A Really Fun Technique- Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers

Sometimes you have a design where the yarn does all the work, this means that the stitches may be fairly easy, but since the yarn has character the item really looks more difficult than it is. This is true with color pooling projects, like my latest design Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers from Red Heart Yarns.

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers www.lindadeancrochet.com

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers Photo courtesy, Red Heart

Planned Pooling is when you plan your stitches to have the colors of variegated yarns stack up in a desired way. I might be exaggerating slightly about it being completely easy, you do have to pay attention to your tension so that you place the correct color in the correct stitch (Marly Bird has a great video about it here).

So these wristers look great and keep your arms warm, and only take two skeins (one for the argyle, one for the trim). The argyle is worked in what is referred to as a “Moss” or “Linen” stitch, which is simply a single crochet and a chain 1, worked into a chain-1 space. This stitch has a benefit to planned pooling as it is very forgiving with a change in tension. It is necessary to change your tension (either make a stitch tighter or looser) to ensure that the correct color is worked in the correct location.

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers www.lindadeancrochet.com

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers Photo courtesy Red Heart Yarn

It may take a little practice to get the hang of this technique, but then you might become addicted…I have talked to several people that once they finally discovered how to make the planned pooling work, had to try it with every color variegated yarn they could find, just to see if they could get that yarn to pool too.

The wristers are worked as a rectangle then seemed, then the trim is added. If you need the wristers to fit a wider arm you simply work the rectangle longer, if you want the wristers to fit your arm longer then you work the trim wider. Making it an easy to customize pattern. The added bonus to this pattern, besides it being free, is that it is available in a free e-book with 9 planned pooling patterns….and did you notice that my design is gracing the cover? Yes, I think that is kind of cool.

Cartwheeling Filigree Wrap- Great Things Come to Those that Wait

ScannedImageSome ideas are all about timing. Cartwheeling Filigree fits this description.

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Cartwheeling Filigree Wrap Photo courtesy Annie’s

This triangle motif wrap design was envisioned a few years ago. I loved how the motif had a very floral feel, it felt so feminine. The triangle allowed me to have the “flowers” staggered, and share an openness that gives a very spring like attribute.

When I originally put this design together, the editors loved it, but it wasn’t quite the fit for the magazine issue they were creating. This happened more than once, and waiting was its best thing that could have happened as it allowed Cartwheeling Filigree to grace the pages of the 15th Anniversary Edition of Crochet! Magazine (the Spring 2017 issue). In the world of current publishing 15 years is a long time, and anniversary issues attempt to make a special splash of all the favorites over the years as well as classics, so it is an honor to be included with all the other fabulous designs.

m22166_sc_small2This wrap can have a very different feel if a yarn is used. It is featured in Spud & Chloe Stripey Fine yarn, it is a superfine (fingering) weight yarn that is comprised of superwash wool and silk. The wool gives it a little “springiness” and a bit of body, if it 100% silk it would have a true luxury drape.

If you are looking for something a little larger and heavier, you can increase the yarn size and the hook size to create a piece that can add warmth as well as style. While working this same design with thread can create a very enticing table cloth. Working in a solid color also presents a more classic feel.

This design has a simplicity to it that allows it to be much more than it initially appears. I hope it inspires you see how wonderful simple can be.

An Afghan First for Me- Hand Dyed

ScannedImageThis is actually a first for me. Now I have made what seems like a gazillion afghans, I have designed several, but Transmute Square really is a first for me; It was designed specifically with hand dyed yarns.

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Transmute Square Throw

Why does that make it so different, well for starters most people feel like hand dyed yarns are out of the price range, and thus an afghan is really not affordable. So I managed to create Transmute with only 6 skeins of yarn.

The unique thing about this yarn, Lisa Souza Targhee, is that is 100% Targhee wool. Targhee wool is an American breed, please note America is not known as a very large producer of wool, most of the world’s wool comes from New Zealand and Australia. Yet Targhee is a new heritage breed in the United States, so for me, it is local. Granted being 100% wool it may felt, so it care for it I use the delicate setting on the washing machine and I hang it on the clothes line to dry (or you could use the dryer with an “air only” setting, or little or no heat). This yarn will create a throw that is warmer than its acrylic counterpart, even with open work.

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Transmute Square Throw

So aside from the yarn characteristics, the fact that it is hand dyed creates a different effect in designing, the color repeats of this colorway, Deep Sea, is subtle, but as with most of these yarns the color repeats are not exceptionally long. I broke up these little sections of color with open work, to allow the eye to continually find visual interest.

Created with miter squares, this throw is completely join as you go, so you do not have to sew any squares together. This allows for a carefree kind of project, in a design that can easily be used in a masculine or feminine setting. By varying the square size this throw has a dynamic impact on its surroundings while having a very modern flair.

So consider opening your experiences to some yarns that you may not have thought of, you never know what gem you might find, and check out my Transmute Square pattern to put them to use.

Firelight Shawl a Quick Stunning Work Up

ScannedImageI love a little challenge, and the Firelight Shawl was that for me. As I have stated before, I enjoy having a design that has some constraints, and a desired goal. I often find one-skein projects a fun challenge, however this time it was to create this shawl with a limited number of cones of thread, and a limited number of beads.

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Firelight Shawl

The shape is one that I have found I have a little draw toward, it is stacked short row triangles. I love how this fans outward and has a great uneven edge. It is fun to work up, and hard to put down. I find that if the pattern has a nice “let me get there” point I end up crocheting more. This usually takes me a little further in the work then just a simple row repeat that I can stop at any time.

The bead placement on this shawl definitely highlights the added bling. Unfortunately photos never tend to pick them up well, but trust me it is loaded with beads. There are beads placed at least every 4 stitches, and even then, it is three beads at once.

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Firelight Shawl

Essentially the same stitch is used throughout, with the exception of the beads. Tunisian Crochet is utilized in a Double Knit Stitch, this stitch creates a nice open airy feel to the fabric, while really allowing the yarn and beads to shine.

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Firelight Shawl

There are plans to make a knit version of this pattern, but it does take me a bit longer to get that done and I did not want to hold this up for anyone that might want to create a quick stunning holiday gift. I hope to have knitting ready at the beginning of the year, it is a work in progress. In the meantime give Firelight a try, it is a quick little piece of dazzle that will make you smile.

You can check it out on Craftsy or Ravelry.

Crochet Month Celebration- Free Pattern & Discounts!

ScannedImageI can hardly believe that a month long celebration of crochet is really almost over. Crochetville put together quite the blog tour this year and I am grateful that they have invited me to attend again this year, (if you have missed any stops, make sure and check them out here).

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I will admit that I have found it fun to see the focus on various social media outlets about Crochet Month, but in my personal reality nothing changed too much as crochet is my everyday celebration. I find a little something that fascinates me with this craft nearly daily. It may be the fact that there are so many different locations to place a stitch and get such a different effect that it is almost too numerous to count. It may be that the same pattern worked in a different yarn or with a different fiber can create a completely different look. It might also be that if you just change your hook everything can change. It might seem like small details, but these small details can make all the difference.

I know I probably sound like an artist that is explaining different shades of red, because the most important thing about crochet is the way it makes you feel to create. My personal soap box is that there is never “wrong” crochet, because if you enjoy it, that is all that matters. A statement that I students always enjoy is “If your friends point out your crochet mistakes, they are not your friends”.

To aide your enjoyment of the crochet celebration, I am sharing a free pattern. This pattern, The Small Empress Jeweled Egg, may be a little late for the Easter holiday, but as you may have the plastic eggs around, and these are cute additions that you can use for spring decorations. In addition I am giving a free pattern coupon for my Ravelry store. Buy any patterns totaling at least $9 and receive your choice of any pattern FREE by using code NatCroMo2016 until April 6, 2016.

Also, I am excited to share that I am teaching at the annual Crochet Guild of America conference, known as Chainlink in some crowds and the Knit & Crochet Show in others, this July in Charleston, SC. If you plan on attending, please consider my classes. I would love to meet you there!

Don’t forget to check out all the other stops today on this ride along the blog tour, places like my friend Vashti Braha, I always love reading what she has to say.

If you need some help or ideas for using beads, check out some of my tips here.

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Small Empress Jeweled Egg I do not know why the photo wants to be on its side….

Skill level: Advanced Beginner       Measures to fit plastic egg, with no ease

Material List:

  • Size F/5/3.75mm hook
  • Lincatex Gold Rush super fine weight 80% Rayon, 20% Metallised Polyester yarn (100m/25g per cone)
  • #6 size Czech glass beads 60 grams (beadbiz.org)
  • Small plastic egg, 1 1/4”wide x 1 7/8” long
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge: is not critical for this project

Pattern Note /Special Stitches

Bead Crochet (bc): Slip 1 bead to hook, YO, pull through loop on hook.

Double Crochet 2 together (dc2tog): YO, insert hook into indicated stitch, YO and pull through, YO pull through 2 loops, YO insert hook into next indicated stitch, YO pull through, YO pull through 2 loops, YO pull through last 3 loops.

Small Empress Ornament       Thread 60 beads

Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as foundation ch plus dc), bc, [dc, bc] all in 5th ch from hook 7 times, sl st to top of beg ch 4. (8 dc, 8 bc)

Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), dc in same st, bc, [2 dc in next dc, bc] 7 times, sl st to top of beg ch 3. (16 dc, 8 bc)

Rounds 3-7: Ch 3, dc in next dc, bc, [dc in next 2 dc, bc] 7 times, sl st to top of beg ch 3. (16 dc, 8 bc)

Insert small egg and work subsequent rounds.

Round 8: Ch 2 (counts as first dc2tog here and throughout), sk next dc, bc, [dc2tog in next 2 dc, bc] 7 times, sl st to to of beg ch 2. (8 dc2tog, 8 bc)

Round 9: Ch 1, sc8tog  in all dc sts, finish off.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

dc: double crochet

rep: repeat

sc: single crochet

sk: skip

sl st: slip stitch

st(s): stitch(es)