Taking a Look at the “Extras” that make Crochet

ScannedImageI usually find myself to be a very simple person. I have crocheted for more years then I care to count, and have never thought about much more then my hook and my yarn. However recently I have started to look at “accessories”.

It probably came about from a ceramics class. A group of former students/friends arranged a day out to a local studio called “Color Me Mine”. It is apparently a chain of studios that have ceramic pieces for purchase, that you can then glaze and they will fire in a kiln, resulting in a personalized project that has a professional feel. At our studio day it was arranged for us to create our own yarn bowls.DSCF0937

A yarn bowl is a newer concept to me; it is a bowl that holds yarn but has decorative edge that actually functions in reducing your yarn from tangling. So balls of yarn are contained and do not run wild in the house and the pull of the yarn is from the same place every time. I admit, in the past I managed unruly balls of yarn by placing them in a tennis shoe or hiking boot, but this bowl seems to be much more effective. Of the finished pieces I had the pleasure of seeing, they are all beautiful.

Funny how one open door to a new thought can open the door to many others. As this experience had me looking at travel holders for hooks, bags, hooks in general, even coffee cups. So when I was attempting to find a “thank you” gift for a friend, instead of looking at the usual yarn, I began thinking of other possibilities. One that I have decided to undertake and make myself, a hook/needle travel case.

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Small pouches for hooks/needles

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Wrong side of sewn fabric, 2 sets of pockets are created with folds. (hook/needle pouches sewn on the main pocket)

It has not been as difficult as I would have first thought. I found a fabric I liked in my stash, a velvet or velour type in a dark green; I cut a rectangle of 13”x 30” (33x76cm), and then began folding. I folded up 8” (20cm) from the short side, and then folded it in half back down (so that the velvet side of the fabric was facing outward, while at the same time lining the pocket). I then began to stitch creating a pocket and then slender pocket of ½” (1cm) width to hold hooks/needles. I then created a second set of pockets behind the hooks, by pulling up the recently sewn pocket about 2 ½” (6cm) and stitching the sides down. I also placed a couple of additional seams over the stitches created in the hooks sleeves to make about 3” (7.5cm) pouches.

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The crochet fabric is sewn to the velvet fabric, wrong sides together.

Now that the stitching was done, it was on to the crochet. I made a piece of crochet fabric from some rayon yarn I had, and utilized the Tunisian simple stitch to highlight the subtle color changes, in a size of a 9”x13” (23x33cm)rectangle. Matching the 13” (33cm) sides of the velvet and the crochet, with wrong sides together I stitches the seam, as well as at either end of the of the 9”(23cm) side of the crochet fabric to the velvet piece, and finally stitched the last side of the crochet fabric in place leaving the remaining velvet fabric unstitched (this is used to fold over the hooks/needles). Then sew on some ribbon ties and I think it looks good.

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Tied up and ready to go!

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Just needs to be filled!

Looking at accessories for the world of fiber, is opening up many new ideas….it seems like a whole new world!

Blossom Spins and Flowers on the Beach Thoughts

ScannedImageThis is a busy time of year. All the work that filled my days at the end of summer is now making its way onto the newsstands to be enjoyed!

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Photo courtesy of Annie’s

The special issue of Crochet! Magazine, Quick & Easy Crochet Accessories features two of my new designs (one if actually featured on the issue cover!), and I thought that I would share some of what went into creating them.

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Blossom Spins Wrap Photo courtesy of Annie’s

The first one, the Blossom Spins Wrap, grew out of some playing I was doing with the picot stitch. The picot is usually noticed in edges and is created from a set of chains that are slip stitched back to the same base stitch. This creates a little nub, or dot, along the stitch pattern. I was attempting to see what other secrets this little decorative stitch might hold. In doing so I made the chains a little longer and now created a loop that could become the foundation for other stitches! In the case of the wrap these picots hold a shell stitch that allows for a subtle wave, making these square motifs appear more like diamonds.

The other real charm of this design, the color work, is all done by the yarn. Both of these designs I am discussing are created with Deborah Norville Serenity Garden Yarn, it is a light weight yarn that is silky and soft. It comes in a wide array of color ways and creates lovely striping, and in the result of the motifs, creates a beautiful speckling of color highlights.

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Flowers on the Beach Photo courtesy of Annie’s

The other design, the Flowers on the Beach Bag, came into being from the flowers. The flowers are a design that I have played with, creating the petals large and wide in just a single row, and then basically outlining the edge of the flower by working a round of single crochet directly on top. I have found that I really enjoy these flowers, and they, like the motifs in the wrap, offer a great way for the color of the yarn to create a fun dimension. The mesh bag that the flowers are worked onto is quite simple and easily collapses, not taking up much room when being stored, but then can readily carry all the necessities for a day at the farmer’s market or a picnic at the beach.

In retrospect these designs really sing due to the color of the yarn, the structure of the designs themselves hold a good positive and negative space, but the color is what catches your eye and draws you in more. I might have to play with some more color changes and see how that can affect the outcomes of designs that I feel are missing something….you’ll never know when the right combination will come together.