When the designs for Wrapped in Jamie were first brought to life, the initial idea was simply to make a blanket from 12 squares.
As those designs formed into a CAL, a name was needed, and “Wrapped in Jamie” was the most obvious choice for it. After all, you can make a wrap, a blanket, a shawl, a scarf or any form of accessory and wrap it around you somehow.
I started a design for a bigger inner square around which the others could be arranged. It was called ‘Jamie’ and had a very masculine touch. Here is what the beginning looked like:
But wait – the story is not only about Jamie. He is not even the main character.
The main character is Claire. Would there even be a Jamie if there was no Claire?
Hmm, and don’t we hear again and again how Jamie is wrapping his arms or his kilt around Claire? What if this was a literal element of the Wrapped in Jamie project?
What if it is not just us, who wrap ourselves in something that tells Jamie’s story? What if Jamie’s story, written in yarn, is also wrapped around Claire?
What would a square look like that represents Claire?
Claire is a pattern that went through many different stages, evolving through experience and being greatly influenced by feedback and conversations with Wrapped in Jamie Clan members.
She was supposed to be the heart of a ‘Wrapped in Claire’ blanket, in contrast to Jamie, there are not enough elements about Claire’s life we know about to make it a 12-square story. So I settled for a Claire square.
In the very beginning, Claire was all about being a ‘Celtic looking’ square, to match the square border that had drawn so much attention.
The design was also very geometrical with a touch of female (popcorn stitches) in order to fit in with the rest of the squares.
In any way, she was put aside to become the star of Season 2 in the Wrapped in Jamie CAL.
A little bit of tweaking and some shy changes here and there to make her a bit more feminine were added as the CAL progressed though.
Little design elements and small features were added, a bit more rounding here, less square-ish there, add a touch of ‘out-of-the-box…
I researched some stitches (and I can tell you, there is a real niche!!!), couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I tweaked some ideas that seemed promising, added the Black Sheep crochet touch, copied even.
Something here and there to make her more… well, …Claire.
However, all that changing and swapping and fiddling only made one thing really clear as I progressed through the testing squares:
This was not (a) Claire anymore.
Meanwhile, even though it was announced that the next Season would be released as a complete package, people were asking for Claire, Claire, Claire.
When Claire was completely charted (thanks to my wonderful husband, to whom I am eternally grateful for giving up so much of his free time to sit on his CAD program to make these charts available), I just did not feel the love for her anymore.
She was incoherent, a patchwork of elements that did not feel connected, a puzzle gone wrong, a square without context and without proper story elements.
Claire simply did not feel alive anymore. From a designer’s point of view, this was a dead end. Or at least it felt like it was.
The only solution to cope with that is to go back to the drawing board. Start from scratch. Clean the slate, swipe the file, delete the record, chuck out the pre-occupation, conservatism and clinging to an old idea.
Take out the 4B. Be bold, be daring, be PeBa the Black Sheep!
No looking back. Start fresh. Get it together. Be open. Be receiving. Meditate on it. Make the call.
And most importantly: Make it worth the wait!
No pressure, right? (Haha!!!)
And as usual, when there is pressure yet yielding, desperation yet trust, haste yet patience, adding in a basket full of test swatches and a husband’s support, magic can happen.
New Claire was pre-designed within a day, charted within a week, and is now written, tested, re-written, re-tested and re-charted to be released before Christmas. Still way to go, but we are on a roll.
What's to come
Part 1 will be released on the 15th of December, with the other parts following in short succession.
Due to the hurry, the pattern is first released as a written pattern only with the chart. The photo tutorial will be added as an update and the video tutorials are being recorded with each part and uploaded as soon as they are edited.
You can find the free pattern page for Part 1 here:
The PDF can be purchased through Ravelry exclusively until the website is optimised and free of glitches. I want to make sure that your account on the website is working as it should and there is a bit of investigation involved to achieve that.
It is my understanding that it helps to have an account with Ravelry, as the pattern is stored in your library then, but it is not a requirement to have one in order to purchase the pattern.
You can get it here:
Claire Part 1 PDF
Get Claire on Ravelry with 20% off the purchase price during the first release week
Early Bird Special
Get Claire on Ravelry or the Black Sheep Crochet Shop with 20% off the purchase price during the first release week (15th to 22nd of December 2020). No coupon code needed, the price is automatically reduced for this period.
Add the pattern to your Ravelry cart
(You pay for the complete pattern; parts 1 – 4 will be delivered as updates)
Not on Ravelry?
Purchase through the Black Sheep Crochet Shop
(Spread the expense – get the single parts for the reduces price as they are released)
The whole Wrapped in Jamie Project is supposed to encourage crocheters and crochettes who are new to overlay crochet to give it a try.
Although classified as intermittent to advanced (or even beyond), it is my sincere intention to provide enough support for even an adventurous beginner to make it through the pattern and hopefully come out of it with new skills and increased confidence in their handcraft ability.
Therefore there is a lot of support in the form of photo and video tutorials (the latter both in right- and left-handed versions), a dedicated Facebook group as well as a growing library of “How to…” and “‘Petranese’ explained” tutorial with special stitch explanations and general tips and advice.
The aim to provide an interesting pattern with some new stitches or unusual stitch combinations or arrangements was another reason not mentioned before to re-design Claire completely.
In Part 1 we work a lot with Spike and split Spike stitches as well as a cute picot option in reference to grass and heather. This is the introduction, where you are gently guided to create a subtle 3D effect. We come to appreciate the wonderous option that can be achieved with simple stitches.
Part 2 is dedicated to herbs and grassy plants and we play with flat and bold 3D effects. We experience some rising action as step with one foot into the next chapter, some quiet before the storm.
In Part 3 we go all flowery with leaves, new stitches and a re-arrangement of familiar ones. This is the climax in which skill and handicraft is required and where concentration and precise counting is crucial. We work in 2-3 layers and there will be a lot of texture.
Part 4 is a pretty resolution with subtle references to the square borders that, well, border the Claire square if it is used in a 12-square project, one last new stitch and a conclusion of stitches you have learned and used previously.
I hope you will enjoy companioning me on the journey that is the Claire square as we make it together. Do not be afraid to reach out if you need any help.