New pattern: Northern Lights Cowl

Whew, it’s a bit dusty in here! Sorry about that. Summer was crazy and I’m just now getting my bearings and figuring out my schedule again. You know, just in time for winter break from school. Oh well.

Anyway, let’s talk about the big news! I have a new pattern to release. Apparently, designing is like riding a bike, you never really forget how to do it, no matter how rusty you may be at it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I was approached by someone to design an item using Blue Heron’s Rayon Metallic. Oh, this yarn is so yummy. Definitely a splurge item for a stash, but so beautiful and fantastic to work with.

The yarn cried out to be a cowl, similar to my Southern Lights Cowl, but much fancier. So it demanded to be bigger, lacier, etc. I let the yarn do the talking in this design. It’s another mobius (because I love these for cowls), and the body is a pretty easy lace design. The true stunning part of this design is in the lace edging. It’s deep and allows you to fold it back like a collar. In fact, in the photo it almost looks like I’m wearing a shrug, not a cowl.

Now, some notes about this pattern. It is VITAL that you check your gauge. I used all but about 10 yards of this yarn. And I had to rip back a number of times to subtract rounds to make sure I used all of the yarn without running out. If you’re not using the Blue Heron, then this may not be an issue for you. But if you are, you need to make sure that you match my gauge. That may mean you need to use a different hook than I did.

If you’re going to substitute yarn, I would use a yarn with a lot of drape. A heavy wool or even a cotton may not drape the same. Part of the appeal of the design is how drippy and slinky the cowl is. Make sure your yarn has that same drape.

Northern Lights Cowl

Northern Lights Cowl

Northern Lights Cowl

$4.50 PDF Download

I hope you give this pattern a try and that you enjoy it!

Unexpected Afghans Celebration Weekend!

This weekend Interweave Crochet is kicking off a celebration for the new Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques!

I am so excited that I can finally tell you about this design. I loved every minute of this design.

Okay, let’s start with the photo, because that’s what y’all want, right? Here you go! Here’s my design, Amada Baby Blanket:

Amada Baby Blanket

I started this design with the idea of making lace in a worsted weight yarn. When I got the call for this book, I knew I had to send it in. The swatch was done in the same yarn as the final project (so happy for that!) and it’s Universal Yarns Cotton Supreme. If you haven’t used this yarn, seriously, pick some up. It’s so smooth and silky and has incredible drape.

Robyn was fantastic to work with and she picked a stunning color for the final project. I loved the bright pink. It gives it such a pop and a flair. However, any color you work this blanket in will be stunning (and change the look significantly).

Don’t let the lace fool you into thinking it’s a hard pattern. It’s not. It’s a simple four row repeat that’s super easy to memorize. Because it’s in a worsted weight yarn, it goes super fast. It really is a great way to introduce yourself to lace crocheting.

And it’s not just for babies! This blanket turned out a bit big for a baby blanket, 39″ square. So it’s perfect for draping over a favorite chair and using to cover your lap or shoulders. I originally pictured this as a porch blanket, perfect on a porch swing on a cool spring evening.

I do hope you’ll check out this book. Not just because I’m in it. But because it is so full of great designs from great designers. I have so many of these patterns marked to make at some point. There is some top notch work in here. Designs that are far from the typical patterns found in afghan books.

Now, if you’re interested in winning an e-book version, just respond here by 11:59pm Eastern Time on July 4th with your name and an answer to this question: What’s your favorite technique for afghans/blankets?. Are you the big and lacy type? Simple and traditional? Motif? Back and forth?

Also, check out the rest of the celebration at the links below! I hear that there will be giveaways there, too!

Robyn Chachula Crochet By Faye

Dora Ohrenstein Crochet Insider Newsletter

Ellen Gormley Go Crochet

Carol Ventura Tapestry Crochet

Linda Permann Lindamade

Diane Halpern Three Rivers Crochet

Drew Emborsky The Crochet Dude

Annette Petavy Annette Petavy Design

Jill Wright Wool Crafting

Simona Merchant-Dest Stylish Knits

Doris Chan Everyday Crochet

Edie Eckman Edie Eckman

Mary Beth Temple Addicted to Alpaca

Kristin Omdahl Styled By Kristin

Marty Miller Not Your Grannys Crochet

Annie Modesitt Modeknit

Megan Granholm Loop de doo

Kim Guzman Wips N Chains

Pattern pages updated

When I first got this new site up and running I was also in the middle of a TON of things. So much so that I left a lot of pages to be done later, with only place holders on them. The pattern page was one of those.

After hearing from my fabulous webmaster that I was getting a lot of hits on my pattern pages, I realized I needed to get a move on for putting it together. So, I did. I spent this morning putting together all my photos and links and other stuff to get the pattern pages together.

It’s not as pretty as I’d like it, but that’s what my fabulous webmaster is for. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got the info in there, so now he’ll be able to pretty it up soon.

So, if you want to check out the patterns I have in my Fibers By Tracie line and purchase the PDF downloads, you can find them all here on my Patterns main page.

Coming soon, my full portfolio of designs published both here and elsewhere.

Quick gift ideas

Ok, so now it’s December. Holiday gift giving time is coming up very quickly and let’s assume for a moment you know someone who hasn’t started their holiday crochet yet. Yeah, let’s go with someone you know. Because you’re done already, right? Sure, just like I am. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, let’s say your “friend” is freaking out over the wide range of items to make for gift giving this year. And you, being such a great friend are here seeking help for your friend. Because that’s what friends do and since you’re done already, you want to help out.

Well, here’s some patterns I have out that are great for quick gifts:

There’s the Fearless Scarf. This pattern can be made in really any yarn, so it’s great for stash busting. Which makes more room for you, I mean, your friend, to get yarn for a gift. The scarf pattern is available for instant download for $3.00. You can click on the link or the photo to go to the page on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member, but if you crochet, you totally should be one) where you can purchase it.

Fearless Scarf

Fearless Scarf

Keeping in line with the quick gifts for cold weather, the Ladyfinger Mitts work up really quick in worsted weight wool. Sure, they’re lacy, but I’m telling you, they’re warm. Especially if you make them out of wool. This pattern is available for download for $4.50.

Ladyfinger Mitts

Ladyfinger Mitts

Need a hat for someone? The Beatrice Hat is warm and cozy, and appropriate for both men and women (just change the colors up). It’s got a simple texture stitch and works up quickly. The pattern is available for $4.25.

Beatrice Hat

Beatrice Hat

Now, say your friend lives somewhere that’s warmer and a hat or scarf or fingerless gloves won’t cut it. Well, how about jewelry? The Guinivere Choker works up quickly and is stunning. Any combination of thread and beads will make a beautiful necklace that will be perfect for holiday parties. The patterns is available for $3.50.

Guinivere Choker

Guinivere Choker

If jewelry isn’t their thing, cowls are all the rage right now. The Southern Lights Cowl is deceptively simple and most importantly, quick. Use a fingering weight yarn with long color repeats and let the yarn do all the work. The pattern is available for $4.00.

Southern Lights Cowl

Southern Lights Cowl

I hope this has helped you, er, your friend come up with some ideas for some quick gifts to make. Be sure to stop by here on December 11th because I will be talking about my pattern in the upcoming book Simply Crochet as my stop on the blog tour! And…I’ll be giving away a copy of the e-book. So exciting and I can’t wait to share this with y’all. See you then!

You get the presents!

Tomorrow is my birthday. But I wanted to share presents with you!

If you go to my Ravelry page (you don’t have to be signed in or a member to see that page), you can purchase any of my designs and get 10% off with using coupon code MYBDAY.

This promotion goes on now until Monday, November 7th, so take advantage of it if you wanted any of my independent designs. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! There will be a more insightful post on Monday about what this next year in my life.

Lots of patterns

Somehow I let a month go by without posting. My apologies. I kept thinking it’d only been a week or two.

Things have been pretty busy here, just not on the designing front. I spent a week housesitting for my sister, another week on a mini vacation, and the time between was spent wandering around trying to get life figured out. Vague? Yes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, in the mean time I’ve had a few patterns I designed last year come out. So this post will be photo and info heavy!

Those of you who were reading me last summer may remember the panic and craziness of the “super huge project” that I was working on. Well, now it’s been revealed! I was designing a bunch of amigurumi for Caron Yarns. They’re now starting to be published on The Caron Notebook (Caron’s blog), so I want to share them with you here.

First up was a cute Ice Cream Cone and Ice Cream Sandwich!

Photo copyright Caron Yarns and used with permission.

Ice Cream Sandwich and Ice Cream Cone Amigurumi

Ravelry Link / Pattern Link

That was followed with the little Baseball Amigurumi. My parents are huge baseball fans and so of course I had to design one of these.

Photo copyright Caron Yarns and used with permission.

Baseball Amigurumi

Ravelry Link / Pattern Link

And the one that came out this last week is perfect for back to school. I knew when I started the project that I wanted to make a boy and girl doll. It took until the end of the project before I figured out exactly how I wanted to do that. And here they are…

Photo copyright Caron Yarns and used with permission.

Back to School Amigurumis

Ravelry Link / Pattern Link

I’ve also had a couple of patterns come out through Coats & Clark / Red Heart. Told you it’s been a busy couple of weeks!

Just in time for winter crocheting (we’re still in the 80s-90s, so someone tell me what that’s like).

This one is great because it uses one skein of each color of the new Red Heart with Love solids. This yarn was fabulous to work with. You could make them using the school colors for your little boy (or even for a girl, it is a unisex design). Have fun with this one!

Photo copyright Coats and Clark and used with permission.

Hat and Scarf for Boy

Ravelry Link / Pattern Link

And the last one that I’ve been waiting with baited breath to show y’all! The Lace Pendant Necklace.

This is a very quick and simple motif attached to a chain by jump rings. So light and pretty and perfect for finishing off any outfit. The bamboo thread is fabulous to work with. One ball will get you a lot of necklaces, so they’re perfect for gift giving.

Photo copyright Coats and Clark and used with permission.

Lace Pendant Necklace

Ravelry Link / Pattern Link

Okay, that’s me getting caught up. Right now I’ve got a few designs on the hook that I’m trying to get finished up, as well as finishing up lesson plans and handouts for the Crochet Liberation Front’s Crochet @ Cama retreat next month. I’m teaching three classes there and I can’t wait. We just booked our flights for the trip so now I have to get my lessons done. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy crocheting everyone!

A lost week

I got hit with a nasty out of no where summer cold last week and it had me down for the count. I had a list of things I was going to get done last week and that entire to-do list got replaced with “rest, take meds, drink fluids, try to stop sneezing and coughing”. I do not make a good patient when I’m sick. ๐Ÿ™‚

By Friday I was finally feeling well enough to get moving and pick up crochet again. Still could only do mindless patterns, but that was okay.

Today, I’m much better and we’re rebooting the week! So, new announcements.

Announcement #1:

Fearless Scarf is now available for purchase! If you missed getting this pattern after voting in the Annual Crochet Awards, you can buy it now!

$3.00

Announcement #2:

Due to my illness and some other scheduling issues, my classes at Crochetville were pushed back another week. Therefore, there’s still time to sign up for them! They’ll be starting this Friday.

Classes scheduled:

1. Intro to Amigurumi: Are you in love with all the little crocheted figures and toys that are flooding the market right now? Unsure as to how to go about making them? Have no fear! If you can single crochet, you can make amigurumi. In this class we’ll go over the different types of amigurumi, the things you need to make them, where to find patterns, how to make the basic shape, and how to start designing your own.

2. Southern Lights Cowl: Cowls are all the rage this year, and mobius cowls even more so. Learn how to make this great mobius cowl in crochet without seaming. It looks more complicated than it is. You’ll love making these for yourself and for gifts. We’ll go over how to customize the size for yourself and you’ll also learn how to start a project without having to chain. Pattern included.

3. Intro to Felting: Intimidated by the thought of throwing perfectly good wool into a hot bath to shrink it? Want to know how different stitches will react to felting? Just need someone to give you permission to shrink that swatch? Then this is the class for you! We’ll make swatches in various stitch patterns and then shrink them on purpose, making notes of how they change.

4. Felted Coasters with Box: Simple and quick project using 100% wool to felt after making. Project includes pattern for coasters and a round box for storage.

I hope you’ll join me for one or more of these interesting classes!

Announcement #3:

A very large project that I worked on last year is now being revealed! The folks over at Caron yarns asked me to design a bunch of cool amigurumis for them and I’ve been very twitchy wanting to show them to you! One of them was released in the August 2011 issue of Crochet World, and now the rest will be revealed. You can follow along with them at the Caron Blog. I’ll post about them, too, as they get released!

That’s all from me for now. There’s a few other announcements I’m holding under my hat right now. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to talk about them, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a fabulous week everyone!

New pattern: Circling Accent Pillow

I do a lot of work for Coats and Clark (if y’all couldn’t tell) and sometimes I don’t know when a design I’ve done is going to be available to show you. A month ago or so, I got my copy of the catalog for the Aunt Lydia thread collection and saw two new patterns I’ve done for them in the catalog. The one (Square on Square Table Runner) was posted pretty quickly and I was able to share that with you right away. The other, I had to wait on.

Now, it’s not that I obsessively stalk their site to see when my designs will be posted. Having it as a bookmark on my computer is not stalking. ๐Ÿ™‚

But, my persistence paid off yesterday when I found that the Circling Accent Pillow had been posted. (Here’s the Ravelry link)

Photo copyright Coats and Clark and used with permission

I love the way this turned out and how easily it can be customized for your home or any pillow. It’s also the perfect project for summer since all the motifs are made first and it’s in thread. We used four colors (one variegated and three coordinating colors), but I could also see this being made using up leftover thread from other projects. The sample is on a 20″ silk pillow, but you can easily make it for larger or smaller pillows by adding or taking out rows of motifs.

I hope you’ll enjoy this pattern and I can’t wait to see how you customize it for your home.

Also, a few housekeeping things:

1. Next week, I’ll be a stop on Ellen Gormley’s blog tour for her new book. I can’t wait to share this book with y’all. It’s awesome.

2. Late next week I’ll be heading to Columbus, OH for TNNA (a trade show), so I may not post the following week until later.

3. There is a sale going on until June 3rd…spend $10 in patterns and get 10% off the purchase. You need to go through my Ravelry page, but you can do that without signing up to Rav (but seriously, do that already!)….Ravelry page.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Comfort Cables

I am so honored and excited to be able to share this info with you! First, though, some back story….

Last year, I was chatting with some of my designing friends and found out that Pam Gillette, fellow designer and cheerleader of crocheted cables, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. As anyone who’s read my blog for any length of time knows, we designers don’t make a lot of money. So a major medical crisis is terrifying.

We talked as a group about what we could do to show her we were there with her, sending her comfort and thoughts for a speedy recovery. The idea of a comfort-ghan was born. Now, being designers, we couldn’t just make some basic squares. We worked together to each design a cabled square (because of Pam’s love of cables).

We used Knit Picks Comfy Worsted (which is my new favorite cotton blend, by the way), and made them in colors she loved (silvery greys and a pale pink to signify her fight with breast cancer).

We weren’t content with just making a blanket, though. Come on, like you expect any different from us? We immediately decided we would write the pattern for the blanket, and approached Knit Picks about selling it through their site. We also decided easily as a group that we, the individual designers, wanted no money for this. We wanted the proceeds to go to Pam. All of them. Knit Picks agreed and we started working on the details.

Patterns written, tech edited, combined, introductions written, and all the photography and graphics were done and sent to Knit Picks. Meanwhile, we had already sent the blanket to Pam and she loved it. We were still sitting on the other information until we had to tell her (Knit Picks needed her info for the sales to go to her).

The pattern is now released and I’m proud to be able to share it with you!

Details:

20 pages
24 cabled designs
$4.99
100% of proceeds go directly to Pam Gillette
Buy it here: Pam’s Comfort Cables Crochet Afghan

Contributors:

Project Coordinator: Tammyโ€ˆHildebrand (honestly, she did amazing work putting the squares together and doing the edging….as well as keeping us all on task)

Designs By: Tracie Barrett, Angela Best, Gwen Blakley Kinsler, Vashti Braha, Bendy Carter, Robyn Chachula, Doris Chan, Drew Emborsky, Lisa Gentry, Ellen Gormley, Mary Jane Hall, Jill Hanratty, Tammy Hildebrand, Amy Oโ€™Neill Houck, Margaret Hubert, Kimberly Kotary, Marty Miller, Annie Modesitt, Diane Moyer, Kristin Omdahl, Dee Stanziano, Mary Beth Temple, Karen Ratto Whooley

Technical Editing: KJโ€ˆHay, Kimberly Kotary, Susan Lowman, Marty Miller, Annette Petavy

Graphics and Photos: Amie Hirtes

Introduction: Marty Miller, Diane Moyer

Yarn Support: Knit Picks

Financial Assistance: Dora Ohrenstein

And I’ll close with a few more photos to convince you. ๐Ÿ™‚

New Patterns: Guinivere Choker and Lace Cluster Shawl

My utmost apologies for not posting last week. I was trying to get a design out the door and simply ran out of time in my week to get here and post. So, this week you will get two posts (possibly even two today, but I have to wait and see how my to-do list shakes out).

Today’s post is about two new patterns available from me!

The first one is a part of my Fibers By Tracie line. It’s a sweet and relatively quick choker that can be made in any color combination. Have a prom coming up? Spend a bit of time and make a custom choker to match the dress. Wedding? Make one in white for the bride and ones in colors to match the bridesmaid dresses for the rest of the party.

Guinivere Choker
$3.50

I hope that if you make this you’ll share your photos. I recently made one in light purple with clear beads and it was a hit with everyone who saw it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Details:
Yarn: Any size 10 crochet thread. You could easily use some of the luxurious bamboo threads out there or even some lace weights.
Hook: C-2
Size: 15.5″x1.25″ before clasp
Other notions: 64 seed beads, jewelry clasp, beading needle to add beads to thread.

My other pattern that’s available right now is a pretty big deal to me. I am in the Summer issue of Knitcircus Magazine! This is a beautifully done online magazine. Love it!

Here’s the cover:

Photo copyright Knitcircus and used with permission

The Knitcircus crew were a delight to work with, their color concept for the stories were beautiful, and the photography? Out of this world.

My design: Lace Cluster Shawl (Ravelry link…you can find my pattern on page 48 of the magazine). This wrap is perfect for summer, even here in Florida, because it’s lightweight enough to not be too warm, but to keep shoulders from being frozen in buildings where the a/c is cranked.

Photo copyright Knitcircus and used with permission

And a closeup:

Photo copyright Knitcircus and used with permission

Details:
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Amalfi (which is a wonderfully luxurious 70% cotton, 15% viscose (rayon), 10% linen, 5% silk blend) approx. 545 yards
Hook: I-9
Size: 60″x15″

I love this wrap and cannot wait to get the sample back. You could also put beads on the ends if you wanted to.

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