Winning Simply Crochet

I am the last stop …  the tail end, the caboose, batting clean-up… on the blog tour for the new book, Simply Crochet: 22 Stylish Designs for Every Day by Robyn Chachula.

This bothered me a little when Robyn sent out the tour schedule to all the contributing designers and I saw my name at the very bottom of the bunch.  As a kid I was used to being closer to the front. As the oldest child of three, I went through everything first.  Isn’t it true that the first-born is always the test subject for developing parenting skills? At least I made sure I was at the dinner table ahead of my brothers because they would have inhaled all the food had I not staked out my share.

In school, before my nearsightedness was discovered and I got my first pair of glasses in third grade, I was inclined to sit closer to the blackboard so I could see it. Somehow I turned into one of the geeks-with-glasses (House Magoo) who congregated at the front of the class. I would often peer longingly at the cool underachievers hunkered down at the back of the room and wished I could hide back there, too. I really didn’t need to be so close to the teacher that I could see the lint on his or her lapels.  Whether we students were sorted in alphabetical order or by height, either way I found myself toward the beginning of every line, or seated near the front of the room, or in the first row of every class picture, or standing on the floor in front of the chorus risers and the rest of the second alto section.

I wanted to ask Robyn why I had to be last.  I held my tongue, but  I wondered about that. Ellen Gormley, whose blog GoCrochet was the next-to-last tour stop yesterday says we are here either because we are the anchors (which is a typically sweet thing for Ellen to say) or because our designs use the most balls of yarn (not true). In a book of projects aimed at giving “budget-conscious crocheters the tools to make the most of their yarn stashes”, bloated yarn requirements win nothing but the booby prize.








I crocheted both of the book samples myself and I assure you that, with the exception of the long tunic version in the largest size (2XL/3XL), Spa Shawl Top can be made with 3 to 5 skeins of yarn.  That’s considerable yarn economy for a full, loose fitting adult garment. The key contributing factors are the open lace stitch and the great yardage in each skein of silky Spa. It’s the yarn I talked about last post, possessing a  special Z-twist which not only helps the tall loose lace stitches hang together but keeps them looking good.

Once I got my copy of Simply Crochet  and realized that my design  Spa Shawl Top was the last one in the book, I felt pretty stupid. Naturally I am last because IT is last. So I’m good with being here today unless I start obsessing over why my design ended up being the last one in the book. Hey, I guess I finally made it to the back of the classroom with the cool kids, huh?  Astoundingly, I have been included in a class made up entirely of cool kids.

Honestly, we were not told who-all the other contributors would be, not at the beginning. Publishers insist we harbor deep secrets for way too long. So when the list of designer names was at last revealed, it was brilliant, representing today’s best and brightest crochet talent. I am pleased to admit I actually know most of them, count many among them as friends, owe at least a few of them drinks (or chocolate cake), swap yarn and war stories with a couple, but mercifully don’t owe any of them money.

Here’s the complete blog tour schedule FYI, in case you haven’t been along for the entire ride and want to rewind.

Simply Crochet Countdown to Fun Schedule:
1 Ball or Less
Dec 1 Iced Ascot by Rebecca Velasquez
Dec 2 Flapper Hat by Margaret Hubert
Dec 3 Billows of Baubles Scarf by Sheryl Means
Dec 4 Twist Cowl Wrap by Linda Permann
Dec 5 Mystic Cuff by Robyn Chachula
Dec 6 Emma Lace Scarf by Simona Merchant-Dest
Dec 7 Diamonds and Lace Hat by Linda Permann
Dec 8 Neck Lattice by Vashti Braha

3 Balls or Fewer
Dec 9 Botan Placemats by Marlaina Bird
Dec 10 Tapestry Basket by Carol Ventura,
Dec 11 Blooming Beauty Purse by Tracie Barrett
Dec 12 Nedburt Puppet by Robyn Chachula
Dec 13 Natalie Shrug by Megan Granholm
Dec 14 Giselle Vest by Simona Merchant-Dest
Dec 15 Sidney Cardigan by Robyn Chachula
Dec 16 Annabel Shawl by Kristin Omdahl

5 Balls or Fewer
Dec 17 Tallula Baby Top by Marlaina Bird
Dec 18 Amelia Cardigan by Julia Vaconsin
Dec 19 Float Vest, Float Cardigan by Robyn Chachula
Dec 20 Linked Jacket by Robyn Chachula
Dec 21 Dots and Dashes Blanket by Ellen Gormley
Dec 22 Spa Shawl Top, Spa Shawl Tunic by Doris Chan

Not everybody gets why I’d work on a book authored by somebody else. I showed the book to my mom and had a hard time explaining why Robyn Chachula’s name is on the cover and not mine. The major reason I agreed to contribute to Simply Crochet is because of Robyn. I adore her, and not just because she is shorter than I am and her glasses are even thicker than mine (just kidding, Robyn). She’s a total dynamo, as scathingly focused as a laser when she needs to be, yet goofy otherwise. I can’t imagine how she manages to juggle her awesome career with home and family (hey, CJ!).

In fact, Robyn is so good at getting her friends to work with her that I signed on to do a design for the next book, Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques by Robyn Chachula, coming in June 2012, available for pre-order. Yes, I briefly wandered over to the dark side and designed an afghan.  No, I can’t talk about it yet. And, with any luck I will not be the last stop on that tour!

So, to sum up nearly a month of blog tour fun, Simply Crochet is now available both in paperback hard copy and as a downloadable e-book. Please check out this beautiful collection of designs and thanks for following the bouncing blog ball to this final stop. I know everybody is busy right now with the holidays, but if you take a few seconds to make a comment on this blog post, you’ll be entered to win a free download of the e-book from Interweave Press. Consider it a last-minute gift to yourself.  Deadline for entries is midnight Eastern Time, Christmas Day, Sunday 25 December.  Don’t bother sucking up to me in your comment (unless you really really want to), because it won’t make any difference.  I’ll choose one commenter totally at random and announce the winner here on Monday.

Best of luck and Happy Holidays!


79 thoughts on “Winning Simply Crochet

    • Que hermosos diseños Doris, sos mi diseñadora favorita. ojala y me gane yo este ebook. nunca gano nada, esta podria ser la excepcion, no? jajaja
      Felicidades para todas!!!

  1. Hmmm… let’s see if this works 😛
    “Don’t bother sucking up to me in your comment (unless you really really want to), because it won’t make any difference.”

    If I ever meet you in person, I will gladly shell out however much money it would cost to give you the chocolateyest chocolate lava cake!
    Does that count as sucking up? 0_o 🙂

    The book looks lovely and either way, I’d be pleased as punch if I win. Otherwise, I’ll be pleased as punch for anyone who has the good fortune to win it! 🙂

    PS. Added it to my library recommended list of books to purchase! 🙂

  2. Oh yes, it would be a very nice gift for ourselves to win this book. And you know what they say “the first shall be last …” and vice versa, the key is to be together.
    Happy Holidays and New Year and thank you for your writings and designs.
    P.S. Sorry for my bad English, my native language is French…

  3. This looks like a fabulous book with designs by a lot of top-notch crochet designers.
    I see no need to suck up to you, because this is a random drawing. But that doesn’t stop me from saying that I love your designs!

  4. I’m a first born also–I totally get it. Oh, and as a long time fan of yours and owner of the book s with YOUR name on the cover, I have already purchased this, so I am NOT sucking up. However, if I did win, I’d pass it on to a crocheting friend.

  5. Oh, that tunic is gorgeous! Another one to add to the list. I’ve already added half the book as it is. I guess if I don’t win it here, I’ll just have to click that “buy now” button because I have to have this book! Happy Holidays!

  6. I see several things I would love to make in this book!!! Whom ever wins this will be estatic!! Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

  7. I’m looking forward to the book – I’m an XXL due to an overfondness for sweets and an abhorance of exercise [unless it’s belly dance ;-)], to say nothing of a salary that barely meets needs, let alone wants, so a book of patterns utilizing the least amount of yarn – and all of them by such wonderful designers! – will be a treat.

  8. Thanks for the review and the chance to win. I can’t wait to see all of the patterns that are in this book, it looks really great! Merry Christmas!

  9. Silly Doris – Robyn simply saved the best 2 designers for last! Just as one would hold that delicious chocolate curl topper until the cake was devoured :o) Love, love, love the tunic! I’ve already treated myself to a copy of this one, so don’t include me in the drawing. But you can add me to the list of people to share a drink with! :o)

  10. You’ll always be at the top of my list, Doris! Well, you and Robyn, of course. :0) I’d love to win the book, but even if I don’t I will buy it for my library.

  11. I was always a near to the front student myself. It wasn’t for eyesight or alphabet though. I just didn’t like all the distractions that being farther back produced. I guess that contributed to my nerd status among my classmates. Because only nerds wouldn’t want to be distracted during class. But I was never a front-row person. Not by choice anyway. I’m too shy to not want at least one row of desks in front of me as a wall!

    The book sounds wonderful and your publisher and you are very kind to offer one as a gift. I would be honored if you included me in the raffe.

  12. Today on her blog, Robyn said, “I have been waiting and waiting to show you the masterpiece in the book.” NOW do you know why you’re last? And I agree, I think your designs are the projects in the book that I’d most like to make. And hooray for choosing an affordable yarn, Spa.
    That’s not sucking up, is it? 😉

  13. This was fun reading! Who can beat crochet? And all this talk of being closer to the front or way at the back. I’m used to being in the middle and, like a middle child, being overlooked as a matter of course. Being neither first nor cool, it’d be fun to win a delightful book. Thanks for the chance. 🙂

  14. This book looks awesome! I’ll keep my fingers crossed (when I’m not busy crocheting, and then I’ll cross my toes), that I could be so lucky to have my name “pulled out of the hat.”

  15. “All good things are worth waiting for” ~ “the best is yet to come” “last but not least” and on the sayings go. So Doris, you should feel honored being the last. Would love to win this giveaway as I can always use more crochet patterns, as if I do not have enough on the plate already. Merry Christmas & A Happy & Healthy New Year

  16. I am new to the craft and absolutely love the potential. Interweave books and magazines played a significant role in this newly found craft.

  17. Doris, you will always be first in my list of master crochet designers! You still haven’t told us anything about your new book:) Best Pam

  18. I’ve been following this blog tour and seeing all these other great projects, and then someone would mention that you had designed something- and would never say what. So I have spent this whole blog tour waiting to see what Doris designed. Now I have, and it is worth the wait. 🙂 This book really had me at the concept, but the designs have been even better!

    As far as relating, well, modern technology is all that keeps my glasses thin-ish, and I am an oldest child, but was always the youngest in my class at school and seem to be everywhere I go as an adult, too! Weird how that happens…

  19. I’ve been waiting for this book for awhile — I’ve had it on pre-order, but a free one would be better! I love to use Caron Spa as well — it is so soft, and has a lovely shine to it, too!

  20. Well, I’ve been first and last a lot. It’s not so bad! Congrats on the book and I can’t wait to see that afghan…

  21. The tunic was the first design from the book that I saw pictured, and I immediately wanted to make it, even though I’m one of the ones that’ll have to use more yarn!

  22. Wow.

    The Spa Shawl top and tunic are lovely! I’m not sucking up because, IMO, sucking up typically means the person is not sincere.

    I mean every word of it.

    I may just have to buy it in e-book format in the event I do not win (with this comment) and take it and my yarn on the next business trip coming up.

  23. This book could have been titled “Crochet All-Stars” and of course, the best was saved for last. Ok, I’m sucking up just a little. I’d love to win this book. Yes, I’m getting (I think) a crochet book or two for Christmas, but I really, really need this one too. Great designs and economical. Can’t beat that with a stick.

  24. Suck up or no, it’s been a great book year for Robyn, and a great year of patterns from you. From VK Live NY to anchoring this great book, it’s been a wonderfully patterned year. I think you also didn’t spend all of it pattern grading. 🙂

  25. This would be so awesome to win. Something not full of ripples and grannies and that showcases the innovative designers like yourself. Done sucking up.

  26. I had no idea this book was coming out until just now, but I’m glad that I found out! It looks like it’s full of lovely designs and what a bonus that they all only use 5 skeins or under of such a great yarn! So I think that even if I don’t win a copy I’ll have to go out and buy myself a copy!

  27. I don’t suck up–but the truth is, I love Doris Chan designs and tell everyone who compliments my Doris designs that you are the reason I make garments. I will buy the book anyway but if I win, I can give one to my niece.

  28. Good Morning, It sounds like the book will be a must have! I cant wait to see it. Time for a trip to the craft store! Gotta love it…lol I peeked at some of the pics and I really love the Spa Shawl Top and the Annabelle shawl! Congratulations on another wonderful book!

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