That Pineapple Crochet Jacket

The release of this design package had to wait until I could address a serious issue. As visitors to my CGOA Conference fitting labs can tell you, there is so much to be learned from seeing garment samples on different bodies. Last month in Charleston I threw the shrug (Carbonite grey) and jacket (Emerald Deep green) versions of this design on as many victims… uh, volunteers… as walked past the DesigningVashti exhibitor booth and decided there should be a larger, roomier version (Dark Roast brown).  Done.

Curacao stack

Lotus Curacao Jackets

DJC: Lotus Curacao Jacket in three versions is now ready for your perusal in the pattern shop at DesigningVashti.com.

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In preparation for that July 2016 conference, in keeping with the event theme of crochet pineapples, I considered my relationship with the stitch (see previous post) and cast my thoughts back to the one pineapple design deserving a reboot. This is the original Blue Curacao Shawl as published in Amazing Crochet Lace (Potter Craft, 2006), my first book now out of reach.

Original front

Blue Curacao

See how the winged shape of the shawl drapes over the shoulders in such a way that the sides want to form sleeves?  Already resembles a jacket, huh?  So why not just do it that way?  To create a season-spanning garment, I swapped out the original DK weight fluffy wool blend yarn to now use DesigningVashti Lotus, a sleek, luminous sportweight blend of cotton and rayon.  To make the armholes, there are very simple and totally optional attachments at the underarms, made while crocheting the final row of trim.  Although each of the three versions is only one size, each garment can accommodate a range of bodies in different ways, so most everyone can have a Curacao Jacket that fits and flatters.

Updated with a few design tweaks, revised instructions, detailed photography and fresh diagrams, this pattern set also includes instructions for making the original shawl bigger and longer, something not offered in the book design but often requested by readers. Requiring from two to five balls of Lotus, and otherwise perfectly doable with any yarn or combination of yarns that gives you the fabric and dimensions you desire, DJC: Lotus Curacao Jacket just might be the pretty little layer you should crochet for yourself this season.

Please visit DesigningVashti.com for the latest products. Vashti has a staggering array of Tulip brand crochet hooks, including Etimo cushion grip hooks in sets and individually, plus Chiaogoo bamboo Tunisian hooks, straight and circular, in hard-to-find sizes and lengths. Oh, and that strange Jelly Yarn, too.

Happy Jacketing!

 

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Rounding Up the CGOA Posse

May Day!  Au secours ! H-E-L-P!

The CGOA 2016 Chain Link Conference in Charleston, South Carolina is less than two weeks away and I am hoping for a miracle… namely you, the posse.  On the evening of Friday, July 15th, during my induction into the CGOA Jean Leinhauser Crochet Hall of Fame I want forego the same-old same-old powerpoint presentation slide show retrospective of my design career and focus on what really matters. You.  The Posse.  The reason I do what I do.

Toward that end, I am asking… begging… anyone who is planning to attend the conference and the awards night on Friday to please come prepared to participate.  Bring with you or wear anything of my designs that you have crocheted and be ready to share the love on stage. Anytime before the ceremony, please stop by the DesigningVashti market booth #203 and let me know you’re on board for the fun.  For everyone who braves the crowd and stands with me on stage I have a special treat as a thank-you, a new, exclusive DesigningVashti Lotus mini pattern kit.

Bow Tie

Thank you all for your support.  With a lot of help from my friends we shall make it a night to remember.

Crochet Hall of Fame

It is with ineffable pleasure and pride that I share this announcement. The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA)  and has just bestowed upon me that organization’s highest honor, induction into the CGOA Jean Leinhauser Hall of Fame.

WOWSERS!

My initial reaction to the news is one of disbelief.  I should not think myself worthy and, however disingenuous it sounds, I truly am shocked and surprised to have been voted in.  Ah, but my next and more abiding reaction is most telling.  I regard the Hall of Fame award as the icing… no, wait… it’s merely the dusting of gold sprinkles on top of the icing on the cake, the chocolate cake that represents my association with the CGOA.  Of course it is wonderful, astonishing to have my work recognized in so public a way. But it all pales compared to the immeasurable personal rewards I have already received over the years through guild membership and participation.  In other words, for twelve years I have been gorging on CGOA cake and my head is not about to be turned by a few new glittery bits on top.

Would my life and career be the same today had I not joined CGOA? Don’t think so.  I’d still have chosen to pursue crochet designing.  But my experiences through 16 conferences — being welcomed into this vital community, meeting others who speak the language of crochet with as much fluency and reverence as I do, bonding with the crocheters who would become my best friends — showed me that I do not design in a vacuum.  Sharing my craft with this crew of talented, creative, slightly mad, often rowdy but always loving crocheters reminds me why I do what I do and keeps me honest.

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I never enjoy talking about myself and am finding it difficult to produce my presentation/acceptance speech for the formal induction ceremony, to be held during the 2016 CGOA Conference at North Charleston, SC, July 13-16. But, hey, I’ve got some time here to mess with it.  And ready or not, to all who plan on attending the conference, I want to see you on Friday evening for the festivities.  And if you’ve crocheted for yourself anything I’ve designed, please bring or wear it that evening and share the pride along with me.

Crochet Design Competition: And the winners are….

CGOA 2014 Design Competition Winner List

With each year’s Design Competition, we are reminded of the crochet love and the depth of talent that abounds and abides in the membership of the Guild. The brilliant designs in this year’s field of entries made me gasp, laugh, cry (in a good way) and quite a few made me enormously envious… like, why couldn’t I have designed that envious. But most of all, working with these entries makes me feel proud to be a crocheter.

I’d like to introduce this year’s judges, who had the impossible task of choosing tonight’s winners:

Jenny King, Susan Lowman, Karen Manthey

Thanks to our magnificent sponsors, we have a gang of cash prizes. Please let them know we appreciate their generous support:

Gwen Blakley Kinsler

Boye, and the Crochet Dude

Cari Clement

Creative Yarn Source

Designing Vashti

Interweave

Mainly Crochet

Red Heart

Tulip Company

WEBS, America’s Yarn Store

Category: Fashion, sponsored by Interweave Crochet

Honorable Mention: “Seashell Dress”; designed by Linda Jefferies

Seashell Dress, designed by Linda Jefferies

Seashell Dress, designed by Linda Jefferies

Honorable Mention: “The Claudia Sweater”; designed by Susan Walsh

Claudia Sweater, designed by Susan Walsh

Claudia Sweater, designed by Susan Walsh

Third Prize $100: “Purple Majestic Vest”; designed by Maxine Pike

Purple Majestic Vest, designed by Maxine Pike

Purple Majestic Vest, designed by Maxine Pike

Second Prize $200: “Fantasy Skirt”; designed by Kathryn White

Fantasy Skirt, designed by Kathryn White

Fantasy Skirt, designed by Kathryn White

First Prize $300: “Peach Stack”; designed by Annette Hynes

Peach Stack, designed by Annette Hynes

Peach Stack, designed by Annette Hynes

 

Category: Accessories, sponsored by WEBS, Americas Yarn Store

Honorable Mention: “Reversible Rabbits”; designed by Hazel Furst

Reversible Rabbits Scarf, designed by Hazel Furst

Reversible Rabbits Scarf, designed by Hazel Furst

Honorable Mention: “Waterfall Collar Necklace”; designed by Jessie Rayot

Waterfall Collar, designed by Jessie Rayot

Waterfall Collar, designed by Jessie Rayot

Honorable Mention: “Riviera Shawlette”; designed by Kathryn White

Riviera Shawlette, designed by Kathryn White

Riviera Shawlette, designed by Kathryn White

Third Prize $100: “Pearls”; designed by Jean DeMouy

Pearls, designed by Jean DeMouy

Pearls, designed by Jean DeMouy

Second Prize $200: “Crimson Fiesta Shawl”; designed by Theresa Kehrer

Crimson Fiesta, designed by Theresa Kehrer

Crimson Fiesta, designed by Theresa Kehrer

First Prize $300: “Fall Leaves Wrap”; designed by Jessie Rayot

Fall Leaves Wrap, designed by Jessie Rayot

Fall Leaves Wrap, designed by Jessie Rayot

 

Category: Afghans and Home Decor, sponsored by Red Heart

Honorable Mention: “Summer Breeze”; designed by Rena Watson

Summer Breeze, designed by Rena Watson

Summer Breeze, designed by Rena Watson

Third Prize $100: “A Soldier’s Christmas”; designed by Deborah Bagley

A Soldier's Christmas, designed by Deborah Bagley

A Soldier’s Christmas, designed by Deborah Bagley

Second Prize $200: “Around the World and Back”; designed by Annette Hynes

Designed by Annette Hynes

Designed by Annette Hynes

First Prize $300: “Star Bright Cot Blanket”; designed by Joan Peate

Star Bright, designed by Joan Peate

Star Bright, designed by Joan Peate

 

Category: Thread Crochet, sponsored by Boye and the Crochet Dude

Third Prize $100: “Flutter”; designed by Rose Ramirez

Flutter, designed by Rose Ramirez

Flutter, designed by Rose Ramirez

Second Prize $200: “Pretty Pathways Doily”; designed by Joyce Geisler

Pretty Pathways, designed by Joyce Geisler

Pretty Pathways, designed by Joyce Geisler

First Prize $300: “Secret Garden”; designed by Kathryn White

Secret Garden, designed by Kathryn White

Secret Garden, designed by Kathryn White

Category: Artistic Expression, sponsored by Tulip Company, makers of exceptional tools including Etimo cushion grip crochet hooks

Third Prize $100: “The Deadly Dragon”; designed by Rachel Schuster

The Deadly Dragon, designed by Rachel Schuster

The Deadly Dragon, designed by Rachel Schuster

Second Prize $200: “Steampunk Amigurumi Soiree”; designed by Donna Childs

Steampunk Amigurumi Soiree, designed by Donna Childs

Steampunk Amigurumi Soiree, designed by Donna Childs

First Prize $300: “Backyard Visitors”; designed by Sachiko Adams

Backyard Visitors, designed by Sachiko Adams

Backyard Visitors, designed by Sachiko Adams

Special Award for Technical Merit, sponsored by Designing Vashti, the online crochet pattern boutique.

Technical Merit Award goes to Jennifer Ryan, designer of Celtic Coral Charm and Feileacan Shawl

Celtic Coral Charm, designed by Jennifer Ryan

Celtic Coral Charm, designed by Jennifer Ryan

Feileacan Shawl, designed by Jennifer Ryan

Feileacan Shawl, designed by Jennifer Ryan

Anniversary Award $100, sponsored by Gwen Blakley Kinsler

“Backyard Visitors”; Sachiko Adams

Peoples’ Choice Award $100, sponsored by Cari Clement

“Chrysler Art Deco Jewelry Set”; designed by Shari White

Chrysler Art Deco Set, designed by Shari White

Chrysler Art Deco Set, designed by Shari White

$1000 Grand Prize, sponsored by Creative Yarn Source and Mainly Crochet

“Nicky’s Caribbean Adventure”; designed by Dot Drake

Nicky's Caribbean Adventure, designed by Dot Drake

Nicky’s Caribbean Adventure, designed by Dot Drake