It’s a very straightforward little leaflet aimed at the multi-crafter who likes lace. And edgings.
It has crochet edgings…
and more crochet edgings…
and specialized crochet edgings…
and knit edgings…
and tatted edgings.
Although these are all done with threads of various kinds, you could obviously create the same designs with larger hooks, needles, and… tats? Ok, time for a confession. I know nothing about tatting. I did a web search about it for this post to discover that you can tat with a shuttle or a needle. If you’re interested in learning more about it, Marilee Rockley offers a class on shuttle tatting on Craftsy.
If any tatters are reading, tell me how you learned :).
I’m so excited to be embarking on a second Year of Projects along with the folks in the Come Blog-A-Long group on Ravelry. Last year, I aimed to work my way through Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters – you can read more about why here – and in some form or fashion, I blogged my way through 13 out of 18 chapters. I learned a lot and met some great people, but at times, I felt restricted by using one book. For this year I decided to try something different. My 2nd Year of Projects list includes a mix of projects and techniques.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I like to donate charity projects each year made from stash yarns. My first project goal is to crochet 52 granny squares for charity. (I crocheted 40 this year, so I’m hoping this is manageable.) To keep things interesting, I plan to use 52 different patterns – there will be no two squares alike!
I also plan to participate in the (newly renamed) Ravellenic Games for the first time this year. I will attempt to complete my very first pair of knit socks.
I’ve already started my Holiday Stashdown Challenge, and I have quite a few small holiday projects that I’m planning to make in 2012. But I’d also like to make my mom a very special bedspread in time for her birthday in February. So far, I have a few ideas, but I haven’t settled on anything. This will need to be a really great one, since she is celebrating a milestone birthday next year.
This year, I’d like to learn a few new skills, and improve others that I picked up in the past year.
I’d also like to create a crochet lace shawl pattern or recipe to use in my spring crochet classes at DC37. I’m familiar with broomstick lace, hairpin lace, pineapples, and Tunisian lace, but I can always learn more about crochet lace!
The final list
I learned last year that I need about a month to work on each technique, so my final YOP list for 2012-2013 has only 12 items on it. I seem to work best with books as my inspiration, so I’ve included links to the books I’m likely to use for each goal.
Make my mom a special bedspread for her milestone birthday. (Suggestions for stunning crocheted blanket patterns are welcome! I might even consider knit patterns, but since I’m a slow knitter, that might be too daring.)
I am having great fun with Bruges lace, which I’m learning from the master herself, Tatyana Mirer, in a three-week class at Knit-A-Way. I’m the only person in the class at the moment, and it is a fabulous experience to spend the time with such an amazing teacher and designer. Last week, I mentioned that I had bought a skein of Lamb’s Pride Worsted at the shop for the class, and it was more or less a disaster. The yarn is actually quite nice, but it is really just not a good fit with Bruges lace swatches!
After the first class, I decided to use some Galler YarnsParisian Cotton that I have on hand from some designs I have done for them. I don’t use crochet cotton thread that often, but it is absolutely perfect for Bruges lace. It was also just about the only yarn I cared to touch during the two days last week which were well over 95 degrees and extremely humid!
I should mention that I haven’t blocked any of these swatches.
My favorite technique was adding an insert to the Bruges lace square. I see a lot of interesting possibilities for granny squares.
I’m surprised that it has been almost a year since I joined in on the Year of Projects through the Come Blog-A-long group on Ravelry. Even though I had been planning to work my way through Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters anyway, I had a wonderful time joining in with other crafty bloggers along the way! Next Sunday, I’ll share my plans for year 2 of the Year of Projects (which I’m still formulating in my head). You might want to join in, too!
Last year, I (briefly) met Tatyana at the Crochet Master Classbook signing at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. I had the choice of taking her Bruges crochet class or a woven crochet class with Jenny King, who was visiting from Australia. I knew that Tatyana also teaches at Knit-A-Way, the LYS around the corner from my Dad’s apartment, so I decided to take the class with Jenny. Recently, my work schedule seemed to match the Knit-A-Way class schedule, so I called the shop to sign up for the class. After several conversations about the time and dates with the owner (more about her in this post), I started what has turned out to be a series of private lessons with Tatyana (!) last week.
It’s been a great experience to interact with Tatyana as a student. I try to see take a class with another teacher at least once a year (more about why here), and Tatyana is truly a master teacher as well as a master designer. She brought so many amazing pieces of her Bruges crochet work with her, and I was incredibly inspired.
I assumed the shop required me to buy yarn there and I got a bit overwhelmed when I entered the shop five minutes before class. (I’ve been on a yarn diet for so much of this year that I now feel that every yarn purchase needs hours of contemplation!) I wanted to buy a natural fiber that didn’t require winding so I could start crocheting right away. I ended up getting a skein of Lamb’s Pride Worsted from the Brown Sheep Company. I’ve never used their yarns but I’ve heard a lot of positive things. On the shelf, it appeared to be more of a lilac color, but it magically transformed into pink once I sat down with Tatyana. (Ok, the colorway is called Victorian Pink. But I didn’t notice that on the label when I bought it!) The yarn itself is lovely, but I should have purchased a lighter weight yarn so the lacy aspect of Bruges crochet would be more evident.
I actually didn’t need much yarn for this first class anyway, as Tatyana brought several samples of partially completed “tape” that she showed me how to join. My homework is to make my own samples of the Bruges crochet curve, square, and oval, and then to create the “tape” for specific lengths that will transform into the circle and the wave pattern in the next class. I’m now on the lookout for something lighter weight to use for the samples and in the next class. Does this mean I get to go yarn shopping again??
I’m really excited to share an interview today with Donna Kay Lacey. No, she isn’t featured in Crochet Master Class, but she is the designer I discovered while I was working on the bullion chapter in this book. (You can find my experiments with her designs here.)
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting?
Donna Kay Lacey (DKL): As a child, my love of crochet was sparked by the many hours I spent watching my Dear Aunt Joyce crochet baby blankets and booties for all of the babies born in our family, as well as all those born in the church. I was amazed at how one continuous length of yarn could be worked into something so beautiful. When I turned 16 and started working, I took my first paycheck and went to the craft store where a purchased yarn, a crochet hook and a how to book. I have been hooked ever since.
UC: When were you first introduced to the bullion stitch, and how did you come to work with it so often?
DKL: I have always been drawn to intricate stitches. My first glimpse of the bullion stitch was in an old crochet pattern book (circa 1940’s). At that time I did not have the courage to try it. Upon joining Ravelry, I found a few free-form groups where I again saw the bullion stitch. This sparked my interest and in my quest for something unique and interesting, I began experimenting with it.
UC: What inspired you to start designing?
DKL: I join Ravery in Aug of 2011. The first group I joined was Vanna’s Choice Fan Club where I met Margaret MacInnis. This group participates in many swaps where afghan blocks are exchanged. After seeing some of my work, Margaret encouraged me to write out my designs. The first design I wrote out was Bloomin’ Bullions. The design process was really exciting, but there were times when I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through the testing/editing phase. All the hard work paid off and the thrill I got when I started seeing the blocks that others had made from my pattern was awesome! I love to see the joy and pride others have upon completing my patterns. Thanks to Ravelry, I can have direct communication with those working my patterns. I am not only available to help them if there are questions, but I get to hear stories and see photos of what their blocks are being used for. This is truly what inspires me to continue designing.
UC: What are your favorite crochet books in your collection?
DKL: My book collection is quite large and contains a large number of vintage pattern books. I love browsing through them. No matter how many times I look through them, there is always something new that catches my eye. Two of my favorite current books are Crochet Master Class by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss and Basic Crochet Stitches by Erika Knight. I am very fond of stitch dictionaries. (UC comment: It looks like Donna Kay Lacey and I have similar taste in books!)
UC: Do you have any favorite crafty blogs or websites to share?
DKL: Most of my internet time is spent on Ravelry.
UC: You host CALs in your Ravelry group, A New Twist. What suggestions do you have for emerging designers for actively engaging crocheters with their patterns?
DKL: Be unique. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box or to bend the ‘rules’ when designing. Always be available for questions or help along the way. I love inspiring people to try new things with their crochet. It is so much fun to see the excitement in them when they accomplish something new. Watching their crochet skills grow along with their enthusiasm of crochet is priceless.
UC: Where do you generally find your creative inspiration?
DKL: I am inspired by everything around me. I truly see the world in yarn. I am currently working on a project involving vegetable inspired blocks. The first block I designed for this project was the Kale block. One day I stumbled upon a seed catalog and happened to see a sketch of a beautiful Kale plant and instantly wondered if I could duplicate its beauty in yarn.
It received such great acceptance that I started on the Artichoke Block.
UC: Do you have any news you’d like to share?
DKL: My first published design, Bullion Beach Blanket, will be in the Summer 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet. It is due to hit the newsstands June 12, 2012, but the preview can be found here. I was very excited because this was my first time to even submit a design to a magazine. I was thrilled when they accepted my submission!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Donna! It was a pleasure to interview you.
If these patterns are inspiring you to learn the bullion stitch, check out Donna Kay Lacey’s bullion stitch photo tutorial or video tutorial.