Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The phrase "crochet with cotton" has always conjured up visions of doilies, lace table cloths, and dainty crocheted tops and baby dresses, all from days gone by. But for me, today especially, "crochet with cotton" means so much more. The marketplace provides a huge selection of cotton fibers and cotton blends that the designer's imagination can utilize with endless creative possibilities.

Just look at all of the fabulous cotton choices that are currently available both online and off:

  • Paton's Grace - a 100% mercerized cotton with a sheen and drape just right for crocheting garments. 20 great colors. DK weight.
  • NY Yarn Co's NY Cotton - another 100% mercerized cotton great for fashion patterns. 12 wonderful colors. DK weight.
  • Lion Brand's Lion Cotton - a fabulous worsted weight 100% cotton in a gorgeous array of 32 beautiful colors.
  • Lion Brand's CottonEAse - a 50/50 blend of cotton and acrylic that combines beautifully with our Paper Raffia and also comes in a selection of 21 fabulous colors.
  • Plymouth Yarn Co's Fantasy Naturale - A super 100% mercerized cotton in an unbelievable rainbow of 37 solid colors and 33 ombres.
  • Berroco's Cotton Twist - 70% cotton, 30% rayon. A fabulous blend that has the look of silk, and comes in 35 luminous colors.
  • Universal Yarn Co's Cotton Supreme - another fabulous cotton. 20 awesome colors and worsted weight.
  • Fibra Natura's Cottonwood - an organic cotton in a surprising selection of 23 colors

If you're looking for organic cottons, all of the above listed yarn companies carry at least one line. You must visit each of their websites to keep track of all the fashionable, yet durable cottons, cotton blends, and organic cottons that are currently offered in the marketplace. And we haven't even mentioned the old standby cotton threads offered by Coats n Clark.

Plus. . . if you're looking for a more economical buy, try Bernat's Handicrafter Cotton (30 solid colors, 50 ombres), Lily's Sugar n Cream (21 solid colors, 41 ombres), or Coats n Clark's Creme de la Creme (very similar to Lily). Each of these is DK to worsted weight. And, besides being a great buy, the economical cottons still deliver a quality product in a myriad of marvelous colors.
As a crochet designer myself, I am very partial to natural fibers; but I also include some of the cotton blends in my designs. Cottons as well as cotton blends are no longer considered a "summer only" choice for garments. All of the offerings in this article's line-up provide unlimited design possibilities for all four seasons. I am personally a big fan of cotton sweaters worn all through the fall and winter months.

I have chosen to carry NY Cotton, Lion Brand CottonEase, and a wonderful, very colorful line of cotton produced in Mexico (Omega Otono) on my website I am adding a couple of combination patterns to the M.E. Nolfi Designs line of patterns that use both Paper Raffia and one or more of the cottons just mentioned (the two hats pictured above and other patterns). Look for the new patterns and the cotton yarns on my website sometime during April of this year.

Right now, my design attentions are also being funneled into a very enjoyable crochet book concept that will be available by March 2010. I'm putting all of my positive, passionate design energy into this book. I hope you'll be happily anticipating it's arrival. I'll keep you posted about the book's title and contents as it gets closer to the printing process and publication date. I'm so excited. And, of course, you will definitely see several scrumptious patterns included for "crochet with cotton" that are very special to me and (I hope) very worth the wait.

Just remember. . . since the current fiber market includes such a comprehensive selection of cottons and cotton blends, the phrase "crochet with cotton" has the potential to become a designer hot button phrase that should inspire crochet fanatics like us to grand heights of glorious creative design possibilities.


Instant Expert Crochet Edited by Katy Bevan. . . . . is a comprehensive compilation of crochet basics, as well as a continuing primer that pushes the beginning crocheter to intermediate status without a hitch. If a crocheter could have access to only one crochet book. This is it. It's like an encyclopedia, only better. The variety of patterns included will keep you inspired and learning new crochet stitches and techniques for quite some time. It's also an exceptional value in our Crochet Shoppe - Now 20% off retail.

Rowan's Crochet Workshop by Emma Seddon and Sharon Brant. . . . is a fabulous crochet course divided into six separate workshops featuring 1) Basic Stitches, 2) Making Stripes, Edgings, and Seams, 3) Shaping Crochet, 4) Creating Textures and Lace, 5) Making Garments, and 6) Embellishing Crochet. What a wonderful way to learn everything about crochet! And, of course, it's available in our Crochet Shoppe. Now - 20% off retail.

Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman. . . . . is a wonderful collection of colorful and creative motifs in all sizes and shapes. The only thing missing is a pattern or two that shows what you can do with all these shapes. Even without the patterns, Eckman cleverly provides "food for thought" to get your creative juices started. Plus, she provides a great way to use up all of your fabulous leftover yarns. You can purchase this marvelous motif primer in our Crochet Shoppe. Now 20% off retail.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Crochet With Paper Raffia

Paper Raffia is IN STOCK in the Crochet Shoppe at And. . .

In case you're wondering how Paper Raffia works up as a crocheted fabric, it's absolutely wonderful. Take a close look at the four photos above. Those are all made from Paper Raffia and a size I Boye aluminum crochet hook. The stiff nature of Paper Raffia makes it perfect for accessories like handbags, hats, belts, baskets, luggage, portfolios, and laptop bags (to name a few).
This "fun stuff" comes in 18 gorgeous and fashionable colors on 100 yd spools. Most of the patterns require only one, two, or three spools to complete. And, of course, Paper Raffia is available in our Crochet Shoppe - $4.95/spool.

The Crochet Shoppe carries 18 Colors . . .

Right now, the Crochet Shoppe carries 18 colors of Paper Raffia. And there are eight patterns currently available, designed by M.E. Nolfi exclusively for use with Paper Raffia (or a combination of Paper Raffia and a double strand of cotton in DK or worsted weight).
If you are a creative crochet crafter, looking for a unique experience with your crochet hook, I am absolutely positive that your encounter with Paper Raffia will not only be totally fulfilling, it will be just plain FUN !!! Check it out at

Just a Few of my Favorite Crochet Books. . .

Contemplative Crochet by Cindy Crandall-Frazier (Skylight Paths Publishing Co.)
Are all of you crochet fanatics familiar with one of the latest crochet books just released in the marketplace? This book is a new twist on our creative relationship with hook and fiber AND how it all works to keep us in touch with the spiritual side of life; each of us on our very own individual, but very creative spiritual journey. It is definitely a "must read", especially if your creative spirit has been a part of your existence since childhood (like mine has been). Or, even it hasn't been.

At this particular time in the history of mankind, many of us seem to be re-evaluating, or even re-discovering who we really are, as well as how we fit into the greater scheme of things from a spiritual standpoint. Contemplative Crochet is a collection of thoughts, theories, AND crochet patterns that help to put all of our re-discovery revelations into a new and very personal perspective. Besides that. . . it helps to validate our very own intimate connection to our beloved world of crochet. Available online at Barnes and Noble,, and Books A Million - $?

Crocheting on the Edge / Crochet Me

Another crochet book that is an excellent addition to your collection of crochet stitchery information is Nicky Epstein's Crocheting on the Edge. It is a comprehensive study of tried and true crochet edgings that have been beautifully brought into the new millenium with Nicky's very upbeat, trendy interpretations. Ms. Epstein not only creates a wonderful, whimsical collection of traditional edgings from her own perspective, she also adds several of her own very original and charming designs that make any crocheter's fingers "itch" to pick up a trusty hook in pursuit of the perfect project to add on an edgy Epstein embellishment.

In my opinion, Crocheting on the Edge will become a timeless favorite for all crocheters; neophytes and seasoned fanatics alike. It's simply a fabulous book. Available everywhere. . . including our Crochet Shoppe - $29.95.

Crochet Me by Kim Werker (Interweave Press) is a stunning derivative of the already popular crochet website of the same name. Kim Werker's marvelous journalistic jive is a terpsichorean effort at turning a phrase. She literally makes her words dance on the page. It's sheer pleasure to peruse through the thoughtful essays, the designer profiles, and the exceptionally creative crochet patterns.

The book is jam packed with informative, enjoyable crochet entertainment. It's a definite must-have in anyone's collection of crochet books; and is also happily included in the Crochet Asylum Crochet Shoppe. $21.95

Learn a Stitch, Create a Scarf

I would like to include a quick review about a book of my own designs, just released by Leisure Arts Publications. It is a stitch primer that features 22 pattern stitches with a variety of edgings, tassels, and simple fringes in a fashionable collection of twelve scarves, shawls, and wraps that pay homage to crochet's versatility, as well as it's identity as a simple creative process that can still yield very beautiful fashion patterns with plenty of texture and style. (I love every single design in this book.)

Available online at, and (of course) in our Crochet Shoppe at - $12.95.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I am a crochet fanatic, pure and simple. I am also an independent spirit. Which means that I don't follow the conventional route to anything. I love working with non-traditional fibers like paper raffia, hemps, nylon cords, and all kinds of cottons. My patterns run the gamut. But I particularly like designing fashion accessories and fashion toppers (which includes jackets, coats, sweaters, tops, tunics, and wraps of any nature). My design capabilities allow me to design patterns that are easy to follow for the more experienced crocheter AND beginners alike. I especially like to design finished products that do not look "homemade". I get a kick out of people asking, "Where did you get that?". And then I love the look of disbelief when I answer, "I made it myself." It's truly a wonderful experience to design or create ANYTHING. So, as you can see, I am not just a crochet fanatic. I am also a design fanatic. And I absolutely love it!