Archive for the ‘Crochet Charm Lace’ Category

Make a Snow Globe Doily with Crochet Charm Lace

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Imagine, for a moment, this dream crochet project: you can make it with leftover yarns or new yarns. You can mix yarn weights and textures. The finished piece can be any shape and size. Best of all, you won’t need to make gauge swatches.

Ah, what a lovely dream.

But wait! You can turn the dream into reality with a technique called Crochet Charm Lace. To do it you will need crochet motif patterns, yarn and hooks for crocheting motifs, waste fabric, safety pins, tapestry needle, scissors, and supplies for blocking.

For your first crochet charm lace project, consider making something small, like a scarf or the Snow Globe Doily shown here.


A Quick Summary of How to Make Crochet Charm Lace

  • Cut a fabric template in the shape of your choice. It won’t be part of the finished project.
  • Crochet motifs from one type or many types of yarn, weave in ends and block.
  • Arrange and pin motifs, face down on the fabric template and safety-pin in place.
  • Sew motifs together wherever they touch.
  • Remove safety pins and turn your crochet charm lace piece right-side-up.

HOW TO MAKE THE SNOW GLOBE DOILY

For the Snow Globe Doily, you will need:

  1. A selection of white yarns and threads. The yarns in “Snow Globe” range from No. 30 crochet cotton (very fine) to worsted weight yarn, and they represent many different fibers, like cotton, linen, and wool.
  2. One or two icy blue yarns the same size as one or two of the white yarns you chose. To be used as accents and for filler motifs.
  3. A selection of crochet hooks to give a firm gauge with the chosen yarns.
  4. Books:
  5. Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crochet Critters, Folks, Food & More, “Snow-People” pattern.

    Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, “Frost Flower” pattern.

    OR any patterns for small and large crocheted snowflakes and snowmen.

  6. Sturdy fabric to make a template in the shape you choose. “Snow Globe” is 16″ in diameter.
  7. Pens, templates (such as a large platter) as needed to make a template with fabric.
  8. Iron, press cloth, ironing surface, pins
  9. Patterns for Filler Motifs (see end of this post) and Small and Simple Snowflakes and Tiny Flakes (see tomorrow’s post)

Make a Fabric Template

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Cut out the desired size and shape of your project from any sturdy fabric. The fabric will not be part of the finished piece, but you need it to create the shape of the Crochet Charm Lace.

For the Snow Globe project, I traced around my largest round platter—about 16″ across—with a ball-point pen, onto leftover cotton twill fabric. Round is nice, but you can cut out a heart or square or whatever. You can even use a piece of clothing as a template.

Choose Motifs

The motifs used in Crochet Charm Lace are stand-alone crocheted motifs. In other words, they are NOT afghan motifs. We are lucky to have quite a few non-afghan motif books on the market, featuring everything from flowers to dachshunds to sea creatures.

I chose motifs from my own books to make the Snow Globe Doily shown here. The “Snow-people” are from Cute Crochet World. The large snowflakes are “Frost Flower” from Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights.

Two or three motif patterns are plenty for a crochet charm lace design. Pick your favorite flower and leaf designs, for instance. Or consider groupings like televisions and stars; oak and maple leaves; or clouds, umbrellas, and rain boots. Find several ideas here.

In addition to the main motifs, you’ll need small motifs to fill in awkward spaces in your crochet charm lace creation. A filler motif can be as simple as one round of single crochet or half-double crochet.

Choose Yarns and Hooks

Here’s a general rule for choosing yarn. If you have many textures and weights of yarn for your crochet charm lace project, keep to one or two colors for the major motifs; on the other hand, if you are using lots of colors, keep to a narrow range of weights and textures.

You are welcome to break this rule.

The filler motifs can blend or contrast. I chose DK weight cotton and wool yarns, No. 10 crochet cotton, an even lighter cotton than that, and even some handspun wool. My light blue filler motifs contrast with the mostly-white snowflakes.

Choose hooks that will give you a firm gauge with the different yarns. Consult the Craft Yarn Council’s yarn and hook chart at http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/weight.html and go for the hooks at the smaller end of the scale for each weight of yarn.


Crochet!

Crochet enough motifs to thickly cover your fabric template. I crocheted “Frost Flowers” in several sizes of yarn and thread. The pattern in Crochet Garden includes a “Fancy Flake” option, which I used for a few of the flakes. I used pale blue as an accent in some of the Frost Flowers.

To add variety, I made Small and Simple Snowflakes and Tiny Flakes. I will post the patterns tomorrow.

Finish the Motifs

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Weave in ends and block the motifs.

To block, hold small motifs like these under the tap, squeeze out excess water, hand-stretch and flatten each motif, and press gently using a press cloth to protect the crochet.

When a motif just won’t lie flat, pin it out and let dry.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Arrange and Pin

Arrange motifs right-side-down on the template, with an eye toward distributing color, shape, and size in a pleasing way. Take them right up to the edge of the template. If you have a few large or major motifs, lay them out, more-or-less evenly-spaced across the template. Arrange the other motifs around them, with edges touching wherever possible.

Squeeze in as many motifs as you can, as if you were working a crochet jigsaw puzzle. They won’t all fit perfectly together, which is what results in the lacy effect of Crochet Charm Lace.

You may need to make a few more motifs. Estimate how many and make a list like the one in the photo below.

Do you see spaces that need to be filled, but they’re too small for the regular motifs? Make filler motifs, like my blue sc-circles, to fill those spots.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

In this experimental arrangement for the Snow Globe table mat, I was trying to figure out how many more flakes and filler motifs to crochet. Before pinning the motifs, I turned the pieces face-down.

Arranging motifs will probably take more time than you expect. Feel free to take a break and come back later.

As I arranged and rearranged motifs for the Snow Globe Doily, my daughter said, “Mom, the snow people should be holding hands.”

Her instincts were right, as usual, so I put them closer together with their hands touching. I also felt they would look better if they “stood” on the Tiny Flakes, which seemed more like solid snow.

Act on your thoughts and ideas about placing motifs. If you have a pretty satisfactory arrangement, but want to try something else, photograph the original arrangement first. That way you can recreate it from the photo, if necessary.

When the motifs are exactly the way you want them, pin each one to the template with one or two safety pins.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Sew Motifs Together

Sew motifs together wherever they touch, skimming the tapestry needle under the loops just inside the edges of the motifs (see the photo below). When you tighten the stitch, the motif edges will pull together on the right side (which you can’t see at the moment). The stitch won’t show on the right side.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Note how the sewing stitch catches the loops just inside the edges of the motifs.

For sewing, use the thinnest thread or yarn you crocheted with. For heavier yarns, reduce bulk by splitting 4-ply yarns into two 2-ply strands for sewing.

Sew with yarn that matches the color of one or both motifs you are sewing. You will frequently have to weave in ends, cut the sewing yarn, and start in a new place.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

On the wrong side of the piece (which you see while sewing), small lengths of sewing yarn may show at the edges of some motifs. The stitches will not show on the front.

For many crocheters, stitching is not the most fun. But keep at it. It’s worth it. If you need a morale boost, unpin a finished section of your crochet charm lace project and peek at the right side. I think it will give you incentive to keep going.

Finish

At some point, you will finish sewing motifs together. Really. You will.

And here comes the best part! My favorite! Take out the safety pins. This photo captures the moment: pins gone and then…

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Set the fabric template aside.

Imagine a drum roll.

Turn the piece right-side-up. Live the dream.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

NOTES:

To supplement the instructions for the Frost Flower in Crochet Garden, please look for the photo-tutorial at www.textilefusion.com/bookblog/?p=881

Sc Filler Motif

Ch 4, join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.

Round 1: Ch 1, 7 or 8 sc into ring, cut yarn, and needle-join (also known as invisible join)–7 or 8 sc.

Two Scarves in Love of Crochet

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Snowflake Scarf by Suzann Thompson, Love of Crochet magazine

Publishing craft designs in magazines is all about waiting. And waiting. It seems like forever, but the waiting does pay off eventually, like it recently did for me. Yay! Finally I can talk about these two scarves!

The Sparkling Snowflake Scarf is a Crochet Charm Lace project, made of small, medium, and large snowflake motifs. The flakes work up quickly in Lion Brand Wool-Ease and Wool-Ease Chunky.

See how Crochet Charm Lace works in these posts.

Snowflake Scarf by Suzann Thompson, Love of Crochet magazine

Double Bullion & Shell Scarf by Suzann Thompson, Love of Crochet magazine

Crochet Garden readers will recognize the double bullion stitches on this silvery gray scarf, crocheted with Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Collection Alpaca Dance.

You’ll find the tall double bullion stitch in the Russian Spoke Flower on page 100 of Crochet Garden, and the shell picot in the Russian Picot Daisy on page 76. Here’s a tutorial for the Russian Spoke Stitch/Picot, which will help as you’re making the scarf.

If you can’t find the print edition of Love of Crochet in your favorite magazine-shopping spot, a digital version is available at the InterweaveStore.com.

Double Bullion & Shell Scarf by Suzann Thompson, Love of Crochet magazine

Mark Your Calendars for Great Crochet!

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

We have a lot to celebrate on March 17 this year. We’ll wear green or maybe drink green beverages in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Then we can mosey down to the nearest newsstand for a copy of the Spring 2015 issue of Interweave Crochet.

Interweave Crochet, Spring 2015

One of my career goals has been to publish a design in Interweave Crochet. Well, this is it! My crochet charm lace Dogwood Scarf appears in this issue. And here’s the best part: it’s on the cover.

I hope you’ll buy a copy, because it has lots more great crochet designs in it. Or better yet, subscribe. Find more information here: Interweave Crochet, Spring 2015.

Find a photo-tutorial for the Dogwood flower at http://www.textilefusion.com/bookblog/?p=892

Perspective Daisy Table Mat Finally Finished!

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Perspective Daisy Crochet Charm Lace table mat

I enjoy getting together with family on weekends and “watching” football. Why did I put “watching” in quotes? Because I usually only look at the TV when people get excited, hoping that whatever fantastic play just happened will be shown again. Sound familiar, my fellow knitters and crocheters?

Yep, I’m usually working on some kind of project. But it can’t be too complex, because that would keep me from listening to the conversation and the commentary. So the project for this season has been Crochet Charm Lace.

Perspective Daisy Crochet Charm Lace table mat

Last weekend, as we watched the Texas Longhorns play football, I finished the Perspective Daisy table mat. I’m still debating whether to add more filler motifs. Before I decide, it needs to be used for a while. That way, I’ll be able to see where they are needed most.

On to the next project!

Perspective Daisy Crochet Charm Lace table mat

The Perspective Daisy pattern is from Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights. Follow the progress of the Perspective Daisy table mat project in these posts about Crochet Charm Lace. After rereading these posts, I see that I was arranging motifs for this project during a 2013 Texas Longhorn football game. Time flies.

Step-by-Step Forget Me Not

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Today is National Forget-Me-Not Day! Who knew? Many thanks to Vintage Bell Broken China Jewelry, whom I follow on Facebook, for bringing this to my attention! National Forget-Me-Not Day reminds us to get in touch with friends and relatives that we don’t see very often.

National Forget-Me-Not Day has nothing to do with flowers, but what better day to bring you a tutorial for the Forget Me Not flower on pages 86-87 of Crochet Garden? You’ll need a small amount of yellow yarn for the center, white or very light blue for Rnd 2, and sky blue for the petals.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Rnd 1 is the brilliant yellow, single crochet center of the flower. Rnd 2 tells you to join the next color “with dc in FL of any st of rnd 1.” To join with a double crochet, place a slip knot on your hook and yarn over. Holding the yo in place on the hook, insert hook into the front loop of any stitch of Rnd 1.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Draw up a loop (as in photo). Now you have three loops on your hook, which is exactly what you need to finish the double crochet. Work the rest of the stitches of Rnd 2 in the front loops only of Rnd 1.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Here’s Rnd 2 all finished, with the yarn ends woven in. Do you see the stitches of Rnd 1 that have no stitches of Rnd 2 in them? We’re going to call those “free sc”s.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Rnd 3 is worked in the back loops of the stitches of Rnd 1, so you need to fold Rnd 2 to the front, completely out of the way, and insert your hook behind Rnd 2 into the back loops of Rnd 1. The first stitch of Rnd 3 goes in any “free sc” of Rnd 1.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

When you’re finished with Rnd 3, it looks like this from the front…

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

…and like this from the back, for a total of 15 sc.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Rnd 4 begins with ch 1, and then a sc in the first “free sc” of Rnd 1. The sc will seem fat and tall, because it is created around the sc of Rnd 3, and the ch of Round 2 at that point. Both those stitches will be hidden from view by this new sc.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Now it’s time for a little multitasking. Work the next three stitches by inserting your hook into the next chain space of Rnd 2 AND also in the next sc of Rnd 3. The ch-sts of Rnd 2 will be hidden inside these three sts.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

The next two sts go into the next tr of Rnd 2. Ah, simple.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Once again, you’ll be multitasking for the next three sts. They are worked into the next ch-sp of Rnd 2, AND in the next st of Rnd 3.

Whew! Done with one petal and ready to start the next petal with sc in the next free sc of Rnd 1. Four more petals, and you’re done!

I added some Ladder Leaves (page 71 of Crochet Garden) and filler motifs to my little Forget Me Nots, to create this piece of Crochet Charm Lace.

Crochet Charm Lace with Forget Me Not Flower

Dream Home—A Crochet Picture

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Keeping a crochet secret is very difficult! I wanted to blog about the Dream Home project many times. But I also wanted to enter it into the Crochet Guild of America Design Competition. One of the rules is that an entry cannot have been published in print or online prior to the competition.

Dream Home, by Suzann Thompson

Now that the CGOA Design Competition is over for the year, I’m free, freeeeeeeeeeee! I’m free to tell the story of Dream Home. Finally!

I love fairy tales and similar stories. The illustrations I remember from childhood were rich in color and imagery from nature. Fairy tale homes had no modern machinery or complex technology.

Crocheted rabbit, ladybug, mushrooms

In a dream, a rabbit can fit under a toadstool, day and night can share the sky over your house.

You can see those childhood and dream images in Dream Home. The subject is pretty simple—a house, trees, some animals. As you come closer, you see more complexity—images in the sky, and the many small pieces that make up the whole.

I keep peeking around the doorway to look at Dream Home hanging in my livingroom. Seeing it makes me happy.

The History of Dream Home

Dream Home

Originally, Dream Home was going to be mounted onto a piece of felted wool and then made into a quilted wall hanging. The blue felt looked so good with the motifs of the picture. I was prearranging the pieces in this photo. That was when I realized just how many motifs were still left to crochet—lots and lots of blue circles for the sky, lots and lots of green petals and pink flowers for the lawn.

Finally the crochet charm lace was all done, meaning the motifs were sewn together to form the picture. I couldn’t quite visualize the finished piece, so I rolled the picture inside the felt and thought about it…for months.

With the deadline coming nearer, I bought a small quilting hoop to hold the piece while I hand-quilted it. Still, I couldn’t see it finished.

One day Ella and I were wandering around Michaels. In the painting section, I saw canvasses and thought, “What about sewing the picture to a canvas?” Artist’s canvas comes stretched and stapled to a wooden frame. It’s easy to hang. Right or wrong, a picture on canvas looks more like art than the same picture on a quilt. Now THAT, I could see.

I bought a canvas and prepared it by spraying it with a clear acrylic coating.

crocheted wall hanging

crocheted wall hanging

Should I use the pretty, blue, felted wool in the background, or not? After canvassing family members for their opinions, I chose to put the picture on the canvas without blue wool.

The sewing began. To keep the picture from sagging, I sewed around every single motif, attaching it to the canvas. Ignoring the large number of motifs, for fear they would discourage me, I just sewed one at a time. Eventually they were all sewn down.

crocheted butterflies

The picture looked lonely, floating around on that big, white canvas. It needed the button frame, which didn’t take very long to sew in place. I love button frames.

Here’s the scoop on the motifs:

From Crochet Garden:

  • Butterflies (left, in the sky), “Sulfur Butterfly & Friends,” pp. 31-33
  • Curlicues that form the water (lower left), “Curlicue Sprays,” pp. 62-63
  • Purple anemone with white and black center (right, under owl’s wing), “Anemone & Friend,” pp. 120-121

crocheted curlicues, water, and turtle

crocheted owl, anemone, mushroom, ladybug, bullion rose

From Crochet Bouquet:

  • Big green leaf (lower right, between toadstools and red rose), “Small One-Row Leaf,” pp. 120-121
  • Pink flowers in lawn, “Millefiori,” Tiny Petals, p. 26
  • Grass tufts in lawn, “Millefiori,” Rounded Petals, p. 25
  • Smallest trees in background, “Veined Leaf,” Plain Vein, pp. 123-124

crocheted house, tree, turtle, grass, bunny, flowers

crocheted rocket, star

From Cute Crochet World:

  • Mushrooms, “Storybook Mushroom,” pp. 59-61
  • Bullion rose, “Valentine Roses,” pp. 92-93
  • “Ladybug, Ladybug,” pp. 20-21
  • “Bunny,” pp. 38-39
  • “Turtle,” pp. 27-29
  • House, “Cozy Home,” pp. 133-136
  • Medium sized trees to the right of the house, “Cherry Blossom,” pp. 76-77
  • Owl, “Oval Owl,” pp. 36-37
  • Stars, “Starry Night,” pp. 98-99
  • Moon, “Winter Moon,” pp. 96-97
  • Rocket ship, “Vacation Transportation,” pp. 116-119
  • Clouds, “Cutely Cloudy,” pp. 86-87
  • Airplane, “Vacation Transportation,” pp. 116-119
  • “Bluebird of Happiness,” pp. 24-26
  • Sun, “Summer Sun,” pp. 94-95

crocheted bluebird, sun, cloud, butterfly

crocheted airplane, cloud, star

Next year’s entry into the CGOA Design Competition is already underway. It’s a…oops, can’t talk about it yet.

A Crochet Charm Lace Project in Noro Knitting Magazine!

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Look for this lovely scarf pattern in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Noro Knitting Magazine! Crocheting flowers is even more fun as you watch the yarn changing gradually from one lovely color to the next. Whenever you get to a green section, crochet leaves!


Credit: Noro Knitting Magazine Spring/Summer 2014, photo by Paul Amato for LVARepresents.com

Here is the scarf in progress:


Flowers and leaves drying after blocking.


Arranging flowers and leaves on the scarf template.

The flowers and leaves were adapted from patterns in Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers.

New Crochet Charm Lace Scarf, Starring Televisions

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

For crocheters and fans of word play, here is the TelevisionStars Scarf. The motifs are from Cute Crochet World: “Vintage Television” (with regular antenna) and the Simple and Elementary School Stars of “Starry Night.”

The TVs are made with Classic Elite Liberty Wool. My stash of golden color yarns came in handy for the stars. You can use a wide range of weights and fibers of yarn in a Crochet Charm Lace scarf.

After finishing and blocking all the TVs and stars, I arranged them right-side-down on my scarf template (mine is a strip of burlap, but any sturdy fabric will do). Think of trying to fit a lot of oddly shaped pieces into as small an area as possible, and you’ll understand what arranging motifs for Crochet Charm Lace is like. The arrangement was fairly good, but a lot of spaces were too small to fit another star into, but too large to leave open.

I chose Lion Brand Cotton Bamboo “Cherry Blossom” for the filler motifs, because its pretty vintage color looked great with the old-fashioned televisions. Some filler motifs are single crochet sts worked into a ring; the others are half double crochet sts worked into a ring.

Once all the motifs were in place, I safety-pinned each motif onto the fabric template. It was time to sew. Through trial and error, I have learned that yarn makes sturdier seams than sewing thread. I split sewing lengths of one of the gold 4-ply yarns into two 2-ply strands and used the for sewing.

After sewing about six inches of motifs together, I couldn’t wait to look at the finished product. Wow! I loved it!

On my way home from New York, one of my flights was cancelled because of storms in the Dallas area. While waiting for the next flight, I sewed stars and TVs. Our altered route took us around the storms, adding 45 minutes to our travel time. I sewed TVs and stars.

Back at home, I took out all the safety pins. The next step is my favorite part of Crochet Charm Lace: turn the finished piece right-side-up.

Crochet Charm Lace Along—Sneak Peek!

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Crochet Charm Lace—motifs stitched together

Can you see the pale orange yarn stitching these motifs together? Wherever they touch, you sew the together, catching loops on the back edge of each motif. This leaves the familiar “chain” look at the top of the stitch to show on the right side of the piece.

I couldn’t wait to see what my Perspective Daisy table mat is going to look like, so I took out the pins and folded the corner back for a sneak peek:

Crochet Charm Lace—sneak peek at corner

Crochet Charm Lace Along—Pinning Motifs

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Crochet Charm Lace with motifs arranged

It’s a great day when you finish all the motifs for your Crochet Charm Lace project! To me, that’s when the real fun begins: arranging the motifs on the template.

The last of my motifs were blocked on Monday, so that night, while the Texas Longhorns were thwacked by the Fighting Ducks of Oregon, I sat on the floor in front of the coffee table at my parents’ house, arranging and pinning Perspective Daisies. It was a lot more fun than actually watching the football game.

I spread the different flowers around evenly, taking care to avoid symmetry in the design. You might call it “planned randomness.”

Crochet Charm Lace—filler motifs

The orange flower arrangement looked elegant. “Do I really need to add the green and magenta filler motifs?” I wondered. The finished lace with orange flowers only would have more open spaces, but not too many.

The ballgame was over, so I rolled up the fabric template and packed up to go home. Luckily, I had time to think this over.

Today I spread the template out and photographed it with just the orange flowers on it. Then I placed the green and magenta circle motifs and took another picture.

Yay for digital photography! It’s a great design tool. You can photograph your project with different arrangements or colorways, then download them onto a computer and look at all the photos on the screen at the same time. That’s the easiest and best way to make a design decision—with all the choices in front of you.

Comparing Crochet Charm Lace options

Adding the green and magenta circle motifs filled in the spaces between flowers, which made the lace seem sturdier. The extra color added richness and made the arrangement look more happy and natural. Okay, okay. Rich, happy, and natural wins over elegant any time.

But you know, that’s my opinion. You are free to make your own choices about arranging motifs, without any thought or fear about what anyone else thinks.

Here they are all pinned! I ran out of safety pins, which are preferable, but straight pins will do the job. Just be careful when you’re working with the straight pins—they can stab! Next step: sew the motifs together.

Crochet Charm Lace—motifs pinned to fabric template