Moogly & Red Heart: A Lovely Year in Review!

When I decided to become a professional crocheter in 2011, I never imagined where it would take me, or what Moogly has become. And the most exciting thing that happened in 2018 was becoming a Red Heart Joy Creator!

Red Heart Joy Creators

Joy Creators are “a group of designers and crafters who combine innovative designs and ideas with Red Heart products to create joy. You’ll know that blogs with the Joy Creator seal have well-written patterns using Red Heart, clear pictures, and an engaging social presence.”

It was such an honor, and I’m so excited to be working with Red Heart – and a whole bunch of my crochet besties! In particular, it’s been ridiculously fun partnering with Red Heart National Spokesperson Marly Bird for some great projects – most recently, a Merry Yarning Facebook Live (so many laughs that day)!

Moogly and Marly Bird in Merry Yarning!

Marly and I also got to host the Crochet Guild of America Fashion Show this past summer – which was even more exciting because I was elected to the CGOA Board of Directors in January!

While those were some exciting highlights, most days were filled with designing new patterns in all the yummy Red Heart Yarns I could get my hands on! As soon as I knew I was a Joy Creator, I ran to my local Michaels and picked up every skein of Red Heart Soft Essentials Stripes in Linen Stripe that they had!

Red Heart Soft Essentials Linen Stripe

And by the end of that weekend, I’d designed the Brown Butter Shawl. And it was a hit – it was the start of a beautiful relationship…

Brown Butter Shawl by Moogly, made with Red Heart Soft Essentials Stripes

So since then, I’ve gotten to explore many delightful yarns, and fortunately, had a few more patterns that you all seemed to like too! The next pattern to take off was the Saturday Sweater made with Red Heart Fashion Soft – I decided to be brave and start really designing adult garments this year!

Saturday Sweater by Moogly, made with Red Heart Fashion Soft

A couple more garments later, and I came up with the Cosmos Cardigan – my “fanciest” yet! It is still very simple, but the small details like notched armholes and tapering sleeves make for a fantastic fit. And it sparkles with Red Heart Hygge Charm!

Cosmos Cardigan by Moogly, made with Red Heart Hygge Charm

It wasn’t all garments though – I also designed a few blankets this year, the most recent of which is the Waterlily Throw! It’s my second round Afghan (the other being Circle of Love), and it was so much fun “doodling” with Red Heart With Love!

Waterlily Throw by Moogly, made with Red Heart With Love

One of my favorite items to crochet are cowls – they’re quick, easy, and I love wearing them! This year my Harvest Bandana Cowl was a chance to bring back one of my favorite corner to corner stitches in a new way. And the colors of Red Heart Colorscape… wow!

Harvest Bandana Cowl by Moogly - made with Red Heart Colorscape

And to cap off the year, I’ve been honored once more, by being chosen as the designer for the Furls December Crochet Along! I designed the Snow Charming Cape using  Red Heart Hygge Charm – I can’t resist that subtle sparkle!

Snow Charming Cape by Moogly, made with Red Heart Hygge Charm

This time of year, reflecting on all that’s happened, I can’t help but think of one of the first big Moogly successes that is *still* going strong… made with Red Heart Unforgettable – the Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf!

Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf by Moogly, made with Red Heart Unforgettable

It’s been an amazing year of crochet, and I’m looking forward to creating more lovely things for all of you to make using Red Heart Yarns in 2019 – and beyond! Have a wonderful, restful, yarn filled holiday!

Moogly & Red Heart: A Lovely Year in Review!

Who Deserves Your Handmade Gifts? How to Narrow Down Your Christmas To-Do List

Christmas is upon us. Will you be up late on Christmas Eve trying to knit or crochet more items than you could possibly complete in a month, let alone an evening? If so, you’re not alone. Many people have big ambitious plans to handmade all of their gifts for Christmas.

Continue reading “Who Deserves Your Handmade Gifts? How to Narrow Down Your Christmas To-Do List”

Guide to Choosing Yarns and Patterns for Crocheting Winter Garments

Crocheting winter garments can be challenging. On the one hand, you want to make something cozy and warm. On the other hand, bulky knits can sometimes feel unflattering. How do you go about making things that you and your loved ones want to wear for winter? This guide will help you figure it out.

Continue reading “Guide to Choosing Yarns and Patterns for Crocheting Winter Garments”

How to Crochet a Fall Wreath

Fall is the perfect season to make a crochet wreath. You can get creative adding a variety of different autumn-inspired colors and appliques. Hang wreaths on front doors or on your walls. Make them big or small. Create many small ones or one statement piece. This guide shows you some of the different decisions that you’ll make when creating your own crochet wreath design. Of course, you can use the same basic guide to crochet wreaths for any season.

Continue reading “How to Crochet a Fall Wreath”

Crafting an Organized Holiday Season

When Halloween decorations are still in the stores, it’s hard to start thinking about the gift-giving holidays – “too early” is what most say! But if you like to make handmade gifts, then it’s time to start planning – and in some cases making! Here are some tips, timelines, and free patterns to help you prep for the holidays this year!

Make a List & Check It Twice

Who are you creating for this year? While it can be tempting to aim for a 100% handmade holiday, the cold hard fact is that not everyone appreciates handmade gifts, and your time and talents are precious!

Make sure you are crocheting and knitting for those who will honor your time and talents. And make sure you know about any allergies – not everyone can handle all natural fibers!

GIFT IDEA: Care Package Throw by Moogly – This crochet blanket pattern works up in just hours with Red Heart With Love – which makes it easy care and non-allergenic too!

Care Package Throw by Moogly

Create a Countdown Calendar

Whether you’re a paper person or a digital devotee, it’s time to break open your calendar and start thinking about how much time you have to devote to making your gifts this year. While Christmas might be “months away,” it really breaks down to only a few weeks!

Depending on the length of your list and the amount of free time you have to devote to making, you will want to make sure you have enough time to make each project, without turning your own holiday into a stressful rush.

Try printing out a few free online calendar pages and planning out a deadline for each project to keep yourself on track – and to make sure you’re being realistic too!

GIFT IDEA: Dragon Wing Cowl by Jessie At Home – Knitting for the holidays doesn’t have to take forever – try a beautiful one skein accessory like this pattern featuring just one ball of Red Heart Sparkle Soft!

Dragon Wing Cowl by Jessie At Home

Plan Your Projects & Get Organized

After you’ve got your gift list made, it’s time to think about supplies! Do you have the yarn you need to make the projects on your list? Have you bookmarked or printed out the patterns you want to make?

One thing that can be very helpful, when you have a lot of projects lined up, is to make yourself a bunch of “kits.” Using project bags, bins, plastic baggies, sections of the spare bed – whatever works for you! – put the yarn, supplies, and pattern for each project in its own pile or container.

This has 3 great benefits – you’ll see exactly what you still need to purchase or gather together, so you can organize your shopping list, and you’ll also see exactly how big a “job” you are setting yourself up for – and if that schedule is realistic!

And finally, when you’re ready to get started with each project, you’ll have everything you need right there – grab and go!

GIFT IDEA: Hygge Stripe Socks by Marly Bird – Knit socks are a classic gift for a reason – and these beginner house socks include video tutorials, as well as Chic Sheep by Marly Bird yarn!

Hygge Stripe Socks by Marly Bird

Get Making

All the planning in the world won’t help if you don’t start crocheting in time! But the race to the holiday can take its toll on your muscles – be sure to stop, stretch, and relax on nights you’re yarning. Nothing will slow you down more than an injury!

In addition to the muscle strain, holiday prep can affect our mental health as well. Be sure to take deep breathes during those stretches, and remember that handmade takes time.

If you find yourself stressing out about gift projects, go back to your schedule or calendar and see if you can mix up the order a bit – try alternating between complicated patterns and simple patterns that can be made while you relax and watch your favorite holiday movies!

GIFT IDEA: Cozy Time Fringe Throw by Salena Baca for Red Heart – Relax with a cup of cocoa (or maybe some mulled wine?) and this ultra easy, relaxing, and supremely comfy throw made with Red Heart Hygge!

Cozy Time Fringe Throw by Salena Baca for Red Heart

Have a Backup Plan

Sometimes, despite our best intentions and efforts, the handmade gift just isn’t going to get made in time. It’s happened to just about every crafter!

So what will you do? You have lots of options – from gifting an “IOU,” to making something smaller/faster, to setting the project aside for next year and purchasing something for this year instead.

After all, part of the value of handmade is that it takes time – something we all run short of sometimes. So it doesn’t hurt to always have a few “quick gift” patterns in your back pocket for emergencies – and then we’ll start earlier next year, right?

GIFT IDEA: Hanging Gift Card Holder by Moogly – This super quick pattern is perfect for last-minute gift emergencies – or when you need to make a bunch of quick gifts in bulk – with just 25 yards of Red Heart Scrubby Smoothie!

Hanging Gift Card Holder - Moogly

Good luck all – and Happy Holidays!

Tips for Crafting an Organized Holiday Season