Learning to Crochet Online for Free

Learning to Crochet - Free Online Tutorals on Lost and Fawned

First up, a little house cleaning.  For the last year I dabbled with moving all my crafting and DIY posts to another blog.  It became too much for me to maintain, so as of today, those posts are coming home to Lost and Fawned.  Along with my usual fare of shopping, style and decor, I’ll be sprinkling in my quilting, sewing and now crochet as well.  I can’t wait to show you more.

On to the topic at hand… learning to crochet!  You may know that I’m an avid quilter (if not, be sure to check out my Instagram feed).  I’m also a chronic dabbler in the world of crafting.  I needed a new hobby like I needed a hole in the head, but here I find myself, hording yarn and starting projects.

My great grandmother was a whiz with a crochet hook.  Our family has piles of amazing zigzag afghans that she made over the course of her life.  They are full of memories and are so comforting, physically and emotionally.  The last time I was in Oregon, my mom and I spontaneously picked up some crochet hooks and yarn while we were at the coast for the weekend, and made it our mission to learn Granny’s craft.

It didn’t really click for me until I got back to Ohio.  My goal was to learn to make granny squares.   My search brought me to this video tutorial by Bella Coco.  I settled in for the evening with my hook, yarn and iPad.  It took me about and hour and half of stitching, ripping out (also called “frogging”… riiiip riiiip riiiiiiip) and starting over before I got it.  It clicked!  I was not only understanding what I was doing, but I was also getting faster and more comfortable with the hook.

Learning to Crochet on Lost and Fawned

I’ve officially finished a couple of projects, including 2 chunky infinity scarves, an adorable coffee cup cozy and a little amigurumi bunny doll.  I also have a few other projects in progress (like my huge scrap yarn granny square blanket and a hexagon afghan).  I’m having a blast learning new stitches and techniques.  Everything think I have finished was guided by video tutorials.  I’m getting comfortable enough to modify the tutorials and read patterns.

Interested in giving it a try?  Here are some of my favorite tutorials to get you started.  These are ones I have tried myself and had success with.

Some tutorials (including the ones by Bella Coco) will use British terminology.  Here is a great conversion chart to help you translate.

So there you have it!  This is how I learned in the matter of a couple of weeks.  With enough practice and determination, I am convinced anyone can learn.  It’s a very portable hobby.  It’s so easy to throw a ball of yarn and a hook in your purse and crank out a granny square or two while you wait for your appointment.  Please share your favorite resources or tutorials in the comments!  In the future I will cover some of my favorite tools and yarns for beginners.

Vintage Rehab / Cleaning Baked on Build Up

Before & After - Cleaning Baked on Residue from Vintage Cookware

Time for a new series!  I am all about shopping used.  We have expensive taste and tiny pockets, so I often hunt for overlooked items that can be saved with some elbow grease.  I find deals at thrift stores, online consignment, garage sales (real ones and Facebook pages) and craig’s list.  So this spring, I’m planning to share some of my favorite tricks to make used/vintage items look like new for less.

I had some good conversation come up in my post last week about vintage Pyrex.    You can, of course, buy shiny, ready to display pieces from Etsy or EBay, but if you are looking for the best prices you need to find them “in the wild” (aka thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, etc.).  Often times this means luck and willingness to drive to sales and dig in cupboards.  A lot of the time antiquers will snag them all in the first hour, so be prepared to go home disappointed.  BUT if you are lucky enough to find retro glassware, it usually needs some love before it’s ready to use.

Removing Baked on Residue from Vintage Cookware

Here is a prime example.  I found a nice stack of these adorable Anchor Hocking ‘Athena’ dessert cups recently.  They are from the 1970’s and were part of a full opal glass place setting that came in 2 patterns.  They were shoved all the way to the back of the shelf and look just awful.  Most people would think “omg gross”, but I saw potential.

Here is my line up, starting on the left and moving right…

The Linup - Cleaning Baked on Build Up from Vintage Cookware

  • I always start with the most mild products first.  A nice long soak in some hot water with simple dish soap will sometimes do the trick.  Fill the sink and let them sit.  Then come back and give them a good scrub.
  • If that doesn’t work I start bringing out the bigger guns.  Next I try a very mild abrasive cleanser, like Affresh Cooktop Cleanser.  It’s made for cleaning ceramic and glass cooktops and comes with a little blue brillo-like pad.  Some people swear by Liquid Barkeepers Friend, but with any of these types of cleansers you have to be REALLY careful.  Do not use them on any gold leaf and use them very gently.  If your piece is nice and shiny, you can dull the finish over time with these mild abrasives.
  • Next on my list, if the above doesn’t work, is powdered Barkeepers Friend.  This is an abrasive.  You have to be super gentle.  I usually make it into a paste and try it somewhere unnoticeable first.  If it’s something with a lot of decoration or is a solid painted finish I sometimes skip this step all together.  This is great for the inside of the white glass pieces to get rid of the silver utensil marks.
  • The last thing I try is this heavy duty oven cleaner.  It comes in an aerosol can and smells awful.  Try and use this on a day when you can crack a window, because it will give you a headache.  The upside is this cuts through just about everything.  Like with other products I have listed, you need to be cautious.  I’ve seen some blogs say to spray it on and let it sit up to 15 minutes.  I stick with 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes everything wipes away.  I’ve heard through the grapevine that this can strip paint.  I haven’t experienced that personally, but better safe than sorry.

Removing Baked on Residue from Vintage Cookware

These bowls went from dish soap to Affresh, and straight to oven cleaner.  I need to get a toothpick to clean out in between some of the little spaces in the lettering, but by the time I am done with them, they should look almost new.  I probably won’t be keeping them, since I have more than enough bowls in my cabinet, but I know someone out there is looking for them to complete their set.

Next on Vintage Rehab:  I will be sharing my favorite tool to take those annoying pills off of vintage sweaters, ties, upholstery, etc.  This thing is seriously life changing.

Cleaning Baked on Build Up from Vintage Cookware on Lost & Fawned

DIY Vintage Plate Clock

DIY Vinatge Plate Clock on Lost and FawnedLost and Fawned - DIY Vintage Plate Clock

Everything seems to come back around.  Today I was contacted about a craft project I shared on my first blog almost 6 years ago.  I had nearly forgotten about this one.  The pictures have disappeared from my old photo sharing account and the blog is all but forgotten, but it found it’s way back to me.

I might have to dig the plate-clock out of the box it’s still packed in from when we moved into the house.  It’s adorable and holds so many memories from college and living in our little apartment when we were first married.  It was such a cheap and easy project.  Here is a snippet from the original blog post…

I finally got around to finishing some projects up today that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile. A couple years ago I found this vintage plate at a thrift store for 30 cents. I loved the folk inspired farm scene and lovely yellow color. I used it to hold keys in my dorm and decided I wanted to find a more useful purpose for it.

I got out my handy Dremmel and bought a ceramic and glass drill bit for it at Lowes for a couple dollars. Picked up a clock motion at Walmart for $6 and once I found the center of the plate it just took a few minutes of drilling and screwing the motion into place and voila! I have a wall clock!

A big thanks to Fern of Rokolee who jogged my memory on this one!  I’m so glad to have rediscovered this piece of my blogging history.

Planning a Bridal Shower / with MY M&M’S

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for MY M&M’S. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.

Yellow and Aqua Summer Bridal Shower Palette- Lost and FawnedI love planning parties.  I don’t have enough excuses to really go all out though.  This summer I have the honor of planning a bridal shower for my good friend and sister-in-law.  I’m planning a joint shower for the beautiful couple this summer.  We are working on nailing down a venue this week, but some of the finer details falling into place.  I’m thinking lemonade, wildflower centerpieces, a few simple games and potted flowers and herbs as prizes.

Pictured above (clockwise from top left):  MY M&M’S  /  Invitation via Makr  /  Straws via A Little Sussy  /  Plant Shower Prizes via Wedding Chicks  /  Lemonade Stand via Wedding Chicks

Favors can be tough.  So many favors end up in the kitchen junk drawer or in the bottom of your purse.  You really can’t go wrong with chocolate though, and M&M’s have been a classic since 1941.  MY M&M’S makes it super easy.  It was probably the easiest part of the entire planning process so far.  In about 10 minutes, I was able to select the perfect colors to coordinate with the event palette, customize them with a monogram I designed and have them ordered and on their way.

My MandM Favors for a July Bridal ShowerOnce they arrive on my doorstep from MY M&M’S, I’m planning to create a simple favor that will really show off the candy.  I ordered clear square cello bags and will seal them with a custom printed sticker.  I think they will be a perfect take-away for guests.  Any extra M&M’s will go in bowls on the tables to add some extra color and pattern.

A huge ‘thank you’ MY M&M’s for kindly letting us try their customization services.  It’s going to really help make this shower special for my dear friends.  Stay tuned for a follow-up to see how the favors turn out.

My Fabric Collection on Spoonflower

Textiles and Fabrics by Ever So Splendidon SpoonflowerI’ve been a busy bee this month.  I’m finally getting to work on a long-time dream of mine, to create a collection of fabrics (and someday design a line for a major manufacturer).  I have a small collection of florals now available in my little Spoonflower Shop.  I’ll be adding more as I digitize all my sketches.  The process is time consuming, so I can’t quite keep up with my ideas.  For more information, check out my post on Ever So Splendid.  If you have questions or color suggestions, please feel free to let me know in the comments.

Be sure to follow me on Spoonflower for updates and new patterns.  Thanks!

Something New | Ever So Splendid

Ever So Splendid - L+F Sister Site

Hope those of you that are in the midwest and northeast managed to dig yourselves out yesterday!  By the end of the week everything is supposed to melt and we are supposed to get a taste of spring here in Ohio.

Today I wanted to take a second to introduce you to something new!  I’ve had an idea brewing in my brain for awhile and last week it came to fruition.  Introducing Ever So Splendid, the new sister site to L&F that will showcase my tutorials, quilting diary and crafty side.  It features an extra wide layout for huge photos and a clean layout.  Lost & Fawned isn’t going anywhere.  It will still showcase trends, shopping and design going forward.

I’d love to invite you to follow Ever So Splendid on Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin’ so you get all the new updates.  I’m working on a fun giveaway later this week to introduce ESS to the world.

If you are wondering where this came from.  A number of factors were involved in the decision to split the blog into two.  One is my constant need for something new and challenging.  I have found myself thinking a lot about things I would have done differently if I was to start the blog over.  After 5 years with this platform I have learned a lot.  It’s been nagging at me for awhile and I’m excited to put that knowledge to use.  There are also some personal factors involved that have caused me to distance myself a little from the Lifestyle blogging community.  It’s something I have debated about getting into here on L&F.  I don’t want to get to heavy, but I also want to keep things real.  We’ll see if I can muster the courage to share a little more.

Anyways, thanks a million!  We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled posts now!

My Sweet | Free Handwritten Font

My Sweet - Free Font by Lost and Fawned

Happy early Valentines Day!  I’m giving you your gift early just in case you can use it to make your valentines this year.  I hope you don’t mind (I’m sure you won’t…).

It’s been awhile since I’ve made you a new free font.  This seemed like the perfect time.  Meet ‘My Sweet’, the newest addition to my line of free typefaces.  Heart details make this handwritten font a fun accent typeface.  And it’s yours to use!  Free of charge!  See details below for download information and usage.

John Lennon Quote in My Sweet FontDownload My Sweet by Lost and Fawned
To download this font click the button above or click here to visit the download page.  Follow the simple instructions on the page and install the font file.  It’s super easy.  If you have any trouble with the download or questions about usage feel free to contact me.


These fonts are totally free to download and use!  Use it in your blog posts, blog and shop banners, personal crafting projects, personal wedding or baby shower invites, etc.  No need to credit me (but links are appreciated!).  If you are interested in using it on goods you plan to sell (posters, cards, invitations, etc.), please contact me first.

Free Sample Swatch from Spoonflower

Free Swatch of Silky Faille from SpoonflowerQuick!  Before noon EST today you can get a free sample 8″x8″ swatch of Silky Faille in your choice of pattern from Spoonflower.  Visit this page for details and then pick out any pattern of your choosing (or design your own) and use the free sample button before noon to have it printed and shipped to you for free.  Spoonflower is a great resource for sewers, quilters and crafters.  If you haven’t tried it, today is the perfect opportunity.  But hurry!  Time is running out for this sample swatch!

I’ve always wanted to see Woodland by Lydia Meiying in person.  What swatch are you sampling?

(PS: Sorry for the short notice on this one!  I woke up and saw it and had to share.  It’s too good to pass up.  I hope you catch it in time to snag a swatch.)


Butcher Paper Wrapping // Three Ways

Butcher Paper Gift Wrap - 3 Ways

One of the best purchases I have ever made was a giant roll of kraft butcher paper. I use it to cover the dining room table when I spread out to paint and it’s the easiest all-purpose wrapping paper. I dress it with floral ribbon for baby and wedding showers. It’s a great base to customize for anyone’s birthday. Brown kraft is seriously versatile.

This week I was determined to get in the holiday spirit so I unrolled my butcher paper and got wrapping. I thought it would be fun to share three ways I jazz up butcher paper for holiday wrapping. I always cut the paper to the size I need for each gift ahead of time.

Stitched Wrapping Paper - DIY - via Lost and Fawned

Stitched Wrapping Paper Steps

/ Stitch It /

Easy to do if you have a stash of embroidery floss laying around. I gridded the backside of the paper first so my stitched X’s would be laid out evenly. Use a medium sized needle (not too thick). You could do X’s like I did, chevrons, stars, boxes, etc. there are so many possibilities. And then there is color. Use one thread color or mix them up.

Layered Kraft Paper - DIY - via Lost and Fawned

/ Layer It /

The easiest way to dress up kraft paper to layer it up with bands of patterned paper, metallic paper, ribbon, string, fabric, etc. simply wrap the gift in plain butcher paper and then pile on layers that gradually decrease in width. Try cutting the paper like a snowflake.

Potato Stamp Gift Wrap - DIY - via Lost and Fawned

Potato Stamp Gift Wrap - DIY

/ Stamp It /

This one harkens back to your childhood! I made a good old fashioned potato stamp of a simple tree shape and used black acrylic paint to stamp them across the paper. It’s not perfect, but I love the way it turned out. Add a colorful Pom or bow to polish it off.


I put together a collection of some of the supplies I used above and some of my other favorites tools, books and supplies.  Find them all over here.

I’d love to see your creatively wrapped gifts.  Feel free to tag me on instagram @lostandfawned or use the hashtag #lostandfawned to show me how you dressed up your presents this year.  Happy wrapping!

A Night In // Watch – Make – Drink

Watch Make Drink - Lost and FawnedThe holidays can be a super busy time.  So when I get a night off to myself I try to take advantage of it.  I’ve put together a little cocktail for a perfect December night in for just you or a few close friends.  I suggest pairing it with PJ’s and wooly socks to complete the cozy atmosphere.  Bonus points for a glowing fire or christmas tree.

My ultimate holiday movie.  I watch this every year and I cry every year.  Also always try and get Jared to watch it with me, but he insists he has seen it, and then I insist that he is thinking of “Holiday Inn” and then he rattles off the plot accurately and I concede.

I usually like to bring a project I’m working on downstairs and stitch away on the couch or spread out on the coffee table.  These votives look so easy and look great on a mantle or in a table setting.  (Side-note: My favorite tealights are the TINDRA scented tealights from Ikea.  The vanilla perfect for every season.  I have a huge stock of them and usually light one in the kitchen after I do the dishes.)

Treat yourself!  There are tons of great hot chocolate hacks on pinterest and Tastespotting.  This recipe contains three of my favorite things… cookies, cocoa and rum.

All images property of the noted owners.  Please visit their sites for more information.  Thanks!