Boston Ivy Sweater, in Interweave Crochet Winter 2016

black and white drawing of young man in sweater with hat on.

Original idea for Boston Ivy.

I’ve been checking Ravelry and Interweave’s Crochet website for the last two weeks, waiting for the most recent issue of Interweave Crochet to come out.  And now, I’m pleased to announce that Interweave Crochet Winter 2016 is on the shelves (or will be in the next few days), and available to purchase.  In this issue is my design, Boston Ivy.  Boston Ivy is a design that’s near and dear to my heart, as it started out as a request for a sweater from my brother, Matthew.

Boston Ivy was originally pitched as an idea based off of my brother, Matthew, and his descriptors for a perfect sweater for him.

He wanted it to be warm.  Not necessarily sweater warm, but more like rugged sweater/jacket to wear outside.  Decoration and cables should be kept to a minimum.  It had to had to have a collar that would go around his neck, and it had to be something he could move and be active in.

At the same time I’d been playing around with a crochet or knitting technique involving using long strips of fabric.  I’d braid the fabric, and then pick up stitches on either side of the braid, making it look like a particularly interesting cable. Boston_Ivy_Sweater_medium While I’d seen the technique done, a little, in crochet lacework, I’d never seen it done on larger pieces.  I also hadn’t seen it done all that much.

I thought this was a great pity that I needed to remedy.

I began pitching the idea to a variety of magazines, with little interest.  Until Interweave Crochet.

Boston Ivy is a sweater for men and women.  It’s sturdy and comfortable, with drop shoulders and a distinctive braided pattern down sleeves and front.

Worked in single crochet thru the back loop, it creates a ribbing that’s warm and stretchy.

And I love it.


Post Mortem: Larkin

Larkin is the story of the design call that could.  Just like the iconic train saying “I think I can,” Larkin was a design I believed in from the beginning, but one that just had to keep plugging along until it got accepted. Larkin started out as “50’s Flame” – a vintage inspired top for a design call for Three Irish Girls nearly 4 years ago.  It looked like this:

It got rejected.  I also submitted it to Knitpicks, Interweave Knits, and a handful of other design calls.  Each time it would come back, a few months later, unchosen.  Which happens.  I knew the design was a good one, but it just never was quite what the editing team was looking for.
So I’d wait until another design call came along where this pattern would fit, repackage the pattern, and submit again.
Until last year, with Classic Elite.  Over time the design layout had been updated, I’d gotten a new logo and a new company name. The wording had changed (a little) and the name had changed.  It was now called Flaming Mamie, after a great swingy song I used to sing at camp.
Let’s be frank – not much changed.  But this time it was the right time, right place, right design, and CEY picked the design up.
So let’s compare the sketch to the finished product:
Puffed sleeves, flame motif, same neckline, scoop neck and false neckline.  The flames in this yarn are a little squatter and slimmer- I made them slightly smaller to accommodate sizing.  The ribbing along the neckline went away, because I thought the more rustic neck matched the yarn, and I wanted to keep that area a little less busy.  But otherwise?  Not much changed.  The things that made me believe this design was a keeper in the first place remained the things that I love in the finished product.
I love how the sleeves are slightly pleated.  I love how the ribbing runs seamlessly into the pattern.  I love how the design is slightly retro and oh-so feminine.  I love the figure-complimenting look.
I just kept pitching the design until someone saw it’s potential.  Thank-you CEY!
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Outrageous Orange

By Jennifer Crowley

Published in: Tinking Turtle Designs
Craft: Crochet
Category: Softies → Plant; Food
Published: May 2013
Yarns suggested: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted
Yarn weight: Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi)
Gauge: 13 stitches and 12 rows = 2 inches in Single Crochet Through Back Loop
Hook size: 3.5 mm (E)
Yardage: 50 – 100 yards (46 – 91 m)
Sizes available: finished strawberry is 2.5″ tall and 2″ wide

Have questions?  Ask them here!

Sweet Strawberries

By Jennifer Crowley

Published in: Tinking Turtle Designs
Craft: Crochet
Category: Softies → Plant
Published: April 2013
Yarns suggested: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted
Yarn weight: Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi)
Gauge: 13 stitches and 12 rows = 2 inches in Single Crochet Through Back Loop
Hook size: 3.5 mm (E)
Yardage: 50 – 100 yards (46 – 91 m)
Sizes available: finished strawberry is 2.5″ tall and 2″ wide

Debating if this pattern is right for you?  Questions?  This is the place to ask them.

Swirl Socks are Out!

If you didn’t see by the last post, my Swirl Socks are out.  This is pretty exciting, as it marks the beginning of this year’s effort to self-publish between 1 & 2 designs a month.  It marks several months of back-end prep-work, as I’ve established relationships with Technical Editors, Sample Makers, and a Layout Designer.

All on top of planning my wedding, which is in 2 1/2 weeks.  Ack!

Swirl Socks are a great pattern for someone who needs just a little something to keep them busy.  After the first few rows, the pattern hits a rhythm, and next thing you know you are turning the heel.  It’s also a great pattern for saying… “just one more row…!”

I love how the cable passes right by the short row heel, and the differences in texture as it moves around the foot.  I love how it’s a surprisingly good pattern for very variegated yarns, because I’m prone to buying hand dyed yarns and then going, what now?

Go check out the socks here, or check out the Ravelry page here.  Let me know what you think!

Swirl Socks

Swirl Socks
by Jennifer Crowley

Published in: Tinking Turtle Designs
Craft: Knitting
Category: Feet / Legs → Socks → Mid-calf
Published: March 2013
Yarns suggested: Three Irish Girls Kells Sport
Yarn weight: Sport / 5 ply (12 wpi)
Gauge: 8 stitches and 13 rows = 1 inch in stokinette
Needle size: US 0 – 2.0 mm
Yardage: 250 – 380 yards (229 – 347 m)
Sizes available: 7, 8, 9″ circumference, 7, 8, 9″ foot length, length can be adjusted

This pattern is available for $6.00 USD

These socks are toe-up with a short-row heel. You will need to know how to work wraps and turns. You can, of course, substitute your own heel or toe quite easily.

Ravelry Link

Newport Classic Elite #9213, Surf’s Up


by Jennifer Crowley

Published in: Classic Elite #9213, Surf’s Up
Craft: Crochet
Category: Sweater → Pullover
Published: February 2013
Yarns suggested: Classic Elite Yarns Classic Silk
Yarn weight: DK / 8 ply (11 wpi) 
Gauge: 16 stitches and 8 rows = 4 inches in Sc-blo with larger hook
Hook size: 3.5 mm (E), 4.0 mm (G)
Yardage: 945 – 1485 yards (864 – 1358 m)
Sizes available: S (M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL)
Finished Measurements: 36¼ (38¼, 40¾, 43¾, 45¼, 47¾)”
Yarn Requirements: 6934 Plum MC 6 (7, 7, 8, 9, 10) balls, 6910 Soft Violet 1 ball

Ravelry Link

This pattern is available for instant download for $6 through Ravelry
You can also buy it on the Classic Elite Website.
It is also part of the pattern booklet #9213, Surf’s Up, by Classic Elite Yarns.  You can buy it in print at your local yarn store.

Debating if this pattern is for you?  Got questions?  This is the place to ask them.  Over the next few days I’ll be talking about the design process for Newport, including a great story about when I first saw the shots of the sample on the model.

See the Pretty?

Snow Day? And stories about Newport

Today was supposedly a snow day – not that you would know it from where I was standing.  Michael stayed home though, which meant I was super productive – by the end of the day my brain hurt something fierce.  Mostly, my head has been buried as I have several design due-dates, both personal and professional I’m trying to meet before the wedding.  It may very nearly kill me.

On a higher note, yesterday I went to The Yarn Spot for the first time in forever.  I was sick, and planning the wedding and… well, just run down.  It was SO GOOD to see people I hadn’t seen in forever.  I need to get there more.

Much to my surprise I found that Victoria had arranged for the most wonderful gesture for me – I was nearly beside myself.  There, on the table, was my sample (the one I crocheted for Classic Elite).  Victoria had made sure to be the first store in the trunk show when the pattern went out.  There I am, dopey happy grin on my face, copy of the pattern in my hand, and crochet top (which I thought I’d never see again – samples are not typically returned to the designer) in my hands.

I was beyond myself.

Anyway, this is the unofficial way of announcing that my crochet pattern with Classic Elite is now out.  The collection is called Surf’s Up #9213, and it’s available for purchase at your local yarn shop.  The pattern is called Newport.

I’ll talk more about it in the next few days.

For now?  I’ve got a dopey grin pasted on my face.  My LYS loves me.

Totem is Out!

About 15 minutes ago I was taking a break from working on writing a pattern for Sockupied that will be coming out in the Fall.

I was scrolling through my Google Feed reader when I came across this post on Knitting Daily.  I’m going through the article when I notice the socks – and my first thought is, huh.  I made a pair of socks in that colorway (by Three Irish Girls).  Then I go… oh wait… that IS my pattern!

Totem, I’m happy to announce, is out.  You can buy it on the Interweave website, and it’s a true steal.  And it’s on the cover of Sockupied! (They’re the red ones, seen to the right.)

In the upcoming days I’ll be talking a little bit about the inspiration for Totem, early iterations, the design process for this sock, and a variety of other things!

Have you looked at the new Sockupied yet?  Anything you see in the magazine that you’d like to work up?

I’ve always been terrible about keeping secrets

So when I was little, the two people you didn’t tell a secret to in our family was my father and myself.  My father, because he’d keep your secret, but would drive you bonkers in the process.  (Imagine just before Christmas  and my father going to us kids, “I know what your mother got you.  You want to know?” Us kids: No.  “Are you sure?  It’s really cool.”  Us kids: we want it to be a surprise.  “You want me to give you a hint?”)  And there was me, who just simply couldn’t keep exciting news in me.  Not because I told either, just because my whole demeanor changes when I know something nobody else knows.

Well, I have to share this with you.

Today I got an e-mail from Classic Elite Yarns, specifically Susan Mills.  She had some questions for me about my design.  But attached to her e-mail was what simply has become the highlight of my day.  Some proof pictures of my Crochet Top that is going to be published this spring.

They’re simply beautiful.  Gorgeous in a way I can’t describe.  It’s such a clutch to the heart to see something you worked so hard on made more beautiful – Classic Elite Yarns really has a great team that does the photoshoots.

I can’t show you the pictures – not until they are published – but I’ll tell you it’s in a lovely rose and purple.  And it’s in Classic Silk.

Not the color, but it is the yarn.

And that’s all I can give you.