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.

Convertible Crochet Giveaway

No need for me to un-bury the lead because it’s all in the title.  Today begins the sign-up for a prize drawing, the prize being a free hardcopy of my new book, Convertible Crochet: Customizable Designs for Stylish Garments.  You may certainly skip all the doo-dah that follows here, and go straight to the comments, add yours to the list, go back to whatever you were doing and wait for the drawing on Friday.  I wouldn’t blame you.  But for the intrepid crocheters among you, please read on!

convertible_crochet_cvr

In one word, this book is about multitasking.  It is an investigation and a celebration of designs, motifs and constructions that may be re-configured, assembled and/or styled in myriad ways. It is a big toy box filled with shiny playthings with which you are encouraged to build and experiment (like Legos but not exactly because first you have to crochet the Legos, know what I’m saying?). Once you start looking at crochet in this new light, then you can get on with the real fun, which is messing around with what you have learned.

Mostly this book is about my obsessive/compulsive approach to making and assembling outside-the-box motifs. Motifs are not new; crochet design history is overflowing with ideas for squares, hexagons, triangles, octagons and circles.  But who else thinks up garments using pentagons? It can get complicated, though.  It is my hope that the weird constructions will appeal to your inner geek, rather than cause you to run screaming.

Even if my pet pents are not your idea of fun, there are other useful bits to absorb and apply to your own crochet.  It would please me greatly if you took away at least these three things from Convertible Crochet:

  • Ending a round of crochet so that your hook is left in the best position to begin the next round.
  • Finding the point singularity when joining a motif to a place where there is already a join.
  • Looking at every edge as a design opportunity; utilizing the spaces and loops of your crochet and using ribbing, strings, button studs and headers to create your own multitasking miracle.

If you ever have questions or comments about the book, or need pattern support for the designs, please do not post them here on this blog.  We have a group and a forum at Ravelry.com dedicated to my work, Doris Chan Crochet.  If  you are not already signed up at Ravelry, go do it because it is the premier on-line source, playground, and social gathering place for fiber enthusiasts. My Rav username is dorisjchan;  I am making myself available in the group chat room this week for two live sessions, Wednesday 29 May at 10pm Eastern time, and Saturday 1 June at 1 pm Eastern time, if you’d care to pile in.  Otherwise, you can post your questions or comments on the forum and the posse (led by my group moderator, Rav username Amerz) will be along to help.

So, if after reading this stuff about the book you still want a free copy, now’s the time to enter your reply to this post.  You may have to click the little bubble at the top of the post… or maybe click “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of the post, in order to get to the part where you can leave a comment.  I will announce the winner at noon Eastern time on Friday, 31 May.  If you are outside the US and Canada, and if you win, you will have to provide me with a North American address, please.  And, as always, sucking up to me, no matter how enthusiastically or heartfelt, will not improve your chance of winning! 🙂

Good luck to all.  I’ll be back on Friday with a winner.