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!

 

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.

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?🙂

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!