Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Swanky Purse for Interweave Crochet Accessories

I have been really enjoying designing purses. A purse is an accessory that you almost never leave the house without. Since purses are so essential, they are really worth investing your time in making them. The great thing is, it can also be fun to make, as there are endless special details you can add to a purse to give it personality!

I wanted to make a bag that would show off a beautiful skein of variegated yarn, be the perfect size, an interesting shape, and have a unique closure. This project is the perfect project for a skein of variegated yarn with colors that you really want to showcase, as it is framed in the front by a complementary solid color, and the back is made entirely of the variegated. Of course you can always switch the variegated and solid yarn sections around, if you would prefer the solid color to be more prominent. I made a few paper patterns of the purse to get the size and shape just right. It is tall enough to hold a variety of things, but not so tall that you can't find what is inside the purse! The bow knot never needs to be untied. You simply slip it through the buttonhole in the flap.

I have to mention the handles! The handles are stitched in a way that they won't stretch too much when you have things in the purse- this is an area that I feel that crocheted purses can be weak, so I was careful to make the handles strong. 

Every purse needs a secret...this purse has a secret pocket that is just the right size for business cards or a grocery list! It is formed when you stitch the flap to the back of the purse

I hope to see many Swanky Purses made in different color combinations! Please don't forget to add your project to Ravelry if you make one!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Six Ways to Wear the Eyelet Twist Scarf

Wrapped around the neck with the ends in front
The new issue of Interweave Crochet Accessories is now out, and I am thrilled to have 3 designs featured in it! I am planning to dedicate a blog post to each one. 

Today I am talking about the Eyelet Twist Scarf, and 6 ways to wear it. Besides being a fun project to crochet, it is also fun to wear!

I really enjoyed designing this scarf, because it combines 2 things I love: varying stitch height to add shaping, and long chain stitch sections. The combination of the 2 elements helps give the illusion of cables. Simple stitches combined can be so effective!

Pictured in this post are photos of the original scarf sample I made to submit to Interweave. When I am preparing a submission, I take several photos of of ways that the piece can be worn. Scarves can look so different depending on how they are wrapped, and you never know what might appeal most to an editor. It also shows how versatile the design can be.

Which way would you wear this scarf?
Simply draped around the neck
Thrown over the shoulder

The sides crossed and folded over each other

Wrapped around the neck and tied

Both ends thrown over the shoulders

Friday, November 6, 2015

Cross Stitch on Tunisian Crochet!

Cross stitching on a Tunisian crochet simple stitch background, is a technique I really love! There is something very relaxing about doing Tunisian simple stitch. It is also a great way to introduce beginners to crochet. I had been trying to teach my 7 year old daughter how to crochet for quite some time, and she was having trouble getting the hang of it, until I taught her how to do Tunisian crochet. She took to it easily, and it was a great transition to more challenging projects in crochet. After she finished her first large Tunisian project, a blanket, she wanted to try regular crocheting again. I showed her how to do a Granny Square, and she was able to make one very easily. I feel that the Tunisian crochet gave her confidence, and good practice. Now I start everyone who wants to learn to crochet, with Tunisian. Incidentally, I found I should always carry hooks and yarn with me, because when I crochet in public, or mention crochet in public, I very often get asked to teach the person on the spot!

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was doing a piece for one of our Jumbo size eWoodStory Frames. I had the variegated background completed and was ready to start doing the cross stitch.

 I found a vintage charted design online, which I used as a guide and inspiration. 

It was amazing to watch it come to life as I stitched each section.

I took a poll on Instagram to ask what color people thought I should stain the frame: Cherry, Walnut, or Jacobean. It was a 3 way tie! So I decided to do a coat of Cherry, then a coat of Jacobean. I think the combination works very well to coordinate with my stitched piece.

Then for the exciting part...stitching it to the frame! I stitched it in a chunky yarn from my stash, that just happened to be the perfect color!

Such a fun way to combine two techniques, which results in a rich tapestry of color and texture!