Hello, Yarnies <3
Prepare yourself: the Social Worker in me is about to show her face!
This morning, as I opened my eyes to the sound of my alarm, I also opened my Facebook to see what was happening in the world. I was greeted with a rather 'in your face' message from Facebook exclaiming 'Renee! We made your Year in Review!' From there, I found myself watching a slideshow of the most memorable moments I had uploaded to the Social Network. There were so many smiling faces and so many happy memories!
I am so thankful for all these special memories. However... we all know that these moments are censored, right? We only upload those moments which present us in a strong and powerful way!
So that had me thinking, what was my life really like this year? What is my actual 'life in review?'
All in all...
Life can be really crap sometimes.
We are often forced to put on a brave face, 'toughen up', and 'just get on with it'. But this can feel like a bigger personal accomplishment than trekking up Kathmandu!
A few weeks ago, one of our very beautiful Yarnies, asked this question:
This post exploded! So many of our fellow Yarnies shared stories on how crochet assisted with their recovery from significant and protracted grief; loss, trauma; family violence; stress and anxiety; depression; chronic pain and so much more.
This post was so touching. It was filled with so many powerful people who have used crochet to triumph over life's greatest adversities! Reading this post was incredibly inspiring.
This is the perfect time to introduce you to our latest Yarnish Makes Design and it's maker, the newest member of the Yarnish Makes Design Team.
Introducing the 'Grace Top' by Natasha Thorley to our Yarnish Makes Collection
I really hope I do this blog post justice. If there was ever a design that held so much passion and strength, its the Grace Top, by Natasha Thorley of Buttonnose Crochet (keep reading for purchase details!).
The Grace Top means something very special to Nastaha, and, now by extension, to the Yarnish Family:
When discussing her latest design, Natasha stated that she chose the name 'Grace' for her beautiful garment as it is derived from the Latin word gratus meaning pleasing, 'thankful'. In English, it can be defined as 'grateful'. Natasha stated that she was so grateful for the opportunity at Yarnish.
Although, when chatting to Natasha further about the name of her garment, she revealed a very distressing memory as to why crochet, for her, is 'more than just a hobby':
"I have tried knitting, failed. I have done scrapbooking, but life got busy. But then 8 years ago I started crocheting again as I needed something to help with anxiety and depression. I had been through a divorce and a 2-year custody battle and as a result, my mental health had suffered. Crocheting helped to soothe my soul. It gave me purpose again and, in a way, saved my life. I was in a dark place and it pulled me out... we all need quiet time to gather our thoughts and help with stress. This is also known as a 'grace' period. My grace period is when I come home for lunch from work and if it has been a busy morning, I like to pick up my crochet and even if I only complete a few stitches, in that moment it reduces my stress and helps to quiet my thoughts."
There is so much life, love and strength in this design! How lucky we all are to have this beautiful and healing craft <3
Full of Grace
Natasha has truly made a garment for all shapes and sizes! From XS to 4XL, Natasha's 'Grace Top' is a lover of all women's bodies, no matter your shape or degree of curviness!
When speaking about the inspiration behind her design, Natasha said:
"As a plus-size woman, I wanted to design a comfortable summer top that was loose around the waist and hips. I also wanted the top to be practical, meaning all you need is a camisole under it, the [fewer] layers the better in summer, right?"
The top features a loose fit bodice with some beautiful 'lacy-like' work on the shoulders and collar. It looks very detailed but it's simple to achieve, once you know how ;)
Some Helpful Tips and Tricks from the Buttonnosed Designer herself <3
When working on her 'Grace Top' design, Natasha says:
"If you have never made a garment before, it is best to read the whole pattern and make your gauge swatch. If you don’t understand something, please do not hesitate to ask."
She also suggests:
"Swatch! Swatch! Swatch! Some testers found they had to change hook size to meet gauge. It is so much easier making a 15cm x 15cm swatch than having to frog hours of work because your measurements don’t match the pattern. Also too, when working the body, take breaks as the continuous round of Hdc can be a little tedious, but the result is worth it."
Natasha is no stranger to designing. With a huge number of followers on Instagram, there is no question that Natasha has so much special talent. From blankets to clothing, and everything in between, Natasha is a master at all things crochet!
When browsing Buttonnose Crochet's Ravelry page, you will instantly find her love for colour and shape. Her pallet is bold, yet regal and elegant. I love this about her page, there is a perfect balance of traditional crochet meets youthful and modern.
Her creations lend themselves to more 'practical', and she describes her style as 'steering clear of fads'. She certainly paves her own path, with her consistent use of textured and/or open stitches, which certainly adds interest to all her pieces. When I asked Natasha about her 'style', she said that she will often 'get bored doing the same stitches all the time'. She used an example of her 'Carnival Blanket', stating that this really threw her outside her comfort zone. Conquering this design, with such a high degree of technicality, she considered a huge milestone and really helped solidify her confidence as a designer and maker. I think we can all agree 'wow!', right?!
The Grace Top Pattern and supplies are now available at Yarnish!
Natasha Thorley - Grace Top using Whirl/Whirlette Combo - $8 PDF, available here.
Whirls are available here
Whirlettes are available here.
Not sure how much yarn you need? I have copied the sizing and measurements for the top below:
XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL)
To fit bust: 30” (34”, 38”, 42”, 46”, 50”, 54”, 58”)
Finished bust: 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60)”
Finished Hips: 36 (40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64)”
Tee length: 22 (22, 23, 23, 24, 24, 25, 25)”
Tunic length: 27 (27, 28, 28, 29, 29, 30, 30)”
1 x Scheepjes Whirl
0 (0, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2) Scheepjes Whirlette
Total Meters: 850 (1000, 1150, 1250, 1350, 1450, 1550, 1650)
Natasha's social media handles
Give her a follow and a like!
And that's all for tonight!
I apologise if you thought this blog post was a little long. But Natasha's story and the stories shared by so many of our Yarnish members really touched me. I wanted to be able to capture their strength in this very special debut of the Grace Top.
Happy Yarning <3