Crochet, anyone?

Crochet Motif

I learned to crochet as a child, and spent my teens making lots and lots of doilies. I loved making lace, and my mother, grandmothers, and various favorite teachers were happy to receive it. Now crochet seems to be undergoing something of a renaissance and I have enjoyed seeing all the lovely new designs coming out. Following along the lines of an idea from Doris Chan’s “Amazing Crochet Lace” I am playing with thread crochet motifs and edgings using bigger yarn. The process is quite intriguing. Knitting, even fairly complex lace knitting, usually proceeds in orderly rows or rounds, but crochet, particularly crocheted lace leaps and pirouettes in loops and spirals. This motif is from Dover’s “150 Favorite Crochet Designs”, which contains a lot of interesting edgings and motifs which have been beckoning to me to translate them into something besides tablecloths or placemats in cotton thread.

I don’t have time just now to dig really deep into crochet design, but it’s fun to play. Here are some links to patterns from various places around the internet:

A pretty scarf based on an old edging pattern. This picture from Katy really sold me on it.

A lovely lace stole pattern, complete with charts, from Elizabeth.

Lixie’s pattern for a crocheted yarn cake holder which looks extremely useful.

A tiny crocheted elephant also available here for any non-Ravelry types.

This tree frog from Brigitte (who designed the Pocket Elephant) is also really cute.

A pretty lacy sweater pattern.

A serendipitous page of links to free sweater patterns by Doris Chan.  Also check out her new blog, I’m really enjoying reading it.

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Trendy Accessories (and Free Pattern Links) for Fall

My camera has gone sadly AWOL, so no picture today.  I have about half of the edging knitted onto the Pi Shawl.  it moves slowly because the edging has patterning on both sides, and also because my nearly one-year-old son doesn’t like to let me knit much these days.  Not to mention being busy getting ready for the move to Vancouver…

Anyway, I’ve been noticing a couple of trends in accessories in the stores and online, which I thought I’d share with you.  The first is newsboy caps.  I am seeing lots and lots of newsboy caps.  These are really cute for almost any age person who cares to wear one, and they would make good gifts as well.  I have found a number of patterns online, mostly crocheted, but a few knitted as well.

Also, pashmina-style shawls.  Pashminas are traditionally made from cashmere or a  blend of cashmere and silk, but any soft fiber would be nice.  They usually measure 12″ x 60″ (large ones measure 28″ x 80″).  Traditional pashminas are woven, but there is no reason you couldn’t knit one.  The size is very versatile, as it can be worn as a scarf, a shoulder wrap, or a head covering.  Many rectangular scarf or stole patterns would be adaptable to typical pashmina dimensions.  Ideally you want something ranging between laceweight and sport-weight yarn so that it drapes nicely and can be worn single or double thickness, depending on the weather.  Now, this might sound like a lot of knitting, but you could make something really beautiful out of a few ounces of lace or sportweight luxury fiber yarn on size 6 or 8 needles (4 or 5 mm) in plain garter stitch with a lace edging or a fringe at either end.  In garter stitch, it could make mindless knitting for watching TV, listening to a compelling audiobook, or even while reading or studying if you were to prop your book open on a table in front of you.  Of course, using one of the many gorgeous rectangular shawl patterns available, it could also be an interesting challenge.

Here are some pattern links: