Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Glorious Crochet Gear!

Serenity Box Pleat Top
Happy Crochet Week! Believe it or not, before I became a knitting addict, I was a crochet fiend. In high school I gave crochet lessons to Pep Band members during basketball games and most of the people in my section (go French Horns!) commissioned a hat or two from me -I even crocheted a blazer from one of my mom's old '70s crochet magazines. My transition to the "dark side" occurred when I found Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'N Bitch book at Border's, taught myself how to knit and abandoned crochet for almost a decade. And then (insert angelic singing here) I saw Kristin Omdahl's book Crochet So Fine, the clouds parted and I thought to myself, "I need to do that again"! If you haven't already indulged in perusing the pages of this magnificent collection, I urge you to go to your LYS, the nearest JoAnn's or Barnes and Noble and at least take a peek. Kristin Omdahl, who also happens to be our guest blogger this week (see post below), is truly a magical Mistress of Design. Her intricate lace patterns are fresh and artistic with an unparalleled graceful elegance. My eyes are glazed over with longing and inspiration just thinking about them as I type... the shapely Serene Box Pleat Top in Lorna's Helen's Lace and the whimsical Enigma Hooded Cardigan in Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino, not to mention the the cover pattern that hooked me in the first place (pun intended), the Petals Wrap Cardigan. So many projects, so little time!

Fancy shmancy birch hook!
Of course to get started on any crochet project, you need a good crochet hook... or two :) The Addi Swing Hooks are one of our most popular crochet hooks along with the Birch Victorian Crochet Hooks by Brittany. Engineered to fit comfortably in your hand, the Addi Swing is comprised of a slick metal hook and a dual plastic handle that helps eliminate pressure points and fatigue so you can crochet as long as you like! For those who prefer the natural feel of wood in their fingers, the Birch Victorian hooks are ideal. Lightweight and durable, these hooks are beautifully crafted for a smooth, snag-free crocheting experience!


Go to a festival in Estival!
Next to enjoying the fruits of your labor, the best part about crochet is picking out your next project. Hopefully you're already finding inspiration in Crochet So Fine, but you can never have too much pattern support! A good place to start is Hooked For Life patterns such as Estival. This lightweight wrap drapes beautifully about the shoulders and works up quickly in a worsted weight cotton or cotton blend such as Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton or sparkly Glint from Berroco! Prefer sleeves? Check out the stylishly sophisticated Valerie's Cardigan from Blue Sky Alpacas! Crochet in soft, organically grown Skinny Cotton, this dainty lace shell keeps you trendy and warm for those evenings out on the town. The Happy Hooker, also by Debbie Stoller, is another great place to find a diverse array of projects for all skill levels such as the contemporary Crochet Spring Jacket in Cascade 220 Quatro and simple but stunning Unseamly Crochet Pullover in Cascade Sierra.

If you haven't already, be sure to vote on your favorite type of crochet project in the top right-hand corner of the page!

Happy crocheting and knitting!
Leanne




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