I think we can all agree that crochet itself is our happy place. Whether we are crocheting in our favorite chair, in bed, in the car or with a friend, the act of creating something beautiful from a ball of fiber is a joy. We are all united in this love, or we would not be on the pursuit of the next new project to get on our hooks. That is why I love to keep creating new things to share!
Started from the bottom, now we here
Not only is crochet my passion, but it is also my career. Each day, I get up to design, share, create, and express myself through my craft. One of my favorite places in my home is my own personal happy place. I know that I have shared in a previous blog some photos of the transformation of my craft room.
This was a photo the previous owner sent us of the room before we moved in. *YIKES!*
When Nate and I purchased this house, there was a room with a wood structure of floor to ceiling drawers. We initially thought to remove the structure and use this room as a bedroom, but the more we thought of it, the more it seemed like a waste yet, the entire thing was too obtuse and awkward to do much with. So my mom suggested that we remove the drawers and make each cubicle a shelf for storing yarn and in the middle make a studio so I can film tutorials.
Breathing new life: from old to new
As soon as that vision started to formulate the room came to life and over time I have added more to make it “my space.” I love to come in here to craft and create, to film and complete my patterns so that I may share them with you. I even come in here to just escape for a few minutes between the hectic moments of being a working wife and mama.
A room with purpose
This space has come a long way and still has a LONG way to go, but it is a space that makes ME feel good. It allows me to feel like I can come in here and create.
I put on some music, it is cozy, and I am surrounded by something I love: YARN!! Even Nasir loves to be in here with me, and my kitties think it’s their playground. For me, this room represents a part of me that feeds my purpose and keeps me, quite literally, from unraveling.
Share with me about your happy place! Is it a room or a favorite spot in your home? Is it with a friend that you can sit and craft with? Creating a space and time to do what you love is essential to keeping a good balance between our worries & stresses and all the things we love.
I hope all of you enjoy a few moments each day ‘In your happy place.’
With my move to a new city, much of my free time is spent exploring my new home. Nate has lived here for almost 10 years and as familiar as he is with this area, there are a lot of places in our city that I have discovered that he wasn’t aware even existed! One of the first places I wanted to scout out was the area yarn shops. Because it would be a travesty if my husband didn’t know where the yarn is!
You may recall in previous blogs how much I enjoy the quaintness and feel of a local yarn store. I love to support small businesses, and I will do my best to try to frequent them as often as I can. Fortunately for me, my city has a few in and around the area! Insert a visual of wide-eyed Nadia looking like a kid in a candy store each time she enters one of these shops running around squeezing all the yarn balls!
Last week, I popped into one of the local shops, Unwound Artisan Yarn Shop here in La Crosse, WI and found out they were having a Yarn Loop! Squeeee! How did they know I needed that in my life right now? What it entailed was a 200 mile route through three states, hopping from yarn shop to yarn shop along the route. Six shops in total were part of this event! You have no idea that I could hardly sleep the night before!! I was THAT excited.
The first thing I did when I found out there was a Yarn Loop was call my mom. Who better to join me on this adventure than my crafty partner in crime?? I was hoping she would be able to come the night before to have a pre-yarn-hop slumber party where we would stay up all night and plot out our plan and get an early start, but she was so busy she couldn’t make it until early that morning. She had over a two hour drive to get to my house, and of course I insisted we be ready to go by 8am. Even though the shops didn’t open til 9!
She was at my house by 8am the morning of the yarn hop and by 9 we were walking into the first shop! Our first stop was Unwound located right in Downtown La Crosse. I love their shop and how welcoming the staff is! The minute you walk in is a burst of warmth and color. Here we were given our “passport” to have stamped at each of the shops participating. Each shop was giving away some door prize swag, there were great deals and sales on yarn, and some had additional prizes and giveaways. Unwound had a nifty needle measure as their giveaway. I also scored some great purchases. I bought some wonderful yarn by Abacus Dyeworks. Along with fabulous fibers, I found some patches to add to my yarn bag. All in all it was a great start, despite the fact that as soon as we stepped out of the shop it was a torrential downpour! Meh, no rainstorm would dampen my spirit when 5 more shops await!
Next was Fitting Knit Shop, another store in downtown La Crosse. We arrived and had our passport stamped first thing. They were giving away free knitting patterns and I grabbed a couple skeins of Bamtastic Bamboo Yarn. I plan on trying my hand at knitting to see how I do. One really special point about this stop was the history of this little yarn store! It was established in 1946! They are still in business today. What a remarkable claim to be able to make! In the days of internet, it is pretty cool to see a business like this survive through so many decades.
We were quickly on our way to Viroqua, WI to Ewetopia Fiber Shop. I love this shop! With wall to wall fiber and lots of fun products that go beyond the yarn, I felt my excitement rising! What made Ewetopia stand out was the fact that they farm their own woolly animals that provide them their own AMAZING yarn! You all know me, I had to try THAT yarn! I purchased their own yarn which was 100% Blue Faced LeicesterWool. How incredible to have a sustainable farm to provide your own wool and fibers to their customers as well as stocking additional fabulous fibers! The staff at the shop was so endearing and wonderful. I had my passport stamped and I met some friends along the way! They gave out stitch markers for free, and of course I had to purchase some of the other fun items they had in their shop! I can’t wait to go back!
My mom and I were now off to Decorah, Iowa to our fourth stop of the day. By this time it was closing in on lunch, but we decided to wait until we arrived in Decorah, made our stop at the yarn shop Blue Heron Knittery, before stopping for lunch. Oh. My. Gosh! What a wonderful city Decorah is! This was my very first time visiting and right away we noticed the strong Scandinavian heritage of the area! It was wonderful. What was even more delightful is the yarn store had a wonderful selection of yarns that were specific to Norway and Denmark. We marked our passports to make note that we found our way to the fourth place on our route. I picked up some Kauni 100% wool and some Rauma Finullgarn. The shop had some fun swag giveaways and I walked away with a cute notepad with sticky notes and a pen. A cute stash bag also caught my eye and I had to have it!
By now we were starving and the Blue Heron Knittery shop staff recommended us to Ede’s Angry Pickle! Yes you read that right! It is a little sandwich shop right across the street a bit from the yarn shop. You can follow them on Facebook here! What a delightful diner! We had artisan sandwiches with fresh lemonade and it hit the spot! We even left a little bit of art behind to commemorate the day! My mom drew Pickle Art for the wall inside the diner which was filled with the art of past patrons.
By 3pm, we were on our last leg of the trip headed towards Minnesota. A little tired from all the day’s activity, we were determined to finish the yarn hop. The next stop was Just Stitch It Meisch Upholstery in Caledonia, Minnesota. As soon as we walked in the door, we were greeted by wonderful staff in a small shop inside what looks like a home. It was a combined fabric and fiber shop that was very cozy! They handed us wonderful pouches of swag as a sweet giveaway and had us register for a special giveaway of a bag, magazine and ball of yarn. A few days after the Yarn Loop was over, I received a phone call from this shop that I won their giveaway! They had some wonderful yarn selections and I was able to purchase their pattern selection they had featured which used Schoppel yarns. We wrapped up our visit and were on our way to the LAST stop of the day!
Winona, Minnesota was the next city on the map for our fabulous Yarn Loop Day. Yarnology was the last shop and last stop for us! And what a way to end the day!!!!! Yarnology was packed full of fun and fabulous products! I scored myself some Universal Yarns Bamboo Bloom Handpaints in the color Kanji and the swag they gave away was AWESOME!! They handed us gift bags upon arrival filled with lots of fun do-dads! One big highlight of the day was meeting Lisa who is the owner of Abacus Dyeworks! Remember, I bought that yarn from Unwound Artisan Yarn Shop from our first stop?! How awesome was it to meet the dyer of the yarn I purchased earlier in the day!! I also discovered the product SOAK Wash! You can learn more about SOAK and how awesome it is by following them on Facebook here! I absolutely loved this store, the atmosphere, the staff…the list goes on. It was THE PERFECT way to end this hop.
My mom and I had such a great adventure as we always do, and a yarn hop was the best way to spend a Friday. We met so many friendly and welcoming people. We enjoyed driving through the countryside, and when the rain cleared, the scenery was breathtaking. We found new places to go back to and explore. A special thank you to all of the participants in this 1st annual Driftless Loop Yarn Shop Hop! It was a blast! And I found out Yarn Hopping is as fun as it is exhausting! Until next year everybody! Share your yarn hop adventures in the comment section! I would love to hear from you!
Every once in a while, I’m inspired by a fashionable clothing piece that I see online or in the store, and I’m struck by the possibility that I could make something like that. Has that ever happened to you?
Recently, I ran across a cute shrug on Pinterest that inspired me for this project. Although the item was knit, I felt I could create something similar using crochet. Best intentions often go astray because this project was more challenging than I anticipated when I sat down to design it in the studio.
Earlier this year, I purchased a beautiful Peruvian Pima Cotton from Wool and the Gang and had a summer clothing piece in mind when I chose this yarn. They had a sale on their Shiny Happy Cotton in Hot Pink, and when I bought it, I thought it would be cute for a summer top or a handbag. It was my textile of choice when creating this crop top. I was not disappointed. It worked up beautifully, even if the direction I started out in wasn’t where I ended up.
My design took on a life of its own, and in the process, I created this adorable lacy piece that I christened the name “The Sun-Kissed Crop Top” because of it’s openness in its pattern.
This top is perfect for wearing over a sundress, tank top, or it can make any fashion statement that you desire! You can continue to increase the bodice to create a swimsuit cover-up or longer tunic top. Also, please note, the dolman sleeves can be made longer. Below you will find the instructional video with a step-by-step demonstration on how to make your very own! Do you like reading a pattern better?? Scroll down even more to see the written instructions!
I can’t wait to see your designs and color choices! Let’s all get sun-kissed!!
Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make this crop top:
My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos when I move away.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.
**You can always contact me via Facebook if you have any problems with the pattern. I am happy to help if you have any questions along the way.
***You can sell anything you make from my patterns, please just link back to my website YARNutopia.com. Thank you!
Teacher: Nadia Fuad
Video and Editing: Fuad Azmat (My Daddy)
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Designed by Nadia Fuad
You may sell items made from my pattern, but please reference my website YARNutopia.com.
Please do not copy, sell, and/or post this pattern and claim it as your own.
-This pattern is made working 2 panels and sewing them together and then creating the sleeves.
-The video tutorial demonstrates a size Small/Medium but if you do more chains you can make this bigger. The video tutorial shares how to make this wider.
-To make this longer, just repeat rows 2-5 as many times as you want.
-To make sleeves longer, just repeat the ribbing pattern until you are satisfied with the length.
-Mine measured 41 inches across (106cm) unstretched and 15 inches long (38cm) unstretched.
-Before making this piece, measure your waist, your neck line, and the length you want to make this so you can mark your stitches for sewing your pieces together.
-This took me about 2 days to make, but you could make this in one day if you work on it constantly.
-The beginning chain length is explained below in the pattern.
-You can use any type of cotton or cotton blend yarn to achieve this style.
YO: Yarn Over
Sl st: slip stitch
SC: Single Crochet
HDC: Half-Double Crochet
DC: Double Crochet
Shell: [3DC, Ch 1, 3DC] in same stitch
DC2TOG: Double Crochet Decrease
FPDC: Front Post Double Crochet
BPDC: Back Post Double Crochet
If you have any confusion or difficulty with reading this pattern, please watch the video tutorial to have visual instructions.
Front and back panel:MAKE 2
Chain 99, 111, 123, 135 (if these chain amounts are not long enough, just add 12 chains to your piece until it measures the length you want it to be. Ex: chain 147, 159, 171)
Row 1: DC in 4th ch from hook and in next 2 chs, *ch 3, sk 3 chs, dc in next st, ch 3, sk 3 chs, dc in next 5 sts, repeat from * across ending with 3 dc, Turn.
Row 2: Ch 5 (counts as dc + Ch 2), Sk the first 3 sts, *Shell in the next DC, ch 5, sk 5 dc, repeat from * across, ending with ch 2, dc in last st, Turn.
Row 3: Ch 6 (counts as dc + ch 3), *5 DC in next ch 1 sp, ch 3, dc in center ch of ch 5 sp, ch 3, repeat from * across, ending with ch 3, dc in last st, Turn.
Row 4: Ch 3 (counts as dc), 3dc in same st as ch up 3, *ch 5, sk 5 dc, shell in next dc, repeat from * ending with 4dc in last st.
Row 5: Ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 DC in same st as ch up 3, *Ch 3, sk 3 sts, DC in center ch of ch 5 sp, ch 3, 5 DC in ch 1 sp of shell, repeat from * ending with 3 dc in last st.
Rows 6-13: Repeat rows 2-5 twice (You can repeat rows 2-5 as many times as you want to make this as long as you want, I just did 2 repeats to make it the length you see in the photos)
Fasten off with long tail for sewing.
Once you have your two panels made, sew them together. Watch the video tutorial at 33 minutes and 15 seconds for measurements and how to make it centered so one sleeve isn’t longer than the other.
Once your pieces are sewn together, you can work on the sleeves:
Rnd 1: Attach yarn to under side of sleeve, ch 3, (counts as dc), DC an odd number around (including ch 3 in this count), I DC’d 28 sts so I had a total of 29 DC’s on this round. Sl st to ch 3 to join.
Rnd 2: Ch 3, DC2TOG all around, sl st to ch up 3 to join. (14 sts and a ch up 3)
Repeat this round if your sleeve isn’t tight enough around your arm. Then go on to rnd 3.
Rnd 3: Ch 3, DC in each st around, sl st to ch up 3 to join.
Rnd 4-8: Ch 3, FPDC in next st, BPDC in next st, repeat from * around. Sl st to ch up 3 to join.
Repeat this round as many times as you want to make your sleeve as long as you want.
Fasten off when you are satisfied with the length.
Repeat this step for other sleeve.
Weave in all ends.
Next steps are optional:
SC around neck and waist openings. (see video tutorial at 1 hour 4 minutes for visual instructions)
Weave in all ends.
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows.” ~Helen Keller
This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia