Introducing DJC Lotus Wings: A Set of Crochet Pretties

Lotus P Wing

Lotus P Wing

May I tempt you with these three projects created for DesigningVashti Lotus yarn, gathered into one collection, DJC: Lotus Wings.

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One can’t quite call these little beauties shawls; each using just two balls of Lotus, they’re not designed for full coverage. Besides, in this stunning, drapey, luminous fiber they will not keep you warm as you might want from a full-sized shawl.

Think of these pieces as accessories, wardrobe accents, like generous scarves or really big jewelry. As such they have three excellent attributes:

– Quick to finish (actually requiring little to no literal finishing),
– Shaped to stay on the shoulders, and
– Make you feel special (in the most wonderful way).

Oh, there is another brilliant thing about Lotus Wings. They make exceptional gifts if you can bear to part with them.

Will you be adding a Wing or two to your crochet marathon this season? :-)

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Introducing DJC Lotus Bolero: Crochet Conference Ready

She’s small, but makes a big impression.  Meet the new crochet design from my independent pattern line DJC Designs — DJC Lotus Bolero, a seamless, sleeveless vest for girls and adults.

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Lotus Bolero was chosen to be the first of my crochet designs in support of DesigningVashti Lotus yarn (a previous post about Lotus here) because it is a perfect showcase for all the qualities of Lotus.  The bolero itself isn’t particularly trendy or different.  It’s a classic silhouette, boxy, with clean, uncluttered lines and conservative fit and coverage.  What transforms this simple little layering piece into an absolute stunner is the Lotus fabric. No photography can adequately convey the experience.  Although the stitches appear crisp, the fabric they make has a meltingly touchable texture and is supremely comfortable, so lightweight yet densely fluid, silky and smooth, with a luscious drape. Even in dim home lighting, Lotus is softly luminous, as if it is glowing from inside.  Take it outdoors in sunlight and it blazes.

I kinda love how Lotus Bolero works well over grown-up clothes like camisoles and tank dresses (where it hides all the jiggly bits!), but also looks cool over my collection of fan-girl T-shirts!  I could so wear a number of the sample sizes, because you can choose how you want your bolero to fit and whether you want to close the fronts or leave them nonchalantly loose.  Also, I am amazed that it takes just one big cake of Lotus to make the two smallest girl sizes; two cakes for sizes girl 29/L through adult 38/M; three cakes for the rest of the range up to 53/3XL.

I have another motive for bringing out DJC Lotus Bolero at this time.  Many of my crochet friends are already getting ready for the CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) conference in July.  For us it’s now about what new stuff will we make in time to show off in Manchester.  The crochet-for-conference phenomenon is similar to holiday crochet marathoning, except totally self-centered.  The happiest outcome is to finish something for yourself that is a practical garment for conference wear.  Ideally it is a lightweight layer that’s so gorgeous you’ll be the center of attention from across the crowded hotel lobby, is packable, airy enough for summer in New Hampshire, yet will provide some comfort in potentially drafty classrooms, can go dressy or casual, and since it is already the beginning of June, it has to fly off the hook in days. May I suggest Lotus Bolero?

Lotus yarn and the downloadable pattern are available exclusively at DesigningVashti.com, ready now for your inspection.  Although I went with a palette of paler, spring-y and neutral colors for the current bolero samples, there are deeper hues of Lotus and even black if you want.Lotus_Color_Chipsc9face1a301e

Hey, if you’re coming to the conference, look for me and Vashti to hold a geeky fitting lab, where we’ll have all the Lotus Bolero samples for you to try on.  I can’t wait to show you how they fit real women of all sizes.  And if you’ve crocheted one of your own, don’t be shy, get in my face and show me!

DesigningVashti Lotus Crochet

I did promise to show you just what I’ve done to put our new yarn, DesigningVashti Lotus, to work in crochet design.

First I substituted Lotus for a few sportweight gauge pieces from my book Convertible Crochet; the vest Callisto, the shrug Phoebe, the collar Corsair.  Also I used Lotus for the Jolimar Skirt, originally designed in now discontinued NaturallyCaron.com Spa.

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But the ultimate test of this yarn, the real reason I considered designing a yarn because I could never find the right one anywhere else, is to make… pants.  Finally, with the convergence of the perfect yarn at the point in my crochet career when I have the skills to actually do it, there be seamless crocheted pants!

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The same pattern set will offer the Boy Shorts, Tap Pants, Capris and Lounge pants.  Naturally, I had to design tops to go with; a babydoll and a sleeveless tunic.  The tank in Sapphire Lotus is already out, but you may not recognize the design; it’s DJC2 Tank Girl, made in Junior Size S and worn tight and cropped.  I know, I know.  Wearing crochet head to butt is considered to be a bit too much, over the top.  A No-No.  A Fashion Don’t.  However, these are pajamas.  Sleep sets.  Unless you invite the Fashion Police to your next slumber party, who’s gonna know?  Lotus Pants and the tops, oh, and one pretty, flirty little lace dress in one of my favorite crochet stitch patterns are coming to DJC Designs, Spring 2014.  Thereabouts.

Until then, what can you do to get to know Lotus?  If you see this in time, you can join me and the boss, Vashti Braha, in the Crochetville chat room, Friday, 10 January, 1:00 to 2:00 Eastern time.  Check this Facebook event page in the morning for info and a link to the chat location. We will be spilling our guts about Lotus and stuff.  Also, Vashti’s brain has been working overtime and she dreamed up a fun way for you to sample Lotus.  It’s the Lotus Color Chip Kit, yarn snips in each shade, enough to make these itty bitty, goofy but cool color chips.

Lotus_Color_Chipsc9face1a301e

Lotus Color Chip Kit

Join us in the Crochetville chatroom and find out how you can get your kit.  I’m already limbering up my typing fingers in anticipation.  Hope to meet you there.

New Favorite Crochet Yarn For the New Year

Today I sit and contemplate the approaching new year.  As is my nature I am not looking back at 2013. It is not my way to evaluate or analyze the events, triumphs and complete bummers of the past.  Rather, I am anticipating the excitement yet to come.  2014, the Year of the Wood Horse, promises to be an auspicious one for me, as I was born in the previous Wood Horse Year.  It’s also going to be a brilliant year for crochet if we have anything to say about it (“we” being me and the boss, Vashti Braha), for 2014 will be the year of Lotus.

Vashti and I, both avid crocheters and professional crochet designers, both writers for and about crochet, really love yarn. Between us, we have tasted and tested hundreds of products from the ubiquitous craft store brands to esoteric and/or ultra-luxe boutique yarns. But, sadly, few yarns in our experience have been completely lovable.

A couple of years ago when Vashti and I were once again bemoaning the fact that most yarn is S-twisted and not very happy for our styles of crochet, she started asking me pointed questions about what I look for in the perfect yarn. I thought she was just making conversation; she was actually taking notes, while her brain was furiously and obsessively planning her new venture.  Since we couldn’t find or buy the yarn we wanted, Vashti set out to design it, have it produced (in the USA) and offer it on her website, DesigningVashti.com. That’s how Lotus was born. It is quite simply the yarn I could live in…. and couldn’t live without.

DesigningVashti Lotus Color Card

Lotus fills a place in crochet in a way that no other single yarn has done. It is a sportweight blend of cotton and rayon, with a gorgeous drape, pretty sheen and just the right amount of Z-twist.  Lotus substitutes perfectly in just about any crochet pattern that calls for sportweight yarn; for example it works well in most of my designs for the discontinued yarn, NaturallyCaron.com Spa. And with a bit of care and attention to tension, you can crochet it in a range of gauges from sock to DK. Lotus is sturdy as well, and holds up incredibly well in garments, even ones you sit on (dresses, skirts, pants). This is, left to right, Becky Barker, me, Vashti, and Diane Moyer, modeling Lotus wear on the runway at the CGOA 2013 Fall Fashion Show, Charlotte, NC.

Lotus Designs at CGOA Fall Fashion Show

I have kept quiet about Lotus until now, but Vashti has already been blogging and news-letting about becoming a yarn designer. Following a soft premier in December (see DesigningVashti Crochet newsletter issue #55) the major promotion begins in 2014. Please join us on January 10th for a live chat at Crochetville; here’s the Facebook Event page for information. Look for interviews and features about DesigningVashti Lotus in magazines and e-zines in the coming months.  And very soon there will be a butt-load of Lotus design support from DJC Designs, my independent pattern line.  Next time I will post a peek at what I’m working on.  For now, the anticipation is killing me!