Crochet World April 2017

The April issue of Crochet World is now available digitally and will soon be on the newsstands. You’ll find lots of fun springtime projects to crochet including a variety of afghans for you and your favorite little ones.

Every time I see this cute Down on the Farm throw for kids I just have to smile! Of course our pint-sized model, Scarlet certainly helps make this project all the more adorably cute!

Our Spring Flowers Afghan, designed by Rena V. Stevens will bring the beauty of spring right into your home! Covered with yellow tulips and pink crocus, not only is this one fun to crochet, you’ll be proud to show it off too!

Our log Cabin Scrapghan is perfect for using up left over bits of worsted-weight yarn. You’ll have so much fun choosing your colors, you might just be sad to finish this one!There are 2 more beautiful afghans in this issue along with 4 gorgeous pieces crocheted with thread!

Our Designer Spotlight features Joyce Geisler’s beautiful Motif Medley Table Runner in stunning shades of French Rose, orchid pink and mint green for a pretty springtime look. Of course, no matter what colors you choose, you’ll have fun crocheting this join-as-you-go runner. And it would make a stunning tablecloth or set of place mats too!

You’ll also find some quick projects in this issue including our cute Best Buddies set perfect for springtime holiday gift baskets or a new baby!

Or you may want to crochet our useful Messenger Bag which is not only roomy enough to hold most tablets and a few essentials, but also makes a stylish purse too. This is our Beginner’s Luck feature and we hope you’ll use this pattern to share your love of crochet by passing along the tradition and teaching a friend, neighbor or relative.

You’ll find lots more designs here guaranteed to keep your crochet hooks flying all spring long!

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Annie’s Signature Designs – Spring Breeze Collection, Spring 2017

Annie’s Signature Designs has launched Spring Breeze, a stunning upscale collection of knit and crochet patterns for the discerning yarn crafter. The collection was envisioned by Lead Designer Lena Skvagerson, who brings a wealth of experience from the European and Scandinavian fashion markets. Along with Lena, a team of talented individuals collaborated to create a collection that includes the hottest trends in yarn, crochet, knitting and color.

Lena understands how to attract an audience of yarn crafters with a variety of tastes and aesthetics. “I can see how a collection of pieces can fit into a woman’s wardrobe that’s not fussy or complicated, but rather clean and minimal. The designs I envision are timeless, just like my own sense of style,” says Skvagerson.

 

Collection contributors include a host of prolific crochet and knit designers, such as Robyn Chachula, Lisa Gentry and Melissa Leapman.

Designs include tanks, tees, pullovers, wraps and other wearables that span the spring and summer seasons and are practical for everyday wear. The projects are attainable for enthusiasts of all skill levels and are made with a range of high-quality, weather-friendly fibers to keep you cool when the temperatures soar!

Click here to view all the beautiful designs in this collection.

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It’s A New Year! Learn Something New!

Happy New Year! I know we’re a few weeks into 2017, but now that you have had a chance to settle into your day-to-day routine after the holidays, I thought I would take a moment to remind you to learn something new this year!

If you are like me, your crochet list is long with new projects you want to make. We often spend a good part of our crochet time making gifts for others or crocheting for charity; all worthwhile, but I hope you take time to learn something new this year.

Annie’s has over 30 great video classes on all things crochet to inspire you! I find I learn things quicker when I can see someone demonstrate a stitch or new technique. With Annie’s video classes, not only can you repeat a step over and over, you can watch the class anytime, on any device.

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You might want to learn to crochet cables this year! Instructor Jennifer Pionk has 3 new classes for all skill levels. If you are new to crochet cables start with Jennifer’s Learn to Crochet Cable class.

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Or one of Jennifer’s awesome project workshop video classes may appeal to you. I know I have the In-Style Cabled Shoulder Bag on my list! This project is only available in this digital class, and with over 90 minutes of instruction, you find yourself making more than one of these stylish bags. How about one in denim yarn for summer?

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You may have recently noticed a lot of interest in C2C crochet. Corner-to-corner crochet is a way to make afghans, pillows and other home decor items following a color chart to create lots of colorful designs. Learn the basics of this fun technique with expert instructor, Sarah Zimmerman as you make the cutest baby blanket complete with a monkey, lion, elephant and panda! What an adorable shower gift for some special baby!

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After you’ve mastered C2C, you’ll want to check out Sarah’s new pattern book with 5 cute throws!

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If you love motifs, like most crocheters, you may want to take Ellen Gormley’s, Learn to Join Crocheted Motifs video class. With 3 exclusive projects in this 5-star class you’ll learn how to expertly join motifs in several different ways. As you gain confidence, you’ll find yourself using your new skills over and over again.

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And last , but not least, if you or a friend struggle with crochet because you are left-handed, this might be the year to learn! Left-handed crochet expert Kathy Lashley will teach you how to crochet step-by-step in this crystal-clear video as you make the 4 easy projects included with the class.

I hope I have encouraged you to add a new technique or project to your list. Go here to see all the video classes and get inspired to try something new in 2017!

Happy Crocheting!

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Meet the Designer – Kristen Stoltzfus Clay

I think most of us enjoy reading about other crocheters. Hearing their stories, helps connect us to the larger crochet community.

Today I would like to introduce you to Kristen Clay. Kristen’s designs which often appear in Crochet World and Crochet! magazines are always fresh and very appealing and fun to crochet! Kristen’s Art Deco Neck Warmer in the February 2017 issue of Crochet World is no exception. Its vintage-inspired style and modern flair make it a very wearable winter accessory.

Art Deco Neck Warmer Designed by Kristen Stoltzfus Clay

Art Deco Neck Warmer
Designed by Kristen Stoltzfus Clay

I recently interviewed Kristen and share our conversation here:

CW: Kristen, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kristen: I’m 25 years old, the oldest daughter of 7 children. My family moved from Dutch country in Pennsylvania to the gorgeous hills of west-central Idaho less than two years ago. Moving west was to me like coming home from exile – I love it here with a passion. Since then I’ve recently married a wonderful man and live with him on his family’s ranch, which has been in their family since the 1800s.

CW: When did you learn to crochet?

I grew up surrounded by crochet. My mother specialized in thread doilies, especially pineapple designs. My maternal grandmother has made hundreds of baby afghans, including one for each grandchild and great-grandchild, to this day. She learned to crochet to occupy her time once she was older, and made striped afghans using the crazy stitch. So when I was around 6 years old, I naturally begged Grandma to show me how. She started me out with the chain stitch. I learned a few basic stitches but didn’t pick up crocheting seriously until I was about 17, when I was reading my mother’s back issues of old crochet magazines and got hooked.

CW: What other crafts appeal to you?

Kristen Stoltzfus Clay

Kristen Stoltzfus Clay

Kristen: Counted cross stitch interested me for a time, but for the last few years it’s been sewing! In fact, sewing and crocheting often compete for my time and interest. As you can tell from the photo, I love bygone fashion, and make my own clothes from vintage patterns, styling them on my blog www.verityvintagestudio.typepad.com.

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

Kristen: I realized afterwards I’d been designing things for a time after I learned to crochet – I just didn’t realize that’s what it was. I’d make doll dresses, and alter existing patterns ad lib according to my needs and the yarn I had on hand. When I was 19, we subscribed to Crochet World. I read about the Winner’s Circle contest and emailed then-editor Michele Maks, who kindly said that she’d look at any ideas I could send her. Ideas instantly began to bombard me, and I’ve never looked back. Everyone in the business was kind and encouraging, despite my ignorance of everything in the beginning. Oh, the learning curves!

My first sold design was a set of two thread brooches with mixed media embellishments, to a craft magazine that no longer exists. Thread jewelry remains a favorite of mine to design.

CW: What is your favorite part of the design process?

Kristen: I absolutely love turning an intangible image in my head into something tangible that others can recreate. It’s like giving body to a thought. Sometimes actually working it out can be tedious, especially if I can’t get something in my hands to look like the picture in my head, and not every design is a success (though sometimes it just needs revamped with another yarn or color choice). But I love seeing it come together in the end, and finding my name in print if the design sells!

CW: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?


Kristen: From everything. Pinterest images of home décor or fashion, an element on an existing garment, or unexpected color patterns…often the yarn itself will inspire me by its color or fiber with what it “wants” to be made into. I’ll see something in fabric and think, “How can I do that in crochet?” Often all I will need is someone saying “We need ideas for fingerless gloves” or something generic like that, and that will trigger inspiration for me. Usually when I’m staring vacantly at the wall, looking totally spaced out, I’m working out a design in my head! I also especially love incorporating buttons and bead elements into my designs; many times I will see an embellishment and imagine what would be a suitable backdrop. So a craft store has endless inspiration!

CW: What is your dream project? If you could design anything, pull out all the stops with the perfect yarn ready and waiting, what would you create?

Kristen: I’d love to do a 1930s style dress and jacket set. I’ve seen some gorgeous vintage images of knitted ones! Very chic and wearable, with such unique and fun details.

CW: What does an absolutely perfect day look like for you?

Kristen: A perfect day is one I can share between tidying my pretty little home while listening to music, crafting or reading beside an open window in my spare time with a view of the mountains to be glanced at every few minutes…and most of all, spending time with my husband and family enjoying Idaho.

CW: If you did not crochet what would you miss the most?

Kristen: Having a flexible job that is also a hobby and passion, in which I can express my style and taste in things I create. But my guess is my creative drive would have found some other outlet… I’m just glad crochet and I found each other!

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Crocheting in Tuscany!

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The weather outside may be frightful, but I am dreaming of crocheting in Tuscany! If you missed going to Ireland last year with the Annie’s (which got rave reviews!), here is your chance to join us for a wonderful trip to Italy.

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

And to make it extra special, celebrity crocheter, Lily Chin will travel with us for the entire trip. In between all the wonderful sights, there will be plenty of time to crochet and learn new hints, tricks and techniques from a master designer and teacher.

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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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