Pattern Thursday: Getting Hooked on Crochet

Having recently finished knitting up a new sock design (coming out soon), I'm looking for a bit of a change of pace on my crafting.  After a good amount of time away from my hooks, I'm thinking its just about time for a crochet project. 

Currently, Georgian Bay Fibre Co doesn't have any crochet patterns or samples, mostly because between Carla and myself, we just don't have the experience or expertise to design crochet patterns. Over time I would like to increase my skill level in crochet, however between my knitting, spinning and rigid heddle weaving (along with my full-time job) it may take quite a while before we have something in development. 

I've been crocheting on and off since around 2004, when I crocheted a baby blanket for the daughter of my cousin (she was the first baby of the next generation) out of some Lion Brand Homespun, ugh. After that, I didn't try crochet again until 2011, where I make a couple of crocheted baby blankets, and then in 2012 I found amigurumi (crocheted toys).

However, after a long winter of knitting, my fingers are wanting to get into some crochet, and I found a few new-ish patterns in Ravelry that highlight the things I like most about crochet.  It's ability to do easy stripes and color changes, its modularity (as in putting together small motifs into larger items) and its distinct lace look. Oh and toys, I love the way amigurumi look (and I find it so much more straightforward than knitted toys, but that may have something to do with my dislike for DPNs).

So here are two crochet projects that caught my eye in the past week, I'm hoping to increase my skill level in crochet, because it is such a neat needlecraft that sometime get a bad rap from what was done to in the the 70s, with acrylic yarn.  It's really not the crochets fault.  So here are a few of my freshly queued crochet patterns.


I like the way crocheted lace looks, however most of the crocheted doilies that date from the 50s onward suffer from the fact that they are doilies and most are made in very hard crochet thread and in very unfortunate colors.  However, there is a new generation of crochet designers who are taking these interesting and beautiful motifs off the table and into garments.

The crocheted shawl that caught my eye is Jenny's Faith by Anastasia Roberts.

Worked in one of the subtle neutral colorways, this shawl would be a beautiful accent piece that could go between seasons.

Due to the nature of the crocheted lace and the drape of the fabric, I think this would be a great candidate for Pengallie Fingering (with 80% superwash BFL and 20% silk).  The fibers would have the sheen a drape that would make it an elegant piece.

My top choice for colorway would probably be Carrington Winter Sky.  This is one of the colorways that you have to see in person. It is a beauty of a light blue/grey that shifts depending on which way you look at it.   It was one of the colorways that Carla developed right at the beginning in my kitchen and I've been dye-ing to use it for ages.  

I really like large, fingering weight shawls, they work perfectly as scarves for fall, and an extra layer on cool summer evenings (which looking oh, so elegant).

 

Another feature of crochet that I love is the way you can combine colors so very simply.

The Grannie Shawl by Charlene Van den Brande is a neat spot to start. Also, its a free pattern.

Crocheted out of worsted, this would work wonderfully in Hennessy Aran.  With the warm wooly nature of the Hennessy yarn, and the lofty bulky feel of grannie stripes, this project may be best for September.

One of the issues I have with these sorts of projects when I look through them in Ravelry, is the color choices.  However, a great color palette can go a long way to making a great looking project. So if you aren't a strong color picker (like myself), Carla's palettes from her Tower Hill Shawl are a great spot to start and add a few more that catch your eye.

I think I would make mine out of a variation on the Sunday Sail Palette, featuring McKellar Honey, Big Sound Squall and Natural, maybe adding Zhiishib Rock Granite and Wakefield Lilac to that group.

I have great faith in Carla's colors going well together, yesterday I dropped by the studio and somehow dropped a skein of Rosseau Pumpkin on her current Spring Skies WIP and that combination looked really great and would be a really striking combination for a striped item.

These are just a couple of crochet patterns that I might start with, there are so many more out there.  If you have any suggestions of crochet patterns that I should try, let me know in the comments.  I really should have a crochet and knitting WIP on the go at the same time so I can work longer, switching between the crafts to keep my fingers nimble.


Christina Bossart is the designer and teacher behind Lone/Maple Studio. In addition to knitting, mostly socks, Christina enjoys spinning and rigid heddle weaving under the watchful eye of her orange kitten, Jack. Please visit her blog at www.lonemaplestudio.com.