Thursday, March 28, 2013

Announcing the Winner!

Thank you to all who visited my blog and entered the giveaway in honor of National Crochet Month! Today, my daughter drew the winning name: Mary/May. Congratulations! I will contact you through Ravelry to get your mailing address.

I hope you all enjoy the last few days of this special month. Happy crocheting!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Fun Giveaway for National Crochet Month!

In honor of National Crochet Month, I have put together some of my favorite things to giveaway today to a lucky visitor. I am giving away a digital row counter that is so handy, it even has a memory. If you are finished working for the day, it will be right where you left off when you turn it on again! I am also giving away a Russian Stitch dictionary that features textured stitches in diagrams, similar to those in Japanese Stitch Dictionaries. Two fun and unique items that I hope you will enjoy. To enter, please leave a comment on this post, and a place to contact you Your Ravelry or Twitter usernames would be fine, if you don't want to leave an email address. A winner will be randomly selected on March 28th, and I will announce the winner in a blog post on that day.

Please don't forget the Crochet Designer's Blog Tour Charity, Project Night Night. If you buy any of the patterns from my Craftsy store before the end of this month, I will donate 100% of the purchase price to the charity.

Also, please see the special coupon code from Interweave on my sidebar, to get 30% off your purchase until the end of this month. Now is a great time to buy any patterns, magazines, books, or dvd's you might be interested in!

(Russian crochet stitch dictionary)

(Digital row counter)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More Beautiful Turkish Crochet!

My sister-in-law traveled to Turkey again this year, and brought back another crochet treasure! She graciously allowed me to photograph it so I could show it to all of you. She said she found it in a little shop in Istanbul that was filled with amazing crochet pieces that have been made by women in villages. I can only imagine what a wonderful sight that all must have been!

The fabric of the scarf is a light weight cotton and all the crochet is done with a fine silky thread. It is the same thread that was used in the necklace and trim she bought for me on previous trips. It is like an infinity scarf, as it is in one loop that you wrap around twice. What I found most interesting about the piece, is that all of the flowers are heavily starched to hold their shape.

Turkish crochet edgings are an art form, and the edging on this piece is akin to the crown jewels! I really need to plan a visit to Turkey. There is no doubt that the crochet inspiration there would be incredible!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Crochet Designers Blog Tour, Day 1: A Fun Way to Add Color to Crochet!

First let me say, Happy National Crochet Month! I am so excited to be participating in the Crochet Designer's Blog Tour, organized by Amy Shelton and Donna Hulka of Crocheville. It is the first day of the tour, and the wonderful designer Jenny King and I are the hosts today! I

I decided that my special post to kick off National Crochet Month, should be about a new technique I have been experimenting with. Actually my daughter gave me the idea, when she asked if she could use some of my swatches for an art project. She said they weren't the right color, and she needed to paint them to match her color scheme. She used acrylic paint, so when the pieces were dry, they were rigid, but she was pleased with the results. I loved the idea of being able to place color exactly where I want it, after a piece has been crocheted. A neat alternative to changing colors in yarn, and having multiple ends to weave in!

To try out this technique, I crocheted a length of ornate trim in Cascade Ultra Pima cotton yarn.  I decided to use a set of 36 watercolors I purchased at Michaels. The color range and quality is excellent.  I thought that watercolors would give more subtle color and be easier to blend, and when dry, the crochet would have the same texture and feel as it did before painting. Next, I blocked the trim, so it would lay flat while painting. Then, it was time to paint! I approached the lace as if it was a blank coloring page. At first, I was worried that I would ruin the trim if I tried a color and then found it I didn't like it. I soon found out that if I pressed a paper towel on it right away, I could absorb most of the color. After that, I became more confident and really enjoyed the process! I found that I could layer the colors and get different effects, depending on how much water I used. Some helpful tips: crochet a small swatch so you can test the colors before painting them on the trim, keep a paper towel near you for blending colors or absorbing mistakes, and change your brush rinsing water often so your colors will stay true. Keep in mind that the colors look quite a bit lighter when dry, so don't be shy about the amount of color you use. You can also wait until after it dries to evaluate the level of color, and if you want more, paint the piece again. After trying this technique, I will never look at plain white cotton yarn  the same way again...oh the possibilities!

(Trim, before it was painted)

(Supplies needed: a watercolor paint set, paint brush, small bowl for water, and a paper towel)

(Adding a little more color after the paint had dried)

(Finished trim)

 Another fun thing you can do with painted crochet, is paint the piece generously and then make prints with it on paper. I am planning to make some of my own prints on greeting cards. I can see lots of uses for this technique in my future. My daughter enjoyed the painting as much as I did. If you happen to have some swatches crocheted in cotton, let your child try their hand at creating a painted crochet masterpiece!

(My daughter's painted crochet print)

The designers that are participating in the blog tour have selected a charity to promote and support this month, Project Night Night. This charity provides childhood essentials for homeless children from newborns to preteens. You can support this them by: donating money, crocheting blankets for them to give out to the children, or purchasing my patterns. I will donate 100% of the profit from all of the patterns sold in my Craftsy store, during the month of March, to the charity. I will also organize a Crochet Along (CAL) for the best selling pattern of the month, please check out my Ravelry group for details in April! I hope you will consider donating to this very worthy cause, whether you donate money or your crochet time, anything would be greatly appreciated!

The next hosts for the blog tour are the talented designers, Ellen Gormley and Nancy Nehring. Please visit their blogs tomorrow to see what they have in store for us!

I hope you all will become regular visitors to my blog. I post here about once a week, and at the end of March I will be giving away a fun prize package: a Russian crochet stitch dictionary and a digital row counter. Stay tuned for more details!