Friday, May 24, 2013

Always Weave in Your Ends Securely!

My love of fiber creeps into all areas of my life! A few weeks ago, my daughter needed some new Arabic books to read, and of course great illustrations are always a selling point with us. When I saw this story, I knew we had to have it. We both laughed out loud in the store! The illustrator, Mike Spoor, has done a great job of capturing what it would be like if an oversized sweater unravelled on you! Such a cute story! He shows up on his grandmother's doorstep completely unravelled. In the end she makes an oversized scarf, hat, and gloves for him. Apparently she likes knitting so much, she always makes things too big! I was thrilled to find that this story was translated into Arabic from English. The English version is available from Amazon. I am tempted to buy that version too! I will always remember these pictures when I am weaving in my ends. Every single one must be secured!

I have also ordered the book "Crocheting with Lucy Loop". A story book that teaches 5-10 year olds how to crochet. I am hoping this will get my daughter excited about crocheting! There is also a review  of this book on the Crochet Guild of America's blog. I can't wait to receive it, what a great way to teach a child!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Pattern Release: Raindrops Crochet Necklace

My absolute favorite thing to design is jewelry, so I am very excited to be releasing the Raindrops Necklace pattern today! It is inspired by fine jewelry, and I believe it looks stunning in metallic yarn for evening. It would also look very chic in a solid color yarn with variegated yarn "stones" instead of metallic "raindrops". This version would look great worn with a simple top and jeans.

What helps this necklace emulate a fine jewelry piece, is the use of a short single crochet stitch. If you have been wanting to learn this stitch, or are just being introduced to it, this is a great project to try it out on. Some patience is needed when inserting the hook into the lower horizontal bar of the stitches, but your perseverance will really pay off when you see the wonderful effect this stitch creates!

For my sample, I used "Gatsby" yarn by Katia for the neckband, and "Lumina" by DMC for the "raindrops". I used 2 strands of the "Lumina" because I wanted the "raindrops" to be bold and have stability.

Here are the pattern details:

Skill level: Intermediate

Terms: US

Finished Measurements: 
15” (38cm) long x 5/8” (1.5cm) wide at neckband  

Gauge: On Sides of Necklace- 7.5 sc sts = 1” (2.5cm) with hook size D/3 (3.25mm), and 7 sc sts= 1” (2.5cm) with hook size E/4 (3.50mm)


Katia “Gatsby” #45, Sand/ Gold, one ball- (Sport weight, 12wpi)

Hook sizes: C/2 (2.75 mm), D/3 (3.25mm), and E/4 (3.50mm)

Notions: Yarn needle, rust-proof pins

Stiches Used: Chain, slip stitch, single crochet, short single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and triple crochet

The Raindrops Necklace is a unique statement jewelry piece that would be great to add a new element to your accessory collection, or to give as a gift. It doesn't require a lot of yardage, so you just might have some great yarns for it already in your stash!

Friday, May 10, 2013

How to Make a Wristlet with the Ruffles Scarf Pattern

The ideas just keep coming for alternate uses for the Ruffles Scarf Pattern! After posting about making a cowl with this pattern, I decided to try making one out of thread. I thought it would make a charming wristlet, or if you make a set, they would be lovely cuffs!

I decided to add a little extra embroidery embellishment and surface crochet, to dress it up even more. It might also be fun to change colors every row to make a striped version!

To make a wristlet from the Ruffles Scarf pattern:

1. Use Pearl Cotton size 8. 

2. Use steel hook size 7 (1.50mm)

3. Work 28 rows of the scarf pattern as written.

4. In the 29th row, you will make three button loops in the center section. Work the top ruffle sts, then make the first hdc in the center section, *ch 8, sl st in first ch to make a loop**, hdc in next 5 sts*. Rep from * to * once. Rep from * to ** once, hdc in next st, then complete the bottom ruffle sts.

5. Work the edging as written, but stop at the top corner and do not make any edging on the last short side. (The one with the button loops).
6. Additional top edging: with a second color yarn begin in the top right-hand corner of the wristlet. Insert hook into the corner yo and pull up a lp, then *ch 8, sc on top of space with a lone sc from last round of edging*. Rep from * to * across top of wristlet, ending with a sc in the last st in the top edging. Fasten off.

7. Surface crochet detail on bottom edging: turn wristlet so you can work with the bottom edge at the top. Insert hook in a st in the top right-hand corner of the wristlet, yo and pull loop up to surface, *then insert hook in next st, yo and pull up a loop, then pull this loop through the loop already on the hook*. Rep from * to * in each st across bottom of wristlet. Fasten off.

8. To make the buttons. Wrap the yarn twice around your finger to form a magic ring. Insert hook into ring, yo and pull up a loop, ch 2, then make 10 hdc into ring. Pull on the tail end of the yarn to tighten the magic ring. Sl st in every other st around to close up the button. Fasten off. Repeat these instructions to make 2 more buttons. Stitch these 3 buttons to the middle of the first row of the wristlet, to match up with the spacing of the button loops.

9. Lazy Daisy Embellishment: with the second color of thread, make 5, 4 petal lazy daisies tacking the petals to rows 2 and 4 (first daisy), 8 and 10 (second daisy), 14 and 16 (third daisy),  20 and 22 (fourth daisy), 26 and 28 (fifth daisy). Then, with a third color make a French Knot in the middle of each lazy daisy. Neatly weave in all loose ends, then block the wristlet by spraying it with water and pinning it out into shape on a blocking board. When it is completely dry you can remove the pins, wear, and enjoy!

The Ruffles Scarf pattern is now available for sale and download in the Interweave store.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Final Reveal from the Runway Crochet Book!

The third project that I would like to reveal from the Runway Crochet book is the Circles in the Sand Neckpiece. I had a lot of fun designing this piece and playing with different ways to wear it! In the end, the versions shown here were my favorites. I gave Margaret Hubert and the Publisher the choice for the book, and they chose the one above. You can decide the way you would like to wear it and stitch the velcro to fasten the way you want. It could be crocheted in a bulky yarn and made into more of a neckwarmer or in a finer yarn to be like a necklace. I believe there are endless possibilities, just do the crocheting, and then you can decide how you would like to wear it!