I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Jane Hall many years ago at a CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) conference. She’s a very talented crochet designer and I love many of her designs! I’ve also had the pleasure of tech editing one of Mary Jane’s previous crochet books, “Crochet That Fits”. In that book, Mary Jane designed many crochet projects using her “graduated stitch method” for shaping garments. She uses this fabulous method to shape many of the projects in her new book, “Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 Chic Garments & Accessories”, too.
There are 22 garment and accessory projects in Mary Jane’s new book. Each one is made with lace: from a little lace all the way up to lace in the whole project. The projects range from small projects like belts, scarves, bags and capelets to larger projects like shawls, wraps, shrugs, skirts and garments. Each project is made with a pretty color of yarn (lace doesn’t always have to be made with white or off-white!). The yarns used range from lace weight to worsted weight, with the majority of them being fingering, sport and DK weight. The hooks used range from E (3.5 mm) to L (8 mm). Many of the garment projects include sizes XS to 3X. Each project includes crochet symbol chart(s) for parts of the projects (or the whole project for the small projects in the book). Those of us who LOVE visual instructions always appreciate crochet symbol charts in patterns!
Some of my favorite projects in this book are:
I love the shape of this pullover!
I love the stitch pattern and the collar in this bolero!
I love the comfortable look of this tunic!
I love the pineapples along the bottom of this peplum top!
I had hopes of crocheting one of the projects in Mary Jane’s book before my scheduled blog tour date, but life got in the way (in several very good ways). Here’s what’s been going on at my home in the past few months:
First, my son and daughter-in-law were here from China for a visit. It was wonderful to spend time with them again. When we went to China in April/May of this year, we spent the whole 2 ½ weeks with them, along with our youngest son, who was living there at the time. If you’d like to read about that trip, check out this blog post. It’s so nice to be able to spend time with our grown children, especially since our “nest” is empty! We even went to a Diamondbacks baseball game with all 3 of our sons and our DIL! It was great to spend some time with all 4 of them, which happens even less these days!
Second, we got a new puppy! Her name is Maggie and she’s adorable, fun, exhausting, funny and more! This is Maggie:
We rescued her after she was left behind when a family moved away across the street from my mother-in-law in CA (we were in CA for my niece’s wedding almost 3 weeks ago). I don’t know how anyone can leave a puppy behind when they move, especially a cute puppy like Maggie! We’re guessing that she’s a cross between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Beagle (that was the vet’s guess and we think it’s pretty accurate). Apparently, there’s a name for that cross in breeds: it’s called a Jack-A-Bee! We’re working on lots of “appropriate” behaviors, like “no biting”, “no chewing”, “no digging”, etc! She has so much energy when she’s awake, but drops after a few hours of play and takes many naps during the day. I’m finding that taking a nap is more appealing to me these days, too!!!
Third, I was the co-chair of the 2015 CGOA Design Competition, which meant that I received almost all of the design entries, cataloged them, photographed them, drove them to the conference last month (which was held in San Diego, CA), drove them back home and shipped them back to the designers. I finally finished shipping them all back last week, so now I have a little time to get back to crocheting! I just need to decide what project I should start on first!
Mary Jane Hall’s new book, “Colorful Crochet Lace”, retails for $24.99 and can be seen/purchased directly from Interweave/F&W here. You can also take a look at the inside of this book and purchase it on Amazon here. If you’d like to see all 22 of the designs in this book, check out this page on Ravelry.
Now for the giveaway part of this blog post. If you’d like to win a FREE copy of “Colorful Crochet Lace”, just leave a comment about the book in this blog post to be entered to win. If you live in the USA, you’ll have your choice of a hard copy or a digital copy of the book. If you live outside the USA, you’ll receive a digital copy. This giveaway will end on August 31, so don’t delay in entering! I’ll pick the lucky winner on Sept. 1 and will announce the winner right here on my blog. Good luck everyone!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at Mary Jane Hall’s newest book, “Colorful Crochet Lace”, and that you’ll check out this fabulous book soon.