WIPs 'N Chains

Kim Guzman, Crochet and Knit Design


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Tunisian Crochet Meets Laceweight

Tunisian crochet has that very popular myth attached that says that all projects created are stiff and dense and like a bullet-proof vest. Surely you can’t create something soft and airy and light, right? Welcome to Tunisian crochet and yummy laceweight yarn.

How about a lightweight vest made in JaggerSpun Zephyr. This cute little vest weighs only three ounces. I don’t think you can get much lighter than that. The design is available in my new book Ultimate Beginners Guide to Tunisian Crochet in both hard copy here and PDF download here.

Mariposa, available exclusively from Kimane Designs here, is one of those amazingly wonderful and unusual shawls that you don’t often see. You see triangle, rectangle and square shawls. And, more recently, crescent-shaped shawls. But, one shaped like the wings of a butterfly? Extraordinary! Another lovely example of Tunisian crochet in laceweight, using Ivy Brambles Romantica.

I really like unusual shawl shapes and this one is no different. It’s a triangle, but it’s not a right angle triangle. It’s more like a l-o-n-g rectangle. It gives you an opportunity to wear it in all manner of different stylings and is such a nice lightweight accessory, made in the Plymouth Baby Alpaca Lace. This design is one of the designs available in my class at Annie’s Online Classes here.

Don’t ever be shy about busting myths! With the evolution of Tunisian crochet, you never know what wonderful discovery may be right around the corner!


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New Design: Rosaline Tunic

Introducing the Rosaline Tunic from Kimane Designs. Please click here for further information.

Rosaline is made in a gorgeous all-over drop stitch ripple with so little shaping that you’ll be surprised that you’re finished! Rosaline is designed to be worn over a camisole, bathing suit or tank in warmer months. Or, it can be worn over a warmer long-sleeve top in the colder months.

The drop stitch is made in a special broomstick lace alternation developed by Kim Guzman and special accommodations have been made to the technique in order to get the best effect with such a silky yarn to ensure that the drops stay in place.

Although 100% silk has been used for the model project, it would look equally lovely in DK weight rayon or bamboo. For best results, natural fibers should be used to get the full benefit of blocking out the drop stitches.


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Tunisian Crochet, How Do I Love Thee?

Tunisian crochet, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….

1. Tunisian crochet is quick and easy to learn. Even someone with no crocheting experience can pick it up in as little as 15 minutes.

2. Tunisian crochet can look like crochet, knitting or even weaving; all with ONE hook!

3. Tunisian crochet can easily be made into a firm fabric for some applications or a soft, drapey fabric for elegant lace.

4. You can work flat, in-the-round and even in a join-as-you-go method.

5. You can create projects that look like knit in far less time.

6. It’s truly the best medium if you like felted projects. And, felted projects are perfect for beginners because it hides any inconsistencies in gauge.

Intrigued yet? Click on my recent blog post here to see the online classes I have available and you could be on your way to making a Tunisian crochet project right now. Today!


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Tunisian Cables & Lace

Several months’ ago, I was offered the opportunity to participate in the new Annie’s Online Classes. I was thrilled to be considered and even more thrilled to be accepted as one of the Annie’s instructors.

One of my classes is the Learn to Tunisian Crochet class. I’ll be blogging about it later this week. But, considering that I’ve been recently blogging about my new Tunisian Cables to Crochet, I wanted to let you know about my Tunisian Cables & Lace class straight away. If you would like a little more hands on assistance to learn to do Tunisian Cables in my book, then this is definitely the class for you.

Above is my wrap design for Laced Cables. Once I started working on this stitch pattern, I loved it so much that I had a difficult time deciding on just one project. So, I’ve basically made it everything. I’ve written the pattern so that you can make a scarf, wrap, shawl, baby blanket or throw. Any or all. Everything available in the class materials. The gorgeous wrap is made with Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted.

Also included in this class are two lace projects. And, because it’s a class, you can take it easy with a step-by-step process. First, you learn to work with lace with a quick scarf, also in Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted.

Then, you move right up to the gorgeous lace shawlette in Plymouth Baby Alpaca Lace. This is a really unique shawl shape. I blogged about my fascination with different shawl shapes recently. Although it’s a triangle, it’s not a squared-off triangle. It’s a l-ooong triangle. A new and trendy shape which can be worn in several different ways.

This class is jam-packed with information and the projects are fun and easy to learn when I’m right there with you the entire time. I especially like that anyone wanting that little bit of extra help with cabling will be able to get this wonderful online assistance in an online class, 24/7. Anytime. Anywhere. And, once again, the internet just blows my mind. Just 10 years ago, none of this could have been possible. We truly live in a wonderful, exciting time.

Please visit Annie’s Online Classes to sign up for email notification of class availability. Classes are expected to go live on September 1.


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Sneak Peek: New Design

Here’s a little sneak peek of my newest design. It’s not the best of photos, especially with the light not showing the true color. But, for a sneak peek….

After completing and hanging it up, I noticed that the lace edging looks like a paper doll chain. So cute! :-)

For this design, I used a little less than two hanks of Knit Picks Gloss Lace (less than 880 yards). It’s actually more aqua than country blue. It will show better in photos which I will take in a couple of days. Stay tuned. I’ll post more about it as soon as I have the photos ready.


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Designing Shawls

I’m not huge on wearing shawls. But, having a shawl can come in handy during the winter, when it’s just a tad cool in the house, propane bills being what they are. I’ve found that I prefer some shawl shapes over others.

For instance, one of the most popular shawl shapes is the plain rectangle. I’m not too keen on designing the plain rectangle shawl. Seems almost like cheating. So, I’ve been considering different embellishments for them to make them more interesting. Perhaps beads. Or, oh! Beaded tassels! Yummy!

But, I have discovered that I prefer to design and wear shawls made of different, more unusual shapes. I love this shape. It starts off like a triangle shawl, but ends before you get to the point.

I used this shape in the Rolled Collar Wrap from Learn to Do Tunisian Lace Stitches. When I wear it, I wear it more around my neck, more like a scarf. The long edge closest to my neck. And, just let it hang down in the front. I love the look of how it has points at the bottom when worn that way. More visual interest.

And, by the way, if you’ve been holding out on getting this book, you better not wait much longer. Although it’s still available at some vendors, it’s been discontinued. Hurry! (Link’s on the right.)

The next shawl shape I’ve enjoyed is more of an “L” shape. I first discovered this shape when ponchos were so popular, about a decade ago. You would actually seam another of the sides in order to have a poncho. But, I discovered that I rather liked the shape for a shawl and I especially love how it hangs in the front and how it stays on the shoulders! Staying power is most desirable for me.

I used this shawl shape when designing the Christmas Country Wrap for Caron International Yarns.

It’s got a really unique stitch pattern that I just love. And, even though it seems really detailed, I found it to be very easy and quick-to-stitch.

Another really nice design that I love to wear is the ruana. This ruana, especially, has wonderful shoulder staying power. I used a slightly different approach than I’ve done with other ruanas and I really love the shape of it. The design is made from Plymouth Alpaca Grande. Really gorgeous yarn. So soft. So amazing. You almost don’t want to put it down.

This design will soon be available in Tunisian Cables to Crochet, a new book from Annie’s. You can sign up to be notified of its availability. I expect it to be in the warehouse in August.

This one, which I did last year, has a really unique edging. Not really handkerchief edging. But something similar.

Mariposa, a Tunisian lace design, is available at Kimane Designs.

I will continue to explore and experiment with different shawl shapes. I find it fascinating to come up with new and unique shapes. It’s in my nature to be adventuresome in my designing. :-)


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Free Pattern: Grey Splendor Vest

A free pattern! Woo hoo! This is the Grey Splendor Vest which I designed for Red Heart yarns. The pattern can be found here. This vest is made with a subtly sparkly yarn called Red Heart Shimmer and is available in three sizes to fit a full range of sizes. The vest is made in one piece, with seaming only at the shoulders and can be made with or without the cap sleeves.


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Mitered Vest

The Mitered Vest is from my new book, The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet, published by Leisure Arts. I used the amazing Jagger Spun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 Lace Weight yarn in the color elderberry. But, I took some of the fear out of working with such a fine yarn. I doubled the strands in this design so that you are actually working with a slightly thicker yarn. But, even with doubling the strands, this garment (size small) weighed three ounces on my scale when finished. Three. Ounces. It’s such an incredibly delicate piece. Like it’s floating on air. I used a size K afghan hook to create the airy look.

To show you a slight styling alternative, I photographed my daughter in the vest before I mailed in the projects. This is my preferred styling and I think it would be especially cute with a button or some other decorative embellishment.

There are a couple of things I want to mention about this design so that you’ll have the information when you get ready to stitch it up. First, the yarn I used came on a cone of 5000+ yards. I definitely did not use that much yarn. For this size above, I used only a fraction of the cone, even with the strands doubled. Here are the approximate amounts: 1120 (1245, 1385, 1540, 1700) yards.

The other thing I wanted to point out is the sizing. The garment is intended to be worn open a little bit in the front. Choose the size closest to your actual chest measurement.

I hope you enjoy this contemporary vest from my new book and I look forward to seeing your projects!


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New Design: Precious Baby Blanket

Yesterday, I noticed one of my new designs on the Red Heart website. (Who? Me? A Red Heart website stalker?)

The Precious Baby Blanket is knit with Red Heart Soft Baby Steps. My discovery of a wonderfully tidy double decrease in knitting is what led to this design. My double decreases were never very tidy looking. When I discovered this particular decrease, I was amazed and immediately wanted to use it in a design. It’s a gorgeous right- and left-leaning decrease.

I noticed that the chart wasn’t published with the pattern. Below is the chart I prepared with Excel. Click to enlarge.

Enjoy!


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Spring Into Crochet Lace

All your holiday crocheting is finished. And, it won’t be long before Spring arrives. Now is the time to start planning some beautiful Spring lace.

Clarice is one of my most popular designs. It is worked in a mercerized 5/2 perle cotton which is available on cones for a very reasonable price. I was able to find an incredible variety of colors at Webs.

Clarice is a top-down design, all worked in one piece as more of a modular design. Lovely lacework and a cute little button closure at the top make this top an adorable addition to your Spring/Summer wardrobe.

Marilyn is also a top-down style. It begins with a round yoke, shaping at the bust, then a gorgeous diamond lace repeat. Unfortunately, the gorgeous rayon I used is no longer available. But, the beautiful 5/2 mercerized cotton from Webs can be easily substituted.

If you have any special occasions planned for Spring, a shawl is a lovely and versatile accessory. And, Dreams does not disappoint!

And, if you want something truly unique, try the beautiful Mariposa with its gorgeous butterfly shaping.

Add some Spring crochet to your WIPs so that you’re ready when it finally arrives!

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