Thursday, February 4, 2016

Just a Few Days Left ...

... to take the Voie de Vie survey. It wraps up at the end of the day Sunday, February 7th (yes, this very Sunday!). So get your choices and comments in now while the getting is good.

Create your own user feedback survey

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday ... and Time for a Celebration

The Festival Shawl, the project that launched
it all for me as a designer.
I have not really participated in throwback Thursday, although I have favorited and liked a lot of TBT (acronym for throwback Thursday) posts across various social media platforms. However, this is one Thursday for which a little looking back is appropriate.

I originally blogged about the Festival Shawl on Thursday, January 6, 2011. While this stitch design belongs solely to Lyn Robinson it had, according to her, been basically abandoned. Since she hadn't done anything with it, Lyn posted in a Ravelry group we both belonged to at the time that if anyone was interested in doing something with a stitch pattern that she wasn't doing anything with, to please send her email. Stitch pattern unseen, I contacted her immediately and was truly surprised when she sent it to me. I thought it would have been snapped up by someone before me - I could not believe my good luck. I still get excited recounting my feelings some five years later, because this project was a joy from start to finish. Couple that with the fact that Lyn used my photos on the Ravelry pattern page (a true thrill) and my joy was pretty much complete.

Fast-forward five years: this shawl has logged a whopping 486 completed projects and is queued by an equally astounding 1,674 Ravelry members. A good number of knit patterns achieve this fame and reach, but not so many crochet patterns. I remain honored to be a part of such a phenomenon, because it started me on my own design path, which celebrates its five year anniversary in 2016:

What a long, strange, and ultimately happy trip it's been so far. There have been plenty of highs and lows in the last five years (as you'd pretty much expect), but through it all I have remained independently, happily steadfast in my desire to design. This year is also shaping up to be another banner design year I am so happy to report.

So, of course, there will be announcements associated with this year-long anniversary celebration. The first one is easy and something in which everyone can (and I hope will) participate - answering a few quick questions in a survey I've put together (which you can launch straight into at the end of this blogpost).

The survey will be open until the end of the day Sunday, February 7th, after which I'll close it, tally up all the responses, and then make a few more announcements. 

To those who have been a part of this long, winding five-year road - either through reading the blog, or making one of my designs, or interacting with me via social media, I humbly thank you. I hope I will "see" each and every one of you throughout this year-long celebration.

Finally, a word about 5 year anniversaries. They are usually marked with silverware, wood, daisies, and rose quartz. Since I wanted to include my crochet hooks in this montage, I'm fudging the wood slightly - bamboo will have to do.

So, without further ado, thanks so much and here's the survey:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fait à la Main Finale: Snowflakes & Smocking Cowl

Hi ho everyone - we are finally at the last introduction from this most awesome collection! I must say that, purely coincidentally, this was also the last piece to be photographed and we had a ton of fun with it. I am so pleased to introduce you to the warm and oh-so-lightweight Snowflakes & Smocking Cowl. 

I broke several rules with this design - the biggest being my willingness to not only show the "wrong" side of tunisian crochet fabric, but make it the star. Get a look at that wonderful color play and smocking-like stitching, all compliments of a simple two-row tunisian crochet stitch pattern than looked so good from the back I decided it should be out front. While, technically, this cowl isn't reversible (the 2 x 2 tunisian ribbing isn't all that reversible), most of this cowl's fabric looks good no matter the angle. Check out the plaid-like "inner" fabric peaking out wonderfully. So, so neat.

This was, quite literally, the last shot
of the day. My model is laughing
with her husband, who's off-camera.
Additionally, I combined two ombre colorways of Lion Brand's Scarfie and it only deepened the lovely textural characteristics of this cowl. Yet, because Scarfie is a brushed yarn and lightweight, my model absolutely loved this cowl's warmth and softness. In fact, I'm in the process of making one for her in these exact colors (denim and cream/taupe) - just one skein of each colorway will make this generously sized cowl, with yarn left over.

This design will be listed in my Ravelry design store momentarily, as well as the entire collection's e-book. Additionally, if you haven't yet seen it, the collection has its very own lookbook:

I want to thank Lion Brand Yarns, Neighborhood Fiber Co., and Kathryn over at  for the wonderful fibers. I hope you'll take a few minutes to pay homage to all your hands have made during this last gift-giving season, as well as to all they will make in 2016.

Happy making, my fiber friends!