Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Architect Scarf for Interweave Crochet Accessories

The Architect scarf was designed as an experiment on how effective a piece made up of small elements can be. There are two main elements in this scarf: the blocks, and chain links. There are two sizes of chain links, so there are three different things to crochet to make the body of the scarf. The blocks are crocheted first, then the blocks are joined together with the chain links. This scarf could be unisex depending on the colors used. It is also suitable for children, as the length can be customized depending on how many blocks you make. 

An interesting cowl could be made by crocheting just a few blocks. You could also make a lovely wrap by adding another two rows of blocks. A stunning necklace could also be made using pearl cotton instead of yarn. With a foundation of building blocks, many things can be made! It is a great, "on the go" project, since all of the pieces are simple, small, and crocheted separately. 

Crocheted links have been a popular theme in my work. Below are some of my designs featuring links:

Clockwise from top left: Monarch Necklace, Bella Necklace, Charming Bracelet, Cherry Blossom Necklace, Chinois Scarf, Charming Necklace, Plaid Wristlet Purse.

My love of chain links will carry on, and I feel certain that they will be incorporated into more of my designs in the future!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Swanky Purse for Interweave Crochet Accessories

I have been really enjoying designing purses. A purse is an accessory that you almost never leave the house without. Since purses are so essential, they are really worth investing your time in making them. The great thing is, it can also be fun to make, as there are endless special details you can add to a purse to give it personality!

I wanted to make a bag that would show off a beautiful skein of variegated yarn, be the perfect size, an interesting shape, and have a unique closure. This project is the perfect project for a skein of variegated yarn with colors that you really want to showcase, as it is framed in the front by a complementary solid color, and the back is made entirely of the variegated. Of course you can always switch the variegated and solid yarn sections around, if you would prefer the solid color to be more prominent. I made a few paper patterns of the purse to get the size and shape just right. It is tall enough to hold a variety of things, but not so tall that you can't find what is inside the purse! The bow knot never needs to be untied. You simply slip it through the buttonhole in the flap.

I have to mention the handles! The handles are stitched in a way that they won't stretch too much when you have things in the purse- this is an area that I feel that crocheted purses can be weak, so I was careful to make the handles strong. 

Every purse needs a secret...this purse has a secret pocket that is just the right size for business cards or a grocery list! It is formed when you stitch the flap to the back of the purse

I hope to see many Swanky Purses made in different color combinations! Please don't forget to add your project to Ravelry if you make one!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Six Ways to Wear the Eyelet Twist Scarf

Wrapped around the neck with the ends in front
The new issue of Interweave Crochet Accessories is now out, and I am thrilled to have 3 designs featured in it! I am planning to dedicate a blog post to each one. 

Today I am talking about the Eyelet Twist Scarf, and 6 ways to wear it. Besides being a fun project to crochet, it is also fun to wear!

I really enjoyed designing this scarf, because it combines 2 things I love: varying stitch height to add shaping, and long chain stitch sections. The combination of the 2 elements helps give the illusion of cables. Simple stitches combined can be so effective!

Pictured in this post are photos of the original scarf sample I made to submit to Interweave. When I am preparing a submission, I take several photos of of ways that the piece can be worn. Scarves can look so different depending on how they are wrapped, and you never know what might appeal most to an editor. It also shows how versatile the design can be.

Which way would you wear this scarf?
Simply draped around the neck
Thrown over the shoulder

The sides crossed and folded over each other

Wrapped around the neck and tied

Both ends thrown over the shoulders

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cross Stitch on Tunisian Crochet!

Cross stitching on a Tunisian crochet simple stitch background, is a technique I really love! There is something very relaxing about doing Tunisian simple stitch. It is also a great way to introduce beginners to crochet. I had been trying to teach my 7 year old daughter how to crochet for quite some time, and she was having trouble getting the hang of it, until I taught her how to do Tunisian crochet. She took to it easily, and it was a great transition to more challenging projects in crochet. After she finished her first large Tunisian project, a blanket, she wanted to try regular crocheting again. I showed her how to do a Granny Square, and she was able to make one very easily. I feel that the Tunisian crochet gave her confidence, and good practice. Now I start everyone who wants to learn to crochet, with Tunisian. Incidentally, I found I should always carry hooks and yarn with me, because when I crochet in public, or mention crochet in public, I very often get asked to teach the person on the spot!

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was doing a piece for one of our Jumbo size eWoodStory Frames. I had the variegated background completed and was ready to start doing the cross stitch.

 I found a vintage charted design online, which I used as a guide and inspiration. 

It was amazing to watch it come to life as I stitched each section.

I took a poll on Instagram to ask what color people thought I should stain the frame: Cherry, Walnut, or Jacobean. It was a 3 way tie! So I decided to do a coat of Cherry, then a coat of Jacobean. I think the combination works very well to coordinate with my stitched piece.

Then for the exciting part...stitching it to the frame! I stitched it in a chunky yarn from my stash, that just happened to be the perfect color!

Such a fun way to combine two techniques, which results in a rich tapestry of color and texture!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Interweave Crochet Accessories 2016!

It is no secret that accessories are my favorite thing to design! That is why Interweave Crochet Magazine's special Accessories issue is one I really look forward to!

This year I have three designs in the issue, and I can hardly wait to share them with you! The magazine is available for preorder now, and will be officially out on November 10th. I am planning to do a post on each design to share all of the details and features of each, as soon as Interweave puts up the full preview of the magazine. Designers don't see photos of their pieces before that, so I am really excited to see how mine were styled. I am counting down the days!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Painting Crochet on I love Yarn Day 2015!

Actually  I celebrate my love of yarn, everyday, but today it is celebrated around the world!

Lately I have been fascinated by asymmetrical motifs, and I decided it would be fun to crochet them in an off white cotton/bamboo yarn, so I can paint them. You don't have to worry about color changes or weaving in ends! Decide the colors later! If you don't like how it is turning out, you can wash it out before it dries. It is a really fun thing to do. My daughter wants me to crochet more motifs for her to paint.

I thought this motif looked like a flower, so I decided to paint it to look like one. I crocheted it to fit into our "Olive" shape Stitchable Pendant. This technique is perfect for jewelry, because you don't have to worry about washing the piece. I used watercolor paints because I like the effect on yarn, but if you want something more permanent, you could use fabric paint.
Painted motif before adding details and stitching into the pendant.

This is not the first time I have painted my crochet. Many of my longtime readers may remember my post for Crochetville's annual blog tour, about painting crochet trim.

After stitching it to the pendant, I decided to paint the stitching too! I used this wonderful watercolor set that I purchased from Michaels:

Here is the version with the painted stitching. I can't decide which version I like best! What do you think?

Monday, October 5, 2015

30 Minute Jewelry Book and Mini Masterpiece Pendant Giveaway!

Beverly McCullough of the infamous Flamingo Toes Blog, has written a fun and inspiring book of 30 Minute Jewelry projects. We were so thrilled to find out that she used one of our Mini Masterpiece Frame pendants in her book. She stitched a beautiful painting that her artist father painted, into it. It is such a gorgeous piece:

 To celebrate the release of Beverly's new book, we are teaming up with her to do a giveaway. The winner will receive a copy of The 30 Minute Jewelry Book, plus 2 Mini Masterpiece Frame pendants of their choice from our eWoodStory Etsy Shop!

To enter to win, visit Beverly's blog and enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of the post. Follow Beverly on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with her inspiring crafting adventures!