I love it when the spring magazines start arriving in the mail, especially if one arrives on a cold wet windy day. The covers are generally so bright and cheery; my mood perks up right away! Such was the case when the latest issue of Crochet Today! came a couple of weeks ago.
Doesn't this cover model remind you of Rachel Weisz?
After the usual product pitches and book reviews, the first article gives us a primer on embellishments for finished pieces, such as embroidery, beading, or cross-stitch. Good information and excellent "how-to" photos.
Second article introduces us to Todd Paschall of Crochet by Numbers, a man who, for some inexplicable reason, took it into his head to recreate photographs in single crochet. Yeah. I don't get it either. But then again, I'm not hip to this "high art" business. However, this artform has become Mr. Paschall's passion, and more power to him for pursuing his passion.
Next, the Q & A feature which, in this issue, explains magic rings versus chain-stitch rings among other, less important, tidbits of information. (And now that I've provided you that link, you probably don't need to read the article.)
And so, the patterns:
- First up is the re-worked vintage pattern, the Reshaped Shell. A sleeveless 1960s-era shell is revamped with filet sleeves and neat filet inset just below the bustline. Cute, and a possibility, although I'd lower the neckline some.
- The Lacy Cropped Cardi from the cover. LOVE LOVE LOVE, and in my Ravelry queue. Love the V-neck, the curved front, the 3/4 sleeves, the crocheted ribbing. I even love the raspberry color! It's just about the perfect spring cover-up. The pattern calls for a bamboo/wool blend yarn. I'm more likely to make it from pure bamboo, or perhaps a silk/cotton blend. I'll figure that part out later.
- The Versatile Vest. I don't much care for dolman sleeves, even if they are barely there. Still, this is a possibility, with the caveat that I'd probably do something different with the side seaming to create a true sleeveless vest. The boucle yarn elevates this piece from the mundane.
- The Crafty Headband. I am not the best person to review headbands. Even when I had long hair, I seldom wore such items: my hair is very fine and they never stayed on. That being said, this is pretty with its multiple-sized medallions, although I'd never in a million years make it for myself.
- March Motifs. A very pretty lacy shawl that looks too small even on this size 6 model. I'd definitely need to make it larger, if I were to make it, which I doubt because I can't even remember the last time I wore a shawl. Maybe I should convince my husband to take me out more often to fancy restaurants and other places that require dressing up. *snort* Who am I kidding? The pattern calls for a wool/nylon yarn in fingering weight. Again, I'd change out the yarn to a silk and/or bamboo blend.
- Ring Around the Rosy. I have one question: Why on earth would anyone want, much less wear, a thread-crochet ring?
- Sunny Shoulder Bag. Bright and cheery tote, constructed of multicolor hexagons. I like the wide strap, and it looks roomy enough to use not only as a casual about-town bag, but also as an overnight bag for quickie trips, and even sturdy enough to consider for a grocery tote.
- Weekend Pullover. Casual, roomy V-neck with long raglan sleeves and top-down construction. A definite possibility. I like it a lot, but haven't put it in my queue yet. Nice contrast in stitch patterns between the yoke and torso.
- Blooming Clutch. It's cute, and I appreciate the thought put into the design (fussy as it is), but let's be real. I don't know anyone who would carry a purse like this. Except perhaps a teenager or the elderly lady who sits in my pew at church. Someday, however, I'll be that elderly lady, and I may have to eat these words.
- Stones and Stitches Necklace. Again with the crocheted jewelry. I must be hopelessly not cool for preferring jewelry made of precious metals. Or maybe I'm just too old to get it. (It is kind of pretty, though, with that nice jade pendant….)
- Embellished Sampler Pillow. Here's where we get to apply the embellishments we learned in the article mentioned above. I like this a lot: not only does it look like fun, it's an easy and inexpensive way to change the look of a room or make extra decorative pillows for a bed. Plus it's a potential stash-buster for all that extra yarn left over from other projects. A definite possibility.
- Airy Spring Throw. LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is not in my Ravelry queue right now ONLY because no one has added it to the database and I haven't made the time to do it myself. (However, as soon as I'm done with this review, I will do that very thing.) Beautiful lacy shell pattern for the blanket itself, with a vintage-style lace scalloped border. And the featured color is the same shade of green I used in my wedding. Perfection.
- Flower Box Blanket. Another colorful and happy project that lends itself well to using yarn leftovers. The plain jane granny squares are enlivened with a three-dimensional flower in the center. Although this isn't necessarily something I'd make for my home, I can certainly see it as a gift, especially for someone in a nursing home or other assisted living situation who can use all the cheering-up one can provide.
- Stitchy Scrubbie. Colorful cotton dishcloth with bobbles to scrub away the grime. Maybe I'd be more enthusiastic about these little do-dads if I actually washed dishes by hand. But that's why I have (a) an automatic dishwasher and (b) a husband I can guilt-trip into washing them himself. Still, it's an interesting idea, possibly worth exploring for its afghan potential….
- Everyday Edgings. I love the old-fashionedness (yes, it's a word!) of this project. Take some ordinary linen or cotton dishtowels and make them special with a snazzy crocheted trim. The pattern calls for a worsted cotton blend yarn. I'd be more inclined to use size 3 or 5 cotton thread.
- Bobble Star Afghan. Highly textured single-color throw constructed of large square motifs, edged with a bobbled border. The contrast between the nearly solid "bobble stars" and the lace which joins the motifs is striking. Looks like fun, even if it is a motif afghan. A possibility.
- Angular Granny Throw. Triangles! Not squares! Very cool, and very pretty. If I didn't dislike motif afghans so much, I'd consider making this. I still may consider it because I like it so much. But stitching together this many (52!) motifs is not my idea of a fun time.
- Flower Power Skirt. Crocheted flower appliques for a skirt, or a shirt, or a jacket….Cute idea, and an utterly adorable model.
- Granny Girl Cardi. Despite the name, this cardigan is not made of granny squares, just the triangle stitch used to make granny squares. It's darling. And there's that adorable model again. Why don't I have a daughter?
- T-Rex Tee. When my youngest nephew was in his "I love dinosaurs" phase, this T-Rex skull would have been the perfect appliqued tee shirt for him. However, he's a teenager now, and would be utterly mortified if Auntie Avanta made him something like this. Oh well. I still like it.
- Baby Blues. How many granny square baby blankets does the world need? Apparently, at least one more. BORING. Except for the boucle yarn, which makes it marginally less boring. And there's that Rachel Weisz model again, with the sweetest-cheeked baby I've seen in a while.
- Itty Bitty Booties. Cute as can be tootsies for infants from newborn up to 9 months. I'm puzzled by the yarn choice, however. A worsted weight? Really? For booties as tiny as these?
- Ruffled Bottom Onesie. Omigosh. I may die from the cuteness. Hmmm…I have several friends who have had babies in the last year. Perhaps they need yet another baby gift from me….
- Lacy Lilac Blanket. This is soooo pretty that I may disregard my usual distaste for motif-constructed blankets and put this one on my project list. Look at that shell and picot border! Simply gorgeous.
Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the newest Interweave Knits.