Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tiara Trim For Interweave Crochet

(Photo By

The Summer 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet just came out, and I am pleased to reveal the Tiara Trim pattern I designed. It was very exciting to me, when Interweave put out their call for submissions and requested trim designs. I loved that I could just focus on creating a pretty edging without deciding what it was to become. They hadn't decided at the time what they would put the trim on, so it was wonderful to finally see the photos with it transformed into table decor!

I was asked to make a yard of trim in 3 different weights of yarn, which is a nice way to show its versatility. I also designed 2 different versions, as you can see in the photo below. The beige trim has small bobbles in between the large bobbles, and the blue and green trims each have chain loops in between. I couldn't decide which I liked better, so I was glad that they asked me to do both.

(Photo By
(Photo By

My original submission of the trim included 3 weights of thread/ yarn, and the strip that was woven through was the same color as the main part of the trim. Below are the 3 versions, incase you would like to see how it looks as a single color trim.

Sport Weight Yarn
#10 Crochet Cotton
#5 Pearl Cotton

Marcy Smith, the editor of Interweave Crochet, did a useful blog post detailing the fabrics and sewing patterns used to complement the trims featured in this issue. 

Stay tuned, because in future blog posts I will be talking about different ways to use this trim pattern!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crochet Guild of America's Design Competition 2012!

(My Entries to the Competition Over the Years)
It is time for the Crochet Guild of America's annual design competition, and I am happy to say I was able to get an entry in. I was a little busy working on submissions for the past 2 months, and I wasn't sure I would be able to enter. I really hated to miss out on a great competition, so I set an interesting challenge for myself. I decided on what I was going to make, and then I only allowed myself to use pieces I had crocheted for past projects but not actually used in those projects. My entry was put together in a freeform manner, but doesn't look entirely freeform, because some of the same elements are repeated. I ended up putting things together, that I don't think I would have originally designed to go together. The result is surprising and wonderful. I can't wait to reveal it to you, after the award ceremony in Manchester, New Hampshire on June 28th, at the CGOA conference.

Here, are more details about the competition. You have until June 6th to get your entries in!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One Step Closer to Combining Woodworking and Crochet

A while back, I did a blog post about how my husband and I have been trying to think of ways to combine our crafts. He has been dreaming of buying a CNC machine for years. Well, he finally got one, and I am thrilled that he chose my Stitch Story logo as his first sign project! I love the way it turned out and am now deciding if I want to paint it in the same colors as my blog logo, or keep it a natural wood color. I am leaning towards painting it, as I think it would really make the logo come to life. First, I need to practice my painting techniques to see what works best, before I paint the actual sign.

I have another project I want him to do, that is inspired by crochet. When it gets to the front of his queue of jobs, I will definitely be doing a post about it!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Crochet Exercise

It is hard to take time out from day to day crocheting to learn new skills, but when I find time between projects I try to do a little crochet exercise. This means, I challenge myself to learn a new stitch or technique, or I use my existing skills in a new way. There are many ways to do this, but I thought I would share an exercise with you that I found particularly beneficial.

When I was in college I purchased a remnant of Varuna wool from Liberty. It was a long narrow piece, so I fringed the edges and made a scarf. I think that I love this print more than any other I have ever bought. I admire it so much, that I decided to emulate the feel of the print in crochet. I chose one of the flowers and freeformed a version (pictured above), that I thought had a similar personality to the fabric. It was like painting with yarn, and it was a challenge to get a shape that I was happy with. It is a different way of designing, and I think it strengthens your creativity even though you are trying to copy something. This is because you are copying something that is not crocheted, so you have to experiment with different stitches to get the effect you want, and in the process you might discover combinations that you never thought of trying before. You don't have to worry about copying the print exactly, just use the print as an inspiration and a guide.  Next time I find myself with a little time, I would like to build on this flower to crochet more areas of the fabric print. I think the entire print in crochet would be stunning!

(The Liberty remnant I used for inspiration)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What I Do With My Crochet Leftovers

I have mentioned before that I often make more scrumbles than I can use for a project, but they are never wasted. Often the leftovers are an introduction to my next project! I find I can be more creative when using leftover pieces, because nothing is planned, I get to use things from different projects which include different fibers and techniques. This Brooch for example, has felt flowers I created for some rings, leaves from a mixed media necklace, and some sequined strands I made as an experiment. I usually make jewelry or greeting cards with these extra scrumbles, since they don't require a great quantity.
My crochet leftovers aren't always scrumbles! I have leftover ideas when I am designing patterns as well. A few weeks ago I was designing a hat, and the top of it wasn't working out for the hat but I really liked the way it looked. A week later, it was transformed into a scarf design. I do my best work when I don't have a definite picture in my mind of what the design will look like. These kinds of projects are really fun. It is like reading a good book and enjoying the story as you go along, while looking forward to the ending.

My daughter also enjoys my bag of leftover scrumbles. Today she got them out and arranged some of them into a design for a tote bag. If there were more wool scrumbles, I would have her try needle felting them together, since she prefers that to sewing. There is a lot of entertainment in that bag!

Close up of one of the leaves. A leaf shape was cut out of net, then a buttonhole stitch was embroidered around the edge . Finally, the leaf was crocheted around, working into the buttonhole stitches.

Close-up of the sequined fringe strands, which also have small felt discs used like sequins.