A Little Flirt in the Tunisian Skirt

ScannedImageI had a lot of fun creating the Flirt Skirt that can be found in the October 2016 issue of I Like Crochet magazine. It has a slight swing, and is inspired by a simple traditional full skirt. It definitely has a feminine quality, yet it is made from a linen based yarn and thus has a nice structure.

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Tunisian Flirt Skirt Photo courtesy I Like Crochet/ Prime Publishing

The entire skirt is worked vertically, so it is pretty easy to customize it to any size. All you need to do is add or subtract rows to make it bigger or smaller, and if you would like to change the length, simply increase or decrease the number of the beginning chain. All the shaping is created with short rows that give a great flare at the hem.

I definitely need to make this one for myself! I find that giving a little flounce at the hem gives a little more accent to my “curves”. Granted, I am of a large, okay, extra-large size, but that does not mean that I don’t like to have an outfit without some shape. I don’t want to wear a sack and hide, and this skirt allows me to help add a visual balance to my shape. I have found that this skirt shape is very flattering on many different body types.

The construction in essentially in one simple stitch, which gives the overall design a classic, and clean feel, while maintaining a pattern that is easy for beginners. For more seasoned crocheters it is a relatively quick project to work up, making a quick addition to any wardrobe.

It is constructed in a yarn without much stretch, and substituting a yarn with more bounce, like a wool, will definitely give this skirt a different life. While even a hand painted or variegated yarn can give a really great visual effect, causing a slimming vertical line.

Yeah, I am happy with the way this one came together.

Swirling in Tunisian Crochet- Some thoughts

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Tunisian Swirl Skirt Photo Courtesy of Annie’s

ScannedImageI have to admit, it is a little overwhelming, in a good way, that I have so many designs out in magazines at the same time. The latest designs out are in the Summer 2015 issue of Crochet! Magazine, and I would like to share some of my thought process of the Tunisian Swirl Skirt with you.

There is actually a lot going on in this skirt. I found myself putting some unusual concepts together for what I feel are nice results. The skirt is worked in Tunisian crochet, utilizing the Full stitch ( I discuss how I work the stitch here). This stitch is worked between the vertical bars, and when worked in flat fabric it has to be staggered in the rows. However in this skirt it is worked in the round.

Working Tunisian in the round has its own unique process, and after playing round with several different options on how to accomplish this, I utilized the Tunisian Loop Return Pass technique, that I discovered from Jennifer Hansen, the Stitch Diva (check out her demonstration here). It offers a join that does not create any open gapping, when worked in Tunisian Simple Stitch it becomes almost invisible, worked in the Tunisian Full Stitch, as in this skirt, you can find the join point, however it is much less obvious then other methods.

Another non-everyday technique that I utilized is the Clone Knot. I learned about Clone Knots from Kathy Earle at a Chain Link Conference (the Knit & Crochet Show), and use them in the lace insert panels that help create the swirl. I like how this stitch is created, I find it fun, but it also offers a nice texture, and allows an open kind of drape to a lace fabric. (I demonstrated how to complete this stitch here).

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My local newsstand this week, 4 issues that you can find my designs in right now…Spring 2015 Interweave Crochet, Summer 2015 Crochet! Magazine, April 2015 Crochet World, Special Issue Crochet Magazine Quick & Easy Accessories

Some of the other thoughts that went into this skirt may not be as obvious. For one, I do not want a skirt to show my under garments, so I seek out a stitch and hook size that will create a fabric that will allow for modesty, the Tunisian Full Stitch fit this build. With is modesty in mind, I also ensured that the lace panels did not climb into areas that I would like to keep modest as well. So you really should not have to wear an underskirt with this design.

Another thought that went into this design was how to you get a fitted waist. Part of this is created by working top down, and increasing for the hips, as well as allowing for a drawstring closure, so you can have a more custom experience with the fit.

If you wanted to change this skirt up and make it a little more or less lacier or have more or less of a swirl. This can be accomplished by adjusting the width of the solid panels the wider the panels the less lace, the more slender the more lace. Just ensure that the number of stitches in the round before the panels is divisible by the number of panels that you want to ensure that they come out even.

I had fun putting this skirt together and growing in my understanding of crochet while doing it. I hope that you enjoy it as well.

Swirling Into Spring- My First Design In Interweave Crochet

ScannedImageThe calendar says that it is almost the season or renewal and rebirth; spring. I just wish I could have seen a winter first, I think it skipped California again this year, however it still is a perfect time to welcome the bright colors, fresh ideas and clean lines. The Spring 2015 issue of Interweave Crochet highlights these; Okay I am a little biased, I have a design in this current issue. This is the first time I have had a design grace the pages of this publication, and it is a design I am a little amazed at how great it is. Spring15%20Cover%20resize

I used some different techniques in the Swirl Skirt, and they came together in a wondrous harmony. For one thing it utilizes an invisible increase, created by increases that seem almost random, but the locations are actually strategically placed to ensure a great curve over the hips while still ensuring a smooth drape to the fabric. The increases are not worked in the same stitch as ones worked in the pattern repeat, but in other parts of the stitch so that it does not create a large gather of stitches.

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Swirl Skirt Photo courtesy of Interweave Crochet/ Harper Point Photography

The most noticeable element of this skirt is the doodle on the thigh. When taking notes or writing I often make scrolling doodles on a paper, and the inspiration for this skirt is no different. It actually was a sketch I was doodling while on the telephone and my hand simplified other scrolls down to this simple swirl. I feel it adds a little something extra while also lengthening the appearance of the leg. It is created by crocheting into chain spaces that are placed in the pattern of the skirt, making an easy to locate stitch location, as well as not having to crochet around parts of a stitch, but directly into a chain space.

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Dual Button Closure Photo courtesy of Interweave Crochet/Harper Point Photography

I was really please with how the closure worked for this skirt. The waistband has a dual button closure located on the inside of the band, resulting in a clean finish appearance. It also makes it rather easy to custom fit, as you can move the button location to receive the best fit. I also feel that the two-tone color contrast of the band brings a highlight to a slimming waist appearance.

Now I just have to create one for myself, and I’ll be all set for a night off my mountain and on the town.

The Tentacle Stitch and the Sideways Skirt

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Crochet! Magazine Summer 2013- photo thanks of Annie’s

ScannedImageAmazing how time can come and go so fast. It seems like only last month that I was writing up my article on the Tentacle stitch that is featured in the current issue of Crochet! Magazine.

 

I know the name might sound funny, but to me it was reminiscent of an octopus arm reaching out to the rows not yet created. Some might

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Tentacle Stitch Spa Cloths, photo courtesy of Annie’s

 

wonder how I ever can up with this idea, well ideas come in the most unusual ways. This one came to me while looking at the color patterns on cow hides ( okay, I am a country girl), nature very rarely has color in straight lines, they often curve and bend, and I was envisioning ways that I could create these bends, and thus the tentacle stitch was created, you never know what you find when you play. By working the color over rows already created, like in Mosaic crochet styles I didn’t like the thickness, and working in same rows color change like intarsia or tapestry crochet I didn’t feel free enough to play since I had to plan the stitches by grid, so by free-forming I came up with this technique (and had some fun with it too).

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Sideways Skirt, photo courtesy of Annie’s

 

In this issue I also have a Sideways Skirt. This skirt looks straight forward, until you realized that is worked entirely on the diagonal. The reason for this….I really liked the way it fit. When looking at construction I have began to wonder why are all the seams for everything in the same places? Crochet lends itself well to designs that do not need to be seamed or at least only minimally. I felt that placing seams on the sides of this skirt would cause it not to drape as softly over the hip (nothing like an addition of a seam allowance to cause a pucker that makes my hips look bigger then they are), I like a nice smooth feel when I where a skirt, it feels womanly to me. So I designed this skirt completely on the diagonal so that the one seam runs across the body and blends in better. Also the shaping is done by changing hook sizes ( I know it can seem a little tedious to change hook sizes in a row, but it allows for a smaller waist and a flared hem, with very little effort).

Anyway, there are some thoughts on the latest designs I have out in the world, and I hope you are inspired to play a little too.