(Blog Tour) Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 chic garments & accessories by Mary Jane Hall

(Blog Tour) Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 chic garments & accessories by Mary Jane Hall

It’s been a while since I have been able to blog, but I have to come to share about Mary Jane Hall’s new book, Colorful Crochet Lace because it is so fabulous!

Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 chic garments & accessories
Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 chic garments & accessories

Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 chic garments & accessories is a collection of modern garments and accessories designed by Mary Jane Hall and published by Interweave/F+W Media, Inc. Hall used traditional lace techniques, such as fan, shell, popcorn and love knot stitches, and a variety of yarn weights to design clothing and accessories that work for women of all ages and sizes.

Hall created elegant lace scarves, shawls and tops that have a vintage, Victorian flare, but she also went beyond the expected to include other fashionable pieces such as a hooded jacket, flared hem dress and crop top. Some of the garments with more lacy openwork include the Le Chocolate Skirt, Dominique Dress Overlay and Magnifique Modular Tunic, which work well as stylish layers to be worn on top of other garments. Also, the Michelle Ma Belle Shrug and Haute Couture Peplum Top are perfect for those who prefer more solid lace garments.

Le Chocolate Skirt
Le Chocolate Skirt

My personal favorites from the book are the Brigitte Wide Belt, Juliette Scarf and Au Naturel Cropped Top.

Brigitte Wide Belt
Brigitte Wide Belt
Juliette Scarf
Juliette Scarf

Each pattern includes a chart that breaks down the anatomy of the lace stitches. Schematics are also available for the items that require seaming.  This book is designed with a French chic look and feel, and it contains stunning images that show the garments and accessories from multiple angles. The instructions are well written and contain several notes for additional assistance.

Hall concludes her book with an explanation of her Graduated Stitch Method, which she is known for using to shape her garments, along with crochet abbreviations and a stitch glossary.

Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 chic garments & accessories is the perfect book for anyone who loves the look of lace but has been intimidated to try making something fashionable. Also, the repetition of the lace patterns makes it easy for experienced crocheters to make adjustments, if needed.

Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 Chic Garments & Accessories

By Mary Jane Hall

Interweave/F+W; $24.99

Visit Interweave Store

Next on the Blog Tour is Jocelyn Sass of Cute Crochet Chat.  Be sure to check out her chat session and don’t miss the giveaway.

Colorful Crochet Lace Book Blog Tour

 

 

 

Seven Free Patterns for Crochet Gifts

Crochet Me! Free Crochet Ideas: 7 PatternCrochet Me! has put together a free e-book collection of seven crochet patterns that are perfect for handmade gifts.  The collection includes a hat, juggling balls, hat & scarf set, market bag, baby cardigan, lace bracelet, and nesting dolls.

Visit Crochet Me! to download your free book.  Interweave does require free registration to the Crochet Me! membership community which allows you to access the blogs, forums, videos, and galleries. Plus, you can share your work with the other crochet community members.

Crochet Bags and Purses: 7 Free Crochet Bag Patterns

Crochet Bags and Purses: 7 Free Crochet Bag Patterns is another free e-book from Interweave that is available as a free download. You can crochet your own market bag, messenger bag, cell phone case, and more. Some of the techniques included are felting, crocheting motifs, embroidery on crochet, making tassels, and crocheting chevrons.

Interweave Crochet Bags and Purses: 7 Free Crochet Bag Patterns free download

What Is Your Favorite Yarn, Plus Book Giveaway!

Craft Tree: Crocheted Afghans:  A collection of 10 of popular crocheted afghans patterns – GIVEAWAY!

Craft Tree: Crochet Afghans

When I crochet blankets, afghans, and throws, I always seem to run back to my old faithful acrylic yarns.  I like them because they are inexpensive and can go in the washer and dryer.

I want to try some new yarns for some upcoming projects, and I want to know what you all are using for your projects.  So tell me what yarns do you all like to use when you make your crochet blankets, afghans, and throws?  I need some new ideas!

I have two designs featured in Interweave’s Craft Tree: Crocheted Afghans – Seaside Throw and Mulled Spices Afghan, and I am giving away a copy of this paperback book.  Please leave me a comment and tell me what is your favorite yarn to use to crochet your blankets, afghans, and throws by February 28, 2013.  On March 1, I will use a random number generator to select which commenter will receive the book.

I am excited to see what yarns you all are using so I can get some new choices.

R E M I N D E R:  Leave your comments by February 28, 2013.

 

 

Craft Tree: Crocheted Afghans

 

Introducing Craft Tree: Crocheted Afghans

A collection of 10 of popular crocheted afghans patterns

Interweave has put together a collection of 10 popular afghans, blankets, and throws called Craft Tree: Crocheted Afghans that features the following designs from top crochet designers:

  • Sweet Lorraine Lace Throw
  • Painted Turtle Afghan
  • Dots Blanket
  • Hap Blanket
  • Solas Caomh
  • Marmalade Skies Afghan
  • Magic Carpet Blanket
  • Moorish Mosaic Afghan
  • Seaside Throw
  • Mulled Spices Afghan

Explore a variety of techniques and styles.  Perfect for projects for gifts to give throughout the year.

New Free Tunisian Crochet Patterns

four free Tunisian crochet patterns from Interweave Crochet

You all know that I love creating Tunisian Crochet designs — everything from accessories to home décor.

Interweave Crochet has put together 4 Free Tunisian Crochet Patterns plus Tips on Basic Tunisian Crochet Stitches and How to Tunisian Crochet.  This is a great primer to learn or brush up on your Tunisian crochet skills, and you get four free patterns to try.

Want to Learn Tunisian Crochet?

 

 

 

Interweave Press and Kim Guzman have put together A Step-By-Step Guide to Tunisian Crochet to help you get started with the basic.   Once you’ve gotten down the basics, there are five patterns for you to try, including the Mulled Spices Afghan.

For those of you who already love Tunisian Crochet, this is a great opportunity to pick up a technique resource, along with five great patterns, for the unbelievable amount of $6.99.

Rethinking this Crochet Designer Thing

Beautiful Baby - © Beatrice Killam - Dreamstime.com
Since the beginning of this year, I have been thinking long and hard about what direction I want to take with my crochet business, and I decided to pump the breaks on everything until I figure this out.

I haven’t submitted any designs to publications in a long time (sorry you won’t see anything from me in Interweave Crochet or any other magazine for a while).  One of the reasons for this is that I am revamping how I create my patterns.  Organic crochet design only truly works when I am designing one-of-a-kind items.  Yes, I can document the entire creation process and turn my notes into a working pattern, but I think it leaves more room for errors and actually requires more work.  It’s true that the initial creation process is faster for me because I have a creative flow happening.  I can visualize what I want to make, pick up my hook and yarn, and usually create exactly what I envisioned, but when it time to explain technically how I achieved the design, some things are just difficult to explain in writing for me.  Also, when drafting multiple sizes, some things just don’t work for all sizes, and there may be no work around solution.

This is just one of the thoughts I’m working through right now.  I’ll come back later to add more on this.

Don’t worry, I am not giving up on crochet design.  In fact, I am working on a design for an upcoming project, and as soon as I am free to discuss it, I will share the news.

Also, the AfroStitch Crochet Conference that was held in February was wonderful.  I haven’t been back to blog about it so I owe a post or two about that one.

Interweave Crochet Winter 2010 – I’m on the Cover!

Interweave Crochet Winter 2010 is available for preordering, and I just found out that my design is on the cover. Thank you, April.

It is the Crimson Cape shown on the cover shot below. I am so excited!

Crimson Cape by Rhonda "TurquoizBlue" Davis for Interweave Crochet Winter 2010© Interweave Press

How to Construct Eliza’s Felted Bag – The Breakdown

Eliza's Felted Bag by TurquoizBlue for Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010

Eliza’s Felted Bag

Eliza's Felted Bag by TurquoizBlue for Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010Eliza’s Felted Bag is a Tunisian crochet bag that is crocheted in one flat piece, including the body of the bag, the handle and the closure. The sides of the bag are created by using an entrelac-type technique. There is no cutting and rejoining yarn to change colors. Just carry the unworked color along the side of your work and switch when instructed.

Eliza's Felted Bag by TurquoizBlue for This Is CrochetWhen felting this crochet bag, I recommend using a hot water wash cycle. I put my work inside a pillowcase and tie the end of the pillowcase closed. This keeps little felt balls from clogging your washing machine. The felting should produce a THICK and HARD fabric. If your bag is still soft, do another wash cycle.

Eliza's Felted Bag by TurquoizBlue for This Is Crochet After the crochet bag is felted, the bag is pin blocked to the correct dimensions while it is still wet and the side panels are folded inward to create permanent creases while blocking. When the bag is still slightly damp, fold it in thirds to create permanent creases that will become the edges of the bottom of the bag. I like to put a heavy book on top and weights on top of the book. Let your crochet bag dry completely.

Eliza's Felted Bag by TurquoizBlue for Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010Eliza's Felted Bag by TurquoizBlue for Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010Eliza's Felted Bag by TurquoizBlue for Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010
Eliza's Felted Bag by Turquoizblue for Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010Once the crochet bag has dried, I dampen the folded creases. Then I cover with a pressing cloth (or towel) and use an iron on wool with steam setting to press along the creases. This gives the creases nice crisp edges. This completes the blocking.

Now, it is time to sew the side triangles together to make the sides of the bag. With wrong side facing, use a tapestry needle to seam each triangle to the next triangle along both sides. Be sure that your stitches do not show through to the right side of your bag. Fasten off and weave the ends into the fabric of your bag. Turn your crocheted felted bag right side out and enjoy your new crochet purse.

Eliza's Felted Bag by TurquoizBlue for Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010