Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's New Wednesday: Twisted Cable Sundress

Have you seen my newest design in Crochet! Magazine's Spring 2015 issue? The Twisted Cable Sundress was originally designed for my daughter when she was just 2 years old, I am thrilled to see this pattern published, and in the long color-changing yarn from Lang that inspired the design! It was a long journey to see this one in print...

In the late summer of 2012, my friend Katherine and I decided we needed a Crafty Retreat. Our youngest kids were finally old enough to leave with dad for a few days, and she was expecting baby #3 just the next month. We looked around at options along the coast or perhaps an isolated cabin in the woods, both being rather convenient options living where we do. But she was going to be on-call for her midwifery business, so we could not go too far out of town.

So, we spent nearly a week staying in a hostel on Alberta St., right in the heart of Portland. We each brought along more projects than we would have time for, but wanted to be free to work on whatever struck our fancy. We brought yarn, hand-sewing projects, needlefelting supplies, fresh lavender to make wands, and even my spinning wheel. And yet we took many breaks to wander up and down Alberta to check out the craft supply store across the street, and a couple of nearby yarn shops.

We spent one afternoon at nearby Twisted, where I have taught a few crochet classes. I allowed myself to wander the store with the express purpose of finding a ball of yarn that inspired me to create something new. I was immediately drawn to this Lang Yarns Sol Degrade, cotton tape yarn, in my favorite shades of blues and greens.

I had recently finished my first articles and designs to be published in magazines, and was eager to design something new. I bought the first ball of yarn and sat down in the shop to play with it. I had been exploring the options of 'edgeless cables', and thought they would make a perfect neckline. The edgeless cables lend themselves perfectly to the curve of a neckline. I wanted to come up with something that would show off the long color changes of the yarn.

A little girl's sheath dress was perfect! And I had the perfect model (though you can see my daughter was grumpy on the day we got to take pics at the beach). I found that the thickness of the cotton tape made stitch increases more noticeable, and did not like the look for the body of the dress. Instead, I used gradually increasing hook size to create a gentle bell-shape, with occasional increases in the bottom section for added flare.

When Crochet! wanted to publish the design in this year's summer issue, I looked for a lighter weight long color changing yarn, that would not be quite as thick as the Sol Degrade. But in the end, we decided to stick with the original yarn that inspired the design. Afterall, the thicker 100% cotton yarn makes the perfect coverup to through on over a wet swimsuit!

Now I have the magazine sample back, in a larger size that will be perfect for the beach this summer!

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