Where Designs Grow- The Bharat Star Table Runner

ScannedImageThe New Year seems like it has been a bit of a whirl wind, especially since I have several designs coming out in various publications over the next several weeks. I enjoy sharing my thoughts of where these designs grew from, and the latest of these is the Bharat Star Table Runner, that is now available in the special issue of Crochet World Magazine, Blue Ribbon Crochet (available on newsstands and for download now).

871501_BlueRibbon_COVERThis table runner created with #10 cotton thread (Nazli Gelin Garden, color #700-09), was a design that grew out my approach to seeing in uses for the picot stitch. The picot stitch is a crochet classic, which is often used in an edging, sometimes within lace stitches, and is essentially working a chain-3 loop among a row or round of stitches. This creates a little, for lack of a better term, “nub” to rise above the other stitches and create a visual interest.

In playing with this classic technique, I have used the picot, instead of an embellishment as a location of additional stitch work. I have found that increasing the picot to a chain-4 loops, this becomes an excellent place to put shell or fan stitches, that creates a nice rounded arch.

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photo courtesy of Annie’s

So while sitting in grass at my old high school, waiting for my kids to finish their parks & recreation tennis lessons last summer, I was playing with motifs. I was originally attempting to create large lace motif, but after working my fourth round by working a shelled arch in a picots I could not find a way to continue it further. I loved the shape that it made. I knew I was really on to something with it when the other parents waiting for their kids commented on how much they liked what I was making (once again crochet is an ice breaker).

I added the small motif squares to the mix, as a way to assist in a smooth join to the fabric, and believe that the square shape is a nice compliment to the star shape. I actually enjoy this stitch pattern enough that I have considered, several times, adding more motifs to make a wrap, or even a full table cloth.

If you do not feel comfortable using thread, this pattern can use yarn, and offer beautiful results as well.

I enjoy many of my designs, but this one is up among my favorites.

Hot Weather Crochet…It Keeps Me Cool

ScannedImageAs the hot days of summer arise I had a question asked of me; “How can you crochet in this heat?” I actually find it quite easy, and when I look back over time I think I understand some of the reason for this.
When I was in my youth, summer was when I had my free time, unlike some of the childhoods of today, mine was a time of being at home, playing outside. There was no differentiating the days of the week, Monday was just like Friday which was just like Wednesday, there were no camps or classes, just finding a way to play with my brother and sister, without fighting and getting on mom’s nerves. So during this time creativity had a time to bloom and picking up a book and working a project was readily done.Rising Temperature
As I grew older and the relaxing days of no responsibility and laid back summers waned, I was crocheting in my down time to actually stay cool. I know that thinking of temperatures at or near 100°F doesn’t sound like a time when picking up a skein of yarn sounds like a cooling off event, but in my home, which has never been comprised of air conditioning, sitting in front of a fan is the greatest pleasure. It is this sitting still, yet being productive that crochet has allowed me, sit right in front of the fan and work away. In actuality most of my leisure crochet has been created in the hottest months of the year. My hands have kept busy while my hands keep creating. In most recent times the yarn in my hands have been bamboos and silks, then just seem to speak “cool temperature”, or maybe even a cotton. This is just a little mental trip I think, but it does the trick and seems to reduce the temperature.
Okay so I might just reverse this argument for reasons way I crochet in the winter, sitting by the fire to stay warm, but it is too hot outside to think of the fire, I just want to think of sitting by the fan, so I guess I will find some crochet and keep cool.