Welcome! Please browse through this blog to see my latest crochet projects, classes and designs.

On the left you will see a list of extra pages full of project photos, class descriptions and other things.

On the right you will find information about the classes I will be teaching.
Please email me if you have any questions or would like to sign-up for a class.
See me on Ravelry: CelticKnotCrochet
See me on Pinterest: Celknotcrochet (Jennifer E Ryan)

Thank you for visiting and I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blue Ribbon Crochet

Crochet World just published a special issue:

 
 . . . that can be purchased at your local bookstore, newsstand or on-line at:
 
Inside there are two projects that I created :
 
 
Loopy Flower Ring
 
 
Paisley Trivet
 
 
Both of these projects work up quickly. The ring is made with a thin wire and several tiny seed beads.  Very basic crochet skills are used to achieve a pretty result.  The hot pad is made with a double-strand of Lion Brand's Kitchen cotton.  This makes for a very thick project that will decorate and protect your table.
 
Do you enter crocheted projects into your local fair?  My daughters and I just began entering our projects in our local fair and it has been a wonderful experience. All of the volunteers are very helpful and encouraging.  Plus, it is so much fun to attend the fair and see your projects on display with blue, red or white ribbons attached.  This past year we took home almost eighty dollars in prize-winnings and even won a Best of Show award for our school project. (see photos below)
 
 
Connemara Beauty

Olaf Sculpture by Catherine -
Her own design and pattern
 

Cotton Candy Vest by Catherine
 
Elsa Necklace by my 9 year old

 
Our Secret Garden - Best of Show - School Projects
Our homeschool science project after studying plants
This is mainly made out of recycled materials-
Look closely and you can see some crocheted elements
 


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Scallops and Stripes Jumper

Here is another design that can be found in the current Spring 2015 issue of Crochet! magazine. (www.crochetmagazine.com)

 
I love a scalloped edging and thought it would be pretty to add it along each color-change.  I used a yarn I had never crocheted with before - Berocco Weekend in Lilac, Cornsilk and Daisy.  It is a beautifully soft cotton yarn that is perfect for spring and summer projects. 
 
I think this would make a great Easter dress for any little girl.
 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Formal Jewelry by Karen McKenna

 

Today I would like to share about Karen McKenna's new book, Formal Jewelry, published by Leisure Arts. (www.leisurearts.com)

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen this past summer in Manchester, NH for the annual CGOA conference.  She is easy to talk to and so kind that you feel like you have already known her for years.  It was fun to discover that our designs were in many of the same publications and I'm glad we've kept in touch since then. 



First of all, the book is beautiful! All of the photographs (by Jason Masters and Ken West) are wonderful and perfectly highlight all of Karen's jewelry projects (which range from necklaces to barefoot sandals).  They capture the 'dreamy' quality that weddings and formal events evoke as we prepare for and experience them.


At the beginning of every project's instructions it is written to first check the Basic Technique's section at the end of the book.  This Basic Technique section is full of excellent graphics explaining all the crochet and jewelry making skills you need to complete every project.  I especially like the step-by-step photos of how to use a 'bead stop' when stringing beads and how to use an eye-pin and end cone when finishing your piece.  Knowing the proper finishing techniques makes a big difference in how good (and professional) your project will look in the end - It is great that Karen's book takes the time to explain these steps with such clear diagrams.  Another bonus  - different sizes are written with varying colors.


And if you learn better by having someone show you how to do the various crochet and jewelry techniques, then you must check out the on-line videos on Leisure Art's website.  The videos (which take you through every step of each project) are of the highest quality and very helpful.

The only thing I would have liked to see included in this book is a list of jewelry tools needed for all projects put together - perhaps in the technique section - and some photos of the thread used (in skein form).  Although, the lists of supplies and information for each project are very clear and thorough on every page.

I wanted to try a project since I love metallic thread and beads.  So, I picked the Floating Pearl Necklace found on page 20 (It's also the necklace pictured on the cover).  I used some light pink metallic thread and 6mm pink pearls that I had on hand.  I was able to complete the necklace in less than 30 minutes and I love the results! The pearls go great with the metallic thread!


I would most definitely recommend this book to any crocheter - especially one who was planning a wedding or looking to go to a fun night out in a fancy dress.  I could see a wedding party getting together to make these in the wedding colors.  Karen's simply elegant jewelry designs would be the perfect accessory.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fabric Fusion Tote

 
 
Have you ever combined fabric with crochet? It is a great way to get the 'best of both worlds' - the texture of crochet and the colorful graphics of fabric.  This Fabric Fusion Tote is a design I came up with for the current Spring issue of Crochet! magazine. www.crochetmagazine.com
 
 
This design is paired with an article in the "Learn it, Do it" section.  The article gives tips on how to chose fabric, how to line your tote and how to sew the crochet to the fabric along with several helpful photos.  So, if you've never tried this technique, this would be a perfect project to get you started. 
 
I crocheted the handles with the new Lotus Yarn by Designing Vashti - it has a beautiful sheen seen best in the bright sunlight and comes in great colors.   Click here to buy.
 
Don't you just love the fabric I found at Hobby Lobby? It reminds me of our colorful springtime garden and fresh earthy breezes ( . . .which are far from us right now since we just had a blizzard that brought over 2 feet of snow!)
 
 
 
I find it hard to resist all of the beautiful fabrics you can buy on fantastic sales nowadays especially when my girls were really young - a small amount of fabric and a few hours could produce so many cute little dresses. Sometimes I would even make them in sets to match!   Now that they are older (and bigger), I have made some things combining fabric and crochet (see photos below) like this tote.  I end up saving a bunch of time and I still get to see my girls in cute dresses. :)
 

 
 
See? So cute! :)
 
 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Free Pattern - Great Last Minute Christmas Gift!

Merry Christmas!

Here is another very quick Christmas gift idea for you:


WOVEN NECKLACE


 
This necklace is a FREE pattern and can be found here at www.redheart.com.

This chunky style necklace is made with Metallic Sashay Ruffle yarn in a unique way - This yarn is usually used to make ruffley scarves but I decided to crochet with it coming right off the ball.  Then the long chains are woven together in a special pattern to make the attractive center piece.

All instructions and diagrams can be found in the pattern.

I think this could make a great Christmas gift in red and white or red and green using the beautiful Sashay yarns.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Crochet Gifts in 1-2-3 !

 
Here are some more great gift ideas found in a Crochet! magazine's Special Issue -
(You can order this issue on the link above or buy it in your local craft store (or bookstore) - even though it was published in the fall I just saw it for the first time in my local Joann's)
 
This Scarf Necklace (from the cover) is made with a beautiful variegated yarn.  It is very lightweight and adds a great pop of color to any simple top.
 
 
 
 This Ice Drop necklace is made with a pretty metallic yarn and clear tear drop beads.  It adds a fancy touch of sparkle to a Christmas party outfit or any winter dress.  I would like to make another one with gold metallic yarn.
 
I enjoy working with yarn and beads and then turning them into a jewelry design.  I often have grand plans to crochet something special (shawl or top) for an event coming up but as the event gets closer and time dwindles down, I end up with nothing crocheted a day or two before . . . . so, I 'resort' to creating some jewelry to wear and be the 'star' of my outfit.  Now that the time to Christmas is getting short, these would make the quick gifts you need!
 
(In a few days, another very quick necklace design - FREE pattern)


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Holly Leaf Scarf


Here is another quick and easy Christmas gift that is one size fits all!

I created this design several years ago and wear it every Christmas season - I always get many compliments on it and it looks great in photos.

This pattern is available in my Ravelry store for $5.00 - Christmas Holly Leaf Scarf

I crocheted with Red Heart's Shimmer yarn in the colors Lime Green and Red - It is one of my favorite yarns since the metallic thread matches the yarn color.  It is also very soft and washes well.

The Holly Leaf is one of my favorite Christmas symbols.  If you do some research, you will find that the holly leaf and its berries have been used in all sorts of ways in a variety of cultures and religions.  I like the connection of the prickly points to Christ's crown of thorns and the red berries to the ultimate sacrifice he made for us - reminding us of the purpose and reason for Christmas.

But I probably like the holly so much because I have fond memories of watching my mom and her mom adding them to every Christmas card (and envelope) with a swift and graceful flourish of their colored (or gold) markers - a tradition that continues to this day!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Merry Mistletoe

Can you believe Thanksgiving has gone by and it's time to get ready for Christmas?

Our family loves to start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  We have a great time going to cut our tree down at a local farm and spending the rest of the weekend putting up our Christmas d├ęcor.  Today I look forward to putting up this decoration I designed - Merry Mistletoe.

 
Its sprigs (made out of Red Heart Soft Yarn) will never wither or dry out. You can hang this mistletoe every year in hopes to create many kissable moments.  It also would make a great hostess gift for your next Christmas party.
 
This design can be found in the current December issue of Crochet World -
on newsstands now or at www.crochet-world.com
 
 
 
Coming up in the next few weeks - crocheted Christmas gift ideas!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Crochet Pumpkin Votive from Newspaper Bag


I come from a long line of creative and crafty women so I was brought up to always think 'outside-the-box' and look at things in a unique way - and that includes what went through my mind when I saw this on our doorstep each rainy Sunday:  This could make a neat crochet project!



I had made "plarn" (yarn made with strips of plastic bags) before and experimented a little.  I have not done much since it seemed to take so much longer to make the plarn then it did to actually crochet something.  But I have still been on the lookout for colored plastic bags to use.  . . . They are hard to come by until you have a rainy Sunday when the newspaper is delivered!



First, I gathered several of the orange plastic bags and cut them into strips using a cutting pattern that keeps each bag all one length.  (I cut off the bottom of every bag  - this created a tube open on both ends - and then cut down the tube lengthwise - this created one large rectangle as seen in photo above). I rolled the strips into a ball as I went and soon was ready to crochet.


(Glass Votive - 3" diameter across bottom, 3 1/2" across opening on top and 15 1/4" around widest part)

I used a J hook and worked as if I was making a baby hat.  I started with an adjustable ring so there is no hole on top.  From there I simply single crocheted around increasing as I needed to up to the widest point of the votive. (To check, I slid the project over the votive and then slid off to continue.)  After passing the widest part of the votive, I then decreased gradually until my stitches completely covered the glass. (You can use a simple pattern for a newborn hat to get the basic shape.)

To finish I added green pipe cleaners (that had been twisted around a pencil) and a felt leaf. (I found a pumpkin leaf template on-line.)



The plastic is stretchy and fits nicely to the shape of the votive.  Use ONLY battery-powered tea lights to illuminate your pumpkin!  (You can also use those short strands of battery-powered LED lights - they are much brighter than a tea light).You may also want to secure the bottom of the pumpkin edges with twist ties - this keeps it snug on the votive but also allows you to undo it to replace or remove the tea light.



Happy Thanksgiving!








(I used the glass votive with the open end on top because the shape seems more pumpkin-like. But . . . if you flipped over the glass holder so the open end was on the bottom, it would be very quick and easy to add a tea light and/or turn it off and on!)





Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ladies Night Out Crochet Class

  




Our Ladies Night Out Crochet Class had a great time this fall.  We learned a variety of stitches that we made into squares and practiced several techniques, such as: color changes and joining squares.


Ali and Jenn are crocheting away and getting inspiration from a pattern book.











Reshea and Elisha enjoyed crocheting together as mother and daughter - even though one is left-handed and the other right-handed! :)

 
Marie and Mona made several beautiful squares.
 
 

 
 

Elyse and Sally were beginners that did a wonderful job
learning the basics and having a good family time together.
 

Celeste is great to sit next to and get pointers. Bonnie always brings a lot of laughter to class!

 
And here I am with Judy who has made some neat projects
combining knitting with crochet.
 
 
Please check out everyone's projects on the page to the left - Student Gallery of Projects - that we worked on for the last 8 weeks.
 
 
 

 
 
 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Contemporary Celtic Crochet by Bonnie Barker



Welcome to the blog tour for a review of Bonnie’s book today!
Click on these links below to buy a copy :
http://www.interweavestore.com/contemporary-celtic-crochet
http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Celtic-Crochet-Designs-Sweaters/dp/1440238618

I met Bonnie back in 2012 during the CGOA Professional Development Day.  She impressed me right away by how quickly she worked up an intricately braided cable square for donation – without looking at a pattern - while she sat next to me.   As we talked we found out we had several things in common besides crochet– we are both Christian homeschool moms and love music!  Since then our friendship has grown over emails and has been a blessing to me.  At this year’s CGOA conference (Knit and Crochet Show) it was great to see Bonnie again and get a sneak preview of her beautiful book.

As you may have guessed, I am always drawn to things labeled “Celtic” and Bonnie’s book is filled to the brim with all kinds of great Celtic designs and photographs.  I love the Celtic Knot graphics along every page along with all of the wonderful photos of Ireland (that Bonnie took herself when she traveled there).  My favorite photo is the one on page 87 of the Cliffs of Moher – stunning cliffs with the deep blue of the ocean next to the bright green of the land– breathtaking!  I also like how Bonnie gave a creative and thoughtful name to each of the projects.

Here are some of my favorite designs:


Hialeah Honey Baby Blanket – pg 62
This design features the Celtic Weave stitch (Bonnie’s invention) and a thick Braided Cable.  I have tried the Celtic Weave (see below) and love how it is much easier than it looks – just a two row repeat!
 
 
Knockardakin Wrap – pg 84

Here we see the Honeycomb and Wheat stitches in a Ruana-style wrap.  Looks so warm and beautiful!

Kells Cabled Sweater – pg 112
I have seen the Book of Kells in Dublin – truly amazing piece of artwork, history and scripture.  I love the details of this sweater and how it is named after the book in Dublin.

 
 

Celtic Cross Afghan and Pillow – pg 116
Such a clever use of the Celtic Weave stitch to create the cross-shape!

So, after seeing just a few of the projects, aren’t you eager to start making them? Are you apprehensive because you haven’t tried cables before? Well, have no fear, Bonnie provides wonderful step-by-step photos in the beginning of the book that take you through each cable stitch.  She also provides great videos on her website explaining these stitches as well. (www.bonniebaycrochet.com) That is how I first tried out her Celtic Weave stitch shown in this blue swatch below (made with Lion Brand’s Homespun yarn).



And then recently I worked up this green swatch (with Red Heart’s Super Saver) using the explanations in Bonnie’s book  - Tada!
 
 
A few things I would have liked to see in the book:  a list of all projects with a small photo of each (and page numbers) somewhere at the beginning of the book;  a similar list/index of all of the stitches (with thumbnail photos and page numbers of the instructions);  and full black and white diagrams of each project showing where each stitch is used (some of this you can tell by the photos but for other projects some parts are hidden).

One of the first projects I hope to make is the Cables Meet Lace Cape on page 64  (see photo at end of post) with metallic and sequined yarn.  Bonnie’s friend and neighbor, Terry, wore a similiar cape in light blue to the banquet during the Knit and Crochet Show – it was stunning! (as you can see below – this design is called, “Channeled Cape” and can be found in the Winter issue of Crochet!) – and Bonnie is wearing the Kells Cabled Sweater in red – beautiful!
 
I am so glad for my friend, Bonnie, who wrote this excellent book, and that I have a copy in my own crochet library.  Not only is it a great way to learn cables, but it is a great book to leaf through to enjoy the beauty of the designs, the photographs of Ireland and the stories that go with them. Congratulations, Bonnie! This book is a treasure in my collection of crochet books.
 
 
Cables Meet Lace Cape