Moving Right Along

It’s been over a week since my last post, 2018 has picked up it’s heels and is moving fast already.  On the 10th I had my first CGOA Board meeting and I came out of that realizing that I have a lot to learn about and a lot to do in the next few months.

I also have a number of design projects with deadlines coming up soon. Funny how deadlines in 2018 seemed so far away back in early December, but now they are breathing down my neck.  I’m looking forward to sharing these designs with all of you soon.

In the meantime you can find my latest pattern the Morning Walk Earwarmer in the February Issue of “I Like Crochet”. This is a fun quick-to-crochet project that uses different stitch heights to create a narrow to wide shaping. Earwarmers are especially handy headgear for folks with long hair. They can serve double duty as a hairband as well as keeping the chill off your ears.

I wanted to create an earwarmer that had a little extra thickness over the ears as well as some flexibility in fit. The widest part of the design is a textured stitch with a little bit of open work, then it narrows into ribbing that fits snugly over the ears. Both the top and bottom opening have textured stitch work to create a soft face flattering edge.

I’ve also been doing some clearing of the clutter in my yarn and fiber stashes. I had purchased this fun Noro product last summer. It isn’t really yarn but a very narrow piece of fiber without any twist. That means it tends to break easily and I’ve been using bits of it when doing needle felting projects.

I decided the other day that it would be good to felt in the washing machine because of the lack of twist. I spent about 6 hours carefully crocheting the remainder of the original roll into a rectangular piece of fabric. I used half-double crochet stitches worked in rows.

This was a good brainless crochet project when I was watching shows and movies with my kiddos during the evenings and weekend. I like having something to crochet that is the same stitch over and over where I can keep my hands busy without a great deal of focus. It was also entertaining to see how the colors were going to come together, something I always love about working with long color changes.

My current plan is that the felted fabric will become a bag of some sort, but it will depend on how much shrinkage I get and what happens with the colors when I finish the felting. It could possibly become the background for a needle-felted painting.

The Best of 2017

Time is running out on 2017 and it’s time to celebrate the best of the past year for many publications. I recently heard from the folks at “I Like Crochet” that my Cobbled Path Wrap was chosen as one of the “Spectacular Shawls” of 2017.

That design is one of my favorites. I came up with the idea for it about 5 years ago. I wanted to create the look of little motifs without having to weave hundreds of tails in. You can get this pattern with a subscription to the “I Like Crochet” website.

You can see my design and the other “Best of 2017” winners at their website by clicking here.

Wishing all my dear readers a fun and safe New Year’s Eve celebration and a very Happy New Year in 2018.

When a Motif isn’t a Motif

This past week has been another whirlwind as I was preparing for the Scottsbluff Fiber Arts Fair. Today was all about Needle Felting, I taught 2 classes on the subject.

The morning class was “Needle Felting in 3D” and my afternoon class was “Sweet Sheep Toy: Needle Felting”. Both classes were well attended and I had such a great time with my students.

The sheep class students really applied themselves to the project, and everyone left with a new appreciation for how to create needle felt toys.  Tomorrow I’ll be teaching a Learn to Crochet class for Knitters “The Crocheted Edge”. This was a fun class I originally developed for teaching at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. I’m looking forward to helping my fellow yarn crafters add crochet to their skills.

Speaking of crochet. I’m so excited to show you my 2 latest designs to be published in the October issue of the online magazine “I Like Crochet”.  Both of these designs were inspired by the idea of working fabric that has the appearance of little motifs without all the joining and tail weaving usually involved in that type of fabric. Instead the look of motifs is created by working continuous rows and using spike stitches gather the rows together. The edging and finish for each project is also worked continuously , so when you are finished with the crocheting, all you have left is weaving in a few ends and blocking

The “Sugar & Fig Cowl” is made in Berroco Yarns “Boboli Lace”, this is a colorful yarn with a lovely subtle sheen. The “motifs” are created in a 2 row repeat that is easy to memorize so you’ll have your cowl finished before you know it.

The “Cobbled Path Wrap” is a rectangular stole crocheted in Premier Yarns’ Deborah Norville “Serenity Sock”. The motif look in this design is worked in a 3 row repeat giving the look of ovals. This repeat is a tiny bit more challenging, but with the length of the wrap you will get into the swing of it pretty easily.

Both designs were worked in fingering weight yarns with lots of fluidity for finished projects with lovely drape and wearability.

If you don’t have a subscription to “I Like Crochet” then now is a great time to get one. This issue is filled with a number of lovely projects that can help you celebrate the fall season and that would make great gifts for the holidays.

Winged Columns Wrap

It’s getting to be that busy time of year, just a little less than 18 weeks until Christmas. If you are planning on making your holiday gifts, then you know it’s time to get started.

Cover of Special Issue
Cover of October 2014 issue : Image courtesy of Annie’s Publishing.

Fortunately the folks at Annie’s Publishing know that we are all on the hunt for ideas for lovely gifts that won’t take forever to make. They have just published a special issue magazine: “Crochet! presents 70+ Crochet Gifts in 1-2-3”.

Winged Columns Shawl 2
Wrap with a Shawl pin fastener – Image courtesy of Annie’s Publishing

You can find loads of wonderful gift ideas in this issue, including my new design “Winged Columns Wrap”.

Winged Columns Shawl 3
Back view of Wrap – Image courtesy of Annie’s Publishing

The wrap is worked outward from a central back foundation in 2 parts and requires no finishing other than weaving in a few ends. It only takes 2 skeins of yarn, 1 skein for each half. The lacy stitch pattern makes for a lot of fabric without a lot of bulk.

Wrap worn as a Scarf.
Wrap worn as a Scarf.

Because the fabric isn’t bulky it can also be worn as a scarf.

I really love this stitch pattern, the shapes within the columns put me in mind of migrating flocks of birds. Thus the name, Winged Columns.

I hope you get yourself a copy of this Crochet! Special issue. Then you’ll be all set for making gifts for the upcoming holidays. It is currently available on newsstands, or visit their website  to order a copy for yourself.