn and pull to front.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Insert the hook from wrong side to right side at the point where the yarn comes out of the leaf, but do not insert the hook in the last ch st. Yo with the cut end and pull it to the back. The last ch st will prevent the stitches from unraveling. Weave in ends.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial
Here’s the Large Leaf (instructions begin on page 21), worked through Row 11. The marks show the bases of the rows where the lobes are joined with sl sts.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Row 11 is joined with a sl st in the base of Row 7.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

This shows where to place the sts of Row 8.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

When you finish crocheting the leaves, the lobes curl into themselves, so as you block, be sure to stretch the end of each lobe to pull them out to their proper shape.

To block small pieces like this, I hold them under the water tap for a few seconds, squeeze out excess water, stretch each lobe, and finally hold a hot iron over them, barely touching the crochet. Sometimes I use a damp press cloth to protect the stitching as well as add more steam.

Perspective Daisy Table Mat Finally Finished!

November 21st, 2014

Perspective Daisy Crochet Charm Lace table mat

I enjoy getting together with family on weekends and “watching” football. Why did I put “watching” in quotes? Because I usually only look at the TV when people get excited, hoping that whatever fantastic play just happened will be shown again. Sound familiar, my fellow knitters and crocheters?

Yep, I’m usually working on some kind of project. But it can’t be too complex, because that would keep me from listening to the conversation and the commentary. So the project for this season has been Crochet Charm Lace.

Perspective Daisy Crochet Charm Lace table mat

Last weekend, as we watched the Texas Longhorns play football, I finished the Perspective Daisy table mat. I’m still debating whether to add more filler motifs. Before I decide, it needs to be used for a while. That way, I’ll be able to see where they are needed most.

On to the next project!

Perspective Daisy Crochet Charm Lace table mat

The Perspective Daisy pattern is from Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights. Follow the progress of the Perspective Daisy table mat project in these posts about Crochet Charm Lace. After rereading these posts, I see that I was arranging motifs for this project during a 2013 Texas Longhorn football game. Time flies.

Cute Crochet World‘s “Owl” Makes Artistic Debut

November 12th, 2014

Owls are so cute! Crocheters love them, if #crochetowls on Instagram is anything to go by. Have a look at crocheted owls on Google Images for an amazing variety of big-eyed birds.

To quote the famous sonnet writer, Elizabeth Barrett Brownyarn, “How do I crochet an owl? Let me count the ways. Oh, wow. There are lots of ways to crochet an owl–way too many to fit into sonnet form.”

Night Owl, Bright Owl, © 2014 by Suzann Thompson, commissioned by the friend of a bride who loves owls.

Step-by-Step Forget Me Not

November 10th, 2014

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Today is National Forget-Me-Not Day! Who knew? Many thanks to Vintage Bell Broken China Jewelry, whom I follow on Facebook, for bringing this to my attention! National Forget-Me-Not Day reminds us to get in touch with friends and relatives that we don’t see very often.

National Forget-Me-Not Day has nothing to do with flowers, but what better day to bring you a tutorial for the Forget Me Not flower on pages 86-87 of Crochet Garden? You’ll need a small amount of yellow yarn for the center, white or very light blue for Rnd 2, and sky blue for the petals.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Rnd 1 is the brilliant yellow, single crochet center of the flower. Rnd 2 tells you to join the next color “with dc in FL of any st of rnd 1.” To join with a double crochet, place a slip knot on your hook and yarn over. Holding the yo in place on the hook, insert hook into the front loop of any stitch of Rnd 1.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Draw up a loop (as in photo). Now you have three loops on your hook, which is exactly what you need to finish the double crochet. Work the rest of the stitches of Rnd 2 in the front loops only of Rnd 1.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Here’s Rnd 2 all finished, with the yarn ends woven in. Do you see the stitches of Rnd 1 that have no stitches of Rnd 2 in them? We’re going to call those “free sc”s.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Rnd 3 is worked in the back loops of the stitches of Rnd 1, so you need to fold Rnd 2 to the front, completely out of the way, and insert your hook behind Rnd 2 into the back loops of Rnd 1. The first stitch of Rnd 3 goes in any “free sc” of Rnd 1.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

When you’re finished with Rnd 3, it looks like this from the front…

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

…and like this from the back, for a total of 15 sc.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Rnd 4 begins with ch 1, and then a sc in the first “free sc” of Rnd 1. The sc will seem fat and tall, because it is created around the sc of Rnd 3, and the ch of Round 2 at that point. Both those stitches will be hidden from view by this new sc.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Now it’s time for a little multitasking. Work the next three stitches by inserting your hook into the next chain space of Rnd 2 AND also in the next sc of Rnd 3. The ch-sts of Rnd 2 will be hidden inside these three sts.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

The next two sts go into the next tr of Rnd 2. Ah, simple.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Once again, you’ll be multitasking for the next three sts. They are worked into the next ch-sp of Rnd 2, AND in the next st of Rnd 3.

Whew! Done with one petal and ready to start the next petal with sc in the next free sc of Rnd 1. Four more petals, and you’re done!

I added some Ladder Leaves (page 71 of Crochet Garden) and filler motifs to my little Forget Me Nots, to create this piece of Crochet Charm Lace.

Crochet Charm Lace with Forget Me Not Flower

Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2014

crocheted bat

Have a cutely spooky Halloween!

Love, Cute Crochet World

P. S. Bat pattern on pages 34-35. Also find a pumpkin, jack-o-lantern squash, archy cat with moon behind it.

Dream Home—A Crochet Picture

August 31st, 2014

Keeping a crochet secret is very difficult! I wanted to blog about the Dream Home project many times. But I also wanted to enter it into the Crochet Guild of America Design Competition. One of the rules is that an entry cannot have been published in print or online prior to the competition.

Dream Home, by Suzann Thompson

Now that the CGOA Design Competition is over for the year, I’m free, freeeeeeeeeeee! I’m free to tell the story of Dream Home. Finally!

I love fairy tales and similar stories. The illustrations I remember from childhood were rich in color and imagery from nature. Fairy tale homes had no modern machinery or complex technology.

Crocheted rabbit, ladybug, mushrooms

In a dream, a rabbit can fit under a toadstool, day and night can share the sky over your house.

You can see those childhood and dream images in Dream Home. The subject is pretty simple—a house, trees, some animals. As you come closer, you see more complexity—images in the sky, and the many small pieces that make up the whole.

I keep peeking around the doorway to look at Dream Home hanging in my livingroom. Seeing it makes me happy.

The History of Dream Home

Dream Home

Originally, Dream Home was going to be mounted onto a piece of felted wool and then made into a quilted wall hanging. The blue felt looked so good with the motifs of the picture. I was prearranging the pieces in this photo. That was when I realized just how many motifs were still left to crochet—lots and lots of blue circles for the sky, lots and lots of green petals and pink flowers for the lawn.

Finally the crochet charm lace was all done, meaning the motifs were sewn together to form the picture. I couldn’t quite visualize the finished piece, so I rolled the picture inside the felt and thought about it…for months.

With the deadline coming nearer, I bought a small quilting hoop to hold the piece while I hand-quilted it. Still, I couldn’t see it finished.

One day Ella and I were wandering around Michaels. In the painting section, I saw canvasses and thought, “What about sewing the picture to a canvas?” Artist’s canvas comes stretched and stapled to a wooden frame. It’s easy to hang. Right or wrong, a picture on canvas looks more like art than the same picture on a quilt. Now THAT, I could see.

I bought a canvas and prepared it by spraying it with a clear acrylic coating.

crocheted wall hanging

crocheted wall hanging

Should I use the pretty, blue, felted wool in the background, or not? After canvassing family members for their opinions, I chose to put the picture on the canvas without blue wool.

The sewing began. To keep the picture from sagging, I sewed around every single motif, attaching it to the canvas. Ignoring the large number of motifs, for fear they would discourage me, I just sewed one at a time. Eventually they were all sewn down.

crocheted butterflies

The picture looked lonely, floating around on that big, white canvas. It needed the button frame, which didn’t take very long to sew in place. I love button frames.

Here’s the scoop on the motifs:

From Crochet Garden:

  • Butterflies (left, in the sky), “Sulfur Butterfly & Friends,” pp. 31-33
  • Curlicues that form the water (lower left), “Curlicue Sprays,” pp. 62-63
  • Purple anemone with white and black center (right, under owl’s wing), “Anemone & Friend,” pp. 120-121

crocheted curlicues, water, and turtle

crocheted owl, anemone, mushroom, ladybug, bullion rose

From Crochet Bouquet:

  • Big green leaf (lower right, between toadstools and red rose), “Small One-Row Leaf,” pp. 120-121
  • Pink flowers in lawn, “Millefiori,” Tiny Petals, p. 26
  • Grass tufts in lawn, “Millefiori,” Rounded Petals, p. 25
  • Smallest trees in background, “Veined Leaf,” Plain Vein, pp. 123-124

crocheted house, tree, turtle, grass, bunny, flowers

crocheted rocket, star

From Cute Crochet World:

  • Mushrooms, “Storybook Mushroom,” pp. 59-61
  • Bullion rose, “Valentine Roses,” pp. 92-93
  • “Ladybug, Ladybug,” pp. 20-21
  • “Bunny,” pp. 38-39
  • “Turtle,” pp. 27-29
  • House, “Cozy Home,” pp. 133-136
  • Medium sized trees to the right of the house, “Cherry Blossom,” pp. 76-77
  • Owl, “Oval Owl,” pp. 36-37
  • Stars, “Starry Night,” pp. 98-99
  • Moon, “Winter Moon,” pp. 96-97
  • Rocket ship, “Vacation Transportation,” pp. 116-119
  • Clouds, “Cutely Cloudy,” pp. 86-87
  • Airplane, “Vacation Transportation,” pp. 116-119
  • “Bluebird of Happiness,” pp. 24-26
  • Sun, “Summer Sun,” pp. 94-95

crocheted bluebird, sun, cloud, butterfly

crocheted airplane, cloud, star

Next year’s entry into the CGOA Design Competition is already underway. It’s a…oops, can’t talk about it yet.

Sign Up Soon for Taos Wool Festival Workshops in October

August 25th, 2014

Polymer clay buttons

The Taos Wool Festival is always the first full weekend of October, with workshops starting a couple of days ahead. This is a great time to be in the mountains of New Mexico. The autumn colors and crisp weather are just wonderful.

This year I’m offering three classes at Taos:

Polymer Clay Button Boutique, all day Friday, October 3. You’ll go home with lots of colorful, pretty buttons, ready to use. They’re machine washable and dryable.

See the blue and orange buttons in the lower right corner of the photo above? We’ll make those as a group project. So fun!

Mosaic knit saguaro cactus

How to Knit Mosaic Patterns and Design Your Own, Saturday afternoon, October 4. After this class, you’ll be able to knit any of Barbara Walker’s many mosaic patterns, and you can design your own! Read more about the workshop here.

This mosaic cactus motif is one of my earliest original mosaic designs. I still like it a lot!

Knit Cables, Bobbles, and Braids workshop

Cables, Bobbles, and Braids, Sunday morning, October 5. You’ll learn how to do these stunning knitting techniques, but more importantly, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of these textural wonders. You’ll go away ready to twist and shout!

Please sign up for classes before September 1, 2014, at www.taoswoolfestival.org/workshops.

This notice is also on my other blog, but with different pictures. Enjoy!

Rog and Pam Build a House

August 23rd, 2014

“We’re moving to Cute Crochet World!” said Rog and Pam, happily. “Now we need a house.” Their real estate agent showed them this one. It was nice, but too plain. They wanted something fancier.

“This house is so cute!” said Pam and Rog, but they wanted different colors. “We’ll have to build our own house,” they agreed.

Meet Lio and Irene, construction experts on Cute Crochet World. Hi y’all!

Irene and Lio showed Rog and Pam lots of ideas for making a new house, including alternative building methods, like this knitted house. People of Earth, you can learn to knit a house like this in Suzann Thompson’s workshop “How to Knit Mosaic Patterns and Design Your Own,” at the Taos Wool Festival, in New Mexico, in October 2014. You can register for the workshop until September 1, 2014, at http://www.taoswoolfestival.org/workshops.

Rog and Pam decided to crochet a house. With Irene and Lio’s help, they chose materials and started building at the front corner of the house. The People of Earth apparently start their houses at the bottom and build up. How funny!


On Cute Crochet World, you begin building a house the front corner and work sideways toward the back, incorporating door and windows as you go.

To make a corner on a two-dimensional house, Irene and Lio used front-post hdc sts. You can tell it’s a corner, even though it doesn’t actually turn the corner. Find step-by-step photos to supplement the written Cozy Home instructions in the book, Cute Crochet World, here and here.


“On Earth, people put lentils over their windows and doors,” said Pam and Rog. “Let’s try it!” The lentils looked cute, but they kept falling off and sprouting.

This is Rog and Pam’s neighbor, Hugh. He’s a teacher. Hi, Hugh! He studied the lentils over their windows, and consulted a book. “I think this is a spelling problem,” he said.

Hugh offers this spelling advice: “‘I’ before ‘E,’ for windows, you see.” “Ah,” Rog and Pam said. “LINTELS.” Not lentils. They slip-stitched their lintels, but embroidery would have worked well, too.

On Mars, a yellow front door means ‘Welcome!’ Rog and Pam continue the tradition on Cute Crochet World.

Find instructions for the house, people, book, and much, much more in Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crochet Critters, Folks, and Food.

Step-by-Step Crocheted Dogwood Flower

August 22nd, 2014

Crocheted Dogwood Flower

Blooming dogwood is beautiful sign of spring!

Dogwood trees don’t grow in our part of Texas, so I studied photos of dogwood flowers, in hopes of including the pattern for one in Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights. Shaping the petal correctly was a challenge, but adding the dark notch at the petal end stumped me…for a while.

Crochet your own dogwood blossoms with the instructions found on pages 40-41 of Crochet Garden. I hope you enjoy making a tree-full! These step-by-step photos should help.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Each petal is made with three rows of crochet. To make the curved end at Row 1, you will “hdc-dc-htr-tog across the 3rd, 4th, and 5th ch from hook.” Let’s break that down:

  • Yo, draw up a loop in the 3rd ch from hook (3 lps on hook).
  • Yo, draw up a loop in the next ch, yo, draw through 2 loops (4 lps on hook).
  • Yo twice, draw up a loop in the next ch, yo, draw through 2 loops (6 lps on hook).

The photo shows how the decrease looks at this point. Now you’re ready to finish off this decrease: yo and pull through all lps on hook.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Finish Row 1, using decreases and different heights of stitches as instructed. This photo shows Row 1 finished, just before turning.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Here’s where we introduce the accent color, which will comprise the dark notch at the end of the petal. For the first petal, leave a reasonable-length yarn end, and begin crocheting over the accent color with the original yarn. As you crochet Row 2, you are looking at the wrong side of the petal.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

When the final dc of Row 2 is done, drop the main petal yarn, remove the hook from the loop and enlarge the loop, so it won’t come unraveled as you do the next few steps. Turn back to the right side of the petal. Find the stitch in which you made the dc. Then go to the next st of Row 1, and insert the hook in that stitch, as in the photo.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

To make the dark notch in the petal, yo with the accent color and draw through the stitch. With the accent color, make 2 slip sts in the side of the dc of Row 2. It’s right there, where you need it. You’ll easily be able to find 2 loops on the side of this stitch. Drop the accent color.

Insert your hook into the enlarged loop that you dropped earlier. Tighten the loop. You’ll have 2 loops on the hook, as you see in the photo above.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

With the main color, chain 1, drawing the loop through both loops on the hook. Then chain as instructed for Row 3.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Remember how you decreased three stitches to make the curve on Row 1 of the petal? To make the mirror-image curve on this side of the petal, you do the opposite: increase by placing 3 stitches into the 3rd chain from the hook.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

As you crochet Row 3, watch for the instruction to begin crocheting over the accent color again. That will bring it back down to the center of the flower, where it will be ready for the next petal.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Cut a 1/2″/1.3cm strip of stiff card to make the loopy center of the flower. I cut mine from a cereal box. Wrap the accent yarn carefully around the paper strip. Placing the wraps next to each other will make them all the same size. Insert your threaded tapestry needle under the wraps.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Pull the thread under the wraps, remove the needle, tie the ends of the thread as tightly as you can to hold the wraps. Remove the cardboard and tighten the knot.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Tie the yarn ends again to lock the knot in place. Use the ends to sew this piece onto the flower. For the wrap ends, you can trim them and hide them among the loops, or you can bring them to the wrong side of the flower and weave them in.

Cozy Home Features

August 7th, 2014

Crocheted House Tutorial

Time to customize our Cozy Home! Page 136 of Cute Crochet World gives instructions for these add-ons: gable vent, window boxes, shrubbery, lintels, and chimney. The first three are crocheted separately and sewn on.

Lintels can be embroidered or crocheted. Here’s how I like to crochet them:

Crocheted House Tutorial

The thread is under the work. Insert hook from the right side of the work to the underside.

Crocheted House Tutorial

On the underside of the house, yarn over hook.

Crocheted House Tutorial

Draw the loop to the right side of the work.

Crocheted House Tutorial

When you have enough stitches, cut the yarn, leaving an end of about 10″/30cm.

  • Draw the loop completely out so the end of the yarn is on the right side.
  • Insert the hook from the underside to the right side of the work, in the same space as the yarn end comes out, making sure that your last loop will be caught by the yarn.
  • Yarn over with yarn end, and pull through to the underside of the work, catching the last loop as you go, so that it can’t come unraveled.

Now you can use that long yarn end to crochet the rest of the lintels—fewer yarn ends to weave in! Yay!

Crocheted House Tutorial

Embroider flowers and leaves or use beads to represent them. I like French knots for flowers and straight stitches for leaves.

Crocheted House Tutorial

Welcome to your new Cozy Home!