Friday, March 30, 2012

Crochet Risqué?

by Kelly

Crochet has lately made great strides back into the fashion industry, after languishing unloved in thrift stores since the '70's.  I've seen crochet bags in Eddie Bauer stores, cardigans in the teen store Forever 21, and shorts, swimsuits and full blown dresses in Victoria's Secret.

And while it's great that crochet designers are shattering the granny stereotype, some of the items that I've seen are a little too daring for me to actually wear. Check out this halter top, for sale at Craft Is Art...

or this erm...skirt for sale at

The skirt is available only in size XS, which lets me out anyway, even aside from the price, which is a 'gosh price' if ever I saw one.  Would I wear this even if I had the build of the model in the picture?

 But the most risqué item I've seen by far isn't actually for sale in is however, available as a free pattern at This is a knit pattern using red liquorice ropes which is quite ingenious, actually and...well, you'll just have to see for yourself here. I'm not sharing the picture, but there's nothing especially offensive about's on Knitty, after all. I just don't want to ruin the surprise.

I'm wondering what future generations will think of crochet, when they have these items to look back on...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Broomstick Lace Shawl

by Kelly

I fell in love with Broomstick Lace a while ago, but I wanted to do something unique, not just a run of the mill afghan or scarf. Unfortunately, there just aren't that many patterns available for Broomstick Lace items, so I put off learning how to do it. But then I saw this Hourglass Jacket over on Stitch Diva Studios, and my fate was sealed.

The pattern is available at her site, but much as I would love to make this, I'm not quite up to fitted garments yet.  So I decided to take the new ideas she brings to this and make something a shawl.

One of the things that really struck me about the jacket was how the different sizes of 'peacock eyes' helped to define the areas - smaller eyes for the waist, and larger eyes for the rest. I also loved the shaping. She did this with increases and decreases of the Broomstick Lace, something that's not supposed to be possible. Check out her YouTube videos here and here to find out how easy it really is.

I had two Broomstick lace needles from an Ebay auction that I won ages ago - a size 50 and a size 17. So I took the plunge, and made a sample swatch using both needles. Then I fooled around a little more, did a quick Google search for shawl patterns, bought some yarn (*sigh*) and voila, here's the finished project:

 Here's another pic, out in the sunshine:

I've listed it in our shop here under the name 'Spring Blossom shawl'. It was lots of fun to make, especially the blossom rows. The only part I wasn't fond of was sewing in all those ends. Oh, and I learned how to make the blossoms from the book 'Hawaiian Lei in Crochet' by Roberta Wong.

Since the pattern is my own, all I need now is a few helpers to test knit the pattern. Anyone want to learn how to crochet Broomstick Lace?
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