New Year, New Skill CAL Week 5: Bruges Lace

New Year, New Skill Crochet-a-Long with CAL Central - Week 5: Bruges Lace featuring free crochet patterns by ABC Knitting Patterns, Stitches 'n' Scraps, and Underground Crafter

Week 5 of the New Year, New Skill crochet-a-long is all about Bruges lace and this week features three patterns by three designers. (If you’re just hearing about the CAL, you can find more details and a regularly updated schedule here.)

This post contains affiliate links.

Week 5: Bruges Lace

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.

How to join the New Year, New Skill CAL

  • Get the full schedule here. You can join in by crocheting the patterns as you have time.
  • Share your progress and post pictures of your finished projects. Tag your projects and posts #calcentralcrochet on all social media.
  • If you’d like to chat with other crocheters, join our Facebook or Ravelry groups.
  • Each week, our featured designers will be available to answer questions in our groups and to share some of their other work with you.
  • By the end of the CAL you’ll have up to 26 beautiful projects and will have learned or mastered 7 different skills.


New Year, New Skill Week 5 Patterns

Choose one (or more) of these patterns to help you learn or master Bruges lace!

If you’re joining us for the New Year, New Skill CAL, feel free to use this button for your Ravelry projects and on social media!

I'm crocheting this project with CAL Central #calcentralcrochet on Facebook and Ravelry

Indie Design Gift-a-Long 2014: Crochet Lace Roundup

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.

Yesterday, I shared a roundup of my favorite 9 crochet patterns for men in the Gift-a-Long, along with a link to the Pinterest board I set up of all the crochet patterns on sale. Each of these patterns is 25% off through November 21 with coupon code giftalong2014.

Today, I’m sharing a roundup of 12 of my favorite Gift-a-Long patterns that feature crochet lace. Unless otherwise noted, images are copyright the designers.

You can find direct links to the designers and patterns below (listed from left to right).

Top row: Allegro Wrap by Melinda MillerFilet à Papillons Shawl by Lindsey Stephens, Walden by Sara Peterson.

Second row: Phosphene by Marnie MacLean, Autumnal Cowl by Loraine Birchall, The Secret Garden by Lily Go.

Third row: Soft as Butter by Sarah Jane, Ink Ripples by Elena Fedetova, Bridges Wrap and Scarf by Akua Lezli Hope.

Bottom row: Reserved Seating Wrap by Janet Brani, Stitch Sampler Cowl by Beth Graham, and Nacogdoches Night Scarf by Betty Fay Wallace.

Self-promo alert: I have two patterns including lace, Thaden’s Asymmetrical Shawl and Visit to the Kantcentrum, in my Gift-a-Long sale bundle.

If you’re looking for more great crochet lace patterns, check out my Crochet Lace Pinterest board.

Follow Underground Crafter’s board Crochet Lace on Pinterest.

NaBloPoMo

I’m participating in BlogHer’s National Blog Post Month (also known as NaBloPoMo) by blogging daily through November, 2014.

2012 Year in Review: Exploring Ravelry

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:

My first “magic loop” project – a hat for my dad.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: A Hat Fit for a Fella by Shana Kreikemeier.

 

My first Bruges lace project – a scarf for one of my best friends.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: Sparkling Wave Scarf by Tatyana Mirer.

 

 

Yoga socks for my mom.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: Pilates Peds (Crochet Yoga Socks) by Pam Daley.

 

 

My first knit shawl (made during and after Hurricane Sandy).
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: Terribly Simple by Caitlin ffrench.

 

 

Super cute crochet slippers, made as a swap gifty.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: Granny Slippers by Bernat designer.

 

 

And these are my 5 favorite completed 2012 projects using my own patterns:

The All Weather Cowl, which I’ve been wearing a lot lately.
Ravelry project page.  Free pattern available here.

 

 

The Sandworm’s Journey Beanie, my first knitting design, and a gift for my friend, JP.
Ravelry project page.  Free pattern available here.

By the way, JP proved herself very knitworthy by sending this email after opening her hat (which I was worried might be too small for her):

I love my new hat! It is perfect in every way!!!!! I love the color, cables, shape, size, etc…. PERFECT!!!!!

My very first infinity scarf/cowl.  Now I finally understand why everyone wears these – so warm!
Ravelry project page.  Pattern available for sale here.

 

 

My first Bruges lace design.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern available for sale here.

 

This hat is way cuter with the pom pom added.
Ravelry project page.  Free pattern available here.

 

 

And this last project, a combo of my own layout with the pattern of another designer…

The never ending New Orleans Saints themed double Irish Chain granny square bedspread for my little sister.
Ravelry project page.  Pattern: I used my own layout, but my granny square was a four round version of the Basic Granny Square by Julie A. Bolduc.

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.

What’s your favorite Ravelry feature?

Year of Projects, Year 2: Spinning, Take 1

This post contains affiliate links.

I had a bit of a cliffhanger in my last Year of Projects update (you might have missed it since it was hidden between pictures of yarn): would I be able to take the Basic Dropspindling class at the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival? It turns out that there was room for me.  But, um…  well, you can be the judge.

Is that what you call handspun?

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.

Yum.

So from here on out, I’ll be relying on these spinning teachers: Abby Franquemont (via Respect the Spindle) and Maggie Casey (via Start Spinning).

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.

Visit to the Kantcentrum, a Bruges lace crochet pattern with a photo tutorial for newbies.

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?

10) Make a small project inspired by Pop Knitting: Bold Motifs Using Color & Stitch.  No progress yet.

11) Learn knit entrelac. No progress yet.

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…

For more Year of Projects posts, visit Come Blog-a-long on Ravelry.

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

FO Friday and I Love Yarn Day!

I’m excited to be participating in another I Love Yarn Day on my blog!  To celebrate, I’m sharing some charity projects and showing off some of my recent yarn acquisitions.

Finished charity projects

I’ve been working on some charity projects with stash yarn for the Hats 4 the Homeless drive at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

Men’s hat and child’s hat.

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.

My frugality is still a work in progress – there is much that I haven’t changed yet – but I have been pretty good about keeping a 30-Day List.  Last weekend was the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival and the New York City Yarn Crawl, and I’ve been planning for months to go wild.

The yarn and roving I bought at the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival.

From top to bottom: Yarn Monkey Productions SuperSaki in Aella and in Anastasia, Studio Donegal Soft Donegal in Charcoal and Dark Red, and Ivy Brambles Romantica Merino Lace in Night Sky and Hand Dyed Merino Roving in Harvest Festival. I only had time to visit three of the ten yarn shops participating in the New York City Yarn Crawl last weekend.  (After all, I was in New Jersey for two days for the Festival!) My first stop was (of course) my favorite NYC yarn shop, Knitty City, where I picked up two skeins of madelinetosh tosh vintage. On Monday, I visited Downtown Yarns, my favorite stop for knitting needle shopping.

Believe it or not, I actually went there hoping they would have some super jumbo circulars, and I was not disappointed. (These are US size 50!)

I found this lovely skein of Dream in Color Everlasting 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 Babs Yowza-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 webpagePinboards, and Facebook page, and follow @iloveyarnday or search #iloveyarnday on Twitter.  And for more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.