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Archive for August, 2008

Wall art @ Free People

More fun @ Free People
Rather, it’s more on the wall than off. I was in NYC for our latest NaturallyCaron.com photo shoot this past week. I try to get at least a couple hours to look around (even though serious looking around takes days, not hours). This visit I was excited to see a new Free People store in the trendy section of Fifth Avenue, between 14th and 23rd streets. In that area you can find Forever 21®, H&M, Anthropologie, Express, Black/White® and a whole lot more. It’s my stomping grounds for new looks and, in the case of Free People, new wall art that combines knit, crochet and fabric in both their wall art and their fashions. While the store wouldn’t let me take Yarn fun in NYCany photos from inside, I was told that if I stood outside the door, there was no problem. So this is from the front of the store peering inside. I love the bohemian look and color palette of Free People – which inspired me to find an Indian restaurant to kind-of continue in the bohemian theme, this time for the palate. And check out the yarn balls!

Hazel turns two!

Hazel turns two!

I’m lucky to be heading back to the City again this weekend, but for a totally different purpose: my granddaughter, Hazel’s, second birthday party. It’s SO hard to believe it’s been a full two years already! But with one of her first complete sentences being, “I love you, Gram,” I’m a believer….. Here’s Hazel riding on the F train from her home in Park Slope to one of her mom’s jobs in the City (Naima has a custom/private garden business, www.blueingreen.org.)

Chakra Scarf

Chakra Scarf

For this week’s featured designs, we have one that I know many of you have been waiting for, Kim Rutledge’s Chakra Scarf, crocheted in Spa Rose Bisque. You’ve had just enough time to finish the Chakra Purse, so now you can complement it with the scarf!

London Tunic

London Tunic

And for knitters, it’s Susan Shildmyer’s cabled London Tunic in Country Renaissance Rose. Tunics have to be everywhere. I love American fashion: one year it’s total navel-baring, the next it’s tunics. Keeps us all buying – and creating. But I love the ebb and flow – and I especially love this year’s tunics. I only wish I’d kept some of mine from the 80s……

Willow Stream

Willow Stream

Ann E. Smith’s feminine Aran-style sweater Willow Stream in Spa’s Naturally is a wonderful contemporary yet romantic take on a traditional favorite. With bobbles and cables throughout the front, it’s interesting knitting for experienced knitters – and gives more novice knitters a chance
Fresno Throw

Fresno Throw

to practice making bobbles. Since the bobbles and cables are just on the front, the sweater is faster to knit than you may think. Check out the pattern here.

And for crocheters who just can’t get enough of motif designs, Treva McCain, who designed the super-popular Tucson throw, has once again come through and designed this fall-inspired Fresno Throw, in rich shades of Country’s Vicuna, Spice House, Plum Pudding and Spruce.

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While all of us are thinking about fall, back-to-school, sweaters we want to make and what backpack to get for the kids, Liz is thinking about if her mom will finish her dress in time, if the menu needs to be changed, if her request for only giving them plants as gifts will finally bring them the garden they want: yes, her wedding! Labor Day weekend, Liz and Jim will tie the knot on Labor Day weekend. So, as an appropriate “discovery” on Ravelry, here are probably two of the cutest turtles, crocheted also so appropriately, in Country, according to KristieMN, the designer. See more of these way-cute turtles and get the free pattern here. Note that you’ll need a Ravelry account, but we know so many of you have one – but if not, you can sign up when you get there.

TODDLERS AND BABIES

For our free patterns, I asked Marilyn Losee to create a knitted hoodie that any mother – and toddler – would love, but make it easy, just in one stitch, and in a color that works for boys or girls. It’s obvious from the Divi hooded pullover, that Marilyn’s experience as a grandmother of 13 shows through. It’s done in Spa Berry Frappe and in an easy yarn-over stitch pattern with garter on the edges.

Sedona Toddler Skirt

For a Southwestern flavor, Darlene Dale, a pal of Marilyn’s, designed the Sedona crocheted toddler ruffle-edged skirt in two sizes, but each of those will fit 3 sizes. The skirt has an ample drawstring waist so is almost a one-size design. But kids grow both in height and girth, so the size 36 months is for sizes 2-4. The colors are so ideal for back-to-school – and the Sedona skirt can also be worn over leggings throughout the winter.

Lizzies Summer Sunflower

As promised, we’ve posted the complete instructions for Lizzie’s Summer Sunflower. We’ve had so many people working on this wonderful pattern, we know you are going to enjoy it. And follow Lizzie’s advice: make a whole bouquet for someone special–like you!

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Chicago Swing Jacket by Tammy Hildebrand

Chicago Swing Jacket by Tammy Hildebrand

Yes, they’re already falling from our maple tree, albeit slowly. But it’s still summer with temps to confirm that. With falling leaves and warm days, the crocheted Chicago swing jacket designed by Tammy Hildebrand is perfect for both seasons. For warm days, wear it with a cami – its slight openwork makes it just right to wear to work or on a cool evening. Or pair it with jeans and a tunic for play or a dress for work in the fall. Tammy designed Chicago in Peacock Country, a year-round yarn.

Borgata Glovelets by Marilyn Losee

Borgata Glovelets by Marilyn Losee

The perfect accessory – and a great gift – are the Borgata glovelets, knitted in Spa Green Sheen. Designer Marilyn Losee designed the Borgata glovelets to be knitted flat and seamed – for all of you who are not big fans of using double-pointed needles (myself included). But if you prefer seamless glovelets, you can adapt the pattern for knitting the fingers and glovelets themselves in the round.

For those of you just joining us, I welcome you to scroll down to see Lizzie’s Sunflower. It was a “pattern-in-progress” for a month but the resulting flower was pretty cool.

And, lastly, I’d like to share with you a whole new way of using yarn. Some of you may be familiar with Rwanda Knits, but if you’re not, more info is available at www.rwandaknits.org. There are over 1,200 knitters who now are very skilled knitters

Web of Mutual Assistance

Rwanda: Web of Mutual Assistance

but limited in business skills, although that will soon change.

Writing cooperative bylaws

Rwanda: Writing cooperative bylaws

Laura Hanson, a volunteer from Washington state, has been working with the Rwanda Knits women since the end of May and has conducted some amazing workshops. Here are a couple of photos of the training.

The photo at left shows the women of the Nyagatare Women knitting cooperative using a skein of Simply Soft to illustrate a “Web of Mutual Assistance,” a cooperative’s strength.

And the women at right are in the process of writing their cooperative’s by-laws.

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It’s great that everything is SO green these days. So with that in mind, I thought it would be great to stick with this topic, adding a touch of color where appropriate. Don’t miss those two balls of Country in that tree, a photo I thought that would be especially appropriate this entry. Just see if you can count all the different shades of green in that shot. This month’s projects are also green:

The Sao Paolo purse (at left) …

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… and the Melia Lace Vest (at right).


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But before we go to Liz, here’s what a happy CGOA’s Chain Link Conference student looks like. Meet Leslie Backmon, one of my fellow students at Myra Woods’ Freeform Lace class. Leslie came prepared with lots of Country! So, without further ado, here’s Liz…..

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Lizzie’s Sunflower Crochet-Along (final steps)

Stem (make 1)

Note: Make one stem for each sunflower, of desired length. Instructions are given for 18″/45.5cm stem, with changes for 20″/51cm, 22″/56cm, and 24″/61cm stems in parentheses. With D, chain 87 (92, 97, 102).

Row 1: Dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each remaining ch across, turn—85 (90, 95, 100) sts.

Row 2–4: Ch 2, dc in each st across, turn.

FINISHING

Assemble Stem Cut dowel to desired length. Using yarn needle and matching yarn, wrap crochet stem around dowel and sew the edges together. Leave the last 1″/2.5cm open. Sew across the lower edge of the stem to keep the dowel from slipping out.

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Add Leaves Using yarn tails, sew one leaf on each side of stem, about 5–7″/12.5–18cm down from the top of the stem.

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Assemble Flower Head First Ring of Petals Using yarn tail, sew the first row of petals around the flower center, aligning the lower edge of the petals with Round 6 (the first B colored round). TIP: When attaching the petals, bring the two ends together to form a circle, and sew the ends together. Then arrange the petals evenly around the flower head before sewing in place. This will help with spacing.

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Second Ring of Petals Arrange the petals of the second row to fall between the petals of the first row. Using yarn tail, sew the lower edge of the second row of petals around the first row of petals.

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Third and Fourth Ring of Petals Sew the next two rows of petals around the previous rings of petals in a similar manner.

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Attach Stem to Sunflower Head Insert top of dowel into the hole in the back of the flower head. Pull crochet fabric up and over to cover the top of the dowel and sew in place. Using yarn needle, weave in all ends.
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Here’s my Bouquet of Sunflowers including the original.

Thank you all for hooking along with me. Next week, we’ll post a pdf pattern for the completed sunflower with all of it’s steps!

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