Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My New Favorite Stitch (The Making of a Contest Entry Part 3)

I am now finishing up my CGOA Design Competition entry, and as I step back to look at it, one of the things I really like about it are the pieces that are crocheted using the extended single crochet stitch.  It is shown in the sneak peek photo above, on the right hand side, crocheted in chocolate brown yarn.  It is slightly taller than a single crochet, so it creates more drape.  It is a simple stitch that creates a lovely overall pattern.  Before I learned about this stitch, half double crochet was my favorite stitch when a double crochet was too tall.  Since I like to use fine yarns, I think I will use this stitch often in future projects.  I discovered this stitch while watching the fabulous designer Robyn Chachula, demonstrate it on this segment of The Knit and Crochet Now! show.  First, she demonstrates how to do ribbing in crochet, which I found interesting as well.  In addition, there is a great photo tutorial about this stitch, on a site I like called The Crochet Spot.

I am trying to find the perfect snaps for my competition entry and devise a way to disguise them.  Then, I will be finished.  I can't wait to send it off!  After the judging on July 8th, I will be able to share photos of it here. It isn't due until the beginning of June, but I have given myself this week as a deadline, because I have a box of yarn arriving that will require immediate attention.  Back to regular work!

Monday, April 19, 2010

In the Top Ten!

I just noticed, that my "Blumen" Mother's Day bouquet pattern is in the top ten patterns for the week on Berroco's website. How exciting!  I hope that lots of mothers will be getting crocheted flowers next month!

I have had a few people ask me exactly how much of each color  I used, so they would know how much to buy if they wanted to make more than one bouquet.  

In case you would like to know, here are the yardage amounts of Pure Pima needed to complete one bouquet:

109 yards of “Cantaloupe” 
53 yards of “Baton Rouge” 
19 yards of “Nectar” 
49 yards of “Sprout” 
90 yards of “Kelp”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Blog I Love

In honor of my 50th blog post, I am going to talk about an inspiring blog that I love to read.  I was so pleased when the crochet editor, JD Wolfe, featured my work last week in this post about how crocheting can be healing.  It was  wonderful that her post prompted a few people to leave comments on my blog about how crochet had helped them through a difficult time.  

I took this excerpt from the blog in order to best describe it to you:

"CraftGossip covers news written by craft people telling you about all the good stuff. We scour the net looking for the best craft ideas and projects and review them for you. We have divided this blog into many sub-blogs, covering topics ranging from knittingcrochetbath and body,  jewelry makingscrapbookingsewing craftsrecycled craftsneedleworkedible craftsindie craftsstampinglesson plansglass artquilting,  polymer clay and felting. Each of these sub-blogs is managed by its own dedicated editor, so you know that you are getting personalized attention."

With time being so precious, it is wonderful to have a blog you can visit that has so many wonderful ideas in one place!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Making of "Blumen"

I thought it might be interesting to talk about my design process for the “Blumen” bouquet. The brief that I was given by Norah Gaughan, the design director at Berroco, was simply, to design a bouquet for Mother's Day in a cotton yarn (Pure Pima). She directed me  to a Berroco centerpiece pattern, for inspiration. While waiting for the yarn to arrive, I began scouting photos of modern bouquets. I sketched a few ideas, and emailed them to her to get a feel for what she was looking for. Sketch #4 turned out to be the lucky one, a mix of lilies and wildflowers with a few buds. Next, I went to work designing each flower, leaf, and bud. I didn't have any “Pure Pima” on hand, so I found the closest thing in my stash and made several variations of each until I was happy with the results. I wrote the pattern as I worked, so when the yarn arrived, I would be ready to crochet the sample bouquet and edit the pattern at the same time. Then, I made a paper mock up of the design, which was so helpful in determining exactly how many flowers to make and how long to make each stem. The paper mock up was actually a fun project in itself , and it now cheerfully graces my studio. Finally, the yarn arrived and I was able to survey the color selection. I decided to use all but 2 of the colors. I only had one skein of each color, and was a little worried that I would run out of yarn, because there was no time to wait for another shipment.   I was careful not to waste an inch!  I crocheted every spare moment (while entertaining my 3 year old) for about 5 days. Thankfully, I had just enough yarn to complete the bouquet! I took a few photos before I assembled the flowers. I am posting them here, so you can see each flower in detail. I love Berroco's photos. It is always wonderful to see your work professionally photographed! I have received some lovely comments about the bouquet on Ravelry. One woman told me that she would like it to be her wedding bouquet one day. I think a crocheted bouquet is a lovely idea. After the wedding, the flowers could be put in a beautiful vase in the couple's home to remind them of their big day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Finally....a Reveal

I am so thrilled that I finally get to share this project!  Berroco has published my Mother's Day bouquet design "Blumen", in their weekly "Knitbits" newsletter.  I worked on it feverishly around Thanksgiving, and have been eagerly awaiting its publication.  It is the first time I have done large flowers in cotton yarn, and I enjoyed working with Berroco's "Pure Pima" which comes in lovely colors that are perfect for flowers and leaves.  Whether you choose to make the entire bouquet or a single wildflower as a brooch, this pattern offers many beautiful possibilties.