Crochet Workshops at Yarncon


I’m excited to offer several crochet workshops on April 1 & 2 at Yarncon in Chicago.

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I’m teaching a beginning workshop on Tunisian crochet. Above is a photo of some Tunisian crochet stitches worked in several colors. I think this will become a scarf; even with the most basic stitches you can create something beautiful.

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Above is a photo of the crochet cables I’ll be teaching in a workshop. I’ll cover how to make cables and offer instructions on how to make a cabled headband or ear warmer. This is a really cool technique and a fun project for anyone who wants to try cables for the first time.

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The Tunisian Crochet Lace workshop is an introduction to lace stitches. We will begin making my Skinny Mint Tunisian Scarf (shown above) using the techniques we have learned. This is the perfect spring accessory, light and airy. Add this to your crochet arsenal.

Yarncon is one of my favorite fiber events. Indie dyers and yarn stores sell their wares. It’s a great place to shop for unique yarn, spinning supplies, various knit and crochet supplies, project bags etc. I’m excited to see what the vendors have to offer this year. With so many local yarn stores closing this is an opportunity to see the yarn and fibers in person and still buy from indie shops.

Here is the schedule for my workshops.

Beginning Tunisian Crochet Saturday April 1, 12-12:50 pm (beginner level)

Crochet Cables Saturday April 1, 1-2:50 pm (intermediate level)

Beginning Tunisian Crochet Sunday April 2, 11-11:50 am

Introduction to Tunisian Crochet Lace Sunday April 2, 12-1:50 pm (advanced beginner level) Take the beginning Tunisian Crochet workshop and you’ll be able to do the Tunisian Crochet Lace.

Yarncon April 1 & 2 2017
Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union Hall
1340 W Washington St
Chicago IL 60607

For more information or to sign up for classes see their website.

Coming up: NatCroMo Blog Tour on Crochetville.

My blog will be featured on March 21, 2017. I’ll be featuring a new crochet pattern.

 

 

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Heart Mania

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With valentines day coming up I got stuck on a heart kick. I found a free pattern, Heart Crochet Hot Pad, while searching patterns on Ravelry. The pattern calls for worsted weight cotton. In my first attempt, shown above, I used Patons Grace, a sport weight cotton. It’s pretty, but kind of large, about 6.5″ at its widest worked with a 2.75 mm hook.

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The hearts above are all done in size 10 cotton crochet thread except the very top heart, which is done in size 8 perle cotton. The pattern done in size 10 crochet cotton made a heart about 4.25″ wide using a 1.5 mm hook.

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The size 8 perle cotton, above, made a heart 3.25″ wide using a 1.25 mm hook.

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In the end I decided I liked this pattern in the size 10 cotton, above, the best. This one has an edging of variegated pinks.

The pattern has written instructions but no chart. Since I really like working from a chart I decided to draw my own. If you want to see the chart and more info. see my Ravelry project page.

I altered the edging slightly. In the second round of the edging I worked sc, ch 2, sc, into each chain space around. It gives it a little postage stamp edge. Thanks to Chalklegs on Ravelry for that neat idea.

This is a fun little project so if you’re interested I urge you to give it a try. And you might even want to try your hand at drawing a chart for this too.

 

 

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A Scrappy Thing

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My favorite weight of yarn is fingering, and over the past 8 years I’ve used a lot of it. About two years ago I decided to make a scrap yarn project using all the little balls of leftovers. Finally after 25 months I have finished my scrappy thing!

With the yarn all heaped together in a big pile I realized almost all of it was variegated or self striping. It looked like a big clash of colors. Fooling around with it I found that the singles yarns didn’t quite match gauge to my multi-ply scraps, so I sorted out all of my singles and just used the multi-ply.

Finding a pattern was a bit of a challenge. Eventually I decided on Color Blend Stole which is a free pattern by Aparna Rolfe, one of my favorite designers. I followed the pattern as written except that I did all of my stitches in the back loop only. And I used my leftovers changing colors after 2-4 rows of the pattern depending on how much of each color I had.

At first I didn’t think it was going to work, everything seemed to clash. But as I continued  I was surprised to see that the overall effect was quite striking.

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I went until I had used most of my leftovers, using 451 grams total of yarn. The finished size is 72″ by 31″ not including the fringe. Normally I’d just weave in the ends but they looked interesting so I added more strands making a fringe that is not too dense.

Using the back loop only technique made the wrap have a very soft drape and also a bit of a ribbed texture.

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I have to say after all these years of crocheting, making many projects,  I was surprised by how this project turned out. I really didn’t expect it to work as well as it did. I’ll call it my New Year’s surprise.

If you’ve been thinking of doing something with your scraps I would recommend Color Blend Stole. You can use the pattern with whatever weight yarn you like. It does take a bit of concentration to follow the waves of stitches but it’s totally worth it.

A List of some of the yarns used:
Fluer de Fiber Acadian
Frolickijng Feet Done Roving
Malabrigo Sock
Smooshy With Cashmere
Claudia Hand Painted Fingering
Hand Maiden Casbah
Misti Alpaca Handpainted Sock
Crazy Zauberball
Zitron Trekking Hand Art
Koigu KPPPM
Sun Valley Fibers Merino Nylon Fingering
Three Irish Girls Velvet Sock
Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock

You can see more details on my Ravelry project page.

Now I have a box full of singles yarn scraps to work with. I have my eye out for the next scrap yarn project.

 

 

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Snowflakes 2016 in review

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This year my sister gave me an old magazine called “Favorite Classics Christmas Crochet” from 1992. This set of snowflakes if from the article Snowflake Fancy. The magazine doesn’t credit the designer which is a shame because I’d love to know who designed these.

I like the whimsical decorations at the ends of the points, suggesting flowers.

Unfortunately this magazine is out of print but the snowflake in the center is available, including a workable chart, on pinterest.

I got a little crazy and tried a couple of snowflakes in pink.

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Continuing on the theme of interesting terminal decorations, I found this snowflake that appears to be from a Russian website. Here’s the link on postila.

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The ends of this flake look like little crowns to me.

All of these flakes were done in either size 10 or size 20 crochet cotton.

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If you would like technical details for the snowflakes shown visit my  Ravelry projects page

Search snowflakes to see all of the snowflakes I’ve made along with notes including hook size, thread size, finished dimensions and pattern used.

 

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Summer Crafting

IMG_1387Going back to my childhood, summer has always been a time for crafting. Making stuff filled the days and staved off boredom. As an adult crafting is a mini-vacation from all the chores and duties of life.

I recently tested a pattern for Lara Oberman, known as DreamsinCrochet on Ravelry. My version of her Grackle pattern is shown above.  Beautiful in its simplicity, it’s worked starting at a corner of the triangle. The edging is worked last and stylishly decorates one side of the triangle. With one skein of fingering weight yarn from a local dyer I and was able to make a cute shawlette. The pattern is available from Ravelry here and includes two patterns, the Grackle and Lorikeet. Included are written instructions and good charts (which always make my crocheting so much easier). I’d like to make another larger one using scrap yarn, colors would stripe nicely on this. See my Ravelry project page for technical details.

Getting even more crafty I went bananas.

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When I saw this pattern on Ravelry I had to make one. Then I thought, what I am I going to do with this? Of course, make a cat toy. So I made another and stuffed it with catnip to send to an friend. The pattern is Amigurumi Banana and is available free on Zan Crochet. Details on my Ravelry project page.

Working on unfinished projects, I finished a cowl that I started in April for a class I was teaching at YarnCon on my TriTone Tunisian Cowl pattern. This one was made with leftovers of Cascade 220 and Shephards Wool.

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Lastly, I finished a shawl using the free Sunspree One Skein Shawl pattern by Rebecca Velasquez.

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I used MJ Yarns Silken Lace instead of the DK weight called for. The pattern can be downloaded from the Ravelry pattern page. This is Lucky Cat. She arrived in December, starving. When we couldn’t find her owners she asked if we’d like to adopt her.

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Coaster mania

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Recently I visited friends who have a beautiful burl wood table. When the drinks came out I noticed they had no coasters. This sent me on the quest for the perfect coaster.

I settled on the Springtime Coasters pattern by Doni Speigle. This pattern is very well written and produces wonderful results. Plus, it’s available free on Ravelry. The post stitches make this an advanced beginner project. There is a video tutorial  providing an excellent opportunity to learn a new skill if you’ve never made post stitches before. If you already know how to make post stitches you probably won’t need the video.

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As you can see I went a bit overboard with the coaster and will have some coasters leftover for other friends! I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream yarn with a G (4 mm) hook. See my Ravelry project page for more details.

And, if you are interested in learning how to make these Tunisian crochet mitts…

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I am offering a class at Windy Knitty in Chicago. The two week class meets this Saturday May 7 and May 14, 1-3 pm.  You can sign up online, the deadline to sign up is Thurs. May 5 at 7 pm. So if you’re interested head right on over to their website to sign up.

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Infinite Spring

In celebration National Crochet Month (NatCroMo) I am participating in Crochetville’s Designer Blog Crawl.

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This is my new pattern, Infinite Spring Scarf, an infinity scarf in 3 colors of DK weight yarn. It could easily be adapted to another weight yarn, however I chose the lighter DK for spring. It’s perfect for a chilly spring day. The scarf above is done in Berroco Vintage DK (wool/acrylic blend). This has a nice soft feel to it and I am a fan of wool, even in the spring and summer! Added benefit, if you make this cowl with Vintage DK you should have enough yarn leftover to also make my Tri-Tone Tunisian Cowl.

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This version is done in Bernat Cotton-ish (cotton/acrylic). I  like how the cotton acrylic blend feels light around my neck, no cotton dishcloth feel with this yarn.

Both the Vintage DK and Cotton-ish come in a variety of complimentary colors that make color choice relatively easy. For these scarves I used two bright mid-tone colors and one lighter neutral color. This seems to be a good rule of thumb for creating a pleasing color combination with this stitch pattern.

In honor of NatCroMo I am offering this pattern free on my Ravelry store for the rest of March. Use coupon code NatCroMo2016 at checkout.

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Thanks to Amy and Donna of Crochetville for letting me participate in the blog crawl. Hop on over to Crochetville to check out an interview with me and see all the other crochet designers who are featured this month.

Thanks also to my local yarn shop Windy Knitty for the use of the mannequin for photographs. I’ll be teaching some classes in Chicago at Windy Knitty. In April I’ll be teaching the Whispering Flowers Infinity Scarf, and in May a class on Tunisian crochet fingerless mitts.

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Happy Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

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