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.

Pinwheel Blanket- A Work of Many Ideas

The Pinwheel Blanket is one that takes a little different approach then I usually do; it is comprised of small motifs that make a larger motif, then joined together. I will admit, I usually think a little more simplistic, I have a motif and that motif gets joined to other motifs, so making a motif out of motifs…well that is like an ah ha moment.

Pinwheel Blanket www.lindadeancrochet.com

Pinwheel Blanket Crochet Now Issue 10

I did not make this realization on my own, I had help. I often believe the best designs come out of a collaboration, ideas always grow when you listen to others…sometimes for the better, like this one. I had worked the smaller motifs together, mostly to see how they looked joined together as I think the join point creates a really interesting effect. It was the editor of Crochet Now that mentioned that the block created looked great just as they were and should be treated like motifs, this allows the join point to become a highlight.

This collaboration has opened my eyes to many different attachment and joining, sometimes it just takes a different view to open up a new world.

So about Pinwheel Blanket, the initial small motif is only comprised of three rounds, so it works up quickly. It grew from a flower, and I feel it has a floral feel. It is at the join point that I see the pinwheel, with a feeling of the whirly-gigs I have seen in the garden. So I guess in a sense this throw has a garden feel for me. With flowers and whirly-gigs it does have an outdoor feel, and even the colors are bright like flowers.

Each small motif is joined to create a square that is the bordered with a main color and joined to other squares, this creates a patchwork and rustic charm while in keeping with garden feel. This is a great project that can be worked as a portable, take on the go and create a fabulous blanket. Check this design in Issue 10 of Crochet Now.

Shining Shells Throw becomes a Star

ScannedImageSo, I have stated before that I really do not like to sew things together, well I also do not like to weave in ends. I do not think that I am alone in this. However that does not mean that I do not enjoy motifs.

I know it can sound a little bit of an oxymoron, as motifs usually mean sewing, and usually mean many ends to weave, but they allow for little subtle art pieces in a sense. They add a completely different movement in a sense, especially to throws. The classic throw or afghan, is very practical, full of purpose, and yet a handmade piece of art. People put quits on display, yet often many afghans can have their own beauty.

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Shining Shells Throw Autumn 210 Crochet! Magazine Photo courtesy Annie’s

My latest design in the Autumn 2016 issue of Crochet! Magazine features a solid color motif throw. Shining Shells Throw, is worked in a solid color, worked join as you go, so that you have a minimal number of ends to weave and no sewing, all while offering a unique twist of shells. Essentially each motif is worked with you thinking that it is square, then the final round, you shift everything to turn it on point as a diamond. This definitely gives an interest in working the motifs, while adding a visual interest. The negative spaces created between the motifs add a nice lacy feel, yet do not distract from the overall feel of the piece. A modest edging ties everything together, allowing this throw to hold a place of interest in any place you put it, living room to bedroom, hammock to sofa.

Cover8The solid color also gives you the opportunity to really enjoy the way the stitches come together, the simple color leaves a bold statement, that may have been lost if it dancing in colors.

A Throw of Garden Tendrils, the Ivy on the Fence

ScannedImageThere is something about taking a simple skill, like making a crochet chain, and using it in a way that you hadn’t conceived of in the past to make you smile. That is how I feel about my latest design Tendrils Throw, in the Summer 2016 issue of Love of Crochet magazine.

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Tendril Throw Photo courtesy of Love of Crochet/ Julia Vandenoever

The throw is worked with large open, airy, and join-as-you-go motifs, which look delicate, but really hold its structure together quite well.

This motif was a resulting of playing. It was a while back, but I was working with chain loops, and I was experimenting with the effect that was made by twisting these loops to work the stitches. It might not seem like this simple concept should actually do much, and if it is worked without subsequent rounds it can just make things feel, well twisted. However it creates neat negative spaces, and actually makes the open work feel a little heartier without adding bulk.

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Tendrils Throw Photo courtesy of Love of Crochet/ Julia Vandenoever

Overall the inspiration was taken from ivy that was climbing on a wrought-iron fence, I think that the shells and picots that make up the solid spaces of this resemble leaves, while the chain loops form the iron work of support.

The pattern creates a throw that is large enough to cover a twin size bed, and if placed over a solid bed cover can be reminiscent of the heritage thread bedspreads, it can also add a bit of whimsy and feminine touch to a garden space.

I like how it ultimately came together, I hope you enjoy it too.

There is More then One Way to Join a Motif Together

ScannedImageWhen the average non-crocheter thinks of crochet, often one of the first thoughts is the classic granny square. This motif has become a historic staple, however working any motifs worked in crochet can have a fun, stunning, and classic appeal. The draw back? Stitching them together.

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Remove hook from working loop, insert hook into stitch to be joined to and re-insert into working loop.

I have stated it before, but I am a crocheter, not a seamstress. So join-as-you-go has been a savior of sorts for me. It has allowed be to work various motifs without having to stitch them together, but simply work a stitch into the adjoining motif and they are now connected.

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Pull working loop through stitch

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Complete the stitch, and continue.

There are various applications that can be used in join-as-you-go, but one that I have been enjoying recently, has a finish that looks like I’ve spent time whip stitching the pieces together, without ever picking up a needle and thread (or yarn). To work this Joined Whip Stitch, or Braided Join, is actually pretty easy. When you are ready to join to the adjacent motif you simply remove your hook from your working loop, insert your hook through the stitch you wish to join to, re-insert into the working loop and pull it through the stitch, then begin and complete the stitch you wish on the motif you are working on. Essentially you are bringing the loop through another fabric and then completing your work, there is nothing fancy, nothing difficult, just a simple way to weave the fabrics together.

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The finished look of the Joined Whip Stitch or Braided Join

The look that this technique creates has a hand sewn appearance to some, and a braided effect to others. It is a little slow, and only a little, as removing your hook and getting it placed and then reworking the stitch can take a little time, not to mention a little fear of the working loop being pulled out. However the technique is simple and can be worked with any motif pattern without having to change the stitch structure. So give this method a try next time you have a motif to put together, you may find that it makes your project a little more enjoyable, with no needles required.