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  • Pineapple Lace and the CGOA Conference


    Pineapples are the theme for this year’s crochet conference. CGOA’s Hall of Fame Award winner happens to be a pineapple lace queen!

    You know these are freshly crocheted because these yarn colors are the new ones we just received from the mill. Even my husband is amazed. (Not shown: Lavender Ice. That’s for another day.)

    If you’ll be attending the conference this month, come by our booth #203 (on the right after you enter the market). Lots of pineapple lace to see and try on!

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    • July 2nd, 2016 by Vashti Braha

    CGOA Award Event Plans


    I’ve mostly blogged lately about getting ready to teach and have a market booth at the big crochet conference next month. Here and there I’ve mentioned some special events I also plan for, such as the fashion show banquet and design contest. This year I’m making special preparations for the Hall of Fame event when my friend accepts the CGOA award. 

    The CGOA Hall of Fame recipient for 2016 is my close friend Doris Chan. We met at CGOA’s 2004 conference in Manchester NH. There could be no Lotus yarn if we’d never met.

    For the past few days I’ve been tracking down which of Doris’ earliest designs I have. My mom has the most important one of all, and she’s in Iowa. Back in March 2004 I used a pattern by Doris called Celebration Shawl to crochet a Mother’s Day gift.

    Back then I had no idea who designed the shawl I made. I just leafed through my issue of Crochet! magazine and thought it looked like fun to make. The yarn was soft, cheerful and warm. I knew my mom would enjoy wearing it in a dreary Iowa winter.

    Doris didn’t know that her design had been published somewhere. When she saw the bag I made to go with it, that really threw her off. The bag wasn’t part of her pattern. I just crocheted it on the plane from the leftover yarn.

    Of course she had to ask me about it, and the rest is history. The next year I crocheted her a silver wire bracelet that is a miniature replica of her shawl pattern. (Blue bugle beads kind of look like Fun Fur yarn, right?)

    Twelve years later, Doris gets the Hall of Famer CGOA award! This will be a very special conference.

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    • June 25th, 2016 by Vashti Braha

    DesigningVashti Lotus Yarn: Magazine Gallery


    Designing Vashti Lotus Yarn in the Magazines!

    Click each gallery image for complete information about the pattern, designer, magazine issue, and more.

    Crochet Pattern Magazines Have Been Awesome for DesigningVashti Lotus Yarn

    Each time I hear that a magazine editor has chosen to include a design using Designing Vashti Lotus yarn, it’s like getting a surprise Valentine. The designs you see above are published in the following crochet magazines, in order of appearance:

    • Interweave Crochet: Spring 2015; also Summer 2014. Designer: Doris Chan.
    • Crochet! Magazine: Spring 2015. Designers: Jennifer E. Ryan, Doris Chan.
    • Crochetscene: 2014. Designer: Dora Ohrenstein.

    It’s a slow and steady roll out, and that’s good. Here’s why. Crochet designers started requesting Designing Vashti Lotus yarn to swatch with in 2014. When a designer likes a swatch, s/he has two professional directions to go with it:

    1. Create a design proposal with it. Designers submit their proposals when a magazine editor sends out a call for designs. These calls go out several months in advance of a magazine issue’s publication, especially the print magazines. For example, a call for winter designs might go out in the spring. A digital-only magazine can sometimes have faster production times than print magazines, but speed isn’t everything. There’s nothing like holding a print magazine in your hands or rolling it up in your tote and dashing out the door. I leisurely page through mine several times and save them all.
    2. Produce a complete project pattern for it and self publish it as a downloadable single pattern online. This can be in Ravelry or on one’s own site, for example. Doris Chan and I both tried to get indie (self published) patterns out quickly for Designing Vashti Lotus yarn this way. This is often the fastest route, depending on the design and the designer.  (It’s about time I created a gallery for those too! In the meantime, checkout this gallery in Ravelry.)

    As a designer and also as a yarn company owner, I think a combination of print magazine designs and quick single pattern downloads is perfect support for a young yarn. Not only that, the print magazines are now supplementing their beautiful print production values with downloadable magazine formats and single pattern options.

    Designing Vashti Lotus yarn: a Youngster Design-Wise

    As I’ve journaled over at another blog, Designing Vashti Lotus yarn celebrated its first birthday a few months ago. I have to remind myself that it’s still a new yarn, considering that many of the those first months of its life happen behind the scenes. Designs for it are being swatched, submitted, written and edited, photo styled, etc.

    Yarn companies can sometimes shorten this lead time. The yarn company might be able to get a small advance shipment of a new yarn. Then they get it into the hands of a few designers a.s.a.p. This way, the designers can be:

    • Answering calls for designs with swatches of it
    • Crocheting up complete projects for photo styling, or for industry trade show displays.

    I experienced this as a designer a few times back when I worked primarily with magazines and yarn companies. It was exciting. One brand-new yarn didn’t even have a label yet!  The color was whatever the company could get a hold of quickly. Sometimes it was also a little confusing. For example, the design was accepted—great!—but the yarn took longer to ship from the mill than expected. The production deadlines had to be readjusted and squeezed in. Occasionally a design contract had to be deferred, or canceled, or a different yarn substituted at the last minute.

    After these experiences, when I hear from magazine staff that they’ve chosen to include Designing Vashti Lotus yarn in a future issue, I immediately ship it to the lucky designer!

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    • February 27th, 2015 by Vashti Braha

    On The CGOA Runway: Doris Chan’s Lotus Bolero and Lace Pants


    Vashti Braha in Doris Chan designs, CGOA runway ©Alex Iannelli 2014

    Vashti Braha models Doris Chan’s crochet designs in Lotus yarn. Photo © Alex Iannelli

    CGOA member Irene Iannelli brings her photography-savvy husband, Alex, to Chain Link conferences. Here’s one Alex snapped at this summer’s fashion show banquet, during the guild’s 20th anniversary crochet conference.

    Doris Chan designed the lace pants and the bolero in her signature construction method of crocheting in the round from the top down. The drape and fit feel naturally comfortable and sleek. She waited to design these garments until we developed the Lotus yarn for them. They’re made for each other.

    Click on the photo for more details on the patterns.

    Even Alex and Irene’s adorable toddling daughter modeled on the runway for the first time! July 26, 2014 at the Radisson in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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    • September 26th, 2014 by Vashti Braha


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