Thursday, September 29, 2011

Inspiration: Whimsy Throw

The Whimsy Blanket, in the Nov/Dec issue of Crochet Today is one of the few projects where the Editor and I actually talked on the phone to discuss the plan. Generally, if a buyer has something in mind, they send a sketch via email.  In this case, Theresa Gonzalez and I had the chance to talk on the phone and strategize.  Theresa and her staff had an idea for the blanket and asked if I would do it.  We talked about the random and spontaneous mood she was going for.  To achieve the Bohemian feel, I designed some of the motifs with odd numbers of sides. In nature, flowers are usually found with odd numbers of petals or they are slightly asymmetrical in some way.  From left to right, the left most motif has 5 sides. Rarely in a project do I get to make a motif that has an odd number of sides because they don't "tile up" with each other neatly the way other polygons do. Similarly, the second and and fourth motifs from the left have 7 sides!  What fun!  So nice to break out of the square/hexagon/octagon mindset.  I wanted motifs with a variety of sizes and color configurations to add to the randomness. I wanted them to have varying degrees of "openness" or lacy-ness.  Probably the most spontaneous feature of the blanket though is the application of the motifs.  Since my book, I have been on a "join-as-you-go" kick. Sometimes sewing motifs is the right joining method, but lately I have been interested in designing motifs that join to it's neighbor as the last round of the motif is stitched.  So, of course, I wanted to join-as-you-go for this blanket.  I made a Filet mesh netting as the background. I made all the motifs except for the final rounds. I laid out all the motifs and pinned them to the blanket with locking stitch markers to help me get a general idea of where they would go and how many of each were needed.  Then I went and stitched all the final rounds and when I got to the corners, instead of slip stitching to an adjacent motif, I slip stitched onto a convenient spot on the background.  What do you think? Is this too "free-form" for your nature or is it just the right amount of "guidance vs. freedom"?

Let me know if you'd like to hear the inspiration story of any other of my projects. I'll tag these posts "Inspiration". If you like it, I may make it a new series.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Walk or Run, get it done

This weekend our family participated in a 5K walk/run for charity.  It was a fundraiser for awareness and scholarships for Juvenile Brain Tumor research.  This is the 5th year for the event, the first year we participated.  Chief ran with his Aunt, While Chickee and I and my buddy Judy walked with my MIL (in the stripes). :)  It was a beautiful day and we vowed to run it next year.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sneak Peek... NOT

So apparently... the sneak peek on Friday is all you get...because several items were STOLEN out of the box that was intended for the VKLive Fashion Show yesterday. GASP. They made it to LA, but they never made it onto the runway, INCLUDING my burgundy item.  Rumor has it that I'll now have to RE-MAKE it.  :( So sad!  So not nice!   I'll be keeping an eye out as I look at the VKLive photos to see if the thief WORE my garment. Crazy.

Back to work.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Photo Friday

Here's a Sneak Peek for you, unless you are at VKLive in LA this weekend.  This garment is to be revealed there I'm told. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I got nothing. LOL.  I'm just busy, plugging away. I have plenty of work. I'm working on a new article for an upcoming magazine, so I can't really show you a sneak peek of that.  I will say that the word "stitch" appears in it multiple times.

I'm bummed that I won't be at Professional Development Day tomorrow for the CGOA's Fall Conference in Greensboro, NC.  I hope everyone has a great time and enjoys and learns from the scheduled speakers! I hear Susan Sullivan from Leisure Arts will be one of the keynote speakers!

I did place an item in the Design Contest, somehow I forgot about the fashion show. But if you are there, look at the Design Competition Table and look for an item from me.

Is anyone going? Are you excited about any classes that you are taking? Have a great time everyone!  (Above, from the Minneapolis show in July, L-R Joan Davis, Cari Clement, Tammy Hildebrand, Kimberly McAlindin)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review: Curvy Crochet AND DISCOUNT

Curvy Crochet by Marly Bird and Jill Wright

Designer, knitter, podcaster, creative director, friend supreme, Marly Bird teamed up with her pal and professional crochet designer, Jill Wright to create 8 gorgeous crochet patterns for women with curves.

The book is 60 pages of schematics and patterns. Two of the patterns have motifs or motif detailing. Most are garments, a couple pullovers, a couple cardigans, a shawl, a cute felted tote.

All the patterns are shown on PEOPLE and also on a dressform.  There are even photos of the BACKS of garments, this is really rare friends, and gives you a real idea of what the finished item will look like.

Not sure if you are ready for garments for your curvy frame? Would you like more support?  Marly is teaching "Curvy Crochet" Class on  I have taken 3 classes already on Craftsy and I love them.  It's a great platform. You buy the class and it stays up on their site forever. You can go back and watch it again and again.  Each class is multiple hours long with PDF download class materials, patterns and help. You can ask questions and get answers! You can respond to other students' comments and questions. You can take NOTES that will be stored at the right place in the class so that you can go back and see exactly WHERE you were in the class when you had your epiphany or needed to go back and listen again.  Marly, as you know from her Blog Talk Radio "Yarn Thing" podcast (have I mentioned I've been on her podcast, on the right side bar on this page, you can see a heading, "Hear/Read Me inteviewed" the links are there) has such a fun disposition, you'll be cracking up along with the me as we watch the class. (snicker, she's so funny).

You want a DISCOUNT on Marly's class? Did I hear someone say they wanted to take Marly's class too?  Click this link and you'll be Craftsy and get the class, and the course materials, and the patterns in the class for the discounted rate of $29.99 (regular $49.99). I don't know how long this offer will last, but remember, if you buy it now, it's there and you can watch it at your leisure. Ok, I'm going back to watch more of the class, I'm on lesson 2!

Monday, September 12, 2011

School Accessories

I whipped up these two Water Bottle Cozies for the kids to take to school. While the weather is still warm, they are allowed to have water bottles at their desks as long as they have something on them to prevent drips.  It's too bad that the bottles themselves are such low quality that they don't seal well. These are made with scraps of Spud & Chloe Sweater. They are a cream color tinged by the early morning light before school. It's still dark in the mornings when we get up.  *yawn*

Happy International Crochet Day!  I am hearing about it on the internet, so it must be true. LOL  Everyday is a Happy Crochet Day here at my house. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Free Pattern: Gnome Costume

What kid wouldn't want to me a gnome for Halloween? Change the colors and he can be a Smurf. Here's the Red Heart Link.  LOL. too funny.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It must be REVEAL WEEK!

Here's another free pattern offered by Premier Yarns. Fashion Jeweltones Crocheted Shell Mitts.  These would make great teacher's gifts this holiday... hmmm good idea.  Yay for Mrs. O and Mrs. K, they might just get these!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Free Pattern: Grand Picots Scarf

Hi All,

Nope you're not missing anything! I know the Grand Picot starts off pretty unusually, but it is a very unusual yarn! There is no slip st to begin, no beginning chain... I literally inserted the hook near the cut end and pulled the yarn through itself to begin.  That's the first sl st! 

I'll try to get a video tutorial together for you

Free Pattern: Grand Picots Scarf

Premier Yarns have offered my Grand Picots Scarf as a FREE Pattern!

This fun netting type yarn works up quickly and voluminously. (yep, that's the best word I can think of to describe it!)  Here's the link to the Premier Site.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Whimsy Blanket Reveal!

Crochet Today Nov/Dec has revealed my new Whimsy Blanket. Do you ever want to go wild with a crochet project but still want some guidance?  Here you are!  This fun series will guide you.  A mesh background with earthy motifs that you can randomly join on (AS YOU GO).  So you make the background. Then make as many or as few motifs as you want (I provide 6) on the final row of each motif, crochet it on to the background wherever you like.  Repeat a few repeat them all, it's up to you.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011


From Karl Lagerfeld's new collection for Macy's.  If this isn't crochet, it could be.