Hope you all had a great holiday season and happy new year. If you are like me, you are settling into winter by staying warm by drinking lots of tea and crocheting constantly.
Need some new free projects?
Knit and Crochet Now! Has published Season 6's projects for you to enjoy. On this season I have a bunch of new patterns that you might like.
African Flower Hat
Uses less then one hank of each of the 3 colors of Berroco Vintage Dk. The hat is made from crocheted motifs that join as you go, or can be sewn together. Layout is flat and hat is formed by pinching and bunching top edge to make the crown. Easily could be a cowl without seaming the top. Who doesn't like 2 projects in one? You could get the 3 colors and make one colorway for the hat and use the reverse for a cowl!
This was first published on Berroco's Knit Bits. The top is worked from the collar down. The first repeat is the hardest while you are learning the stitch pattern you are also increasing, but once you are through that it is clear sailing. There is a lot of fun stitches with the post stitches and Berroco's Fuji yarn is a great blend to make the top feel amazing.
Raglan Lace Tee
Need a new spring/ summer top? One that you can actually wear without a cami? This sweater is light and airy and perfect when you want to look put together. It uses one of my favorite threads, Nazli Gelin Garden 5. Once you try it I promise your other cotton thread will be jealous. The top is actually quite simple and is perfect when you want a brain break, and just crochet. Body is all treble and single crochet, lace sleeves are an easy chain space mixed with v-sts. You will have to try it to believe me.
Have a some half balls of yarn laying around? This quick hand warmer will use that up. The project is one doily in superwash merino yarn that is buttoned to turn into a wristlet. Place your thumb in any of the open spaces and you are finished. Where it with the buttons in or out, the choice is yours.
Want the yarn to Build Your Own Kit for on of these projects? Check out Annie's yarn shop. They have overhauled their system to make it easier to browse and find what you like. Plus for a limited time (til Jan 23) you can get 20% off on yarn by using the code: NEW YARN. What does that really mean? That means you can crochet the t-shirt for a little over 20$ in time for spring! You definitely would not be able to do that even if it was on sale in a store. Definitely take a look and stock up on some of your favorites before the sale is over!
If you are anything like me, you are still sorting out your holiday list. I know I always have the hardest time with the crafty people in my life. I always want to get them something great that says "I love that you are crafty" without just giving them a gift card to Micheals. (b/c as a crafty person who is also very absent minded, I still have gift cards from years ago that I forget to use.)
If it helps, below are a few ideas of what I will be giving this year that are not just yarn and hooks, which every crocheter always loves.
1. bags- you can never ever have too many project bags.
I love Yarn Pop's Clutch, it is perfect to break out while visiting and easy to toss on your shoulder when the toddler is on the go.
I also love Wren and Rita's new crochet case. You can request one from her at her etsy shop. They are very handy when all your hooks are in a jumble at the bottom of your bag (ask me how I know!)
2. crochet kits- sometimes it is nice when others do the thinking for you. honestly, I love kits everything you need is in one place
Fresh Stitches has the best toy kits. Stacy has just the most adorable projects.
Amelia and Wiggles has kits for my Crochet By Faye Patterns. Their yarn is just wonderful to work with and now you can get it online.
3. hand care- especially in winter crocheters hands get really dry
I love Bar Lotions. They go so easy in the diaper bag or yarn bag. The are not greasy and do not leave a residue on the yarn.
Soak has amazing products, we know that. They also have fantastic gifts. One of my favorites are their nail polish. It makes a great stocking stuffer.
Have you tried Jamberry Nails yet? They are very clever and make a huge impact. The brilliant Kristin Omdahl is a rep for them, and I would follow her to the end of the lane on her recommendations. Check them out and ask Kristin, they are very cool.
4. classes- there are always new things to learn, and I know I want to learn more all the time.
There is just something so fantastic about going in person and taking a class. Whenever I can, I try to treat myself to one. In 2015, there are two great festivals I will be going to... YarnFest in Loveland, CO and Knit and Crochet in Pittsburgh, PA. I hope to see you there!
Can't get away? Online classes. I LOVE mine. I go back all the time and re-watch the videos. Annie's has wonderful selection of crochet classes and Craft Daily has a great number of quick classes.
Hope you all have a wonderful and cheery holiday season!
|Can you tell I hate getting pictures taken of myself?|
|Jenny King (guest) and Brett Bara |
(you just know from that look you are going to love that episode!)
Amazing how the time just flies, and now starting in January, PBS will start airing the new episodes. This season is a bit different then the others. Yes, we still have both knitting and crochet on the show, and lots of great projects. But we have a few new faces, and some great returning ones too!
|Drew Emborsky and Brett Bara (don't you just love them?)|
This season you will fall in love with our guest Jenny King and our newest producer Lena Skvagerson. Both incredibly talented and so warm you will just love to hear their advice on crafting. In an awesome surprise, we have Drew Emborsky back to teach us more crochet tricks. Brett and I are a bit over excited to have him back as a guest, we missed his antics. But not to worry Ellen Gormley, Kristin Nicholas, and I are still around to chat with Brett and show you some fun new projects.
|Ellen Gormley- crochet expert|
|Lena Skvagerson- knit expert and producer|
|Kristin Nicholas (knit expert) and Brett Bara (that sweater is amazing btw)|
|African Violet Motif Hat on KCN 6|
Speaking of projects, this time around I got to bring a whole bunch of my own to show you. There is motif hat, lace t-shirt, and lace wrist warmers. I can't wait for you to see them, I really loved getting to work on them exclusively for the show. Plus, I get to demonstrate the Lisbon Shawl from Berroco.com. I just loved getting to see my shawl again and getting to show you my favorite parts of it.
|Berroco's Lisbon Shawl on Set|
(Aren't the new colors of the set great?)
|Lacy Tshirt from KCN 6|
|Lacy Wrist Warmer From KCN 6|
|Octogon Motifs with Void Filled with Diamond Motif|
I hope that is joining me at my webinar...
3 months how is that possible? I won't go into all that has been going on in this post, but lets just say, quiet blog means I have been busy! You know, the secret kind of busy that only months later you get to talk about. LIKE...... my new class over at Annie's Attic
beading obsession (separate post soon enough)) I always gravitate to whatever has caught my eye, not the skill level. Usually I don't go for super complex anything, I like to look at something and try to imagine reverse engineering it. If it sticks in my mind that long, then its time to learn the skills to make it.
So with that idea of wanting sweaters that are not complex and not the typical beginner boxes, I chose to go middle of the road. Sweaters that each teach one or two crochet techniques while we chat about the construction of each style.
Andi Lace Raglan
We start the class working on the Andi Lace Raglan. It is a classically constructed sweater made from 4 panels (one for each arm, back and front). This first sweater we talk about shaping, since that is the number one thing (besides gauge and blocking) that can be scary. The sweater is symmetrical, so once you get the shaping for one side you have learned it for both. The lace stitch pattern is really a simple repeat made just from a few chains and single crochets. We talk about how crochet symbols really can break down working on shaping and give a clear picture of what you do next. We also jump right into seaming and why it does not have to be such a challenge to join your panels together. The pattern is written for 6 sizes, 35 inches (small) 38 inches (medium), 41 1/2 inches (large), 44 1/2 inches (X-large), 47 1/2 inches (2X-large), 51 inches (3X-large). It uses Nazli Gelin Garden Size 5 cotton thread, which is a wonderfully soft and enjoyable thread to crochet.
We next move to the Ruby Pullover. This sweater is a top down sweater, one of the most fun to crochet since you can literally try it on as you go. The stitch pattern I tried to make as simple as possible with rounds of double and treble crochet between round of single crochet. The one twist was we will be placing the single crochets in the middle bar (not either of the top two loops), which makes that ridge that runs horizontally on the sweater. Since the stitches are really quite simple once you see where to place your hook, we talk about how you can modify the sweater to fit you even more. (Like longer torso or more open neckline) The pattern is written for 6 sizes, 31 1/2 inches (X-small), 34 1/2 inches (small), 37 1/2 inches (medium), 40 3/4 inches (large), 43 3/4 inches (X-large), 47 inches (2X-large). The yarn is another favorite of mine, Berroco Vintage, a very affordable wool blend.
Brooklyn Motif Tunic
The last sweater and style we look at is the Brooklyn Motif Tunic. It is a motif tunic that once we learn the motif, we basically have totally mastered the pattern. The ribbing is simply single crochet in the backloop and the cowl is extended single crochet (easily you can sub in hdc here). Both which are so quick to learn, I had to toss in how you can modify the sweater. Motifs are one of my favorite construction methods since it is the closest to building blocks. We talk in class how you can quite easily turn this into a cardigan, vest, t-shirt and more. All with just playing with the layout of the motifs. It is super fun, and very addicting I will warn you! The pattern is written in 6 sizes, 31 inches (X-small) 34 inches (small), 38 inches (medium), 40 inches (large), 44 inches (X-large), 50 inches (2X-large). The yarn is Universal Yarn Uptown DK, which is an acrylic that with blocking looks so luxurious.
Besides introducing you to the 3 sweater constructions, we discuss fit, gauge, and blocking. I know that sounds boring, but I try my best to explain why they are so critical when making a sweater. One thing you will notice that these sweaters require very minimal finishing, and I don't go totally crazy in explaining customization. That is on purpose, these sweaters are just a step into making sweaters. Styles that look great on most silhouette and really do not need a ton of customizing. But when you are ready to move up, I suggest looking at my book, Blueprint Crochet Sweaters, or Crochet Sweater Studio, or Finishing Techniques Master class. This Annie's class is my prequel (so to speak) to those classes and patterns. That said, I still think there is a lot to love in the class. I tried to toss in a bunch of fun tips to make any project you choose the best for you.
Hope you enjoy!
Starting with this Issue, my fabulous friend Ellen Gormley takes over as the new Crochet! magazine editor. She has a ton of new ideas for the magazine, and in the current issue she got to roll out a few. Some of you who in the past (looking at me) may not have connected with the projects, I think will be in for a pleasant surprise. I know I found quite a few that I thought were great when I flipped through my copy.
My biggest problem with Crochet! when I was starting out crocheting, was the lack of stitch diagrams. Being dyslexic I had to have diagrams to understand when those abbreviations were getting the best of me. Since Crochet! didn't have any, I had to move on to others that did. Well, as you will see, that is changing. Inside the new Crochet! you will find great stitch diagrams and directions for using them. Every issue will have more and more too!
There are a bunch of other tutorials and articles all that I think really makes the magazine come to life. Be sure to check out the video on their site with Ellen talking about the issue too.
I want to thank Ellen for having me be apart of the new issue with my two projects as well as my article. Celedon Cardigan is a raglan shaped sweater with a touch of texture for dramatic interest. Carmine Cropped Cardi is a motif lace sweater that works great at the office or casual outings. I feel so lucky to be apart of her new venture. I wish them all the best and I can't wait to see what they come up with next!
Interweave posted a few patterns from Blueprint Crochet as individual downloads. They are using the book as a test to see how pulling patterns from older books will sell. I am selfishly hoping they do amazing. That would open up traditional publishing into some new benefits for us authors, and I love that. I also love seeing these patterns again, it kind of tickles me since I designed them over 7 years ago. If you want to see some of my thoughts behind them you can check out this post from before the book came out.
Today is our last guest author and last chance to enter our summer class sweepstakes. Be sure to head over to Susan's site (link at the end) to enter as well. Susan is a crochet extraordinaire, she designs and tech edits for all the major publications. I know Susan's work for her thread and jewelry designs. I got to demo one of her necklace's on Knit and Crochet Now, and I have to say it was so fun. I hope you enjoy getting to know her better. Make sure to leave me a comment or send me an email by Saturday, and I will pick a winner Monday and send them an email next week. GOOD LUCK!
|Susan Lowman, on set of Crocheting with Thread|
|Starlight Filet Coaster|
|Easy Elegance Necklace and Earrings|
|Ellen Gormley on set of Crochet Lace|
|Gentle Waves Hairpin Lace Scarf|
|Sweet and Sassy Hats from Learn to Crochet|