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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Progress on wavy rib socks and some free sock pattern links


Progress on Wavy Rib Socks

It’s been an age since I posted about my wavy rib socks. They had a little adventure on their own when I left them behind the couch at Bear’s parents’ place on a visit a couple of months ago. Recently my MIL found them and sweetly mailed them back to me. A weekend trip allowed me some rare uninterrupted knitting time and I’m back in the groove of working on them.

For those who’d enjoy some free pattern links, here are some I’ve found recently:

Magic Mirror Socks by Jeannie Cartmel
This is a really intriguing toe-up sock pattern with a great stitch pattern.

Slippin’ Stripin’ Socks by Tina Lorin
Here’s a pattern that features really appealing color-blended stripes using slip-stitch patterns and two colors of laceweight.  Available for download on Ravelry.

Fluke by Laurie Lee
This is a really lovely sock pattern using an unusual lace motif I haven’t seen before.

Franklin of The Panopticon had something really good to say in this post.  I encourage you to read his latest essay if you haven’t already.

FireFlower’s Trend Report for Fall (with Free Pattern Links)

I am the first to admit that I am not exactly a style maven. I am a stay-at-home mom of young children, I don’t read fashion magazines, and I choose my clothing in large part for its ability to survive frequent washing. However, I do have a long-standing interest in fashion as a cultural phenomenon, and I do my own particular brand of trend-watch each spring and fall. I canvass several of my favorite online stores, and come up with what I see as the trends for the season. This season, I decided to match these up with some free pattern links and post them for the benefit of my readers.

Here is what I am seeing:

  • elbow-length and 3/4 sleeves
  • empire-waisted and babydoll silhouettes
  • sweater coats
  • short sleeved pullovers and cardigans
  • cardigans cropped to level of natural waist or bottom of ribcage

Cari’s latest design, Trilce, gets special mention, even though it is not yet available for purchase. This is a fun design which is exactly on-trend for this season. How on-trend? Well, look at this one from Nordstrom. I bet you can knit your own wool version for less than it retails for. I’ll update with a link to the finished design once it’s up for sale.

Free Patterns

(and a few special designs available for sale online)

Sunkist Cardi— a great 3/4 sleeve raglan cardi, which you can customize to fit. (Scroll down to find a link to the PDF file in the sidebar).

Summer Sky— a short-sleeved cropped cardi, be sure to get the errata here.

Reversible Lace Rib Shrug— you can use this pattern from Elann.com to make your own out of any yarn between dk and bulky weight.

Lara Pinwheel Sweater with Crocheted Edges–another sweater from Elann. You could easily modify it to be a twin for this one. If you don’t crochet, you can be like Wendy and knit on an edging. See her finished version in this post. Her original edging pattern is available on her free patterns page.

Circular Shrug–an innovatively constructed vest or cap-sleeved cardi similar to this one from Anthropologie.

Anthropologie-inspired Shrug–quick, versatile, customizable, and it’s back for spring.

Cloud Bolero–a lovely cropped cardigan, see a photo of a finished bolero here.

Vino Cardigan–a great sweater coat pattern available for sale from Laura Chau of Cosmic Pluto.

Brennan Cardigan–a great shawl-collared sweater coat design, and the pattern is available for free.

Serrano–a lovely lacy cardigan pattern made with sock yarn, also by Laura Chau.

Stardust–a lacy cropped cardigan with a tie closure.

Something Red–a charming short-sleeved cardigan pattern available for sale from Wendy Bernard of Knit and Tonic.

Starsky–a shawl-collared sweater coat with leaf-themed cable panels.

Brompton–free sweater coat pattern with neat reversible cuffs you can fold down to keep your hands warm or fold up to keep out of the way.

Just as a bonus, here’s a new men’s pullover pattern from Tiennie, the Fog Sweater.