Relax with Pink Lemonade

My latest design! Aim to Squeeze Pink Lemonade Blanket is a great baby throw that just screams summer. Find it in the June 2018 issue of I Like Crochet.

It is worked as a half circle and then is squared up, to highlight a half of a pink lemon slice. I will admit, I really did not know that there were such things as pink lemons, not until I undertook this project. The colors are fabulous together, highlighting a yellow rind, sandwiched between blur and pink, then accented the white.

This is a fun project that keeps you engaged, while still allowing you to enjoy yourself. Working the half circle creates all of the lemon segments, you then add the peel and begin to square it up with the blue back ground. You then work the rind between the segments and sit back and relax with a glass of lemonade.

The yarn is Baby Soft by Lion Brand, so it is easy to find, and the colors always go so well together. It is soft and nice to work with.

If lemons are not your thing, I could easily see this as an orange, a grapefruit, lemon or lime. Any citrus can be worked into this design, making it a bit versatile.

I really like the large size of the half slice, as it really encompasses most of the dimensions of the throw. This really offers great visual interest, and makes for a very appealing addition to your home, or kids room.

This is noted as a kids blanket, but personally I like it myself as a nice lap afghan, it is a nice size and helps just take the chill off, or when I am on my patio it helps block the sun without being to hot.

I had a fun time with this project, and I hope you will too.

Crisscross Mesh- The Easy Top

I have long found that using a fine weight yarn and a large crochet hook can create some stunning effects, and my latest design is no exception. The Crisscross Mess Top can be found in the Spring 2018 Special issue of Crochet! Magazine Boutique Style Crochet and I think that you will really enjoy it.

photo courtesy Annie’s

The yarn used for this design, Juniper Moon Farm Zooey DK, is a cotton/linen blend at 60%/40% respectively. It has a slightly uneven texture, being that it is a bit thinner/thicker in some places then others, but not drastically. It is not necessarily the first yarn I would have thought to design with, but I am very happy with the results. Find a more in depth review and thoughts of this yarn from my post in June 2017, here.

The design for this top is really pretty simple. It is rates as easy, and honestly….it is. Basically the large hook and fine yarn do all the work. You simply work 2 different size rectangles, and sew them together, then add sleeves. It only utilizes one crochet stitch, so it is pretty straight forward, yet has a really nice effect. There is no need to worry about shaping, or anything of such, the sleeves use what is referred to as short rows. Short rows are basically the act of not finishing a row, leaving stitches unworked, then when returning to work a row in the same direction you then work the unstitched stitches. Basically if you have 10 stitches in row 1, you work 5 stitches in row 2, as a result there are 5 stitches in row 3, then in row 4 you work the 5 stitches of row 3, and the 5 unworked stitches in row 1, resulting in 10 stitches. Really this is the only technique in this design that is not “repeat Row 2”.

To help the fabric open up, I actually hung it up when I blocked it. The weight of the wet fiber helped pull the stitches open even more than the stitches themselves. This helps give it a casual chic look. However it is definitely not a “wear it alone” type of top. You want to have something underneath, so that effectively makes this a statement type piece.

So if you are looking for a bit of a current fashion statement, give this design a try.

Pechin is a New Classic- A Great Shawl

There are a couple of stitches that always seem to make their way into my work. I find that I create multiple projects using them, and still I never tire of working them. My latest design from Manos del Uruguay and Fairmount Fibers, Pechin, falls into this category.

This shawl is worked from the center of the neck outward, utilizing a simple chain and single crochet combination. I find that this stitch allows that yarn to really be the feature. It creates a light, airy fabric that embodies the yarn to go as far as it can. By this I mean that you can go a long way with just one skein. As an example, Pechin is only a 2 skein shawl (using Manos del Uruguay Milo), and a really good sized shawl at that.

For Pechin, I broke up the chain stitch pattern with bands of shells. This creates a visual break as well as a bit of dimension. The bands gradually space further apart in this design to help keep the flow balanced, and I feel it helps give a really classic look.

I have to admit, I could work this shawl over and over again. The stitch pattern has a nice rhythm, and just enough details, at just the right time, to keep it from getting boring. I also feel that it really has a beautiful balance between the design and the yarn, they feel at harmony with one another as neither over powers the other.

Okay, that might seem a bit wordy or dramatic, but what I mean is that it is a pattern/design in which you can appreciate both the yarn and the design at the same time. I have spoken in the past about how you select a yarn or pattern to bet let one or the other be a highlight, like not using a variegated yarn in a design that is heavily textured, as the yarn will win over the design (read more here). Pechin however, has a balance that allows the yarn to shine as well as the design, and this is true even if the yarn is variegated.

 

Perfect for the Chill- Shurs!

As winter is gripping part of North America and the arctic chill is setting in Manos del Uruguay released my latest pattern, which is perfect to keep warm! Shurs is a cowl that is just the right size, long enough to be wrapped twice for extra warmth and coverage, yet still short enough that wearing it unwrapped has a perfect amount of drape for a classic look.

It is worked in what I refer to as a “cross-hatch” pattern. So, cross-hatch is actually an artist term the is comprised of short strokes made usually by pencil or charcoal that then has short strokes crossing in the opposite direction to create the shading and depth of the drawing. Almost like little “x”s that create an image.

I have worked this cowl similarly, with each row crossing the opposite direction of the last. It allows for an interesting visual effect, as you can catch glimpses of the stitches behind each other, but it also adds in a nice amount of stretch.

In addition to the “crossed” appearance, the stitches begin to stack up and give a very diagonal look, without having any increasing or decreasing stitches being worked. Instead this is a simple 2 row repeat, so it is a design that you can work rather quickly and easily, even for a crocheter that may not be completely confident in their work.

It is worked in Manos del Uruguay Clara, a yarn that is 100% superwash merino (meaning that it is a wool that is treated so that it does not felt, or shrink, but has all the great properties of wool like warmth and durability). It is a hand dyed sport weight yarn, that has a nice amount of spring to it while still having a nice stable yarn.

So, consider a quick project to keep warm this cold season, Shurs I feel is a good choice for this project.

Photos courtesy Fairmount Fibers, Ltd.

Two New Patterns for Autumn- Half Price!

Looking back it seems like I always find myself in this place every year…Autumn. The time of year that apparently has the calendar skipping weeks on me, as I really do not know where the time has gone, while making me feel like there is a ton of things I need to get done in a short span of time. I guess it leaves me overwhelmed, exhausted, and feeling like I have many unmet responsibilities.

So in all this I guess I should be really thankful that I have managed to release not just one, but two new patterns!

Lisa Souza Dyeworks is releasing a few new yarns, and being a designer means that I can sometimes get my hands on this yarn early to create some new ideas. As was the case with Nyam (a Superfine Merino and Cashmere fine weight yarn) and Pyrenees Bulky (a 100% Organic Merino yarn) I was able to create a 1 skein project that is perfect for the holidays.

Nyam lent itself particularly well to my new pattern, Contextual Shawl. This shawl is a simple one row repeat that can really flatter almost any yarn, of any weight, of any size, any fiber content. The size can easily be adjusted to make it larger or smaller, and yet to look at it the pattern is not readily apparent. It works up fast and can be used as a project on the go. I can see this in so many different colors and styles that the possibilities are endless.

Matrix Hooded Cowl worked up great in Pyrenees Bulky. I have not made a lot of cowls in the past, but I can see the appeal. This cowl is again a one skein project that is nice and wide, and the perfect size in my opinion to warm the neck and offer protection form the cold as a hood. The pattern actually has a mirroring quality to it, as halfway across the row you work the mirror image of the beginning. It is a 4 row repeat that has a bit of fun with stacked shapes. Don’t let the open spaces fool you, paired with this yarn it is quite warm, making it tighter might just make it unwearable.

As a special offer to you, as a reader, please enjoy 50% off either of these patterns at my Ravelry Store for the next month (They will be only $2.00 then on November 30 the price resets to its original $4.00). Enjoy your quick paced autumn season.

Links:

Ravelry Store

Contextual Shawl

Matrix Hooded Cowl