Swirls That Will Brighten Your Day

Sometimes while crocheting my mind can completely wonder and I have no idea what I am stitching. This is actually a really therapeutic approach at times, it allows me to be productive and keep my hands busy while allowing my mind to day dream or work things out. My latest design Swirling Valley Circular Throw, in the August issue of I Like Crochet Magazine, actually was created this way.

Photo courtesy of I Like Crochet Magazine

I began working on a spiral motif, but then I began thinking of other things and before I knew it I had an entire throw. The stitch pattern is essentially that needed to create a flat circle, but you have to work more than one color, and thus more than one strand of yarn, in each round. This can be a bit daunting as you need to keep the strands from tangling, but I have found that by twisting the yarn in the same direction each time I switch colors that I can at least create a uniform tangle that I can easily untwist every few rounds. I know others that have easier techniques, using holders that keep the skeins apart so they cannot wrap around each other, or little finger rings that hold each color independently ready for use. However I have never really gotten the hang of these and simply just untangle as needed…this at least changes my task at various times.

Photo courtesy I Like Crochet Magazine

Swirling Valley Circular Throw is made up of only three colors but utilizes six colors per round, so if you wanted something to have a real spiral effect you could simply use six different colors in this throw instead of each color twice.

I like this design for kids, I can easily see it in bright vibrant colors to adorn a play room, or even in soft pastels to create a dazzling throw for baby.

I have an additional confession, when I started working the final rounds I was getting a bit exhausted, thinking that they would never end. This is typical of large circles, but the color changes at least kept it more interesting and manageable, so this did not become an un-finished project (UFO) in my work bag.

 

Parisian Champagne Throw-A Nice Little Piece

It is always a fun morning when I learn  that I have a new design out and published that I can share with the world. Today the Parisian Champagne Throw is available in the August 2017 issue of I Like Crochet Magazine is out and alive in the world.

This throw actually started out in a smaller format. The motifs that I have designed, I originally considered for a thread table cloth. I have fun working up the little round motifs and thought they fit together a bit like clockwork. However after creating a square contaminating 4 of them I felt that they would be a really busy looking pattern for a table cloth. Thus they became a 4 square motif in themselves, and then joined with others. As is usual I have worked these motifs as “join as you go”, so there is no sewing or seaming needed.

My decision to alter the original design from a thread table cloth, really was one of complete practicality. This design really works best with two colors and weaving in all the ends necessary for a table cloth…in thread…was a bit too daunting for me to consider.

The design is worked up in a heavier weight yarn then you might usually consider, but this helps give it a practical picnic use for these warm months, while still giving a practical warmth factor for cooler months. It is pretty easy to find two colors that you enjoy together, and this throw works great with any of them. Personally I really like how the soft cream really allows the coral to pop, giving a comfortable and subtle contrast.

This throw can also be taken down a bit, attempt it in a baby yarn and create a memorable baby blanket, without having to worry about meeting the gauge, as the smaller yarn and hook will automatically adjust the motifs to a correct size.

I hope that you give this throw a try, and share your progress with me. I still haven’t got a table cloth, but maybe the next design.

A Perfect Flair for Summer- Dare to Flair Toddlers Dress

I really enjoy when I have a design that looks fashionable and creative, and more difficult than it actually is to construct. The Dare to Flair Toddlers Dress fits this description. It can be found in the June 2017 issue of I Like Crochet Magazine, and dependent upon the size you make, uses no more than 2 skeins of Lisa Souza Dyeworks Hardtwist yarn.

This girls dress worked in Tunisian Simple stitch is comprised of strips, so you make only rectangles and triangles, these are put together with Reverse Single Crochet, to add an almost rope like edging between all the panels and the edging. I love how this dress allows even a relative beginner complete a project that shines like an advanced piece.

Dare to Flair Toddler Dress www.lindadeancrochet.com

Dare to Flair Toddler Dress Photo courtesy Prime Pulishing

The pattern is sized for a 2T through a girl size 8, and can easily be customized. Add length by making the rectangles longer, add width by making rectangles wider. You may need to make some adjustments on the triangles, but this will depend upon where you want the flair to begin, at the waist, at the thigh, maybe at the hip.

I enjoy the versatility that this dress has, and how it really allows variegated yarn to color pool in a way more like knitting. This design would also be fun worked in color blocks, meaning working different panels different colors and joined together.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

Photo courtesy Prime Publishing

Whenever I design clothes for kids, I always try to make it something that they can be successful getting dressed in themselves. So the piece has not really front of back, hence no way to put it on backwards. If it gets turned inside out, the fabric on the inside is just as pretty as the outside. Pair it with legging, or length it for a full dress effect. Ever little girl will want to wear this dress.

The Book Club Afghan- A Twist On an Old Classic

ScannedImageClassic Aran Fisherman afghans are ones that I have long admired. They are solid colors with panels of great textures like basket weave, cables, and popcorns, they always remind me of an almost formal bedroom type style, finished in fringe…well this could be the influence of the 1970’s on my childhood.

I have made one of these traditional style throws several years ago. I remember being frustrated with the tension of my first panel with the rest of the afghan, as it was looser than the rest, resulting in one side being taller than the other. And since it is worked the length, there were to many stitches for me to justify ripping it back and starting again.

Book Club Afghan, I like Crochet, February 2017 www.lindadeancrochet.com

Book Club Afghan I Like Crochet, February 2017 Photo courtesy Prime Publishing

I decided to recreate a more modern feel of this classic style with my latest design, found in the February 2017 issue of I Like Crochet, the Book Club Afghan. This blanket is worked the length of the afghan, with “panels” of different texture, different textures of lace. There are three differing types of lace separated by simple stitches, and creating a classic feel. When it is finished it is finished with fringe creating a feel for the classic while being lighter and airier.

This blanket can still dress up any bedroom, but since it does not feel as weighted down with heavy texture it has a more contemporary instead of classic feel allowing for a wider range of uses. This blanket is great for kids, or a throw on the sofa, or even kept in the car for an impromptu picnic.

If you wanted to deviate from the solid colors, consider creating the “traditional” crochet stitches separating the lace in one color, and working the lace stitches in another. This would offer a dramatic appearance as color would embolden this already distinct design.

Book Club Afghan, I Like Crochet, February 2017 www.lindadeancrochet.com

Book Club Afghan I Like Crochet, February 2017

The lace stitches also help correct the problem of tension I had in my classic experience, as the lace is a bit more forgiving, allowing more stretch in the stitches and reducing “accidental growth”.

I hope you enjoy working it as much as I did.

Chrysanthemums Keeping It Warm

 

ScannedImageIt is beginning to feel like autumn in my little corner of the world. We had our season’s first measureable rain fall, the leaves are beginning to turn to yellows and oranges and reds and purples. The evenings are cooling off, and I even find myself setting a nightly fire. This is just perfect conditions for my latest design found in the October 2016 issue of I Like Crochet magazine, the Chrysanthemum Throw.

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Chrysanthamum Throw Photo courtesy I Like Crochet

The squares of Chrysanthemums definitely make me think of the decorations during Thanksgiving meals. The construction is a little unique for a crochet motif as there is a round that you turn your work and fan the petals. It is like shells folded over on itself to form almost a cone type petal. Also by turning the work, you get a different look of the stitch, as the reverse side of stitches as a little more bumpy appearance then the front side. This causes a little more texture, and really brings the feeling of flowers to the work.

This throw is worked as a join-as-you-go, so there is no sewing. Instead you have a quick working motif, which becomes a quicker throw. The look is structured, simple and clean as a single flower is bordered by a solid band. It is worked up in colors that highlight the fall season, yet just chancing colors to greens, whites and yellows, can make this a dreamy spring feeling throw.

This design came into being in the same manner as the Astral Flowers Throw, as can be recognized with the same color palette. They both grew out of a physical expression of thought and caring for a friend that lost her daughter. One mutual friend organized many to create 6” squares that she volunteered to assemble into an afghan. The outpouring was so great she made 4 afghans. Flowers can always say so much, without even saying a word.