Behind the Scenes at Crochet!

This is my first installment of ‘Behind the Scene at the Magazine’… read it to yourself in that nostalgic narrator voice of the soap operas where they told you what happened on the previous episode…

Last week at Crochet!

Assistant Editor Sara was feverishly assembling all the NEW projects that just arrived for the upcoming spring 2015 issue. YES… 2015.  (Can you believe we work that far ahead?) Ellen consulted with Kortney, Annie’s yarn buyer, about what customers are loving in the catalog. Executive Editor Carol, was working on a new surprise for Crochet World magazine readers!  Cover artist Nick, presented 4 possible cover options for the Winter 2014 issue. (I’m so excited!). Layout artist, Dustin, brought in his adorable Giggly Girl to model something sweet for Spring issue. I think I heard her say, “Can I keep it?”.

Join us on the next installment when you can overhear Ellen say, “Velcro is the arch-enemy of yarn.”

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Scavenger Hunt!

On Thursday’s post (7/17/14) I posted a photo of a yarn. Looking through Annie’s Yarn Catalog, can you find the Brand name and style name of the yarn?




Look what I found! An old photo of me crocheting from 2009. I was working on my first book. Here is Charlie on my lap, sweet kitty. See the stack of blankets in the background? I think we have like 14 that are in use in our house.



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Come see me!

The Crochet Guild of America is having their annual conference in conjunction with the Knit & Crochet Show in Manchester, New Hampshire and I’ll be there!

The Show/vendor floor, classes, banquet, fashion show, book signings and other special events take place next week July 23-27.  Get all the details HERE: Knit and Crochet Show.

I’ll be there signing books, talking to readers, looking at swatches, scoping what is trending, and in general having the best crochet-filled long weekend of the year.

I hope to see you there!

Here I am with designer, Darla Fanton, at the 2012 Knit and Crochet Show. My book, Learn Bruges Lace had just been released.



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Guessing Game

Would you like to play a guessing game with me?

The Annie’s staff overheard me saying this yesterday…


________ is the arch-enemy of yarn.

Berroco Folio yarn

What is it?  Guess in the comments!



Pearls & Oysters Throw

Pearls & Oysters Throw

By Cindy Adams, in the Autumn issue 2014 of Crochet

Pearls and Oysters Throw

Welcome Cindy Adams! She tells us about her process here:

My favorite hook size is probably an H. Sometimes I use smaller and larger, but not usually the steel hooks. I also like to use Tunisian hooks. 

I get inspiration at all times and places. I learned NOT to look at crochet books and magazines at bedtime, or I would be awake “designing” for hours! I also have ideas that just don’t work out like I expected. I know it is unusual, but swatching is one of my favorite things to do.

When my sons were elementary school age, they would always want to stop and buy yarn and a crochet hook when we were on family vacations. (They never wanted to take stuff from home.) I don’t think they ever crocheted outside of the car, but at least they showed an interest in learning.

I would have to say that my husband is my biggest supporter, He is very patient and understanding when I stop at a yarn store. And he doesn’t complain (too much) about my stash at home that has WAY outgrown my studio.

My favorite type if yarn is multi-colored!! After that, I like just about everything except mohair, due to allergies. For crochet I prefer smoother over highly textured because I can see the stitches better.

Thanks Cindy!

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Crochet for the sake of Crochet?

I have found that there are two moods of crochet… crochet focused on the final product and crochet enjoying the process without concern for the outcome.

Sometimes, I like to crochet simply for the sake of crocheting. Maybe a pretty ball of yarn has come to the surface of a stash bin and it just begs to be something. Freeform crochet without a plan, is the way to go!

Do you ever feel this way? What’s your go-to stitch when you just want to fiddle with crochet without a pattern or plan?

maura 2

Turn your creativity on it’s head and try crocheting without a plan!

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Marta Shawlette

Marta Shawlette

By Darla Fanton

Marta Shawlette

Darla is a long-time designer and teacher. If you attend the Knit & Crochet Show in Manchester, NH in July, stop by and say, ‘hello’ or take one of her inspiring classes. Darla writes:

I started designing in 1984.  My early designs were what I think of as classic crochet, but in 1997 my sister asked me to design a project for her using a double ended hook.  The day I picked up that hook I fell in love with long crochet hooks.  The result was The Needlecraft Shop’s popular Crochet on the Double(TM) program released in 2000. 

When the company needed somebody to teach the technique at Crochet Renaissance in 2001, I discovered another passion – teaching.  I thoroughly enjoy sharing my love of crochet with students at national conferences and at my local yarn store, the Knitting Bee, in Portland, OR.  

These days I spend my time designing projects featuring all aspects of crochet, from Broomstick Lace to Tunisian and everything in between for magazines, yarn companies, and my classes.

 My most recent book, 50 Tunisian Stitches, was published by Annie’s in 2013.  

50 Tunisian stitches cover

Thanks Darla!  You can see more of Darla’s designs on Ravelry:

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CAL : Marvelous Crochet Motifs

Thank you for visiting! Today I’m sharing with you one of the 48 motif patterns from my newest Annie’s book, Marvelous Crochet Motifs.

1798241309_16_Motif16_FullThis motif is called the ‘Blossom Hexagon’.

I love how easy it is to make a complex-looking project. Layers and colors create eye-popping results without adding too much difficulty.


Here are the links to your FREE downloadable pattern:

HERE is the link to the written text instructions for the Blossom Hexagon Motif: Blossom motif for CAL

HERE is the link to the Stitch Diagram Key for the Blossom Hexagon Motif:   1798241309_16_BlssmHx_Key

HERE is the link to the Stitch Diagram for the Blossom Hexagon Motif:1798241309_16_BlssmHx_Motif

As you are stitching your motif, think about what it wants to be when it “grows up”. In the book, there are 4 projects. They are there to inspire you to think about how you want to use the motifs. With just one motif in cotton or wool, you might have a coaster or hot pad, depending on the gauge. You can use thread and make an exquisite piece of jewelry or Christmas ornament. Make it in just one color or many.  Make a few to several motifs for a scarf or cowl and more motifs for a baby blanket or throw.  It’s really the building block for your creativity.

Would you like to talk about the motif and the process with me and other crocheters? Visit the free thread on Ravelry to discuss and post your photos. Here’s the Ravelry thread.

If your friends and acquaintances want to join us, please send them to this blog page so they can get the pattern too!

If you don’t want to click on the downloadable link above, you can read the pattern here:


Blossom Hexagon



Motif: 6 inches across

Half Motif: 6 inches wide x 3 inches tall


■ Plymouth Encore Worsted medium

(worsted) weight acrylic/wool yarn

(31/2 oz/200 yds/100g per ball):

5 yds #1308 beach berry (A)

3 yds #1606 purple bell (B)

1 yd #470 French vanilla (C)

■ Size J/10/6mm crochet hook or size

needed to obtain gauge

■ Tapestry needle


Motif = 6 inches across (blocked)

Take time to check gauge.


Weave in ends as work progresses.

Join with slip stitch as indicated unless

otherwise stated.

Chain-3 at beginning of round or row counts as a

double crochet unless otherwise stated.

Chain-5 at beginning of row counts as a

double crochet and chain-2 space unless otherwise


Rnd 1 (RS): With C, ch 4, join (see Pattern Notes)

in first ch to form ring, ch 3 (see Pattern Notes),

11 dc in ring, join in 3rd ch of beg ch-3. Fasten

off. (12 dc)

Rnd 2: Join A with sc in any st, fpdc (see Stitch

Guide) around post of same st, [sc in next dc,

fpdc around post of same st] 11 times, join in

first sc. (12 fpdc, 12 sc)

Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in same st as beg ch-1, ch 5, sk

next st, *sc in next st, ch 5, sk next st, rep from *

around, join in first sc. Fasten off. (12 sc,

12 ch-5 sps)

Rnd 4: Working behind ch-5 sps, join B with tr

in any fpdc on rnd 2, 2 tr in same st, ch 1, *3 tr

in next fpdc, ch 1, rep from * around, join in

first tr. Fasten off. (36 tr, 12 ch-1 sps)

Rnd 5: Join A with sc in any ch-1 sp, *sc in next

tr, sc through next ch-5 sp on rnd 3 and next tr

on working rnd at same time, sc in next tr**, sc

in next ch-1 sp, rep from * around, ending last

rep at **, join in first sc. (48 sc)

Rnd 6: Sl st in each of next 2 sts, ch 3, 4 dc in

same st as last sl st made, *ch 1, sk next 3 sts,

(dc, ch 5, dc) in next st, ch 1, sk next 3 sts**,

5 dc in next st, rep from * around, ending last

rep at ** , join in 3rd ch of beg ch-3. Fasten off.

(30 dc, 6 ch-5 sp, 12 ch-1 sps)


Carmine Cropped Cardi

Carmine Cropped Cardi

By Robyn Chachula

Carmine Cropped Cardi

I talked to Robyn about her inspiration for this lovely motif sweater, she writes:

Carmine was inspired by my love of getting to re-invent my wardrobe and my love of motifs. 

I don’t think there is anything more fun than taking a dress or top I haven’t worn for a while and re-inventing it in a totally new outfit by changing something its paired with. Carmine I imagined as a short cardigan that I could slip over sun dresses so that I could start wearing my summer wardrobe in the still chilly spring.  I also envisioned it as a great sweater to wear over some favorite tunics that have seen better days.  The cardigan has so much personality that the tops would take second seat. 

My love of motifs is rampant at this point.  I love taking lacy motifs and combining them together to see what the resulting lace fabric will look like.  I swear each time is a total surprise and a thrill to crochet.  Motifs are one of my favorite construction methods for garments.  I love the building block nature of them and with just a switch of hook sizes I can customize the sweater to my measurements.  I also love that I can play with the layout just by moving blocks around.

Thanks Robyn!


Crochet! Autumn issue

Have you ever had something so much on your mind for months that you assume everyone else is “in on it” too?  I have been happily consumed with the Autumn issue of Crochet! since October of 2013 that I almost forgot to tell you about it. After all these months, it’s HERE!  Over the next few weeks on the blog I’ll bring you behind the scenes quotes and highlights from the designers. But first… the cover!

Cover Autumn 2014 cover

We had 3 contenders for the cover photo. Our cover artist “mocked” them all up and we laid them out side by side. This is the stunning winner because of the “wow” factor of Kristen Stoltzfus’ Ivy Brambles Stole. It’s a combination of Broomstick and traditional stitching and those beads! It is stitched in Tahki Stacy Charles Filatura Di Crosa Cenolavaggi Super Fine. Gorgeous.



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