Wednesday
Aug032016

Caps, Cowls & Mitts, and Cabled Baby Blankets: Two New Leaflets!

I am happy to share with you two of my recent Leisure Arts publications! Both are available from Amazon and should be coming soon to your local craft store (Michael's, A.C. Moore, and Joanne Fabrics).


First, Caps, Cowls & Mitts has 3 winter sets - all of which can be completed in a weekend or less. Using a large (size J or K) crochet hook and worsted weight yarn, you'll be surprised how quick it is to complete one, two or all three components.

All projects are worked in the round, and absolutely no sewing required!! This is a fun way to learn how to crochet cables. 


These make wonderful, cost-effective gifts, and will keep you cozy warm when the cold weather comes your way. The hand mitts are particularly helpful for those who suffer from circulation problems, never feeling warm enough inside during the winter. The fingerless feature allows you to do what you need to do, but with the added warmth that the mitts provide. These are excellent items to have on your table if you are a craft fair merchant!


Secondly, the booklet "Cabled Baby Blankets" features 4 new designs that also crochet up quickly and using only one skein of Lion Brand's One Pounder!

Each design features bold, elegant, crocheted cabling using my new method of crocheting bigger cables. 

Should you ever need help with my designs, you can always visit my Youtube channel, or go to the video section on this website here for free instructional videos. You can always contact me with questions at bonniebay@me.com

These afghans were born to help celebrate the new babies born in my little church here in Maryland. I pray that these patterns continue to bless many more families and babies in the years to come!



Wednesday
Jul272016

Top 10 Reasons to Attend a CGOA Crochet Conference...

OK, so if you already know how to crochet, what is the advantage of attending a crochet conference?  I wondered the same thing until I attended my first in Greensboro back in 2010 and have been HOOKED ever since! Here are some reasons to consider planning for next summer’s conference in Chicago… 

 

10.  Getting away from it all - with yarn and hooks in hand...  This year we gathered in Charleston, SC.  The Old South Carriage Company allowed one of their carriages to be beautifully decorated with crochet to help celebrate the conference.  Karen McKenna organized this effort months before the event.  The red and yellow roses in the bottom right photo were made by yours truly!

 

9.  Traveling to a new destination...  Since I started attending the CGOA conference, I’ve been able to travel to Greensboro, NC, Charleston, SC, Manchester, NH, and many fun points along the way.  There have also been conferences in San Diego, Reno, Indianapolis and Minneapolis. Next year we will be meeting in Chicago - another city I have never seen!

 Getting and giving a hug to our friend, teacher, designer & author Margaret Hubert (w/Carlotta Craig).

8. Taking your crochet skills to the next level with top teachers in the industry... 

 Many friends and fans participated in a parade wearing Doris's designs.  My daughter Becky (Right) and I did our part by wearing a crocheted Doris Chan design!

7.   Meeting some of your favorite crochet designers... This past year was very special as we got to celebrate with and honor Doris Chan as she was inducted into the Jean Leinhauser Crochet Hall of Fame.  It was such a fun time, and in typical Doris Chan fashion, she gave a special crochet kit to all who celebrated with her!


My girl Becky Barker takes a spin in a Doris Chan design during a fashion show in the market place... 

6.  Shopping in a market totally devoted to your love of crochet...including book signings, fashion shows and more! 

 

5. Free yarn samples & goodie bags, courtesy of a number of wonderful sponsors!

 

4.  Attending the CGOA Banquet and Fashion Show, and even participating in the fashion show for the adventurous - no experience necessary!

 Kathryn White wearing her Grand Prize winner, the Baroque Jacket.  This lovely design took Kathryn over 9 1/2 months to create!

3.  Being inspired by the Design Contest, and the possibility of winning cash prizes!

 Lily Chin in her show-stopper "Pineapple Dress!"

2.  Meet and greet...  A wonderful opportunity to meet crochet magazine editors, yarn company representatives and other publishers and get instant feedback on your original designs, and maybe even published!

1.  Hanging out with some of the most wonderful people on the planet!  Renewing fiber friendships and making new ones!  Many of the attendees have become lifelong friends for me.  This is a very special community and I would love for you to experience this too!

Wednesday
Jun152016

Book Review: 3 Skeins or Less - Modern Baby Crochet

3 Skeins or Less - Modern Baby Crochet $22.99 (On Sale $18.67) Interweave Store


 

Sharon Zientara’s book is anything but your typical baby designs in the traditional pink, blue and yellow! This book has 18 designs by 11 Interweave crochet designers. Several of the designs are very functional, such as the Finley the Fox bib, the Eddy Burp Cloths and the Ava Cloth Diaper Wrap. All are delightfully fun! 

With the exception of one sweater, all the projects are crocheted with yarn that is easy care (such as acrylic, cotton, or a blend) or superwash merino wool. This way it will be so much easier to care for these garments & toys because you know in order for babies to enjoy them, they are going to need to be washed often!

Let me show you…

 I just love this little cutie! Oh, and Octavia the Octopus is cute too! Yes, it is easy to get distracted by the wonderful little models in this book. Seeing how their eyes light up shows you how much joy these crocheted creations can bring into their life!


 

How about a pair of these “Zoe the Cat Slippers?” The only problem I see with them is that my feet are too big for them!


 The Ladybug the Dachshund Sweater is absolutely delightful! It reminds me of the little doggie my grandfather used to have so many years ago. I also like the clever offset design of this sweater.


Finley the Fox Bib, made of 100% cotton should make eating fun for any baby, no matter how picky, and should hold up well to the washings which you know will be needed!


 Spike the Hedgehog Hat looks like it will be almost as much fun to make as it is to wear! I especially love the hair/spikes and the fact that it is made using one of my favorite acrylic yarns:  Lion Brand Heartland. 

I am going to be giving a copy of this book (courtesy of Interweave) on Friday.  If you want to be included in the drawing, just e-mail me at bonniebay@me.com and say “enter me!” and you will be entered.

 

 

Monday
Jun132016

TNNA: The National NeedleArts Association Conference Summer 2016

Wow! What a day! For the first time in years I caught the Metro Red Line this past Saturday to travel downtown to Washington, D.C. to the 2016 TNNA Summer conference. What a blessing to have this so close to my home this year. I had an amazing time greeting old friends and making some new ones. There were hundreds of vendors and beautiful yarn as far as the eye could see! It felt like being a child unrestrained in a toy store with a mile long candy counter. I want to show you some of the highlights...

These have got to be the most beautiful swifts I have ever seen!  They would look beautiful in any room in the house! The photo below shows the company that makes these beauties...


There were many inspirational knit designs...

 

 

You'll be seeing one my new designs using Malabrigo's yarn in the fall in Celtic Cabled Crochet! Lovely, kettle-dyed fiber...

One more view of this eye candy... 

 

I added a couple of these cute tape measures to my collection. Seems I like to wear them out!

I had the BEST time talking to these wonderful ladies! Be looking for a new crochet design using South African Yarns in the near future.

One thing that drew me to their display was they were one of the few companies to feature crochet!

 

These ladies traveled from the UK, represting the Toft Yarn Company and Kerry Lord's crocheted animal kits that are so adorable! (Remember the book Edward's Menagerie?)

 

I LOVED this flamingo buddy! Pink flamingos are the symbol of my hometown of Hialeah, Florida!

 

Watermelon anyone? The hand dyed yarn from Apple Tree Knits looks yummy!

 

Here's what the yarn looks like before being crocheted or knitted...

 

One more wonderful use for Mason jars...

 

I'll be working with a hank of this lady's "Bliss" (80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) yarn, hand-dyed in Sommerville, South Carolina very soon!

I learned so much attending this trade conference, but the best part is meeting the sweet folks who work in the fiber industry. I always come away inspired and almost wishing I had four more hands for all the ideas knocking around in my head!

 


Tuesday
May172016

Book Review: Vintage Modern Crochet by Robyn Chachula

Vintage Modern Crochet by Robyn Chachula

$24.95 (Sale price $18.99)

Interweave has done it again with another beautiful crochet book compiled by Robyn Chachula! This book features many of Interweave's top designers: Shalby Allaho, Brenda K.B. Anderson, Moon Eldridge, Megan Granhols, Cristina Mershon, Kristin Omdahl, Anastasia Popova, Laurinda Reddig, Natasha Robarge, and Rebecca Velasquez.

Field Cardigan by Robyn Chachula, p. 71

As you would expect, this book delivers stunning photography and many views of the 20 stylish projectsit contains.  Every project also has clear stitch diagrams for the crocheter who depends upon these. 

Temperance Jewelry by Robyn Chachula, p. 83 

Vintage Modern Crochet offers just about everything from sweaters to hats, scarfs, headbands and yes, crocheted jewelry! Robyn Chachula's Temperance Jewelry (photo above) can add the pop you need for any outfit. You can also try your hand at crocheting with wire with "Syrah Cuffs". If you are not so adventurous as that, you can just grab any thread you have on hand instead!

Leopold Pullover by Robyn Chachula, p. 45 

Many of these design are crochet lace. The Leopold Pullover (above) features a texturized lace for a lovely summer pullover. I just love the look of the Bromelia Infinity Scarf, made using a sport weight linen/silk blend. 

 Bromelia Infinity Scarf by Moon Eldridge, p. 19

 

 Aine Fascinator and Headband by Brenda K.B. Anderson, p. 97

The Aine Fascinator can be worn as a head piece (as shown above) or simply as a headband. 

 Fleur Swing Top by Megan Granholm, p. 139

I think the Fleur Swing summer top (above) with the asymmetrical button placement in the front is really cute!

 Fidelma Motif Shawl by Cristina Mershon, p. 89

This book has you literally covered when it comes to that special summer shawl you need to ward off the chill whether it is do to a cool morning, or that chilly indoor air conditioning! 

Celtic Cross Wrap by Laurinda Reddig, p. 67 

 

Yasmine Shawl by Rebecca Velasquez, p. 119 

The Yasmine Shawl if for the crocheter looking for a challenge that will take their skills up a notch or two by learning more about Tunisian Lace.

 Guipure Top by Natasha Robarge, p. 103

I have saved my personal two favorite designs in this book for last: the Guipure Top, and the Kidwell Garden Wrap. With summer just around the corner, I have been looking for a crocheted top to wear over tank tops, and this could be it! The Irish crocheted style is elegant and practical for the hot days ahead. This is definitely going on my list! 

Close up of Irish Crochet detail of Guipure Top... 

 

Kidwell Garden Wrap by Shelby Allaho, p.13

I love, love, love the large and open look of this Kidwell Garden Wrap! This design can dress up any casual summer shirt or dress, as well as bring bold color to your outfit. Let's hope this one gets done too!

This Friday, May 20th, I will be giving away a free copy of this book, courtesy of Interweave. To enter, please e-mail me at bonniebay@me.com and simply say, "ENTER ME!" and you will be included in the drawing.  If you are not a subscriber to the Bonnie Bay Crochet Newsletter and would like to be added, just add, "SUBSCRIBE ME TO YOUR NEWSLETTER!" and I will add you to the list. For your information, I will NEVER EVER use your e-mail address for anything else. Period.