Celebrating National Craft Month With a New Stitch-a-Day Challenge

National Craft Month LogoMarch is National Craft Month, also coincidentally, National Crochet Month (NaCroMo, for short).

I decided a fun thing to do this year to celebrate would be learning new stitches all month long. Almost like a stitch-a-day challenge, but probably more like every other day or so. No pressure. πŸ˜€

If you’d like to follow along and try some of the new stitches I find with me, join me on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram where I’ll be posting about my efforts.

I started things off yesterday with the crochet Crunch Stitch. A pretty combo of the half-double crochet and slip stitch that looks perfect for placemats. I think I might make up a few after my little stitch challenge is over.

Here is my test swatch of the crunch stitch. I like this stitch a lot!

Swatch of the crunch stitch with pink yarn

My Crunch Stitch Swatch

 

New Year, New Yarn, New Stitch

During the fall I fell in love with Jimmy Beans Wool‘s online store, where I’d gone to purchase lots of Cascade 220 Sport for the projects I wanted to make from 60 More Quick Knits (Sixth & Spring Books), which I’d received for my birthday over the summer.

While I was there, I signed up for their little sampler club called “Beanie Bags.” One of the samples I received was a a gorgeous vibrant blue yarn, Madelinetosh Vintage Tosh “Lapis.” It was to die for! The blue was exactly like the the stone. So pretty! The pictures here don’t do it justice.

I used my little Tosh sample to make a blue and white Chubby Chirp for the Christmas tree, but I needed just a smidge more yarn for the second wing to finish it. What better excuse than that to buy a whole skein, right? Knitters, I know you will understand. πŸ˜€

Sheep_ChubbyChirp

Of course, once I had the new 200-yd skein and finished the little bird, I had to find a project to use up the rest of it. I found a wonderful pattern called Simple Gifts in a Ravelry store . It’s a gorgeous Fisherman Stitch Scarf (it’s free, as of this writing, and as the title indicates, simple to make.)

As I read the directions, I realized this project would give me a chance to learn a new stitch, so I was very excited to get started. I love learning new things!

The pattern relies heavily on the Knit 1 Below stitch. This video here from New Stitch a Day demonstrates it perfectly (and the Simple Gifts pattern includes pictures to guide you, as well).

After I watched this video, away I went! And the results are looking great!.

Lapis Blue Fishinerman Stitch Scarf in Madeline Tosh Vintage yarn

It’s an easy pattern to work. You can do it while watching TV or other distraction -inducing activities, and it works up quickly.

As you can see, I’m down to a wee little ball* of my Madelinetosh yarn, so I’ll have a finished picture to post soon.

Happy Knitting! πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘

 

*I cut the fringe for the scarf first so I could knit to the end of the ball without worrying if I’d have enough yarn left or when to stop the scarf.

 

 

 

Crochet Spotlight: Edwardian Gowns, Part 3

Last month, I showcased two Edwardian style gowns from the Annie’s Attic Bridal Trousseau collection (1995). This month I have one more gown from that collection to show and then another Edwardian gown from the pattern collection that came out the following year, the Edwardian Lady Collection (1996).

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, lt blue with white lace

Bridal Trousseau Collection

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, lt blue with white lace-side view

Turn of the Century Afternoon Frock

This dress in shades of blue and white is definitely one of my favorites. I love the ribbed ruffle along the bottom, the ruffle neckline and especially the lace curls along the skirt.

The following year another Edwardian gown collection came out from Annie’s Attic and below is Miss October:

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, aqua with black lace

Promenade Costume

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, aqua with black lace

Edwardian Lady Collection

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll, aqua with black lace

This pattern originally called for pink thread with black accents, but I decided to go with aqua instead of pink (You may have noticed from some of my previous posts that I have a thing for aqua and black).

The major trim accent on this dress is crocheted cord. I love working with that. It’s easy to create and you can make it the exact length you need (no measuring/cutting necessary as with store-bought trim) and it also blends in well with the rest of dress beacuse it’s the same material, and it’s easy to make the ends look seamless.

I love the hat for this outfit. If you read my post about the Gone With the Wind dress with the feathers, you know how I feel about those πŸ˜€ but the hat shown here wasn’t too bad. I only needed to cut the boa once, so there wasn’t too much “debris” floating around afterward.

Many of my previous dress models have been blonds and brunettes, but I specifically chose a red haired doll to wear this outfit because I loved how her hair stands out against the aqua color.

Both of these patterns are out of print now, but you can find copies for sale on eBay and Etsy quite frequently.

Crochet Spotlight: Edwardian Gowns, Part 2

This month I’d like to re-visit the Edwardian time period and showcase two more of my favorite dresses.

The Edwardian gown is one of my favorite silhouettes to crochet for the fashion doll. Barbie, I’m talking to you! πŸ˜€

Not only is it elegant with beautiful lace (I love crocheting lace!), but it works up rather quickly because the skirt is so much narrower than other period costumes such as Victorian and Antebellum.

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll in Lt Aqua with black lace

Edwardian Visiting Costume

Crochet Edwardian Doll for Fashion Doll in lt. aqua with black lace

Turn of the Century Gown

​This dress in light aqua and black crochet thread is from an Annie’s Attic bed doll pattern (Miss July, 1995), part of the Bridal Trousseau collection. I just love the lacework and the small details like the epaulets on the shoulders, the tiny purse, and the brooch at the neck.

I had a lot of fun creating this dress, especially doing the hair and fashioning the hat.

Another great pattern and example of Edwardian gowns is Miss October from that same bed doll pattern collection:

Crocheted Edwardian Gown for Fasion Doll in Maroon with White Lace

Bridal Trousseau Collection

Crochted Edwardian Gown for fashion Doll in maroon with white lace

Turn of the Century Touring Frock

Crochet Edwardian Gown for Fashion Doll Side view

Annie’s Attic Bed Doll Series 1995

I just love the lacework on this doll, the contrast between the burgundy and the white, and the ribbed bodice, created with back loop crochet.

Again, the small details such as the parasol and the hat are just lovely.

I’m especially proud of how well the hair came out on this doll. Believe it or not, the hair sometimes takes longer to do than the dress! πŸ˜€

Both of these patterns are out of print now, but you can find copies for sale on eBay and Etsy quite frequently.

Crochet Spotlight: Gone With the Wind, Part 4

Several years ago, I made a collection of Gone With the Wind-inspired gowns for a private collector. Fourteen outfits in total, 12 from the Southern Belle pattern series from Annie’s Attic, which is now out of print, and 2 original one-of-a-kind creations inspired by patterns for larger dolls that I adjusted and customized for the fashion doll.

In this last part of the series, I’m showcasing the two one-of-a-kind outfits I made for the Gone With the Wind collection.

Crochet Gone With the Wind inspired red robe for fashion doll

Red Robe

Crocheted Gone With the Wind inspired bloomers set for fashion doll

White Corset & Bloomers

The red robe was inspired by a Gone With the Wind pattern for 15″ dolls (Romantic Couples by Jan Hatfield #1143, published by American School of Needlework, 1992*) that called for worsted weight yarn instead of crochet thread. I used that pattern as a general guideline for the robe style, but made many adjustments to accommodate the smaller gauge and the different doll size/shape.

The corset and bloomers set was inspired by the 15″ doll pattern mentioned above as well as the wedding gown undergarments from the Paradise Publications 1905 Wedding Dress pattern (Volume 1).

I call these outfits one-of-a-kind because I didn’t write down the alterations I made to the base patterns. These two outfits were specially made for the collector who commissioned me to complete them for her, and I had no plans to recreate them.

And that concludes the showcase on Gone With the Wind inspired crochet costumes for fashion dolls.

Check back next month for a new showcase featuring more dresses from Annie’s Attic and Paradise Publications.

*The Romantic Couples pattern is out of print now, but you can still find some second hand on eBay from time to time.