The Feature- Braided Edge Cardigan

ScannedImageIt seems that all my patterns tend to release at once! One of my latest designs the Braided Edge Cardigan has been a while in the works.


Braided Edge Cardigan Photo courtesy Annie’s

Sometimes ideas come to you and they are ahead of their time, meaning that no one wants to publish them at that time, but give it a while and they might be much more receptive. This sweater is like that. I came up with the concept a couple of years ago, and it did not make it into publication at the time. I resubmitted it many months later and it was a much better fit for the current collection within the October 2016 issue of Crochet World Magazine.

This cardigan has a really simple stitch pattern for the basic fabric, and after assembling it, then it is edged in a stitch pattern featuring some post stitch work, that creates a unique braid effect.  It is this feature that really makes the sweater standout. If you happen to feel that the post stitches are to challenging you can continue the edging as a simple single crochet, but if you are up for a little challenge it definitively adds a lot of character.

133005_small2What sets this post stitch worked braid apart is that you are essentially working 2 posts stitches together, but one stitch is worked ahead of where your current working stitch is, while the other is behind it. This can seem a little daunting at first, but the first couple of stitches will set the pattern for the rest of the round.

This cardigan is definitely a winner for the autumn season that should be arriving soon. Even as this is shown in a solid color, a nice variegated or ombre yarn could add a very personal feel, becoming a fabulous addition to any wardrobe.

Now I Need My Top- Let the Lace Go

ScannedImageDesigns come to me in many different ways. Let the Lace Go Top, actually came into being because I wanted to wear it!

The summer of 2015, my good friend Vashti Braha was debuting her yarn, Designing Vashti Lotus to the world in her first show floor booth. I wanted to support her, and since I really like her cotton/rayon yarn, I wanted to make something for myself to wear.


Let the Lace Go Top Autumn 2016 Crochet! Magazine Photo courtesy of Annie’s

I began working the vertical body, and almost had it together, when I received a call for submissions for Crochet! Magazine. Even though I liked the top for myself, I decided to submit the idea to the magazine. Ultimately it would benefit my friend more to have my design shared with the world, so others can see what a great yarn she has.

Ellen Gormley loved the top, and so I set my personal top aside to complete the project for the magazine. It 8is now available to you in the Autumn 2016 issue of Crochet! Magazine.

I think it came out great! I like working the fabric vertically as I feel it lends itself to a more slimming line, and the lace on top gives it a lighter feel. There is some interesting construction in this design, as you work the solid body first, then begin the lace in to round. After the lace is a couple of inches long, you attach it to the solid body and continue toward the neck, working in decreases to come over the shoulders to the neck.

CoverI added beads to the lace edging, as a little extra highlight, but also for the practice purpose of helping to keep the lace draping in a manner I like.

Personally I love the color, but it can easily shine in any color. I still haven’t actually finished one for myself…but hopefully soon…it just happens to be another project that is resting on my hook.

Crochet Cursing! Blocking?

ScannedImageI am going to use a curse word in the world of crochet…Blocking. Okay I said it, and I admit it is not my most favorite part of crocheting.
Over all my many years of crocheting, I never blocked my work, but I have a new understanding and appreciation for it in the more recent years.
So in my earlier years of crocheting I mostly created afghans made of acrylic yarn, really looking at it, blocking would not have made much of a difference in my work. But as I began using more natural fibers, I can really see the difference blocking has to offer. This is even true of some of the new synthetic yarns.
I began to thinks about blocking different when someone expressed it as “a way of setting the stitch”. This one phrase opened up a new line of thought about this process, and caused me to investigate how this technique affects my fabric.


Unblocked, they look okay, but the detailing is not as evident.

So what is blocking? Blocking is the process of using moisture to open up the yarn fiber and set it into a desired shape. Yes, you may have already crocheted it into the shape you want, but the original structure of the yarn want s to pull it to itself. By adding moisture, (using a spray bottle of water, or steaming with an iron) the fiber in the yarn relaxes and opens up to the structure you have created. For best results, you should test the blocking on a swatch to determine what the best method of blocking is. Essentially this is a “lay flat to dry” kind of project.
This process is not only used in your finished fabric. The method of getting a fiber wet and setting it to a desired structure actually takes place in handspun yarns as well. It is referred to as “setting the twist”. After a yarn is plied (more than one strand spun together in the opposite direction of the single strands), it is submerged in water to remove the air. It is then snapped like a whip to remove the excess water, and hung to dry, sometimes even weighted (hanging weight at the end of the hank) to set the twists of the yarn. So setting a stitch by blocking is much like setting the twist in the yarn to begin with. It allows the fibers to “receive a new memory” of how to sit and where to belong.


Blocked, you can see more of the open work, and everything is a little crisper and more defined.

I do not use blocking to attempt to create something other then what I stitched, I do not attempt to get an additional several inches to my project and become something it is not. I use it to open up my open stitch work, my lace, help set my edges straighter, help my yarn to know where its new home is.
I guess I really cannot call it a curse word any more; it is a functional tool in my bag of techniques…but still not one that I love…