table of contents letter from the EDITOR meet our STAFF fashion WEEK in Toronto CreativFestival Fall 2014 COVER STORY: Turquoiz Blue Marly Bird Talks Curvy Crochet WEAR CROCHET Fall Plus Size Fashion 2014 plus size Fashion TIPS product REVIEWS Quince & Co. Yarn fall PATTERNS: by Marly Bird & Turquioz Blue featured designer: Kristi Simpson
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STAFF LaTonya “Keturah Ariel” Malinconico Founder/Editor-n-Chief www.knitfabulous.org
Rhonda “Turquioz Blue” Davis Assistant Editor/Blog & Social Director www.thisiscrochet.com
French Editor & Translator/ Blogger www.accrochet.com
Staff Assistant/ Charity Director
Karen Thistle Copy Editor
Lamira Fields Feature Writer
Assistant French Editor & Translator www.thewanderingspiderr.blogspot.ca Crochet Savvy Magazine www.crochetsavvy.com Facebook www.facebook.com/crochetsavvymagazine Twitter www.twitter.com/crochetsavvy Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/groups/crochet-savvy-
letter from the EDITOR Plus size fashion seems to be that taboo subject within the fashion and crochet community. For some reason, no one wants to talk about or admit that there is a huge gap in pattern sizing and books that feature larger sizes. We have spent the past 3 months asking you if you would like to see a plus size issue and 100% of you said YES! Isn’t that amazing? An industry were you think would feature creativity and diversity- still is overridden by this society standard of “skinny is the norm”. The sad thing is that “skinny is not the norm” and most of us wear sizes M on up to 2X. Therefore, this magazine issue is dedicated to all the curvy and gorgeously plump wearers of crochet fashion. We wanted to show YOU that YOU can make your crochet work for you. You do not have to jump through the eye of a needle to get fabulous fabrics or try to hide your curves in oversized sweaters and what not....LOL. So enjoy. -Keturah Malinconico Founder, Editor-n-Chief Crochet Savvy Magazine
meet our STAFF Keturah is a debut author and has been in the hip-hop industry for more than 13 years. An advocate for charity and having joy through trials, she teaches through motivation and inspiration a message of hope and balance for people, especially stay-at-home-moms, who feel that they are completely lost tending to children, husbands and house duties. She currently has a BA in Liberal Arts and MBA in Business Administration and is a graphics designer and networker. She loves to use her creativity through arts, music and crafting (crocheting, knitting & sewing) to encourage others. Keturah currently resides in Toronto, ON with her family. For more info about her and her designs check out: www.knitfabulous. org. ~~~~~ Turquoiz Blue is from Atlanta, GA and is a crochet, knitter, seamstress and graphics/web designer. She loves to check out fashion trends, and looking at vintage fashions, fantasy costumes, and historical dress. She is an accomplished crafter who has had several designs featured in top craft magazines. She can be found on her blog at http:// www.thisiscrochet.com/blog as well as most social media sites under the name â€œTurquoizBlueâ€?.
Aldonia has always been creative. To escape life she would find something creative to keep her occupied. Just last year she came across the world of fiber arts; and thought, crocheting looks like fun but refused to make your everyday blankets. With no one willing to teach a left handed person to crochet, she taught herself. After practicing and rewriting patterns she saw online she decided to write her own. She is an active volunteer for the children’s festival and fundraiser of Cochise County and is crocheting winter hats for the teens. She is from Bridgeport, Connecticut and have two loving children.She is also a self taught Left-handed crocheter since 2012. and the owner of Barnwell’s delight in Arizona https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barnwells-Delight
Copyeditor Karen Thistle’s Aunt Blanche was the first person to show her the joy and beauty of crochet. During one extended visit, her aunt made a zig-zag afghan to keep Karen’s mom cozy and also a matching skirt, top, and hat created with the same yarn for Karen’s doll. First lesson learned: crochet means love. Even so, Karen became a knitter around 1999—blame it on a failure of nerve; at the time, she felt she needed the security of two needles. In 2011, however, she got tired of having to pass up perfectly lovely patterns just because they were crochet. She grabbed a Boye hook, the book Crocheting For Dummies, 2nd Edition, and a ball of yarn, then started learning the craft in earnest. She’s loving it! Mom now has a rectangular shawl to cuddle up in as well.
Lamira is born and raised in Washington, D.C, she began crocheting at the age of 14 and was blessed to have two aunts that taught her this beautiful craft. Lamira started out making granny squares and that quickly turned into blankets. Unfortunately, she stopped crocheting around the age of 17 but quickly began again when she became pregnant with her first son at the age of 22. Now at the age of 46, Lamira loves crocheting and cannot see herself without a hook and yarn. She loves to crochet blankets, hats (infant, children, and adult), and scarves. Her craft goals are to learn “Crochet By Numbers” technique by Todd Paschall and the Tunisian stitch. You can find Lamira on Ravelry.com in several groups there! ~~~~~ I make One-of-a-kind, Unique, Handmade, Sexy for all sizes, Bathing Suits, Tops, Dresses, Shorts, Custom Jewelry and so much more. I have been doing this since I was ten years old when my mother taught me how to do a basic single crochet…I stopped for years until about 2004 when I made a bathing suit, just experimenting. A friend of mine liked it so much decided to she wanted to buy it from me and that is house initially Essential Esssences_Crochet and More started. I am mother of two wonderful boy and four stepsons, I am a wife to a great man that has supported me for over 12 years…this adventure into entrepreneurship started about 10 years ago selling things like crocheted Items and fashion jewelry. I have be doing this craft for many years and enjoy even more now then I did 10 years ago…I love creating new things and to see how far I can take my Craft. www.etsy.com/shop/essentialessences or www. facebook.com/EssentialEssences.Crochet My Motto is: Happiness; Love and Abundance
I’m Julie... aka ACCROchet! I am also mom (& step-mom) to 2 teenagers, almost-wife to a fantastic man, and a communications professional. I live with my family & too many pets in the suburbs of Montreal. I’ve been an avid crocheter for over 10 years, and hope to make you an addict too! ACCROchet. In French, ACCRO means addict. I am a crochet addict. And am I attempting to hide it? Gawd no; quite the opposite! I publish my personal brand of crazy everywhere and for all to see! And I trust/hope you’ll join me. 10 years ago today (no matter when you read this, it’ll always be 10 years ago today) I picked up 2 knitting needles and some yarn my mom had laying around, and I decided to teach myself to knit. 22 minutes later, stressed and discouraged beyond belief I threw the needles across the room and wallowed in self-pity. But then… then I talked to an American friend who was crazy about crochet and she showed me that all I needed was one less tool! Crochet has evolved, has made itself over and is the current up-andcoming fiber star. It is modern and trendy. And so tragically misunderstood. ~~~~~ Hi! My name is Isabelle and I am the proud mother of two wonderful little ladies of 3 and 4 years old and the wife of an equally wonderful husband. My family supports me by patiently letting me fill our apartment from top to bottom with various types of gorgeous yarn. I learned knitting and crochet with books and YouTube about 8 years ago to satisfy an increasing desire for creation. I always have a hook and yarn in my bag juuuust in case I have a crochet emergency (you never know!). I crochet hats, scarves, slippers and mostly softies which I share on my blog L’araignée Gambadeuse at http://thewanderingspiderr.blogspot.ca/
FASHION WEEK Toronto, Fall 2014
We had a wonderful time at the Maybelline booth. They set up a station so that anyone could do makeup for free.
We ran into Miss Universe Canada at the Minnie Mouse Station, saw the models for the shows getting prepped and were able to get samples from the Juicy Couture ladies. The music was great and was sponsored by Bellosound.
I had the wonderful experience of attending Torontoâ€™s Fashion Week. It is well worth the time to go and view designersâ€™ looks for the coming spring time. One brand in particular caught my attention and it was MACKAGE. The Canadian duo Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan formed MACKAGE in 2000. Since then, they have had great success in their designs. MACKAGE specializes in styish outerwear- many celebrities love the tailored and clean look of MACKAGE jackets and coats. Their Spring 2015 Collection featured many new looks in fabulous colors that showcase the clothes underneath. MACKAGE outerwear does not hide your form or your body; rather it silhouettes your frame. This tailored and clean look can be worn by all shapes and sizes and the designers seem to have hit gold in their new Spring 2015 collection. Colors on the runway were creams, white, yellow and a very electrifying cobalt blue. The blue in particular seems to be the new trend for the Spring season and was very very easy on the eyes. Enjoy the following photos from my experience at the MACKAGE show. Thanks to my friend at Mercedes Benz here in Toronto for inviting me to experience the runway and view this collection. The seats where amazing I must say. I was in the front two rows near the end of the runway. A great place to be to snap photos!
creativfestival Toronto, Fall 2014 I had a great time at the CreativFestival this year. There were so many sewing machines that I literally lost count. In addition to this, many vendors came and set up quilting and fabric stations. Although I wanted to go to the convention because of yarn- it was a great place to be for any crafter. I knew that Mikey from The Crochet Crowd would be there because he had jam-packed classes, but I was surprised when I saw him at his
booth- hugging and talking to people. Mikey was our cover story for last Winter. I met him online but never got a chance to met him in person. Finally we got a chance to meet at CreativFestival. I also hugged my favorite Diva Dan. My daughter took over Mikey from me and instantly grew attached. He spoiled her and got her a crochet toy from the booth. She was asking about “Mikey” all day long. Pretty funny and cute indeed. I also got a chance to chat with the super awesome ladies at the Lion’s Brand Yarn booth. I must say that I would highly recommend Lion’s Brand Yarn. Why? Well, I always loved the yarn but the people are amazing and friendly. In addition, the patterns are easy to follow and they offer many chunky yarns that I love to knit and crochet with. My go-to yarn for all of my chunky projects has always been Lion’s Brand. It was good
to meet the folks at this awesome company. Lastly, I stopped by Coats & Clark/Red Heart Yarns booth and had a chat with them about the evolution of Red Heart Yarn. It was eye opening about the evolution of their yarn and how they have come from the craft yarn at your local super center stores such as Walmart to offering new and inovative yarns such as the reflective light yarn that is helpful for situations where it is dark outside and people need to see you or your dog out walking. They also had many other interesting yarns made out of ribbon, t-shirts, rope, and lace. I had a blast there talking with the folks at Red Heart. I would also highly recommend Red Heart yarn to people who are beginning to knit and crochet because most of their newer yarns are fun and aimed towards beginners. The lace or ribbon yarns are easier to knit and practice with before moving on to more standard types of yarns. The newer yarns make great teen party activities in my opinion. Plus, while I was chatting away- my kids and husband were in the next booth doing kid crafts for a cure. It was a great little station where Michael’s Craft Stores sponsored the supplies and kids were able to make little items, glue and sew them by hand and then donate money for other kid causes. It was a great way to end the day at the convention.
cover story Rhonda Davis a.k.a. Turquoiz Blue Inspiring us all through her Designs by: Lamira Fields Q) How did you come up with the name TurquoizBlue? A) I have had lots of mix-ups because of my very common name (Rhonda Davis). I chose TurquoizBlue as my username everywhere online because turquoise is one of my favorite colors. I decided to use this name for designing as a way to differentiate myself and also because I came across crochet designs from someone with the same name as mine. Q) How long have you been crocheting and who inspired you? A) My mother taught me to crochet when I was five years old. I learned the basic single and double crochet stitches, and I learned complex stitches and Tunisian and Hairpin crochet by watching her and my grandmother crochet and copying what they did. The rest I picked up on my own throughout the years, mostly from experimentation and reading books. Q) What is your favorite crochet stitch and why? A) I like the Half-Double Crochet stitch because it is fast. I also like the way it looks when stitches are made into the different loops of the stitch. Stitching in the front, back or middle loops create fabrics that have a nice, ribbed texture. Another favorite of mine is the Extended Single Crochet stitch. I love the drape it creates while the fabric is still pretty solid.
My absolute favorite technique/stitches are Tunisian crochet. I enjoy watching the fabric build off my hook, and there are so many stitches. It creates very unique items. I especially love it for making garments and blankets/afghans. Q) What is the very first pattern you designed? A) I honestly don’t remember. I used to make lots of things and write partial instructions about what I did. I would also take most of them apart to reuse the yarn so they are long forgotten. The first published pattern that I completely wrote out as a real pattern was for the Mulled Spices Afghan, which was published by Interweave Crochet. Q) What prompted you to transition from crocheting various projects to designing your own patterns and submitting them for publication? A) I started out designing tiny berets and dresses for my dolls when I was small, so I have always had that inclination. I liked to sketch my own designs and visualize how they could be constructed. Honestly, for years I never knew that anyone could submit designs to publications. I thought designers who went to fashion schools created the designs, but when I looked at the designs, I would always say to myself, “I can design some things that would look good in a magazine.” The Internet made it much easier to locate information about where to submit designs. Once I had this knowledge, I decided to go for it. Q) Were any of your design submissions denied? If so, how did you overcome the disappointment?
A) I have had several designs denied. It can be temporarily disheartening, but I just tell myself that my work wasn’t a good match for either that publication or that particular issue of that publication. I also learned that many designers resubmit their designs to a different publication after being denied, or they self-published them. Knowing there are other opportunities and my work doesn’t have to be scrapped allows me to keep my head up and keep designing. In 2009-2010, you had a total of six designs published; four were in Interweave Crochet and two in Crochet World. Q) How did it feel to see your designs published, knowing so many crochet enthusiasts would be duplicating these designs for themselves, family, and friends? A) LOL. I never thought about it that way. I have a compulsion to create, so I was happy to have an outlet that would let me share my work. I wasn’t sure whether people would like my designs or not, but I just felt fortunate to have an opportunity to have my work seen by others. The very first design I submitted was accepted. I was completely surprised and felt truly blessed. I felt it was great and different enough that someone might like it, so that gave me the courage to submit it. After that, it was a privilege to have even more designs accepted. Q) What sets your crochet apart from everyone else’s? A) I like looking at designs and projects from other crocheters, but I try not to look at them with the dissecting eyes that designers can have. I trained myself to look elsewhere for my influences. A lot of the things I make are inspired by clothing and home décor I have admired over the years – my mother’s clothes, the hat I remember Mrs. S wearing, the way the woman on TV wore her cape, or the way Mr. D decorated his bachelor’s apartment. Stuff like that sticks with me for some reason. I love retro and modern/futuristic styles, and I think there are usually elements of both in my designs. My personal tastes lean toward a stark, dystopian futuristic style with a
touch of retro and boho. I love uniforms, fitted suits, and peasant skirts. The designs that have been in publications usually have to fall within the parameters of submission guidelines, or an editor may ask for changes to the design, colors, or yarn type. That can alter the final look and feel of the design somewhat, but I think a great portion of my style remains in there. Q) Which stage of the crochet process do you enjoy the most – planning the project, working on it, or completing it? A) I enjoy coming up with partial concepts and preliminary sketches. Sometimes I get obsessive with it and just keep churning out ideas and iterations of those ideas. I have boxes full of drawings and notes. Some are indecipherable because I didn’t take time develop a complete idea, but I’m sure there are elements that can contribute to something in the future (at least that’s what I tell myself). The planning stage is the part I like the least because once I have the concept defined, I just want to get to crocheting. The last thing I want to do is math and write step-by-step instructions, but it has to be done. Once I get into this part of design, though, I’m usually fully invested and committed to completing it. I love when I get to start working my hook and seeing my designs come to life. When it is finally finished and it looks exactly like my vision, I am ecstatic. It’s like being a human 3-D printer. Q) Social media is a tool that allows so many crafters to create and share their projects and designs. Has social media helped you as a designer? If so, how? A) I won’t say that I would not be a designer without social media, but being on social media has definitely helped to make my design career happen. The majority of crochet connections that I have made have been through social media, and I have met lots of designers online, while I have met very few in person. In addition to being able to communicate with other crocheters, social media also provides a platform that allows me to share my work with many people around the world. Q) Your website http://www.thisiscrochet.com/about. html is both simple and sophisticated. What do you enjoy most about sharing the content on your website with your followers?
A) Thank you. I have not been able to devote time to my website and blog because grad school has been so demanding, but I am looking forward to updating my website and sharing new content very soon. I enjoy having an outlet to blab about crochet-related things I find interesting and sharing my work and the work of others. Q) There are so many creative and talented people who crochet but are hesitant to take that leap of faith as it relates to designing their first pattern, selling their products, or submitting a pattern for publication. What advice would you offer to help them take that first step? A) My advice is to create something, anything! Donâ€™t worry about being a pattern writer, measurements, or technical things. Those things can be learned later, and sometimes focusing on fine-tuning the process instead of creating will cause ideas to be lost or produce a desire to abandon a project because it seems so overwhelming. Create and make things for friends and family to get their feedback. Try selling your creations locally or online. I sold things at craft fairs for years before I ever thought to design professionally. This will help to boost your confidence in your abilities. While you are becoming more self-assured, begin learning more professional techniques. Read books, take classes, join a professional organization, or reach out to more-experienced crocheters to improve your skills. Your design opportunities will grow as your skills increase. Find out what types of items you like to make and what techniques you like to use. Then focus on developing those areas. Donâ€™t try to be the best at everything unless you are one of those type people who are great at multiple things. There are many types of positions you can occupy as a crochet designer. Take time to learn about all the avenues that are available, but remember to create your own design path and be different. Marty Neumeier writes in his book Zag: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands, that you should try
to draw “a whole new shape” and to know how to zag when others zig. He says, “[t]o find a zag, look for ideas that combine qualities of good and different.” Q) What are your goals for 2015?
versations. I have another website that I was planning to launch a while back that I had to put on hiatus that will be geared toward crochet household items. I really want to resurrect that.
Another goal is to make something that is absolutely fabulous just for me – a one-of-a-kind item that I can A) My goals are to get back in the saddle and start treasure for years. I rarely get to crochet for myself. designing again. I have so many incomplete designs that I would like to see finished and hopefully pub- And the thing that I am most excited about is being able lished, both through someone else and by me. to be more involved with Crochet Savvy Magazine and working with Keturah to help her achieve her vision. I I have been brainstorming with another designer to love the staff that has been assembled. I believe we collaborate on some designs. I think we have some have great ideas and work well together. I am really unique concepts that could produce some beautiful hoping to meet everyone in person in 2015. designs. I am looking forward to working with her. I am also working on some designs for a yarn company. That is in the early stages. Still trying to come up with concepts/sketches. I am really excited about incorporating all the design strategies that I learned in school into the crochet process and also using them to create more interactive content that is engaging and encourages con-
by Turquoiz Blue
marly BIRD Talks Curvy Crochet by: Turquioz Blue
Marlaina “Marly” Bird, Designer Extraordinaire You can tell a lot about Marly Bird just by the hats she wears. She is an avid crocheter and knitter who loves to share her passion with students. Balancing her day as wife, mommy, designer, creative director, teacher and podcast host is a challenge, but Marly wouldn’t change any of it. But how did she become a crochet and knitwear designer? Marly learned to crochet in 1999 from her grandmother and in 2004 learned to knit from a dear friend. From the moment she picked up the hook and needles Marly knew that she had to be a part of this industry. In 2006 she quit her job to do just that. Her first adventure into this crafty business was to begin a podcast. With a BA in Speech Communication from Colorado State University, it seemed that a podcast all about her love for crochet and knitting was a logical step for Marly to make. Since Marly is bi-crafty, she focused her show on both crochet and knitting. Also, little known fact, her podcast was the FIRST CROCHET podcast on iTunes! She named the show Yarn Thing Podcast because it really is all about the yarn and not the medium you use to work with it. No rivalry between the two crafts on her show! Doing the podcast must have been a good start because it was on her podcast that she made connections with some of the highly talented people in the industry and even began to review for such publishers as Vogue, Interweave, Martingale, F&W, XRX, Potter Craft, and Leisure Arts. Wanting to move even farther into this industry, Marly decided she would venture into the world of design. After all, she never really followed patterns instead choosing to alter this, that, and the other to make a piece her own. Well, after some gentle prodding from some of her friends and family (as well as a couple of her favorite designers) she attended her first TNNA in June of 2008. Why TNNA? Marly was told that if she wanted to really “BE a DESIGNER” she had to go to this trade show and connect with the leaders of this industry. So, she did just that…and again, it paid off! It was at this first show that she met the owners of Bijou Basin Ranch luxury Yak Fiber. Soon after she began to design for them and she is now their Creative Director. What an adventure! It has been a wild ride since her first published patterns in Fall of 2008 (Fino Mittones, Interweave Crochet Fall 2008 and Eyelet Hat and Scarf, Knit Simple Magazine Holiday 2008). Marly is author
of I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Entrelac (Leisure Arts, 2013), co-author of Knitting for Dummies 3rd ed. (Wiley, 2013), Curvy Crochet: fashion for the plus size woman (Leisure Arts, 2010), published in some of the top magazines in the world, has patterns in collaborative books, works for a variety of yarn companies, is project manager for the patterns of a new yarn line and independently publishes her own patterns. When asked about her design style, Marly says she likes to design items that she would want to use or wear. Most of her designs are sized from S to 3x as she understands the need for quality plus size garments for knitters and crocheters. She likes to make pieces that are stylish, sophisticated and yet down to earth. After only a few short years, this talented designer has accomplished so much that it is not hard to believe that the sky is the limit for her. Marly believes that with the grace of God nothing is impossible and that it is never too late to make something that is your passion into something that is your profession! Since becoming a designer in 2008, Marly is getting paid to actually play with yarn; what could be better than that? Q) What are the major differences between designing for misses and plus sizes? Are there any special adjustments to always consider or does it vary depending on the pattern? A) Actually, the designing process is about the same between misses and plus size as far as sketch and swatch. But it’s when I get to the calculations for the grading (sizing) that things get interesting. When designing for plus size, I try to think about what I like about sweaters/cardigans that I wear. As a plus size lady all my life, I have a little knowledge about the topic. I think about neckline, armhole depth, and length of body and of sleeves. These are things that, for the smaller sizes, can be graded up exponentially but NOT SO for plus size. It takes time to get the correct measurements in all the right places so there isn’t an armhole so large that my boob falls out into my sleeve! Q) How do you balance your time as a mom, designer, instructor, creative director, podcaster, etc.? A) Haha, I am still trying to figure this out…no really! I wish I had the magic answer to help everybody else with this but in truth I don’t. I often joke about my life being like a plate balancing act. If one plate falls, disaster ensues. My life is a very fine balancing act and to be honest, I couldn’t do all that I do without the great team of people I have. first and foremost being my incredibly supportive husband. Second in line are my multitude of contract knitters and crocheters, and last but not least is my social media maven, Tammy Burke. You know the saying, it takes a village to raise a kid? Well, it takes a team to run the Marly Bird Empire. Q) Do you have any advice for fiber artists who would like to become professional designers? A) Boy do I! Actually, I teach a whole class about it called Hobby to Profession where I give all how to’s, the things I’ve learned, and the low down and dirty information that most designers and people in the industry don’t share but I figure…if you want to join me you should know (aka MONEY). I bare my professional soul in that class, and I think all my past students would agree with me on that score. Having said that, I am not sure what to share here. How about this, the yarn industry is the best industry there is to be a part of, and I would welcome any fiber artist in who wants to be my colleague with open arms. I would also say that the #1 thing to remember is to be responsible, be reliable, and be professional (okay that is 3 things but you know what I mean). Also, trust that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! …do you see a theme here? LOL
Q). Marly, do you have any events or promotional things that you are doing? A) Well, the most recent thing I would like to promote is my new YouTube channel focused ALL on CROCHET! Iâ€™ve teamed up with a wonderful production company out of Austin, TX and travel there about once every two months to film. For a long time, I hesitated doing YouTube because I wanted the quality of my videos and sound to be top notch but I didnâ€™t know how to do that. With the help of the company, Tiny Courage, I now have GREAT videos and a wonderful team behind me! The channel is brand new, but I think the newbie crocheter to the advanced crocheter will find something valuable there. There will be videos on techniques, projects, reviews, etc. I would love people to come subscribe and join me in this new fun adventure! www.youtube.com/marlybird
wear crochet Fall 2014 Plus Size Edition This season it’s all about curves. Check out our fall look-book based on fabulous sets and collections from J. Tomson Plus Size via Polyvore.com. Try Polyvore today, it’s a great website that let’s you create sets of looks that you love! Special Thanks to all the folks out there who came up with the sets and collections that we decided to feature!
We asked our READERS Q: When shopping for plus-size clothing, what do you look for? A: It has to be something stylish with moderate cleavage showing. Q: If you had to choose from loose-fitting clothing or shape-defining clothing, which one would you choose? A: Shape-defining Q: If you could design your own outfit, how would it look? A: Dress- colorful, V-neck, modest cleavage, fitted waist with a thin belt or bow, flared skirt Roberta C. of Arizona A: Pant suit- warm colors, lace jacket with 3/4 sleeves, satin top, wide leg lace pants Diane B. of Connecticut Q: Do you have any tips for designers of plus-size clothing? A: Please consider the unique needs of plus-size women. We are not all shaped the same. We want to feel good about ourselves when we put clothes on. Old looking clothes and baggy clothes will not do. Create clothes that complement our shape.
Tips for Plus Size fitting 1. Get properly sized for undergarments. Wearing the wrong size bra for example, can create un-natural arch in your back. When turned to the size, it can make you seem drooped over. If the bra is too big, your clothes and frame will seem baggy. If it is too tight, you can get a muffin top in the front and flabby lines on your back where your bra rides up because it is too tight. We loose weight and gain weight in the breast when pregnant, nursing babies and when we wean them as well as when we exercise. You have to keep getting re-measured ever so often to avoid wearing the wrong size bra. 2. Learn how to wear your clothes. Learn where your top should begin and end on your waist. Learn what kind of jeans or pants compliments your shape, Should you wear a pencil skirt with that top? Should you layer your sweater with a longer shirt? Ask yourself these types of questions when you are trying on clothes. 3. Wear the proper size clothes. Wearing clothes that are too tight can make you look uneven. It is better to size your frame and figure out what looks best on you, than to go with the majority size from store bought clothes. For example, not everyone who can wear a size large from the store will actually need a size large. You may need a size medium bottoms and size large top, or an extra large in a different brand. Take your clothes to the fitting room and TRY THEM ON for proper fit. Another example from my personal experience is that I wear a general size 10 but for some reason most of my jeans are a size 13 while my wedding dress was a size 10 but felt like a size 8 and I had to alter it. Always try your clothes on. 4. If you are plus size, shop in the plus size section and be confident! Nothing says low self esteem than the woman who wears a size 2x but is shopping for a medium or large in the juniors section just to avoid being put in the plus sizes. There are so many wonderful and sexy plus size clothes now that most stores carry the same items as your average misses or junior sizes. Just flip the pages of this magazine back to our awesome Plus size lookbook section and you will see plenty of great plus size ideas! 5. Lastly, make your own clothes! Kniting, crocheting and sewing your own wardobe can help custom fit your entire look. When you are craftsy, you have an entire world of possibilites right at your fingers. I know of tall people who custom fit every single pair of pants that they own. Or short people like me who have to hem every single pair of pants. If you are big busted, try to crochet your own sweaters and make points of interest like tapering the waist for a slimmer fit to flaunt what you got! Marly Bird has a great class at www.Craftsy.com where she teaches you how to custom fit your creations for those problem areas like under the arm, the waist, the neckline. Amy Herzog also has a great class on Craftsy called â€œKnit to Flatterâ€? where she teaches you how to wear and create garments that flatter your shape.You would enjoy both of these classes and Craftsy has an excellent platform of learning!
Review of Dora Ohrensteinâ€™s Craftsy Class, Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet by Turquoiz Blue
I was asked to review the Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet class by Dora Ohrenstein on Craftsy. I have purchased a few other classes on Craftsy and skimmed through the contents, but this is the first time I actually took an entire course. The Craftsy Platform The Craftsy platform is very user friendly. It allows users to stop and start classes wherever they like. There are discussion areas within each lesson where class members can leave comments or ask questions, and the instructor can respond. There is also an All Discussion page for viewing all the discussions on Craftsy at one time. The class has seven lessons: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Tunisian Basics Tunisian Tools Measuring for a Perfect Fit Adjust the Pattern Custom-Fit Calculations: Bust & Shoulder Custom-Fit Calculations: Waist & Hip Finishing Details
Each lesson can be completed in one sitting, which makes it easy to digest the training. The Materials page provides links to purchase the yarn used for the project. Unfortunately, there is only one color choice of yarn. Downloadable pattern and worksheets are also included, along with a crochet metric conversion guide.
product REVIEWS The Notes page is for video notes, which are private bookmarks to notate key points in the lessons and also a way return to key moments of the lesson. The Projects page is where all class members can share their class-related projects. Craftsy also provides a link to view personal activity, such as questions asked, projects shared, or when responses to comments are received. The Lessons Lesson One - Tunisian Basics explains the methods for creating the startup row, Tunisian Simple Stitch (tss), and Tunisian Knit Stitch (tks). Throughout the video Dora describes the anatomical structure of the stitches and their idiosyncrasies, and she offers solutions for problems that can occur such as unwanted spaces that can appear when decreasing. One thing that I wish Dora had mentioned is that Tunisian crochet is also known as Afghan crochet, so that if anyone sees the reference, they will know that it is the same technique. Lesson Two - Tunisian Tools is about creating crochet fabric, yarn qualities, types of interchangeable Tunisian hooks, and how to measure gauge. Lesson Three - Measuring for a Perfect Fit shows how to take measurements to ensure that sweaters will fit. Dora clearly demonstrates the exact places on the body to measure and how to record those measurements. She also defined the concept of ease, explained where to use ease in the garment, described how to determine ease based on how you actually like your garment to fit, and explained how to add the ease to the body measurements. Then she demonstrated how to place those measurements on a personal schematic. Lesson Four - Adjust the Pattern describes a method for pre-reading through the pattern and notating key changes. Dora indicates the best places to make adjustments. Lesson Five - Custom-Fit Calculations: Bust & Shoulder covers how to make pattern adjustments for body measurements that fall outside of standard pattern sizes. Examples include when front width is larger than back and when body size is larger than what is included in the pattern. Dora focuses on the bust area and advocates using an â€œarmhole swatch,â€? which is something I also recommend and use myself. Lesson Six - Custom-Fit Calculations: Waist & Hip clarifies making alterations to the portions of the pattern that are below the bust, the waist and hips, by adding or removing rows to adjust length. The methods described show how to change the hip circumference, how to adjust for straight and curvy figures, and how to convert a sweater from pullover to button down vest. Lesson Seven - Finishing Details is all about how to finish a Tunisian crochet garment. Dora talks briefly about blocking and pinning to eliminate the curling fabric and explains a woven seam technique that is almost undetectable when done correctly. She also describes a method for single crocheting around the edges.
Final Thoughts My overall observation is that Craftsy provides an easy-to-use platform for online learning. The Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet class itself gives reference-quality lessons to help crocheters use Tunisian crochet techniques to master creating sweaters. This is a course for crocheters who are new to the Tunisian technique and also for experienced crocheters who could use pointers for working with the characteristics that are unique to Tunisian crochet.
Keturah’s Book Review of Curvy Girl Crochet: 25 Patterns that Fit and Flatter by Mary Beth Temple
I loved this book. I am not considered plus size, but my size large is on the list, so I was able to find many designs that would fit me well and were created with me in mind. When I say me, I really mean ME! Size large is sometimes grouped with both regular and plus size as if no one really understands or knows what to do with it. In many regular patterns, my size is the one that contains the most errata because, I believe, the models and samples are all done in the smallest size available and then the other sizes tend to be a bit snugger than they should be. Mary Beth has a great way of sizing her patterns and stating the real measurements so that the reader can adjust properly. She even gives details to the reader to help with the gauge and fit. In one pattern, for example, she tells the reader that the “Garment is not meant to close in the front.” This small detail can be helpful when people are crocheting and might think they have done something wrong when, actually, they are right on point. Her instructions and wording are clear, and the photos are fabulous. The models represent a range of plus sizes and are not just the smallest, which I find to be awesome. Many other people in fashion tend to do those “large only” size models instead of the 2X or 3X models, which suggests that plus sizes are still not acceptable even within its own marketing arena. Sort of an oxymoron, right? Lastly, all the designs are fun and trendy. They are neither box-shaped nor plain, nor are they designs that
would make a plus size wearer feel like she is wearing a robe. Mary Beth’s designs have shape, some are even relatively sexy, and they are all comfortable looking. Nothing is dragging up or tight around the waist or neck-- all signs that one has on the wrong size. This book rocks, and I highly recommend everyone who is looking for awesome plus size crochet projects to go and buy Curvy Girl Crochet: 25 Patterns that Fit and Flatter today! I give it a 10 out of 10 on the chart of being totally fabulous and crochet savvy!
Knit Picks Shine Worsted: Yarn Review by Lamira Fields Description below is from www.knitpicks.com Shine Worsted Yarn – Green Apple; Lot #3848, color #6561 60% Prima Cotton, 40% Modal 75 yards/50 grams Worsted Weight: 4.5 sts =1” on #6-9 needles; 1-14 sc = 4” on I-K hooks Machine wash/tumble dry low $2.99 50g / ball Modal® natural beech wood fiber gives high quality Pima cotton an elegant sheen and soft drape while minimizing pilling and stretching. This very appealing yarn can be used in any of your favorite designs calling for worsted weight yarn. Supremely comfortable for warm weather garments, and the easy care of machine washability fits right into your summer lifestyle. Excellent for showing off textured stitches and cables. ********************************************************************************* The project I selected to knit for my review of Knit Picks Shine Worsted Yarn was the Little Sweetie Dress by The Crochet Crowd. I used a size H hook as per the instructions and three balls. Let me say that this yarn is absolutely gorgeous! The color is so close to the granny smith apple, and the subtle sheen makes this machine washable/tumble dry low yarn ideal for almost any project. This was a very pleasant yarn to crochet with. It flowed effortlessly through my fingers. The feeling was soft and smooth. I had no issues with it knotting up, especially after unwinding several yards. I expected to encounter the yarn splitting because it
was so soft, but it was not an issue. The plethora of colors (27 in all) is to die for! The quality of this yarn is fabulous! I definitely plan to order more of this yarn, especially for making the Little Sweetie Dress in the future.
Book Review by Turquoiz Blue Easy Crochet Hats and Scarves: 15 Pretty Projects from Martingale Easy Crochet Hats and Scarves: 15 Pretty Projects is a collection of 11 scarves and 4 hats. The beginner level patterns use a combination of color, stitch pattern, and yarn texture to create crochet accessories that are fun, stylish, and also make great gifts. This compilation of crochet patterns explores a variety of techniques. Flame is a lovely skinny scarf that is crocheted with a lattice-like, open stitch pattern. It is shown in a textured fashion yarn, but the pattern also suggests using a “heavy worsted weight yarn for a smoother look.” Silver and Gold is a chevron-patterned scarf with color change rows. Moonlight Romance is made from lover’s knot stitches and finished on both ends with a fine chain fringe. Grace uses open shell stitches and a frilly boarder to create an elegant scarf with a soft drape. Lovely Lace is an open-work lace pattern scarf with a picot edging.
Rings of Flowers is made up of floral, medallion-shaped motifs that are joined together as they are crocheted. Windy City is a V-stitch patterned hat and scarf combo that is perfect for chilly days and nights. Rodeo Drive is a Granny Square motif hat and scarf set that has that boho/retro flair. Paris is warm yet soft and feminine thanks to the combination of V-stitch and Shell stitch borders. Marseille is an X-stitch patterned beret and scarf duo with lots of swag. Sea Treasures Stole is the piece de resistance of the book. It is a lacy, mohair wrap made with Open Shell stitches and Scallop edging that begs to be made. Easy Crochet Hats and Scarves: 15 Pretty Projects satisfies the desire to learn different crochet techniques and to make something that is wearable. The only concern to note is that some of the yarn colors have already been discontinued, but it should not be hard to find suitable yarn substitutes. The patterns are not too challenging for a new crocheter and also great for experienced crocheters who are looking for designs that can be completed in a short time.
Yarn Review by Aldonia Seccession: Knitpicks Dishie Fiber Content: 100% Cotton Weight: Worsted Weight Knitting Gauge: 4.5 sts = 1” on #7 - 8 needles (4.0mm-5.5mm) Crochet Gauge: 11–14 sc = 4’’ on I - K hooks (5.5 mm6.5 mm) Yards: 190 Grams: 100 Put Up: ball Care: Machine wash/ tumble dry Knitpicks has an awesome variety of yarn and offers not just different fibers to choose from, but each in a multitude of colors as well. After feeling like a kid in a candy store, I decided to go with Knitpicks Dishie, a 100% cotton worsted weight yarn. This was my first time using 100% cotton yarn. The suggested use of this yarn is for dishcloths, so I crocheted a cactus puff dishcloth as well as an interlocking-ring hotpad. Both worked up lovely. I’ve heard that cotton yarn tends to shed while you’re crocheting, but there was minimal to no shedding with Knitpicks Dishie. The tension of the cactus puff dishcloth held up very well even after several uses in water. This makes me think that Dishie would be great to crochet up something savvy for babies as well.
Quince & Co. Interview with Ryan Fitzgerald of Quince & Co. By Keturah Ariel
Q) Tell us a little bit about Quince & Co. and what makes the yarn so different from other yarns. A) Pam Allen started Quince because she wanted to make high-quality American yarns, something that was not readily available on the market in 2010 when Quince was founded. Pam was a knitwear designer for years and has a very strong sense for the types of yarns that she likes to knit with. We have a great group of knitters working for us, so instead of trying to figure out what the market might want, we really focus internally on what we want to be knitting with. Q) All of your colors are beautiful. We noticed that most of your yarn colors are cool and mellow. Is there a reason for this? I didn’t see too many bold choices on the palette. A) Our design team is often drawn to greys, blues and browns, but we love color! It just has to be used tastefully. There are lots of colors that look exciting in the skein but are disappointing in a final piece. We make colors that look great in the skein and in the sweater. Q) Regarding Piper, explain the concept behind this yarn. I am from Texas so getting a Texas yarn to review was a big deal for me! A) This was a big deal for us! We can’t tell you how much we love this yarn. It’s really exciting for us to be able to make a yarn that we can trace back to individual farms. It’s not easy, and it’s definitely a lot more work to make a commercial-scale yarn this way, but the outcome has been really exciting. I personally hope we can continue to make more yarns with Texas mohair and wool – they have such an amazing tradition there. Q) What advantages do you have that make your yarn company special and unique? A) We have an incredible design team with tons of experience in the industry. Q) How does the pattern collection reflect the yarn? If a designer has used your yarn, what must they do in order to submit patterns to Quince and Co.? A) We always welcome pattern submissions – they should be directed to email@example.com. We tend towards simple, modern designs but we think that all knitting is equal. We love fancy cabling of lace, but we also love a stockinette sweater that emphasizes fit and wearabililty. Our yarns reflect this – we have yarns that are great for cabling and details, like Chickadee, and ones that are better for drapey, simple pieces like Kestrel.
RAKJpatterns Featured Designer: Kristi Simpson
I am married to Jason and we have 5 great children: Jacob, Kimberly, Allison, James and Ryan.... they definitely keep us on our toes! We started our business as RAKJpatterns and our kids initials is where the original name came from: R.A.K.J. We believe in family first! My designs have been published in international crochet magazines (and include a cover). I have had 2 books published so far and I am currently working on my third book. I don’t have a famous love story of how I learned to crochet from a well-known designer or from a loving relative, but my story is personal and fun to tell... :) As I mentioned, I have a wonderful husband and 5 kids! My youngest daughter had received a ‘Learn to Crochet a Scarf’ gift for Christmas from her aunt, and being the persistent little girl she is, she bugged me for a month and a half to learn to crochet. Looking back, I think I was intimidated by the process of it all--and that’s why it took me so long to buckle. (Seriously, what WAS I thinking?) I wanted to make my little girl happy so I pulled out the paper instructions and to my surprise, it was really easy! I learned to chain, single crochet and I taught her how to do it as I went. As she was practicing, I was learning more stitches and I was HOOKED! I haven’t stopped since!
www.kristisimpson.net/ www.rakjpatterns.com/ www.facebook.com/RAKJpatterns Instagram: Kristi_Simpson www.rakjpatterns.etsy.com/ www.ravelry.com/designers/kristi-simpson--rakjpatterns
My husband and I came up with a rule: If you buy it, you use it. At the time, I would only buy one skein of yarn and I would use every ounce of it and then buy another--I couldn’t stop crocheting! Then, one day I had an idea....and I promise you it’s the truth....What if I could sell an item just to buy more yarn? Yes. For YARN. I wanted to use multiple colors and have options (YOU SHOULD SEE MY STASH TODAY....that rule was lost a LONG time ago!-ha). So, my husband listed my cute first beanie on Ebay and to be honest, I didn’t know if it would sell or not--but it DID! I laugh now at how excited I was to sell my first beanie but the thought of someone wanting it was thrilling! So, that’s just how it all started. Now, I own my own yarn shop and am constantly crocheting, teaching, writing new patterns and setting up new yarn kits.... needless to say--- I REALLY was ‘hooked’! Resume: Over 375 patterns listed via Ravelry Featured in Inspired Crochet 2012-2013 3 times, Featured on Cover 1 time Sweet & Simple Baby Crochet; first book released Oct 2013 Mommy & Me Crocheted Hats; second book released April 2014 I Like Crochet; Oct 2014 (1 pattern) I Like Crochet; Dec 2014 (15 patterns) I Like Crochet; Feb 2015 (3 patterns) Crochet! Feb 2015 (1 pattern) Crochet World; Spring 2015 (2 patterns) Fancy Footwear; third book release April/May 2015
UPDATES from our past features... DARN GOOD YARN Nicole Snow and the Darn Good Yarn team have been hard at work to bring their conscientious crafting supplies to a bigger audience! Just recently, Darn Good Yarn was a featured vendor at Stitches East in Hartford, Connecticut. We consider it our “Coming Out Party” because it was Darn Good Yarn’s first public vending event. We want to thank all of our friends, new and old, who stopped by to say hi, to learn more about the story of our yarn, and to touch, feel, and experience all that Darn Good Yarn-y goodness in person!!! It was amazing to watch eyes light up as we told the story of how our yarns are made by women’s co-ops in India and Nepal from reclaimed materials. We had an amazing time!!! Also this summer, Nicole moved Darn Good Yarn headquarters from her home in Sebec, Maine to Schenectady, New York. Nicole’s husband, Mike had a job change that initiated the move and with yarn coming out of every corner of the house, Nicole knew it was time to move the business to its own building. It’s located in the Stockade Historic District and has space for a retail store which we hope to open soon! We can’t wait to serve the community of Schenectady and the surrounding areas with yarn, crafting supplies, and classes!
Cre8tion Crochet What a year it has been. I’m not sure where to start. This year saw amazing growth in my business, growth in my designing skills and growth in my family. In June of this year we welcomed a new family member, our son Orazio. I’ve spent this last year stretching my designing muscles and delved into making garments. What fun it has been, now if I could only find more time in the day to design even more. http://www.cre8tioncrochet.com/2014/08/breezy-shell-top/ http://www.cre8tioncrochet.com/2014/09/unique-v-neck-cropped-vest/ My business has also really expanded over the last year. Even though I had to take some time off during my pregnancy and the birth of the baby, I am starting to delve back in to the craziness now. I have some really exciting opportunities coming up and I can’t wait to share them all with you!
The Flamies are the Flaming Hook of Justice Awards, also known as The Crochet Awards. Created by Founder and Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front, Laurie Wheeler, the awards are a celebration of the best of what the crochet universe has to offer. These coveted awards are a collective voice to show appreciation to the makers, designers, publishers, and suppliers of crochet tools and yarn. They are voted on by the passionate crochet community to show their pride and celebrate excellence. “The cool thing about these awards is that the crochet community nominates their favorites. People don’t have to be professional designers or famous to be nominat ed for their amazing crochet designs. It’s a way for us to celebrate our favorite craft in all of it’s amazing creative diversity and show the world how amazing crochet is as a hobby, craft and as a profession.” Laurie Wheeler. Nominations begin October 1 at http://thecrochetawards.com and everyone who enjoys crochet at any level from beginner to expert can nominate their favorite patterns, designs, YouTube videos, hooks, yarn, and blogs. Nominations run through the 3rd week of October and then the top nominees will fill the ballot for the November final vote to see which crochet reigns supreme!
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Our Fall magazine issue features Turquoiz Blue on the cover and a special look at Marly Bird, designer and teacher. In addition, this editio...
Published on Oct 28, 2014
Our Fall magazine issue features Turquoiz Blue on the cover and a special look at Marly Bird, designer and teacher. In addition, this editio...