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The top five

Published 4 months ago • 3 min read

Hi,

I'm sure that in the Christmas excitement you haven't exactly been waiting with baited breath for me to continue the countdown of my personal favourites from my career but let's pretend you have and all get excited for MY TOP FIVE! WOO HOO

5/ Log Off Shawl

Mystery crochet a-longs were often when i got most creative and this one kept you all guessing in the best way. Its a pattern I will almost certainly make again as I tackle the residual stash that I've always kept for swatching ideas out. I see a glorious technicolour one in my future - inspired by so many of your gorgeous creations. I think a mix of textures will really appeal to my tactile side too. Inspired by quilt patterns its like wearing a blanket out and something I wear a lot.

4/ Contour Shawl

Our best selling pattern. At darker times I have felt the weight of this and thought I'd never design a shawl like it, and I am not sure I ever did. Its such a gloriously simple pattern that gives a really striking effect and I've seen it made in every style and weight of yarn and it always looks superb. The finished shawl is extra special as the yarn was a gift from a dear friend when she lived away and it really brings out the green flecks in my eyes.

3/Conker Time Hat from The Accessories Project

This hat is in such firm winter rotation that I even have a matching lipstick to go with it. Everything about it is perfect to me, the colour, the subtle pretty lace and the double brim that keeps it so comfortably in place whatever I am up to. I also have the fondest memories of this photoshoot - it was the hottest day of the year, 27C in the shade of the forest I think. Out of shot I am wearing flip flops and shorts and Kat stood me in the shade and overexposed the pictures to make it look like it snowed. Lots of shouting "look colder" and lots and lots of laughing.

2/Anvard Cardigan from Everyday Wearables

A cardigan so good that it spawned a whole book! I didn't even weave in the ends or shoot it before I first wore this. I knew it was something special. It uses the same magical fit circular yoke top down ratios that I worked out for the Aberfoyle cardigan and used ever more. Chatting in the hotel with knitty friends over a chinese after a yarn show Lisa of for the love of yarn showed me the version she was working up in just two colours and how it made it look totally different. I was so inspired by this i went and had a play some more and realised that I could not just vary the colour combinations but I could plug in different patterns at the yoke, or the body and sleeves and it would still work well. I could even use the same ratios for a sweater version. And I practiced all these in miniature on a hat - the Pick and Mix book was born! Still a favourite of mine to wear, Anvard is one variation of a very special theme.

1/ Reverse Gear Shawl

from The Shawl Project Book Two

This one will be a surprise to many of you as this shawl will have flown well under your radar. Hidden inside a book and with a slightly off putting, and perhaps not justified, advanced rating, I've seen precious few versions made.

The reason I love this pattern so much is that it is a very elegant design that was very hard won. Like transposition, this pattern takes a stitch pattern and riffs on it, a single colour pattern becomes a two colour overlay which then becomes overlay only to form the lace. Not only that but the reverse side makes a different and equally beautiful pattern so it's a fully reversible shawl. I was working on the design during a camping trip and ripped it out at least three times a day through the whole long weekend; much to everyone's amusement. But so much satisfaction when I finally got each element of the pattern to elegantly and evenly increase along the neck edge to grow into a marvellous shawl. It's got texture, it's got drama, it's got lace, its big enough to wrap up warm or drape dramatically - I love it!

So there we have it, my top ten - in the past I always refused to name favourites and it has been tricky to do so. I've loved everything we have put out as the crochet project because if we didn't then it simply didn't get published - we set the bar high for ourselves.


I hope, if you celebrate, that your festive plans are coming along nicely and you'll have some nice quiet time at some point to curl up with a crochet project. I always seem to cast on something new between Christmas and New Year, something for myself, and I am sure this year will be no different. I often close over Christmas but will work through until the 31st this year which means you'll get one last email from me before I go.

Until then - Merry Christmas

Joanne

The Crochet Project

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