Friday, February 25, 2011

Gorgeous Crochet From Turkey!

A whimsical French crochet bracelet from my favorite shop in London, VV Rouleaux, sparked my interest in crochet and led me to become a designer.  I was reminded of this spark last night, when my sister-in-law presented me with this beautiful necklace that she bought from a little shop in the Grand Bazar in Istanbul.  I love the way it was wrapped.  So simple, yet so effective!  It is 4 meters of delicate crochet work done in a very fine silky thread, and reminds me of Turkish Oya scarf edgings.  The shop owner told her that they are crocheted by Turkish housewives (who must have very good eyes)!  My sister-in-law said she saw women wearing them in various ways as belts and necklaces.  I am still experimenting how to wear it and how to keep it from getting tangled!  I hope I have the chance to visit the shop in person one day, it looks like a treasure trove!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two Lovely Paris Belts!

Photos by Domy Toleman

I have been hoping that someone would make the Paris Belt and post photos, so you can imagine how happy I was to find out that crafty Domy Toleman of Créations Manuelles, had made not one but two belts!

It is wonderful to see the belt in different color pallettes.  She did a marvellous job of choosing fabrics for the belts- just the right mix of solids and prints.  For her first belt she divided the sections with crocheted chains as I did in my original tutorial, and for her second, she stitched between the sections with a sewing machine.  This is a great idea, you could really have fun with the machine's built in pattern stitches here!

I hope seeing these photos will encourage some of you to make belts too!  Merci Beaucoup, Domy for letting me feature your beautiful work here!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A New Crochet Home Decor Inspiration

It has been reported, that some of the walls in the new Missoni Hotel in Kuwait are painted with beautiful yarn strands applied on top, giving the illusion that it is wall paper.  When I heard this, it gave me the idea to apply crocheted chains or motifs to a wall in my studio.  It would require some research as to what kind of adhesive to use, but the idea has the wheels in my head turning!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My New Japanese Crochet Book!

My local yarn and craft shop, Barakat, has been having a great sale the past few weeks, and  to my delight, the Japanese  books were included!  I was thrilled to find this gem (ISBN 978-4-529-02412-9).  It is a book that illustrates what stitch each symbol represents, and it includes step by step instructions on how to create the stitch.  I was hoping to find a reference like this, because many times I will discover a symbol in a stitch dictionary that I have never seen before, and that is not mentioned in the back of the book.  I haven't put it to use yet, so I don't know if every symbol I will ever need is in it, but it does include 59 different stitches.  I am sure it will be an invaluable resource!  
(One of the symbols in the book)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wow, a Limited Edition Set of Etimo Crochet Hooks!

(Limited Edition set, photo by Knitty City)

As you may already know, I love Etimo crochet hooks!  I just came across this unusal, Limited Edition set being sold by Knitty City.  I have compared the this set with the regular set and there are a few differences.  The Limited Edition set includes some  rare sizes (2mm, 2.2 mm, and 2.5mm), which might be useful.  See the details below:  

-10 Pink hooks in sizes:  2mm, 2.2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, E4/ 3.5mm, G6/ 4mm, 7/ 4.5mm, and H8/ 5mm, I9/ 5.5mm, and J10/6mm.

-2 Gold yarn needles

-Pink and white striped carrying case with a decorative tassel.

Price:  $110

(Regular Set, photo by Caron International)

-8 Grey hooks in sizes:  D3/ 3.25mm, E4/ 3.5mm, F5/ 3.75mm, G6/ 4mm, 7/ 4.5mm, H8/ 5mm, I9/ 5.5mm, and J10/ 6mm.
-2 Yarn needles

-4 1/2 Plastic ruler

-Pair of scissors

-Grey and silver carrying case

Price:  $79.99

It would make a lovely gift for yourself or a crocheter you adore!  If you are interested in purchasing the Limited Edition set, you can do so here. If you are interested in purchasing the regular set, you can do so here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Introducing the Crawford Crochet Necklace!

I am so excited to reveal the "Crawford Necklace" that appears in the March 2011 issue of the UK magazine, Inside Crochet!  When I saw the call for submissions for this issue, I knew I had to submit because they were requesting vintage inspired designs.  I have a collection of jewelry from the 1950's, and was especially inspired by my rhinestone necklaces.  I challenged myself to create a delicate piece in yarn, and chose to use a hint of metallic gold to give the necklace a fine jewelry feel.  It was the first time I have ever worked with Twilley's "Goldfingering" yarn.  It has such a beautiful sheen and is guaranteed not to tarnish.

I love projects like this necklace, because you can crochet one in an afternoon, and have something new to wear out in the evening!  If you need a quick gift, you can whip one up quickly with yarn from your stash and have a unique piece to give.

There are a few other reasons I am so excited about this issue; the first reason is because my design was one of the projects featured on the cover.  Every designer dreams of being on the cover of a magazine, and this is the closest I have been!  The other reason is because the magazine asked me to write about my inspiration for this design, and I was given the priveledge of submitting additional photos of the jewelry pieces from my collection that inspired me in creating this necklace.  I was also able to talk about my design process and how the necklace evolved.  They even included a photo of one of the early prototypes!

There are some wonderful garments and accessories in this issue.  If you are looking for a new project, Inside Crochet 15 is definitely worth checking out! If you would like to buy the necklace pattern separately (in US crochet terms), you can download it from Ravelry for $2.99. 

(Photo by KAL Media)