Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lacy Star Stitch Crochet Cowl: Spiraling Starwirbel

Starwirbel Cowl-Capelet
Crocheting star stitches that look this lacy has been a fun discovery! Earlier this year I was preparing to teach a new crochet class on star stitches. This is when I learned about the incredible lace textures star stitches can have

The Starwirbel Cowl came together quickly as a design for several reasons. With a big crochet hook, each star gets you where you want to go faster.

You can use all different kinds of yarn. (Link goes to the Starwirble projects page in Ravelry. Also see its crochet along here.) 

I used a yarn that has bitsy sequins here and there, with some mohair and silk. I couldn't put it down!

It's crocheted in the round with no turning—that means it's a spiral. I love how you can really build up speed and momentum when crocheting in a spiral.

I named it "Starwirbel" for this reason. the "wirbel" part is a German word for whirl. That's what the spiraling construction felt like to me while crocheting it. 

Before I found the term "wirbel" I was thinking of names like "Star Whirl" or "Star Funnel." I think "Starwirbel" is more distinctive and memorable. Also, I love that several German crocheters have purchased this pattern.


This pattern is not free and I really appreciate each and every purchase of it. Starwirbel comes with a great photo tutorial.  It also benefits from all the information I gleaned from the (frankly outrageous) amount of research I did on star stitches for the class I taught!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Variations on the En Fleur Cowl for Crochet! Magazine



The En Fleur Cowl is my latest cowl design, and it is also the first time I have designed a project for Crochet! magazine! The bold floral motif inspired this cowl, and in addition to designing the magazine version, I wanted to find more ways to use/ alter the motif pattern.

First, I decided to try making the motifs in 2 colors with a lazy daisy embroidery embellishment in the center. It gives it quite a different look:



Then, I decided to try crocheting the motifs in pearl cotton thread to create a statement necklace:


You can find instructions for how to alter the pattern in the magazine to make this necklace, on my blog.

The stylists for the Crochet! magazine photo shoot came up with the idea to wear the cowl as a headband. I love the versatility of that. you could easily wear it as a cowl or a headband on the same day, depending on the weather or your mood!


These are just a few ways you can have fun with a simple motif pattern- whether you change the colors, yarn, or the way you wear it, you can get a lot of mileage out of a pattern!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New Crochet Mobius Cowl Scarf: Scalloped Star Stitch Rib

Cowl crochet fever is back again

A larger Starlooper Mobius Cowl warms the shoulders
A larger Starlooper Mobius Cowl warms the shoulders. 
(The contrasting stripes were experiments that I decided
to leave in and see how they'd drape different ways.)

Starlooper Crochet Star Stitch Scarf with fewer rows makes a nice overlapping neckwarmer
Fewer rows of this Starlooper: a
neckwarmer that overlaps in the front.
When I added a mobius twist to the Starlooper loop scarf, it multiplied the fun ways it drapes around the neck and shoulders. I created a whole "menu" of NINE looks or wearing options (see the cowl 'menu' montage blogged here). 

I love how this cobalt blue merino wool yarn photographed! The star stitches are lovely no matter what but this soft Z-twisted merino yarn adds to the texture. 

It's a new DesigningVashti.com yarn called Treat Medium-Z that I'm adding to my shop this week. (Click here to check on its status. Better yet, subscribe to my newsletter. My subscribers always get the news first. Sale coupons too!)

Two more photos: the first shows the same Starlooper star stitch pattern in a color-shading yarn.
Starlooper Crochet Star Stitch Mobius Cowl in a long striping color shading yarn
Starlooper star stitch pattern in a color-shading
yarn by Marks & Kattens.

  This last photo shows a strand of two different colors held together.
Starlooper Crochet Star Stitch Mobius Cowl with two strands of yarn held together
Starlooper star stitch pattern crocheted double-stranded.
(This yarn is a sport weight version of DesigningVashti
Treat merino yarn that I'll be adding to my shop also.
It will be called Treat Skinny-Z.)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Adapting a Scarf Pattern into a Cowl Pattern


When I am working on a new design, I always keep my mind open to ways I could adapt the pattern to give it maximum versatility. I think the Ruffles Scarf pattern I designed for Interweave Crochet's Fall issue, is one of my most versatile patterns to date. When I sent the finished sample to Interweave, I included photos of a dozen ways the scarf could be worn. It really looks very different depending on the way it is wrapped! 

Later, I got the idea to shorten the scarf to make it into a cowl, and I just had to make one! I love how the cowl turned out, and that it looks different enough from the scarf, but still has the same flavor. Chances are if you like the scarf pattern, you will like this too!

I have given instructions on my blog as to the alterations that need to be made to the original scarf pattern to make a cowl, and another version that includes some surface crochet embellishment.

I am now curious about how other scarf patterns might transform into cowls!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wintergreen Cowl CAL

Ellen Gormley's Go Crochet Ravelry group is doing a CAL of the Wintergreen Cowl. It officially starts in March but some have already jumped ahead.  Here's the link to the thread to join us!


The pattern is available either a la carte here.
or as part of "The Snowflake Story" ebook... here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Introducing the Natalie Cowl

Photo by Harper Point for Interweave Crochet

It is great to be posting on the Crochet Cowls blog again! I designed the Natalie Cowl for Interweave Crochet's latest Accessories issue, and I am thrilled to be able to share it with you. It is crocheted in 3 pieces, and then the 3 pieces are crocheted together simultaneously. It helps you to place the motif perfectly and securely. It looks a little different depending on how it is worn. In the above photo from the magazine, the lower band has been pulled down flat. You can also let it roll over more, as in the photo I took before sending the cowl sample to Interweave.

If you would like to read more about my design process for this cowl, I have done a blog post on my own blog as well. I would love to have you visit me there!





Friday, October 12, 2012

I Love Yarn Day!

Celebrate 'I Love Yarn Day' with me!  Here's a FREE Cowl pattern. Well, find the pattern at ILoveYarnDay.org