One Skein, One Loop

I love the challenge of creating a single skein project, sometimes it lends itself to a fantastic idea, and sometimes it is just a practice of futility. However, I think this latest design is the former.

Scarf in a Loop is a simple attempt at Bruges Lace. Bruges Lace is a classic technique that essentially crochets a ribbon of narrow crochet stitches with chain loops on its edges. These chain loops allow the ribbon to be bent and twisted, while joining these loops together. So basically if you can draw the line of a ribbon you can create the design in crochet. This scarf pattern is drawn as a ribbon in a simple oval.

Scarf in a Loop, Crochet World October 2017 Photo courtesy Annie’s

The one drawback to Bruges Lace patterns is the number of rows involved. Often a pattern can seem intimidating when it lists hundreds, if not thousands of rows. So keep in mind that these rows are often only a couple of stitches wide.

One of the things I really enjoy with Scarf in a Loop is the way the color moves. The yarn, Lion Brand Unique, has some nice color changes and this design really highlights this. It is a bulky size yarn so it works up fairly fast, and has a nice weight.

Crochet World, October 2017, decided to feature this design and I think it is great as a gift for the upcoming holiday season, or simply for a quick accessory to keep warm during this ever cooling season.

Swirls That Will Brighten Your Day

Sometimes while crocheting my mind can completely wonder and I have no idea what I am stitching. This is actually a really therapeutic approach at times, it allows me to be productive and keep my hands busy while allowing my mind to day dream or work things out. My latest design Swirling Valley Circular Throw, in the August issue of I Like Crochet Magazine, actually was created this way.

Photo courtesy of I Like Crochet Magazine

I began working on a spiral motif, but then I began thinking of other things and before I knew it I had an entire throw. The stitch pattern is essentially that needed to create a flat circle, but you have to work more than one color, and thus more than one strand of yarn, in each round. This can be a bit daunting as you need to keep the strands from tangling, but I have found that by twisting the yarn in the same direction each time I switch colors that I can at least create a uniform tangle that I can easily untwist every few rounds. I know others that have easier techniques, using holders that keep the skeins apart so they cannot wrap around each other, or little finger rings that hold each color independently ready for use. However I have never really gotten the hang of these and simply just untangle as needed…this at least changes my task at various times.

Photo courtesy I Like Crochet Magazine

Swirling Valley Circular Throw is made up of only three colors but utilizes six colors per round, so if you wanted something to have a real spiral effect you could simply use six different colors in this throw instead of each color twice.

I like this design for kids, I can easily see it in bright vibrant colors to adorn a play room, or even in soft pastels to create a dazzling throw for baby.

I have an additional confession, when I started working the final rounds I was getting a bit exhausted, thinking that they would never end. This is typical of large circles, but the color changes at least kept it more interesting and manageable, so this did not become an un-finished project (UFO) in my work bag.

 

Parisian Champagne Throw-A Nice Little Piece

It is always a fun morning when I learn  that I have a new design out and published that I can share with the world. Today the Parisian Champagne Throw is available in the August 2017 issue of I Like Crochet Magazine is out and alive in the world.

This throw actually started out in a smaller format. The motifs that I have designed, I originally considered for a thread table cloth. I have fun working up the little round motifs and thought they fit together a bit like clockwork. However after creating a square contaminating 4 of them I felt that they would be a really busy looking pattern for a table cloth. Thus they became a 4 square motif in themselves, and then joined with others. As is usual I have worked these motifs as “join as you go”, so there is no sewing or seaming needed.

My decision to alter the original design from a thread table cloth, really was one of complete practicality. This design really works best with two colors and weaving in all the ends necessary for a table cloth…in thread…was a bit too daunting for me to consider.

The design is worked up in a heavier weight yarn then you might usually consider, but this helps give it a practical picnic use for these warm months, while still giving a practical warmth factor for cooler months. It is pretty easy to find two colors that you enjoy together, and this throw works great with any of them. Personally I really like how the soft cream really allows the coral to pop, giving a comfortable and subtle contrast.

This throw can also be taken down a bit, attempt it in a baby yarn and create a memorable baby blanket, without having to worry about meeting the gauge, as the smaller yarn and hook will automatically adjust the motifs to a correct size.

I hope that you give this throw a try, and share your progress with me. I still haven’t got a table cloth, but maybe the next design.

Learning More- Firelight Knit

Yes, sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. I have done this in many areas of life over the years, including designing, and my latest design is one such item.

The Firelight Knit Shawl was created upon request as a sister to the crochet version. Both utilize a yarn that has little stretch or body and adorned with beads. It seems pretty straight forward, I have translated Tunisian crochet to knit before fairly successfully, but I did not account for the beads.

Firelight Knit Shawl www.lindadeancrochet.com

Firelight Knit Shawl

I learned a lot, such as how much differently beads work in knitting. I thought it would be similar to crochet, in that you work a bead in a stitch and there it will stay. Crochet has a bit more securing properties in this manner, since it twists and turns in a stitch, whereas knitting is simply a loop. This loop can allow the beads to shift a bit more when being worked, or even when it is finished…so I had to learn some improvising skills and learn more about knitting then I had originally set out to do. However I am pleasantly surprised at how happy I am with the end result.

I had to change the stitch pattern a couple of times and adjust the needle size, but in the end I created a shawl with a spider webbing effect. The edges are not completely straight, as the beads near the edge tend to drag it down a bit, but I think that adds a bit of charm to it. I worked up the sample with 6/0 size beads, and this causes a bit more of the pulling out of shape. Worked with 8/0 beads the movement would be less.

Firelight Knit Shawl www.lindadeancrochet.com

Firelight Knit Shawl

What probably attracts me most is that it has a complete shimmer and a great drape. The flowing shape really highlights the wearer. It is subtle, not attention grabbing, but once it has your attention it keeps it.

Design Help- Outside Crochet

Not all designing involves crochet, at least not in my world. Since November 2016 I have been a 4H sewing project leader, this entails me arranging meeting times and helping guide the participants in completing project. Fortunately 4H encourages leadership from the kids, so it does not involve much instruction from me, as I am not much of a seamstress and sewing is not my favorite pastime. After all I crochet, and even work join-as-you-go motifs so I do not have to sew.

However in the course of these last several months the participants under took a community service project. So in addition to creating their shirts, and skirts, dresses and jackets, they also created a project to help Veterans. They arranged to teach the basic use of the sewing machine to other 4Hers at a large community event, then I aided then in creating a quilt square pattern that involved simple strips of fabric. They then sought donations of fabric and cut it into long strips to have their “students” sew these long strips together.

Quilt top created by my 4H sewing project

After a full day of instruction they had all the strips sewn together, then it was time to create the squares. I will admit I did help put some squares together, after all I did want to at least see my dining room table. The squares are completed and put together, now this quilt top is being donated to Quilts of Honor to be finished as a quilt and given to a Veteran.

Yes, I am proud of what they have accomplished, and their dedication and generosity is inspiring. It has been a really interesting undertaking for myself, watching the kids grow and understand themselves and what they like. Some of the kids actually created their own patterns and designs, other modified their patterns to create what they like. There are designers everywhere, at least in the sense that we are all creators.