WIPs 'N Chains

Kim Guzman, Crochet and Knit Design


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Tunisian Crochet Afghans

I was recently asked whether I had any Tunisian crochet books with only afghans. I’ve had several books published recently with a lot of different projects, but afghans are still a top pick for crochet projects. So, the answer is yes! Yes, I do!

Tunisian Baby Blankets

Available here. This book is still a huge favorite and has remained on the top 20 crochet list at Annie’s pretty consistently. It is, by far, my favorite afghan book.

Afghan Stitch Afghans

Available here. This was the book that started it all. This is my very first Tunisian crochet book. It was the first to use the monochrome technique so popular in knitting with forward and relief stitches forming a pattern.

Tunisian Baby Afghans

Available here. Hot on the heels of the Afghan Stitch Afghans book, I designed these, following the same technique but with more detail.

Tunisian Sampler Afghan

Available here. Due to the success of the last two, a sampler afghan was requested. Unlike other samplers, this one is made all in one piece. The squares are illusions. There is no seaming.

Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide

And, if you’re more in the mood to make your own one-of-a-kind afghan creation, you may be interested in my new Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide, available here, filled with stitch patterns which you can pick and choose for many, many different variations.

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I enjoyed writing them for you. :-)


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Crochet-Along: Sapphire Wrap

With it being summer in the northern hemisphere, I thought it would be nice to do something smaller and more lacy for our planned crochet-along.

The Sapphire Wrap is a perfect crochet-along project because there are new elements which you’ve not seen before, most specifically, working in Tunisian crochet pineapples (or pinecones, if you prefer). I’m looking at you, Ambar! ;-)

This crochet-along will take place in my crochet-along group on YahooGroups here. (Yes, I know. It’s old school. But, it’s worked great and why change a good thing?) As always, everyone who completes a project and posts the photo in the group will be entered into a drawing to win a box of yarn from me. (Always a mystery; I try to make each specific box suitable to the individual receiving it.) If you are not a member of the group, you will need to request membership through the link above. Note that I keep my crochet-alongs separate from the main Tunisian crochet group. It is not a part of the main group. It is a spin-off group solely for my crochet-alongs.

The crochet-along will begin on July 1 to give everyone an opportunity to collect their tools, yarn and pattern. The pattern can be purchased several ways.

Individual pattern, PDF download, directly from the publisher here.

The book, Short Row Tunisian Fashion, PDF download, directly from the publisher here.

The book, Short Row Tunisian Fashion, hard copy, directly from the publisher here, from a trusted independent online vendor here, from Amazon here, from Barnes & Noble here.

For more research about the design before deciding on purchase, please view the Ravelry listing here.

I hope to see you there! :-)


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Day 24: A Tour Through Crochet Country

Note: This is really Day 25, but I posted early and got my days mixed up. Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain! ;-)

If you’ve been following “A Tour Through Crochet Country”, welcome to Day 24! If not, jump over to this link here and you’ll see all the links to all the wonderful posts in celebration of crochet during National Crochet Month. This event was organized by Amy and Donna of Crochetville and it’s been such a success. Next year’s event is already being planned.

All blog participants are Associate or Professional members of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). I am a member of the CGOA and I have been for a very long time. There are a lot of fun benefits to being a member of the guild, but I have to admit that I am a member mostly because I like the idea of there being a guild for my favorite activity. I like the idea of a guild devoted to the furtherance of crochet. I like that there are so many members who, like me, love all things crochet and there are opportunities to meet so many people of like minds, altogether in one place. And, just recently, I’ve been helping even more by becoming the editor of the member-only newsletter, Chain Link. CGOA means a lot to me and has done so much for so many. I wanted to give something back.

As a group, the participating designers selected a very special charity to support this month: Project Night Night, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children. Each package consists of a new sturdy tote bag with a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal. These comfort objects help to reduce the trauma of homelessness for the children served by Project Night Night. Both the handmade blankets and stuffed animals provide the children with objects of love and security. Please click here to find out how you can help.

Tunisian Mock Cable Scarf

In honor of this event, I am introducing a new project video. The project is a free pattern, originally seen in the third season of Knit and Crochet Now!, a PBS television program owned by Annie’s. The free pattern for the Tunisian Crochet Mock Cable Scarf is available on the website here. And, here is my own video to accompany this project. This scarf is made in two colors of Berroco Vintage Chunky, a wonderful yarn and I love all weights of Berroco Vintage. If you follow me on Facebook, you may already know about my love of this yarn.

This is a unique Tunisian crochet project. Because it is made in narrow Tunisian join-as-you-go strips, you won’t need a long Tunisian hook (afghan hook). You can use a standard hook throughout. This is your chance to learn to do Tunisian crochet with a fun project. Then once you are “hooked”, you’ll certainly want a copy of my latest book, Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide.

And, here’s your chance for a signed copy of the book!

To be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of my book, please browse my Portfolio on Ravelry and post a comment below about the design you would like to try. That’s it. That’s the only rule. Just a comment about your favorite design.

On April 5, a name will be randomly drawn and I will email that person (so it would really be helpful if you included your email address). And, should your name be drawn, please do not take offense to my requesting your mailing address. If you don’t want to give me your address, please don’t enter, k?

ETA: Although I appreciate the lovely comments made on the Ravelry pattern database pages, in order to be entered into the drawing, please comment below. This is where the random generator will take the numbers for the drawing.

ETA2: Thank you to everyone participating! A name has been chosen by the random generator. Regina, I will send you an email for further information. Congratulations!


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Short Rows, You Say?

A couple of days’ ago, I posted about one of my new books, just released by Leisure Arts, Short Row Tunisian Fashion.

This new book is available in hard copy here and in e-book download here.

Yesterday, the question was brought up in the Tunisian Crochet YahooGroup. What is a short row?

In this instance, the use of “short rows” is a technique. It is a shaping technique, most commonly seen and discussed around the subject of bust shaping of garments. But, the short row technique can also be used in other applications.

Here are the “bare bones” of it. You start making a row as usual. On the next row, you stop slightly before reaching the end of the row. On each subsequent row, you stop short of the end. With each subsequent row, the stitch number decreases. This produces a triangle, or wedge. You can see the wedges clearly in the cover shot of the scarf above.

I love using short rows. Working one wedge at a time makes the project move quickly. I never get bored because each row is different and it gives me a feeling of accomplishment as the rows get shorter and shorter. Here are a few of my short row projects.

The Sapphire Wrap from Short Row Tunisian Fashion uses short rows to create a long crescent shape in this shawl.

The ever popular Geo Scarf, available here, is made in short rows which is lovely with a self-striping yarn.

The Crescent Bag, available here, is made of short row wedges then felted.

This is the Swirls Baby Afghan, from Learn to Do Tunisian Lace Stitches, my book which includes the interactive DVD.

Short rows can also be used to shape garments as seen in the Puff Sleeve Cardigan and Riding Cape from Short Row Tunisian Fashion.

According to my search on Ravelry, it looks like I have close to 20 designs which use the short row technique. You can tell it’s definitely a favorite of mine.


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How Do You Like To Learn?

Learn Tunisian Crochet from Books

I’ve noticed a lot of emails and posts about people wanting to learn Tunisian crochet in the new year. How would you like to learn? No matter how you’d like to learn, I’ve got you covered.

If you like a more traditional style of learning from books, I’ve got four great books that can take you from the beginner level through the more intermediate level.

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet takes you through all the common stitches and then you progress to higher levels with projects sorted in order of learning. You can learn all those little extras like how to seam, how to change colors and more.

Learn to Do Tunisian Lace Stitches first takes you through all the basic stitches then combines them to make lace stitch patterns. Practice the stitches with some beautiful lace projects. And, it comes with a DVD which you can pop into your computer or DVD player so that you get one-on-one video lessons on all the stitches and complete videos of the lace stitch patterns.

Tunisian Cables to Crochet is a step-by-step guide on learning to make beautiful cables that look like hand-knit and can be made in 1/3 the time of hand-knit projects. Although I knit as well, when it comes to gift-giving crunch time, I would rather pick a Tunisian cabled project over a hand-knit project.

Lastly, a stitch dictionary. Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide is a new, one-of-a-kind stitch dictionary which includes many never-before-seen stitch patterns. Just flipping through the book, you will see its uniqueness in the pineapple stitch patterns you can create with Tunisian crochet, something that I’ve read cannot be done. I apparently have a problem with being told I can’t do something! ha! This book is scheduled for release in March, but is available for pre-order now.

Read more about all of these books on my Amazon author page here.

Learn Tunisian Crochet from Online Video Classes

Now, if you like to learn from classes, but you’re unable to attend one of my live classes, how about a video class? I have two fabulous online classes at Annie’s. And, with online classes, you can watch the videos over and over, as many times as you would like. And, there are wonderful patterns to go with them!

Hard to believe that you can get this fabulous hat from a beginner class, right? But, it’s true! Read more about my online Annie’s classes here. I have two classes at Annie’s. One is a beginner level with 4 great projects. The second expands upon that knowledge with cables and lace. Here is the lovely cabled project. I enjoyed this project so much that I couldn’t make a firm decision with what project I wanted to do. So, I’ve included instructions for making a scarf, shawl, baby blanket, wrap AND and throw.

With so many Tunisian crochet patterns now available, now is the perfect time to learn. If you’re still unsure about Tunisian crochet, browse my Pinterest page here with some Tunisian crochet eye candy. And, if you need some research on the hooks, have a look at my Hooks page here. Enjoy!


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TCAL: Tunisian Cabled Mitts Starts November 15

I will be hosting a crochet-along for the Tunisian Cabled Fingerless Mitts shown above in my YahooGroup here, beginning November 15. These are cute little gifts, just in time for the holiday season. Read more about fingerless mitts here.

You will need to purchase the book, if you haven’t already, in order to participate in this crochet-along. The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet, published by Leisure Arts, can be purchased by hard copy here or by e-book download here. It is also available at off-line shops and other online vendors, if you prefer not to purchase directly from the publisher.

I have created the following YouTube video for purposes of this crochet-along:

Other videos which you may need are:

Foundation Row
Tunisian Knit Stitch
Binding Off

See you there!


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Tunisian Crochet: Stop the Curling

Tunisian crochet curls. It’s the nature of the craft. And some stitches curl more than others. Sometimes, you can take advantage of the curl, like with this hat. It curls wonderfully for a rolled brim.

But there are times when you don’t want the curl, and here are some tips to help reduce or remove the curling.

  1. Use a larger hook.
  2. Work a few rows of Tunisian Reverse Stitch at the beginning.
  3. Work a few rows of Tunisian Purl Stitch at the beginning.
  4. Work a few rows of any variation of seed stitch at the beginning.
  5. Use a pattern in which the designer has provided the method of removing the curl.
  6. Use a fiber which will block out after finishing.
  7. Apply a heavy border after finishing.
  8. Work one or two rows of Tunisian Double Stitch at the beginning.
  9. Work one or two rows of Tunisian Extended Stitch at the beginning.
  10. Work in a lace stitch pattern which rarely curls much.
  11. Add ribbing at the beginning.

All stitches mentioned above can be found in my free online videos here.

The hat is available in my online class here. (And, yes, that’s me in the photo.)


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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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Time to Sign Up for November 3 Classes!

On November 3, I’ll be in New Braunfels, Texas for all kinds of crochet fun! Although I’m really sad that Hooks in Texas was cancelled this year, I’m very pleased that I have this opportunity to visit you all in Texas again.

We’re planning a full day of book signings, trunk shows, demonstrations and two Tunisian crochet classes. With the classes, I’ve got something for beginners and something for intermediate and, even as a beginner, you can take both!

Please visit the website here and sign up through email, telephone or through the website form. These classes are going to fill quickly since there is a 15-student maximum. So, please register early!


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New Crochet-Along: Tunisian Cabled Mitts

I will be hosting a crochet-along for the Tunisian Cabled Fingerless Mitts shown above in my YahooGroup here, beginning November 15. These are cute little gifts, just in time for the holiday season. Read more about fingerless mitts here.

You will need to purchase the book, if you haven’t already, in order to participate in this crochet-along. The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet, published by Leisure Arts, can be purchased by hard copy here or by e-book download here. It is also available at off-line shops and other online vendors, if you prefer not to purchase directly from the publisher.

Please feel free to join the YahooGroup anytime. We are currently in the middle of the crochet-along for the Cape Sleeved Cardi. So, if you like, you can join and change your mail to a “no mail” setting until the start of the new crochet-along. Then, you can change it to mail later.

I hope to see you there! :-)


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Join Me in New Braunfels!

Since I’ve signed up for the Lucky Ewe newsletter, I received the announcement in an email tonight that I’ll be there on November 3. :-)

Check out the Lucky Ewe website here for address, phone number and email. Be sure to reserve your spot by calling or emailing. More details to come, but for now, let’s just say book signings, Tunisian crochet demonstrations, trunk shows! Oh, my!


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Kenzie Cowl

The Kenzie cowl available here showcases two different weights and types of yarns for a truly unique look. It introduces the use of a double-ended hook to learn Tunisian crochet in-the-round in a spiraling technique. It is worked in continuous rounds and there are no seams.

The unique look is made using Blue Sky Alpaca’s Alpaca Silk (292 yards required) and Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe (330 yards required). Size L-11 (8mm) double-ended Tunisian afghan hook used. Finished size is 12″ x 40″ circumference. Finished piece is very stretchy and will accommodate sizes small-large. Differences in gauge or yarn may not produce the same stretchiness which may require more yarn and/or adjustments to the starting chain. Adjustments for size can be made by increasing starting chain length and will require additional yarn.

This pattern was previously available only in an online class. The class includes: 2 PDFs, 3 12-minute videos and live help during the pendency of the class (1 week). Due to popular demand, I am also making the individual pattern available. The other class materials are not included.


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About The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet

Tunisian crochet is truly the most versatile type of needlework I’ve ever encountered. It can look woven, knitted or crocheted, depending on the stitches used. It’s not only one technique. It’s like having all three, together with only one hook.

When I first contracted to do this book with Leisure Arts, my primary goal was to share some projects that had a knit look so that people could see how Tunisian crochet can look like hand knitting. I chose that individual look about the technique that looked so much like knitting, not because I want to turn crochet into knitting, but because I wanted to share with people the true versatility and depth of Tunisian crochet.

The projects in the book use knitting concepts and stitch patterns which look like knitting. Everything in the book from the stockinette scarf and hat to the hoodie vest to the cute little cabled mitts look so much like knitting that, at first glance, you would swear that’s it’s knitting and not crochet.

And, while I could have written a book solely with projects, I wanted so much more from this book. And, to be honest, perhaps I got a bit carried away. I literally put everything I had into the book. There are things in this book which you don’t normally find in project books. The entire beginning section of the book teaches the stitches used in the book and that’s pretty normal. But, then I wanted to give direction on those little things that I’ve learned from my students which tend to hinder their progress. There is instruction on how to change colors or skeins of yarn. How to seam, both horizontally and vertically. How to use self-striping yarn for best results. Step-by-step on hand felting. There is so much to discover in this book.

But, my dilemma? My dilemma is your gain. My dilemma was writing the next book. Ha! I have to admit that I had a rather difficult time trying to get the next book out of my head when I had already completely drained my brain of every single thing about Tunisian crochet. I apparently don’t know the meaning of saving something back for the next book. I’m actually sort of shocked that I was able to get three more books out of my head after this one.

Here are some things I’ve read around the internet about this book.

“This is a terrific, very informative book that should be in everyone’s library, regardless of skill level. Lots of pictures and terrific explanations. The reverse stitch substitutes wonderfully for Tunisian purl (which I’ve never liked), and will combine with cable stitches to produce a look very similar to knitting. Of course, I’m going to get Kim’s cable book when it comes out in August! Meanwhile do order Kim’s “Beginner’s” book-everyone can benefit from a new and very thorough perspective on Tunisian.”

“Even though I have not made any of the projects in this book, I have marked several that I will be making in the near future. The instructions are easy to read and the projects do not seem like they will take a long period of time to complete.”

“This book is amazing and the instructions are wonderful. Helps you learn different stitches and patterns. Love this book and am so glad I ordered it. If you want to learn Tunisian crochet this book is fabulous!”

I’ve heard that the book is available at most JoAnn’s, Michaels and Hobby Lobby locations. You can also purchase directly from the publisher at Leisure Arts here or through Amazon here. I hope you enjoy it. It’s one of my biggest accomplishments.

 

Update: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian crochet is also now available in e-book download format here.


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Video Interview with Kim Guzman

If you want to see me in a video, answering all the pressing crochet questions, check out the video here.

Fortunately, they cut the part where I was trying to do math, in my head, on camera. That was just crazy. LOL

Doing the video classes was so stressful. I laughed. I cried. I danced. I even sang. All, just to try to de-stress. But, in the end, the folks at Annie’s really know their stuff. I’m really happy with the classes. :-)


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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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