Posts filed under ‘Project Report’
For the past week, I have been turning that yummy yarn that I bought from Creatively Dyed Yarns at last year’s Maryland Sheep & Wool (MDSW) into a fun and comfy sweater that I can show off at this year’s MDSW. I have been super stressed and had some extra time on my hands since we traveled by car to Florida (from Virginia!) for the funeral of a close family member. Honestly, this yarn has kept me sane over the past week. I am so pleased with my progress too….as I posted a couple of weeks ago, this yarn will be a sweater someday – and, hopefully, sooner rather than later since MDSW is less than one month away. Can’t wait! I already have my wish list in mind.
Inspired by my favorite charater on Downton Abbey, the ”Lady Violet” shawl is finally done and ready for primetime! This project took a year to complete, but it was definitely worth every stitch. I love the pattern (an old find from Bernat) and the feel of this incredible yarn by Roman Hills. Of course, this is their The Dowager Countess colorway from their Downton Abbey collection.
My hook is finally back in full gear again. Yesterday, we were given our Secret Santa’s for our team’s Christmas party in December. Of all things, my Secret Santa asked for hand-made “tall” socks. It was like divine providence stepped in since these were randomly assigned and I am the only yarn-addict on our team. After spending a good hour searching online for the perfect yarn, I realized that I already HAD the perfect yarn in my stash! YIPPEE! It took a while to find it, but I finally got my hands on my Cherry Tree Hill, Supersock yarn (100% superwash merino). It is so cuddly soft and I can’t wait to see the look on her face.
I picked what I hope to be a fast and easy pattern – Crochet Hear & Sole Socks, designed by Alison Grenier. I do have to make a few modifications for the “tall” version, but I am hoping that won’t be too major. My oldest daughter saw what I was planning and her eyes turned green with envy, so now I have to make 2 pairs before Christmas…..not to mention finish all of the other WIPs dormant in my yarn corner by New Year’s Day 2013.
Dare I even ask Santa for more yarn?
Sharon Silverman’s new book, Crochet Scarves – Fabulous Fashions, Various Techniques (Crochet Scarves), is a true joy. I flipped open the book and immediately fell in love with all 21 patterns. There are scarves made in traditional crochet, Tunisian crochet and even one done in broomstick lace.
“I was looking for projects that would be beautiful to wear and would also be good teaching tools. Scarves are small enough to take a chance on, with a new technique, an exotic yarn, or a different style than you’re used to,” explained Sharon. “They don’t take a huge investment in time or materials, but are fulfilling to make, wear, or give as gifts. I’m very pleased with the variety of projects in the book. Seven of the projects are Tunisian crochet, and I really hope that crocheters who haven’t tried this technique yet will give it a go.”
Crochet Scarves is filled with clever designs that are perfect for laidback summer-time stitching – try a new technique without becoming invested in a project that will take countless hours to complete. These quick and light projects also are the perfect inspiration for luxury yarns.
Personally, when the book arrived at my front door, I went straight to my stash from Maryland Sheep and Wool to find my Mirabella yarn (50% Angora, 50% wool) by Tess Designer Yarns. I took out my Tunisian crochet hook so that I could try the Premium Cable scarf. This is the first Tunisian design I’ve seen that encourages the use of a cable needle. I use them all the time while knitting cables and I felt silly that I had never thought to use it for my Tunisian cables too.
“From a design standpoint, since there are 21 patterns I had the opportunity to experiment with colors, textures, shapes, edgings…it was a lot of fun. And because scarves come in just one size each, they don’t require the multi-size pattern-writing complexity of items like sweaters,” continued Sharon. That makes Crochet Scarves the perfect choice to get a jump start on your holiday gifts. You can have your list done in no time!
So, What’s Your Favorite Design?
“Like any good ‘mother,’ I can say truthfully that I find things to love in each of my ‘children!’ The stitch definition of the yarn in Catch a Weave, the color palette of Monet’s Village, and the colors and fringe on Classic Plaid come to mind right away,” remarked Sharon when I asked her this question. “However, if I had to choose just one, it would have to be Cactus Lace done in a combination of broomstick lace and regular crochet with Luna laceweight yarn from SpaceCadet Creations. The finished scarf is light as a feather.”
I would have to agree – I was thrilled to see the Cactus Lacus. For those of us who have been a little shy to try broomstick lace, this is the perfect primer. “[This pattern] would be a good starting place, but I would recommend that crocheters try several rows of the pattern with sport or worsted weight yarn and bigger hook first. The stitches in broomstick lace are not difficult, but it takes some practice getting used to managing the loops, not losing any, sliding the hook through the loops, etc. It makes sense to get comfortable with the technique before trying it with laceweight yarn,” commented Sharon.
My other top picks, include:
Marabou is a show stopper – it’s simply gorgeous.
Swallowtail Cowl has outstanding lines.
SeaSplash is so light and airy.
Crochet Scarves – Fabulous Fashions, Various Techniques can be purchased on www.amazon.com. However, I am giving away a copy of the book to one lucky winner. Post a comment below about this amazing book and I will include you in the drawing on August 17th. Be sure to include your name!
For more information on Sharon Silverman’s incredible designs and what’s on the horizon for her, simply visit www.sharonsilverman.com. “One exciting thing [that I am working on] is a partnership with the folks at World Wide Yarns, who are putting together crochet kits for sale. So far, I’ve created two original designs for them – the Peach Fab throw using Colinette’s “AbFab” yarns and the Ripples on the Lake wrap using Dyelot Yarn’s “Recovery Package”. I’m working on a couple of book ideas and some magazine proposals–any requests, let me know! The best way to find out about my projects is on my website, www.sharonsilverman.com, on Facebook at Sharon Silverman Crochet, or on Ravelry at CrochetSharon. I’m also looking into the possibility of creating custom home decor items for interior designers,” Sharon concluded.
Here’s an update on my Lady Violet shawl. I am almost 1/3 done…..this will be finished in time for the 3rd season of Downton Abby, for sure. Won’t this be perfect for Mary and Matthew’s wedding? I hope I get invited.
P.S. – I am still figuring out how to use my new light box…..I am not 100% happy with the results, but practice makes perfect.
Here’s what is on my hook these days….life has been so crazy that a few moments each night is all I can spare for my crochet obession. Between my new job and juggling my family obligations, I am lucky if I get to play with my new yarn from Roman Hills at all. Isn’t it divine, though?!?
It is a part of their Downton Abbey collection. This is The Dowager Countess. Can you guess what is my favorite show and who is my favorite character?
I am using an old 1976 Bernat pattern for this project. I had been saving this lucky online find for the perfect yarn….tadah!!!!
Now, I have shifted gears back to my evolving design, The Gardenia Capelet, which features some fabulous yarn from Miss Babs. I am putting the finishing touches on the garment and then I must write-up the pattern. I will be looking for several pattern testers soon…..so, stay tuned and let me know if you are interested.
At several moments throughout this week I stopped to ponder about the fact that I have been “in the closet” for most of life with regards to my passion for all things crochet. Most of the folks who knew me, up until recently, had absolutely no idea that I ran home every night to play with yarn. I had always dreamed of designing and teaching and immersing myself in the crochet world; however, it was not until I got involved with CGOA and Ravelry that I decided to step out the closet and truly embrace my hook. Thank you fellow yarn divas – it feels so great to be “out-ed.” I am crocheting like a mad woman and enjoying every single minute of it. I finally have the courage to put my designs out there and to share my crochet obsession with the world. I am no longer ashamed of keeping a hook and yarn in my purse. There’s nothing like a few stolen moments of crochet time. Best of all, I can officially call myself a crochet teacher and designer. Goodness, this has been a blast!
I just finished my latest project for the Fresh Designs Crochet series by Cooperative Press. It is such a cathartic feeling; it’s like giving birth – there’s a gestation period, there’s the labor and then finally the joy of holding the completed bundle in your hands. Now, I have turned back to an exciting little project that I started a while back – my Glamour Bolero. It’s an adaptation of a Japanese pattern, the Net Stitch Bolero by Pierrot Yarns, and made in Vanna’s Glamour yarn by Lion Brand, which provides the perfect amount of bling.
Crocheting from the chart has been a nice change of pace. There is a bit of math involved as I customize the fit for myself, but even that has been fun too. In fact, I hated to put my hook down and stop to block the first phase of the project; but, hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be able to start on the gorgeous lace border. I hope this one is ready for my 15th-year wedding anniversary next month. I’d love to wear it out to dinner with my beau!
A little bit of yarn therapy is the best balm for the weary crocheter’s soul – especially when you feel stressed and overextended, like I currently do. This week I turned to truly the most decadent yarn ever to find calm and inner peace – a merino/cashmere/nylon blend called MCN Worsted by Indigodragonfly. Trust me, it is better than anything you could imagine! It’s pure ecstasy.
The color shown here is “Also, I Can Kill You With My Brain” and it will be featured in my latest design. Most of you know that I have been working on a couple of pieces for the new Fresh Designs Crochet series by Cooperative Press. So, fortunately, that means that I get to play with this exquisite yarn while trying my hook at menswear. It’s like someone paying you to open presents on Christmas morning!
In fact, I actually love designing for my boys – my husband and my son. Unfortunately, though, the industry keeps telling me that there is no real market for menswear patterns. I’d like to prove them wrong one day!
So, to wet your appetite, here’s a sneak peek at my upcoming menswear design….And, thank you Indigodragonfly for allowing me to play with this incredible yarn!
Pop Quiz: Can you guess which Tunisian crochet stitch is featured here?
It’s a long story, but I am going to a wedding next month and I need a long-sleeve bolero to wear with one of my famous thrift store finds. This time it was a brand new, 100% silk designer dress with the tags still on it for $8.98….yes, under $9.00! When I found it sitting on the back of the rack, I quickly looked from right to left and snatched it up as fast as I could! Anyway, to make a long story a bit shorter, I need a cover-up to wear over the dress since it is sleeveless and I have an arm complex…..can we say “bat wings” everyone?
So, I decided to spend a lovely Friday night strolling through Ravelry’s pattern database, and I found this one, Net Stitch Bolero by Pierrot Yarns. It’s in Japanese, of course, and it only includes one size. Since I am not “one size fits all” according to Asian standards, – yes, I lived in Asia for 2 years, so I know this for a fact - I quickly had to get busy adjusting the pattern to my larger American size 14. Then, I decided that I wanted to change it a bit more and add long sleeves. But, of course, I could not stop there….I decided that I wanted to use a slightly thicker yarn that was already in my stash and matches the dress perfectly….now you see – I have found Pandora’s box.
My quest for a nice “easy breezy” bolero pattern to whip up over the weekend turned into quite an adventure. The good news is that I never have time to actually make stuff for myself and this is a nice change of pace. Also, with the thicker yarn, it is working up very quickly. In fact, I just may have this done and out the way for more design work by the end of the week. That would be a record!