Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Divine Hat

Here's one of those patterns that it seems like everyone is whipping up! The Divine Hat is the best kind of project, simple to make but with an impressive finished product. It's no wonder the pattern has skyrocketed in popularity. Sometimes I feel like my stash will never truly be busted, but I'm making headway! I took care of a good amount of Jiffy with this hat. Please excuse my little peanut of a head, it can't help but be a bit nutty and I've never looked good in hats.




It worked up pretty quickly and the repetitive nature of the pattern allows you to do other things while you crochet. If you check this pattern out on Ravelry you can see the thousands (!) of hats that people have made. Pretty amazing!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Crochet on the BBC's Call the Midwife

One advantage to having crochet as my primary activity is that I get to keep up with lots of shows and movies on Netflix. We don't own a television, and I've found that my laptop is all I need. Through much practice my tension is even enough that I can half pay attention to what I'm doing and still end up with a great finished object. Pattern writing requires more work and dedicated head-space, but sometimes I'll be working on a portion of a pattern that repeats and can watch movies and television shows then as well. 

If you like period pieces, babies, women, nurses or any combination of those and haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend Call the Midwife. I love to crochet while I'm watching it. As if the show wasn't likable enough, it often features crochet! Here are several crochet snippets (plus some knitting) that I caught in a single episode, and there were many more I simply didn't screen capture because I was too involved in the story to pause.






I don't want to give too much away, but the final shot shows the women crocheting together during a very tense moment. I find it particularly beautiful. The show is set in the UK during the 1950s. As thankful as I am to live in this modern age, especially with regards to the concerns raised by the show, I do get all dreamy over the idea of crochet being so widespread. So many of the little babies born on Call the Midwife have sweet crochet blankets, bonnets, booties, etc. lovingly made for them by their families. I think it would be quite nice if knowledge of the leisure arts was still so widespread and valued, passed down through generations. Until then I guess I'll just have to crochet along with the ladies on the show.

Note: All screen captures were taken by me and I would like to reference the Fair Use Act with regards to criticism and comment.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Focus: Aaron Matthew

Seattle has had an enormous fog bank settle over it for the past few days. It's really eerie. The fog coupled with the sudden cold really makes me want to curl up by the fire with my husband, my cat, a hot drink, and my crochet. All of the people in the city are wearing their cold weather gear.

I once mentioned the lack of options for men in crochet. I am excited to report that I have finally found some legitimately bad-ass crochet menswear. Aaron Matthews hats are the perfect projects for the men in your life as the cold starts to set in. They are geometric and dynamic. He's here today as our Friday Focus to give us the scoop on his designs.

Who taught you to crochet?
I taught myself all that I know about crochet design. A long and difficult journey, but it has all been well worth the effort.

How long have you been doing it? It has been about 11 years to date. I started while I was still at university in Fort Collins, Colorado and kept going from there.

Why do you crochet?
I crochet to create pieces of artwork - I am a geometric yarn sculptor. It starts with a new idea, which then becomes translated to paper and is finally looped into reality.

When all is done, and the final product is realized, it is on to the next pattern conception. I do not create more than one hat from a brand new pattern. The piece of art has been finished, so why make it again?

I have continued to progress and have found motivation in the simple fact that I am designing and creating patterns that no one else is able to even fathom. I have my tiny spot of being the best at something in the world. I like that.


Crochet Favorites
My favorite yarn to work with is Frog Tree Merino Wool, but unfortunately they do not produce it anymore. I create all my work with natural fibers, and merino wool is my favorite. I only crochet with Boye brand crochet hooks – it is just a tool with which I have become accustomed. And my favorite stitch is the Front Post Half Double Crochet.

What are you working on right now?
Most recently I have been working on what I call VIP designs. These new designs involve taking an existing simplistic design and conceptualizing the many ways that it can be changed to make it more complicated. The term VIP stands for Variation In Production. It is quite interesting to see how many VIP designs can grow from a basic design structure. With many possibilities for the new design, it is always fun to work out a few and see which ones really do look the best.

A few finished objects...
This is a Special Edition beanie called the Diamond Cadet Front that I created several years ago. It features a cadet style flat top and a small diamond front with many patches machine sewn into the fabric. This one took a great deal of time to design and complete.

 
This VIP beanie is called the Large Diamond Zig Weave (XZW). It is a play on the basic single ribbed Large Diamond structure with a triple ribbed zig weaving that goes in and out of the main pattern. This one was a new challenge to cross three ribs with one rib – much harder than I ever imagined.


This VIP beanie is called the Double Ribbed Large Diamond Complication 1 (XXC1). It is a play on the basic Double Ribbed Large Diamond structure with a whole set of double ribs inset to create an extravaganza of diagonal weaving. This took a great deal of effort to concept on paper, but turned out to be better than I had ever imagined upon completion.


Seriously though, how cool are those hats? As a designer myself, I can really appreciate the hard work that goes into planning and executing something that complex. You can find the rest of Aaron's awesome patterns on both Ravelry and Etsy. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and patterns with us today, Aaron!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Twist Scarf

A wonderful friend of mine deserved a pretty scarf. Fuzzy yarn in hand, I set out to find a nice pattern. This one looked nice. Do not be fooled. I usually like Bernat, but this is one of the most confusing patterns I've ever followed. It frustrated me so much that I completely re-wrote it! The following is my version of the pattern. Note that I did not create this pattern, I just adapted it.

To make this scarf you will work all of the way around the foundation chain without turning, with right side facing the whole way. The effect will be like a long oval or a link chain with fans going all the way around it. For this reason, instead of rows there will be “steps”.

sc=single crochet, ch=chain, sk=skip, sl st=slip stitch, yo=yarn over, dtr=double treble

Make a foundation chain of 186.

Step 1: 1 sc in 2nd ch from the hook. *Ch 3, skip next 3 ch stitches, 1 sc in next ch stitch* Repeat from * across entire chain. This has created a new base chain. Most of the stitches will be made into the large gaps.

Step 2: This step will create the fan at one end of the scarf. Ch 8, sl st into 3rd ch from the hook. This will count as the first dtr with picot. *Ch 1, yarn over 4 times, insert hook into the first sc at the end of the original foundation chain, yo and pull a loop through. You now have 6 loops on your hook. Yo and pull through 2 loops, repeat 5 times. This has created the dtr. Ch 3, sl st in top of dtr. This has created the picot.* Repeat from * 8 times for a total of 9 dtr with picots.

Step 3: Do not turn. You will work across the other side of your new base chain. *Sk next ch 3 gap, 3 sc in next ch 3 gap, sk next ch 3 gap, dtr with picot into next ch 3 gap 9 times* Repeat across until you get to the last two ch 3 gaps.

Step 4: Sk next ch 3 gap, 1 sc in ch between gaps, sk last gap. Dtr with picot 9 times into last sc of the original foundation chain, creating the fan at the other end of the scarf.

Step 5: You will continue around, now working across the other side of the work. *Sk next ch 3 gap, 3 sc in next ch 3 gap, sk next ch 3 gap, dtr with picot into next ch 3 gap 9 times* Repeat across until you get to the last two ch 3 gaps.

Step 6: Sk next ch 3 gap, 1 sc in ch between gaps, sk last gap. Join with sl st in 5th ch of ch 8 that was created at the beginning of step 2 (the very first dtr). Fasten off and weave in ends. 



It kinda reminds me of DNA. I like it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fiber Fusion Northwest: Live Animals, Spinning, Indie Vendors, and More!

On Saturday morning my husband and I took a chilly autumn drive up to Monroe, Washington for Fiber Fusion Northwest, a yearly natural fiber festival. The weather was quite foggy and cold, providing the perfect backdrop for wooly appreciation.


When we arrived we were all too glad to go indoors and savor the warmth. Brrr!


As we walked in the door we were greeted by friendly fiber animals. As someone who often works with synthetics (baby items need to be machine washable), I don't get to enjoy natural fibers as much as I wish I could. However, I love picking out special yarns to make into gifts. Seeing the animals was a really good reminder of where yarn comes from and how much work goes into it before it's ready to be used.

The folks from Heart of Dreams Alpacas had a few llamas with them. Three of the llamas were rescues that are looking for new homes. It's really unfortunate that someone would take on such a big responsibility and then not care for their animal properly. Thank goodness for kind people like those at Heart of Dreams who make room in their lives to help animals in need. The llamas were quite friendly. Folks got to feed them cut carrots, myself included. How soft their muzzles felt as they sniffed me! Their large, dark eyes regarded their surroundings with mild interest.


There were also a few goats at the festival with Heaven Sent farm. They were so adorable with their little horns. As they played they butted heads a few times which is always charming. It's so interesting to me how many different kinds of animals can be used for their wool. Have you ever worked with angora goat wool? I have yet to try it. I love how goats are always so friendly and fearless with humans. I said hello to them as I took their picture. Here they are below doing what goats do best: Eating.


Of course there were sheep, shown by Sauked In Farm. What fiber festival would be complete without them. Sweet, relaxed sheep with their darling faces. When we lived in Eugene, Oregon we often saw farm animals out in pastures, sometimes sheep, when we went on weekend drives. We also had many animals living right outside out back door in a nature preserve. Living in the heart of Seattle is quite a bit different. I've missed being around other living things.


The final animal exhibit at the fair was the angora rabbits. I couldn't find a brand label for them. They were soo cute! Their little wiggle-noses made me squee. It seems so random to me that yarn can come from rabbits but man are they soft. Look at those adorable tufts on their ears!


There were so many awesome indie sellers at the festival. It was overwhelming to think about how many hours of work must have been in that room. I'd like to tell you about a few of my favorite vendors.

One of the first booths we stopped by was Sentinel Ranch. I was lured over by the crochet. Yes, crochet! I was a bit concerned that I would only find tons of knitting, but I was wrong! It was so nice to see all of the crochet proudly displayed. Don't you just love the natural colors in this display? 


Man, this lady was awesome! Her brand is called Craftwich Creations, and she caters to crochet. Look at her freaking fabulous purple crochet outfit. I was totally in love with this booth. She had a bunch of handmade wooden crochet hooks for sale, among other things. Some of them were even on necklaces. Cool! She harvests the fiber, prepares it, spins it, dyes it, and then crochets with it! Such talent!


The hooks reminded me of magic wands. Indeed, what crocheters do can seem magical to outsiders!


This gentleman from Paca Pride told us all about his cool ranch where you can go "glam-ping" aka glamorous camping in yurts. That sounds fun! Alpacas are beautiful animals and it would be really neat to go out and meet some of them. He was spinning and was kind enough to show me how it's done. He was also the emcee of the event.


Carolyn from Greenwood Fiberworks was very friendly and helpful. She had yarn available, but most of what she had for sale was roving. Roving is fiber that has not been spun yet. I've heard that you can crochet with roving alone. The colors of her fiber were so pretty that I decided to take some home and give it a try.


Here is the roving that I chose. What do you think I should make with it?


I am so thankful for my loving husband who is so supportive of my crochet obsession. Having him with me at the event made it even more fun. Already an hour in, we weren't even halfway through the booths! One reason for that might be that someone likes to talk a lot *coughcoughme* and was spending lots of time chatting with folks.


There were many classes and demos going on in addition to the vendor's booths and the live animal exhibit. A "spin in" was happening in another area that welcomed knitters and crocheters, but I didn't want to subject Alex to a whole day of me stitch 'n' bitching when he doesn't crochet. Perhaps next year!


This woman from Spring Harvest Fiber Mill was doing a demo on crocheting corespun rugs. Crochet rugs seem to be really hot right now. 


The rich colors of the yarn by Huckleberry Knits really attracted me. I spent a long time deciding which booth I wanted to buy yarn from and finally chose this one.


I spent another chunk of time deciding which yarns I wanted. Alex was sweetly encouraging me to spoil myself, but I like to keep my stash manageable.  


In the end I settled on two hanks, which was one more than I had planned on buying. How does that always happen? One is a very dark, inky indigo and the other a bright, bold purple. So much potential... but I can't play with it until my extensive holiday crocheting and pattern writing are complete.


I also ended up with a very small hank of alpaca yarn from Pronkin' Pastures Alpaca Ranch. Who can resist alpaca??? The raw fiber from this ranch won second place in the alpaca category at the fair. Thanks to "Pickles" the alpaca for the lovely yarn!


This has been a gloriously long blog post! Before I sign off I want to show you some raw wool. It's important to remember where your yarn comes from and be accordingly thankful, not only to the animals, but to all of the people who make the fiber usable through raising animals, shearing them, washing the fiber, dyeing the fiber, spinning it, and selling it. 


Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Focus: Lucy Collin aka Lucy Ravenscar

Something that I appreciate about crochet is how easy it is to work in the round. Knitters can work in the round but it is a bit more difficult and doesn't look as crisp in my opinion. Crochet really shines brightly when it is used for amigurumi. Rounds of single crochet make a nice, tight fabric. Details can easily be added to perfect the object. When finished, it's really rewarding to realize that you have just made a toy from start to finish.

Someone who has done a lot to help crocheters achieve their amigurumi potential is Lucy Collins, nickname Lucy Ravenscar. Her blissfully nerdy amigurumi patterns have delighted hundreds of fans. She's got something for everyone with both paid and complimentary patterns. I am thrilled and honored to have her here with us today to share a little bit about herself and her fabulous patterns for our Friday Focus.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it?
My Nana (grandmother) taught me when I was about 8 years old - she was always very crafty and made me party dresses and cuddly toys that I really loved - she also crocheted a dress for my Mum that I was fascinated with. I took to it fairly easily and made a few little things, leading up to a self-designed cardigan when I was in my teens. Then I didn't do it for ages until my oldest child had started school, about nine years ago. I got involved with the PTA and was looking for little things to make for a school craft fair, when I came across crocheted flower patterns online. It all came back to me and I started searching for more free patterns and that led me to amigurumi.

Why do you crochet?
I've always loved drawing, and creating things, but when I had children I think I used up most of my creative impulses on playing with them. I got inspired by needing to make things for the PTA, and once I'd tried a few patterns I had to try out my own ideas. My boys also inspired me by loving everything I made and requesting all their favourite characters as toys. Once I found out how much I enjoyed designing and making amigurumi I just got obsessed, and now I think about things I want to make all the time and I feel weird if I sit and watch TV without a project in my hands.

Crochet Favorites Since I mostly make amigurumi I stick with my trusty metal 3.5mm hook - I keep meaning to try the ergonomic ones, but I haven't yet. I have a massive stash of lots of single balls of yarn to give me all the different colours I might need, all double knitting weight and mostly acrylic. I do like mohair yarns to give interesting texture to certain creatures, but it can be hard to get hold of, so it can be difficult to recommend in a pattern.
 
What are you working on right now? I'm working on some new Star Wars characters - I've made Jabba the Hutt and Princess Leia in her slave bikini, but I still need to test the patterns, and I'm intending on making a few more characters. I'm also working on some Dwarves - I'm planning a set of fantasy characters and I've already done patterns to make Elves and Halflings, so Dwarves are next. I've made one but I want to make a few more to give some options in the pattern. I have lots of little toys that I made for Christmas Bazaars at my sons' school in previous years that I want to make available as free patterns, so I need to get on with that too.
 
I also wrote six patterns earlier this year for a book, 'Hollywood Crochet', which I think is due to be published shortly. They are all famous film stars and characters: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, James Bond, Audrey Hepburn and Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet from Titanic; the book comes in a set with the materials to make Elvis.
 
A few finished objects...  
Fierce Little Dragon - this is one of my first patterns. I love dragons and would often be on the lookout for dragon toys, so when I had learned enough skills I just had to make one for myself. When I put photos of it online I got lots of requests for the pattern, and that encouraged me to believe that I could design patterns that other people might like. The pattern is available for free on Ravelry. 
 
Elves - I'm a big fan of fantasy books, films and games, and I've been wanting to design classic fantasy characters for ages. For each type I'm trying to come up with lots of variations - different hair, clothes, and accessories - so that people can make the characters the way they want. This is just one of the Elves, there are three more alternatives included in the pattern.
 

Star Wars  - these are a few of my fourteen Star Wars designs. I call them mini amigurumi because they're all between 2.5 and 4.5 inches tall, which makes them quite simple to make and perfect to play with and go on adventures, or just sit on your desk.
 
   
Lucy's patterns are beloved by many. It's no wonder she's being featured in an upcoming book! Her little amis just make you feel so good. Hurray for nerds! Some of my personal favorites are her Totoros from My Neighbor Totoro and Finn and Jake from Adventure Time. I also know that many of the hookers on r/crochet really like her Dalek pattern. You can catch all of her amazing creations and patterns on her blog, Ravelry, and Etsy. I can't wait to make a Totoro once the crazy holidays are over. Thank you so very much for sharing your fabulous crochet with us today, Lucy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blair Headband Collection

Crochet headband patterns are pretty popular on Ravelry. I decided to try my hand at stitching up some cute little headbands for a free pattern. Here's what I came up with for the Blair Headband Collection.





I think my favorite one to wear is the light blue one up top. These headbands whip up in an evening so they'd be the perfect thing to add to a last minute gift or make for yourself to wear the next day. The free pattern is available on Ravelry

And yes, the name of the set is an allusion to a popular television show. xoxo


Monday, October 14, 2013

Pattern Thieves

When you have a meditative hobby like crochet you tend to feel pretty secure, warm, and fuzzy in your craft community. A few jerks aside, because jerks come in all flavors, the crochet community is comfortable, fun, and varied. There are those who love tradition and slave over doilies, those who love cuddly and churn out granny square blankets, those who love geeky and make character amigurumi, and everyone in between. We all bond over our shared enjoyment of the craft and our understanding and appreciation of others' crochet triumphs (ever finished an object with a foot of yarn to spare? SWEET) and tribulations (ever run out of yarn with one row left? UGH).

In such a welcoming community it is especially shocking when someone maliciously takes advantage of you and/or other community members. The crochet blogosphere recently exploded over just such a situation. A fraudulent craft website, diypatterns.com, was recently found to have stolen hundreds of crochet patterns, knitting patterns, sewing patterns, and more. They stole pictures and patterns from the designers and began selling them for their own profit. Some people are suggesting that those who purchased patterns from the phony website never even received the patterns! Most of the patterns stolen appear to have originated from Etsy. Thankfully, I do not sell on Etsy and I have not been affected. The fraud site targeted long established Etsy designers with a large number of patterns available. The website appears to be shut down at the moment, but in case it starts back up again I wanted to spread the word: Don't purchase anything from diypatterns.com! Popular craft video host Mikey has pertinent info on The Crochet Crowd Blog. There are also a few Etsy threads on the subject.

This is such a multifaceted problem with many ramifications. In fact, there are so many issues at play here that I've decided to address them in list format.

1. Negative Branding - If people thought they were purchasing a legitimate pattern by a particular designer, that designer's good name is dragged through the mud when the fraud site doesn't deliver.

2. Fraudulent Profit - It's difficult enough to break into pattern designing and make a profit without thieves stealing money that should rightfully be yours using your creative work. I can't imagine how violated the affected designers must feel.

3. Etsy Problems - This certainly isn't the first time that there have been fraud problems connected to Etsy, though in the past those issues have been related to fraudulent sellers within the Etsy community itself. However, if Etsy doesn't step up and take care of their fraud problem, things like this will continue to happen.

4. Unique Online Issues - Selling crafts and patterns online is a relatively new thing. Buyers, sellers, and facilitators are still learning the best ways to work around problems.

5. The Ease Of Piracy - Just like any other media, paid PDF patterns are easily illegally copied and sent to multiple people. In this case I urge you to remember that the person who wrote the pattern you stole isn't rich and famous like the singer you stole that mp3 from might be. Even extremely successful pattern writers make a modest middle-class income, and they are the exception to the rule. Also, with the proliferation of free patterns and tutorials on the internet there's really no need to steal paid crochet patterns. If you really love that awesome paid pattern, buy it. (As a side note, music piracy really isn't understandable either now that we have YouTube, Grooveshark, Pandora, Spotify, etc.)

6. International Copyright Issues - There are problems in many craft communities related to people in other countries buying patterns and then illegally copying and selling them online. Since those countries may have different copyright laws than the country that the pattern originated from, it can be very hard to stop them from making a profit off of others' art.

By this point you may be asking yourself, "What can I do to make sure the patterns I buy are legitimate?". Here are some easy things that everyone can do to stop crochet pattern fraud and value the hard work and creativity of the designers...

1. Buy From Safe Sources - Make sure that the Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy stores you buy patterns from have very clear contact information for the designer. Don't buy from a site that looks shady, has excessive advertisements, excessive spelling and grammatical errors, and/or multiple broken links.

2. If It Looks Too Good To Be True... it probably is. That pattern for a queen-sized multi-motif blanket will most likely be more than $1.

3. Check Your Social Media - Social media can be an excellent tool for designers to spread the word about their work. However, it can be a great tool for pattern stealing jerks too. Glance at the original link to make sure you recognize it. Even better, "pin" and link from the source rather than from secondary sources or an image search.

Let's all work together to give designers the credit they deserve. My heart sincerely goes out to those designers affected by pattern fraud.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Focus: Renate Kirkpatrick

Every craft has unique strengths. One of crochet's greatest strengths is its versatility. You can pretty much place your hook in any location you please as you work. This translates to an increased ability to transcend the traditional. When you go completely off-grid in crochet it is sometimes called 'freeform', meaning that you aren't necessarily paying close attention to convention. You allow the shape that you want your item to take to guide you in the right direction as you work. Due to its nature, freeform crochet doesn't really have associated patterns or guidelines.

Freeform crochet art can be quite interesting. Renate Kirkpatrick takes freeform to a new level with her vibrant work. A crochet author as well as artist, she is here with us today to share her story.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it? Why do you crochet?
I mainly crochet… However, I have been crafting in one form or another since forever. I was one of those weird kids that spent hours collecting wondrous fibrous things, always on the lookout for interesting shapes & textures, then cutting, shredding, stitching & gluing them into something new… so I guess you can say I’m self-taught.

My earliest memory of crochet is as a child often sitting with an elderly neighbor on her doorstep as she crocheted slippers & how overjoyed I was when she gave me my very own pair… Both, my grandmother & great-grandmother were wonderful crocheters/knitters &, although I never knew them, I have a box filled with their beautiful works that I treasure.

I made my first granny square in my mid-teens from an old tattered ‘How to crochet’ pamphlet that I found in an opportunity shop & I was as proud as punch with the wonky shoulder bag I managed to piece together…
It was in my late twenties after the children were asleep when I really started to crochet more often - mostly granny square rugs (afghans) for fun, relaxation & gifts. Over time, I guess I became bored with the repetition & became interested in searching out more challenging patterns. Although, at the time, I had never read a pattern, let alone deciphered what the heck all those odd abbreviations, dots & dashes meant, nevertheless, I persevered &, over the years, through trial & error, gained confidence & experience.


Freeform was introduced to me by a student while teaching at a local craft shop & has become my passion & creative joy &, at the risk of sounding pretentious, I now consider myself a Freeform Fibre Artist
.


Crochet Favorites
As a ‘Freeformer’ I don’t really have a particular favorite yarn or hook. I try to leave my mind open to everything & give anything a go to see what effects I can achieve – felting, weaving, embroidery

As to books, of course, I have to say that my own published books are my favorites… but seriously, I think I may have more craft books & magazines than the local library, & can’t say I prefer one more than another. I do, however, like to crawl the opportunity shops for old, old, patterns & books but these are very hard to come by nowadays. & then there’s Internet – it’s probably the best resource for inspiration & gathering knowledge there is today
.

What are you working on right now?
At this very moment in time, I’m in a self-enforced hiatus. My husband & I recently sold our home of 30 years & purchased an older house that we are presently renovating… we are coming to the end of this 6 month challenge & hopefully, if all goes to plan, I will have a small showroom & a spacious studio/classroom & I’ll be able to continue to create & teach as before… until then I must be patient…

A few finished objects...
Crème de Menth: begin with a freestyle knitted scarf/shawl by increasing & decreasing at will them filling the uneven edges with crochet motifs, adding tassels & beads to finish.



Flame: felted crochet crown, cold hand-dyed & heavily beaded. Crochet band with freeformed wet-felted coronet attached. Made for the Alice Springs Beanie Festival 2011.



Beaches: a cheerful piece evoking Sun, Surf & Sand, I used assorted natural and synthetic yarns & glass seed beads worked over a mesh bag base & added plastic handles.




In my opinion, one of the coolest things about freeform is its one-of-a-kind nature. Each of Renate's items is the only one like it in the whole world! If your interest in freeform crochet has been piqued, you can learn more abut Renate and view her work on her website, Facebook, Ravelry, Etsy, Zibbit, and the TAFA list. Thank you for sharing your art with us today, Renate!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Special Edition: Yay!!!

Okay, remember when I mentioned the potential for special two-posts-in-one-day moments? Today is a special day! Lucy of Attic 24 has just posted her huge Yarndale bunting update. I made three bunting triangles and sent them to her a few months ago. She ended up with over 6,000 triangles. Wow! That's insane. Kudos to her for taking on such an immense project. How cool to have contributed to such a unique piece of art.

If you're wondering why this information merits a Special Edition, let me fill you in on the exciting details. Out of thousands of triangles, you can see two out of three of my triangles pictured in the big update post! If you scroll down to pictures 22 and 23, mine are the black triangle with the white moon and stars and the purple-n-teal one with the bow. I'm so excited and I feel so lucky and special!

I'll share one of the pictures with you here. Please note that this picture is the property of Attic24 and photo credit goes to Lucy. I simply want to point out my bunting in the pile. Here they are circled in white.


Woo hoo! How awesome is that? If you haven't already, do check out her big update post that's linked above. A tremendous amount of work went into the finished bunting and the pictures of it all strung up are totally enchanting.

Man, I'm gonna be grinning about this for days.

Boxed Shell Scarf

I've been doing a lot of pattern designing and present making these past couple of weeks. Obviously I could crochet all day every day, and often do, but sometimes I need a little change from the pattern I'm working on so that I can keep up my enthusiasm. I decided to take a quick break from my current large project to work with some delightful yarn that's been calling my name. Remember that Crystal Palace Chunky Mochi in Blueberry Pancake? Here's what I did with it.



I used an 8mm hook to make a scarf. I didn't have much of the yarn, only about 150 yards, so I also chose an open stitch pattern, the boxed shell stitch. The two row repeat is simple yet attractive. I used a stitch dictionary to create my scarf, but there is a good tutorial available on YouTube.


It was fun to make something for myself for a change. My new scarf is so plush and yummy. As all of you crocheters out there prepare for the holiday season, I hope you take some time to make presents for yourselves as well.