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On The CGOA Runway: Doris Chan’s Lotus Bolero and Lace Pants

Vashti Braha models Doris Chan’s crochet designs in Lotus yarn.

CGOA member Irene Iannelli brings her photography-savvy husband, Alex, to Chain Link conferences. Here’s one Alex snapped at the 2014 summer fashion show banquet, during the guild’s 20th anniversary crochet conference.

Doris Chan designed the lace pants and the bolero in her signature construction method of crocheting in the round from the top down. The drape and fit feel naturally comfortable and sleek. She waited to design these garments until we developed the Lotus yarn for them. They’re made for each other.

Click on the photo for more details on the patterns. Bolero pattern and our Lotus yarn are in the shop.

Even Alex and Irene’s adorable toddling daughter modeled on the runway for the first time! July 26, 2014 at the Radisson in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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New Crochet Yarn Preview Photos

Want to see some preview photos I took of my new crochet yarn? I’m adding two new yarns to my shop: Treat and Lotus Snacks.

Top row: Treat fine merino wool yarn! I couldn’t resist a special purchase of this premium hand dyed crochet yarn in a gazillion colors. It comes wound as a Hook Ready™ center-pull cake-shaped ball. This means it sits flat while you crochet. It’s packaged in its own clear protective project bag. Hook Ready™ means just add crochet hook and crocheter, and go!

Second row: Lotus Snacks: cupcake-size balls of our original DesigningVashti Lotus yarn. They’re shown in sixpacks below but they’ll be available singly too.

More about Lotus Snacks: All 14 colors of my Lotus yarn in cute cupcake-like balls! They’re a third of the size of the large 256-yard Lotus center-pull cakes. That means 85 yards per ball (approx. 33 g or 1.16 oz).

More about Treat Medium-Z: It’s a standard worsted weight single ply z-twisted pure premium imported merino wool. A luscious new crochet yarn. I’ll also be adding more kinds of Treat in other thicknesses, colors, and plying.

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Lab Experiment: I’m Customizing a Tank Top with Crochet

Pink Tank Top in Progress, Close Up

This is my first attempt at customizing a tank top with crochet, so I’m using a $4 scoop-neck tank top from Walmart (White Stag brand).  Update: It’s coming along well! See this followup post.

It looks dowdy on me straight off the store shelf, so I’ve drastically cropped it and turned the neckline into a deep V.

The crochet you see adds length along the bottom hem. I’m using standard sport weight yarn and a US/F (3.75 mm) crochet hook. The steel hook shown in the photo above is the largest sharp-headed crochet hook I have. I wish I had one that’s slightly bigger for pulling through loops of sport weight yarn.

The Real Reason I’m Doing This

Fancy triple-treble stitch clusters in a zigzag pattern add drama to the picot hem of the peplum I added to a storebought tank top.
Crocheting the bottom hem.
Armholes & neckline next.

What is it like to crochet DesigningVashti Lotus yarn onto t-shirt fabric? Is sport weight yarn a good match? (If I have to use lace weight yarns, I might as well just crochet the whole darn thing.) What does the texture of this yarn look like with a plain cotton machine knit fabric? 

I have mill ends of this “Pink Sugar” color; the dyeing looks more tonal than solid (not in this photo though). Do I like it? What is it generally like to pair Lotus colors with my tee shirt colors?

Can I use a super sharp crochet hook when customizing a tank top with crochet? I want to be able to start crocheting right onto fabric and get a result I like. Would I enjoy doing it more than sewing along the cut edges first? (I sealed the cut edges with an invisible permanent washable no-fray liquid.)

Customing a tank top with crochet to give it a well defined v-neck and picot-trimmed armholes.

How will it all hold up to wearing, machine washing and drying, and the Florida sun? Will the no-fray liquid add enough strength to the edges?

How will I like wearing it? Will I find I have a preference for customizing a tank top with certain kinds of crochet stitches? What if the crochet adds too much weight to the top?

Lots of what-ifs. Will I want to do something similar with my cashmere sweaters? ::gasp::

I have a few pullovers that I want to convert into cardigans. Ideally, give them a roomier fit while I’m at it. Heck, add beads. Cashmere love is a many splendored thing.