Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ruffles Scarf For Interweave Crochet Fall Issue

    Photo by Harper Point

Fall is my favorite season to crochet for, and I am delighted to have my Ruffles Scarf pattern in the new Issue of Interweave Crochet. This issue is filled with fantastic designs, if you haven't seen it, you must have a look at the preview!

This scarf was inspired by a fine silk scarf I was given, from Thailand. I love the combination of pleats and ruffles. It really gives the scarf interesting movement, which is something that is difficult to convey in the photos. This is a fun and versatile scarf that can be worn many different ways. I will be showing you a dozen options in my next blog post!

Inspirational Thai Scarf

I made many many swatches for this scarf, before I got the look and feel I was after. I wanted it to move like the silk scarf. Making the spaces in the center section lightened the scarf, and added interesting detail. I really like the way it lets the color of the garment you are wearing, show through. My original sample, pictured below, was made in a DK weight yarn. When the yarn for the magazine sample arrived, I had to do some refiguring because it was worsted weight. I ended up changing the ratio of stitches in each section. I also had another challenge; the skeins I was sent had less yardage than the yarn I used for my original sample.  I really needed another skein. There wasn't a lot of time to order more yarn and have it sent to Kuwait, so I had to make the ratio of stitches and length of the scarf work with the yarn I had.  I literally had only scraps left, not even enough to make a full gauge swatch. In the end I was very pleased, and think it turned out even better than I had originally planned. The fact that it can be made with less yarn, also makes it more attractive to crochet. The yarn I was sent for the sample, Debbie Macomber Blossom Street Collection Cashmere Fleur De Lys, was a treat to work with, so lovely with the inclusion of cashmere. Since it uses one less skein of yarn, you might as well go for cashmere!

The original sample ruffled a little more when hanging down. You can achieve this look by adding a few more stitches to each of the three sections. Keep in mind, that this would require another skein of yarn. This pattern could also be transformed into a beautiful wrap, by further increasing the the number of stitches in each section.

More Photos from the magazine:
Photo by Harper Point

 Photo by Harper Point

This pattern is now available for download from Interweave's online store for $5.50.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Multimedia Crochet...Adding a Little Decoupage

When I have the chance to do freeform crochet, I love to do multi-media pieces. I save found objects and unusual materials for this. How to incorporate them is an interesting challenge! Above, is a close-up of part of a necklace I did for a jewelry exchange. In the scrumbles, I used chenille and elastic that I found in the fishing section of a sporting goods store. I also used some leather scraps that my grandmother gave me. She used to save interesting odd bits of leather. I think this might have been from an old belt of my grandfather's. I decided to use it as a background for the decoupaged domes I made.

Here is how I made the domes: I started with some wooden pieces I bought from Michaels. Then, I cut out small things from magazines and catalogs that I thought coordinated with the necklace scrumbles. Next, I glued them onto the wooden pieces and put several layers of decoupage paste on top, until the edges of the paper had disappeared and they had smooth surfaces. Finally, I glued the domes onto the leather pieces, then onto the necklace.

I have also made buttons this way, by using plain plastic buttons as a base. They are fun to make, and really make the project unique.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Evie's Favorite Afghan Pattern

When I was visiting my parents recently, I had the chance to go through my grandmother's crochet collection. What stood out the most for me, was a hand written pattern for a ripple afghan. She made this afghan for every new great-grandchild. My grandmother crocheted every day. Whenever I would call her and ask her what she was up to, she would always respond: "crocheting". I always knew that is what she was going to say, but I loved to ask just to hear it! I found it comforting. She was the first and most avid crocheter I have ever known. She taught me how to crochet little by little whenever I visited, and I loved being able to sit side by side with her and chat about crochet and crafts in general.

Today would have been her 89th birthday, so I decided I would pay tribute to her by posting her favorite pattern. Thank you Grandma Evie, for inspiring me and teaching me to crochet, I love and miss you!



1 G/6 (4.00mm) crochet hook

3- 3 or 4 oz worsted weight skeins of any 4 colors of your choice, or about 12-16oz


Chain 168 stitches. Turn.

Row 1: Skip first stitch, *dc in next 9 stitches, 3 dc in following stitch, dc in next 9 stitches, skip following 2 stitches. Repeat from * to end of row.

All remaining rows: repeat row 1, alternating, and changing to one of the 4 colors, every row. Repeat the set of 4 colors until the afghan reaches the length you want. Work in all ends, or you can make tassels on the sides, including the yarn where you changed colors.

I enjoyed crocheting this swatch and thinking of her. The ripple is such a satisfying pattern, and once you have done the first row, you don't really have to count anymore, since you can see clearly where to put the increases and where to skip stitches, since it is in the same place every row. I think it would be fun to make one by working in the back loop only for added texture.

I really wish I had a photo of her crocheting, but I was thrilled to find this one of us taken next to one of her ripple afghans. I remember she said she made it out of all of her leftover odds and ends skeins. She wasn't sure that she liked the colors together, but somehow I think just about any combination of colors looks good in a ripple. A true classic crochet pattern!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Crochet a Super Slip Stitch Cord

I love discovering different ways of making crochet cords. One of my favorite ways to make a neat, flat cord, is to make a chain and then slip stitch into the back loops of the chain. I have used this in several of my designs, such as the Modern Jabot, Tendril Wrap, Vine Lasso Necklace, and Chinois Scarf.

Recently, I have discovered how to make a rounder version of this cord, which looks especially good when crocheted in a super chunky yarn. The following, is a tutorial on how to make this cord.

Step 1: Make a chain slightly longer than the length of the cord you desire.

Step 2: Slip stitch in the back loop only of each of the chains. Stop here if you want a narrow flat cord.

Step 3: Turn to work on other side of cord and slip stitch in the front loops of each of the beginning chains.

Step 4: Slip stitch the outermost loops together. I have marked the stitches in the photo below, so you can see exactly which loops I am referring to. Insert hook into the first front loop and then the corresponding back loop. Yarn over hook and pull through all 3 loops on hook. Repeat with remaining stitches to end of cord.