Astral Flowers Throw with Humble Beginnings

ScannedImageI fell in love with the Astral Flowers Square the moment it came from my hook, and still enjoy It as a throw in the October 2016 issue of Crochet World MagazineAs with much of my design style I happened upon this by playing and a little bit of a challenge, however the story of its beginning is not a happy one.


Astral Flowers Throw Photo courtesy of Annie’s

A friend and fellow designer lost her daughter last year, and as a way of letting her know that she was the hearts and minds of vast community a fellow friend organized a formation of a friendship afghan. She asked for six inch squares in various colors that had significance to members of the suffering family. She selected a certain type of yarn, so that everything would work together nicely, and agreed to sew all the squares together. When all was said and done enough squares were created by various crochet designers, and others in the industry, that in the end there were at least 3 afghans created, the Astral Flower Square is among them.

I originally sat down with the three colors and just began putting them together without thinking of the stitches themselves, but the difficult time my friend was going through. I created a total of 6 squares, no sense in having partially used skeins when more squares could be created. In this methodical challenge of working squares I worked one with post stitches, this grew into this square.

133005_small2I will admit that I was a bit taken aback by the way the color can be so deceptive and making the square appear to have more going on than it really does. At one moment I can see a star in another I can see a flower, there seems to be depth and volume in the work, yet it really is just a couple of rounds. The only magic that happens is that the post stitches create an illusion of the color being worked in other ways.

The other thing that I find striking with this square is that the sides are not actually straight. The corners are slightly higher then than the center of each side, creating a little “key hole” type effect. I really like how this shape works at bringing a little something extra to the throw overall, and seaming the squares in the back loops only of the stitches creates a simple framed edge. The one drawback to the square, used in the fashion that I have, is that it really does need to be hand sewn together, no join as you go…but maybe if I play with a different edging…no, I think I like it the way it is.

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.


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.