Annie’s New Look Book: Autumn Bliss

Annie’s Signature Designs announces its new fall lookbook with over 20 crochet patterns in its Autumn Bliss Collection. You’ll find stunning designs for cardigans, shawls, scarves, hats and much more in this beautiful collection that is sure to tempt you to pick up your crochet hook and create something beautiful in time for the cooler days ahead.

All patterns and coordinating yarns are available at the Annie’s catalog website.

Here are just a few of our favorite must-make designs from the collection.

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We love the Hoodie Cardigan worked in a simple post stitch in a soft tweedy yarn. Sure to be a go-to favorite this fall.

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Or try this fun Pauwau Poncho crocheted in King Cole’s Sprite DK. The yarn does all the work for you! The “stripes” are built into the yarn!

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The Tolosa Vest might just be one of those grab-and-go garments all season long. Crocheted in a bulky yarn you’ll be done in no time!

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The granny square gets an update in this pretty cowl and hat set. The Cinereal Granny Set would be stunning in any color!

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The Shell Beach Stole and Shawl pattern not only features two beautiful shawls, but a scarf too! The only hard part? Choosing a color!

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Using just two skeins of a chunky yarn yields this fun hat and scarf set. And there are two options included in the Her Scarfie & Hat pattern!

Watch the video to see all the wonderful patterns. And then grab your crochet hook and get stitching!

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Crocheting in Tuscany

Our first Annie’s crochet craft tour this summer to Ireland was such a success that we are planning to travel to Tuscany next year! Before I tell you about our tour for 2017, I want to share a little bit about the Ireland trip.

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Crochet instructor Jennifer Ryan traveled with the group and taught three classes during the week, teaching her Celtic knot techniques and making the Ireland tour a unique and multi-faceted experience.

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Here’s what Jennifer had to say about her travel experience; “Our first ever crochet trip to the Emerald Isle with Annie’s and Craftours was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching my Celtic Knot Crochet techniques and exploring Ireland with about 40 others who also love to crochet. We spent 10 days touring many beautiful places in and around Dublin, Galway and Killarney. We visited a sheep farm (Rathbaun Farm), baked scones together, walked around the lovely grounds at Kylemore Abbey (in the Connemara Region), viewed the Cliffs of Moher, photographed grand cathedrals and castles and enjoyed the Irish people.

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In between all of the sightseeing, I taught three workshops in which the participants learned how to make these projects: I Love Ireland Pin, Galway Necklace and Connemara Bracelet. I enjoyed the enthusiasm and effort of all of the participants. Everyone did a great job with their projects while learning many new techniques – making a crocheted cord, weaving a Celtic Knot and putting it all together with various finishing techniques. Several women wore their creations with pride during the trip.

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On the last evening, we returned to our hotel for our farewell dinner, I reminisced about our trip and was grateful our tour turned out to be all I hoped for and more! It was packed full of wonderful experiences, beautiful scenery, special people, Irish friendliness and mountains of inspiration!”

You can read Jennifer’s full article about the Ireland trip here.

Crochet! magazine editor, Ellen Gormley, also joined the group and commented, “Annie’s and Craftours made a dream vacation an easy reality. Because of the great variety and quality of sites and experiences arranged for us, the trip was an incredible value. Participating in the culture and sharing the adventure with other passionately crafty people made the experience more than a vacation, it was a trip of a lifetime.”

If you are a crocheter that loves to travel, start making plans to travel with us to the Tuscany area of Italy. We’ll spend nine wonderful days exploring Florence, San Gimignano and Montecatini Terme, take a train ride and go sightseeing through the beautiful Cinque Terre, visit an Italian yarn factory, take a Tuscan cooking class, shop in Florence market and much more!

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Celebrity instructor, Lily Chin will travel with us teaching new crochet techniques as we are inspired by the beautiful sights and sounds of the Italian landscape.

Make your plans now to join us in Italy October 20-28 2017! Sign up here and don’t miss this trip of a lifetime!

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Sherbet Ripple Baby Blanket

This pretty baby afghan has recently been trending on Pinterest. Today we share the pattern with you. If you are not familiar with Tunisian crochet, you can watch these free video tutorials or purchase Annie’s video class, Learn to Tunisian Crochet with Kim Guzman. As a special gift to you, you’ll receive 20% off the purchase price of the online downloadable class or DVD class Sept 7-14, 2016. Use LRNTUNI when checking out for your discount.

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Sherbet Ripple Baby Blanket

Design by Darla Fanton

It’s classic, it’s reversible, and, when you use your baby yarn scraps, it’s as soft as a cloud. The popular ripple pattern is given new life with a reversible technique you’ll love — especially since each colored row uses only 14 yards!

Skill Level Intermediate

Finished Size 36 x 46 inches

Materials

Bernat Softee Baby fine (sport) weight yarn (5 oz/455 yds/140g per ball):

1 ball #2000 white

7 oz/637 yds/198g assorted scrap colors

Size H/8 Tunisian or afghan hook or size needed to obtain gauge

Tapestry needle

Gauge Point to point = 3 1/2 inches; 2 rows = 1 inch

Pattern Notes

Each colored row (consisting of a work-off pass and a pick-up pass) requires approximately 14 yards.

For the return portion of row, when you work the next loop off the hook following the chain 3, it actually creates a 4th chain so that on the next row when you skip a chain, pick up loop in each of the next 2 chains, you will be picking up loops in the center 2 of 4 chains.

Instructions

Afghan

Row 1: With desired scrap color, ch 244, hold back all lps on hook, working through back bar of ch, pull up lp in 2nd back bar from hook, pull up lp in each of the back bar of ch across, first half of row completed. (244 lps on hook)

For return, yo, pull through first 3 lps on hook, *[yo, pull through 2 lps] 9 times, ch 3, [yo, pull through 2 lps] 9 times, yo, pull through 5 lps, rep from * across, ending with yo, pull through 4 lps, last lp counts as first st of next row.

Row 2: Holding back all lps on hook, ch 1, sk first group *pick up lp under next vertical bar, [yo, sk next vertical bar, pick up lp under next vertical bar] 4 times, yo, sk next ch, [pick up lp in next ch] twice, yo, pick up lp under next vertical bar, [yo, sk next vertical bar, pick up lp under next vertical bar] 4 times, sk group, rep from *, ending with pick up lp in top of final group. For return, work as for row 1.

Row 3: Pick up lps as for row 2 noting that the vertical bars you will sk in fact look more diagonal than vertical. Fasten off color.

For return, place white on hook with slip knot, pull slip knot through first 3 lps on hook, work as for row 1 from *.

Row 4: Pick up lps as for row 3, drop white at end of row, but do not fasten off, instead carry along side edge, twisting to avoid holes. For return, place next scrap color on hook and continue as for row 3.

Row 5: Rep row 2.

Row 6: Rep row 3 to pick up lps. For return, pick up white and work as for row 1.

Row 7: Rep row 4.

Row 8: Rep row 6.

Row 9: Rep row 4.

Row 10: Rep row 2.

Rows 11-86: Rep rows 2-10, noting that since you are carrying the white along the side edge, the return portion of row 3 will now be the same as the return for row 6.

Row 87: Rep row 2.

After completing the return portion of row 87, bind off in the following manner, ch 1, sk first group, *[pick up lp under next vertical bar and pull through lp already on hook] 9 times, [pick up lp in next ch and pull through lp already on hook] 4 times, [pick up lp under next vertical bar and pull through lp already on hook] 9 times, sk group rep from * across, ending with pick up lp in top of final group and pull through lp on hook. Fasten off.

Copyright © January 2003 Big Book of Scrap Crochet Afghans. All Rights Reserved.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Yarn Storage

Storing your yarn stash takes some thought to make sure your yarn is in good shape and ready to use for your next project.

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Here are some tips:

  • Do not store yarn in plastic bags. Yarn needs to breathe and depending on the fiber can hold up to 30% it’s weight in moisture without feeling wet. I have seen cotton yarn mold because it was stored in plastic bags in a humid climate!
  • Store all yarn in a climate controlled environment, not in a damp basement or hot attic.
  • Store yarn in an extra closet (hanging shoe holders work great for this) or in plastic tubs out of direct sunlight.
  • Do not store yarn in baskets on rugs. Carpet beetles love to eat yarn!
  • The best way to store yarn for a long period of time is to place it in old pillowcases in a closet ( a linen closet is perfect!) in the main living area of your home or on open shelving out of direct sunlight.
  • Do not store unlaundered garments, the buggies love them!
  • Store all washed crocheted wearables folded on a closet shelf or in a dresser. Hanging garments stretches them out of shape.
  • Moths like undisturbed dark places, so if you leave your crocheted garments out all year in a closet or dresser you use daily, they are less likely to take up residence!
  • Cedar, lavender and other herbal remedies to prevent moths or bugs works because of the smell. If you can no longer smell the fragrance, it is not working.
  • Moth balls may work, but the off-gas emitted can actually damage your yarn. If you use moth balls, make sure they do not come in direct contact with your yarn.
  • Got moths?! If you see moths, throw out the offending yarn immediately! It is not worth taking any chances with the rest of your stash. Some say you can put the yarn in the freezer for a month or two to kill the moths, but that doesn’t kill any eggs that may be present. The best thing is to get rid of the yarn and thoroughly clean the area.
  • It may be a bargain, but do not buy yarn at garage sales unless you know what to look for! If it smells musty or breaks when you pull on it, do not buy it! It has been stored incorrectly. And you may bring home some uninvited critters in the bargain!

Deb Arch and her yarn stash

Designer and Annie’s video instructor, Deb Arch stores her yarn on open shelving in her craft room.

Have you figured out a great way to store your yarn stash? Send a photo to editor@crochet-world.com so we can share it with our readers.

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A Day in the Life of a Designer

Designer Linda Dean has 3 wonderful patterns in the October 2016 issue of Crochet World. Today we interview Linda to learn how she became a crochet designer and what a typical day looks like for her.

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CW: When did you learn to crochet?

Linda: I actually taught myself from a book when I was about 10 years old. I received a stack of books from a family friend and among them was a book, “Step-by-Step Crochet” by Golden Press printed in 1972. Since I had access to a crochet hook and some yarn I decided to give it a try, and spent that summer crocheting clothes for my Barbie doll and some scarves which I actually still have. I eventually convinced my mom that I could make an afghan, so I picked out a chevron-style pattern and some yarn and undertook my first large project. I had difficulty getting my edges straight at the beginning as I kept increasing the stitches, so it has a scalloped edging along the sides to hide the mistake. It is still a well-loved and favorite afghan at my parents’ home.

Astral Flowers Throw Design by Linda Dean Crochet World October 2016

Astral Flowers Throw
Design by Linda Dean
Crochet World
October 2016

CW: Do you do any other crafts?

Linda: I have, but nothing as consistent as crochet. Everything else comes and goes, such as photography, really basic quilting, repurposing things, charcoal drawing, spinning yarn, and stain glass. Since I have been restoring my 100 year old home over the last decade, I consider that a craft project in itself!

CW: How did you become a designer? What was the first design you sold?

Linda: I actually feel it was a luck of fate that I became a professional designer. I was  designing for years, but never really identified myself as such. My journey began as a “stick your neck out trip”. In 2007 my dad was running for local office and I would accompany him to campaign events as my mom was ill and waiting for a transplant. During one of these fundraising events I won a drop spindle lesson from a local woman, Jean Franklin, who encouraged me to join her local Fiber Guild. It was my first experience with a guild, and I was hooked, and greatly inspired. So when I learned of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) I was eager to see what it had to offer. I jumped right in by completing the Masters of Advanced Stitches and Techniques Program, and in the summer of 2011 I was invited to attend the annual conference to be recognized at the banquet dinner for my accomplishments. With encouragement from my family and a few close friends I decided to go and see what it was all about.

I arrived in Minneapolis and took part in everything that I could. I took my first crochet class ever and I met many wonderful people. One evening while sitting in the hotel lobby, I got a jump start on my new career. I was playing with a stitch technique I was attempting to figure out, when the lady across from me asked what I was doing. After showing her what I was working on, she said that I should take it to the “Designer Meet & Greet”. I explained I had a class and then realized that the woman I was speaking to was my instructor for that class, Margaret Hubert. Margaret told me I was to leave her class early, and she made sure I did too! At the Meet & Greet I sold my very first design; Backed Broomstick Lace, to Carol Alexander, which was published in the spring 2012 issue of Crochet! magazine. The rest as they say is history.

Braided-Edge Cardigan Design by Linda Dean Crochet World October 2016

Braided-Edge Cardigan
Design by Linda Dean
Crochet World
October 2016

CW: What does a typical day look like for you?

Linda: I wish there was a “typical” day, but it is easier to explain a typical week!

Now that my two kids have returned back to school, junior high and elementary, there is a bit more structure with everyday essentially beginning after getting them out the door and off to school. I then go through emails and prioritize for the day. Anything that needs a fresh mind or some concentration gets completed in the morning, things like; pattern writing, reviewing or pattern grading (sizing). Then, other items are juggled around depending upon the time available, what deadlines are approaching, and what has to be done to keep my household running.

I spend time each week, writing blog posts (www.lindadeancrochet.com), swatching, sketching, teaching weekly at my local yarn store and sometimes across the country, putting together new workshops, social media outreach, development of my own pattern line, and duties with various volunteer commitments. I volunteer several hours a week for the Crochet Guild of America reviewing portfolios for the Master’s program, coordinating writing of a new Master’s Program, as well as serving on the Board of Directors. I also volunteer with my kid’s 4H club teaching sewing, and my local Fiber Arts Guild currently planning a yearlong calendar of workshops and programs.

CW: What is your favorite part of being a designer?

Linda: My favorite part of being a designer is probably learning something completely new. Just when I think that I have figured something out, I discover a new way to do it. I get to be creative, and not just with yarn and hook. I spend creative time building new relationships with companies and finding ways to expand my business, looking for new avenues to reach people and share my ideas. I enjoy the challenge of taking something that may have been done before and making it completely new. I guess the simplest way to put it is, my favorite part of being a designer is the adventure.

Wine Country Throw Design by Linda Dean Crochet World October 2016

Wine Country Throw
Design by Linda Dean
Crochet World
October 2016

CW: What do you dread or hate doing? Or do you love it all?

Linda: There is not anything that I really dislike, but that does not mean that I always want to do everything. Some days I may feel like swatching and other days it can feel like a chore. Fortunately by adjusting my work throughout the week I am usually able to get everything done and not hate doing any of it.

CW: What advice would you give to someone that wants to try their hand at designing for publications?

Linda: I think the best advice I can offer is to view yourself as a business. By that I mean remember to act professionally, communicate by asking questions when you need clarification, meet your deadlines, and take pride in your work. Put your best self forward, and then remember that not every design will make the cut for publication. It does not mean that it is a poor design, it just means that it was not the right design for this collection at this time. You need to find your niche, and not take the rejection personally.

CW: Thanks Linda for giving us a glimpse into the life of a crochet designer!

Want to crochet one of Linda’s designs featured here or see all the wonderful patterns in the October 2016 issue? Get a digital copy here or purchase the magazine at your favorite craft store or Wal-Mart.

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