If you have followed me on Twitter or Facebook, you will notice I have been talking a lot about Amelia and Wiggles. Have you wondered who they are?
Amelia and Wiggles is the brainchild of my fantastically talented and super awesome cousin, Rebecca (yes, the same one who is my right hand women crocheting and editing for me- so I know how super she is you see ;) ) and our equally brilliant and wonderful friend, Karen. They came up with this idea to sell yarn and at the same time help local farmers. Basically, they are two-fold company. One side is a consignment shop for local farmers to sell their fiber, yarn, and crafts. You and I know that running a farm is exhausting work, and finding time to update websites, travel to festivals, and promote let alone sell their fiber is extremely scarce. This is where Rebecca and Karen step in, they take all the yarn and fiber and sell it on consignment. They handle website, questions, shipping, traveling, everything; so that the farmers can spend their time caring for their animals. Brilliant right? You can see the farms they have up on the website, and if you know any farm that would be interested you can contact Rebecca and Karen here.
The second part of Amelia and Wiggles is their line of hand dyed yarns and patterns. Being expert knitters and crocheters themselves, they know what looks good. They developed a line of semi-solid variegated yarn in great colors. This is so new, its not on the website yet! We will be premiering it at my booth (#69) at Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival next weekend. I am feverishly crocheting and writing new patterns for the A&W yarn that they are turning into adorable kits. After the show, they will have the kits available on their website.
The patterns for those will be available on my website after the show (basically once I can breathe again). The yarn has been fantastic to work with. It has great bounce and stitch definition. I even used it on film when I was in Cleveland a few weeks ago, since it was so crisp and cheerful. I know its so hard to know how a new yarn will behave for you, but theirs is great. Such fun to crochet!
We have lots more collaborations planned in the future. I am just so stinking excited for them!
I hope you can stop by the festival next weekend, and if not at least check them out online.
If you have followed me on Twitter or Facebook, you will notice I have been talking a lot about Amelia and Wiggles. Have you wondered who they are?
Book Review: Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets
I have been woefully behind on updating this blog on some great books that have come out since my little man has joined our family. It seems like I go down a rabbit hole each week and am amazed how it becomes the next month so fast. Speaking of, like this great book. Sharon emailed me at Thanksgiving about her new book and I am just getting to it now. Terrible! But I can speak as a mom and a crocheter, this book has great projects for babies. Both of my kids favorite blankets are Tunisian crochet. It must be something in the stitches, but it's just their go to ones.
This book has 8 baby blankets. Each one has written directions with video instructions on how to do the stitches. Really! I love it. Take a look. Here's the stitches in the book. How great is that? The book has written instructions as well for the stitches if you like reading instead of watching. I like seeing it all pictures, words, and visual; so I love that feature in this book. Another great feature is the price. 8$ for the ebook. That's 1$ a pattern, now that's a steal! Its 9$ for the paperback version on Amazon which is an awesome price too!
Sharon was kind enough to include a copy of her ebook to one of you. All you need to do to enter to win the ebook is leave me a comment (or send me an email) by Feb 14th and I will have CJ pick a winner. Hope you enjoy the book!
Labels: book review
Happy New Year! It seems like a time warp around here. Wasn't yesterday just Thanksgiving? Wow time moves fast during the holidays. Now onto looking what is ahead this year. For me, this year will bring a lot of travel, about 1-2 times every month to be specific. I will be going about doing secret projects, family weddings, and teaching. One of the events I am most looking forward to is this year's Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. As you know, I have been teaching there for a number of years now and this year they are having a bit of a celebration with their 10th year. If you have any holiday gift money lying around, this show would make a great gift to yourself. In my opinion it is just the right size, not so huge to get lost and no so small that is not worth the trip. There are a ton of classes taught by expert knitters and crocheters. The market has a wonderful array of yarn, tools, hooks, books, and more. It is located in Cranberry, which is about 20 mins north of Pittsburgh. Easy to find and park.
This year Rebecca and I will be back with our Crochet By Faye booth (last year's photo). We will have all my books, DVDs, and patterns for sale at prices I can't offer anywhere else. There will be new patterns debuting at the show (and also online). We will have our yarn bundles, and yarn kits back again. This year we will have crochet jewelry kits. And as in previous years, I will have another secret product or two cooked up to tempt you. I really hope you can stop by. I am teaching again this year, so if you don't see me be sure to say hi to Rebecca. She is just as much of an expert as I am so she can answer all your questions on crochet easily.
Speaking of teaching, here are my classes:
Friday, March 14, 2pm:
How to Read a Crochet Chart
Learn how to read crochet charts—come unlock the hidden secret of a crochet diagram. In class we will learn how to read diagrams and discuss their helpful benefits to take your crochet to the next level.
Saturday, March 15, 9:30am:
Finishing Master Class
Master finishing crochet — you crocheted all your sweater panels and now what? In this master class, we will answer just that. We will discuss using the right seam, best way to block, and perfect buttonholes. Everything put together and it still looks wonky? No problem, we will talk about ways to fix and straighten even the biggest mistakes. This is for an advanced beginner/intermediate crocheter, the class is geared to take the beginner sweater crocheter to the next level with just a few simple steps.
Sunday, March 16, 9am;
Cables and Lace
Crochet cables and lace– post stitches are a crocheters greatest tool to bring stitch patterns to life. In class we will discuss how to make post stitches and use them to make stunning cables, eye catching lace, and flowing textured fabric. Post stitches can be one of the most underused stitch and we will learn lots of tricks to crochet them perfectly for any project. This class is for the advanced beginner-intermediate level crocheter.
I hope to see you there!
Now that we are officially in the holiday season (Hanukkah starts tomorrow night- CJ reminds me every 5 mins). I thought it was the perfect timing to show off some jewelry and accessory projects I did for Premier Yarns. This year was very stressful on my body (little man turned out to be a BIG little man), so I concentrated on little projects versus large sweaters. I was very lucky that Premier was looking for a collection of accessories for their jewelry yarn- perfect timing I would say! These projects I crocheted literally days before little man joined our family. So I know, if I say I can make these in a day (with my giant belly, feeling horrible, and huge swollen hands) I know you guys can too! All the patterns are free and available on the Premier Yarns website.
Wrapped Ring Necklace and Earrings
Yarn: Suede Circles and Enchant
This set is for any crafty person. Basically you wrap the yarn around craft rings (in the sewing section of JoAnns, Micheals, Hobby Lobby, etc) then secure the ends with a dab of glue. They are connected by chaining on top of the ring. Lastly they are jump ringed to a chain and clasp.
Medallion Earrings and Ring
This set used tiny craft rings and a B hook. The enchant yarn is doubled and single crocheted around the rings. The rings are then sewn together with gold or clear sewing thread and joined onto either earrings or a ring back.
Motif Earrings and Necklace
This set uses a double strand of the yarn and a D hook to crochet the motifs together. They are then connected with jump rings to each other and a gold chain or earring hooks.
Ribbon Ring Necklace
This necklace is also made from craft rings. The yarn is wrapped and knotted around craft rings with a segment of yarn between rings. The strands are connected to a chain with jump rings. This one is probably my favorite of the bunch. I could definitely see myself get a lot of wear out of it.
City Chic Purse
Yarn: Starry Night and City Life
This bag is made from 3-dimensional flowers. Each flower is made from 3 motifs. The first set are crocheted together as you go. Then the second and third motifs are sewn onto the base. The bag is lined and sewn to purse handles. This one will definitely take you longer. I think Rebecca crocheted it in a week (and yes she does have a full time job and 4 yr old too); so us morals would probably need 2 weeks.
Getting to work on this collection of accessories really was a lot of fun. Premier send me a bag of samples of all their jewelry yarn and basically said, have at it. It was a fun creative challenge. I will say that I do have a favorite of their yarns. I know I shouldn't but I really enjoyed playing with Starry Night. It is a gorgeous ribbon yarn, that you honestly need to do nothing to and it looks amazing. Definitely worth checking out!
Remember all these patterns are free on the Premier Yarns website so be sure to check them out!
Looking for more jewelry by chance? Check out all my patterns over at Ravelry. Between Interweave Crochet, Crochet Today, and my books. I have quite a few. Ravelry has them all organized on where you can get your hands on the pattern.
1. I love the concept of the book. Can you tell us a bit about your inspiration behind it?
Thank you! So many crafts and textiles have modular, geometric join as you go pieces. Crochet motifs, quilting squares and assorted shapes, mosaic tile work, Moroccan tile work, just to name a few that I love! And I thought it was time for knitting to have join as you go motifs, as well. Knitting small pieces can be daunting, so to make this book friendly to people of all skill levels, I made some in rows, not rounds, for those not ready for double pointed needles, with project of a variety of skill levels, so there is room to grow as well.
2. A number of the motifs remind me of crochet motifs. Did your crochet design influence any of the motifs, projects, or construction?
I was inspired by motifs in nature, tile work, crochet, quilting and all sorts of geometric textures that I love and admire.
3. Crocheting motifs together is incredibly common, I love how you show how to pick-up stitches and knit the motifs seamlessly. It takes the back and forth nature of knitting and turns it on its head to create any shape imaginable. For knitters not familiar with anything outside the box, what would you recommend they start with?
The beauty of motifs for me is join as you go. It was very important to me to figure out how to join the motifs as you go, and I am proud that it works as beautifully as it does.
4. I find inspiration for my designs in my everyday life. Your designs are so imaginative and creative, do you also find inspiration from your everyday life? And if so, I want to come along sometime!
Absolutely! I find inspiration EVERYWHERE. If you are a lover of geometry and texture, you can find inspiration in ANYTHING. Robyn, you are welcome in my home any time! I'd love to have you come for a visit! I find inspiration in anything from tile work to broken concrete sidewalks to leaves and trees, flowers, rippling water, anything... really :)
5. What is coming up next?
I have another secret product from my Wrapture line coming soon. You are going to LOVE it!!! It hasn't launched just yet but will be within the month. (I am so stinking excited now to see what she has cooked up!)
Interweave kindly gave a copy to giveaway to one of you lucky readers. To enter, leave a comment (or email me) by Oct 30. I will pick a winner randomly on Friday. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you (email, twitter, facebook, ravelry, ect). Good luck!
The stitch pattern is a modified berry stitch with its arches highlighted using post stitches. The use of the post stitches transforms the stitch pattern from background to foreground and makes the arch pop off the fabric. The greatest part is that since its still a lacy berry stitch the drape is lovely. Sometimes post stitches can make my swatches get too bulky, but not here. Ultra fine Alpaca also does quite its share, making the sweater drape in all the right places for you.
The sweater is marked as advanced, but PLEASE do not let that stop you from giving it a go! Honestly we marked it for an experienced crocheter just for the stitch pattern. So give it a swatch and see what you think. The tunic is worked in the round from the bottom to the top of the body, and then divided in 2 for front and back panels. Shaping on the bottom of the tunic and sleeves are created by adding or subtracting one chain space between each arch for a smooth transition. Stitch pattern is not altered other than this additional (or not) chain space. So even though the schematic shows lots of shaping, the "shaping" is done by adding more or less space between the arches. The sleeves are set-in sleeves that you seam separately. The sleeve shaping, collar shaping, and more are all drawn in stitch diagrams to help you with every step along the sweater.
It is one of those sweaters that would look great as a tunic over leggings and tall books or shorten to fall at your hips and worn with a skirt.
I want to thank the wonderful Diane for crocheting the bulk of the sweater for me. Over the years, I have become allergic to alpaca and her hands have really helped me more then I can say. Plus, I think she makes neater post stitches then I do anyway.
Enough rambling, Robyn, they want the link! Here it is. Hope you enjoy!
Oh, and if you are interested Ashley from Berroco interviewed me for their Knitter's Spotlight series. Give a bit of thoughts behind the whole collection Norah and I collaborated on for Berroco.
I can't believe my maternity leave is over. It feels like it just started! Man, I have a tough boss making me come back only 6 weeks later ;) Well, let's just say I am back, but definitely not full-time yet. Little man still doesn't sleep through the night, so I am a bit foggy all the time. Coming back to work only really means I have given up cleaning the house entirely so I can squeeze an hour a day (maybe) to answer emails. I definitely will not be 100% for a number of weeks, so bear with me if I don't get to your questions right away. I am trying my best, I promise!
Still, its a new month, my favorite too! With a new baby to cuddle with as we watch the leaves change, what is not to love? October is my favorite month to design too. Something about that cool crisp air that gets my creativity juices flowing. Good thing since I have a couple of secret projects I need to get cracking on!
Speaking of getting those creativity juices flowing, did you know that the next season of Knit and Crochet Now begins airing this month? How perfect right? You can break out the yarn and get a jump on the winter crocheting, right? We taped this season in May when I was very pregnant, so it will be very funny to watch I am sure! There are a number of really fun projects this season so I really hope you will be able to tune in.
Speaking of tuning in, I got a bit of a giveaway for you guys! Annie's is giving away one copy of the entire Season 4 on DVD to one of you lucky stitchers. To enter, leave a comment (or email me) your favorite thing about autumn by next Wed Oct 9. I pick one winner and let them know by Friday the 11th.
Hope you will be able to get out an enjoy the Autumn weather and some new Knit and Crochet Now episodes as well!
I am thrilled that they included my Rose Quartz Pullover from Blueprint Crochet Sweaters . You can check out the pattern in Issue 10 on sale now. They included my stitch diagrams from the pattern so you should really get a feel for how the book is written too.
While looking at the issue, you will see a ton of other cute projects too. The magazine is definitely one to add to your book shelf!
Thank goodness for friends!
On Friday, Ellen emailed me to say hi and compliment a shawl of mine in the latest issue of Crochet Today. I am so sadly sleep deprived, I nearly wrote her back saying "thanks, but I don't have a project in that issue". But no, she is right, I am just way to tired to function.
My other project in the issue is a pair of earrings. Now, these I do remember doing. I was on a HUGE jewelry kick this spring. I think I designed at least a dozen pieces that will be popping up in random places this fall and winter. These earrings are one of my favorites though. They are very simple circles with bead chains between some single crochets. The last round has a few chain spaces to make the loopy bits, but nothing that is difficult.
So nice to see these pieces, I am still laughing that I forgot they existed!
Earlier this year I was working on a surprise collection of patterns that I didn't get to tell you anything about. Today, one of them is ready for you and I can't wait to spill all the beans!
A couple of TNNA's ago, I approached Norah Gaughan if Berroco would need any crochet help. Anything from design to editing to graphics. I have always loved crocheting with Berroco yarns not only because I like to work with their fibers, but I also really appreciate how cost effective they are to work with. Berroco was the first yarn store yarn I ever purchased and I have loved them from then all those years ago.
Now if you have been reading my blog for a while, you also know that I really admire Norah's work. I love her innovative style and construction. I am constantly being inspired by her designs and work. Needless to say, when Norah asked me to collaborate with her on a collection of crochet designs for Berroco and KnitBits, I was thrilled. Beyond thrilled. Getting to work with someone you admire, and getting to brainstorm and speak crochet with them, it was a dream.
Norah sent me some inspiration photos and yarn, and I set to work on swatching and sketching. Then we collaborated on all the details of the schematics and came up with 6 designs. The first is released today.
Berne Lace Vest is a great design for those who are still nervous about crochet garments. This piece is one large rectangle with holes for the arms. The simple shaping needed for those arms are all detailed in crochet diagrams to make it as clear as possible. The lace pattern is quickly memorized to make for a fun crochet project. Captiva yarn is used for this project which is a blend of cotton and polyester. It has a really nice sheen and drape when crocheted to make a standout project.
You can get the free pattern here at Berroco. (and yes, it comes completely diagrammed as you would expect all my patterns are! Got to Thank Berroco for that.) Be sure to sign up for the KnitBits newsletter to catch the other 5 projects that will be released later this year and next year.
Hope you enjoy! I know it was a joy for me to work on.
To take my mind off of the rough recovery, I turned to a new yarn and easy project. I pulled out Schachemayr's Boston (a bulky wool blend) and a N/ 9mm hook. Nothing like crocheting with a big yarn and big hook for some instant gratification! I originally requested the yarn to make a hat for My Mountain's Design Contest. I figured that I would have a little bit of time before little man came and why not have some fun? Little did I know that the yarn would actually do more for me then me to it! I started these two hats when I came home from the hospital just to keep my mind busy. Not even thinking of the contest, I just wanted to play. Day to day I might have crocheted a round or two, which is painfully slow when you have less then 50 sts in each round. I didn't mind. Playing with how the colors related to each other and creating new plaid patterns, kept me entertained. After I finished the first, I noticed a huge improvement on my mood and I jumped right into the second. The second went so fast I actually just crocheted it in one afternoon whiley my sister held the little man.
The first is a slouchy hat in extended single crochet to get that bumpy texture. The plaid is done by weaving in strands of yarn in and out of the stitches. The second is a cloche in back loop only to get those crisp horizontal lines. The plaid on it is by slip stitching on top of the fabric.
Now that CJ and I have our winter hats all ready to go. I totally am addicted and want to make one for little man as well.
If you have time, check out My Mountain's facebook page. The projects that are coming in for the contest are fantastic! I have really enjoyed watching what everyone has been creating.