Kolika Crochet Workshop

Many years ago a friend brought me back a souvenir from a trip to Hawaii.  I expected to receive a flowered shirt, or a lei, maybe a bag of Kona coffee…. or (fingers crossed!) a box of chocolate covered Macadamias.  Nope.  I was presented with a small envelope.  Inside was a rectangular patch embroidered with my name.  Now, in the Hawaiian language, the sounds for “d”, “r” and “s” do not exist.   So the closest approximation for my name is “Kolika”, which is so exotic and falls so prettily from the tongue, huh?  “Doris” is your crabby great-aunt; “Kolika” is a winsome, bewitching hula girl. :-)

Funny, I hadn’t thought about Kolika in such a long time.  But last month, when my Interweave show producer, Anne Merrow, asked me to name the exclusive sweater design for my Top Down Seamless Crochet Workshop, that lyrical little word just popped into my head, and Kolika it became.

DVD Cover

Doris on set

I had the best time shooting this workshop, but have been dreading the release of the DVD. Holy Crap, do I really look like THAT??!!!!  It is so embarrassing to view videos of yourself, isn’t it?  Seeing yourself as others see you is a major source of cognitive dissonance; the image is somehow wrong. I imagine that’s because you are so familiar with your face in the mirror, backwards from the way the rest of the world sees you.  Plus, the stylist gave me wavy hair, eyeshadow and mascara. Let’s just say that this face is more Kolika than Doris.  Here’s a preview of the video.  YIKES!  I can’t seem to stand still.  TIme to switch to decaf, huh?

Never mind. I’m going to be the only one who does not recognize the person in this DVD workshop. Otherwise, I am thrilled with the results. Top Down Seamless Crochet is a brilliant presentation of techniques, demonstrations and tips for making a Kolika that fits you. Here are some random images from the shoot:

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You can get the workshop as a DVD or as a download from the Interweave Store.  Enjoy!

Cat’s Out of the Crochet Bag

Here I go, un-burying the lead.  The newly redesigned seamless crochet lace topper I previewed at CGOA Reno is now available. DJC: Cat’s Cradle.v2, my latest self-published pattern, is ready to download from the shop at DesigningVashti.com.

Photo courtesy of Jim Lowman and Offinger Management

Now the story.  I produced a highly experimental exhibit at the Knit & Crochet Market show floor during the Crochet Guild of America conference in Reno, NV, September 2012. With the exception of the informational booths for the CGOA and TKGA (The Knitting Guild of America), the market is all about the retail experience, shopping for yarns, tools, books and new crochet/knitting related products. But I had a dream. I wanted there to be a booth where we weren’t selling anything; a showcase where attendees could see and be inspired by the latest in crochet, learn about as well as meet the charming and talented CGOA crochet instructors presenting classes in Reno, and also hang with favorite crochet designers and authors in an open, relaxed setting. With the blessing of the guild, sponsorship from WEBS, America’s Yarn Store, and from Interweave Press, and with a butt load of help from my friends and my co-conspirator Vashti, the Crochet Design Showcase became a reality.

You got a sneak peek of the booth in my previous post about the Star Fleet uniform dress last week.  Here’s another look at the exhibit:On display were samples and materials drawn from the classes of instructors Susan Lowman, Margaret Fisher, Karen Whooley, Kathie Earle, Vashti Braha, Lily Chin (promoting her class and DVD workshop, Mosaic Crochet), Darla Fanton, Joan Davis (with her new self-published book, 336 Crochet Tips!) and Suzann Thompson (displaying her books Crochet Garden and Crochet Bouquet) plus current designs from friends including Andee Graves and a preview of Ellen Gormley’s new book, Learn Bruges Lace and a special display from Laurinda Reddig, her CGOA 2012 Design Competition grand prize winning vest.  There was also chance to see up close my own current published designs, the Rockin Red Dress from the Fall 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet from my last post, and the Pretty Baby skirt from the 2012 Crochet Traditions issue of Piecework magazine.

But the most fun we had in the booth was generated by an on-going event that drew lots of attention and caused a flurry of excitement, the Cat’s Cradle.v2 fitting lab. I lugged 9 crocheted samples of this garment, in every one of the sizes, in alternate yarns and versions, and invited my friends and visitors to the exhibit to try them on for fit.

OK.  So, at first, attendees were not lining up to participate.  It was intimidating, perhaps a bit embarrassing, to be on display in public this way, trying on clothes. I had to accost, snag and otherwise cajole many of the ladies into helping me judge the real-life fit of my samples. But over the course of the three-and-a-half day market I witnessed such joy and pleasure in dozens of women who discovered the wonderful flattery of this design. I got so wrapped up in the experience that I neglected to photograph many of the victims… uh, volunteers.  But here’s a gallery of some of the few fearless ladies I captured:

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If you already have the pattern from the 2007 magazine issue, do you need this?  Uh, YEAH! As I wrote in the preface, “The design is revised for better drape and fit, with a new lovely round contoured neckline, stunning lace stitch pattern, deep full fit through the arms, and a swingy trim. This booklet length pattern offers more sizing and length options than the original, with fresh samples in some of my favorite yarns, detailed and revised instructions, awesome stitch diagrams and expanded sizing that brilliantly covers the range from XS through 4XL, perhaps 5XL.” You will make more than one.  Promise.

A million thousand thanks to all who let me play Barbie dress up with them at the booth in Reno, and two million thousand thanks for giving me permission to take those shots. I swear I wrote down all the names of the intrepid models I photographed (you guys saw me do it, right?), but doubledogdangit if I left the list in Reno.  So much for crochet making you smarter.  If you recognize your lovely face and figure in the mix, let me know and I will add your id to the image.  Or not, if you are just too shy. :-)