Crochet Craftvent- Sugar Plum Fairy

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is fast approaching. I already have students working on crochet gifts, and have friends making holiday plans; I am in awe of this organization. I really use to be on top of the calendar many years ago, but somehow have lost this skill as I have gotten older.

Fortunately this year I have an easy count down, I designed the first Crochet Craftvent for Jimmy Beans Wool, Sugar Plum Fairy. So, if you are like me the first question is …what is Craftvent? Well in a nut shell it is like an advent calendar but with yarn and yarn related treats!

The shawl is broken up to manageable sizes and the yarn is balled up in just the right size amount so that you can open a new square on the countdown to Christmas. Just like when you were a kids and had the little boxes with pieces of chocolate; okay, my sweet tooth usually meant that I would break into several day ahead, but it was still a treat.

There are 8 different yarns highlighted in this shawl, as a result it becomes a bit of a “yarn taste” treat for the user. You get to play with many different yarn that may not be in your everyday stash of yarns. There are yarns with sparkle, yarns with great stitch definition, yarns with beautiful colors, it is a special gift with every day supply of yarn.

In addition Jimmy Beans Wool has “extra” notion treats placed throughout the calendar. What a great gift for yourself, or your favorite crocheter.

The shawl itself begins at the narrow points and increases along one edge. It is an essentially 2 different sets of patterns, one a bit lacy, one with a bit of texture. Both patterns are simple row repeats, and it is the combination of these with the color changes that creates such a dynamic piece.

Once you wrap this shawl around your shoulders it really comes to life, it really frames the face well with the colors and texture. It is stunning on everyone.

Get yours HERE! Quantities are limited!

Destination Shawl- Simple and Bold

Often times it is something simple that makes the boldest statement. This has taken me some time to learn, that a design does not need to be super busy or flashy; just take away everything that is unnecessary and it will shine.

Destination Shawl

I probably do not always follow this simple statement, but in the case of Destination Shawl, I think it works.

This triangle shawl is worked center neck outward, in a simple stitch pattern, and with simple very fine yarn. The yarn is Mondofil Japon, a super fine weight 60% Rayon/40% Japanese Paper yarn/thread that is found on a cone. It has an interesting texture a bit like a linen, but gets softer when it gets wet.

The Destination Shawl is light and airy, reminding me of a day at the ocean as it only offers a hint of being there yet still offers a statement. The color bands are a bit deceptive as they are actually staggered in width to provide an artistic balance and to draw the eye outward.

Destination as it is, is perfect for warm weather, but my simply changing the yarn to a light wool or mohair and this becomes a great cold weather wrap.

If you have never made a shawl before, or if you are a seasoned veteran at the skill, this shawl will be one you will enjoy.

 

Excursion Wrap! This Is A Show Stopper!

I love when a design comes out like I was hoping! Excursion Wrap came out just as I envisioned, okay, better than I could have hoped. I saw this design in my mind as soon as I laid hands on the yarn, it just came to me and I had to find a way to get it worked up in the stitches.

Excursion Wrap

That is not to say that it came out perfectly in just one try, I ripped things back several times. I played with some different combinations of stitches and color sequins before finally landing on the perfection, and the difficulty of using multiple color rows and designing like this is when ripping back I end up with many more ends to weave in….some right in the middle of rows, as I ensure the use of all the yarn.

The wrap is worked in 2 contrasting colors, which offer a bold definition of the design. The yarn is Silk Baby Camel by Lisa Souza Dyeworks, and is lusciously yummy! It is soft, but with nice structure, making it a dream to work with. Being that the pattern only takes 2 skeins, it is manageable in both crocheting and in cost.

The lacy ripple pattern is worked as a 3 row repeat, so it is simple to memorize yet keeps the pattern engaging. So you can work the stitch pattern successfully without getting bored with it.

The color sequencing is what really brings this design to life, it demands the eye to transverse the entire piece and then to look again. The altering of the stitch pattern and the colors offers a cascading effect of interest that will definitely have you garnering praise.

This wrap is a show stopper, one that makes people stop and admire your handiwork. I already have plans to work up this design a couple of more times….once is just not enough!

Get your pattern here!

 

Gotta Love that Shawl- Free Pattern

Since I have been playing around with some stitches, and attempting to finish some yarn in my stash, I have a free pattern to share. Gotta Love that Wrap is worked entirely of Love Knots! If you are not familiar with the stitch I have a tutorial here.

I love how you can use this pattern really with any yarn, although I prefer it with lighter weight yarns. The Wrap in phots here was actually worked up in Plymouth Yarns Linaza, which is 50% alpaca, 25% linen and 25% Tencel, so it really hold the shape of the knot.

The benefit of this yarn is that it really allows the yarn to go along way, the yarn I used was 100g/440yards, and as you can see it made for a wide and long wrap. So feel free to pull something out of your stash and give it a try, or purchase that one skein in a color you love.

This design is actually only a 2 row repeat, so it is pretty simple and relaxing to work. I would recommend that you place a stitch marker somewhere along row 1, to note it as the bottom edge. As the fabric is worked along and becomes squarer, it can be difficult to discern which way the rows are being worked.

The pattern is essentially creating the points of triangles in each even row, the closing it off to a straight edge every odd row, and when the pattern states to slip stitch in the knot, the knot is recognized as the most closed point of the stitch (where is was finished).

Gotta Love that Shawl

Materials:

  • One skein of any yarn, light weight preferred. The longer the yardage the longer the wrap
  • Hook size compatible for yarn weight

Gauge: Gauge is not critical for this project.

Special Stitches

Love Knot: See here

Abbreviations:

Rep=repeat

Sl st= slip stitch

Row 1: 18 Love knots, turn.

Row 2: Skip first knot, sl st in 2nd knot, [2 love knots, sl st in next knot] rep 15 times, turn.

Row 3: 2 love knots, sl st in next knot, [1 love knot, sl st in next knot] rep 15 times, turn.

Row 4: 2 love knots, sl st in next knot, [2 love knots, sl st in next knot} rep 15 times, turn.

Rep Rows 3 & 4 until desired length.

Last Row: Rep Row 3, fasten off. Weave in ends, block as desired.

The Quest Shawl- A Stunning Design

Check out my fun new design, the Quest Shawl!

This asymmetrical shawl, is one that I envisioned after meeting the yarn creator Sabrina of Anzula Yarns. Sabrina exudes a great energy, and that really comes out in all the fabulous colors of her yarn. It really is an inspiration for me, and I have a couple more designs in the works as I speak (I hope to share them soon).

Quest Shawl

So, Quest Shawl is worked from a point with subtle increases working outward to form a triangle, in a pattern of lace stitches and textural stitches. This stitch difference is played with a contrasting color change and you have some very dramatic effects. It has a simple stitch pattern repeat, yet enough focus to keep the pattern entertaining.

The long dimensions of this shawl, a staggering 77”x45” (196×114 cm), it can lend itself to multiple ways to wear it, as well as offer a balanced feel. It was pointed out to me that this shawl actually manages to have enough length that when wearing it that the narrow point drapes evenly with a point on the opposite side. This may not seem like much, but I have noticed that smaller shawls of this type, almost feel like the narrow point can be a bit of a tail.

The yarn is Haiku, a light weight 70% Superwash Merino/20% Bamboo/10 % nylon yarn, which is really soft and luscious. I really love how it drapes, and the feel in the hand.

I have found that when I wear this shawl, that I get stopped with compliments. I usually pair it over a black dress, but even over a pair of jeans and simple top this shawl offers a look that is hard to forget.

Get your show stopper and have fun creating your own stunning look (find the pattern here).