Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Focus: Marly Bird

Well friends, we have reached the end of the month once again. It's finally time for the Friday Focus! This month's featured designer is the very accomplished Marly Bird. Marly is both a crochet and knit designer. She is a published author and runs the popular Yarn Thing podcast. Are you ready to learn about this talented, vivacious lady? I am too! Take it away, Marly.

Who taught you to crochet? How long have you been doing it?
My Grandmother taught me to crochet in 1999 and [I]
learned to knit in 2004 from a dear friend.  The moment [I] picked up the hook and needles, [I] knew that [I] had found [my] home, and HAD to be a part of this industry.  In 2006, [I] said “Adios!” to the insurance world, and did just that.

Why do you crochet?
I used to crochet only for the joy of it but I crochet now for my job and for the joy of it! Best of both worlds. I am truly blessed.

Crochet Favorites
I have many favorites: My favorite hook is a Boye hook but more specifically I love my Addi Colour hooks. My favorite crochet designer is Robyn Chachula. My favorite crochet book...I don't have just one...but I do love my Japanese Stitch Dictionaries. My favorite yarn is Bijou Basin Ranch, Lhasa Wilderness (75% yak, 25% bamboo). And I am not just saying that because I am their creative director. Of all the yarns I use/have used it is still my favorite.

What are you working on right now?
I am working on designs inspired by the Outlander book series and I am working on a crochet book for Interweave to be published Fall 2015.

A few finished objects...
Wildberry Wrap: WHY SINGLE CROCHET ENTRELAC? It is no secret that I am a fan of knitted entrelac, I actually wrote a book about it (I Can’t Believe I’m Entrelac Knitting, Leisure Arts 2014). But I had never seen crochet entrelac made without a Tunisian crochet hook. I knew there had to be a way to achieve the same entrelac look with a normal crochet hook and any other stitch.
It became my mission to figure out how to do this. In my research, I came across one pattern that used single crochet entrelac to make a scarf. Well, I was certain I could improve on the pattern and create my own design. Hence, the beautiful wrap pattern you have here.
In this pattern you will find wonderfully written instructions that include placement instructions for stitch markers that act as visual cues of where to put your hook AND FULL CHARTS included at the end of the pattern depicting the different tiers that create entrelac. There will be no excuse at all for you not to understand this amazing technique once you are finished with this pattern!

Garden Party Sweater: Soft cotton and classic shaping form a posh design. The simple double crochet stitch pattern produces an artistic lace for a polished feel, while the oversized scallops add a touch of whimsy for a charming finish.

Goldenrod: I wanted to design a piece that had easy construction and a stitch pattern that was interesting lace. Cardigans are a staple in my closet and living in CO it can go from 80 degrees to 50 degrees in a matter of hours in the fall so it is always nice to have something that can be thrown on over anything. The Goldenrod fits the bill.
It is made in one piece beginning at the back, increasing for the sleeves is as easy as adding ch sts at the beginning and end of a row where indicated in pattern. The pattern st could be a little tricky if the crocheter doesn’t understand that on the first repeat row of the pattern st it is necessary to ch X number of sts then work into those chain sts before you are back to the original piece. The edging incorporates post sts to give texture around some solidity to such an open lace pattern around the body. Plus, the top chain draws the eye linear along the center of the body which is very flattering :-)
When I design, I try to make all my sweaters available in several sizes and flattering for all figures. This one in particular comes in several larger sizes and would fit just about anybody. Also, it is very easy to to customize and make longer if you want. It is as easy as doing one or two more repeats before adding chs for the sleeves (making sure to still end on the appropriate row number) then making sure that the same number of rows are added to the front of the sweater as well. 

Amazing! Marly is so wonderfully involved in so many facets of the yarn, crochet, and knit industries. What a well-rounded professional! You can catch more of her on her podcast, YouTube channel, and website. Thanks for sharing your work with us today, Marly!

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