Category Archives: Crochet

Podcast Episode 5 is Up… Ready for Warmer Knitting Weather

I’ve been experiencing the worst allergy symptoms for the past week or so. It’s as if the powers that be decided to dump a big cloud of pollen and mold over me and have it follow me everywhere. Finally, it let up and I was actually able to put this podcast together.

Episode 5 – Warm Weather Fibers

Rachel shares some great tips for using Ravelry to manage your projects and stash. I talk about my latest obsession: Crocheting with Wire. Best of all, we interviewed Cheri Clark of the Naked Sheep Knitshop on knitting with plant fiber yarns… just in time for that warm weather around the corner. It’s just not as fun to knit or crochet with itchy wool when it’s hotter than 80 degrees outside.

Crocheted necklace made with copper wire and glass beads

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Filed under About Me, Crochet, Knitting, Portland Knitters, Reflection, Techniques

Tunisian crochet

Sample of Tunisian crochet honeycomb stitch.

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Explore the New “Black” in Craft Fashion – Crochet

Lily Chins gorgeous crochet lace dress

Lily Chin's gorgeous crochet lace dress

The image above ( Lily Chin designed lace crochet dress found in the first issue of Interweave Crochet – 2004 under “Lace Dress”) and many others inspires me to learn and make more crochet garments that are fashionable and practical. I will always be a knitter, but in the past two years I’ve developed a burgeoning love affair with the craft of crochet.

I’m again teaching beginning crochet at the Naked Sheep Knitshop in North Portland. I get more and more excited each time I teach this class. It simply seems that crochet designers are really challenging the stereotypes of crochet as being the clunky and less graceful of the fiber arts. Gorgeous designs from Lily Chin, Doris Chan, Kristin Omdahl, etc have proven that crochet can not just be couture gorgeous, it can take the form of practical fashion.

“Beginning Crochet” can help learning fiber crafters attain the skills needed to start exploring the fashion options in crochet. In the last class, after we learned all the basic stitches and how to increase, decrease, and crochet in the round. We learned how to make basic lace in crochet. The students were very interested in learning how to crochet hats and berets so I taught them how to calculate increases in the round and develop your basic hat and beret like this one:

Crochet Beret with the Puffy Stitch

Crochet Beret with the Puffy Stitch

I actually adjusted Pretty Puffs Slouchy Hat for smaller gauge yarn so I could use Elsebeth Lavold’s Cable Cotton. In the class the students learned how to ‘do the math’ to figure out how to adjust stitches in a pattern to match their sizes and the type and weight of yarn they were using.

You can read about the basic structure of the course in a previous post and view some pretty examples of crochet stitch patterns:

https://natknits.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/learn-to-crochet-starts-july-20/

Here are the class details which you can also view on the Naked Sheep’s Knitshop’s Website. Hope to see you there 🙂 :

Learn to Crochet- Starts September 15th
with Natalie
$55
If you want to learn to crochet or just need a refresher course, this class is for you! You’ll learn the basics in just 3 classes and get started on the project of your choice!

Tuesdays ( September 15, 22 and 29)
6:30-8:30pm

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Filed under Cotton, Craft, Creativity, Crochet

“Learn to Crochet” starts July 20!

My Favorite Crochet Beanie (Koigu)

My Favorite Crochet Beanie (Koigu)

There are a few spaces left! If you’re interested please check in with the Naked Sheep Knit Shop via the link posted here. I’m excited to teach Learn to Crochet in a few weeks at the Naked Sheep. I’ve posted details and a link to the Naked Sheep site in an earlier post. Actually, teaching crochet to beginners is one of the classes I enjoy the most.  In my experience, many people take to crochet like a duck takes to water.

During the class we go over the basic crochet stitches in the first day (single crochet, double crochet, half double crochet, treble crochet).  Then we learn how to crochet in the round and learn how to shape both flat and round pieces with increases and decreases. I also go over how to read symbols on crochet charts and hopefully get students on their way to learning how to make their own beautiful crochet objects with an unlimited variety of stitch patterns. If we have time I teach the basic shell stitch pattern from a simple chart.

Crochet Cropped Cardigan is done using just three basic stitches Half Double Crochet,   Single  & Double Crochet

Crochet Cropped Cardigan is done using just three basic stitches "Half Double Crochet, " "Single" & "Double Crochet"

I’m also at the Thursday “Knit Night” at the Naked Sheep (unless I have a family gathering or cannot make it on that night) so I can help students who have questions or difficulties with their work.

I love, no adore, the fact that most crochet symbols and charts are universal so there is very little guessing and translating when it comes to using the charts. As you may have noticed from my earlier posts, I’m a big fan of Japanese crochet books as all the instructions are charted and visual. I DON’T need to know how to read Japanese to finish these projects 🙂

By the time the students finish the course their well on their way to crocheting stitch patterns and objects like these:

This looks complicated but its not. Its a simple shell stitch pattern repeat. You can do it if you know two basic crochet stitches.

This looks complicated but it's not. It's a simple shell stitch pattern repeat. You can do it if you know two basic crochet stitches.

Cheongsam collar done in simple shell stitch

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Offering classes this summer at the Naked Sheep

Summer’s here and I’m teaching a few classes at the Naked Sheep in lovely North Portland. I’m pretty excited about the crocheted cardigan class as I’ve discovered myself that you can make pretty and stylish garments in crochet. It’s not just about granny squares, afghans and toilet roll cozies (not that those are bad things).

You can check the class schedule at the Naked Sheep’s website, but I’m also posting my classes here with some added description. I’ll be taking photos this weekend of the swatches, samplers and garment in the classes below.  Please note, I also offer additional individual help for students on Thursday nights during “Knit Night” at the Naked Sheep.

Learn to Crochet
with Natalie
$55
If you want to learn to crochet or just need a refresher course, this class is for you! You’ll learn the basics in just 3 classes and get started on the project of your choice! You will learn the four basic stitches in crochet as well as how to shape flat and round objects in crochet. You will also learn how to read and interpret basic crochet instructions and schematics.  Finally, you’ll pick your own crochet project and start it during the class.

Mondays ( July 20, 27 and August 3)

6:30-8:30pm

Crocheted Embellishments
with Natalie
$25

Want to perfect your sweater edge with a crochet edge? In this course we will discuss techniques for making a crochet edge on hems and necklines. We will also cover techniques for establishing the correct number of crochet stitches on stockinette and garter stitch knitting. Students will learn how to do a basic crochet edge as well as a picot and scalloped stitch edge. They will also learn how to make a crochet button band and button placket.

Saturday ( July 25) 10:30am – 12:30pm

Cropped Crochet Cardigan
with Natalie
$55
Crochet Cardigan
Tired of being restricted to crocheting hats and scarves? You can branch out to crocheted garments by learning to make this smart-looking spring and summer cardigan. During this class, we will discuss sizing and adapting patterns to fit your size. You will also learn how to create simple embellishments like a button band and crocheted edging. This pattern can also be adjusted for longer sleeve and body length!

Saturdays ( August 15, 22 and 29)
10:30am-12:30pm

Additional Information for the Cropped Crochet Cardigan:

Prerequisites: Advanced Beginner Crochet

Must be able to do the following:

  • Make a foundation chain
  • Stitches: Single (sc), Half-Double (hdc), and Double (dc) Crochet

Materials needed:

  • 1200 – 1800 yards dk or heavy sport weight yarn (details for amounts per size available below). Recommended yarns: Hempathy, Silky Wool, Glacier del Cielo, Cotton Rich. No novelty or boucle yarns please.
  • Size D, E, F crochet needles. Needle size needed depends on your gauge
  • Removable stitch markers
  • Yarn needle
  • 2 small plain buttons or ( 3-4 sets of hooks and eyes)
  • 3-4 large decorative buttons

Homework:

Make a 4”x4” swatch with the yarn you chose in half-double crochet (hdc)

Size/Yarn Estimations:

Size (Bust)

Yardage

35

1188

39

1296

43

1404

47

1512

51

1620

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My Fiber Ed at the Knit and Crochet Show

I attended the Knit and Crochet Show this week and was fortunate enough to take two classes.

Fine shaping in crochet with Lily Chin. I recommend taking this class to anyone who has felt frustrated or limited with construction and design options in crochet. Lily’s excellent class helped open doorways to understanding how to shape garments in crochet.

Part of our homework including making an eight inch swatch of a crochet stitch pattern of our choice and making several Xerox copies of the stitch. She showed us how to create a graph template using inch grid chart paper from any garment. She also demonstrated that we could carefully lay out the Xerox copies of our stitch pattern and estimate or plan out our design on the template.

Lily truly is a talented instructor and a storehouse of knowledge about her craft. She shared some of her design stories and swatches.  She told the story of her adventure of crafting a beautiful metallic thread crochet dress and the trial and error process she went through to make a stunning evening dress worn by Cindy Crawford. I scoured the Internet looking for an image of the dress but I could not find it. I honestly think this was one of the most helpful classes in fiber craft I’ve ever taken and I recommend this for anyone who’s itching to boost their skills in crochet and garment design. I can only imagine that her knitting classes are just as enlightening.

I went home and ordered a copy of Couture Crochet as soon as I got home.

Click the image to view the book at Interweave Press

Click the image to view the book at Interweave Press

Designer Day with Janet Szabo. I got a lot of important and useful information and insights on launching one’s own career in the world of fiber design. It was a really valuable class for anyone who is interested in becoming a designer of knit or crochet.

She was able to dispell some of the myths lodged in my brain about getting started as a designer and self-publishing. One of the most important lessons I learned: if you want to insure that your patterns are the best and secure a good reputation as a designer, hire a tech editor to check your patterns.

This class was a good start to understanding what it takes to launch a business as a designer but I would also encourage those who are interested to check SCORE or the SBA (Small Business Association) for classes. I took a class a year or so ago on writing business plans that was very helpful.

On another note, Janet has written two books that I’ve found indispensable:

I Hate to Finish Sweaters &

Aran Sweater Design

Click the image to view the book at Janets site.

Click the image to view the book at Janet's site.

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Filed under Aran, Challenge, Creativity, Crochet, Fashion, Garment Design, Knit

Amigurumi Joy

New additions to my library

New additions to my library

I forgot to mention I bought a few more Amigurumi books during my San Francisco trip. Actually, I really need to write about and post some pictures from the trip but maybe in the near future.

I shelled out a bunch of dough for crochet books in general. I’ve been finding myself more and more drawn to crochet as a craft.

I met some very nice folks at one of my classes during the Knit and Crochet show who were really interested in learning more about interpreting Japanese books.

I know I’ve posted these in an earlier link but I”ll do so again. I’ve also found a another great resource here http://craftlog.org/craftingjapanese/

I really adore the lamb from the Amigurumi book volume 6.

Amigurumi Sheep

Amigurumi Sheep

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