Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Favorite Finishing Touch...Pom Poms!

I have always loved pom poms! When I was sketching designs for Crocheting Clothes Kids Love, I decided on the pom poms before I even knew what they were to go on! In the end, I chose them as the perfect finishing touch for the Hopscotch Legwarmers. I used "Pacific" by Cascade Yarns to make them, and I found out that this yarn makes the most gorgeous pom poms! Whenever I need to make more for any project in the future, it will be my go-to yarn! The colors are so vibrant, and there is a beautiful softness and sheen to the yarn, which becomes apparent when the yarn strands are separated and fluffed up.

I also love Clover products, and I have their pom pom makers in all sizes. I wasn't sure which one to use for the legwarmers so I made a few samples. Just as in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the First one I made was too large, the second too small, and the third was just right!

The Clover Pom-Pom Maker
The Three Sample Pom Pom Sizes
Ellen Gormley and I encourage all readers of our book to take the patterns and make them their own. That includes taking an element of a pattern and using it in a completely new way. For example, giant pom poms made in the same manner as those in the book, could be used to embellish a solid color version of Ellen's mittens from the book, or even to jazz up a pair of simple shoes, as shown below. Now that I say: "A pair of shoes", I think I would like them on ALL of my shoes!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: The Fine Art of Crochet

I was honored when the wonderful Gwen Blakely Kinsler asked me to review her stunning new book: The Fine Art of Crochet. Being the founder of the Crochet Guild of America, and crochet advocate, Gwen is the perfect person to write this book. This book is a new way of looking at the art of crochet, and how it has been elevated to a new level in modern times. 

One of things I loved about the book, is that Gwen actually traveled the country to personally interview the artists in the book. By being in their studios, she got a true sense of the type of creators they are.

Crochet has grown, evolved, and developed over the past 50 years, and has been used in many ways. It is attractive to artists because it can be 3 dimensional as well as molded into a desired shape. Crochet allows you to create as you go, and it is easy to manipulate. It is really amazing that one can create such elaborate forms with such a simple tool- the crochet hook.

This book gives you an interesting overview of the history and journey of crochet, as well as a detailed profile about each of the 20 artists. Their detailed profiles explain why they like to use crochet as a medium, their experience with crochet, and how they work. Following each profile, you will find photos of their incredible, inspiring work. Below are photos of some of my favorite pieces from the book:

"Oil Flowers" By Jerry Bleem
"I Crochet Portland" By Jo Hamilton
"Spiritual Love" By Tracy Krumm
"The Network" By Kathleen Holmes
You will find that The Fine Art of Crochet is an eye-opener. It sheds new light on the art of crochet and shows us that there are infinite ways to use crochet. Each one of the artist's stories are fascinating, and after reading the book, you will think more about your own reasons for loving crochet, and it will inspire you to approach your crochet from a new perspective.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A New Way to Use the Obi Scarf Pattern

I decided to make a springtime version of the Obi Scarf, that you can wear as a necktie or as a hair tie. This pattern is really fun to crochet, so it is nice to be able to make one for warmer weather! I think neckties really smarten and add personality to an outfit.

To make this necktie/ hair tie, you must have the Obi Scarf pattern that I designed for Interweave Crochet.

You will need to make a few alterations to the pattern:

-Use a steel hook size 1.75mm, and Pearl Cotton size 5. I used DMC "Petra".

-Make 1/2 the number of stitches on the ends of the scarf, and in the center window pane stitch pattern, make 7 repeats instead of 9.

-Crochet only 6 rows of the pattern.

-For the Bands, you only need to chain 18 stitches when you begin.

-Making the Bands is optional, depending on how you want to wear it. For the tied versions, you do not need them. If you want to wear it like the 2nd photo below, you could put velcro on the bands to help them stay in place, or crochet a chain on the back of the front band to slip the other side through.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Talking About Crocheting Clothes Kids Love, Today!

Ellen Gormley and I will be Mark Lipinski's guests on the Creative Mojo Podcast, to talk about our new book! This is the first time we will be talking about our collaboration, and the first time I have ever been on a podcast, so this is going to be especially exciting for me!

You can listen to the show live today at 3:00 pm PST in the US, or anytime after the podcast is over. To listen, visit:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Introducing the Garden Party Necklace Pattern

Spring is definitely here where I live, and it seems like a nice time to release a new pattern with a garden theme! This is a great pattern when you want to make something that you can complete quickly with a small amount of yarn. The super bulky yarn helps to make it work up fast, and it makes the necklace into an eye-catching statement piece.

Here are the pattern details:

Skill level: Advanced Beginner/ Intermediate

Length: 22” (56cm)


Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta “Boston”, 60 yds /55m, 1.75oz/50g 
Super Bulky Weight (3 sts= 1”)

Color A (Leaves and Stems): #071 Sage Green
Color B (Flower Buds): #035 Fuchsia

Hook size: N/13 (9.00mm) 

This pattern is now available as a download for $1.99. A stitch diagram for the necklace is included in the pattern.

In honor of National Crochet Month, from March 28-April 11th, all proceeds from the sale of this pattern will go to the Crochetville Designer Blog Tour's chosen charity for this year: Halos of Hope.

I hope that this next year of crochet is a happy, creative, and productive one for all!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Berroco Book and Yarn Giveaway!

Berroco generously gave me yarn support for 6 of the projects in the Crocheting Clothes Kids Love Book! They just announced on their blog that they are giving away a copy of the book, AND enough of the lovely Comfort DK yarn to make the Sunny Day Skirt from the book!

If you are a US or Canada resident, you can enter to win. Simply go to their blog post about the giveaway, and leave a comment about why you like to crochet for kids. Enter by 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, March 26th.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bow Necklace and Bracelet-My New Free Patterns for Premier Yarns!

Not long ago, I revealed the Bauble Necklace for Premier Yarns as part of a mini jewelry collection I designed for them. They just recently released my Bow Necklace and Bracelet patterns. The patterns are offered as a free download on their website! They feature them as a set, but each of them could easily make a statement on their own. Simple stitches are combined in an effective way to make these pieces stand out in a crowd. I used their Spangle yarn, which I find to be a wonderful weight for jewelry, with just the right sheen. I also love the range of colors it comes in! Since they take very little time or yarn, they would also be nice projects to crochet for gifts. Visit Premier Yarns website for a wide variety of free patterns featuring their yarns.