Saturday, March 26, 2011

Last Few Days To Vote for the 2010 Crochet Awards!

Until March 30th you can vote for your favorites in the crochet industry.  Each year this event, nicknamed "The Flamies", gets more attention and becomes more fabulous than the last, thanks to the "Fearless Leader" of The Crochet Liberation FrontLaurie Wheeler, who really puts her all into everything she does.  Her passion for crochet really shines through in the way she promotes the craft!  

This year there will be a Live Red Carpet Party on April 18th, to announce the awards in Texas.  How exciting is that!  Even if you cannot attend the party, you can hear the results live or in the archives of Mary Beth Temple's Getting Loopy Podcast

Here is a reference guide to all the nominees to help you choose your favorites.  You may discover some new designers, patterns, books, magazines, hooks, yarn, and videos!  Please go vote now, and let the crochet industry know what you like.  As an added bonus after you have completed the voting, you will be able to download as a gift, a lovely limited edition scarf pattern by designer Tracie Barrett!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Crochet Guild of America's 2011 Design Competition!

The Crochet Guild of America has recently announced the details of their annual design competition!  All entries will be displayed at the Fall, "Knit and Crochet Show" in Greensboro, North Carolina in September.

They have expanded the categories this year, and I believe they have one for any type of design you can dream up!

Here are the design categories for 2011:

1. Fanciful Fashion 
Fancy adult garments and accessories, including gowns, dresses and evening wear.
2. Fashion
Garments for women or men, including sweaters, tops, jackets and skirts.
3. Accessories
Wearables including shawls, socks, scarves, hats, bags, belts and jewelry.
4. Small Wonders 
Anything small scale, including baby items, toys, amigurimi and small décor items.
5. Afghans 
Any and all afghans, throws, blankets and bed or sofa covers.
6. Thread Crochet
Anything made with crochet thread, including doilies, décor and accessories.
7. Artistic Expressions 
Artistic rather than functional in nature, including free-form and mixed media pieces, hangings, sculpture and wearable art.

I was so very honored to have won the Grand prize for my Kyoto Coat, as well as 1st prize for my Jewels of the Sea Necklace, in last year's competition.  Since I had such marvellous luck last year, and I couldn't possibly top that experience, I was considering not entering this year, but I have an idea that I am excited about... so, time permitting I will be participating again!

Every year the contest gets more and more exciting.  More categories, prizes, and entries!  I only wish I could attend the conference in order to see all of the entries on display!  Maybe next year!

For more information about the competition, with links to the entry form, go to the CGOA blog!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Introducing The Helleborus Gloves!

I am so happy to be able to tell you about the Helleborus gloves I designed for Tangled Magazine!  I was excited when I found out about this unique online magazine, and I really wanted to be included in it.  

I originally submitted a wristlet design with the same style flower, vines and berries embellishing it.  Tangled later contacted me, to ask if I would mind using the same embellishment on some mittens or fingerless gloves.  I thought the vines would be showcased well on some elbow length gloves, so we agreed that I  would make them for their Winter issue.

When it was time to decide on yarn, I immediately thought of Berroco's Ultra Alpaca, as it is wonderful to work with and comes in an amazing array of colors.  For the background, I chose 2 colors that were very close, so that it would look almost like a shaded yarn, but I would have control as to where the colors would appear.  After I chose the base colors, the others just called out to me!  Thank you Berroco for generously providing the yarn support for this project!

After the fun of choosing the yarn colors, it was time to work out the shape of the gloves.  I really wanted them to be fitted so they would act as a canvas for the vines.  It was an interesting learning experience, and it made me look at the shape of the arm in a way I never had before.  It took a few fittings and adjustments to get the shape just right, but it was worth every minute when I saw the elegance of the finished gloves.  It is fairly easy to alter the size of the gloves to custom fit them to your arm, and some guidelines for doing so are included in the pattern.  

There is a diagram provided to help you place the vines, but feel free to arrange them however you please. They could even be different on each glove.  The main goal is to have fun with this pattern!

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Good News about Loken!

I just noticed that my Loken cowl is the #1 pattern on Berroco's website for this past week.  I am especially excited because it was one of six free patterns offered last week, and it was the only crochet piece.  HOORAY FOR CROCHET!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Loken Cowl for Berroco!

The Loken Cowl that I designed for Berroco, was just released last week as part of an eBook featuring a lovely new yarn called Flicker.  I am really proud of this design, and it is so exciting to finally be able to share it with you!  

I was contacted by Norah Gaughan, the design director at Berroco, and asked if I could design a cowl inspired by the two photos below.  She wanted the fabric to have the look of the photo on the left, and it to be about the size of the cowl pictured on the right.  It was also to have the "drippy" quality of the Beseme Scarf I designed for them previously.  

From the beginning, I decided that the cowl neck would be a simple fabric with a lot of drape, and something that wouldn't compete with the motifs below it.  Then, I put that decision in the back of my mind and began to focus on the motifs.  I went through all of my resources looking for motif ideas, and kept going back to this one.  I was attracted by the loops in the last round, but knew I needed to change the center.

After a lot of experimenting, I finally came up with a motif I loved:

Then, I had to design a companion motif to fill in the gaps, That was the most difficult part of the project, believe it or not!  It needed to be the same style, but totally different.  I really celebrated the day I found a partner for the first motif!  Both motifs are very loopy and I like the way they ruffle up and give texture to the piece.  The cowl requires careful blocking, but after that, you can let the motifs do as they please!

There are 2 ways to wear the cowl, either loose around your neck as in Berroco's photo, or pulled down around your shoulders as pictured below.  One cowl- two different looks.

This pattern is rated "experienced" because of the care needed in joining the motifs, but after you have completed and joined all of them, you are rewarded by getting to crochet the cowl neck.  It so simple, it grows quickly and you will wish you could keep going and going!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beseme Scarf Class!

Thanks to Ravelry, I just found out that Sit 'n Stitch in Toluca Lake, California will be offering a class on  my Beseme Scarf pattern.  The class is FREE with the purchase of the 3 skeins of Berroco Sundae yarn it takes to make the scarf.  How great is that!  With this super bulky yarn and 10mm hook, you can make this fun scarf in no time!  The class will be on Saturday, March 19th from 10am to 1pm.  If you want to ensure you get the yarn color you want, the shop asks that you RSVP as soon as possible.  Here are their contact details.

I have asked the shop to take photos of the class and scarves made, so hopefully I will be able to post them here on my blog, after the class.  I really wish I lived in the Toluca Lake area, so I could drop in!