Brenda K. B. Anderson makes mascots during the day. She cooks, crochets, knits, and belly dances at night. Brenda lives in a little house in Minnesota with her ridiculously good-looking husband and their hairy baby, Mr. Kittypants.
Brenda designs accessories, toys and garments that are fun to make. Her patterns have been published in Interweave Crochet, Crochet Today, Knitscene, and Knitting Today magazines, and will appear in several books including: Crochet At Home: 25 Clever Projects for Colorful Living edited by Brett Bara, Stitching in the Stacks edited by Sarah Barbour, and Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects from Crocheters around the World, edited by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman. Brenda is eagerly anticipating the release of her first book this Fall, Beastly Crochet: 26 Critters to Wear and Love.
Get Brenda's crochet tips and tricks in our Q&A session with her below!
BY (Bernat Yarns): What's your favorite type of crocheted item to design and why?
BA: I really like making accessories and amigurumi. They are quick to make and don't require a lot of yarn, so I feel like I can experiment more -- even if it turns out to be a disaster.
BY: What's your favorite piece of crochet advice?
BA: You can use a balloon to block hats to any size. Just inflate it to desired size inside the hat and tie off, spray hat with water, pat into the desired shape, balance balloon on top of mug so it doesn't roll around, allow hat to dry.
BY: What's your favorite Bernat yarn?
BA: Sheep(ish) of course!
Want to win a pair of mitts crocheted by Brenda herself? Tell us what crochet project you're working on right now (or what you plan to crochet next) in the comments of this post, and you'll be entered to win! Entries are open until Friday March 22nd, and we’ll be announcing our randomly selected winner on March 25th.
Love Brenda's mitts featured in our giveaway? You can make your own in Sheep(ish) by Vickie Howell using the pattern below!
Designed by Brenda K.B. Anderson
Finished size: One size to fit average Teen or Woman.
Approx 7 1/2”/19 cm long x 8 1/2”/21.5 cm hand circumference
Bernat Sheep(ish) by Vickie Howell (85 g/3 oz; 153 m/167 yds)
Olive(ish) (00019) 1 ball.
Size 5 mm (U.S. G/6) crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge.
Yarn needle. 1 button per flower. Needle and matching thread (for button).
Gauge: 16 sts and 19 rows = 4”/10 cm in moss stitch pattern.
18 sts and 24 rows = 4”/10 cm in ribbed slip stitch pattern.
Moss stitch pattern:
Foundation chain: Chain any even amount of stitches.
Row 1: Starting with 3rd ch from hook, [1 sl st in next st, 1 hdc into following st] across row, turn.
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as a stitch), [1 sl st into next hdc, 1 hdc into next sl st] across row, turn.
Rep Row 2 until desired length.
Ribbed slip stitch pattern:
Foundation chain: Chain any amount of stitches.
Row 1: 1 sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sl st into each st across, turn.
Row 2: Ch 1 (does not count as a st), 1 sl st into each st across, turn.
Repeat Row 2 until desired length.
Notes: - These mitts are crocheted flat in back and forth rows, and then seamed together. Each row runs from wrist to fingertip edge. Switching from one stitch pattern to the other creates shaping for hand.
- Ch 1 and Ch 2 do not count as a stitch.
Important: Working in the Slip Stitch pattern is much easier if you intentionally make your stitches a little bit loose. Otherwise, you will find it difficult to get your hook into each stitch. Pull up on each stitch just a little more that you normally would to keep them from getting too tight.
Mitt (make 2):
Row 1 (WS): 1 sl st in 2nd ch from hook, and into each of the next 10 ch, place marker in 11th sl st (to denote a change in stitch pattern), [1 sl st into next ch, 1 hdc in next ch] 9 times, 1 sc into last ch, turn. - 30 sts
Row 2: Ch 1, 1 sc into first st, [1 sl st into next hdc, 1 hdc into next sl st] 9 times, 1 sl st into each of next 11 sts, turn.
Row 3: Ch 1, 1 sl st into each of first 11 sts, [1 sl st in next hdc, 1 hdc into next sl st] 9 times, 1 sc in last st, turn.
Rows 4-17: Repeat Rows 2 & 3, seven more times.
Row 18: Ch 1, 1 sc into first st, [1 sl st into next hdc, 1 hdc into following sl st] 3 times, ch 6, sk next 6 sts (for thumbhole), [1 sl st into next hdc, 1 hdc into next sl st] 3 times, 1 sl st into each of next 11 sts, turn.
Row 19: Ch 1, 1 sl st into each of first 11 sts, [1 sl st into next st, 1 hdc into next st] 9 times, 1 sl st in last st, turn.
Rows 20-35: Repeat Rows 2 & 3, eight more times. Row 35 is a WS row.
Fasten off with a long tail. Using yarn needle and yarn tail, stitch side seam of Mitt together.
The following technique to join pieces together is recommended because it is much less bulky than most seams and lays flat quite nicely.
Butt the two edges of the Mitt together, with right side of Mitt toward outside. Weave yarn needle back and forth (from one edge to the other) just through the top loop of each stitch. Stop when you get to the end, rotate work 180 degrees, and repeat this process in the opposite direction, taking the opposite path through the top loops. This additional pass will not only reinforce the seam, but it also straightens the seam (it keeps the seam from looking jagged).
Weave in ends.
Flower (make 2):
Round 1: Make an adjustable loop, 5 sc into loop, pull on beg yarn tail to tighten loop. Do not join.
Round 2: [1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, ch 3, sl st into 3rd ch from hook, 1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc] into each st around (5 petals made). Sl st into first sc of round to join.
Stitch Flower onto Mitt using yarn tails or thread and needle. Stitch button in center of Flower. Weave in ends.