Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Cowl for Skerin Four Ways

Susan Kerin writes, 
"I wanted to design a Christmas gift, decided on a crocheted scarf.  Began experimenting with colors and textures of my yarn remnants and worked various prototypes that could be easily written as a pattern. Result was the Cowl for Skerin Four Ways."

The pattern also calls for four buttons, which is a fun exercise in itself to go through the button box and pick out the “just” right accent of color/textures of buttons to put the cherry on top of this delicious yummy item.  Susan said the response to this scarf was "absolutely overwhelming"!


All kinds of texture goin’ on in a soft and warm cowl; completed in multiple textures and yarn weights and lots of fun choosing the just-right buttons to set it off!  Makes up really fast; excitement builds as each new color and texture are added.  Work seems to go faster and faster as each row is completed … and you can’t wait to see what the next completed row brings!  Skill Level:  Easy.  Of yarn weights in yarn standards categories 4, 5, and 6. Finished size:  approx. 32”x6”.

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.)