Monday, March 15, 2010

Really Happy Crochet Design News!

Behold two newsy items!
First, my Tokyo Jacket design (above right, in green) has been nominated for a Flamie Award for Best Crochet Design (for Adults) of 2009! I'm honored and excited to be included in a category of many excellent designs. For more photos of the Tokyo Jacket (and the full free pattern), click here

Second, the Five Peaks Shawl (above left in plum), is now officially revealed in the Spring 2010 issue of Interweave Crochet magazine. It's my recent experiment in cornerstart Tunisian crochet.
Check out the bonus views, such as at left. I took lots of my own photos--of the construction process, blocking, and different wearing styles (in different kinds of lighting!). View them in my Flickr album and on its Ravelry design page. I've previously blogged about this design here and here (concerning new Tunisian hook options) and here, but I had to be sneaky about it :-)

If the Tokyo Jacket looks familiar, it might be because it has appeared in this blog twice before. One post announced the release of the free pattern at, and another offered tips for making good-lookin' tall crochet stitches, which I developed while working on this design.

Please cast your votes for the Flamies by March 22, 2010 by clicking here; this takes you to a blog post that includes a link to the ballot in survey format. (If I give you the direct ballot link here, I'm told it might not work; it might think you've already voted).

For the Annual Flamies Awards FAQ, click here.

Friday, March 05, 2010

A Be-Ruffled "Craft Fail" in Slip Stitches

I love the CraftFail site! It has taken oh, 5 years or so for me to get ruthless about this craft fail:

It's a shrug crocheted in somewhat loose slip stitches. The 3/4-sleeves end with unusual linked and unlinked triple trebles--a swingy ruffled fantasy. In my mind.

The big reason for the fail is that I used a large crochet hook to make stretchy slip stitches in novelty chenille yarn. I can't think of a bigger invitation for chenille yarn to "worm". Even before the worming began, the stitches stretched unevenly, also thanks to the texture of the yarn. It was especially noticeable on the shoulders (ugh!). To top it off, the angora look turned into a ratty look.
After wearing once or twice, it looked as if an animal had chewed on it 20 years ago.

I couldn't face how fast it went downhill because the ruffles were so time-consuming! As a useful design experiment for me at the time, this makes the ruffle the same as a research swatch, but should I save the whole shrug for one ruffle?

OK yes, there's that whole "turning lemons into lemonade" virtue, and the CraftFail site inspired me to try every which way to make lemonade with this lemon. I tried blocking it, adding black velvet ribbon accents (see photo at right), even going so far as to consider: might this shrug be turned into capri pants? LOL, nooo!

But I will always have my memory of Marty trying it on one night at the 2005 CGOA conference in Oakland, CA. It looked better on her than on me!