FTC Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Copyright disclaimer: All photos are © 2015 Joe Hancock and are used with permission. All rights reserved.
I am excited to be part of the blog tour promoting Colorful Crochet Lace, the newest book from designer and friend Mary Jane Hall. I’m going to share a little bit of information with you about Mary Jane, share my experience making one of the garments in the book, show photos of some of the designs included in the book, and provide links to the other stops on the blog tour.
Oh, yes, we’ll also be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky random winner, so be sure to read through to the end to see how to enter the giveaway!
Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 Chic Garments & Accessories
Published by Interweave/F+W; $24.99 retail price
Available at Amazon and Interweave
About Mary Jane
Mary Jane is well-known for her flirty, feminine, fun, and fashionable designs. (How about that alliteration?) She has written two books, Positively Crochet! and Crochet That Fits, and has had many designs published by Leisure Arts, Annie’s, House of White Birches, and the special Vogue Knitting Crochet 2013 magazine.
Mary Jane has been a member of the Crochet Guild of America for many years. She serves as a volunteer mentor to new designers, helping them learn the ins and outs of this exciting business. She is also a wonderful singer and will be releasing a CD on her blog later this year.
About Colorful Crochet Lace
This book contains 22 fashionable lace garments and accessories. Yes, everything is lace, but it’s not the traditional lace made with tiny crochet thread from days gone by. This is up-to-date, high-fashion lace ranging from simple, allover openwork patterns to intricately-detailed lace patterns and motifs. Mary Jane uses a variety of yarn weights in her designs, so no matter what weight yarn you prefer to work with, you’re sure to find something that strikes your fancy.
You will find designs for shrugs, scarves, cardigans, tunics, dresses, tops, and totes. Whatever your wardrobe need, there’s probably a design that will work. While Mary Jane has chosen a color palette ranging from earthy neutrals to elegant jewel tones, remember that you can make any design in any color you choose. You don’t have to duplicate her color choice!
In her previous patterns, Mary Jane developed a technique she calls the Graduated Stitch Method, which lets the crocheter achieve shaping and customized fit without increases or decreases. This technique is featured in some of the patterns in this book. Mary Jane also gives instructions for modifying some of the designs and creating your own unique variations.
Several of the projects are constructed using the Graduated Stitch Method, a technique Mary Jane developed that allows for shaping and customized fit without increases or decreases, and many of the patterns include instructions for modifying designs and creating variations. With clear instructions, detailed stitch diagrams, and gorgeous photography, Colorful Crochet Lace makes it easy and fun to create exquisite crochet fashions.
No matter how carefully and how many times a designer, her pattern testers, and the publisher’s tech editor go over patterns before publication, it’s an unfortunate fact that sometimes mistakes make it through that intense process. Written crochet instructions, especially those patterns featuring lace, can be quite complicated and detailed. It’s not always easy making the changes between sizes.
However, reputable designers and publishers, which both Mary Jane and Interweave are, will do their best to publish errata and corrections as problems are discovered.
Before beginning a new project, I always advise crocheters to look on an author’s or publisher’s website, or to check on Ravelry, to see if errata have been published. Mary Jane has thoughtfully provided an errata page on her blog where she will keep track of any pattern corrections you may need to know about
Making Au Naturel
After receiving an advance copy of Mary Jane’s book, I totally fell in love with the design featured on the cover, the Haute Couture Peplum Top. I had planned to make this top and wear it at the Knit and Crochet Show / Crochet Guild of America annual conference in San Diego this past July. Unfortunately, I had some issues with yarn (dye lots and not enough time to get more; yes, that problem even happens with crochet professionals from time to time!), and wasn’t able to get that top completed in time.
What’s a girl to do? I still wanted to promote this fabulous book, so I looked through other designs and my yarn stash, figured out how much time I had in which to complete the garment, and decided to make the Au Naturel Cropped Top:
I never seem to make something exactly as pictured in a pattern. The first thing I did for this top was to change the yarn: I used Aunt Lydia’s Fashion 3 crochet thread in Purple #182_531, available from Red Heart Yarns.
Next, I had to make some changes to accommodate my large bust. I ended up following the instructions for the smallest size for the bodice back and the instructions for the next size up for the bodice front. If I had used the same size as the bodice front for the back, the garment would have been way too wide for my back width for the particular fit that I was going after.
SPECIAL NOTE: This type of adjustment is something I do to many patterns to accommodate my personal body shape. It is simply personal preference. Lace is very drapey and forgiving. Many, if not most, crocheters will be able to make the garments in this book without needing to make any adjustments at all.
Because of these changes, I had to adjust some other things. Because the instructions for the different sizes ended on different rows, I had to add a couple of extra rows to one piece. Because the back was not as wide as the front, I had to follow the shoulder shaping for the smaller size on the bodice front, otherwise I wouldn’t have had enough neck width space in the back. This resulted in a front neck opening that was a bit wider than the actual garment instructions, but I liked the way that looked. I could also have chosen to start with the shoulder shaping instructions for the larger front piece and just decrease on the inner edges until the top of the shoulders matched the stitch count for the smaller size. I didn’t want to take the time to figure out the stitch counts, though, so I took what I thought was the easier, quicker option.
Other than that, I believe I followed the instructions with no problems.
I had my top on display in our booth at the Knit and Crochet Show. Because of that top, we sold out of ALL the booth inventory we had ordered for this book! I wore the top in the booth part of the day on Saturday and also modeled it in the fashion show at the closing banquet on Saturday night.
Now to what you’ve been waiting for! Check out the rest of the fabulous designs featured in the book:
Find Mary Jane Online
Ravelry: maryjane2 (must be logged in to see profile)
Positively Crochet! Blog: http://positivelycrochet.blogspot.com/
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/mary-jane-hall
Ravelry Designer Fan Group: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/positively-crochet-and-crochet-that-fits-the-designs-of-mary-jane-hall
This has been a very long post, so let’s keep the giveaway simple. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post and tell us which is your favorite design.
RULES: You must be 19 years of age or older to enter and have a US mailing address. (Sorry, international shipping with tracking is just too expensive.)
Enter on or before 11:59 PM CST on Friday, August 14, 2015.
Blog Tour Schedule
- Vickie Howell / Knit Crochet Craft – 8/4
- Outstanding Crochet – 8/5
- Bonnie Bay – 8/6
- Crochetville – 8/7
- My Little City Girl – 8/10
- Yarn Thing Podcast – 8/13
- Hook & Needle Designs – 8/14
- GoCrochet – 8/17
- Turquoiz Blue – This is Crochet – 8/18
- Cute Crochet Chat – 8/19
- Hot Lava Crochet – 8/20
- The Crochet Architect – 8/21
- Crochet Renee – 8/24
59 thoughts on “Blog Tour and Book Review: Colorful Crochet Lace by Mary Jane Hall”
It was hard to pick just one pattern, but Tunique Unique Pullover is calling to me. Looks like a very interesting book.
Thank you Ann! Glad you like it. That’s one of my favorites too.
Beautiful !!! I love the green dress ooh la la flared dress but would make many more of these. Such a great book!!
Thank you Freida!
I love the tunique unique pullover. However all the patterns are wonderful.
Thank you Melinda!
I love the Brigitte Wide Belt!
Thanks Ella! That belt is such a quick project!
Hard to pick just one! I really like the Ooh La La Flared dress!
Thank you Carly! I’m not crazy about the belt they put with it. You could wear it with other styles or colors of belts but I like the dress better without the belt.
Love both Au Naturel Crop top and Michelle Ma Belle Shrug
Thank you Leann! I wish the lace edging on the sleeves had shown up more. If you want, you can add the lace edging to the bottom edge of the top
Thanks for a thoughtful and thorough review. I would love to try making the magnifique tunic and doily bag.
Thanks Cindy. The squares of the tunic you are are talking about can be put together in several different ways – even with longer sleeves, and I show how the squares can be put together as a long poncho or shorter ponchette.
This looks to be a wonderful book filled with beautiful designs, all of which I would love to make.
My favorite, the design I would want to create first, would be the tunique unique pullover. I love the Lacy look to it and the angled bottom style.
Whoever wins this will really enjoy this book, for sure.
Thank you Teresa! I really was excited about making that tunic, since it is so different. Just glad the publisher allowed me to include some current designs. They don’t always want you to do trendy for a book. It’s different with magazines though. They have more trendy designs than books normally do.
Pick one favorite? Gosh, I like them all! Ok, I guess this one Tunique Unique Pullover. I love the flowiness.
Thank you Amanda!
I love all of them! A few favorites are Isabelle Sleeveless Tunic and Café Au Lait T Shirt.
I like the Parisian Gardens Circular Shawl. I like the fullness of the shawl, because it looks like a great shawl for curling up with a book.
Thank you Sharon! That shawl is one of my favorites too!
Thank you for the great review. Picking one is so hard! I think the first one I would make would be the Cafe au Lait T-shirt. Thanks again!
Thank you Katelyn!
Thank you Susan! It’s amazing how most people have a different favorite 🙂
Thank you for such a great review Amy! I really appreciate it and also the fact you were willing to participate in the blog tour!
I love the Monique Hooded Jacket! All the designs are lovely though. Thanks for the chance to win!
Thank you Tricia! That’s my daughter’s favorite too,
They are all beautiful and amazing work. I think my favorite would be:
Haute Couture Peplum Top
followed by a close 2nd of the La Fleur Doily Bag. But, again, I really do love most if not all the patterns included… they are breath taking. Thank you for sharing the work and information on this author..
Thank you Deena! Those are 2 of my favorites also!
I love the Dominique dress overlay, but all are gorgeous!
Thank you Heidi!
It took quite a while to choose one – Au Naturel Crop Top
i like the cafe au lait t-shirt is something i like and want to make.
Thank you craftyone!
Such beautiful and wearable lace garments! Hard to choose what I would make first.
Thank you Suzanne!
Tough choice! I love them all. I think the Haute Couture Peplum Top is adorable.
Thank you Judy! That’s my favorite too!
I love them all; I guess I’ll have to pick Dominique because that’s the one I want to make!
Thank you Kim!
Everything that is–or can be made into–a tunic is for me, but “Michelle Ma Belle Shrug” is calling my name!!! 🙂
Thank you A Hendrix!
Love them all!!! The oh la la flared dress is so beautiful. That would be my favorite
Thank you Hilda! That’s one of my faves too, but I like it better without the belt.
All the designs are stunningly beautiful. My favorite is the Tunique Unique Pullover.
Thank you M Lu-fann! A favorite of mine too.
Such gorgeous patterns. It’s difficult to decide on just one, but my favorite would have to be the Haute Couture Peplum Top, as it caught my attention right away with its pineapple edgings, along with the textured stitches that give off a lovely ribbing.
Thank you Aly! My favorite too. The upper part of the top is worked with my Graduated Stitch Method of making shaped garments with no increases or decreases.
I love and will absolutely be making at least 5 projects. One of my favorites is Tunique Unique Pullover. I already own this wonderful book but if I win it will make a very nice gift!
Thank you Susan! Glad you like the book and found so many you want to make 🙂
Thanks for this review, Amy –
Love the Au Naturel Top – beautiful stitch pattern and so flattering.
Looks like a great book to have in anyone’s crochet collection.
Thank you Jennifer!
I love many of these designs including Au Naturel Cropped Top and Isabelle
Thank you Carmen!
My favorite pattern is Monique Hooded Jacket.. Is just love simple designs and this is so pretty. And I tend to get hot easy and don’t get a chance to wear sweaters so this is kind of perfect and not really to young looking. I don’t think.
Thanks for sharing Mary Jane Hall’s new book. There are so many beautiful patterns to choose from it would be hard to just pick one pattern. I will pick two: Magnifique modular and boutique bolero.
That is such a hard question as ALL of the designs are so lovely. If I had to narrow with just one design, it would be the Magnifique Modular Tunic.
I love a lot of these beautiful pieces, but I think my favorite is the Unique Tunique Pullover.