Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Beautiful Yarn Provides Inspiration

I was lucky enough to be one of the first 250 people to sign up for the Knit and Crochet Show this summer, so I was given a goody bag when I checked in to get my badge for the show. When I looked inside the bag, I found the most beautiful yarn! It is called "Landscapes" and it is made Lion Brand. I just can't stop looking at the gorgeous combination of colors!

I have been thinking of what to do with this skein, and I have decided that it is the perfect yarn to use with my Chinois Scarf Pattern! The Landscapes yarn comes in solids as well as variegated, which is ideal for this pattern because it calls for one variegated and 2 solid colors. The color I was given is "Desert Spring". Now to choose the solids... I am thinking of the and Ochre for the background of the motifs, and Charcoal for the chain links.

The Variegated Landscape yarn colors are really stunning and inspirational The yarn has a beautiful sheen, and I think it will be wonderful to work with. Which color is your favorite? If I hadn't been given a skein, I would have had a hard time choosing!

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Network Purse for Crochetscene!

The second annual issue of Crochetscene, a special publication by Interweave, is now out! Pictured above is the Network Purse that I designed for this issue.

This purse design actually actually came about in an interesting way. My interest had been sparked in filet crochet, and I had been working up swatches that led me to purchasing special software for charting filet crochet. I set out to design a shawl with a floral design, and I liked the look of just one motif on its own, so I changed my mind and began to design a kerchief. Then I decided I wanted to drop the floral motif and make something that was more of a modern interpretation of filet crochet. That is when I designed the center panel for this purse! I was going to include even more filet crochet into the design, but after experimenting, I felt that it looks more modern with just a hint of filet. Then I set to work designing the shape of the purse, choosing a stitch pattern, and deciding how to attach the straps and fasten the purse. I made a paper pattern as a mock up, so I could make sure the size and shape were right. It happens to fit an iPad Mini very nicely.

I purchased a large button with a shank and covered it with crochet to create a closure that complemented the purse. Crocheting the straps with a smaller hook, and adding surface crochet makes the straps stronger and stretch resistant.

I really enjoyed designing this purse, and I see more purse designing in my future! Please go and check out all of the designs in this inspiring magazine issue!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Crochet Necklace Kit Giveaway!

To celebrate our 1 year anniversary, eWoodStory, our line of crochet kits and wooden items to stitch, has teamed up with Tamara Kelly of the fabulous Moogly blog. She just announced today, that one of our Nouveau Necklace Kits will be given away to one of her lucky readers! Our kits include full written instructions, in addition to a stitch diagram, microfiber yarn, yarn needle, and two beautiful exotic wood pieces. Since we have several wood and yarn combinations available, the winner will get to choose their favorite necklace kit from our Etsy shop

Visit the Moogly blog to enter to win!

She will be accepting entries until August 18th from anyone who can receive mail in the USA or Canada. Best of luck if you decide to enter!!!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Learning at the Knit and Crochet Show!

In my last post I told you about some of the fun I had at the Knit and Crochet Show in San Diego, and in this post I am going to tell you about the rest of the fun!

One of the best parts of the conference is the opportunity to take classes from wonderful designers. It is amazing to be able to learn from others who have developed their own techniques.

I find all too often, that I buy a lot of books about different techniques, but it is hard to find the time to actually sit down with the book to learn them. When you are in a class you have the time set aside, and the designer there to check your work. Such a valuable experience!

I took three classes while I was there: Reversible Intarsia Crochet & Edgeless and Reversible Cables with Laurinda Reddig, and Crochet Unspun with Karen Whooley.

Reversible Intarsia was a full day class, and so interesting! We learned ways to change colors to help create different shapes. If you can graph it, it can be crocheted with Laurinda's technique. One thing I love about Laurinda's classes, is that she writes a pattern to follow to learn the techniques, which is something you can use. This is a great incentive to encourage you to finish your samples, even if you don't have time in class.

First sample in use!
Laurinda has written a book about the technique, which is a great way to learn about it if you aren't able to take a class from her in person. It also serves as a great reference for using the technique if you have taken her class.

The Edgeless and Reversible Cables class was especially exciting, because I love the look of stand alone cables and cabled edging. Each sample was a little more complex and challenging. It is amazing to watch the gorgeous cable patterns emerge from a sea of twisted stitches, and such a bonus that her technique produces cables that are completely reversible!

Class samples 1, 2, & 3
Laurinda is so ingenious, and it was fascinating to get a glimpse on how her brain works by taking her classes! Her multi-talented father accompanied her on the trip to the conference, and in addition to being a knitter and a crocheter, is also a harpist! He treated us to a mini concert while we finished up our Reversible Intarsia Samples. Such a Treat!

Laurinda's dad, playing for us!
In the Crochet Unspun class, Karen showed us how to make our own yarn from a silk hankie, and how to take silk cocoons and make our own silk hankies. We also made yarn from wool roving without the use of a spinning wheel. It was fascinating to learn, and something I can teach my 9 year old daughter too! I have often attended fiber festivals and admired the beautiful silk hankies and roving, but I haven't gotten too into spinning yet, so I haven't had the excuse to buy anything- until now! I bought some extra cocoons from Karen so my daughter and I can have fun making and dyeing our own silk hankies! So fun!

The 2016 Knit and Crochet Show will be in Charleston, South Carolina. Watch their website for more details!