Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Crochet Adventures in 2014!

This year was my best crochet year yet! Today I have been thinking about all of the wonderful things that have happened, and that I was so fortunate to have had so many wonderful opportunities this year!

To start off the year, I was asked to lecture and teach at a crochet group in Kuwait, called Only Crochet. This opportunity led to me writing an upcoming magazine article about how they created the Largest Crocheted Blanket in the world. I even got to witness the blanket being certified as the largest, by the Guiness Book of World Records. It was so exciting watching crochet history being made!

The first book I co-authored, "Crocheting Clothes Kids Love" was released. It was such a thrill to go through the entire process of writing the book, see it all come to life when it was released in February, then finally get to promote it.

I had the honor of judging 2 competitions in Kuwait, one for crochet items related to Kuwait's National day, and one for members of Kuwait's Textile Arts Association, who had made pieces for the art and fiber category for their 15th annual exhibition.

The next big highlight of the year was attending the Chain Link Conference in Manchester New Hampshire, and getting to meet and sign books with my co-author Ellen Gormley, and meet so many friends I only knew online. It is a strange feeling to know several people in a room, but have to walk up and introduce yourself, because you have never met in person before! I hope I will have the chance to attend a conference again, because there are still more people I would love to meet!

During the conference, my husband and I launched our eWoodStory line of wood products and kits to stitch. Our kits are the first of their kind to offer instructions in English and Arabic. Since then we have been selling worldwide, and are planning to expand our line of products and our market in 2015.

I had designs published in Interweave Crochet, Interweave Crochet Home, Inside Crochet, Crochet!, "It Girl Crochet", and I also created designs for Premier Yarns, and Kreinik. One of my most popular necklace designs, the Crawford Necklace, was translated into Italian!

We were so thrilled to win an Awesome Blog Award for Best Mixed Media Business, for eWoodStory.
To end off a marvelous year, yesterday me and my husband were featured in an article the newspaper for our eWoodStory collaboration and my crochet design work! 

May this next year be a happy, healthy, prosperous, and creative year for all! Thank you dear readers for visiting my blog throughout the year. I hope you will continue to follow my crochet adventures in 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Golden Prim Wristers!

Remember in my last post about making the Prim Wristers from "Crocheting Clothes Kids Love",  I mentioned that my daughter wanted a pair of gold gloves. I had a skein of beautiful "Moonlight" yarn by Nako in my stash, and luckily these mitts take less than a skein to work up! The real bonus of using a pattern again, is that you are familiar with it, and you can work it up faster. I was able to make these in my free time in one day, so it was a great surprise for my daughter to have new gloves to wear to school the next morning!

She calls them her "golden gloves" and loves to switch off wearing these with the first purple variegated pair I made her. 

Now I am in search of the perfect pink/ coral yarn, to make a pair for her to match the ones her American Girl doll Isabelle has.

I also mentioned in my last post about the wristers, that they also look good inside out. I took a photo of her wearing the left one inside out and the one on the right is the actual right side out so you can see what they look like both ways. I love a reversible stitch pattern! Which side do you like best?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Petals Collar Pattern, Now Available in US Terms!

The Petals Collar originally appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of the UK magazine, Inside Crochet. I have translated the pattern into American crochet terms, and it is now available to purchase as an individual pattern.

I originally designed this collar for children, but it was worn in the magazine by a woman as well, and it looks beautiful on her. It would look quite different, and suit different ages depending on the colors you choose.

Photo By Britt Spring
Made in a finer yarn, it could be more of a delicate necklace. There are several versions, I would like to try. I am in hopes that some different versions will appear on Ravelry to inspire others, as well! 

The pattern is now available to download on Craftsy, and on Ravelry.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

We Won an Awesome Crochet Blog Award!

Yesterday, Crochet Concupiscence awarded me and my husband, an Awesome Crochet Blog Award for the Best Mixed Media Crochet Business for our eWoodStory collaboration. We are so honored and thrilled! I really love mixed media, and the fact that eWoodStory allows us to combine our crafts! We are enjoying each new project we do together and we have many plans for new items and kits for the future! Thank you so much Kathryn Vercillo, Crochet Blogger, for your support and encouragement! Things like this really inspire us to take our business to the next level!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

First Workshop for eWoodStory's Mini Masterpiece Frames

This week the crochet group, "Khayt" held a workshop featuring our exotic wood Mini Masterpiece Necklace Frames at the Sadu House in Kuwait. The instructor, Suad Murad showed the class how to make a granny square to fit the frame of their choice, and how to stitch the square into the frame.  Everyone brought their favorite color thread to use, and they created some beautiful pieces. Now that they know how to stitch pieces into the frame, they can create more frames using any craft they like! It is so exciting to see a group of people working with our frames! We sell the frames in the Sadu House gift shop as well as online in our Etsy shop.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Making the Prim Wristers from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

Since our book, Crocheting Clothes Kids Love came out, my daughter has been asking me to make her the Prim Wristers, designed by my co-author, Ellen Gormley. I was between projects last week, so I decided to surprised her with a pair! I had just enough Classic Elite Liberty Print Wool leftover from the Caravan Scarf to make them. I had to engineer the yarn a bit by cutting out a few gold and pink sections as I worked, to make the writers both be essentially purple. I was able to crochet the first one while waiting at school, and the other in the evening of the same day. The second wrister went much faster of course, since I was more familiar with the pattern. So satisfying to crochet!  They took less than a skein of yarn, and I was able to finish them in the spare time I had in the day!

My daughter has hardly taken them off, since I gave them to her! The stitch pattern is very interesting and is a good exercise in making post stitches. I also like how it looks on the back side, especially in variegated yarn. I think they could easily be reversible for a different look. If I can get her to take them off long enough, I will add a photo to this post of the back side of the stitch pattern.

I am planning to make her a sparkly gold pair, the next time I am between projects!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just Released, My New Jewelry eBook!

Since the holiday season is around the corner, I am thinking of patterns that would make nice gifts. My favorite gift to crochet is a piece of jewelry. I have just created an eBook collection of my best selling jewelry designs to make it easier to crochet your gifts this year!

The eBook includes the Crawford Necklace, Bella Necklace Trio (versions 1, 2, and 3), the Monarch Necklace, and the Raindrops Necklace, all for $9.99. When you buy the eBook, you save almost 30% off the price of each individual pattern! All are satisfying projects that  require very little yarn, and chances are you may have yarn in your stash that would work perfectly for these! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Free Holiday Crochet Patterns From Interweave Crochet, Including One by Me!

Interweave has put together a free downloadable ebook of 6 crochet patterns that are perfect for the holiday season. For the first time ever, you can get my Piper's Chain Scarf Pattern for free! Make it as a scarf, or a festive chain to decorate your home with. It is a nice project for using up the odds and ends in your yarn stash, so you can buy all new yarn in 2015! ;-)

Piper's Chain Scarf from Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Woven Placemats for Interweave Crochet Home Issue

Interweave Crochet decided to publish a special issue this year, dedicated to items for the home. There are so many ways that crochet can be used in the home, and if you have a look at the projects in this issue, you will surely be inspired to add some crochet to yours!

The background of this placemat is a handsome stitch pattern on its own. It is easy to crochet and the combination of blocks and spaces is very visually appealing. I love adding texture to pieces I create, so I decided to crochet cords to weave through some of the spaces to add even more interest to the stitch pattern. 

It is often a challenge to find the perfect placemat to match a set of dishes. Making your own placemats gives you the freedom to choose exact coordinating colors. You don't have to limit yourself to three colors, you could make the cords in several colors or you could go monochromatic and make the cords the same color as the background of the placemat. I am hoping to see several project photos on Ravelry with different color combinations that will inspire others!

The Woven Placemats pattern is now available for sale in the Interweave store.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Free Crochet Jewelry Patterns for Kreinik!

The Kreinik company asked me to design some jewelry using their Kreinik Twist Carry Along yarn. I was very happy to see how light it was, and how you can add it effortlessly to any yarn to give it a little sparkle. This is especially exciting for people who like to crochet jewelry because you can make any yarn look richer without adding any weight to the base yarn. I crocheted the samples with Berroco Weekend yarn, which is comfortable to wear and comes in lovely colors. It becomes extra special with the addition of the Kreinik Twist! 

I intended to design one necklace, but the first necklace snowballed into a second version and a matching ring! The base of the two necklaces are the same, but they fasten differently. I couldn't decide which version I liked better, so I sent them both versions. I am thrilled to say, they decided to publish both versions! When I was crocheting the Bow Center version, it inspired a ring design that I think is simple and effective. You never know where the crochet hook will take you! You can find all 3 Looking Glass patterns for FREE on Kreinik's website. 

The version with the Bow Center is the winning version on Ravelry and Instagram. Which is your favorite?
Looking Glass Necklace with Bow Center
Looking Glass Necklace with Knot Center
Looking Glass Bow Ring

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Exciting News for eWoodStory!


We have been waiting for this day for months husband and I are happy to announce that our  collaborative line of ready made necklaces, Nouveau Necklace crochet kits, and Mini Masterpiece necklace frames are now available at one of our favorite places in Kuwait: the Sadu House, in their gift shop. For many years we have admired the work that this cultural center does to promote the art of Bedouin weaving and support the local creative community. We were so thrilled when they asked if they could sell our line in their shop, since it is a place where visitors to Kuwait and residents of Kuwait enjoy visiting. If you are in Kuwait and would like to visit the Sadu House, they are located on the Gulf Road and their opening hours are from 8am to 1pm, and 4-8pm, Saturday-Thursday.

We also love Kathryn Vercillo's review of our Mini Masterpiece Frames. We sent her a frame to try and she stitched up a lovely piece and describes her experience with it. It is so exciting to see what people are doing with the frames and we look forward to seeing more and more creations added to our flickr gallery!

The last piece of exciting news is that one of our necklaces was worn by the wonderful Vickie Howell on an episode of Knitting Daily TV, that will air early next year!

We are hard at work designing some new items for the line, so stay tuned for more updates... We are on Instagram and Twitter as @ewoodstory if you would like to follow us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Make a Necklace with the En Fleur Cowl Pattern!

I loved making the motifs for the En Fleur Cowl so much, that I decided to try crocheting them in size 5 pearl cotton thread. The result was an eye-catching necklace!

If you have the Winter issue of Crochet! magazine, you can make this necklace by using the motif instructions from the En Fleur Cowl pattern.

Here are the modifications:

En Fleur Necklace

Hook Size: 1.75mm
Notions: Tapestry needle; sewing needle; invisible nylon thread

Follow the instructions in the Winter 2014 issue of Crochet! magazine for the En Fleur Cowl, to make 7 Motifs.

For the eighth motif, follow the cowl Motif instructions, but do not fasten off. After making the final sl st, turn the Motif to the Wrong side, ch 10, then sl st back in same st. Turn the Motif to the right side and make 15 sc sts into the ch lp. This forms the Fastening Loop.

Fastening Dome:

Rnd 1: Rep rnd 1 instructions for cowl Motif.
Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in same st, then in each st around. Sl st in beg sc to end rnd.
Rnd 3: Sl st in every other st around to close up the Fastening Dome. Fasten off.


Weave in all loose ends with a tapestry needle. Using invisible nylon thread and a sewing needle, stitch all 8 Motifs together at the tops, where the groups of 3 dtr sts are, and putting the Motif with the Fastening Loop on the end. Stitch the Fastening Dome to the end of the necklace that is opposite the Fastening Loop. Pin the necklace out on a blocking board and pin out into desired shape, then wet block. Allow the necklace to dry completely before removing the pins.

The En Fleur Cowl That Inspired The Necklace

Friday, October 3, 2014

The 2014 Crochet Awards!

After a two year hiatus, the Crochet Awards, otherwise known as the Flamies, are back with a new look and new categories. The creator of the awards Laurie Wheeler, has been working hard to make this the most exciting year yet for the awards.

Nominations are open now, and you can nominate your favorites in the crochet industry. It is such an honor to be recognized for the work you do. I was so thrilled when Kristine Mullen of Ambassador Crochet posted that she would nominate me in the Accessories category. Thank you Kristine!
I nominated Kristine for the "Friendliest Crochet Designer". I was fortunate to meet her at the Knit and Crochet Show this summer, and she is one of those people that after only a few minutes of chatting, you feel that you have known her for years! She is also very supportive of other designers and regularly promotes their work on her Facebook page. She is a wonderful tech editor, designer, and homeschooling mother of 6. I really admire all she does and how well she does it. A true superwoman!

I nominated Kathryn Vercillo's blog: Crochet Concupiscence for Best Crochet Blog, because she tirelessly promotes the art of crochet and keeps us all informed of the most interesting crochet related news on the internet!

I nominated Linda Dean for Best New Designer, as she is a great designer who has accomplished so much in the industry in a short time.

I nominated Linda Skuja's "Convergence Top" for Best Womens Garment Design. It appeared on the Cover of Interweave Crochet and it was a runaway success with crocheters on Ravelry. A beautiful, and clever design!

I nominated Laurinda Reddig's Reversible Color Crochet book for Best Instructional Crochet Book, because I am so intrigued by the technique that she developed, and she does an excellent job of explaining it in her book.

I nominated Vashti Braha for Best Crochet Instructor. I was lucky to be a student in her Tunisian Eyelet Meshes class at the Knit and Crochet Show, and found it fascinating. I love her teaching style and hope I have the opportunity to take more classes from her in the future!

I nominated Marly Bird's Yarn Thing Podcast for the Best Podcast award. She is a wonderful interviewer who puts her guests at ease with her friendly personality. Her show is always so interesting and entertaining.

I nominated my amazing mentor Margaret Hubert for the Lifetime Achievement award, because she is incredibly prolific, and an inspiration to all for everything she has accomplished. She is a master crocheter and freeform crocheter and her work is popular worldwide.

Who will you nominate? Visit the Flamies website now to get your nominations in before the official voting in November!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Talking About the Festival Hairband Stand

I took a lot of inspiration from my now 8 year old daughter, when I was designing projects for Crocheting Clothes Kids Love.  I designed this hairband stand because my daughter has a wonderful collection of hairbands, and tossing them in a drawer often damages them. I thought, why not display them in a beautiful way? They can become part of a girls room decor, and be accessible.

The main component you need for the stand is an oatmeal container. I use a lot of oats in my house because I grind oats in my food processor to make flour. My daughter loves it when I make carrot cake, and it is more nutritious with the addition of oat flour. Here is the recipe, in case you are interested. It gets my daughter (and many of her friends at school) to eat carrots, walnuts, and oats. Which makes me love the recipe even more. For the school version, I leave off the frosting because  want it to be a part of a healthy lunch. After you have made delicious things with the oats, you can upcycle the container into the Festival Hairband Stand

For the book's photoshoot, I put together a selection of hairbands that I embellished.  I wanted bands that would add interest to the stand without competing with it. I thought it might be interesting to tell you about the bands that were featured on it.

This band was a plain straw band. I had some pretty white lace in my stash. I dyed it with camomile tea, then stitched it to the band with invisible nylon thread.

I covered this band with paper and then decoupaged it with paper pieces I cut from a Spode china catalog, so it would look like a mosaic.

 For this band, I used one of the yarns that I used in the hairband stand and wrapped it around the band, then glued the ends to keep the wraps in place.

 I also wrapped this band with the yarn from the hairband stand, then wrapped it again in two directions to get the x's on top.

This was some handmade lace I bought at a street market in London several years ago. I was saving it for just the right project! I covered a satin band that I had made when I was working as an embroidery designer. You can see some of the embroidery peeking through the lace.

In addition to the oatmeal container, you will need lightweight quilt batting and 1 whole skein of Berroco Weekend "Swimming Hole" 205 yd [189 m], 50 (46m) yds of "Clothesline", and 72 yds (66m) of "Curry".

I was going to buy bands for the photoshoot, but embellishing the ones I already had, made them unique and upcycled as is the underlying theme of the project.