Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Fanfare Cowl Pattern is Now Out!

It is always so exciting to announce the release of a published design!  This is a cowl I designed for Inside Crochet Magazine, and the preview just came out this week.  It is quick to crochet and a simple pattern, suitable for a beginning to intermediate crocheter.  It is a versatile pattern that could also be used to make a belt by adjusting the length and possibly the width of the cowl.   I think the crowning glory of the cowl is the surface crochet used to define the pleats.  I use this technique often, in my traditional and freeform crochet designs.  The sample was made up in Berroco's Inca Gold, a merino wool and silk blend.  This yarn is amazing to work with and it creates amazing stitch definition.

This issue, #8, is available to purchase via download here.  UPDATE:  As of January 13, 2011, this pattern is available to purchase via Ravelry for $2.95, and is now translated into US crochet terminology.  

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Piece of Vintage Freeform...

This piece was my submission to a unique exhibition of 61 fiber artists, all members of the International Freeform Artist’s Guild. Each artist selected one yarn and sent 61 five-yard skeins of that yarn to a central location.  In return, each artist received 61 different skeins from fellow artists all over the world. There was no coordination of color, texture, or any other artistic components.  The challenge was to create your own interpretation of fiber art using only those yarns. The collaboration of scrumbles became a traveling exhibition throughout 2006. 

This was the first exhibition of its kind, conducted by the Guild.  Since 2006, it has been an annual event.  They have just put up the photos from this years exhibition, entitled "Somewhere in My World".  It is such inspiring work from a talented group of artists!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Crochet Inspiration at the Beach

While watching my daughter fly a kite at the beach, I started sifting through the piles of pebbles around me and was so fascinated by the variety of colors and textures I found.  I often collect shells from the beach to use in my freeform work, but this year there just aren't any to collect.  Fortunately, there are loads of amazing pebbles to pick up.  I found several that were the same thickness and shape.  I am planning a piece of crochet jewelry that will incorporate these beach treasures.  It will be a wonderful way to remember our family vacation.  I have to finish up a few projects that are due the end of this month, so I will probably have to wait until I get back to Kuwait to get started.  When it is complete, I will be sure to post photos here!

I have always loved using rocks that I have found in decorating my home.  I once glued river rocks to some plain metal curtain rings to make the perfect rings for my bird feather shower curtain.  Today, my father found the rock picture below for me to use as a pencil holder for my studio.  I hope I am able to fit it in my luggage. Excess baggage here I come!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Covered Snaps-The Perfect Finishing Touch!

I have finally finished my entry for the CGOA design contest!  The final touch was sewing on the snaps.  I just didn't feel right about using shiny metal snaps, so I did a little research and decided to cover the snaps with a coordinating fabric.  They added a design element instead of taking away from the overall design. I will definitely be using this technique again!

To cover snaps, cut a circle of a lightweight fabric that is large enough to wrap around the snap easily with out adding bulk to the back (about twice the diameter of the snap).  A tip when choosing a fabric is to put a piece of fabric between the snap halves and try to snap them. If they won't stay shut reliably, try a thinner fabric).  Make a small running stitch around the outside edge of the circle, insert the snap inside and gather it up.  Poke the "point" of the snap through your fabric. You may have to push aside the threads with an awl or large needle, or it may just go through on its own. 

When you have this done, cover the female half of the snap the same way. You do not have to make a hole in this fabric circle.  Put a tiny dab of craft glue in the center (the type that dries clear), and when it dries, you can snap it to the other side of the snap and it will make its own hole.  The glue will keep it from fraying.  I also put a little glue on the back of the snap to secure it.  Place snaps on your garment and stitch in place. You may stitch through the snap holes and the covering fabric, or just through the fabric.   

Threads magazine has a great photo tutorial on covering snaps with fabric here.