Behind the Scenes: Chutes and Lattice

chutes and lattice with twist and tuckBehind the Scenes:
Chutes and Lattice Scarf

Inspiration comes from lots of different places. In the case of the Chutes and Lattice Scarf, it was a combination of having a beautiful yarn on hand at a time when I was browsing through a stitch dictionary.

First: The Yarn

I attended the Estes Park Wool Festival a few years ago with my friend Jean (from Desert Rose Designs). There were lots of beautiful yarns at the show, and I was overwhelmed by it all (what did I know…I crocheted with acrylic most of the time). Jean had a lot of great things to say about the yarn we saw in the booth of Brooks Farm. So I decided to buy a skein. I selected Acero because I loved the rich color, the soft fiber (wool/silk/viscose blend) and that one skein had 420 yards. Of course, I had no idea what I was going to do with it!

Second: The Stitch Dictionary

donna kooler's encyclopedia of crochetAbout a year after attending the wool festival, I found myself browsing through Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet. I was inspired by a lot of the designs in there, particularly those in the “Lace Patterns” section.

So, out came the Acero yarn. I began crocheting a few swatches and soon realized that my projects didn’t always look like the pictures in the book. I learned a valuable lesson: the material the yarn is made of will impact the look, drape and feel of the finished project! I was bound to stumble upon this widely known truth sometime. I’m glad it was when I had a beautiful yarn and a great book to refer to.

Third: The Scarf

To me, the “Chain Lace” on page 149 of Donna Kooler’s book looked like flowers or chutes. Although I loved it, I didn’t want that pattern to make up the entire scarf. So I added some lattice; open ladder like chain work which I sprinkled throughout and added to the ends. And since the chutes are directional, I created the scarf in two panels.

I loved it. My sister and mom did, too. My mom has even hinted that she’d love it if I’d accidently leave it at her house when I come visit. Since she’s a crocheter herself, I think I’ll just leave her the pattern!

Coral BloomsFourth: Publication

I was so happy with the scarf, I decided to submit it to Love of Crochet magazine and they accepted it! They requested a lighter color yarn, so I recrocheted it in Knit Picks Gloss in Guava (color discontinued). Renamed “Coral Blooms”, my scarf appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of the magazine.

Fifth: Self Publishing

The magazine had exclusive rights to the design for several months, meaning I couldn’t sell it on my website (or blog or share photos of the design I loved so much).

Now I can…thus my Behind the Scene’s article. One of the fun things about self publishing is the ability to show more photos. Earlier this week I posted the pattern in the shop and shared lots of styling options on the blog, which were modeled by my friend Lorien (from Lady Lorien Designs).

This is a really fun lacy design. If you make one for yourself, please share photos on Ravelry! We’d love it.

Chutes and Lattice Scarf Crochet Pattern

Chutes and Lattice Scarf Crochet Pattern

chutes and lattice scarf crochet pattern

Chutes and Lattice is a lacy scarf crochet pattern that beautifully showcases that crochet can create a delicate fabric.

This is one of my favorite scarves to wear. It’s also one that my mother wishes I would accidently leave at her house when I visit. So far, I’ve remebered to wear or bring it home with me. =)

The fingering weight yarn used in these photos is:

  • Purple Scarf: Brooks Farms: Acero in purple (1 skein)
  • Coral Scarf: Knit Picks: Gloss Fingering in Guava (2 skeins)

Chutes and Lattice Crochet Pattern

Coral BloomsThe motif is created with floral chutes interspersed with lattice work. It’s constructed primarily with chain work.

This pattern first appeared in Love of Crochet magazine Spring 2014 with the name “Coral Blooms”. Chutes and Lattice is now available for direct purchase in our shop.

Available in the Store

Learn more about Chutes and Lattice in our shop.

Chute and Lattice Styling Options

This lacy scarf is a lot of fun to style.

chutes and lattice wrapped twice

Scarf wrapped twice around the neck with a beautiful drape.

chutes and lattice as choker

Cinched tight around the neck with long tails.

Lacy-Scarf-gathered

Scarf folded in half with ends tucked through fold.

chutes and lattice with twist and tuck

 

Scarf folded in half with a single twist on the folded edge. One end is tucked up from below and one down from above.

 

Tips and Tricks: Faux Fur

Working with Faux Fur Yarn

There is no doubt that a little faux fur yarn can add a lot of pizazz to a hand crafted project. And with a little practice, one can learn to crochet or knit with it a little easier.

Tip #1: Crocht Double Stranded

It is nearly impossible to see the stitches when crocheting with faux fur. The furry strands nearly completely hide the stitches. That’s great on a finished product, but not so great when you have to work in those stitches. The problem is not as pronounced when knitting since the stitches are on the needle. If stitches have to be picked up, it will be difficult to find them.

Solution: Crochet with two strands at once, one faux fur and one non-furry yarn. It makes each stitch thicker and a little easier to see. If the non-furry strand is the same color (or nearly the same) as the fur, it almost disappears. The thicker stitches may still be difficult to see, but it is also possible to feel the stitches as you work.

A Furry Sitting

Crocheting with Vanna’s Choice and Fun Fur yarn made finding the stitches in this panda set much easier to find.

Tip #2: Count every row.

Counting the number of stitches at the end of every row or round is generally a good idea, but it is almost critical when using faux fur. It is very easy to drop a stitch or lose  track of a stitch because it can be difficult to see. You might even add a stitch because it’s not always easy to tell if a stitch has been worked in already.

Tiger Striped Scarves Crochet Pattern

Keeping track of the number of stitches per row is crucial to keeping a neat edge in projects like the tiger striped scarves.

Tip #3: There is a Right Side and a Wrong Side.

The little furry strands often get trapped within the stitches as they are worked. When working back and forth in rows, both sides will generally be equally furry. When working in the round, the inside tends to be furrier. For a furrier look, turn the project inside out when appropriate so that the furrier side is out.

A hat can often be turned inside out after it’s finished. Some items may need to be turned inside out before they are sewn together. Just note how furry the sides are before completing the project.

Monkey Hanging in Palm Tree with Banana

The parts of the monkey are turned inside out to keep the furrier side on the outside. A little faux fur on the tree makes the palm tree look more authentic too.

Tip #4: Not all faux fur is equal.

Faux fur comes in varying lengths. The furry strands can be short or long, coarse or smooth. The type of fur can significantly impact the look and feel of the finished product. Projects with the longer strands of fur tend to look fuller and are softer than the shorter stranded fur. The size and nature of the project may determine which fur to use. Generally speaking, the longer stranded fur costs a little more.

Houndstooth Trio

 La Furla from Trendsetter Yarns is long and soft making this houdstooth trio very luxurious.

Tip #5: Notice yardage.

Some faux furs come in small skeins. Generally speaking that means more skeins of fur yarn will be needed than non-furry yarn. Projects with smaller stitches will use more faux fur than larger stitches. For instance, a project  crocheted using single crochet will use more than the same project done in double crochet. Because the faux fur hides stitches anyway, you might want to change the stitch to a taller stitch to save on yarn. The project will get done faster and still look good.

Halloween Trick or Treat Bags

One skein of faux fur will work for small projects like the trick or treat bags.

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf – Crochet Pattern

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Crochet Scarf

This Mulberry Stitch Sampler is a fabulous scarf! The extra length makes it fun to style (see photos below).

We refer to it as a stitch sampler because of all the fun crochet techniques it uses:

  • Star Stitch at the ends and middle
  • Horizontal cable created with reverse single crochet
  • Vertical cables made with front and back post work
  • Shell Stitch creates a lacy middle section
  • Chain work creates an edge to attach tassles
  • Working in front loop only allowed for another row of crochet to be worked in the back loop

scarf closeup

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Crochet Pattern

Summer 2014 Love of Crochet MagazineThe Mulberry Scarf first appeared on the cover of Love of Crochet magazine Summer 2014. It’s now available in our shop: Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf.

The pattern includes lots of photos, written directions, checkboxes to mark your progress, gauage and materials info, etc.

Available in the Store

Learn more about the Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf in the shop.

Mulberry Stitch Sampler Scarf – Styling Options

Here are a few fun ways to style the Mulberry Stitch Sampler:

 

Long Pink Scarf

Star Stitch Scarf Woven in Front

 

Behind the Scenes: Houndstooth Shrug

Behind the Scenes: Houndstooth Shrug

The Houndstooth Shrug won by a landslide in the Twins Face Off Shrug design challenge. But it wasn’t always stunningly beautiful. It went through a couple of redsigns on it’s way to greatness.

“Shrugly” was how Deborah’s husband described the shrug at one point. Yep, combine the word shrug with ugly and you get one shrugly garment.

Behind the Scenes Hood Frogged Voted Favorite

I think Deborah lost 50 pounds by getting rid of the hood!
Collar that was to join in the front because a lapel

Deborah and I talked on the phone throughout the design process and at one point I encouraged her to google images for Cruella Deville (cartoon character in 101 Dalmations). She liked the idea of splitting black and white on the outfit.

Deborah also mentioned that the collar was a happy accident. “I originally designing the collar so that it would join and buttoned in the center front,” she explaiend. “But, when I folded the collar back it created a stunning lapel”. The back of the collar looks great folded flat (as pictured above) or up (pictured right).

Kudos to Deborah for working and reworking her design until she got it just right. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

She held strong to her convictions to create a beautiful garment and  her hard worked paid off.

stay strong

You can see more pictures of the Houndstooth Shrug in the shop.

 

Tiger Print Scarves

White and Bengal Tiger Stripe Scarves – Crochet Pattern

Tiger Striped Scarves Crochet Pattern

Bring out your wild side with these two tiger striped scarves. This pattern includes both the V stripe and Diagnal stripe option.

Trendsetter Merino 6 is paired with La Furla to create a pair of ultra plush scarves. Your kids will want to wear these to school. That’s ok. So long as they let you borrow them back for your nights out.

White and Bengal Stripe Scarves – Available in the Store

Available in the Store

There are more pictures of these scarves and how they can be styled in the store. Learn more about the White and Bengal Tiger Scarves.

White and Bengal Tiger – Photo Shoot

The tiger stripe scaves are flirty and fun. Here are some are a few of our favorite pictures from the photo shoot. A big thank you to our friend Lorien for modeling these wild scarves.

Bengal-Wrapped

Cute and Contemplative

Tiger-Scarf-as-Wrap

Sultry and Sexy

Scarf-Looped-Around-Back

Flirty and Coy

 

Scarf-folded-in-half

Charming and Sweet

Vote in the Shrug Challenge and Giveaway

Vote for Your Favorite Shrug and Enter to Win the Giveaway

Crochet hooks are down, now it’s time for you to vote. If you’d like to win the beautiful Red Heart yarn used in these projects and a copy of these sassy crochet patterns, enter after you vote!

Vote and giveaway close at midnight March 23, 2015.

Twins Face Off Shrug Challenge

Left: Houndstooth Shrug vs. Right: Black Cluster with White Stripe

We’ve asked a friend to model these two beautiful designs, so there’s no telling which twin designed which shrug. Don’t worry about hurt feelings; the vote is anonymous. We’re more curious to know which style is your favorite. So go ahead, cast your vote below.

If you’d like to see more photos, visit the Black and White Shrugs Pattern in the shop.

Vote

Which Shrug Design is Your Favorite

  • Left - Houndstooth Design (70%, 117 Votes)
  • Right - Black Cluster with White Stripe (30%, 51 Votes)

Total Voters: 168

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Ball and Chain Crochet Pattern

Ball and Chain Crochet Pattern

Ball and Chain Crochet Pattern

 

Do your burdens feel like the old ball and chain?

We couldn’t resist having a little fun with the many references to the ball and chain. This is a funny gift to give at a bridal shower (yes, we have done that). It’s also a fun prop for use in plays like “A Christmas Carol” for the ghost of Christmas past.

Ball and Chain Wedding

Whatever your burden, this ball and chain was designed with comfort in mind. It has a faux leather lined cuff for when your burden seems extra heavy to carry.

Pictured above, the scarf is 5′ long. Add more or less links to change the length.

Available in the Store

This Ball and Chain crochet pattern is available in the store.

 

Behind the Scenes: Designing a Houndstooth Pattern

Behind the Scenes: Designing a Houndstooth Crochet Pattern

How is it my husband knew what houndstooth was and I did not? A friend of mine said she was going to try to come up with a crocheted houndstooth pattern.  I had seen this pattern many times before but never knew what it was called. Trying to come up with a pattern intrigued me and I, too, made several attempts at getting an approximate pattern.

Lion Brand Fun Fur

Lion Brand Fun Fur

First I had to decide if I wanted a small houndstooth pattern or a large one. There are several lovely small patterns available online often using an alternating pattern of single crochet and double crochet. I wanted to come up with a larger pattern, one that really incorporated the diagonal lines of the houndstooth. However, the diagonal spike stitch patterns I came up with seemed jumbled and messy. I finally decided to use a spike stitch that went straight down. The effect was quite lovely.

Trendsetter La Furla

Trendsetter La Furla

I first proposed the houndstooth trio to a crochet magazine with Lion Brand’s Fun Fur. Paired with Vanna’s Choice yarn it made a lovely set. The magazine’s editor suggested I redo the set in Trendsetter’s Merino wool and La Furla. These are quite luxurious yarns. They are both incredibly soft and warm. The La Furla is thicker and softer than Fun Fur. They are stylish and functional for even the coldest of weather. Lion Brand has since come out with an equally soft and thicker fur like called Romance. Both yarn brands make for a beautiful houndstooth set.

So, just how did my husband know what houndstooth was? From football, of course. College football coach Paul Bryant was often seen at games wearing a houndstooth hat!

Learn more about the Houndstooth Trio in the shop.

Houndstooth Ladies Crochet Winter Accessories

Houndstooth Ladies Crochet Winter Accessories

Photo: Love of Crochet

Photo: Love of Crochet

This delightful and warm Houndstooth Trio first appeared in Love of Crochet magazine Holiday 2014 issue. It is now available in our shop.

The crochet pattern includes a fur brimmed hat, fur brimmed cowl and fur lined muff. The trio fits ladies 8 years old and older.

The Houndstooth print is created with stitches of various heights and the spike stitch. It’s surprisingly easy to create. The most difficult part will be working with fur. But it is sooo worth it because it is super soft, very warm and absolutely gorgeous.

Pictured here is yarn from Trendsetter Yarns. This set used Merino 8 and La Furla. Both are super soft and delightful to work with.

Available in the Store

Learn more about the Houndstooth Trio in the Shop.