Bruges crochet (also known as Bruges lace), mimics a style of lacework made famous in the Belgian city of Bruges. With Bruges lace, you use basic crochet stitches to create seemingly complex lace patterns.
I’ve been highlighting some designs from the Indie Design Gift-a-Long, an awesome virtual event on Ravelry that celebrates patterns by indie designers with a sale, knit- and crochet-a-longs, and tons of prizes and chat.
Although I’ve been a Ravelry member since December, 2007, I barely used it until 2011. Last year, I finally started to browse Ravelry regularly for pattern searches and began to participate in several groups. My Rav goal for 2012 was to use the notebook to track all of my projects.
Adding projects (and even taking pictures of them) eventually became like second nature for me. Looking through my notebook, I discovered that I completed over 160 projects in 2012. Before you congratulate me for being the most prolific crocheter/knitter in America, let me mention that number includes many, many small projects (like an individual granny square for charity).
I actually think tracking my projects helped me to complete more (if only because seeing all of those WIPs can be distressing), and it definitely encouraged me to take more pictures! If you don’t already track your projects on Ravelry, I encourage you to start!
These are my 5 favorite completed 2012 projects using other designers’ patterns:
On a related note, I started using Ravelry’s stash feature after reading this great post by FreshStitches. I definitely don’t have all of my stash listed, but it has helped me to sell some stash and also to keep track of my stashbusting efforts this year.
Clearly, I have a long way to go before I can actually spin some yarn that anyone (myself included) would ever use. While I did resist the urge to buy a stunningly beautiful hand made drop spindle from Hearthwise, I couldn’t stop myself from getting some super cool roving. You know, for that day when I’m an accomplished spinner and stuff.
If these don’t help, there’s always Drucilla Pettibone‘s Craftsy class. I think spinning is something I’ll need to set aside a fair amount of time for (since a 90 minute class was definitely not enough!). That probably means that my next self-guided spinning lesson will take place over Thanksgiving weekend or the break from work between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This seems as good a time as any to share an update on my general YOP progress so far.
1) Crochet 52 granny squares for charity. I’m furthest along here. I have 25 blocks finished (I made 26 but one was frogged).
2) Knit my first complete pair of socks. It appears I’m not a sock person. My socks have stalled since the end of the Ravellenic Games.
3) Make my mom a special bedspread for her milestone birthday. I might need a little help here. I already started working on these squares… … and then I realized there’s a Tree of Life crochet pattern. I started thinking maybe I should switch to a Tree of Life project? What do you think? (If it helps you decide, the yarn is a little more cream and less yellow than it appears in the picture.)
4) Learn to spin. See above for update.
5) Design my own Bruges lace pattern. Done! I released Visit to the Kantcentrum this week. If you’ve never done Bruges lace crochet before, there is a photo tutorial inside. As a thank you to all my YOP friends for your support, you can download it for free on Ravelry with coupon code BrugesYOP (or by following this link) through October 31.
6) Learn overlay crochet. No progress yet.
7) Create my own hairpin lace pattern. No progress yet.
8 ) Try double knitting. No progress yet.
9) Try domino (modular) knitting. I’ve looked over the book, and even had a false start. Perhaps I should make a charity domino square?
12) Design a crochet lace shawl pattern or recipe for my DC 37 crochet class students. As I’ve mentioned before, this is actually finished. The design has even been tested and edited. You’ll just have to wait until it is ready for release…
I had plans for more creative (read: flashy) hats, but then I remembered these guidelines on the Bridge and Beyond blog about donating handmade hats to homeless people:
Choose colors that don’t show the dirt, that are appropriate for the group you’re donating too. Wild colors, bold stripes aren’t a good choice for homeless people… Homeless [people] don’t like to call attention to themselves with wild colors. Dark colors work for everyone, kids, teens, women, and men. Light colors limit who can benefit from your warm hat.
With that in mind, I pulled out the charcoal yarns and went work. I made both hats very bulky and warm so they will provide a little extra protection in harsh weather. I’m also planning to make some scarves before the drop off deadline.
Yummy yarn stuff
When I wrote my post for I Love Yarn Day last year, I was already thinking about thinning out my stash. This year I’ve been participating in Surmount the Stash and I started my own Holiday Stashdown Challenge, and I’ve made a lot of progress towards reducing my stash and increasing the proportion of natural fibers in my collection. I’m not even going to enter the I Love Yarn Day contest where you can win 365 skeins of yarn. Last year, I wouldn’t have been able to pass it up. So what changed?
One of my best friends and I took part in the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge with Frugally Sustainable in January. As New York natives working in the public/non-profit sector and watching prices rise astronomically, we are always worried about our finances.
I found this lovely skein of Dream in ColorEverlasting Sock right next to the needles. My final stop was The Yarn Company. I’ve done a fair amount of browsing in the shop since it came under new ownership and the vibe is much better than it was in the past. Other than a few skeins of sale yarn that I bought when ownership switched over, I had never found the “right” yarn for me when visiting. It is in my neighborhood and I appreciate the work the new owners have put into rebuilding the store’s reputation, so I decided to stop by during the Yarn Crawl. And I wasn’t disappointed when I found this lovely skein of Miss BabsYowza-Whatta Skein! in Violets in the Grass. I have ideas for these yarns, but honestly, I almost never make exactly what I planned when I’m buying the yarn! (Does this happen to anyone else?) By the time I get through the things I’m making now and the projects I have deadlines for, I’ll be interested in making other things. At least now that I started using Ravelry’s stash feature (thanks to this tutorial from FreshStitches), I can easily scan my stash before starting a new project. For more I Love Yarn Day excitement, check out the inspiration webpage, Pinboards, and Facebook page, and follow @iloveyarnday or search #iloveyarnday on Twitter. And for more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.