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UPDATE: We have a winner! Wlsmith, you have won the book! Email me at renee@crochetrenee.com with your address and I will mail it out. Thanks for reading the blog!


In 2007, I had the yearning to design original crochet patterns. In my quest to do so, I joined The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA), which has a mentor program. I had the great good fortune to be assigned Mary Jane Hall as my mentor, who was very helpful in teaching me the ropes. Over the years, we have become good friends, oddly enough, without ever actually seeing each other face to face. At that time, Mary Jane was working on her debut book, Positively Crochet. In 2008, Mary Jane followed the success of PC with Crochet That Fits, revealing her pioneering technique of the Graduated Stitch Method, where crochet fabric can be shaped without using traditionAl increases and decreases. It has been a long time coming, but F&W has released her most recent book, Colorful Crochet Lace.

Mary Jane’s design sense is classically feminine without being too over-the-top frilly. In this collection, she has created 22 garments and accessories that are catwalk-worthy. Mary Jane follows and is inspired by current fashions, and this is evident in her work. In the introduction, she reveals that the designs in CCL were inspired by all things French, including architecture, gardens, culture and yes, Parisian fashions. I was challenged to make a project from the book, and as I am limiting myself this year to using what I have in my stash, I chose to make the LaFleur Doily Bag. I used a skein of mystery cotton blend sock yarn for this project and went down to a size D hook, thinking I would get a smaller bag than the one in the book. I used brown satin on the outside to line the bag and a really cute, steampunkish print on the inside.

The bag is still very generously sized, so it will make a great project bag. I also put 6 pockets inside. I essentially followed her clear directions for assembly. The only other mods I made were to braid my handle instead of crocheting it, and to leave the flower off and tie the handle on one side with two tassels. My handles could have been longer, but I literally used ALL of the skein. (Stash busted! Yes!) She does include the directions for a really cute rose to embellish the bag with, if you wish.

And guess what? YOU, dear readers, have a chance to win your very own copy of Mary Jane’s book, Colorful Crochet Lace! From now until 12 midnight Central Standard Time next Saturday, August 30th, leave a comment on why you would like to own a copy of Mary Jane’s book. The winner will be randomly selected after the deadline. In the meantime, run over to Amazon and preview the book here, and put it on your wish list…just in case you don’t win it, you know. Then it will be easy to go back and purchase a copy! Leave me a comment, good luck, and make life DIY!