Ava Shell CAL Crochet Pattern – Getting Started

A shell is the perfect garment for so many things. It is very similar to a tank top but usually worn over a cami or tank top. The Ava Shell CAL was designed with the beginner in mind. If you’ve never worked a garment, this is the perfect pattern to start with. It was designed to be worn with a pair of jeans, or you can dress it up with a skirt and heels for date night. It is made with a v-stitch variation so the pattern is open and lacy. Make it in your favorite color or in a neutral color so that you can wear it over a variety of tank top or shirt colors.


Ava Shell CAL - Free shell tank top for the beginner - crochet pattern by Ambassador Crochet.*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliates.


Ava Shell CAL


The Ava Shell crochet pattern will be released in sections for the CGOA Summer Crochet-Along 2017. Join us in the CGOA CAL – FB community for pics, help, and more.


Materials List



#3 DK cotton or linen/cotton blend

  • XS, Sm, Med – 440-655 yds
  • Lg, XL, 2X, 3X – 660-1100 yds
  • 4X, 5X – 1100-1300 yds

Sample used: Rowan Creative Linen – #3 DK weight shown in Natural.


Crochet Hooks: Size I/9 (5.50 mm) and J/10 (6.00 mm). PLEASE READ the gauge notes! You may need to adjust your hook size to get the correct gauge.

Notions: Yarn needle.

Difficulty: Advanced Beginner/Intermediate: Uses easy stitches, but there is some shaping. A beginner crochet with a bit of confidence would be able to try this.

Sizes: XS, Small, Med, Large, XL, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x

Finished Bust Circumference Measurements: 

  • XS – Bust 31.5″
  • Small – Bust 36.75″
  • Med – Bust 39.5″
  • Lg – Bust 44.5″
  • XL – Bust 47″
  • 2x – 52.5″
  • 3x – 55″
  • 4x – 60″
  • 5x – 62.75″



3 v-sts x 6 rows = 4 inches (after blocking). Gauge is critical to fit.

Recommended Reading:

Below are some resourses that will help you pick out a yarn that you will be happy with and get your finished project to look like it does in the photos.

For a complete list of abbreviations used, please reference my List of Abbreviations.


  • If you want to adjust the width, the pattern repeat is a multiple of 4.
  • Pattern sizes are written in 2 separate formats to help with ease of finding your size.
  • XS (S, M, L, XL) = 31.5 (36.75, 39.5, 44.5, 47)” (these sizes are in regular parenthesis)
  • 2x {3x, 4x, 5x} = 52.5 {55, 60, 62.75}” – {these sizes are in curly brackets}

Special Stitches:

  • V Stitch (V-st): (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in indicated stitch or space.


Gauge Swatch:

Ch 24.

Row 1: dc in 4th ch from hook (skipped 3 chs counts as dc), sk next 3 ch, *v-st in next ch, sk next 3 chs, rep from * across to last ch, 2 dc in last ch, turn. (4 v-sts, 4 dc)

Row 2: Ch 3, dc in 1st dc (same as ch 3), v-st in ch-1 sp of next v-st, rep from * across, 2 dc in last dc, turn.  

Rows 3 – 6: Repeat Row 2.

NOTE: At this point gauge swatch needs to measure 6.5″ wide x 4″ tall. If it’s smaller you will need to change to a larger hook size. 

Once you have the correct gauge, hang tight. The release schedule for the sections is as follows:

  • July 19th: Getting started (this post)
  • July 26th: Part 1 – Front Bottom
  • Aug. 2nd: Part 2 – Front Top
  • Aug. 9th: Part 3 – Back Bottom
  • Aug. 16th: Part 4 – Back Top
  • Aug. 23rd: Sewing, Finishing, & Border
  • Aug 30th: Giveaway deadline (11:59pm, EST). Winner to be announced Aug. 31st. 

Links will be added as they become available.


Happy Crocheting!

Read More

Baby Tap Shoes Crochet Pattern

Four years ago I was asked to design a pair of baby tap shoes. (Yes, you read that correctly….4 YEARS!) I designed them, wrote the pattern, and then my computer crashed and I had lost all my notes for sizing, etc. So, when I found out my girls’ tap teacher (the amazing Corey Hutchins from Riverdance) was expecting (well, his girlfriend is expecting, not him) I decided it was about time I finish this pattern once and for all.


Baby Tap Shoes crochet pattern by Ambassador Crochet - $3.50


Baby Tap Shoes


Looking for the perfect baby gift for a dance teacher or dancer? These baby tap shoes will be the hit of the baby shower!

The pattern includes 4 sizes:

  • Newborn – 3.5″ sole
  • 0 – 3 months – 4″ sole
  • 3 – 6 months – 4.5″ sole
  • 6 – 12 months – 5″ sole


The baby tap shoes work up quick and use basic stitches, but I am always willing to help if you have a problem.


Baby Tap Shoes crochet pattern by Ambassador Crochet - $3.50


To purchase the pattern or see more photos, please visit my Ravelry shop HERE.


Happy Crocheting!


Read More

Easy 4 Step Cookie Bars Recipe

Every once in a while I decide to share something that’s not crochet related. Today I want to share a recipe for chocolate chip cookie bars that I made once when in a hurry, and it ended up  being such a hit that I now make it whenever I go somewhere and need to bring a dessert.


Easy 4 Step Cookie Bars Recipe by Ambassador Crochet.



Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Cookie bars are a super easy alternative and you don’t have to worry about overcooking the cookies. The bars can be made in less than 45 (including baking time) and are a super easy dessert for kids parties, picnics, etc.


What you need:

1 stick butter (softened)

1 egg

1 bag Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix


Easy 4 Step Cookie Bars Recipe by Ambassador Crochet.



Easy Instructions:

Mix butter and egg in small mixing bowl. Add bag of Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie mix and mix into cookie dough. Spray Pam (non-stick butter) in square baking pan and then add cookie dough. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 30 minutes. If it’s not completely cooked add 2-3 more minutes to the time.

These are a HUGE hit no matter where I take them!

Read More

Crochet Garment Design Course Review

Have you ever wanted to design your own patterns, or more specifically garments? I have had a sweater idea in my head for over 4 years but I’ve never had the guts to try to create a pattern for it. I’ve designed plenty of patterns in the past 10 years, I even tech edit garments, but I could never bring myself to try garments. That was until I tried Crochet Garment Design course!


Crochet Garment Design - course review by Ambassador Crochet. Learn how to design garments - from the very first beginning step to the very final finished product and everything in between.*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliates.


Crochet Garment Design


This course is amazing! 

I can’t tell you how many times hubby had to listen to me go on about how amazing this course was and what I was learning. And when he wasn’t around I’d call my mother and she’d listen to me and get excited for me (she’s my biggest supporter).

But let me back up a bit. I’m always hesitant to invest in an online course. I’m usually worried that I will invest in something and already have knowledge of the content, or that I won’t like the way a person teaches. Crochet Garment Design was everything I had hoped for and then a whole lot more. I’ve been designing for 10 years and couldn’t believe the amount of new things I took away from this course! And the course isn’t just for designers.


So, who is the course for?


Do you want to learn crochet garment design? No matter what information you want to know – from the beginning idea, to the finishing touches – everything will be covered.

Do you want to be able to customize a pattern to your body? You will learn how to adjust a pattern you have.

Do you want to take custom orders and/or make custom pieces for customers?  Shannon talks about private clients. This would be perfect if someone asks you to make a certain pattern and you want to tailor it to their size as you make it.


If you answered yes to any of those, you will find a wealth of knowledge in this course. While it is mostly for designers, Shannon will refer to custom orders and pieces throughout to help you make that connection.


What’s in the course?


Below is a breakdown of the sections, and a brief overview of what is covered in each of those sections. Almost all the videos are 30 minutes (or close to it), which makes this course over 6+ hours! 

Introduction – This part of the course is in post form (not video). It has screenshots on how to upload photos, ask questions, and walks you through how the course works.

Four pillars of design – This video covers the 4 pillars of design which are fashion (which I now know is different from style), fit, form, and function.

Patterns – This covers where to place things in the pattern, what you need to include, and what publishers are expecting.

Fabric – I learned SO much from this section. I always knew swatching was important, but this took it to a whole new level for me.

Taking Measurements – How and where to take the measurement, and how to apply them to your swatch.

By the Number – If you are a math geek like me, you’ll love this section. Does the math portion of pattern writing scares you? This section will clarify everything for you. The math worksheets in this section make the cost of the course worth every penny! It covers yarn and gauge calculations, schematics, sizing and stitch patterns, just to name some of it.

Elements of Shaping – Covers different types of garment construction, shaping the pieces, neck shaping, arm shaping, etc. as well as how to apply the measurements and gauge numbers to the pieces.

Making It – Writing the pattern, making a muslin (a draft of the garment), and then actually applying everything you’ve learned so you can actually make the garment.

Finishing Techniques – Putting all the pieces together with a professional, finished look.


Worth Every Penny!


I can’t rave enough about Shannon’s teaching style. While I’ve reviewed his books in the past, (visit Crochet Geometry and Designer Crochet to read my reviews) I’ve never heard him teach a class. He mixes the right amount of professionalism with the right amount of humor, and doesn’t leave anything left to question when he’s done. It is all covered – from the very beginning of the design process to the last of the finishing touches! I know I said it previously, but the worksheets alone make this course worth every penny. The course stays in your account section so you can review any time you need to.

I am going one step beyond just taking this class. I have over 100 published patterns, but I have never designed a garment. Based on the knowledge I learned from taking this class, I now have 2 garments in the works. I want to show you what you can learn too! As soon as they’re tested and ready I will link them here.




Interweave has graciously offered to give a copy of this class to one of my readers. Fill out the rafflecopter below. Winner will be announced Friday, June 2, 2017.

If you choose to purchase the class, I am offering 10% discount on my tech editing services (for the 1st pattern only). Just let me know you took the class and saw my review for the discount.


*Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.


Happy Crocheting!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read More

Soft & Squishy Baby Blanket Crochet Pattern

Need a quick & easy baby blanket that will feel and look amazing? Check out my Soft & Squishy baby blanket! One of my daughters compared it to foam. When folded, if you squish it it will bounce right back to the height it was. Add a soft yarn to the mix and any baby is sure to love this soft & squishy blanket!


Soft & Squishy Baby Blanket - Free Crochet pattern by Ambassador Crochet


If you’d like a downloadable version of this pattern, you can purchase it in my Ravelry shop for a minimal fee ($1.00), which helps cover the cost of the selling fees, etc.

Soft & Squishy Baby Blanket


Finished Size:  27″ x 30″

Yarn: Hobby Lobby “I Love This Yarn!” (#4 worsted weight)

  • 2 – 7 oz. skeins (14 oz. total) – Menthe (MC)
  • 1 oz. – Greybeard (CC1)
  • 1 oz. – Mid Green (CC2)
  • .5 oz. – Grey Mist (CC3)

Hook Size: Size I/9 (6.00 mm)

Notions: Yarn Needle

Gauge: 13 sts and 9 rows = 4 inches

Special Stitches:  rsc (reverse single crochet)  

Notes: For help with abbreviations – see my List of Abbreviations.

Color changes were as follows:

Rows 1-11 – MC

Row 12 – CC2

Row 13 – CC3

Row 14 – CC2

Rows 15-25 – MC

Row 26 – CC1

Row 27 – CC2

Row 28 – CC1

Rep Rows 1-28

Rep Rows 1-11 

Border CC1




Ch 90,

Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hook (2 skipped chs counts as hdc), hdc in each ch across, turn. (89 hdc)

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as hdc), hdc in 1st hdc, hdc flo in next hdc, *hdc blo in next st, hdc flo in next st, rep from * across to last st, hdc through both loops of last hdc, turn. (89 hdc)   

Row 3–67: Rep Row 2.




Attach CC1 with sl st in top-right st of last row,

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in each sc across top row, 3 sc in corner st, sc in each row-end down side, 3 sc in corner st, sc in each st across bottom, 3 sc in corner st, sc in each row-end up side, 3 sc in corner st, sl st in 1st sc, turn.

Row 2: Ch 1, rsc in each st around, sl st in first rsc to join.

Fasten off.  Weave in ends.


Soft & Squishy Baby Blanket - Free Crochet pattern by Ambassador Crochet


Again, if you’d rather a PDF downloadable version of this pattern, you can get it HERE in my Ravelry shop.

This would look amazing in a solid color, stripes, or so many other variations. I’d love to see your version.


If you’d like to receive info on more free patterns and tutorials, you can sign up for my newsletter HERE.


Happy Crocheting!

Read More

Fringe Benefits Book Review

Fringe…..I love it! And Fringe Benefits by Leisure Arts is entirely dedicated to projects with fringe, which totally makes me happy. I was so excited to be able to do this review.


Fringe Benefits

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliates.


Fringe Benefits


Publisher: Leisure Arts

Author: Melissa Leapman

Number of Pages: 32 pages

Number of Projects: 8 patterns

Types of Projects: Accessories and wearables

Difficulty Ratings: All patterns are rated easy. (Easy – Projects using basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes, and simple shaping.)

Yarn Used: #4 and #5

First Impression: This is so great. A shopping list!!! The material list has been made into a shopping list. You can just bring it with you and check off the items as you purchase them. Genius!

My Favorite Project Pick: Cowl, tank, and cuff bracelet…..I couldn’t choose just one!


Cowl pattern from Fringe Benefits - book review by Ambassador Crochet.


Cuff Bracelet from Fringe Benefits - book review by Ambassador Crochet.


Scoopneck Top from Fringe Benefits - book review by Ambassador Crochet.





I love more advanced patterns that challenge me, but there is something to be said about a book entirely dedicated to easy patterns that are fashionable as well. Easy patterns are great for when you want to crochet something without a lot of extra thought or concentration. And, while there are only 8 projects in this book, there is a variety of projects including a poncho, bags/purse, a vest, and more. If you love fringe, I think you’ll love the Fringe Benefits pattern book.


Technical Review 


Leisure Arts now color codes their sizes. So if you have the same set of instructions with different stitch counts you will still see 32 (34, 36) but 32 might be blue, 34 pink, and 36 green. Sometimes it’s these little things that help immensely with the pattern instructions. Small and medium sizes are in one set of brackets { } and large, 1x, and 2x are in a separate set of brackets { } – I’m assuming this is to make it easier on the eyes to find what you’re looking for (like the color coded size counts).

Leisure Arts has included general pattern info (gauge, terms, abbreviations), as well as exactly which yarns were used for each project, so you can match it exactly if you’d like to.

Overall, Fringe Benefits is a great pattern book if you love fringe and/or are looking for some patterns that you can make in a short amount of time. I’ve only shown you a few of my favorites. You can click on any of the photos to go to Leisure Art’s website and see the rest of the projects. I would love for you to come back and tell me which project is your favorite.

Happy Crocheting!

 *Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.
Read More

American Flag Afghan Crochet Pattern

A couple years ago my sister asked me to make her an American Flag afghan. Needless to say, I put it off. I knew if I was going to do it I wanted to do it correctly and I knew the patterns out there weren’t what I was looking for. I like to be very literal in my design interpretations. (Ex: My Frog Pond Afghan has rippling water, 3-D water lilies, as well as lily pads, as well as my Red-Eyed Tree Frog hat has the 3-D eyes as well as suction cups pads.)


American Flag Afghan crochet pattern by Ambassador Crochet - $4.95


American Flag Afghan


Once I set my mind to making it, I decided I wanted it to be as close to a true American Flag as possible. I wanted 5 sided stars, not the 6 sided design that is out there. I also wanted a solid fabric, so I knew I couldn’t use typical crochet stitches that leave space between them. I found schematic measurements and spent days weeks doing the math to make sure everything was perfect. The result . . . . .

  • The star field is proportionately correct to the stripes.
  • Stars are worked directly into the pattern so there is no need to sew on 50 stars (or 100 to make it double sided). This will be double sided when complete.
  • Stripes look like a solid fabric. There are no holes between stitches, and you won’t have to use single crochet.
  • The finished project will be slightly bigger than a throw; closer to a full size bed afghan.


If you’d like to watch this LIVE video I did on Facebook you can see the afghan details up close.



American Flag Afghan crochet pattern by Ambassador Crochet - $4.95
Star Field


I am so happy with the end result! It came out better than my expectations. I aim to write every pattern so that even a beginner is comfortable tackling a project, so I hope you will be pleasantly surprised by the instructions.


You can purchase the pattern HERE in my Ravelry Shop. Use coupon code FLAG at checkout to receive 40% off the purchase price. Coupon code good through Monday, midnight EST.


Happy Crocheting!

Read More