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Crochet for the Easter Weekend (Check-in)

The matching yarns are shown against the skirt colors for comparison.
The yarn colors match up with the colors in the skirt. Another view: https://flic.kr/p/TkJm53

Happy Crochet Easter! Today I’m taking a break from lots of behind the scenes crochet work to post a quick update. Below is a long silk skirt I’ve worn every spring for years. It’s one of my all-time favorites. This weekend I mused on its colors.

This “Vashti’s Silk Skirt” color combo would make a striking crochet Easter/springtime project, wouldn’t it? Perhaps a wrap, shrug, or bolero to go with the skirt?

Full length silk skirt with a floral print. Lavender and cream colored background with rich gem colors in the foreground of the print.
My favorite long skirt. I look for reasons to wear it at Easter time.

I can picture multicolored motifs. Or, a cream and lavender thing, with the darker colors as a contrasting border–little flowers, maybe.

In fact I’m going to create a project page for this in Ravelry after I finish this post.

I’ll be able to send out a newsletter issue after I meet a big design deadline this week. So close! I’ll also be able to keep moving forward on new blogging and crochet video plans I’m excited to share.

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New Lotus Yarn Colors Arrived (finally)

NEW: Orange Luxe, Carbonite, Lustrous Tan, Lavender Ice, Emerald Deep

Five New Lotus Yarn Colors are Here!

Now that the new yarn shipment is here I’ll make this a quick post and then go back to checking it all in. I weigh each cone and list it with its lot (a way to keep track of inventory, etc). I’ve learned it’s best to treat each raw cone from the mill as a unique item. Each has a different amount of yarn on it and is part of one particular lot.

I took the speediest photos I could. These five colors all fill gaps in our existing range. That’s a total of twenty Lotus yarn colors.

I’m pleasantly surprised by the rich and elegant look of the new colors. The orange could have been bright; instead it’s warm and rich. The emerald green is a full jewel tone. Even the neutrals are rich-looking and make my fingers itch to crochet them (it takes a lot for a neutral to hit that spot for me).

New Lotus Yarn Colors Need New Names. Hmm.

The ideal name for each color meets three priorities in this order:

  1. The color name has a maximum of twelve characters so that it fits well within the space I’ve left for it on the ball band.
  2. The name conveys the spirit of the exact color. Like our “Bamboo Green”: it is not minty just because it’s a light green; it’s more pistachio, and clean like a new spring shoot: bamboo. “Satin Grey” is exactly that. So is “Dark Roast”, and “Rose Red” (it’s not a hot fire red). A mental picture of the color can help correct whatever it looks like on someone’s monitor.
  3. It’s nice when the color name refers to the signature sheen and drape that makes this yarn a keeper for us.

The final Lotus color names I’m considering:

  • Pale Violet or Lavender Ice or Smoky Lilac or Icy Amethyst
  • Emerald, Emerald, or Emerald
  • Soft Caramel or Mushroom Bisque or Cafe au Lait or Honey Taupe or something
  • Carbonite or Slate Patina or Graphite or Charcoal or Gunmetal Glint
  • Orange Riche or Persimmon or Tangerine
2018 update: The color names Doris and I settled on are: Lavender Ice, Emerald Deep, Lustrous Tan, Carbonite, and Orange Luxe. (Links go to projects that show off these colors in good lighting or with contrasting colors.)
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Crochet Class Yarn Sponsor: Lorna’s Laces!

Why is a crochet class yarn a big deal?

Crochet classes at national CGOA conferences are a big deal. In fact, they have been the raison d’être of the event since the first one in 1994. Of all the places I’ve taught crochet, this event is my first choice. These classes are unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced–as a student in many of them too, not just a teacher. Each one is intensive and three hours long (sometimes double that). They’re not cheap but you get what you pay for and more. I’ve also made life-long friends in these classes.

For some in-depth CGOA classes, the yarn either helps make the most of the 3 precious hours, or it can actually add obstacles. Conference attendees have to try to pack the best yarns and crochet hooks for the classes ahead of time, and it’s not easy. You can’t even buy the right yarn in the conference market if the class takes place before the market opens. Stitch Games is one of these classes this year.

The crochet class yarn for Stitch Games could make or break that class! Lorna’s Laces really came through. They are graciously (can I say heroically) providing enough of the perfect hand dyed yarn for everyone in the class to use.

How Does a Crochet Class Get Sponsored?

When a yarn company donates yarn for a CGOA class, it means the teacher has carefully selected that yarn as being the ideal way to experience the class topic. S/he then contacts the yarn company personally.

For Stitch Games I’ve swatched and designed with a gazillion yarns since 2009. I’m happy to say that Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, in bolder colorways, is the ideal crochet class yarn. We’ll have a full three hours-worth for everyone in the room.

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Two-Color Tunisian Crochet Swatches

One Color or Two?

Want to see some stitch patterns change when the yarn color changes?

The two-color Tunisian crochet swatches are for my class handout (yes, still working on them!). I needed to clearly distinguish the forward row from the return row, so I color-coded them. I didn’t expect to like them so much! The one-yarn versions are below their two-color swatches.

Extended Tunisian stitch patterns in 2-color swatches compared with a one-yarn (softly variegated) version
Top row: two-color swatches. Bottom row: their one-yarn versions.

(Note that the one on the bottom left is a slightly different stitch pattern from the one above it. I was thinking they were the same until after I created this graphic and I don’t have a better substitute. The difference is, in the top left photo, there is an extra chain stitch in the red return row after every blue stitch. That spaces the blue stitches apart more than the stitches are in the one below it.)

Isn’t it fun to see how just alternating colors in a simple stitch pattern can give it a fresh look?

Sometimes a swatch needs to convey more than words when space is a premium (such as in a class handout). Color-coding really helps.

Progress Update

on my crochet conference readiness: only ONE class handout left to send to the tech editor! That’s FOUR down, one to go. My goal is the end of this week. Then you’ll start seeing blog posts of other topics like new Lotus yarn colors, or Charleston.

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Hand Dyed Yarn Three Ways

Misti Alpaca Hand Paint yarn in Tunisian, freeform love knots game, and color-stacked slip stitch mobius!

Three Looks for a Unique Hand Dyed Yarn

Today I present three very different crochet textures in the SAME. EXACT. YARN. View image full size.

These projects span about seven years. The particular hand dyed yarn is Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock.

The 2016 design on the right was such a different experience of this yarn that it felt like a new purchase from the yarn shop. I had crocheted a whole shawl with the same yarn, though, seven years ago.

I thought it was just me. When I showed the two projects in a Stitch Games class yesterday, others were also noticeably surprised that it’s the same yarn.

Hope you’ve had a great weekend! If you don’t see a new blog post from me tomorrow, it will only be because we lost power due to the tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. It hits sometime tonight or in the early morning.