Needlecrafts - Crochet, Circling the Edge

Needlecrafts,Crochet - Circular Shrugs
Inspiration image | Pinterest
Right from the first time I laid eyes on this shrug style, I was smitten. Even though this design is not new, both crocheters and knitters continue tweaking this design creating new and interesting variations.
Spring and summer is coming, I have to hope, and probably a wedding or shower are in the offing.
The inspirational image above has all the elements of a perfect outfit for such an occasion, elegant and effortless.
Once you look at the construction of the shrug, you begin to see how you can truly personalize this style to suit different moods and trends.
At this point on the fashion meter, the needle is turned to the bohemian look, incorporating global travel, patterns and colour. In other words hippy style, my favourite.
Having said that, I am definitely going to make a version of the above style as there is always room for looking polished.

Read further for the anatomy of a circular shrug, different styles and how to achieve them, helpful video tutorials and 6 free garment patterns.


Needlecrafts - Knit, Crochet - Tie the Knot

Needlecrafts,Knit, Crochet - Tie the Knot
Image and knit tutorial | here
Image and crochet tutorial | here
Image | Prestigio Moda Maglia 2007
One of the first classic scarf patterns I came across in an old Patons pattern book was this ascot or tuck-in style.
Reading and understanding patterns, at that time, was hard to grasp as my skills in knitting were limited and I've mainly learned by someone teaching me.
What fascinated me was how one end of the scarf slipped through a ribbed channel or sleeve.
Once someone had shown me how you made an increase row before starting this ribbed sleeve, knitting into the fronts and backs of every stitch, thereby doubling the number of stitches.
When I saw how one stitch went on a needle and the next stitch went onto a stitch holder, I immediately understood how you were able to work the two parts separately.
Joining the two parts by slipping a front stitch then a back stitch onto one needle, knitting two stitches together across the row gave me the whole picture.
Once you understand this concept, the sky is the limit as what you want to make, whether it is a scarf or shawl.
All you are doing is creating two end pieces whether they are leaf shaped or have straight edges doesn't matter and the rib can be narrow or wide.
The shawl part can be worked with stitches, different textures, narrow or wider, it's up to you.
Read further for a tutorial on how a bow knot is constucted, how to divide the stitches, ideas and free patterns.


DIY - Restyle, Anthropologie Copycats

DIY-Restyle-Anthropologie Copycats
All images, interview and retail story | Strange Closets, read complete article here
Whenever I travel to the States to whatever city, there is one definite destination on my list.
Above all stores, including department stores, Anthropologie is by far my favourite for so many reasons.
Right from the beginning, I fell in love with the store's concept, seducing me with their creative windows and their unique merchandise.
My initial purchases were the ultimate drawer knobs and other bits and pieces for the home.
Finally, at one point I went the full monty and purchased a lovely sweater which, for me, was expensive but worth it.
When you look for ideas to restyle clothing, more often than not, you will come across an Anthropologie look-a-like or copycat version. This is a lovely compliment to all the creative people who buy, style and merchandise all the enticing fashions the store offers. I'm very fortunate, indeed, to finally have several stores in Toronto but it is still the windows that continue to command my attention when I'm away. Be sure to read the article about the store's history and the visionary woman who heads the creative aspects of the company. Also find 8 tutorials for restyling tops into the Anthropologie style.


Needlecrafts - Knit, Crochet - It's a Wrap

Needlecrafts,Knit, Crochet - It's a Wrap
All images | The Knit World Special (Lithuanian knitting magazine)
Think positive! Spring is coming. The first thing I want to do is lighten up and throw off the heavy winter gear.
This is where shrugs, wraps and shawls can be the most basic and versatile garments you own. Throw one on and you're good to go. They wrap colour and texture around you and are totally cozy. A very popular past post featured a shawl collar shrug, made in 2 pieces with some shaping of the back piece.
Just when you thought a design couldn't get easier, I came across one with 4 simple rectangles, the front shawl, a back and two sleeves.
Go through all your past winter projects and overbuys (I have plenty!) and use up all the bits and pieces for your front shawl. Pick up one or two of the colours for the sleeves and back.
As I write this post, I'm already thinking of combinations that will work for my new wrap.

Read further to be inspired by more ideas and free patterns for both the knitter and crocheter.


Design Files - Designer Profile, Stephen West

Design Files - Stephen West
My first encounter with a Stephen West design was on Pinterest. The design was a beautiful shawl shaped to wrap around the shoulders.
Stephen's colour combinations are unexpected adding to the beauty of his garments.
As I encountered more and more of Stephen's work, I became very interested in his background and what influenced his designs. I'm especially pleased to have had the opportunity to interview Stephen and to highlight designs from his latest e-book, "Crazy for Color".

Read further for more about this talented designer and his work.