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Ruffled Victorian Cowl and a “Ruffles as you Go” Technique

Posted by Will Seabrook on

Model: Rocio Oseguera

Let’s all celebrate the “first golden age of crochet” by making this Victorian Age-inspired Ruffled Cowl! You’ll not only finish with a classic, head-turning accessory, but along the way you’ll learn my hassle-free, “Ruffle as you Go”, technique for layered ruffles,  which doesn’t require fastening off every row or need lots of weaving in the end. It’s One and Done!  So, unless you are one of the rare crocheters that finds peace and enlightenment through “weaving ends in penance”–not me!–you don’t want to miss this CAL!


On another note….



Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo in the “I Love Lucy” episode, “Building a Bar-B-Q.” – CBS photo archive/ CBS via Getty Images.


My sincerest apologies for the problematic rollout (which turned out not to be nearly as “Grand” as we had announced or expected!).  Besides crochet, my family loves and takes pride in hosting parties and events, and we had carefully planned our calendar based on all the time needed for our creative team to get all the general media and materials ready for launch,   (crocheting samples, photos, patterns, and so forth.   However…we made a major mistake by overlooking and failing to completely test and prepare the technical side, such as proper web site and blog configuration, efficient online communications channels, etc, and at launch we left ourselves not enough time to fix bugs right away.  In fact, we have to “frog” and redo a big chunk of the tech environment,  and among other things I have been hurrying up the learning curve of WordPress and other technical aspects, so I can both make it up to you, and help prevent a recurrence of this kind of kerfuffle.  So far I’ve learned that for pretty much any blog function that I need and don’t seem to have,  I have to install yet another “plugin,” and usually to get the good ones that have exactly what I want, the key is simply to pay, pay, pay.  In short, seems like plugins are the same as “apps” in “WordPressian” dialect.



So hey, let’s now move on to the good stuff, right?

Incredibly, even with the rough technical start, I think the kick off was a smashing success!! We hadn’t dreamed of anything close to it!  We had no time to work on promotional materials, and zero budget for advertising, yet because of all you and your wonderful enthusiasm,  we’ve -already- hit as high as #2 on Ravelry with the gloves.  Our phenomenal Bonita Cals group, not even month old yet and not even had any CALs yet, has already grown to over 1,700 members. That’s all organic growth, such as real word-of-mouth; no online trickery or gimmicks to artificially suck people in and drive up numbers.

Best of all, is that our engagement numbers are even more mind blowing. Engagement is my measurement of success and by this criteria, we are one interactive, interesting and skilled and fast crocheters. Some are faster and have memorized and understood my own patterns better than myself. While I need to go back to written pattern they know it by heart.

I believe that real success comes from providing quality, sincerity, respect, value and fun.  The kind of growth and engagement you have shown so far makes me feel like you believe we offer those things, I cannot thank you enough.  My team and I will work tirelessly to live up to those values and expectations.

Lastly, I hope you join our FB Group. It is hands-down my favorite CAL feature;  I find it more valuable than even a real-life class. It a like a 24/7 hotline! (there’s always someone wide awake ready to chat) and help.




Did you know before being an actress, Lucille Ball was a professional model, and even modeled for a crochet pattern magazine, circa 1940. How absolutely precious is that?



will get a copy of my E-Book, BOOTIE CALL!


Thinking about Lucy, It occurred to me that in my business ventures, whenever something goes awry I get into an overconfident, optimistic, Lucille Ball-like Leader mode, trying to solve and manage problems I have no talent for,  and like Lucy, I end up creating my own series of ludicrous events. I tried hard this time, even to delegate–I tried hiring, managing, coordinating actual supposed blog pros, tried teaching them about our precious crafting community and what we needed, while each successive “pro” lectured me on how everything the previous guy had done was all broken, and now I’d have to pay three times more to start from scratch.  All of this in IT language that may have well have been from Neptune.

After the third “pro,” who had needed yet another FIVE days for the so-called “ultimate” fix that turned out to be penultimate at best,  I devoted 30 seconds to some really intense self-pity. It was the end of the day, budget was gone gone, and all I could do was try a post asking if there were any group members with some WordPress or blogging expertise, who might help at least things fixed up so we could finally get today’s post out the door.

As I was starting starting to work on this post, my little sis, Luanna Azulay (AKA, Bonita Patterns Top Model) texted me and says:

“Heya, I fixed your posts. Go check it out and see if it’s ok”.

I say: “What are you talking about? Say what? YOU, my SIS, FREE LABOR, right under my NOSE, had Blogging Super powers and I had no clue?”

Now that you got the updates let’s go over our project overview, supplies list and giveaway!





And a HASSLE-FREE Technique to Crochet Layered Ruffles

Model: Rocio Oseguera

I am so thrilled we are going to crochet along this most-awesome Victorian Revival cowl! The biggest reason is that I am proud to officially introduce you, as a CAL host partner, and the designer of this gorgeous piece, the most influential role model I’ve had in design, fashion, arts & crafts and business ethics. Drum roll:  My mama, the one and only, Rachel Azulay.

The most amazing thing I find, after watching her creating every single type of arts and crafts you can think of, and maybe some you’ve never even heard of, is that she can create breathtaking original works, with the most basic tools, with a speed and effortless that almost defies belief.  In fact, it is a recurring joke in our family how she can instantly get your measurements just by looking at you. She knows my clothing sizes better than myself.

She also transfers this unorthodox “measuring by eye” to all her interior designing projects. Yes. You hear me. She’ll take one look around at empty room, without taking one single measurement or note, then head off to the store. Every time I follow her around IKEA or Home Depot while she’s in her “zone,” grabbing this and that almost seemingly at random, I’m a nervous wreck and can’t just see how all this will fit in harmony.  Then, magically, it does, every time.

I grew up watching her creating masterpieces, learning lessons from her, like  “free yourself from ‘standards,'” “ignore industry trends (instead, create your own),”  and perhaps most critically–“Create things you love and make you proud, rather than things you hate just because they sell.”

Her most recent pearl of Yoda-Crochet wisdom became the Bonita Patterns core design concept: make something unique, yet, find a way to simplify, so others can replicate it with ease.

Here is another classic example of how my mom can create easy, fashionable and still equate a flattering fitting. This is her Crocodile Stitch Kimono, which, to our great honor, became the pattern for the first garment our FB group member, Monica Orey, ever crocheted, shown in the picture below. She shared with us that the construction was so easy, and all the compliments and pride she felt by wearing a top made by her built her confidence and now she’s hooked in crocheting all types of clothing. Her post was a major hit on our FB group!

If you are a dedicated beginner or an intermediate crocheter who’s still intimidated by making your first garment. You are in the right place. We love designing garments and it is just yet one of those projects that many fear because some constructions are unnecessarily complicated. If you can crochet flat rectangles, you can make and infinite number of clothing. The Crocodile Stitch Kimono is made of three rectangles.



3 skeins of Bonita Yarns Merino Dream in Sunset Shades (Sport weight, 328 yards/ 300 m; 50% merino wool, 50% acrylic).

On our next post, I walk you through the differences of traditional method of crocheting layered vs. the nifty time saving way my mama does it.

(P.S.  Do not fear. We will not teach you my mom fearless ways of ignoring all the instructions



US Size G (4.00 mm) and

US Size H (5.00 mm)



1 large size 2 in button


Yarn needle


In appreciation to your support, patience and following on our mountain road to great crocheting, we are going to add an extra prize on our Giveaway. There will be five winners instead of four winners. The prize will be the yarn for the supplies for the cowl. Make sure to enter our Giveaway below.

We are also offering 20% off instead of the usual 15% for the participants of this CAL. Use coupon code RUFFLESNOW during checkout.

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