In honor of KP Crochet’s launch, the Knit Picks staff is taking this week to focus on all our favorite, hook-tastic products and projects.
When I began working at Knit Picks, I was fascinated by the way people would knit during office meetings; their focus so smoothly divided, yet free! Now, nearly two years later, there’s something a little different about our meetings: At any given time, about half the staff whips out crochet projects (yours truly included). Granny stripe blankets, cotton thread lacework, crochet toys, cowls, slippers and shawls—it’s basically a bonanza.
Waltz into the world of Jane Austen with this romantic crochet collection. Elegant and feminine, these 36 designs will whisk you away to the Regency era of balls, high tea and delicious gossip about who is courting who. Chances are one of these fanciful garments could even bring a Mr. Darcy into your life!
This week, Jenny and Stacey get a chance to chat about all of the wonderful new yarns and collections coming out this month! First and foremost is our brand new crochet thread, Curio. Hear all about our lovely new #10 crochet thread and get inspired with pattern ideas.
Following the crochet theme, Jenny and Stacey introduce Serenity, our first ever collection of crochet designs featuring 8 independant designers.
Next, Jenny and Stacey talk about the other three new pattern collections including Light Basics – a collection of garments and accessories all knit in fingering weight yarn, Reversible Basics – a collection that incorporates reversible patterns and details into the designs and Ballerinas in Pink, a collection inspired by turn of the 20th century French fashion and art. Finally, Jenny and Stacey give a few highlights and suggestions from the summer yarn and book sale.
You can find all four of our new collections at the links below (available as ebooks, printed books, and individual pattern downloads):
Serenity Crochet Collection
Ballerinas in Pink
3 easy ways to listen…
A riff on the Babette Blanket
This blanket was inspired by the Babette Blanket, and by my stash. I love the bold, multi-color splashiness of the Babette Blanket, and I had some Chroma worsted samples to play with. I’ve called it a “Nanette Blanket” after my middle name (Nan), and the bumbling character from the musical “No No Nanette.” This was definitely my typical, bumbling experimental project!
Ever since I committed to learning crochet, I’ve found myself trading in my needles for hooks more often than not. So for me, this year’s Knit & Crochet in Public week has been all about returning to my first (and sadly unfinished!) crochet project.
Say “Hello!” to my pile of 140+ crocheted circles; all waiting patiently to become the Hexagon How-To Blanket by Lucy of Attic24!
To begin, I’d like to share an exchange that occurred in a waiting room last year:
Young boy: HEY! What are you doing?
Me: Oh, hey there. You mean this? I’m crocheting a scarf.
Young boy: CROW-saying?
Me: Right, close! I’m crocheting. See, you use this hook to make loops with the yarn.
Young boy: (yells across room) MOM, LOOK AT WHAT THIS GIRL IS SEWING.
Young boy’s mother: Honey, that’s not sewing. She’s knitting.
Public crafting—like anything you do that’s not “staring blankly at the ground”—opens you (and your work) up to an immediate and directed dialogue with strangers; as most of you have experienced, this is both good and bad!
In honor of “Knit & Crochet in Public Week” (which kicked off last Saturday), I’d like to present the best stranger comments I’ve heard over the last couple of weeks (from parks to cafes), all in relation to the same in-progress Brava blanket pictured above
Over the past oh, three or four years – I’ve tried learning to crochet at least a handful of times. During these past (and failed) attempts, I think I let my familiarity with knitting get the best of me. I can knit with lots of distractions, I can usually fix mistakes I make, I can fairly easily read my stitches – yet ultimately, I now realize these small things were holding me back. Instead of seeing crochet as a new learning adventure, I often became frustrated that I felt as if I was just stitching away without knowing what I was doing.
Then on my last attempt something clicked – vague memories of my initial knitting attempts came into view: projects gone awry, struggles with gauge, dropped stitches, the list goes on. And so now after having readjusted my learning process (and having reasonable expectations), I can (very!) happily report back that I am officially hooked on crochet. Pun intended.
Which is why I now deserve to get myself a rainbow fiesta of crochet hooks, plus 40% off isn’t too bad either!
Amour Crochet Hook Set
I work for a yarn company, but I can’t stand most wool. While it would be a stretch to dub me a Barbie (my preferred outfit is sweatpants and I don’t even own a brush), I am known around the office for my fastidious skin. Even the thought of wool makes it itch.
Thankfully, we carry a wool yarn that is kind enough even for my royal skin, and it was recently kitted into a stunning cowl. My co worker Jenny penned a clever little haiku in honor of the grand event:
Double crochet cowl,
you are even soft enough
for Princess Heidi
And here is the kit (not on me .. I gave up modeling a long time ago):
I love sleeping. Immensely.
Perhaps that is the reason behind my affinity for crocheting blankets. Halfway through a massive Brava blanket adventure, I recently started a second hefty blanket, this time in the sumptuous Billow.
Doppelgangers have enormous appeal for me in all forms: professional celebrity impersonators, Dostoyevsky’s The Double, Nabokov’s Despair, houses with miniature/to-scale versions that serve as mailboxes—the list goes on and on! But my current Top-of-the-Heap favorite is crocheted toy twins.
To begin, a question: What makes a good doppelganger? Ideally, it should be both precious and eerie in its sameness—but with most small toys, you’re also painting with a broad brush. Therefore cats (and the like) are a terrific subject, because very simple changes can be made to a pattern to mimic their varying fur and markings.
Recently, I found Claudia van K.’s joyful “Mr. Tibbles the Cat” free pattern on Ravelry and I knew exactly who to model it after…
Meet Harvey, my boyfriend’s cat. He enjoys dirt, moths, making Snoopy noises and sleeping on his very own military cot:
Now, meet Mr. Harvey the Cat. He enjoys eating polyfill and being very quiet: