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The Crochet Express National Crochet Month Blog Tour
Want to Chat about the Tour?
Part of the fun of taking a passenger steam train trip is talking with your fellow passengers. This year, we’re providing two locations where our passengers can get to know each other. We’d love to hear about your favorite things you’ve discovered on the tour and see photos of your current crochet projects. You’re invited to join us daily for virtual cocktails/appetizers and dinner. (We’ll be sharing links to some fabulous recipes!)
Vashti Braha, DesigningVashti Crochet
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Vashti Braha with us today, March 30, as one of the featured designers on our 2016 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).
My primary goal is simply to see crochet do things I haven’t already seen it do, and to explain how to do it. I produce crochet patterns, classes, articles, and other materials that promote crochet as many things: an art, hobby, learning tool, and practical medium. I love meeting other crocheters online and in person. If my name is familiar to you, you might have heard about my newsletter; perhaps we met at a Chain Link crochet conference, for which I’ve taught several classes and served on the board of directors for 4 years. My crochet designs have been published in magazines and books since 2004.
Tell us about your favorite travel destination.
Western Europe (several countries). I always get a strong déjà vu feeling! The land and air feel like home. The languages feel so familiar even though I’m not fluent in any of them.
Tell us about a “dream” travel location that you’d like to visit one day.
Cappadocia: the ancient cave mansions. And then attend a rose festival, visit apricot fields, and find lots of different Turkish crochet.
Do you visit yarn stores when traveling? If so, tell us about one of your favorite finds.
Almost always. A favorite was Tropical Yarns in Miramar, Florida. A sprawling store with every kind of yarn in nooks and crannies. I came home with so much cashmere and alpaca, and imported crochet threads. Five years later I’m still using up the yarn I bought there!
Packing: Tell us about any crochet clothing or accessories you pack when traveling. Do you have any really cool packing tips to share?
The first time I traveled with a crocheted mohair shawl was a revelation. I even wrote a newsletter issue about it. Here’s an excerpt:
I’m more grateful than ever for the mohair yarn I used for the Weightless Tunisian Wrap. It was my stalwart friend and protector through eight plane flights, dressy events, and unpredictable weather. It was a ‘snood,’ evening stole, and hotel room robe. I crushed it in my carry-on, bunched it under my arms, stuffed it into a small handbag, and stepped on it with high heels. It still looks new.
Mohair is such a good investment! My time and cost have been fully rewarded. Not only can I create special, elegant gifts and accessories, they will last like heirlooms. They keep me warm weightlessly (like cashmere), but are more practical and durable than cashmere and most other fashion yarns I’ve used. A good mohair yarn holds its block, doesn’t crease or crush, and doesn’t show wear.” (#28: http://eepurl.com/edjnj)
Tell us about any crochet projects you take with you when traveling: How many projects do you take? How do you decide which ones to take?
I always bring too many projects. I’ve learned the hard way what NOT to bring: projects needing long Tunisian straight hooks, beads, swatching, or dark thread.
My all-time favorite travel crochet experience was during a summer road trip with my family. I was testing a new slip stitch mitts pattern for my shop, while also testing breed-specific wool yarns for a newsletter issue. It was a quick pattern that I almost had memorized, so each mitt was easy to complete while participating in the conversations. I also had a compelling reason to stop at every yarn shop along the way and buy more yarn–and then start crocheting it into mitts while we were still pulling out of the parking lot!
(Issue #52: Slip Stitches, Wool Breeds, & Plying http://eepurl.com/Cm-lP )
Visit Vashti’s Site: NatCroMo Specials
I hope to be blogging about the topics, prep, discoveries, and more for the classes I’ll be teaching at CGOA’s Chain Link conference. I expect to have some sales on things like Tunisian hooks and lacy spring patterns and kits. Come on over to my site to get all the details!
If you’re not familiar with my work already, I’d like to share three of my designs with you.
1. Crochet to the Color Playbook (set of 3 patterns), $7.99
This three-pattern set is designed for those short-striping variegated yarns that can be tricky to crochet with. The playbook section introduces this type of crochet, which has one-of-a-kind freeform outcomes, like a game! Use classic crochet stitches as game pieces to bring out startlingly edgy, asymmetrical looks in richly hand painted yarns.
2. Starwirbel, $5.99
This is a break out pattern of the year at DesigningVashti! I’m looking forward to teaching “The Starwirbel Way” class in July at the CGOA conference in Charleston. Unlike the usual Star stitch projects, Starwirbel is stretchy and weightless, yet holds its shape. Its starry texture is enhanced with a spiraling construction, twinkly yarn, and a bit of invisible increasing. Emphasizing the eyes of these “wirbeling” (from the German for whirling) stars not only adds a special effect, it makes the crocheting fast and easy: the eyes show you where to put your hook.
3. Emdash Scarf Kit, $37.50
The Emdash Scarf pattern is currently only available free, as part of this kit. Crochet most of this flounced filet scarf with treble stitches and chain spaces. Then, create the flounces with 2 layers of extra-tall filet stitches and picots.
Kit includes: Printed crochet pattern folded booklet-style in a plastic sleeve. Two skeins Designing Vashti Lotus (52% Cotton/48% Rayon; 3.5oz/100g; 256yds/235m each): choose from 15 colors.
Find Vashti Online:
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/vashti-braha
Crochet Inspirations Newsletter: Recent issues and subscribe button
Additional Blog Tour Information: