Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Largest Crocheted Flag in the World is KUWAITI!

Kuwaitis and even expats who live in Kuwait have a strong sense of national pride, and each year the celebration seems to get bigger. Everywhere you look there are the colors of the flag, in any type of souvenir or item of clothing you can imagine! 

Today is Kuwait's National Day, and the highlight this year for me was meeting the creator of the Watan Al Nahar group, crochet expert Bashayer Al Zwayed, and some of the groups members who made the largest crocheted flag in the world. When they told me about it, I imagined something very large, but when I saw the actual flag displayed at 360 mall, I actually gasped at the actual size of it, and how grand it is. At a distance, you can't tell that it is crocheted, but when you get close to it, a sense of awe comes over you as you ponder the thousands of stitches worked by the hands of 172 women volunteers! On the back, individual crocheters put their names on the squares they made, making the flag even more special.

It took a full year to make. They began in January 2013, and completed it in January 2014. It is made up of 900 squares, measures 22 x 11 meters (24 yards x 12 yards), weighs more than 160 kg (353 lbs), and has a total area of 300 cubic meters! It will be on exhibition through February 28th. After the exhibition, the group plans to give the flag to his Highness the Emir of Kuwait.

Such an amazing accomplishment by a group of dedicated crocheters who love the country they live in! Happy National Day, Kuwait!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Skip to My Lou Slippers Pattern as a Free Download!

I just received a very exciting email! The publisher of Crocheting Clothes Kids Love has decided to offer the pattern for the Skip to My Lou Slippers as a free download (just click on the download link in the Craftside post). 

These slippers are a great project for practicing different crochet skills. Colorwork in the striping on the sides, surface crochet when applying the trim, and crocheting in the round for the toes. The Bow Buckle is a fun embellishment that could also be used on hairbands, garments, or attached to a band to make a bracelet.

Who says pretty shoes are just for parties! She will feel as special as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz in these "Ruby Slippers"! If you make them, I would love to see you post a photo to the ravelry page for the slippers!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Great Time to Buy Crochet Patterns!

Now is a great time to buy any patterns you have been thinking about, in Interweave's online store. Now through February 20th, all patterns and kits are 30% off! I just noticed they have added my Obi Scarf pattern from the last Fall issue.  I have a total of 10 patterns available in their store, plus the Fire Whirl Hat kit. Each one of these patterns is featured on the sidebar of my blog, if you want more information on any of them. Happy Crocheting!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A New Use for the Charming Bracelet Pattern!

One of my favorite patterns from "Crocheting Clothes Kids Love", is the Charming Bracelet. Since there are several components to the necklace, there are many ways you can mix and match them. By using yarn instead of thread, you get larger scale chain links and charms which are more adult sized.

I made a necklace for myself, using the Charming Bracelet Pattern and "Gatsby" yarn by Katia. I really love this yarn for crocheting jewelry. I also used this yarn for the Raindrops Necklace and the Circles in the Sand Neckpiece. It has a rich look, smooth texture, and comes in beautiful shades.

For the necklace I used a size D/3 (3.25mm) hook, and made 15 Large Links. The only change to the pattern was in Round 2, where I made the same number of stitches as in Round 1.

For the center pendant I followed the instructions for the Large Charm exactly, except for the color change. I opted to make the charm in one color only. The necklace fastens the same way as the bracelet.

I also love the chain link necklace without the pendant, and I think I will be wearing it a lot!

Although this book was written with kids in mind, there are ways you can use the patterns for adults as well!
The Necklace Without a Pendant is Classic

Close-up of Pendant

Original Charming Bracelet From Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Charming Bracelet From Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

One of my favorite patterns from the book is the "Charming Bracelet". I love vintage jewelry, and charm bracelets are something I have always collected. I was especially inspired by a 1950's heart themed bracelet I found in my research. The idea of making a crochet version was so exciting to me, I couldn't wait for it to be in the book! It is a design that I feel really shows my personality. 

One of the benefits of a crocheted charm bracelet is that they are lightweight and quiet! I could never wear my vintage charm bracelets when I was in school, because they made so much noise, especially when erasing! This bracelet can be worn anywhere, and is sure to be a conversation piece when you do! You could also simplify it by only making the Large Charm. I have a few vintage bracelets in this style that I adore. It would bring more focus to the details in the charm. I used Universal Garden 10 thread for the book sample. It is great for jewelry, as it has has a slight sheen and comes in a range of beautiful colors.

One very important detail in making crochet jewelry is the blocking. I blocked this bracelet twice. The first time, the individual elements were blocked (the linked bracelet, and each of the charms). The second time, the bracelet was blocked after all of the charms had been attached to the bracelet. If you make this bracelet, please don't skip this step, it is the finishing touch!

The Final Blocking

Stay tuned, tomorrow I will be posting a way to use this pattern for adults!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Colors and Meanings Crochet Competition and Exhibition in Kuwait

I was asked by Kuwait's crochet group, Khayt, to judge their crochet competition along with Hanan Al Kazemi and Mona Al Subaie, at the Sadu House. It was a great honor, and I really loved every minute of it. It was an interesting process because the entries weren't divided into any categories, and we were judging for the most creative, best design, and best technique. We had to define what creativity, design, and technique meant to each of us before we could start judging. It was a very difficult choice, because all of the entrants really put their hearts into their projects. The theme was Kuwait's National day, and most of the entries were inspired by Kuwait's flag. Even the ribbons coordinated with the theme: the traditional blue for first place was changed to green, to match Kuwait's flag. There was a nice variety of items from hats and scarves to garments, and even a lampshade! There was a lot of thought put into each item, so judging was tough, but in the end, I am really happy with the choices we made. All of the entries are on display in the "Colors and Meanings Exhibition" through Monday February 10, from 9-12 in the morning and 5-8 in the evening. They are also having a bazaar to sell handmade items with a National Day theme. It is a wonderful exhibition in honor of Kuwait, and I urge anyone who is able, to attend! While you are there, you can vote for your favorite entry for the People's Choice Award. For more photos from the event, including the awards ceremony, see the Sadu House's Facebook page. There is also an article about the competition and exhibition in the Kuwait Times, today.

Meanings and Colors Exhibition (Photo by Muna Murad)

Here are the winners:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fire Whirl Hats Kit!

It was really exciting to find out that Interweave has made a kit out of my Fire Whirl Crochet Hat pattern! It is a unique hat because it looks quite different if you pull it down, or if wear it in a more relaxed way, pushed up so the ridges are more defined. The pattern is suitable for men, women, and children. I personally like it worn a little off to the side, as in the photo below. I really like the defined ridges, so I blocked the hat flat, with the ridges sitting in concentric circles. It is a great project to practice the Invisible Fasten Off Technique. Once you start using it, you will wonder how you ever fastened off in the round without it!

There is something fun about getting a kit, and there are a limited quantity of these kits on sale now in the Interweave online store. The kit has enough yarn to make 2 hats, in the same beautiful yarn and colors that were used for the magazine sample. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Crocheting Clothes Kids Love Book Giveaway!

Today is the day Ellen Gormley and I have been waiting for! Crocheting Clothes Kids Love has now been officially released! To celebrate, Ellen is giving away a copy on her blog. If you would like to enter to win, please visit her blog today! She will announce the winner on Monday, February 3rd. 

Copies are selling fast. Amazon US is out of stock, and there are only 6 copies left on Amazon UK's website! I hope that soon, many people will be crocheting clothes kids love!