Easy, Breezy Crochet Lace

Spring is in full bloom and we have the perfect pattern collection for warm weather crocheting.

The new spring Crochet! special edition, Easy, Breezy Crochet Lace features a collection of more than 35 fresh crochet designs inspired by the latest trends and vintage lace techniques.

You’ll find a wonderful variety of lacy crochet projects, from quick-to-make fashion accessories including the Verde Lace Cowl crocheted in a pretty mixed fiber yarn, which in combination with lacy Solomon’s knots makes it look more complicated that it is to stitch. I recently tried Solomon’s knots and found I love crocheting them! If you have never worked the Solomon’s knot stitch before, watch our tutorial here.

Or make the Color-Block Cross Body Bag which is perfect for warm weather travel. The solid areas of single crochet really make the lace pop!

I love these fun, trendy Bohemian Wristlets which are crocheted from embroidery floss! Choose your favorite colors or use up floss in your stash and make these cute bracelets for quick and easy warm weather gifts!

There are plenty of beautiful lacy garments too. Make this pretty Venice Lace Top in no time! Wear it with your favorite jeans, or under a jacket for a dressy look.

The Diamond Line Tunic is sure to catch your attention too! This breezy lace tunic is based on a design from an antique antimacassar with results that are surprisingly modern and right on trend!

You’ll find a variety of pretty shawls perfect for warm-weather including this unusual Pegasus Wrap, with its striking, wing-like shape.

There are also projects for the home including a lacy mandala wall hanging, a pillow, an exploded lace doily rug and four beautiful throws, all showing off unique and gorgeous lace patterns at their best.

With this issue packed with inspiration, we’re sure you’ll spend many happy hours adding touches of trendy crochet lace to your wardrobe and home! Get your copy today!


June 2017 Sneak Peek!

The June 2017 issue of Crochet World is now available digitally, so I thought I would share some of my favorite projects with you.

This issue is all about summer stitching! You’ll find plenty of pretty floral designs and beautiful summery colors here. Lori Zeller’s Daisies in the Garden table runner featured on the cover will keep thread lovers happy and challenged. The project includes motifs and Bruges lace, all surrounded by a pretty mesh border.

If you have not noticed, Tunisian crochet is gaining popularity again, and designers are creating stunning projects to tempt us. Juliette Bezold, a new designer who has fallen in love with Tunisian created this pretty Setting Sun poncho just right for keeping the sun off your shoulders; or wear it over a summery outfit on cool summer evenings. Worked in a variation of the Tunisian knit stitch and crocheted from the top down, each band is built off the previous band in self-striping yarn and finished off with Clones knots for a fun and flirty touch!

We all love baskets and Agnes Russell’s Five Square Basket is sturdy and large enough to hold magazines or a your current crochet project in style!

Here’s a cute way to bring summer indoors all season long. Designer, Terry Day’s Summertime Picnic Set supplies all the trappings of the classic picnic including the watermelon, checkered tablecloth and even a few ants to complete the look!

If you plan to travel this summer, we’ve got you covered with a number of small, easy and quick-to-make projects that are perfect for road trips or vacationing.

I fell in love with Lena’s Pouches and plan to make a few this summer. Not only are they small enough to crochet while traveling, but when you are finished you can use them to hold all the essentials you need for a day trip, including a small crochet project!

Speaking of vacations, you might want to crochet up Abbey Swanson’s Beachcomber Hat before you go. A great way to shade your eyes from the sun, the brim has a wire crocheted right into the last round for easy styling.

Be sure to make Margret Willson’s Seaside Tote to complete your summery beach look! With its fun textured stitches, it makes up quickly in worsted weight yarn.

You’ll find 15 other projects to keep your crochet hooks busy all summer long! See all the designs in the June issue here. Get your digital copy here or look for the June issue at your favorite craft store on May 2.

Happy Crocheting!

PS – Don’t miss a single issue! Explore more of Crochet World with a subscription. Give it a try with a free issue on us! Click here.

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Meet the Designer: Kathleen Stuart

Today we meet designer, Kathleen Stuart. With over 80 designs to her credit, Kathleen is the type of designer who is always coming up with fun and fresh, and often playful ideas. We are excited to introduce her and learn more about her design career.

Crochet World: Kathleen, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kathleen: I grew up near Salt Lake City, Utah in a loving, supportive family. I went to Utah State University and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering (yes, I actually like math!).  I met my husband in a choir at the university.  We moved to San Jose, California in 1988 and have four wonderful children.  I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom.  I volunteered at the different schools my children attended as a room mother, art vista volunteer and band uniform mom, to name a few.  With my children grown, I still volunteer my time with my church and in my community.  I now have five grandchildren, whom I love to spoil, just a little anyways.

CW: When did you learn to crochet?

I learned to crochet when I was about 10 years old in an activity youth group at church. Later, I had 2 wonderful neighbors that showed me different techniques like granny squares and hairpin lace.

Best Buddies
Crochet World
April, 2017

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

Like most crocheters, I became a designer just after I learned to crochet. I didn’t have any patterns (and there was no internet back then), so I played around to make a bag for my jacks, doll clothes and my first attempts at afghans.  My first pattern that I published was “Dishtowel Dolly” in Hooked on Crochet in 1992.  I read in that magazine a call for designs and thought I would try and they published the first thing I sent in.

CW: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I find inspiration in many places! I get ideas from nature, toys, quilts, and things that just pop into my head. I really enjoy creating fun, whimsical things for children.  My children and my grandchildren have been the inspiration for many of my designs.

Peppermint Stick Stocking
Crochet World
Special Edition
Crochet Comfort & Joy
Fall, 2016

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

I believe that everyone has the desire to create beautiful, useful items, so my favorite part of the design process is the crocheting and seeing an idea come to life.

Peekaboo Quiet Book
Crochet World Special Edition
Marvelous Crochet Motifs
Spring, 2017

CW: You have many published patterns to your credit, and you have designed all sorts of projects from toys to afghans, what is your favorite project to design?

My favorite project to design is probably the afghans that I made for my children when they earned either Eagle Scout (for my sons) or the Young Women Recognition Award (a church award that my daughters earned). I drew the different blocks out on graph paper and they were a labor of love.  A close second and related idea is the doll house afghan I just made for my 5 year old granddaughter.  These patterns are unique and really too long to publish in a book or magazine, yet they are my favorite! For magazines, I love crocheting toys!

CW: I love your Down on the Farm blanket from the April issue of Crochet World. Can you share with our readers a few tips or hints to remember as they crochet the blanket?

I made each basic block first and then sewed on the details, like the eyes, ears and noses. The extras are what give the afghan its life, so it is okay to place those items as you see fit.  I also really suggest blocking this afghan.  It tends to not be “square”.  I blocked it after it was done, because the blocks are joined as you go.  Don’t be afraid to change colors of the animals to fit your needs.

CW: Do you have a favorite stitch or technique?

It is hard to name a favorite stitch. I really like to try most crochet techniques.

Barnyard Bowling Set
Crochet World
April, 2016

CW: When I have the time, I want to learn more about___________.

I would like to learn more about thread crochet. I have only done a little bit of it and I would love to make some beautiful doilies.

Peaks & Polka Dot Place Mat
Crochet World
October, 2016

CW: If I had all the time in the world I would crochet_______________.

Great thoughtful question! I would crochet more toys, afghans, baby booties as gifts and donations to charity.

CW: Thanks for sharing your story with us, Kathleen. We look forward to more of your wonderful designs in the pages of Crochet World in the future.

To see more of Kathleen’s designs, take a look at her Ravelry page.

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Meet the Designer: Dora Ohrenstein

I would like to introduce you to crochet designer, Dora Ohrenstein. With six books and over 200 published patterns to her credit, Dora’s fresh take on classic styles appeal to many crocheters. Dora gives us a peek into her life and shares about her love of both crochet and music.

Crochet World: Dora, tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you learn to crochet? Have you always been interested in crafts?

Dora: I learned to crochet when I was about 20 – I taught myself from a magazine. This was in the “Age of Aquarius” — a time of renewed interest in crafts. I was living on a tiny little houseboat in Amsterdam, and a friend who had a weaving shop gave me some gorgeous yarn to work with in lots of colors. I started making garments because no one told me it was hard to do. But after that time I did not crochet again for decades.

CW: I know you are a multi-talented woman. What did you want to be when you were a child? What interested you in college, your early career? Tell us where you career path has led you currently?

Dora: My parents started me on piano lessons at age 8 and I always loved music.  When I had enough of houseboat living in Amsterdam, I finished my BA at Barnard College and decided to major in music. Then I started taking singing lessons. I was already quite a good musician, so when I graduated I decided to pursue a career as a singer. I sang professionally for about 25 years, doing all kinds of music but most notably I was the solo singer of the Philip Glass Ensemble for 10 years and travelled all over the world in that role. I have also been a singing teacher for the last 20 years, and I teach two full days a week, giving one-on-one voice lessons, at a college in Staten Island. I find having these two different lives – in music and in crochet design — quite stimulating!

CW: When did you begin designing? What was your first published design?

Dora: Around 2003 I suddenly was drawn to the crochet hook again. I wasn’t performing much any more, and I yearned for a new creative outlet. I never used patterns and always designed everything from scratch.  My first published designs were in a book produced by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss –  2005 or thereabouts. I met them at a CGOA conference and they were great mentors who helped me break into the designing biz.

CW: What excites you about crochet and keeps you designing?

Dora: I love the architectural qualities of crochet – how you can build anything working in any direction. I also love the zillions of lovely stitch patterns and motifs. I enjoy trying different stitches, then changing them a bit, or a lot, or combining them with other stitches. The possibilities always seem endless in crochet and that keeps me designing.

CW: What does your design process look like? Where do your ideas for designs come from?

Dora: Sometimes from a pretty swatch I’ve made. Other times, walking the streets of New York City where I live, I will see fabulous fashions in a shop window, or on someone and that will inspire me.  I also follow high-end knitwear designers like Missoni or Anna Sui and try to capture some of their sparkle in my own work.

CW: What is your favorite fiber or yarn to crochet?

Dora: Don’t ask me to pick one!  I do love alpaca, pima cotton, cashmere – you know, all the expensive stuff!

CW: You have some beautiful designs in the both of the spring newsstand specials from Annie’s. The Antonia Vest from Marvelous Crochet Motifs is a beautiful combination of Tunisian crochet and motifs. Tell us more about the design.

Dora: Antonia is based on a swatch I had for years, where I combined a square motif with Tunisian crochet using self-striping yarn. The idea was that a simple motif gets more interesting when working it with self-striping yarn, as you get different colors at the center and outsides of each motif, but they all go well together. The rows of Tunisian produce more conventional stripes, and combining motifs with striped Tunisian fabric was a cool way to exploit many color possibilities.   I just never knew exactly what item to use it in.  The concept finally came together with this vest. It was quite a challenge to get the Tunisian stitches to fit into the motifs tidily.

CW: Any suggestions for those that want to tackle this challenging project?

Dora: I don’t think it’s so very challenging if you take it one step at a time and trust the pattern. Sometimes people overthink or second guess the designer, but usually this gets them into trouble. The motifs are quite easy, and the basketweave Tunisian stitch is just a little more advanced.  I recommend making one motif and then adding some Tunisian crochet to the motif, to see how all how your Tunisian stitches will fit into it.  Then practice the Tunisian basketweave stitch by making a swatch.  Once you’ve done this prep, the rest will come without much difficulty.

CW: Your Wanderlust Top on the cover of Easy, Breezy Crochet Lace is also a motif design. It looks so light and airy and perfect for summer. This is one of those designs that you could make over and over again in different yarns. Do you have any suggestions for our readers?

Dora: This one too is all about using self-striping yarn with a motif.  Because the stitches are open the fabric is very flexible, so anyone should be able to get a nice fit on this garment.  Pick a yarn that is not stiff at all, and make sure that it’s a self-striping yarn.  Not all variegated yarns create stripes – some have only short lengths of any color and are meant to create a mottled effect. This will make the elements of the motif hard to see and is not recommend. Rather, look for yarns that have long lengths of each color to get the best result.

CW: In that same issue, there is also a beautiful shawl you designed.

Dora: The inspiration for Fantasia Wrap was a really pretty stitch I found in a Japanese stitch dictionary that I had not seen used in any designs I came across. When you design a shawl, you have to find something special to do so that it stands out, and the added wide ruffle was the special element I introduced for this design.

CW: If you were given unlimited resources and time what would be your ultimate crochet design?

Dora: It would be something where I didn’t have to think at all about writing a pattern and someone else following it. I have many ideas that have to be restrained because I know it would be hard to write the instructions, or make sizing work. Now I am not complaining because creating patterns is my job.  But since you are asking what I would enjoy if time and money were not considerations, I would like to see what I’d come up with if I didn’t have to write a pattern — and some day I will do this!

CW: What is your idea of a perfect day?

Dora: Strong cup of coffee, reading the paper, yoga class, big bowl of fruit, teaching singing for a couple of hours, crocheting for a couple of hours, dinner and wine with a friend, reading a good book, a bit of TV before sleep.  Something like that.

CW: Thanks Dora, for giving us a peek into your life as a designer. If you want to see more of Dora’s designs, make sure to check out her Ravelry page and new book, Top-Down Crochet Sweaters.

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Fiber Festival Season Begins!

Have you ever been to a fiber festival? If you love “all things yarnie” then you don’t want to miss this experience! Fiber festivals are held all over the country, and many take place during the spring and summer months. If you crochet, knit, spin, weave, love to touch yarn and learn new things, make it a point to visit a festival near you.

I recently went to the Fiber Arts Festival in Jay County, Indiana and had such a good time walking around and learning new things, I thought I would share some photos with you.

Lots and lots of yarn and fibers to touch!

Classes were offered and you could watch demos of spinning and sheep shearing, too.

Shearing the sheep is like giving them a hair cut; it doesn’t hurt them, but they aren’t really all that happy about it!

It was hard to resist these cute little guys!

It’s fascinating to watch wool fibers being spun into yarn on a spinning wheel. I learned so much about spinning wheels, weaving looms and felting, too.

Check out this list of fiber festivals to find one near you. You’ll have a fun day and may just come away with a new hobby!

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