Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Introducing Purlescent!

Introducing my first every garment pattern! Oh, I've made garments... for myself or from a pattern, but this is my first attempt to designing and writing my first ever garment pattern!!! :-) :-) I can design purses, jewelry, socks, hats... oh just about anything else but garments. This was is pretty basic... no increasing or decreasing so not only was it easier for me to design, it was super easy for me to make!! :-)

This little beauty was made with SWTC's new yarn called Purlescent. This is probably my favorite size to work with - the size is like sock yarn, but the feel is way different! The yarn is cuddly soft and works really light - so the fabric almost feels like it's made of cob webs... but not in the yucky way. :-) As you can probably see... well, maybe not since the picture is not all that great - but my garment is made with a lace pattern. I took a closer picture of the pattern below.

When I was working on the cardigan, my dog Flick was just really fascinated with the yarn. He kept sticking his nose in the ball of yarn or in the fabric and would take a deep sniff. I had to stop working on it while he was inside because I was trying really hard to keep the white yarn... well, white! But after he sneezed on it while trying to put the project away, I just gave up and knew that I'd have to wash it before turning it in.
I'm actually kind of glad that I had to give the garment a wash because the feel of the cardigan now is wonderful!!! If it felt soft and light before, it's even softer after a wash! I have all kinds of ideas on what else I'd like to make with this yarn. Even though I find myself knitting more often now a days, my designing skills are still in crochet, so I have a feeling that all of my knit projects are going to be set aside for a while until I get my fill of playing and designing with this. :-) :-)
This pattern will be available soon from South West Trading Company, and when you purchase the yarn, you can get the pattern for free! Just give SWTC a little bit of time to try to make sense out of my attempt of my first garment design. :-) If you have any feedback, and I know that you will!, please feel free to contact me. As my first garment design, I know that I'll need all of the help I can get to improve the next. :-) :-)
Take care,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Classes

This class is my precious bead crochet pouch. I think when I started adding beads to my crocheting that I made more pouches than anything else. :-) If I remember correctly, I think my first bead crochet project was a basic pouch. I still remember it too. It was with some weird orange/brown thread that I thought was too ugly for regular crochet so I took it to my local bead shop and the bead shop owner suggested two really cool seed bead colors that would actually compliment the ugly thread color. She had a really good eye because the pouch came out lovely! I remember that bead crochet was not nearly as difficult as how some of the ladies I had talked to made it sound. I guess you can say that bead crochet to me was like... oh, how did that saying go? Like a duck takes to water??

Well, anyway, going back to my class. This little pouch is my pattern - one of the first that I've designed so it has quite a bit of sentimental feelings attached to it. I was lucky enough to actually teach this class at a Chain Link conference back in 2002. I know that the Fiber Factory has the book that I learned the basics of this technique for sale and have a feeling that they will sell out on the day of my class. :-) More than anything, this will be a fun class more for the options that can be done for the bottom tassel to the pull handle. The pattern for the pouch will be provided and your imagination will take over the rest. :-)

This is a basic kumihimo bracelet. I actually taught the first half of this class last week and will finish the class tomorrow. The first half of the class was a lot of fun. I know that I need to work on the explanation of my convoluted math equation, but I think and hope that my students will understand what I mean by the time the class is over. I'd hate to have a student leave me and not be able to make another bracelet on their own.

This little bracelet was made with 2mm satin cording. I love the way that the cording feels and it makes a nice size bracelet. When I've used smaller thread or smaller cords, the bracelet was much smaller and it took much longer to make as well. I fell in love with making kumihimo ropes with different types of yarn as well and have been finding my stash of partial yarn balls that I've saved for free form knit and crochet being used up by my kumihimo instead. :-) I hope that I can offer this class again in the spring and hopefully offer a more advanced class that moves away from the basic braid. I'll have to get that done soon before Fiber Factory starts putting their spring class schedule together. If I do this, will you be interested in taking the class? :-) :-)

It's not a very clear picture, but this is a little crochet pouch that has been embellished with free form beading. There really isn't all that much to free form beading but there is a little more thinking (that has now become second nature to me) to placement and color of the beads than just sewing a bunch of beads onto a pouch. The class is more of a tutorial on the basics of bead embroidery, but more of a study on color, bead size and placement. Yes, there is a logical order to the placement of beads... at least there is with my free form style. :-) :-) And this is what the class will be covering. I taught this same technique also in 2003 at Chain Link. I remember this very clearly because I was pregnant with my son and it was offered as an afternoon class. I was so tired by the end of class that I was lucky that I didn't collapse... but being surrounded by so many of my fellow crocheters who were also mom's and grandmothers themselves, I felt so safe and comforted that their caring actually energized me. :-) So it will be a lot of fun to take this class out of 'retirement' and get more people addicted to beads. :-)

This picture actually has two classes... beginning bead crochet and advance bead crochet ropes. I already talked about the advanced class in my last post, so this will be about the beginning class.

I am teaching this class twice. The first time has already past - it was at the beginning of this month - but I was so excited to have a full class! We all had lots of fun and I really enjoyed seeing everyone's show and tell on what they had made between the first and second class. The invisible seam was a bit complicated and it has forced me to re think the start of a bead crochet rope to make it flatter in order to see those little beads and know where to insert the needle next. Most of my students got it, but the couple that didn't will need this help and I will share this info as soon as I figure it out! :-) I am also planning on applying this new starting to the second time that this class will be offered at the beginning of December. :-) I have a little time between now and then, so I hope I will have a good grasp to what I'll be teaching. :-)

There are still a few more classes to share, but I'll post those a bit later. :-)

Take care!