Cotton Classic- a Little Different than “Traditional”

Some yarns always inspire me, some always tell me what they want to be, others, well maybe not so much. Cotton Classic by Tahki Stacy Charles is one of the former, it can always find a design in my mind.

Cotton Classic is 100& Mercerised Cotton and this sometimes causes people to pause. The term cotton is generally understood, it had a great marketing campaign throughout the 1980’s about how it is a naturally grown product that lets the fabric breath. Cotton also is stronger when wet, has limited stretch, and many think of it shrinking when first washed. This first wash shrinking, is not like felting of wool, this is essentially because cotton, being a short in length fiber, has more “twist” worked into the yarn in order to hold the fibers together (if a strand is long it does not need to be twisted together as much to hold, while something short needs to have more twists to ensure the hold) this puts a lot of tension on the fiber. When the yarn (of cotton shirt) finally gets fully submerged in water it actually allows the fiber to relax, this allows it to release the tension, and this caused the fiber to contract. So cotton will only shrink in the first washing whereas wool will continue to shrink with washings.

Cotton Classic by Tahki www.lindadeancrochet.com

Cotton Classic by Tahki Stacey Charles

The term that confounds many is Mercerised. Mercerised is a process that removes the slight halo effect that can accompany a cotton fiber, this is essentially the tiny ends of the fiber protruding from the yarn. To Mercerise the yarn, or thread is brought over an open flame to burn off the fibers. This creates a yarn that has a nice smooth finish that has great stitch definition. Another side effect of this process is that it does not allow the cotton to absorb water as is normally considered. Thus Mercerised Cotton is not recommended for dish clothes, where regular cotton will work wonderfully.

I find Cotton Classic is wonderful for warm weather projects, dressy scarves, home décor items, a great market bag. I even love it for tank tops and cover ups. This yarn has a wide arrange of colors available, and it shows of lace work stitches and textural stitches fabulously. It comes in small hanks of 1.75oz/50g with 108 yds/100m. It is a light weight and has nice drape on larger hooks.

Consider it for your next summer weather project, and don’t worry about this cotton reminding you of a dish rag.

Timaru- Yarn Fun with Bamboo

In the world of yarn there can be many really exotic fibers, but at the end of the day we all usually fall back to the most affordable and common. That is why it is a treat to come across a yarn that offers so much to a design, and can take the basic to extraordinary.

One of these extraordinary yarns is Timaru from Lisa Souza Dyeworks. It is a fingering weight yarn that is comprised of 65% Superwash Merino and 35% Rayon of Bamboo. It has a very generous 500 yards per 100 gram hanks, so it goes a long way.

Timaru....www.lindadeancrochet.com

Timaru by Lisa Souza Dyeworks Merino with Bamboo yarn

The Superwash Merino ensures that this yarn is going to be soft, and can have some warmth, as well as being treated so that it does not felt or shrink. Merino is a great wool, but it is not what makes this yarn so special, in this case it is the Bamboo.

The bamboo in this yarn indicates that it is a Rayon, this means that the bamboo is made into a pulp, using the leaves, and some stem. It is ground down and added to a chemical bath to create “goo”. If you ever made homemade paper, it is a little similar. This pulp is then extruded through small holes to create a long filament. Another name you can find for bamboo processed this way is Viscose.

The way it comes together in Timaru with the Superwash Merino lends itself to a yarn with a great drape. Bamboo gives a cool touch to this yarn, so it makes it very warm weather friendly. It also does not take the dye the same as the wool (a protein fiber, whereas the bamboo is a cellulous fiber), this causes a really beautiful lustrous sheen.

I can easily see this yarn worked up as a shawl, a wrap, a tank top…I even know people that love it as a sock yarn. It has a great amount of versatility without sacrificing its integrity in any project. It might actually be difficult to find a project that this yarn will not shine in.

Make It For Me- Flutterfall Shawl

ScannedImageThank you everyone joint me today from ELK Studio for the month long Make It For Me Event! (If you are not aware of this event, check it out here).

img_7503-2

Flutterfall Shawl By Linda Dean

I am happy to share my Flutterfall Shawl with you as my FREE pattern today. It is primarily created with just a chain stitch, and allows for a simple skein of yarn to go on for what seems like forever, and if you have a varigated yarn, it creates interesting pooling (more than might be usually apparent).

The design begins at the base of the neck and is increased at both sides as well as the center to create a flowing triangle, that is quite graceful.

The sample below is created with just 1 skein of a hand painted yarn, Lisa Souza Dyeworks Deluxe Sock! ( it is light weight, 80% superwash Merino, 10% nylon, 10% cashmere, 4oz/495yds), but the pattern can really be created with any yarn using an appropriate size hook. Just work it until you are happy with the size and add the edging.

img_7499-2

Flutterfall Shawl By Linda Dean

 

Flutterfall Shawl   by: Linda Dean (Get a Printable Version here for $2.00 US)

Stunningly simple, yet the effect is confident and enjoyable. This simple stitch pattern allows the yarn to be the star; it has great drape and fabulous flow. This is a design you will work up over and over again.

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner    Finished Size Approximately: 64”x 31”

Material List:

  • I/9/5.50mm crochet hook
  • Lisa Souza Dyeworks Deluxe Sock! Light weight 80% superwash Merino 10% nylon 10%Cashmere (4oz/495yrds) 1 skein
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge: 4 (sc, ch 3) groups/8 rows= 4”

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

dc: double crochet

rep: repeat

sc: single crochet

sk: skip

sp(s): space(s)

st(s): stitch(es)

Yo: yarn over

Pattern Note /Special Stitches

This pattern starts in the center middle and worked outward.

Shell- [dc, (ch1, dc) 4 times] in the same indicated stitch.

Row 1: Ch 2, [sc , (ch 3, sc) 3 times] all in 2nd  ch from hook, turn. -4 sc, (3) ch-3 sps

Row 2: Ch 6 (counts as dc and ch 3 now and throughout), sc in next sc, ch 3, dc in next ch-3 sp (place marker in dc to mark as center), ch 3, sc in next sc, ch 3, dc in last sc, turn. – 3 dc, 2 sc, (4) ch-3 sps

When working a (sc, ch 3, sc) into a marked dc, move the marker up to the ch-3 sp to mark the center of the shawl. When working a dc into a marked ch-3 sp, move the marker up to the dc to mark the center of the shawl.

Row 3: Ch 1, (sc, ch 3, sc) in same dc, ch 3, (sc in next sc, ch 3) across to marked st, (sc, ch 3, sc) in marked st,  ch 3, (sc in next sc, ch 3) across, ending with (sc, ch 3, sc) in 3rd ch of beg ch, turn.  –8 sc, (7) ch-3 sps

Row 4: Ch 6, (sc in next sc, ch 3) across to marker, dc in center ch-3 sp,  ch 3, (sc in next sc, ch 3) across to last sc, dc in last st, turn. -3 dc, 6 sc, (8) ch-3 sps

Row 5-52: Rep Rows 3 & 4 twenty-three times. – 3 dc, 102 sc, (104) ch-3 sps

Row 53: ch 1, sc in same st, [Shell in next sc, sc in next sc] around. Finish off. -52 shells, 53 sc

Finishing- Weave in ends and block.

Copywrite 2016 Linda Dean Crochet

Cartwheeling Filigree Wrap- Great Things Come to Those that Wait

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

m22166_cartwheelingwrap_300_medium

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.

Bringing Home From Conference

ScannedImage I managed to bring a little of the annual CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) conference home with me. I have many memories, and learned much, but then there were the prizes and giveaways.

0825161039

Night of Jazz Wrap 2nd Place Accessories in the CGOA 2016 Design Competition

I entered the CGOA Design Competition and took 2nd Place in the Accessories Category with my Night of Jazz Wrap. (See all the winners on a slide show here) The Wrap was inspired by a pattern I found for curtain trimming in a Needleworks publication from the 1920’s. I used two skeins of Designing Vashti Lotus yarn in Red Rose color and accented it with #6 Czech beads from Bead Biz, it is essentially crochet rings that are join as you go. Then they are bordered and have centers inserted in the rings, and tassels added. I always seem to design items for this contest that are hard to display, but come alive when worn. This was re-affirmed to me after the winners were announced, I had one of the judges approach me and express that no one was sure about it until they had a model put it on, then they knew it was a winner. I hope to have this pattern available sometime next year, so that I can share the enjoyment of the creation more.

0825161036a

With my purchase of raffle tickets I won the set of Furl Odyssey Hooks with bowl & stand. I won the Knitter Pride Interchangable Crochet hooks as a door prize at the CGOA Banquet

The CGOA was very successful in securing great door prizes and giveaways for the conference, they even offered 2 goody bag nights with bags stuffed with yarns, books, and notions. There were so many more people in attendance then expected that the goody bags ran out early and I neglected bring home any of their content. However I did purchase tickets for an entire set of Furls Odyssey Hooks, with holder and bowl. I was completely surprised when my ticket was drawn, so now I get to enjoy a great new set of hooks, in addition to the Knitters Pride set of Tunisian Crochet hooks that I won as a door prize at the banquet dinner.

I did do a little shopping at the Market Place, Compression Support Socks and a Massage Pillow, both of which I put to immediate use on my swollen feet, but the pillow has become a family favorite at home, and I think it now belongs to my husband.

IMG_20160717_161155784

On the buggy tour…so many flowering trees.

After my board meeting on Sunday after the conference, my friend Karen McKenna, took me to downtown Charleston to see some sights. It was nice drizzling weather, I was happy for this as it meant that it was cooler than the typical day which I had experienced as hot and muggy. We took a buggy ride and learned a little more of the city’s history. I had to focus to understand the accent of our guide and some of the terms used in conversation, but found everything quite interesting. Every tree seemed to have flowers and everything was green, 2 traits I do not see much at home in California, especially in July. We stopped at a little bistro where I actually had fried green tomatoes and grits that I found quite tasty. It was a very enjoyable day and I am grateful that I actually got to see some of the local charm of places I visit.

I could easily take day by day of the conference and write several posts about the happening, the people I met and the adventures I had, but I should probably begin focusing on the next adventure.