It's the start of a new chaincreative term and we're already here with our uniform pin-sharp and our new cutting-wedge haircut so no fashion disasters anticipated!!! That's because we're in a well-dressed frame of mind and looking forward to the Chaincreative Fashion Week A/W 2008 (I know, it should strictly be S/S 2009 but, er, I don't care).
I'm going to put up the flags for fashion - and I don't mean anything shapeless and drapey - and say that it's time to put fit back into crochet clothes. It's difficult for us Fashy victims who want to crochet to find anything contemporary which doesn't perhaps belong in the dressing-up box. Until now that is,...
...the publishers are beginning to wise-up with wonderful books like Susan Cropper's Vintage Crochet (selling fast, I'm glad to say) and the growing interest in vintage patterns (check out the web-sites on the right column).
The big problem is that the fashion herd move swift and unpredictably so it's hard for the published material to keep relevant. That leaves the yarn manufacturers and they aren't always the most responsive. I'm going to give a qualified hurrah for a few companies here and urge you to pester them for more thoughtful and challenging designs.
I think it goes without saying that Rowan have long served us well but the number of crochet patterns is heavily out-weighed by knit. Amongst the manufacturers that I've scanned on my radar, two US yarn suppliers, Lion and Berroco have moved into view. For those outside North America this isn't a problem; patterns are either free or are often available as downloadable PDF.
Berroco have a small selection of crochet clothing and these two patterns caught my eye. A simple little vintage jacket called Iota and for the sewing bees, Nell, a cute crochet yoke for a dress.
Lion Brand yarns are really quite intriguing. Last week, as you know, I had alot of fun browsing and chatting at Prick your Finger, and Rosemary showed me a couple of designs she was working on for Lion. Now that made me wonder if they're opening their design eyes a bit wider.
This is confirmed to some extent in their fashionshow in the Spring for their Fall/Winter collection at the Craft and Hobby show which revealed their lastest designs. Very interesting. I really liked the direction they're going in. There's a comprehensive list on Craftzine and more pictures on Natalie Zee Drieu's Flikr pages. My favourites are the adaptions of interior accessory patterns, Intarsia Brocade Afghan (the jacket is at the top of the post) and Jolt of Colour Afghan. Both have been adapted into garments which are totally within one's range of skills I think.
Make One Yarn Studio have a nice little collection too and the creamy sweater is very nicely shaped. NaturallyCaron.com have this sweet Aqua Aloha Top which is our third picture of the post.
The last word can go to a book I've been eyeing up, Double Stitch, from Interweave Press. The patterns from here could keep me safely tucked up for the winter!!