Friday, July 29, 2016

My First Book! Nature's Gifts from Leisure Arts

For a while now, I have been mentioning a special, secret project. I am pleased to announce that my first crochet book has been published by Leisure Arts! It's already available for pre-order on Amazon, and it should be available for purchase on the Leisure Arts website, as well as in craft stores, quite soon.

The book features seven blanket and hat sets for babies. I am so thrilled and ecstatic about this book! A huge amount of gratitude goes out to Leisure Arts for making my dream of publishing this book a reality. They did an absolutely beautiful job with the photography, formatting, and overall presentation. I started this project so very long ago; It is incredibly rewarding to see the fruits of my labor! Publishing a book before age 30 was on my "bucket list," and now I can actually cross it off!

Special thanks also go out to pattern testers Burgundy, Lauren, and Kathryn. They each tested small bits and pieces as I was writing the pattern instructions for the book, and they had to keep all of their hard work completely to themselves while they were at it! A million thank yous to those ladies, as well as my other testers, for supporting me as a designer.

I hope that this is the first book of many!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Guess what?

So... guess what's in this box:


Come back on Friday to find out...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mermaid Crochet Stitch

Over time, I've had many inquiries about the stitch that I used in my Mermaid Cowl. I had been hesitant to share information about the stitch separate from the pattern because I didn't want to dilute its value. However, that's not really in the spirit of the crochet community. After all, I use stitch dictionaries to help me design patterns. Thus, I have decided to share my mermaid stitch pattern with you. Although, the extended information (specific stitch counts, step by step tutorial, etc) will remain with the pattern.

Crocodile or shell stitches are sometimes erroneously called mermaid stitch, but as far as I can tell there isn't a unique crochet stitch called mermaid stitch. Now there is! I hope you enjoy my mermaid stitch.

Start by chaining a multiple of two. 

Row 1: Starting in second ch from the hook, work 1 sc into each ch across.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. Work 1 sc into first st. *Work [dc, ch 3, dc] into the following stitch, work 1 sc into next*, rep from * to end of row.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. *Work 1 sc into first st, ch 1 behind scale*, rep from * across, ending with 1 sc in final st.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn. Work 1 sc into first st. *Work 1 sc in ch 1 space, work [dc, ch 3, dc] in sc*, rep from * across ending with 1 sc in the final ch 1 space and 1 more sc in last st. 
Row 5: Ch 1, turn. Work 1 sc into first st. *Work 1 sc into next st, ch 1 behind scale*, rep from * across ending with 1 sc in each of the last 2 sts.

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. Work 1 sc into first st. *Work [dc, ch 3, dc] into next sc, work 1 sc into the following ch 1 space*, rep from * to end of row.

Row 7: Ch 1, turn. *Work 1 sc into first st, ch 1 behind scale*, rep from * across ending with 1 sc in final st.

Row 8: Ch 1, turn. Work 1 sc into first st. *Work 1 sc in ch 1 space, work [dc, ch 3, dc] in sc*, rep from * across ending with 1 sc in the final ch 1 space and 1 more sc in last st. 

Row 9: Ch 1, turn. Work 1 sc into first st. *Work 1 sc into next st, ch 1 behind scale*, rep from * across ending with 1 sc in each of the last 2 sts. 

Rows 10 through ?: Rep Rows 6 through 9 as many times as desired.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer Sale on Crochet Patterns

I have been having a summer that is filled with happiness and life. How about you? The first quarter of this year was very challenging in my personal life. As a result, I am trying to be more free and more mindful, enjoying the best parts of each day. I'd like to share my summer joy with you in the form of a summer sale! From now until next Tuesday (at 11:59pm Pacific Time) you will receive $1 off of any pattern in my Ravelry store if you use the code "ICaSummerSale" at checkout.

Enjoy your summer, and enjoy crochet!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Carefree Basketweave Crossbody Bag

A pattern release! Yaaaaaay! It's been far too long. I was recently promoted at my day-job, and man oh man has there been a lot to do. I'm a Campus Manager now, which is kind of like a principal. The school is fairly small, but it is still a lot of work. However, I settled in today with my laptop to get this pattern out because it was burning a hole in my files! I am thankful to my many testers for working so hard to make it a reality.

Here's the Carefree Basketweave Crossbody Bag! It is available on Ravelry and Craftsy.

Hands free can be a great thing. This bag is meant to be worn across the body, leaving your hands free for texting, creating, dancing… being you! The button keeps your essentials in place and the tight basketweave stitch eliminates the need for a lining. Make it in a funky variegated and stand out or let the texture do all of the work with a solid color. The pattern includes a photo tutorial that will guide you as you work. This bag is made with a lovely cotton-blend yarn, Kraemer Yarns Tatamy Tweed Worsted.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wedgwood Art Festival 2016

Summer certainly is the time of festivals and fairs. My dear friend, Becca, and I recently stopped in at the Wedgwood Art Festival, a local gathering of artists and craftspeople in north Seattle. It was so nice to mill around the booths and chat. Of course, I had my fiber goggles on full blast, constantly searching for interesting things to show you. Want to see a few highlights?

On of the most notable booths at the fair was that of Judy Taylor and her brand, Little House Rugs. This woman is seriously impressive. I was lucky enough to catch her spinning. However, she also had latch hooked rugs, crochet, knitting, and felted items in her booth. She does it all!

Sarah Bak over at Sarah Bak Pottery had some lovely work on display, not least of which was a selection of glorious ceramic buttons! It is so hard to find really unique buttons, and hers are simply lovely. I may have ended up with a delightful button that I just couldn't part with...

Finally, I was enchanted by the work of Doris Kanz for her brand, Art By Namaste. Her ethereal pieces are created by felting over silk garments to make truly unique items.

I hope your weekend was a wonderful as mine. Thanks for a great day, Becca!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Bright Tunisian Crochet Hooks

My good friend Becca recently gave me some fab Tunisian crochet hooks. Unfortunately, Tunisian crochet hurts her hands too much, so she passed her hooks on to me. She also bought me a ball of yarn that I've never worked with before. How generous. Look at the hooks, though. They are so bright and fun and bubbly. They remind me of the 80s or plastic pony beads. Plus, the strands are so long that I can make a huge piece of fabric.

I was also recently given some lovely skeins of yarn by my friend Vicki and some knitting needles by Toni. What generous friends I have!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Striped Knitting Scrap Project

I really like my dellaQ bag. It has become the permanent home of my traveling scrap project, a striped tube scarf that I am knitting. However, you could totally crochet one, too! I have a bunch of fingering weight leftovers just hanging out in the bag with the project, ready to be toted along at a moment's notice. I am simply knitting in the round until each color runs out and then adding the next. You could easily crochet in the round to use up scraps in this way, too. When I'm done I hope to have a long, squishy infinity scarf that is one-of-a-kind.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Stitch Your State Crochet and Knitting Contest

The Fourth of July is coming up this Monday. Are you doing anything to celebrate? Perhaps you are crocheting :) If you'd like to honor the United States, think about using part of your holiday to  participate in Warm Up America's Stitch Your State contest. I learned all about it on Crochet Concupiscence.

The basic idea of the contest is this: You knit or crochet a 7 by 9 inch panel that represents your favorite state. That's it! You could used beads, appliques, surface crochet, embroidery and more to dress up your swatch, it just has to include knit and/or crochet. Warm Up America will pick one swatch for each state and stitch them together, taking the finished tapestry around the country to events. How fun! The postmark deadline is September 5th, so you still have plenty of time to participate. You can even submit more than one state!

I'm not sure if I have time to participate in this, but I sure would like to. Should I stitch up California, the state I was born in? How about Idaho, which is where I grew up? Or maybe Oregon, where I went to college? Is it my current home state of Washington that needs my attention? All four? What do you think? What state will you stitch?