Whew, I have been remiss in blogging my new designs, but there are a lot of recent releases right now. Just before I took this job and moved our lives to Colorado, I was really ramping up my submissions and they were all nestled together in release times, so enjoy. I love my job, but I also still really love releasing new patterns and seeing what you guys come up with, so I hope to be able to continue contributing whenever possible.
I have three patterns in Interweave Crochet Accessories, and all of them are fairly simple. Let’s start with the Textured Swirl Hat. It’s a quick to work bottom up pattern worked in worsted weight yarn (Vickie Howell’s Sheepish). Post stitches and double crochets are about all it takes to get this whipped up.
Next is the Little Hearts Cowl. You might recognize the stitch pattern inspiration from my Hearts Kid’s Cardigan here– I just wasn’t done with it after one pattern. This is worked in Manos Silk-wool blend which is a drapey and soft DK, and makes a really nice FO. As with the kid sweater, you only work with one color at a time, contrary to how it might look, which keeps the stitching simple.
Finally, I came up with a cute little Holiday Lights Garland that you can make to decorate your house or apartment. I still absolutely love my Tree Garland pattern from Crochet Today but this one will work up a lot quicker. Each bulb is worked from the center out, and then you actually crochet the string along with the top of the bulb, so that when you’re done, it’s all put together. This one is worked in Deborah Norville’s yarn, but I think it would be extra fun in a shimmery sparkle yarn. It’s worsted weight as well, so perfect if you’ve got lots of scraps hanging out.
This issues is already out as an E-collection and should be on newsstands too–just in time for holiday gift making.
The lovely ladies at Tangled have done it again with their fall collection of knit and crochet designs! I always look forward to seeing the mix of knitting and crochet in their seasonal collection.
My contribution for fall is the Eyelet Yoke Cardi (here’s the Ravelry page), a simple to work top-down cardigan with a little bit of lace (err, eyelets) and a little bit of sparkle, thanks to the Berroco Flicker yarn we chose. The yarn is worsted weight but due to it’s chainette construction and the soft alpaca, it is light and airy–meaning it won’t weight the sweater down. Keep that in mind if substituting yarn– something on the lighter side (ie more yardage per grams) is going to make a nice drapey sweater.
I went so far as to make my own, in the very same yarn, when I saw all of the new colors they released this year. This deep blue is so pretty, and it’s a good value for the yardage. I made a size in between the Small and Medium (by doing fewer increases) and I think I used 10 skeins. I must say it is super warm, being 87 percent alpaca, so those eyelets act as nice little vents. Hah! But I am always hot, even when it is cold, except when I am not.
I went all out and added these silver cat buttons from my stash to compliment the silvery glint to the flicker yarn. I like this yarn- it has glitter, but it’s not insane over-the-top shimmer. And it is really squishy.
The pattern is $6.50, and it and the yarn are available online at Tangled. It comes in sizes: 32 (35.5, 41, 43.5, 48, 52)” bust circumference. You can also favorite on Ravelry! Since it’s top down, you can check the length and cut back on increases if you like to change up the size if you are in between sizes. Happy hooking!
Just a few little updates on my recently released E-book venture, Sugar and Spice: Six Bakery Inspired Crochet Designs.
First off, you can listen to me talk about why e-books and my inspiration for these particular projects (plus get a chance to win one!) in the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. We podcasted live from the Craftsy offices, which was a pretty fun way to do it! I’m wearing my Sugar Sparkles Shawlette–which, if you couldn’t tell–is laden with beads, check it out!
Here’s the announcement from the Malabrigo Blog (the book is part of their Freelance Pattern Project).
Susan B. Anderson had some lovely things to say about it, including: Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen more gorgeous crochet designs in my life.
Robyn Chachula reviewed it here (hurry for a chance to win a copy!), saying: And this collection, is definitely a book. Everything is professionally edited, photographed, and laid out. Anything you might need explained is described in detail as you would expect with Linda’s patterns.
More to come, and thanks so much to everyone who has purchased it so far. I really appreciate it!
Tomorrow: Another new design! Next week: More reveals. It seems like all of the work I finished just before I took this job is coming to the light now.
I’ve been working on a secret project for the past year that I can finally share with you; it’s an e-book! Last year, when I had no idea where time would take me, I knew I wanted to work on a book-like project and I wanted to do it myself. The Malabrigo Freelance Pattern Project was the perfect opportunity: malabrigo donates the yarn, the designer makes the e-book. It’s already a favorite yarn of mine–it’s soft, with wonderful colors, and a good value because of the generous yardage. I got the green light on the project and got to work.
Luckily I finished all of the designing before I accepted my job at Craftsy, and was able to turn around the tech editing process (with KJ Hay) before I moved. I hired Caro Sheridan as my photographer–and she did a wonderful job showcasing the details in the fabric. Since I was making steady money and had a lot less time, I decided to hire a graphic designer (Heather Crank, who I work with at Craftsy) to put it all together. And now I present you with Sugar and Spice: Six Bakery-Inspired Crochet Fashions! All of the projects are named after desserts, and most of them feature post stitches, bobbles, or other crochet texture. Piped Petals Cardigan is shown on the cover, it’s a top down cardigan that builds post-stitch petals into the yoke along with the increases. It’s actually quite simple to make but with stunning results. I made it to fit me and I wear it all the time: yay, bonus of doing an E-book!
Tart Shrug is a motif-based shrug sized between 31.5 and 56.5″ at the bust (6 sizes) featuring Malabrigo Twist (bulky). The motifs are joined as-you-go and the ribbing is worked into the finished piece so there is very minimal seaming. All of the buttons used in the book were generously donated by JHB Buttons. I love buttons!
Pizzelle Beret is a richly textured hat worked in Malabrigo Lace (one of my absolute favorite yarns for crochet). Since it’s worked in the round from the top down, the right side is always facing you, and it’s somewhat intuitive where the post stitches go, once you get going. Check out the larger photo on my flickr page to really see the details. It creates a wonderfully light and soft fabric, perfect especially for those who don’t live in super cold climates.
Sugar Sparkles Shawlette is another favorite– I was thinking of Thanksgiving pie crusts when I designed it. The main body is worked from side to side in lovely sock yarn, then the beaded border begins. A total of 675 beads are used in the textured lace border, which give the shawl a nice weight for wrapping as well as a subtle glisten. I’ve designed it in such a way that you can thread the precise amount of beads you need for each row as you go, resulting in a few yarn breaks but a lot less sliding of beads when you are working non-beaded rows. It also worked out perfectly that the beads show where to work the set-up row of post stitches, which was a happy discovery for me. I love to wrap this crescent shaped shawl around and around so I can show off the delicate border.
Cherry Cobbler Beanie is the second hat in the collection, and it’s sized for the whole family (14″, 16″, 18″ and 20″–and they stretch to fit heads about 2″ bigger than that). This one is also worked in sock yarn, from the bottom up, and all of the cables are worked with the right sides facing you. They converge at the top to form radiating lines, and then the ribbing is worked along the bottom edge.
The sixth and final pattern is the Cocoa Wafer Cowl, a textured rectangle with three buttons to add texture and interest. This one has a simple four row repeat and can be pretty mindless once you get going. I actually want to try it using 2 colors to see what that does to the pattern–I’ll be sure to share if and when I do.
The collection is available on Ravelry or Craftsy for $18. If you aren’t a member of either, you can also buy it now through this ravelry link. Happy Hooking!
Remember last year when I made measuring tapes for my coworkers? I kept getting requests to publish the pattern, so I finally got around to making some new ones, and this weekend I had time to photograph and finalize the pattern.
In addition to the flower, I wanted to add some other cute covers, just to make the pattern feel “worth it” so I came up with a simple owl and a pig. With a few color and embroidery changes, though, they could easily turn into cats and dogs. Even with all the scrap yarn I have, I didn’t have any black or brown (actually, that doesn’t really surprise me!) so you’ll have to use your imagination. You can also go to town with the basic cover used for the flower and make a happy face, spiral, rainbow, or whatever you like. I used DK weight yarn scraps for mine, and the free 2″ round measuring tapes I always end up with after trade shows, making this a free stashbuster!
I had so much fun making them that there will probably be more in the future. I can always use another measuring tape. The pattern is available for $5 on Ravelry and Craftsy. Enjoy!
As the weather gets crisper here in Colorado, I can see our little dog shivering more and more. Even though he has one (or two) handmade sweaters I figured it would be a good idea to get some more for him, since there are many cold days ahead. I actually purchased a fleece one but it didn’t seem to fit well, and then we found a thrift store with a big sale and I found 2 men’s sweaters for under $5. I actually bought them for work, but didn’t end up needing them–so I thought I could turn them into sweaters for Freddie instead.
My original plan was to make some simple pattern pieces, cut them from the sweater, and sew them together. But as I was trying to figure out the best way to cut them, I realized that the sleeves were perfect. They already had decreases, and were already tube-shaped, so it was just a matter of cutting holes.
The first one was a white acrylic sweater with long cuffs, so I decided to make a turtleneck (the one problem with my crocheted sweater is I really didn’t leave enough room for the neck). I cut the sleeve to about the right length, then cut a divot in the underside and curved the back. I also cut two holes where I thought the arms would go (trying it on a lot, of course. The dog loved that part, not). Then I just used store-bought bias tape to encase the edges. The secret is just to pin the heck out if it and take your time sewing–first attaching the thinner edge of the bias tape with a zigzag stitch (make sure the bias tape is on the bottom layer so your machine doesn’t go nuts), then trimming, then folding the wider layer of tape over and edge stitching it to encase all of the frayed ends.
The second sweater was a much finer, thinner cotton blend, cable knit, that didn’ t seem like it would fray so easily. For this one I wanted to give it a hint of neon. My hope was a yellow (like Edison Bulb from Madeline Tosh), but I didn’t have any of that so I went with a nice pink sock yarn form Alisha Goes Around. The cuff was too tight for a neck so I cut that off. Next, for the collar and rear openings, I folded the edges in by about 1/2 inch, then stabbed my hook through both layers of the fold, creating a single crochet edge.
Then, I worked a round of dc in the back loop only, followed by another round of dc. Just space the stitches so that you aren’t stretching the sweater, nor pulling it in excessively. Once I had the two rounds of dc built up, I folded them inward to encase the cut edges. I took the yarn to the outside of the sweater and slip stitched around the row to secure it, which is what created the dashed line effect of the trim. I didn’t fold the armholes in (they looked less likely to fray)–instead, I just did two rows of single crochet around each. I think they will hold up pretty well, and I have second sleeves (and whole sweaters!) so am not that worried about it. They are for the dog, after all!
I enjoyed making them and not spending upwards of $30 on crappy dog sweaters at the pet store. I still want to make him another crocheted sweater so I can write the pattern, but realistically that’s a long time coming. I did, however, spend some time last night working on a quick and fun pattern for the holidays that I hope to get released in a soonish manner. I just need to make a few more of them first.
Just before our trip to the Grand Canyon, I got started on a me-sized version of a cardigan design I designed last year. The pattern has not yet been published but I am told it will be, soon. I used the same yarn as for the original design, Berroco Flicker, which now has a lot of fun colors (originally, it was mostly neutral and pastel). I actually started the cardigan at Stitches Midwest, when I found the yarn at the Webs booth.
Someone has been supervising this sweater’s stitching all the way through.
When I neared completion I had a look through my button stash and found these 4 cat face buttons. I must have bought them during a sale and of course I didn’t have enough of them. The silver goes well with the glittery-ness of the yarn so I decided to just go for it. The buttons are by JHB but I couldn’t find them online (or on their site) anywhere–thankfully someone was selling a set of 6 on Ebay for a reasonable price.
I sewed them on this weekend while Freddie watched. I’m most definitely a dog person but the kitty faces add a little fun to this sweater. Oh yeah, and the glitter. I figure it will remind me of that time when I spayed and neutered the colony of cats my neighbor was feeding. I’m glad those days are gone!
I’ll share a finished pic of the garment being worn once the pattern goes live, of course.
Last weekend we headed down to Castle Rock so I could sign some books at Stash, a gem of a yarn shop just to the south of Denver. Look at the cute setup they had for me!
Crystal (the owner) and Heather (crocheter and hook designer extraordinaire) were so warm and welcoming, it was really lovely. It felt like a hug just to walk into the place, which was so cutely decorated and so very tempting! It was the second wekend of the Yarn Along the Rockies Crawl so pretty busy throughout, and I met a lot of people who were interested in crochet.
I left a bunch of samples at the shop with Crystal, so if you didn’t have a chance to go last weekend, head on over in the next few weeks and you can still get your crochet fix. There’s a good mix of kids stuff, adult garments, and accessories. Bring your current WIP, they have a lovely porch you can sit and knit/crochet on.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple weeks to tell you: My sweater is on the cover of Interweave Crochet, Fall 2012! Yeah!
For the record, this is the first time I’ve had anything on the cover of Interweave Crochet, and I am quite proud! They dubbed it Saturn Sweater, because of the rings of colorful stitching around the collar and cuffs. Perfect!
This easily could have been a very. boring. sweater. It’s easy to make (1 stitch, for the majority of it!) but the fun part comes in when you add the colorful stitching, buttons and button band. I think the little orange on the button band makes it. I also like to think that if you get bored easily, you can change out the surface embellishment around the yoke quite simply–next week or three years from now, whenever.
This sweater is worked from the top down, in the round, so not much as far as finishing goes. You will, however, have to weave in all the ends from the surface design–although you could just hook them to the inside if no one’s going to be looking. The sweater comes in six sizes from 32 to 52 and it’s easy enough to play with gauge to hit the sizes in between. Here’s the ravelry page with more information.
In other exciting news, I’ll be doing a book signing as part of the Yarn Along the Rockies Crawl this weekend, Saturday, Sept 15th at Stash Yarns in Castle Rock. The signing is from 2-4 PM on Saturday, and I’ll bring a bunch of crocheted samples with me, so you can ogle. Some from the books, some from my pattern line! If you have any requests let me know. Hope to see you there!
Last Saturday, Paul and I got in the car and headed out west.
I brought a crochet project with me. The yarn is Berroco Flicker, which I couldn’t resist at Stitches. The pattern is one of my own that will hopefully be published very soon because I wrote it almost a year ago! On the first day we stopped in Grand Junction for lunch and then went on to the Colorado National Monument, a beautiful little (by comparison) canyon, which I’ll post photos of to flickr one of these days.
Next, we drove through some pretty amazing scenery on our way to Utah.
We stopped in Moab for two nights and headed to Arches National Park, which has the largest concentration of natural stone arches. The most famous one is Delicate Arch, above, and we decided to hike it before sunset. Which was BRUTAL. Possibly because we’d already hiked two miles that day (and we usually are couch potatoes) and also because it was Hot. Really Hot. Deserts are good at that, but it was totally worth it and I felt proud of myself. I tumbled down some steps on the way back down, as I was declaring what I do and don’t consider a “real” hike, which was pretty funny.
Then we were on to the Grand Canyon for a couple nights. The first night had an awesome sunset and we also went to a lot of ranger programs– on caves, condors, fossils and geology. I love ranger programs and they were extra necessary in order for me to relate to the huge canyon before me. Did you know that the amount of land moved by water to form the Grand Canyon, if made into bricks of the same size used to build the Great Wall of China, would build a great wall all the way to Venus? Wow! Also, California Condors pee on their feet because they can’t sweat to regulate heat. I know you wanted to know, and that is why you should attend ranger programs when visiting a National Park.
The drive back was more of a chore so we got some fry bread at Four Corners. The monument itself is a bit bleak, and it was blazingly hot, but we couldn’t drive by without stopping in. Fry bread is like a funnel cake, sorta, and worth eating when you have the chance. Think of the four corners in the center of the fry bread as the replacement for the photo of us with our feet in a corner of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
On a whim we stayed overnight at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado for our last night. This park is home to several ancient cliff dwellings from about 700-900 years ago, as well as earlier pit homes. We got up early to tour Cliff Palace and it was really awesome.
All in all, it was an exhausting blast, and a much-needed break. Plus, I’m 2/3 done with my sweater! How is summer (or, the end of it) treating you?