Getting into crochet has been a great spark for me. I love learning and trying new things and experimenting. I love to push my own boundaries, too – so when I kept seeing amazing images of arm-knitting and arm-crocheting, I needed to try it!
Basically, arm-knitting and crocheting is when the material you’re working with is so large that your arms become the needles or hook (or, if you’re really crafty, you make the tools yourself!). This larger-than-life technique isn’t new – it’s been a perennial favorite of installation artists who work with everything from fiberglass to 1,000 strands of yarn at once. But it is new to me.
I had a wad of plain Wool of the Andes roving sitting around, and on a whim I grabbed it, split it into two halves lengthwise, and tested what could be done with it as yarn. The sample didn’t look like much, but it was promising. So, in my typical go-big-or-go-home fashion, I ordered 20 hanks of Full Circle roving in quarry and set out to make…something!
The soft gray days have rolled in, and with them my crochet color palette has taken a gentler hue. Typically one with a penchant for bold color combinations, I decided to craft a blanket in the neutral and lovely Wool of the Andes Dove Heather. Its misty tweediness is so apt to usher in autumn.
Over the past year, I have been shifting my crafting energies from knitting everywhere, all the time to focus on expanding my crochet skills. And I have to say, I finally feel as though my efforts have been paying off! With practice, a few basic stitches eventually transformed into granny squares which grew into giant granny square blankets. So what has been captivating my crochet sensibilities lately? Textured stitches!
Once I got the hang of how to work bobbles to my crochet, I couldn’t help but learn a few more textures to add to my crochet repertoire. After bobbles, the next stitch on my list of things to tackle was the puff stitch.
I love my job! I have the pleasure of finding books at Knit Picks. Today is double exciting because we have new books to share and it’s book sale time! With 40% off it’s hard to resist! Here are some knitting, crocheting and tatting books that have caught my eye!
During the height of summer, I was perusing one of my all-time favorite crochet books, Simple Crocheting by Erika Knight, when I was struck with the need to make the Classic Snood. The image of a large tweedy wool cowl paired with my favorite fall coat would not escape me, so I naturally spent an afternoon searching through my stash to find just the right yarn.
Looking back, it’s easy to see how the pages of cozy knits and oh-so-lovely photography transported me out of the sweltering summer heat and into the world of comforting winter accessories. Plus, who doesn’t love having a few freshly finished accessories ready for the first day of cool autumn weather?
Some of my favorite days at work are photo shoot days. Every catalog cycle we log anywhere between 1-4 location shoots and 2-5 in-house studio days where we shoot tools, garments, yarn, books and all sorts of other things that crop up along the way. Each kind of shoot has this moment when everything just clicks and Amy and I can get that “perfect shot” that was exactly what we had in mind. Every once in a while we have a shot that totally exceeds our expectations and makes me actually clap my hands and gasp when I see the image on the screen.
I wanted to take a minute and shine the spotlight on some of my favorite photos that we’ve taken recently that maybe didn’t make it into the catalog or are Independent Designer’s patterns that I’m especially proud of. Enjoy!
My very favorite aspect of crocheting & knitting is choosing a color palette (followed closely by the keen anticipation of waiting for yarn to arrive at my doorstep). A tasteful color scheme is crucial, as it will make or break a project. There is an endless sea of brilliant color combinations to choose from … you just have to know where to look!
First, I set up a Pinterest board to store my color palette images. Next, I start compiling images with lovely color schemes. There are quite a few sites that make this a breeze. My favorite is Design Seeds, which is updated daily with gorgeous color palettes pulled from photos.
Here’s an example of a yarn color scheme in our wool line Palette that I extracted from a Design Seeds image:
When I went back to visit family on the east coast a few months ago, I had the opportunity to grab some hand-me-downs from my granny’s house. I was able to go back in time and send myself an entire box of my great-grandmother’s linens!
What amazes and inspires me about the treasure trove of table dressings I now possess is not just the quality of the work, but the quality of the care shown by my great grandmother and my granny over the last 75-100 years.
I have the fastidious skin of a princess, and can’t stand most wool yarn.
That is, until I met City Tweed. The blend of Merino wool and superfine alpaca gives the Donegal tweed a buttery soft texture, while still maintaining its traditional textured appeal.
I’m crocheting a blanket that will be primarily the dark charcoal City Tweed DK Obsidian, with three white stripes of contrast in the center. I can’t help but be transported to misty Scottish Highlands when I think of snuggling beneath this hearty blanket. It makes me hungry for fall: toasty sweaters, crackling fires and steaming hot apple cider!
As you may have noticed in my last crochet post, I’m hard at work on another monstrous crochet project. I’ve taken a break from the wee stitches of doilies and settled in with some repetitive Circled Squares in Chroma!
Finny isn’t the only one who is rather smitten with this afghan-in-progress. My other little guy has been seeking out any part of it – loose squares and all – to nestle in to. But most of the time it’s draped across the couch – I’m already using it, even though it’s not even halfway assembled yet!