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Lacy Seams Because This is Crochet!
Lots of news again. See lower right column.
The very essence of crochet amazes me. Crochet equips one to just "hook on" to anything, anywhere. It's crochet that makes attaching and connecting things into an art form. Isn't a seam the ultimate type of connection?
Penelope Lace Seam
I'm one of those crocheters who avoids hand sewing and who makes a garment in one piece when I can. If I have to seam something, I almost always prefer a crocheted seam for about five practical reasons. When I can crochet a seam that also embellishes, I feel like, well, crochet won!

Sister Act Scarf and Shrug in Interweave Crochet MagazineI thought this newsletter issue was going to be about a certain way to crochet shrugs because I have two new shrug patterns out now. (See Fish Lips over in the right column. Sister Act  at left is in the summer issue of Interweave Crochet magazine.) These two patterns are actually very different experiences of crochet, even though both started out as scarves, and both end up shrugs via unique seams.
Penelope Lace Stole at Laura's Wedding, tied

The blue seam above is a solution I sought in 2009 after I wore a slippery rayon stole (rectangular shawl) to two weddings in two days. Pictured at right, I'm dancing with the bride, with my "Penelope Lace" stole tied in the front; not its best look. It still slipped off of my shoulders so often that it's one of the things I think of when I remember the weddings. Ugh, not fair to the brides!
Penelope Lace Stole as a type of cocoon shrug.
After the weddings, I mulled what I could do to make the stole something I'd use again. That's how I came up with the unusual seam in the topmost photo. In these next 2 photos it's seamed into a cocoon vest, and a tube shrug. 
Penelope Lace Stole seamed as a tube shrug.
Four years passed. While crocheting the Sister Act scarf, I tried a subtler version of the blue Penelope seam so that I could wear the wide scarf as a vest-like shrug, as pictured above. Here's the prototype.

Fish Lips: I so wanted to wear the scarf draped sideways, like the yoke of a top as a summer layer in the A/C (the yarn is alpaca, so it's quite warm even as a bold lace.) 

Thanks to crochet, wishes come true (without having to rip out a scarf and start over with wider rows). In the Fish Lips photos in the far right column, you can see the dramatic crocheted seam that connects two shorter scarves into sleeves

Here are a few of my other decorative crocheted seams over the years.
Seaming the Barcelona: A Flickr photo set.I think the most well known is the lacy raglan seam I used for the Barcelona Jacket in 2008. (Shown inside out in aqua.) The rows are worked vertically, and the stair-stepped row ends are filled in with the lacy seam. The seam blends in, like an optical illusion.
Tunisian Marco project in Ravelry
Another example is the 2008 Tunisian Marco Jacket. These are panels of Tunisian Simple Stitch joined so that the crocheted seams look sort of like cables. 

If you like this topic, also take a look at the gold-colored trim of the Baroque Tabard Tunic: my goal was a corded or piped look to emphasize these real working seams. For Petals below, the seam was originally supposed to be invisible. Nothing I tried worked, so I spotlighted the seam with beads, and now I'm glad I did. (Clear beads are traveling from upper left corner to lower right in photo.)
Tunisian Petals: Beaded Biasing Seam
The only hitch with some of these seams is that it's often tricky to explain in a written pattern, and not necessarily easier to diagram either. A video would be ideal.

That's it for #51! If you know someone who would enjoy this kind of newsletter, please forward this to them so that they can subscribe. (Click here to subscribe: http://eepurl.com/XwQk ) If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. Thanks!      --Vashti
"Seams" Summery?
Fish Lips Lace Shrug
Lindsay (my mannequin) is feelin' breezy. This Fish Lips Lace pullover shrug is actually just two scarves joined with a decorative seam.

Pullover Shrug in Slip Stitch Crochet, c.2005

What's a "Pullover Shrug"? Here's one I designed in 2005 for CGOA in slip stitch crochet. Both of these pullover shrugs are crocheted rectangles (no shaping required). http://bit.ly/1bSOUzU

Links I Enjoyed This Week
See below. Too much DV News!

DesigningVashti News
I'd better number newsy items:
1. New downloadable pattern: Fish Lips Lace Scarf-to-Shrug! 
Fish Lips Lace Scarf-to-Shrug PDF crochet pattern by Vashti BrahaThis design happened while writing other patterns! Do you love it? It's my new summer layer. Here's the scarf:

Fish Lips Lace: Modern, Scalable Love Knot Filet CrochetThe pattern explains a scalable method for making Love Knots. (Makes it easier to get all freeformy with your love if that's your thing.)
http://bit.ly/11XfIO0 and in Ravelry:  http://bit.ly/13YUKgg

2. Now's the time to register for my Fall crochet classes in case they sell out again! I'll be teaching six 3-hour classes at the Charlotte NC CGOA conference from Oct. 3-5, 2013. For a handy clickable list of all six classes in one place, scroll down a little to Vashti Braha at this link. I think of the six as 3 pairs: two on Slip Stitch Crochet (Intro & Shaping Special FX); two on Tunisian Crochet Lace (Aero Filet & Weightless Mesh); and two on Love Knots (Antique vs. Modern). http://bit.ly/11lP3ux

3. What's Doris up to? A LOT. If you're reading this before 3:50pm EDT June 19, see her blog post about this podcast interview.
Her lovely Convertible Crochet book just came out and actually makes me want to stop everything and crochet motifs. Scroll through a series of posts Doris wrote about the book.
Zuma Skirt by Doris Chan
The most excellent Doris Chan crochet DVD is also out! See her Kolika Crochet Workshop blog post. Pictured at right is Doris' love knot skirt pattern in the new Interweave Crochet magazine. 

4. Forthcoming: Luckyslip Mitts, the Slip Stitch Class Final Project. It'll be ready to download in time for the next newsletter issue. It's like a Slip Stitch Crochet Basics class in a bottle because it includes my 2012 class tips. 

Luckyslip Mitts: Slip Stitch Crochet Class ProjectThe PDF is shaping up.
(Note: Men's Shades of Gray size not yet photographed) For updates on this pattern, join my Ravelry grouphttp://bit.ly/14gVzS6 Or check its project page http://ravel.me/vashtirama/jz89c
 
5. Lots of Vashti patterns in the new summer issue of Interweave Crochet magazine. Six projects:
Montage of Vashti patterns in Interweave Crochet summer issueIt's a love knot summer (plus a Tunisian filet bamboo wrap, leftmost image). The article beginning on p.32 is based on my love knot classes. The jewelry cords represent three different ways (out of many more) to adorn your stitches o' love with beads. Photo set: 
http://bit.ly/11ML1Ib 
Story of Electra
http://bit.ly/129FFW8
 
6. Ravelry Group News: Thanks to moderators LeeAnn and Danielle, DesigningVashti has the first ever  Ravelry group Crochet Along (CAL). Go join right now, we’d love to have you and you’ll be well taken care of. It’s a great way to get help with a pattern, and find out about the next newsletter issue:
A Ravelry group of one's own is a great place for a Crochet Inspirations Newsletter FAQhttp://bit.ly/18Xw1ja
 
Be sure to visit Doris’ Ravelry group for help with her patterns any time.
 
Link I Enjoyed This Week
See amazing crocheted foods on the cover of the Smithsonian Magazine's June issue!
Like Crochet Inspirations Newsletter #51: Lacy Summery Seams on Facebook

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Subscribe to this newsletter. Vashti Braha is a professional crochet designer & teacher who resides in Florida (USA). She writes 100% of each issue and emails it to subscribers
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