Happy New Year: Is It Your Time?

Fireworks - Happy New Year from This Is Crochet




Happy New Year!

Did you complete all your crochet holiday gifts? I did, but I have to confess that my gift was a blanket which I didn’t finish last year. It was huge, but it’s done and delivered.

Now that the holidays are over, I hope you have time to make some things for yourselves. For me, 2011 was a year of sacrifice. My time and energy was devoted to helping my family. With work and school, there was very little time for crochet. This summer I became a stay-at-home grandmother, and all I can say is I tip my hat to all SAHMs! This is a full-time job.

It’s been a while since I blogged or emailed, and I am happy to be able to get back to designing crochet. I’m sure you all know how frustrating it is to have all sorts of creative ideas and not be able to get them out. I’ve had lots of time to rethink this crochet thing, and I’m excited to see what 2012 brings.

January is National Hot Tea Month. There are lots of fun tea-related projects on Ravelry like cozies, doilies and coasters. I think I will start with a mug cozy.

New Pattern: Megastar, a Six-Pointed Star Tunisian Crochet Blanket

Megastar Blanket Crochet Pattern

Six-pointed star blanket uses the Tunisian crochet Slant Stitch and color changes to create wide stripes which meet to form a burst of color that radiates from the center. The stripes are continued in the surrounding border.

A few years ago, I was exploring how to create different star and pinwheel shapes using Tunisian Crochet. One of the first motifs I came up with was a five-pointed star shape, which I went on to use in my Seaside Throw Afghan which was published in the Interweave Crochet Summer 2009 issue. The six-pointed star was one of the next incarnations of the Tunisian crochet star motif. I enlarged the small motif into a large star, and sketching and playing with color options brought about the stripes and burst of color from the center of the star.

This afghan is shown on a king-sized bed, but the pattern can easily be adapted to any size just be decreasing the stitch and row count.

New Pattern: Belle Cloche crochet hat pattern for This Is Crochet

I wanted to quickly introduce my new crochet hat pattern  – Belle Cloche.


One hat, multiple looks.

This asymmetrical cloche is worked in the round in single crochet. The increased length on one side is created by adding half-double crochet. Two columns of eyelets grace one side through which either the self-tie or purchased ribbon can be threaded, or wear the hat without any embellishment as a simple cloche. Weave the self-tie vertically through the eyelets, draw up the self-tie and make a bow to create “pillbox” or “turban” looks. This pattern is available here on This Is Crochet and also at Knitpicks for a reduced price.

Retro Crochet – In Style for Today or Passe’?

I have noticed quite a few retro-inspired crochet designs lately, and I have to admit that I’m loving them — puffed sleeved tops and even granny square garments.  A few days ago, I mentioned Tangled magazine, whose current issue is themed “Modern Vintage.”  Tangled states, “Tangled May be New, but Our Fall Patterns are Inspired by the Fashions of Times Past.”

Knitting It Old School by Stitchy McYarnpants and Caro SheridanThen there is the recently-released Knitting it Old School: 43 Vintage-Inspired Patterns* by Stitchy McYarnpants and Caro Sheridan which features modern interpretations of vintage crochet styles of the 1940s through the 1970s.  This is not just a book of retro knitting patterns.  There are also sewing and crochet patterns such as the Go-Go Granny dress by Maryse Roudier, which is reminds me of the granny square crochet dress which was worn by Cate Blanchett on the red carpet at the Screen Worlds event in Australia.

Cate Blanchett in granny crochet dress

Although the designs in this book are vintage-inspired, they manage to look both retro and modern at the same time.

Go-Go Granny crochet dress by Maryse Roudier © 2010 Denise SiegelAs I said before, I’m loving the resurgence, but some people don’t seem to be feeling the retro trend, especially the return of the granny square crochet garment. There is a long discussion on Ravelry about the Go-Go Granny dress called Granny Dress or “My Eyes!” where many people pulled no punches when it came to their opinions.

I don’t know if retro design is a passing trend, but I hope it sticks around for a while because I’m digging it.

*Amazon affiliate link

Knitting & Crochet Together in Interweave Crochet Fall 2010

Interweave Crochet Fall 2010 - (c) Interweave PressAs soon as I saw the preview for the Fall issue of Interweave Crochet magazine, I knew there was going to be talk about the amount of knitting featured. People are weighing in to give their opinions about the knitting being combined with crochet on both Ravelry and CrochetMe, and a lot of crochet-only folks are not happy because they believe the combo patterns mean there are seven less patterns they can use. The love on Ravelry for the patterns in the Fall issue seems a little low. Are you going to buy this issue? I predominately crochet, but I do know how to knit. I have yet to try a pattern that combines knit and crochet. Maybe now is the time for me to give crochet and knit together a try.

On the flip side, the latest issue of Tangled magazine is up, and it is getting rave reviews.   Tangled Online Magazine’s tagline is “Proud to be Bicraftual,” and it gives equal love to knit and crochet.  The theme for this issue is Modern Vintage.    My favorites are the Cross-Threaded skirts “Zan” and “Jayna.”  I love the colorful yarns used in this issue.

Claire Montgomerie Is New Editor of Inside Crochet Magazine

Interweave Crochet Magazine, Summer 2010On June 7, Claire Montgomerie officially became the new editor of Inside Crochet Magazine. Claire is a trained textile designer, and her designs have also been published for the past six years. It’s always exciting to see what new editors bring to a publication so I look forward to what Claire will bring to Inside Crochet.

I saw an issue of this magazine once in Barnes & Noble. It isn’t easy to find near me, but I always look at all the designs on Ravelry when they are uploaded.

If you would like to get a sense of Claire’s style and see some of her designs , you can visit her website at www.clairemontgomerie.com.

Gardener’s Apron CAL – Come Join Us

Would you like to crochet an apron?  Well, come on and join us!

A CAL for the Gardener’s Apron from Crochet World Magazine is being held on the We Love TurquoizBlue group on Ravelry.  The CAL will begin on March 1, 2009 and run through April 30, 2009.  This will be a quick and fun project to do for National Crochet Month, which is the month of March.

If you’d like to participate, stop by the group and let everyone know, and when you begin your project just add the tag — ApronCAL — so we can find each others’ projects.  You can also use the following banner on your blog/website to link to the CAL if you’d like to share with others.  Just please be sure to copy it and upload it to your own image host. K’ thanks!

Gardeners Apron CAL

I’m going to make one to use in the kitchen.

We Love TurquoizBlue!

There is a crochet group on Ravelry that is dedicated to discussing my designs and whatever might come up with.  Some of the ladies on Ravelry were kind enough to create a group, and I am extremely honored that they would think that a brand new crochet designer like me should have her own group.  The group is called We Love TurquoizBlue.  Can you all believe it?

I will work on coming up with some creative things to do in the group.  Some fun stuff, and I have to work on self-publishing some of my crochet designs.

For those who have asked, I promise I’m going to work on recreating the Webbed Top.  I’m going to have to design the crochet pattern from scratch because I crocheted it so long ago.

Tagging Projects on Ravelry

How do you determine how to tag your projects on Ravelry.com?  Do you just pick the first words that come to mind or do you have a system?

Ravelry is a search-based website so if you want others to be able to find your projects, it is important to use good tags.  If you don’t want to be searched, then do the opposite of what I’m about to share.

The first suggestion I have is to try to come up with more than only one or two tags.  Okay, you’ve uploaded a project for the sweater that you started making.  What tags are good ones to use?  Sweater is obvious, but what about top, shirt, camisole, cardigan, pullover, boatneck, raglan, tunic, shawl collar, etc.?  Think about what tags you can use to further describe your project.

Now you have a few tags that indicate the project you are making.  How about a few tags describing the yarn manufacturer and yarn name, you can even list the color(s) of the yarn.  Any special treatments?  Is it beaded, embroidered, etc.?   Is it a themed item — holiday, seasonal, or based on a movie, book, song, person, etc.  Is there a special technique that you used?  All of those make great tags to add.

Don’t forget to create a tag for the designer of the pattern or publication/book, and please don’t forget to make a tag for your username.

When you type a tag on Ravelry, type tags that contain one or more word or phrases as one long word.  If you type the words or phrases as individually in between commas, Ravelry will merge them together as one word.  If you type them as separate words without commas, Ravelry will consider each word to be a separate tag. To the right of the box where you fill in your tags is a small icon that looks like a label or tag.  You can click on this to select from previous tags that you have used instead of typing them over again.  Ravelry remembers the tags you previously used.

Tagging your projects allows Ravelry to become even more search-friendly for you and for others who might be looking similar projects or even your projects, specifically.  I hope more people will consider adding more tags to their Ravelry projects.