Monday, January 24, 2011

A Mixed Media Crochet Purse

This is a mixed media purse that I made for a purse exchange with members of  the International Freeform Guild.  I wanted to include fabric and embroidery in this piece.  It all began with the fabric; it was originally a Calvin Klein bedsheet that I had bought to make a shower curtain.  The sheet was longer than I needed for the curtain, so I had a little extra to play with!  

First I cut the fabric into the purse shape, and that formed the background of the purse.  Then, I crocheted various flowers and vines and experimented with the placement.  Once I got that right, I cut out some felt leaves and embellished the flowers and leaves with embroidery.  What is interesting about this purse, are the differences in texture.  The cotton fabric is very smooth, the silk yarn is quite shiny, the wool is matte, and the nylon net and embroidery thread fall somewhere in between those textures.  There are many small details on this purse, for example, the handle is a slip stitch cord with a row of silk chain stitches on top.  One of my favorite details, is the couching on the sides of the purse.  The way it encases the fabric, brings all of the multimedia elements together.  I really enjoyed making this purse and I would like to create more projects with fabric as a base.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fanfare Cowl Pattern

The Fanfare Cowl pattern that I originally designed for the UK magazine, Inside Crochet issue #8, is now available to purchase in US crochet terms, via Ravelry.

It is a fun project to crochet, and a great chance to practice the surface crochet technique that I adore, to define the "pleats".  It is also a versatile pattern that could be used to make a belt by adjusting the length and the width of the cowl and the tie.  

I encourage you to try the Berroco Inca Gold yarn.  It is so wonderful to work with, and creates beautiful stitches with a slight sheen.  There are some lovely photos of Fanfare Cowls on Ravelry already, and it would be great to see photos of yours if you decide to make one!

Skill level:  Intermediate 


Yarn:  Berroco Inca Gold, 80% 
merino wool, 20% silk, 50g/ 113m/ 
122yds, WPI 9. 
Color A: Verde Azulado, #6418 
(one skein). 
Color B: Purpura, #6409 (one 
Hook size:  (G) 4mm, or size to 
obtain gauge. 

Price:  $2.95

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Paris Belt- a Tutorial Inspired by the Kyoto Coat

My favorite part of  the Kyoto Coat that I designed for the 2010 Crochet Guild of America design competition, was the crazy quilt style sash.  Ever since it won the grand prize, I wanted to design a woman's belt inspired by the Kyoto Coat.  It was so fun to make, I decided to write a tutorial to share with readers of my blog.

Kyoto Coat Sash

I suggest shopping for fabrics with a color in mind.  First, choose a print that you love, then choose 4 or 5 more that complement it.  For the belt shown, I chose mostly cotton fabrics, but you may choose any medium weight fabric that can tolerate a moderate iron setting.  Don't be afraid to use the back side of fabrics as well.  I used the back side of 2 of the fabrics I chose for this belt.  

Some patience will be required when outlining the fabric sections with crocheted chains, but if you are diligent, it will really pay off, as it is this detail that really makes the belt.  Enjoy, and please post photos if you make one!  You can download the full tutorial from Ravelry, please see the link below.


Paper for making the pattern
A selection of printed fabrics
Medium weight, iron-on interfacing
Ironing board and iron
Crochet hooks in size C/2 (2.75mm), and D/3 (3.25mm)
Yarn needle
Sewing needle
Rust proof pins


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Thursday, January 6, 2011

An Inspiring Vintage Yarn Ad!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know how I adore vintage yarn ads!  I came across this one yesterday, and it made me wish that I was a little more glamorous when I crochet.  She really puts me to shame in my "house clothes".  I also love that she is watching "I Love Lucy" while she crochets.  I think I would have thrived in the 1950's, as I have always been attracted to things from that era.  It made me wonder how your surroundings effect your crochet outcome?  Maybe the next time I am aiming for an elegant design, I will put a bouquet of flowers on the table and dress up a little for the occasion!