6.29.2015

Shianne Hoodie


Introducing the Shianne Hoodie! You can find this fab pattern in Crochet! Autumn 2015. This cute cardigan comes in sizes 2, 4, 6, and 8. The yarn is Berroco Maya which is a cotton/alpaca blend with a chainette construction. You need 3(4, 5, 6) skeins of the main color and 2(2, 3, 3) skeins of the second color. This yarn is machine washable. Of course, who wants to make something for children if it isn't machine washable, right? The yarn was soft and nice to work with. I have a little left and I may design in it again. FYI, it is a worsted weight yarn.

You'll need an I/9/5.5 mm crochet hook and a separating zipper to complete this jacket.

First of all, isn't the model adorable?

This hoodie was something that I originally envisioned in tween and teen sizes and all in one color, the blue, actually. My oldest daughter, Drama Queen, helped me dream up this design. I named if for my oldest niece, who is 16, since I was thinking of it in larger sizes.

The yoke detail is, of course, my favorite part of this design. If you click on the picture and zoom in you can see it a little better. The stitch pattern at the top is more open, and it is also textured. My choice to open up the stitch pattern around the shoulders was inspired by all the fashionable tops we see today that have crochet lace around the shoulders with a more solid fabric covering the rest of the torso. Obviously, we don't want a jacket to be too open around the shoulders. We want warmth there. So, it is just a little open.

You can see that the texture extends down into the purple section a little. This isn't some super-complicated thing of using 2 colors in the same row. Those are just really long post stitches. So, no worries, that part will be easy.

Customizing length will be easy if that's something you need. Just work extra rows before beginning the armhole. Just remember that you'll need a longer zipper than the pattern suggests if you do this. Another possible customization is in the depth of the hood. There is not some magic number of stitches that you need around the neckline in order to make the hood instructions work. If you want the hood to provide more coverage, just begin with more stitches around the neckline, or work some increases in the first few rows of the hood to make it larger. If you want the hood to provide less coverage, you can begin with fewer stitches around the neckline, or work some decreases into the first few rows. Don't want a hood at all? No problem, just edge the neckline with single crochet and leave it.

Which size will you be making? Who will it be for? What colors will you use? Could you see this jacket for little boys? I think it could work for boys or girls. What do you think? If you make this hoodie, please share pictures on Ravelry or on my Facebook page! It makes my day to see pictures of FOs from my patterns!

Happy stitching!

April

6.22.2015

Tide Wrap Reveal



I've got a new crochet pattern out for you! I'm so excited about this one! This pattern makes me so happy. Start to finish, it was a wonderful project. This is Tide Wrap, available from Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts.

In January I traveled to Phoenix, AZ for my first TNNA show. I met Caroline Sommerfeld of Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts. The first day I was there, she and her team gave me a small sample skein. I swatched with it that night, and drew up an idea. I took it to her on the last day of the show and she was very happy with it. However, that swatch and sketch were not for this design, so, more to come...

Not long after returning home from TNNA, Ancient Arts Design Director Barb Brown asked me about the possibility of designing a 2-skein crochet pattern to be released with the June Yarnbox Classic, since Ancient Arts would be the featured yarn company. The only requirement was that I had to finish the pattern quickly. 

I set to work thinking of ideas and sketching. This was the result -- a buttoned wrap with panels of filet lace separated by rows of texture. The filet panels have cresting waves in them. The texture is created by post stitches. As I was nearly finished stitching I went looking for just the right buttons for this wrap. I found real stone buttons on Etsy by Lake House Beach Glass. They were such PERFECT buttons for this wrap! I'm super excited to have 2 of them left to use for something for myself.

The yarn for this design is the fingering weight Merino/Bamboo/Nylon by Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts. This yarn is very soft and delightful to work with! You'll need 2 skeins of the yarn, a size F crochet hook, and 2 buttons (about 1" diameter).

I was able to go to the TNNA show in Columbus just a few weeks ago, but my trip was very short. I was happy to get to visit the Ancient Arts booth and see that they used this photo in a new banner that was hanging around the top edge of their booth. I was so excited to see that my design was pictured there! 


If you make this wrap I sure hope you'll add photos to Ravelry and/or share them on my Facebook page. It makes my day when I see that someone loved one of my patterns enough to make it!

Happy stitching!
April

6.15.2015

Bloom Headband Class


This is my latest indie pattern, Bloom Headband. This pattern uses small amounts of two colors of Cascade Ultra Pima Fine, a fingering weight 100% cotton. It is a soft, smooth cotton with a nice amount of shine.

The pattern gives instructions for the flowers you see, four of them. The center flower in the picture is actually two flowers layered together. You stitch these to an elastic headband of any size, so you can make this for a baby, child, teen, or adult.

I will be teaching a class on this project at Gourmet Yarn Co. here in Oklahoma City on the northwest corner of May Ave. and Britton Rd. The class is on Saturday Aug. 15 from 2:00 to 4:00. The class costs $15, plus materials. Call 405.286.3737 to sign up for the class.

Class members will learn to work in the round, construct small motifs, and what it means to work in back loops of stitches. This class is suitable for those that are confident at the basic stitches and want to learn a little more.

I hope to see you there!

April

5.28.2015

Inside the Yarn Closet


I have a few random thoughts and happenings to share today.

First, the photo is of my Madelinetosh and Malabrigo drawer in my yarn closet. I don't have a huge selection of yarns from those companies, but some very pretty ones. In the front are fine weight yarns from Madelinetosh. In the back are super bulky colors of Rasta by Malabrigo.

Second, I'll be doing something really exciting later this week, but I'll share after the fact. Can you feel the suspense?!

Third, I started some super simple knit ribbed legwarmers for Princess. I was going to work them in the round, and began to cast on with circulars using the Magic Loop method. I decided that I really don't like using circulars for Magic Loop. I still LOVE my set of circulars and use them for large items in the round as well as in place of straight needles, but I don't like having all those loopy sections of cable hanging out when doing Magic Loop. They bug me! So, I've been looking at dpn sets online and debating buying a set of the little ones, plus some individuals in larger sizes. Do you have dpns that you LOVE? Which ones?

I've actually been taking a breather lately. Once I finished 2 solid months of design work my soul needed a break. Then, when I felt ready to get back to work, my hands decided that they needed a rest. I haven't crocheted much the past couple weeks so that my hands can relax. I'm hoping that they feel ready to get back to work soon, because I am anxious to get lots done!

Any day now I should have 2 new designs to share with you. I can't wait! I really love both of these!

I hope things are going great for all of you!

Happy crafting!

April

5.20.2015

Kewpie Beret

(C)2015 F+W Media
Photo by Harper Point Photography
It's high time for a blog post, don't you think? I finally have the time to blog about the Kewpie Beret. This is in the Spring 2015 issue of Interweave Crochet.

The call for submissions asked for projects with a flash of color on a neutral field. So, this is my take on that idea. This project begins with a two-color spiral in the top center of the beret. It increases as it spirals to make the top of the hat. Once you get the top finished you decrease again and then make the band.

From Crochetme.com:

FINISHED SIZE About 17 1/2 (19 1/2, 21 1/2)" band circumference to fit 18 (20, 22)" head circumference. Hat will stretch to fit bet sizes. Hat shown measures 19 1/2" band circumference.

YARN Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight (50% superwash merino; 25% rayon made from bamboo, 25% nylon; 230 yd [210 m]/1 3/4 oz [50 g]): #5001 soft white (MC), #0406 indigo (CC), 1 skein each.

HOOK Size F/5 (3.75 mm). Adjust hook size if necessary to obtain correct gauge.

NOTIONS 3 locking st markers (m); yarn needle.

GAUGE 5 rnds in patt = 4." diameter at widest point.

This is a pretty quick and easy pattern. What colors will you use for it? As always, please post your finished photos to Ravelry or to my Facebook page! Seeing finished projects from my patterns really makes my day!

Happy crocheting!
April

(C)2015 F+W Media
Photo by Harper Point Photography

3.12.2015

Plymouth Yarn Review


When I went to TNNA in January I spoke to representatives from many yarn companies. One of those was Plymouth Yarn. I spoke with their very nice and friendly design director. She wanted to send me some of their yarns so that I could use them in my swatching up design ideas. I received this box a few weeks later. These yarns are:

(Top left) Gina, a striping 100% Wool yarn that I'd say is worsted weight, but isn't labeled with a size. This would make something really pretty in entrelac or shell stitch because of the striping. It has a nice feel, but not super soft, so I might not make something that will be against my skin with it.

(Top right) Galway Sport, a 100% Highland Wool yarn that is going to be a great staple. I could see making a cardigan with this yarn.

(Bottom left) Linaza, a fine weight Alpaca/Linen/Tencel blend that I really like the feel of! It is a little bit of a halo and some shine to it. I could love this for a lacy top to wear over a tank or camisole. I could also love it as a sweater, shawl, cowl, or scarf.

(Bottom center) Encore, a worsted weight acrylic/wool blend that is going to make another great staple. It can be machine washed and dried, and is pretty soft, so I could love this for a child's sweater, hat, or scarf, or for afghans.

(Bottom right) Nako Baby: Baby Angel, a striping sport weight acrylic. It can be machine washed, but I can't tell by the symbols on the label if it can be machine dried. I'm guessing no. This could make such cute baby sweaters or blankets. I could here the oohs and ahhs at the baby shower if I gave a sweater made in this yarn.

I'm excited to try these yarns out! Have you used any of these? Which ones did you like? What did you like about them?

I hope you're all doing great. I'm buried in work right now, so it was all I could do to surface for a brief blog post.

Happy stitching all!
April

2.19.2015

How Do I Celebrate Valentine's Day?


No bake cookies and a heart-shaped cookie cutter. I made these to surprise my husband and daughters for Valentine's Day. This was really pretty easy and fun. My girls and husband and enjoyed them. Just use your favorite no-bake cookie recipe, I use this one, and press the mixture into the cookie cutter, then scrape off any extra, lift up the cookie cutter, and make another. I used parchment paper underneath so that they would come off easily and not leave my counter messy.

Hope you all enjoyed a lovely and love-filled Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!
April

P.S. - You may have noticed that I've been pretty quiet on the blog since returning from TNNA last month. That's because I'm swamped! I have 8 projects in my queue. I'll try to blog here and there, but it won't be on a regular basis for awhile. I'll miss you all!