Needlecrafts - S/S '13 Trend - Coming Up Roses in 3D

Needlecrafts - Knit,Crochet - 3D Roses
All images | vogue.com
“Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” Miranda Priestley replies sarcastically to one of her editors in "The Devil Wears Prada".
The line will live forever in memory, but in truth, floral designs are a perennial favourite and this season flowers are bigger and bolder.
Surfaces are covered with three-dimensional appliques popping off dresses.
Instead of fading into the background, florals are front and centre blooming in soft pastels and vibrant hues.
Knitwear has always embraced floral pattern in colourwork or embroidered surfaces, but now giant floral appliqués seem more fun and will give your design flower power.

Read further for more design inspiration and patterns for crochet and knit flowers.


DIY - Beaded Wrap Watchband

DIY - Beaded Wrap Watchband
Inset image | La Mer Watchband
Wrap watchbands are great because they serve two functions.
They are actual watches but at the same time are decorative as bracelets.
The price of the watch, a little rich for my blood inspired me to make my own watchband that was easy and made with materials I had at home.
Coming up with a plan was not hard. In an earlier post, I had made a crocheted necklace, so why not a watchband.
You could add chains to the side or embellish in a number of ways, but I thought cotton and mother of pearl beads.
The whole project took exactly a movie's worth in time. Not long and easy.
Definitely will make several different ones.

Read further for materials needed and general instructions.


Needlecrafts - Knitting Stitch Primer, Ripples

Needlecrafts - Stitch Primer - Ripple Stitch Pattern
Helen Rodel | website here
M Missoni Online | website here
Ermanno Scervino | website here
Ripple Stitch Patterns also known as Old Shale Stitch, Feather and Fan Stitch, Wavy Stitch with most of their variations have been around forever.
This family of stitches, like other familiar stitches, were predominately used throughout the whole garment, usually in a standard style with flat yarn.
Variegated yarns, eyelash type yarns and mohair gave the stitch some variety but it still was used in standard stripes.
What is truly exciting about the new generation of knitters is the fearless willingness to experiment with guage, texture and form.
Mixing yarns, whether it's weight or texture or throwing out old notions of colour combinations, isn't a problem.
Ripples can be very effective design elements in small areas such as cuffs, neckbands, buttonbands, borders and used as edgings.
Any design with a knitted rectangle would benefit from this stitch such as shrugs.
Colour blocking with this stitch would definitely take the design to a new level and perhaps mixing that with narrow ripple stripes.

Read further for further inspiration, variations of this stitch and free patterns featuring the Ripple Stitch.


Needlecrafts - Knit, Shawl-Collar Shrug

Needlecrafts - Knit, Shawl-Collar Shrug
Image and pattern in Russian | here
Note: This is an adapted pattern from Felice Knitting Magazine Jul-Aug '12
This is one of those basic shrugs, begging to be made in time for spring.
A classic, definitely, and one to be included in your pattern library.
Easy and fun to make, the pattern is sure to attract the new knitter.
The shrug can be made in cotton for spring and tweed for fall or in a velvety yarn for special occasions. This pattern is that versatile.
Two pieces to knit - one, a straight piece of knitting in stripes of straight and reverse stocking stitch and the other piece with simple increases forming the back and sleeves which are folded down to make armholes.
That's it!

Read further for schematics and written pattern instructions.


Needlecrafts - Knit,Crochet - Shawl to Shrug

Needlecrafts - Knit, Crochet-Shawl Into Shrug
Image and complete pattern | here
Note: This is a free pattern - Filati Journal 43 Model 41 - Model of the Month
As usual, I'm always trawling for different pattern and fashion ideas.
I love those eureka moments when your eye catches something with a slightly different twist on an old pattern.
I learned, to my pleasant surprise, that a shawl can be much more than just a pretty shawl.
It's exciting to see an old standby pattern like a triangle-shaped shawl easily morph into a garment a little more stylish and up-to-date.
Somehow interesting patterns and shapes for shrugs call out to me, which is why this pattern applealed to me.
Basically you are knitting or crocheting a triangle. The outer corners of the triangle are tacked down, a finishing knitted rib or crocheted edging around pulls everything together.
That's it!.

Read further for instructions, finishing tips, free knit and crochet patterns with helpful tips on sizing.


Needlecrafts - Crochet, Retro Style

Needlecrafts - Crochet, Retro Style
Purchase actual vintage pattern | here
When I first saw this image, nostalgia set in. In the mid-seventies, I had just started to think about going to New York and selling my designs to editors who worked on, what I believe, some of the best knitting and craft magazines.
There was Family Circle Great Ideas Fashion and Crafts, Ladies Home Journal Needle and Craft, McCall's Needlework and Crafts, Good Housekeeping Needlecraft and my absolute favourite, American Home Crafts.
At that time, American Home Crafts took risks in what they featured in their editorials and for that reason stayed ahead of the pack.
After I finally decided to follow my passion and design needlework, whether it was knitting, crochet or some sort of needlepoint, I would make a trip to New York every few months and do the rounds.
Those initial few years were very exciting, learning from the best about what the royal "they" determined would be popular with their readers.
I will always be thankful to these wonderful women for their "supportive mentoring" as I like to think of it.
They gave me a beneficial education that helped me prepare for my future jobs in the yarn industry.

Read further for the adapted version of the 70's style vintage crochet pattern featured above.


Design Files - Inspiration, Keyhole Scarves

Design Files - Inspiration, Keyhole Scarves
You can never have too many accessories, especially scarves that are warm but not bulky under lighter spring coats and jackets.
Instead of tying the scarf into a knot, the keyhole or slit allows the one end to slip through and keeps the scarf flatter, closer to the body.
These small keyhole scarves are great for spring when you still need a little protection against the wind but hopefully the worst of the harsh weather has passed us by and Spring is on it's way. I said....hopefully!
Happy Knitting!


Needlecrafts - Zip It, Using Zippers in Garments

Needlecrafts - Zip It
Off-centre Zip | image here
Centre Zip | image here
Asymmetrical Zip | Syngman Cucala
Side Zips | Tracy Reese F/W 2012
Zippers seem to have "zipped" out of hiding and have become showy and stylish.
Being front and centre is not enough. We want to see them, big and bold, in colour contrast and in places you never really thought to include zippers. If you think about it, any place where there is a seam you can put in a zipper.
I particularly like the idea of inserting zippers on the bottom of chunky jacket sleeves, possibly a Nordic style or Cowichan.
Create ease in the width of a garment by putting zippers at the garment sides as illustrated in the Tracy Reese design.
Neck zips allow the collars to fold back, opening up the neck. Asymmetrical or off-centre zips are a good way to control volume when closed.
Think about zippers to add or subtract parts of garments such as collars, body or sleeve lengths. Using the same zippers, you can make interchangeable parts.
Zip up!
Read further for more inspiration, kinds of zippers available, step by step tutorials and video on how to sew in zipper.