Friday, March 30, 2012

One More Way to Wear the Modern Jabot

I am always looking for alternate ways to wear my accessories, and I especially love when I can transform them into something totally new!  I decided to try combining two Modern Jabot's to see how they work together. I tied the ends together in a square knot, right where the fringe begins on each. Even though the colors schemes are different, I was surprised to find out how well I liked the color combination, and I can't wait to wear this to dress up some simple pieces in my wardrobe.  The modern jabot takes less than one skein of yarn, so it is a good project to use up yarn in your stash and make a fun accessory in a day.  The next thing I would like to try, is to make the band longer so it could be worn as a belt!

Here are 3 more ways to make the Modern Jabot pattern:

(In a fine sock yarn, it creates a delicate fringe)

(In a heavier weight sock yarn, it allows the loops to open up)

(In a chunky weight yarn, it becomes more of a warm scarf)

Interweave now has all of the patterns from the Fall 2011 issue, for sale individually on their website. The Modern Jabot pattern is available as a pdf download, for $5.50 from the Interweave Store. I have also done blog posts on how to block the jabot for best results, as well as how to alter the pattern for chunky weight yarn. If any of you end up making one, I would love to see how you wear yours!

Friday, March 23, 2012

How to Create a Bolder Crochet Bobble

These bobbles, were my favorite element in the "Shades of Grey" freeform necklace I posted about recently. I love them so much, I decided they needed their own post!

This is a technique inspired by the fascinating craft of Romanian Point Lace. It is a nice way to make a bolder bobble, and it is especially effective when done in more than one color. I think they look a little like mini pumpkins or something you might find in an undersea garden.

Make the bobble as follows:

Round 1: Chain 3, then make 8 double crochet stitches into the beginning chain. Slip stitch in beginning double crochet to end round.

Round 2: Slip Stitch in every other stitch around to close up the dome. Fasten off. (This is the bottom of the bobble).

Thread a yarn needle with desired color. Insert needle in the bottom of a bobble, then wrap around a double crochet stitch from bottom to top, making sure the double crochet is completely covered.

Wrap around next double crochet from the top to the bottom, making the same number of wraps as you did around the previous double crochet. Continue in this manner, alternating working from bottom to top and top to bottom of a double crochet, until all double crochet stitches in the bobble are covered. Neatly weave in all ends.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Announcing the Winner of the Chinois Scarf Patttern

Thank you to everyone who visited my blog, and entered to win a copy of the Chinois Scarf pattern. I had my daughter draw the winning name, and that name was: knittinggirl. Congratulations! Since I have your Ravelry ID, I will gift you the pattern there. Thank you also, for the lovely feedback you all have left in the comments about the scarf. I hope everyone has a crochet filled weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A New Pattern Release: The Chinois Scarf

I would like to introduce you to my latest scarf pattern, the Chinois Scarf. This design was inspired by my love of using chunky yarn in a delicate way. I love the juxtaposition of the strong chain links with the lacy motifs. I think it creates balance in a unique way. I named it the Chinois Scarf, because it reminds me of beautiful Chinese silk fabrics like the one pictured below.

I learned a very important design lesson with this scarf. Always wear your creations in an everyday setting to test them out, and see where any improvements can be made.  I wore this scarf to pick up my daughter from school one windy day, and I found out that the motifs needed to be reversible, so the scarf can move with you and look great at all times! So I devised a way to make the motifs look virtually the same on both sides. It is a great project for that beautiful variegated yarn you have been saving or wanting to buy!  A stitch diagram for the motif is included in the pattern, along with the written instructions to make the pattern as clear as possible.

Skill level: Intermediate



Schachenmayr nomotta “Boston”, in Gelb #00021 & Billardgrun # 00070 (1 skein each)

King Cole “Riot Chunky”, in Seashore #653 (1 skein)

Hook sizes: L/12 (8.00mm), and H/8 (5.00mm), or size to obtain gauge

Notions: Yarn needle, rust-proof pins, blocking board

If you would like to purchase the pattern, it is available as a pdf download for $3.95.

In honor of the release of this pattern, I would like to give a copy away.  To enter to win, please leave a comment on this post, and the winner will be chosen randomly. Entries will be accepted for one week, and I will announce the winner next Friday (March 16th)!

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

"Shades of Grey", A Freeform Crochet Necklace

I made this necklace as a thank you for a friend, and fellow freeform crocheter. I asked her what colors she would like the necklace, and she surprised me by saying black, grey, and silver. I was surprised, because her favorite colors are in the teal and purple family! I wear black practically every day, but I had never done a freeform project that wasn't full of color.  It was a new challenge, and I wanted it to be like nothing I had ever made before!

About the time I was beginning this project, I was at the hardware store with my husband. We always say that we wish the yarn store and the hardware store were next door to each other. Unfortunately, they are about a 25 minute drive apart. I really wanted to go to the yarn shop, but since we were in the neighborhood of the hardware shop, it won. I decided to make the best of things, and see if there was anything I could use for the necklace. It was fortunate that I was using black and silver, as there are many items in those colors in the hardware store.  I bought some black plastic screen, and some washers. At least I think they were washers. Anyway, they were round metal things with a hole in the middle! They ended up looking great with silver embroidery thread, buttonhole stitched around them. I also made some interesting looking leaves with the plastic screen, but didn't end up using them in the necklace.

I went through my stash to find all the yarn possibilities for the black, grey, and silver color palette. Then, I set to work making several small scrumbles. I never plan my freeform, I just crochet shapes, and let the hook take me where it wants to. After that, I pin them on my necklace form, until I am happy with the arrangement. I might end up making double the amount of pieces that I actually need, but I like to have lots to play with. The leftovers never go to waste, as they will be used in other projects down the road. I used two types of nylon cord to add different textures. I liked the sheen they had, in contrast to the wool yarns. This necklace turned out to be an experimental piece, that my friend liked enough to include in a special freeform exhibition she organized at Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles, in California.

Since this experiment, I have gone on to find freeform crochet supplies in unusual places such as: the beach, antique stores, sporting goods stores, and the park. Crochet inspiration can strike anywhere!

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