Captivated by Crochet

One drawback to being a child of the 1970s is that my image of crochet was formed by the fashion of the times; for example, this circa-1978 poncho:

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Fast-forward to the present: every runway season you’ll find avant-garde, luxury crochet pieces in designer collections, such as this ladylike ensemble from Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2013:

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In between kitsch and haute crochet is a growing middle ground where the rest of us can find our sweet spot, thanks to the talent and exquisite good taste of contemporary crochet designers. If you attended Stitches West recently, I hope you stopped by the DanDoh booth to admire her nature-inspired pieces, such as the Sea Turtle wrap (Rustic Modern Crochet) and Urban Chic shawl (Ravelry)–either would be smashing in Rowan’s new Pure Linen.

Sea Turtle, Yumiko Alexander

Sea Turtle, Yumiko Alexander

Urban Chic, Yumiko Alexander

Urban Chic, Yumiko Alexander

Rowan Pure Linen

Rowan Pure Linen

In fact, in-house style favorites Rowan and Bergere de France regularly feature appealing crochet designs. Harmony by Marie Wallin (Fine Lace and Cotton Glace, Rowan 55) is an airy, sophisticated tunic for summer evenings out; Tutti Frutti (Summerspun, Rowan 53) is a spunky and colorful top to wear just about anywhere.

Harmony, Rowan 55 (Cotton Glace & Fine Lace)

Harmony, Rowan 55 (Cotton Glace & Fine Lace)

Tutti Frutti by Marie Wallin, Rowan Mag. 53

Tutti Frutti by Marie Wallin, Rowan Mag. 53

The latest Bergere de France magazines are packed with chic crocheted looks: #22 Crochet Beanie is a sweet year-round accessory in Cachemire (Magazine 171), while the crisp motifs and floral inspiration of #12 Top in Coton Fifty and #16 Bag in Bergereine from Bergere 172 are the perfect antidote to winter blues.

#22 Beanie, Bergere de France 171 (Cachemire)

#22 Beanie, Bergere de France 171 (Cachemire)

#12 Top, Bergere de France 172 (Coton Fifty)

#12 Top, Bergere de France 172 (Coton Fifty)

#16 Bag, Bergere de France 172 (Bergereine

#16 Bag, Bergere de France 172 (Bergereine

Now It’s Your Turn

Are you ready to dive in? Whether you’re new to crochet or already quite experienced, we have many ways to keep you looping and twisting throughout the spring. This weekend’s Small Project Saturday on March 8 will feature Churchmouse’s Crocheted Baskets. With basic stitches topped by a special button, you can create a lovely hostess gift or delightful Easter basket in the blink of an eye.

Churchmouse Crocheted Baskets

Churchmouse Crocheted Baskets

Swan Lake Shawl by Lily Chin (Crystal Palace Sausalito)

Take a step beyond the basics, and try Bruges Lace with Lyle and the Swan Lake Sha​wl CAL starting this Sunday, March 9– this distinctive stitch pattern is a showstopper in self-striping yarns (the sample above is Crystal Palace Sausalito.) Or explore the hybrid technique of Tunisian with Jorel and her series covering simple and advanced stitches, as well as a stashbusting blanket.

Go Your Own Way

You can push your boundaries in other directions too… we’re looking for beginner knitters to join Jean and the Brave New Knitters KAL, which meets on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. Develop your skills and gain confidence as you work on a project of your choice from The Simple Collection by Tin Can Knits, an exceptionally well-written collection of patterns designed for new knitters (Barley hat shown below.) Bring your questions and enthusiasm and join us!

Barley, Tin Can Knits

Barley, Tin Can Knits

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Changing up your tools can bring out unexpected, beautiful qualities in a favorite skein of yarn. Learn the ins-and-outs of weaving with Laura, through her all-day workshop on March 16 or her Color and Weave class on March 30. Bring your own loom or practice on a shop loom; either way, you’ll have fun experimenting with new color patterns and textures.