Archive for the ‘CuteCrochetWorld’ Category

Natcromo 2017 Celebrates Doilies!

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Thank you to Amy and Donna of Crochetville.com for inviting me to join this year’s National Crochet Month blog tour! This is a wonderful thing they do, in addition to providing an internet home for crocheters all year round.

NatCroMo 2017 blog tour sponsored by Crochetville.com

Today, the love of crochet ties together thousands of people across the United States and the world. Crochet also reaches into the past to tie us to our ancestors and give us a sense of our place in history. Even for people who don’t do it themselves, crocheted items may bring back memories of happy times, visits, relatives long-gone.

Mrs. Jesse McKinnon's doilies

I’m seeing this effect more and more as I prepare for the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit, which debuts this summer in north central Texas. (See exhibit schedule here.)

The exhibit celebrates doilies through stories and memories from families in the area and beyond, through my own art and the poetry of Sandi Horton. Let me show you!

Stories and Memories

A few years ago, Mac McKinnon, who grew up a mile or so from where I live now, told me he had doilies and other crocheted items from his grandmother who raised him. “What can I do with them?” he asked. He was one of the first people I interviewed for the exhibit.

Mrs. Jesse McKinnon's doilies

McKinnon was orphaned as a fairly young boy. His aunt and uncle adopted him, and he went to live with them in Comanche County, Texas, where the family farmed peanuts and cotton.

McKinnon’s grandmother lived nearby. She was Jesse Pearl Craddock McKinnon, born around 1893. Jesse often took care of him, and McKinnon emphasized that she also “took time with him.” She taught him how to play games, but didn’t let him win just because he was a kid. They did all kinds of crafts together. He remembers making cork necklaces and decorating them with sequins.

Mrs. Jesse McKinnon's crocheted tablecloth

After her husband died in 1942, Mrs. McKinnon made a living sitting with elderly people. They were mostly bed-ridden, so she was there to keep them company and tend to their needs. Since a large part of the job entailed just being there, Jesse filled her time by crocheting.

The two doilies above and tnis table cloth are the work of Jesse Pearl Craddock McKinnon. It’s easy to understand Mac McKinnon’s love for his grandmother and his pride in her crochet skill.

Many more crochet stories and memories are featured at the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit. (There’s still time to share your own family doily stories! I’ll tell you how in a minute.)

Art

To me, many doilies are works of art and I certainly consider doily designers to be artists. For the past year, in preparation for Celebrate Doilies!, I’ve been using doilies in my wall hangings with great pride.

Winterling, a TextileFusion wall hanging by Suzann Thompson

Celebrate Doilies! features around twenty doily-themed TextileFusion wall hangings, like Winterling. Inspired by my mom’s Zwiebelmuster china, I created a bouquet of crocheted flowers in a blue and white china vase. And of course the vase rests on a lovely large doily!

Crochet Comets, a TextileFusion wall hanging by Suzann Thompson

Doilies take to the skies in Crochet Comets, which was my first fabric quilt, in contrast to my usual knitted quilts. If you can’t wait until summer to see it, Crochet Comets is on display now in Golden, Colorado, at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum through April 23, 2017. For details, visit my Exhibition Schedule.

House of Crochet, a TextileFusion wall hanging by Suzann Thompson

Laura Wheeler, Design 673, filet crochet house

I love home. I love to be at home. I love home- and house-themed art and crafts. What a thrill it was to find this lovely antimacassar featuring a filet crochet house! I paired it with a vintage quilt top and added crochet trim and buttons to make this quilt called House of Crochet.

(The original instructions for crocheting this cute, cute house available for purchase online at Today’s Treasures.)

See these and many more doily-rich wall hangings at the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit and at my website, www.textilefusion.com. (follow the gallery links).

Poetry

Poet Sandi Horton and I met at the Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas Weekend in 2016. I spoke about the upcoming Celebrate Doilies exhibit, and how it would include stories and memories about family heirloom crochet.

Doily by poet Sandi Horton

Sandi often writes ekphrastic poetry, which is about a scene or a work of art. Ekphrastic poetry might describe a painting, a piece of music, or a performance.

After my talk, Sandi told me she had doilies and other crocheted items that her mother and grandmothers made. She said, “I would like to write poems about them.”

That sounded wonderful to me! Sandi’s poems about her family’s crochet and even about my wall hangings are featured in Celebrate Doilies. Here’s a poem about her experience with crochet. It is used with permission.

Modern Girl
Copyright 2017 by Sandi Horton. All rights reserved.

The young girl eyes the multitude of colors
She wants to find just the right one
Should she be practical with a neutral
Or choose a bright, modern color?

Her mother and grandmother chose
Different shades of white and beige
They are so old-fashioned
The girl chooses a dazzling lime green

She wants to represent her generation
Even though most other girls don’t crochet
The girl wants to keep the chain going
Her nimble fingers tighten from the stress

Lime green thread twists around and around
The hook moves slowly, in an unsteady rhythm
Her mom says, ‘Crocheting relaxes me.’
The inexperienced girl continues to struggle

She refuses to give up
A smooth pattern finally takes shape
She finishes her first and only doily
Modern girls have better things to do

 Doily by poet Sandi Horton

Find Sandi on Facebook at My House of Poetry.

You Can Still Participate!

Do you have beloved family heirloom crochet you would like for me to show in the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit?

If you do, please visit the Doily Heritage Project page online. It will give you information and links to the Doily Interview, plus hints for photographing your doilies.

To be included in the July-August exhibit in Stephenville, Texas, I need your information and photos by May 1, 2017. The deadline for entering the next show in Granbury, Texas, is June 1, 2017.

Support the Celebrate Doilies! Exhibit and Crochet Art

I hope you like the idea of Celebrate Doilies! enough to support this effort!

For as little as $1.00 per month (that’s $12 a year), you can help me to pay for making posters and cover other expenses associated with putting on the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit. Visit my page at patreon.com to read more and donate.

Support the art and craft of crochet on Patreon!

You can choose one of several levels of support: $1, $3, $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 per month. All of my patrons have access to a patrons-only feed, where I share exclusive news about my work and previews of blog posts. The rewards get better the higher the amount you pledge.

For instance, at the $5 level, you can participate in polls about names of wall hangings and design decisions, receive at least one art postcard per year, and have access to the patrons-only feed. And coming soon, at the $5 per month level, you can contribute a piece which I will use in a wall hanging.

Celebrate Doilies is Available to Travel

Crocheted Cars, pattern in Cute Crochet World, by Suzann Thompson

Celebrate Doilies! will be available to travel to other galleries and shows after October 1, 2017. Please email me at knitandcrochetwithsuzann at outlook dot com for scheduling and fees.

Small galleries and arts councils may be eligible for grant money to pay for exhibits like Celebrate Doilies!

Free Pattern for You, March 25 Only!

Crocheted Turkey and Penguin, by Suzann Thompson

Thank you for reading this far! As a gift for you, today only (March 25th, 2017) you can download the patterns for these cute crocheted Turkeys and Penguins for free—normally a $2.00 value. Here’s the pattern link: Turkey and Penguin at Ravelry Store.

From March 26-28, 2017, the “Turkey and Penguin” pattern will be half-off. That’s one dollar.

Postcards for You!

This is the first of two postcards I will be mailing for the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit. If you would like to be on my list for ONLY these two postcards, email me your mailing address (U. S. addresses only, please) at knitandcrochetwithsuzann at outlook dot com. I will not share your information.

Celebrate Doilies postcard

Thank You!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed reading about Celebrate Doilies! Will you share your doily photos and stories for the exhibit? Please do!

And remember, doilies are perfect for your glamping décor needs.

Heart Garland from a pattern in Cute Crochet World, by Suzann Thompson

Sweet Home

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

I remember very well the sweetness and simplicity of childhood and the images from that time that are with me to this day. Children’s book illustrations and some idealized picture of home are strong in my memory. I think that’s where a lot of the designs for Cute Crochet World came from.

My current project is an exhibit called Celebrate Doilies! which will debut at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council Gallery in Stephenville, Texas, in July and August 2017. In addition to a lot of doily history (read more here), the exhibit will include my art quilts made with vintage crochet.

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

At first I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate this thread crocheted placemat into a quilt. My mind apparently mulled over this problem while I wasn’t paying attention. Some days later, my perception of the piece suddenly shifted from a placemat to picture frame. After that, it was easy to decide what picture to frame: a childlike picture of home.

Strip-piecing left over from a previous quilt seemed perfect to frame the frame. Luckily, I still had enough cut strips to fill the gaps.

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

Cute Crochet World came to my aid, with patterns for crocheting the “Cozy Home,” “Cherry Blossom” (I used green instead of pink), “Summer Sun” with clubby rays, and “Cutely Cloudy.” I made several trees and two suns, before finding the right combination of size and color.

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

When button time came around, I turned to family and friends for input on which buttons I should sew around the edge of the placemat: mother-of-pearl or blue?

My mom thought the house looked like it was on an island, the lace edges with blue underlay seemed like a beach, and the dark blue buttons were the deep blue sea. I liked this image very well.

The consensus from Instagram and Twitter was that the blue buttons looked better than white, but some friends said they thought a lighter blue might look best.

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

I posted the comparison of dark blue and lighter blue buttons. @franloveswool summarized my own feelings, saying, “This is trickier than I thought.” @fairetreasures said that the dark blue gave the piece great contrast, and the lighter blue looked nice because it picked up the colors of the house.

What to do? Mix light and dark? I tried that, but meh. Wait. Why just one round of buttons? Why not a round of lighter blue and a round of darker blue? Yes, that was the solution. Thank you, friends and family!

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

Crochet Kaiser Roll Hints

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Thanks to Lindsay for asking about the Kaiser roll in Cute Crochet World. It’s part of the “Cheese Sandwich on a Kaiser Roll” pattern on pages 56-58.

Crocheting the Kaiser roll, I ran across two places in the instructions that need correcting:

  • Page 57, third column, second paragraph, 4th and 5th lines down should read “transfer ch-2 lp of Rnd 2” not Rnd 1.
  • Same page and column, end of Rnd 6 should read “join with a sl st to ch2 at beg of rnd and end off OR cut yarn and needle join.” The words “and end off, or” are missing in the printed instructions.

You can find corrections for all of my books by following the links in the sidebar of this blog. If you find a mistake in one of my patterns, please let me know and I’ll list it in the corrections pages.

Alright, back to crocheting a bread roll. The top of the roll has the subtly swirled, puffed look of a real, yeast bread bun. Here’s how to get that texture.

In the “Read Me First” section of Cute Crochet World, page 8, I wrote about the “first stitch” and the “next stitch.” It’s so important in crochet to pay attention to details like this in the instructions, and be able to recognize them in your work.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

In this photo, Rnd 1 is joined with a sl st in the first sc of the round. To begin Rnd 2, ch 2 (which counts as the first hdc), and hdc in the first stitch, which is the same stitch you sl stitched into to join Rnd 1.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

To join Rnd 2, sl st in the top of the ch-2 at the beginning of the round. Can you see the sets of 4 hdc sts separated by ch-3 spaces?

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

To make it easier to find them later, place a marker around each of the five ch-2 in Rnd 2. I used safety pins here.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

With Rnd 5 finished, you can see how the hdcs are moving in a little swirl pattern. The ch-spaces move a couple or three stitches counterclockwise with each round.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

After Rnd 5, enlarge the live loop far enough that it won’t start unraveling as you work on the next step.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Turn to the wrong side of your work. Look at the ladders formed by the ch-sts. Rnd 2, where you have markers, is the first rung of the ladder. Three more rungs follow (Rnds 3, 4, and 5).

Insert a larger hook under the first rung, where the marker is. Remove the marker. Insert the hook under the second rung and pull the second rung through the first.

This will feel pretty tight, but that’s how it is supposed to feel. You can use your fingers to lift the loops. It’s a lot easier that way.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

*Insert your hook under the next chain and pull it through the chain on your hook. Rep from * once. The yellow bracket shows the ladder of chain spaces, all chained up.

Now put the marker or safety pin into that last loop to hold it in place. Do the same with the other four chain ladders.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

When you are finished chaining up all the ladders, turn back to the right side. See the fluffy Kaiser roll top?

Insert your smaller hook back into the enlarged loop and tighten the loop around the hook.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

In Rnd 6, when you get to a loop with a marker in it, work a hdc into the loop and remove the marker.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

After crocheting into the loop, the instructions tell you to skip the next hdc, and hdc into the next 5 hdc. You may not be able to see the skipped hdc very well, since it may be covered or squished by the stitch you just completed. However you should be able to see five hdc before the next marker. In the photo above, they are marked with yellow dots. Hdc into each of those.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

A needle-join is by far the best way to finish off this cute Kaiser roll top. After the last hdc, cut the yarn and pull the final loop right out of the top of the last stitch.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Thread the yarn end into a tapestry needle. Skip the ch-2 and take the needle under the top of the first full hdc of the round. Pull it through.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Insert the needle into the top of the last st of Rnd 6…

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

…and on the wrong side catch the vertical loops of the hdc. Pull the needle through. Adjust the loop to match the tension of the other loops around the edge of the roll.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Here’s the finished top. Now is the time to sew on beads to resemble seeds, if you want.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Crochet an inside bun. Sew the bun pieces together around the edges, stuffing lightly before you close the seam completely.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Autumn Leaf Wrap in Love of Crochet

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Chestnut Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Image copyright Love of Crochet/Caleb Young, Photographer.

I’m so pleased to have Cute Crochet World’s Horse Chestnut Leaf featured in this lovely wrap! Instructions are in the Fall 2016 issue of Love of Crochet magazine, which will be on the newsstands in August. If you can’t wait that long, you can purchase the digital edition now at www.interweavestore.com/love-of-crochet-magazine-fall-2016-digital-edition.

We don’t have room for step-by-step photos in most magazine instructions, so I’m posting some here. If you’d like some help visualizing the instructions, the following photos should help.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Use your markers! They will help you find your place.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

When you join the leaves, place them wrong sides together. You’ll be glad of the markers at this point.

Here’s another view of the leaf join.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

After the join, finish the leaf in progress.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

The Leafy Trim on the Autumn Leaf Wrap has 24 joined Horse Chestnut Leaves.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

The first row of the wrap joins directly to the Leafy Trim.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Row 3 of the wrap joins to the stems and creates their attractive curve.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

You can see the join up-close in the photo above. Below, Row 3 is finished.
Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

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For step-by-step photos of the Horse Chestnut Leaf, visit the previous blog post here on Curious and Crafty Readers.

Hints for Crocheting the Horse Chestnut Leaf

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Horse chestnuts! They’re such cool trees, and I would never have known about them if we hadn’t moved to England. Their flowers are fancy and frilly, and they produce very hard nuts. Their leaves inspired the “Horse Chestnut Leaf” design in Cute Crochet World (pages 74-75).

The pretty “Chestnut Wrap” in the Fall 2016 issue of Love of Crochet features a trim made with joined Horse Chestnut Leaves. The magazine will be available on the newsstand in August. You can purchase the digital edition now at www.interweavestore.com/love-of-crochet-magazine-fall-2016-digital-edition.

Here are some step-by-step photos to help you visualize the instructions in the book. I’ve made two small improvements that will make the leaf easier to make.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Row 1 of the Horse Chestnut Leaf sets up the central veins for the five leaflets or lobes. Very easy. When you’re done, ch 1 and turn. In the original pattern, I didn’t include the ch-1, because you don’t really need it. However, the ch-1 makes it slightly easier to turn.
Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

On Row 2, you’ll run into two unusual stitches. Find instructions for the htr (U.S. half double treble) here. The other is the stitch-top picot. I believe it leaves less of a gap between the stitches on either side of it. To make the st-top picot, ch 3,

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

…insert hook into the Front Loop of the previous stitch and under the loop that lies just next to it as in the photo above, yo and draw through all lps on hook.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

St-top picot complete.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

In Cute Crochet World, at the end of the first four lobes, the instructions say “rotate piece so you are looking at the base of the lobe, sl st around the sl st at ase of lobe,…” Instead of doing that, simply sl st in the space between the lobe you just finished and the next lobe. The photo above shows where to place the hook.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Row 3 is worked along the base of the lobes. The instructions take you through how to do each stitch. If it helps, think of it this way, sc-3dc-sc-together.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

After the final yo and pull through all loops on hook, the base of the leaf pulls together and looks like this.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

The very best way to finish the leaf is to needle-join the stem to the base of Lobe 5. After the last stitch of the stem, cut the yarn and pull the hook straight up from the last stitch. The end of the yarn will pull out of the top of the last stitch.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Thread the yarn end into a needle. Take the needle under the first sl st of Lobe 5, Row 2.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Then take the needle back into the top of the final stem stitch (the yarn is coming out of this stitch).

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

On the needle’s way down, catch the loop at the back of the leaf—see the photo above. Pull the thread through, adjust the new loop to a good tension, and weave in the end.

New Designs in Love of Crochet!

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Love of Crochet’s Summer 2016 issue celebrates the splendor of summer’s lacy crochet. Flower-inspired designs include two blankets, a poncho and a cardigan. Mesh variations include several shawls and a top. Plus, crochet the next car in the amigurumi train series.

Love of Crochet, Coral Flame Wrap

I designed two of the magazine’s twenty projects, which will keep you crocheting well into the summer.

The body of my Coral Flame Wrap is an easy-to-make mesh pattern stitch, crocheted in Classic Elite’s lovely cotton yarn, Mesa.

My favorite part is the flowery fringe. On the way out from the edge of the wrap, you crochet two petals of each flower, and on the way back in, you complete the four-petal flowers. So cute!

Crocheted flower fringe

Here’s a sample of the flower fringe worked in a different yarn, so you can see its detail.

Love of Crochet, Belle Doily

The Belle Doily still makes me smile when I look at it. At first glance, you might see a flowery sort of design. But no! Look again and you’ll see eight fancy dresses from Cute Crochet World (“Dress Up Time”), joined to the center of the doily at the shoulders, and then tacked to each other at the hem. The thread is Handy Hands Lizbeth No. 3 cotton.

The print edition of Love of Crochet, Summer 2016, will be on sale around May 3. The digital edition is available to purchase now at http://bit.ly/locsum16designer-di.

Find a tutorial for the crocheted dress in the doily at Tiny Crocheted Prom Dress.

The Coral Flame Wrap and Belle Doily photos are used with permission with credit to Love of Crochet/Julia Vandenoever.

All Aboard the Crochet Express! NatCroMo 2016

Friday, March 25th, 2016

All Aboard the Crochet Express! Blog tour sponsored by Crochetville.com

When Amy and Donna of crochetville.com asked me if I would take part in this year’s National Crochet Month blog tour, I was thrilled. That was last September, and I started thinking about my blog post right away, because March would be here in the twinkling of an eye. Time flies!

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

And now March is almost over—time flies!

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

In honor of fleeting time, the pattern for the Time Flies flying clock motif is free through March 31, 2016. The “buy now” link will take you to the pattern at my Ravelry store–promotion will be applied at checkout.

After the 31st, you can purchase “Time Flies” on Ravelry for $2.50. But don’t wait—get it free! Hurry, because…what am I going to say?

TIME FLIES!

Thank you very much for joining the Crochet Express blog tour and stopping by my blog today. Your visit is my birthday present! I’m 57 today, but it seems only yesterday that I was 25 years old. Talk about time flying.

At 25, I had already been crocheting and knitting for half my life. I was a single, working woman, living in my hometown of Austin, Texas, and dating a really nice guy named Charles. I was the founding member of our local Knitter’s and Crocheter’s Guild.

inspiring vintage craft magazines

The year was 1984 and here are some random memories of that time.

  • I loved Irish Crochet Lace… My reprints of old Irish Crochet pattern books were just about worn out because I looked at them so often.
  • I collected crochet, knitting, and craft magazines, like the two shown above… As I studied the designs and patterns, a little voice in my mind would say, “I can do that.”
  • I couldn’t forget my childhood dream of being an artist…

How did all this work out for me?

Well, it worked out in a very organic, connected way that I can see now in hindsight.

In 1987, I made a collar from one of my Irish Crochet books. The pinwheels, leaves, and round motifs were crocheted separately. As one does in Irish Crochet, I basted them to a fabric template. But instead of joining them with a crocheted mesh, the instructions said to sew the motifs together wherever they touched.

I sewed the collar to the dropped waist of my wedding dress and wore it when I married that really nice guy, Charles.

Irish Crochet embellishment on Suzann's Wedding Dress

And what about my beloved craft magazines? Living, breathing people came up with the designs in those magazines and wrote the instructions, and I wanted to be one of those people!

designs by Suzann Thompson

Through our guild, I met Pam Noel, a published crochet designer who lived in the Austin area. She connected me with an organization called the Society of Craft Designers (SCD). At the SCD conference in 1990, I sold my first knitted sweater pattern. Using what I learned at SCD, I published many needlework and craft designs, including my first crochet patterns in 1994, which you see here.

designs by Suzann Thompson

The Society of Craft Designers is no longer around, but the Crochet Guild of America offers an excellent professional day at its annual conference, where you can learn about the business of crochet designing.

designs by Suzann Thompson

The patterns shown here are

  • “Fun & Sporty: Striped Shell Vest,” McCall’s Crochet, pp. 10 and 13 ff., October 1994.
  • “Autumn Flavors: Half–Moon Tunic,” McCall’s Crochet, pp. 10 and 13 ff., October 1994.
  • “Hat and Scarf Set,” Annie’s Crochet Newsletter, pp. 20 ff., November–December 1994.
  • “Take–Along Blocks—Crimson Bouquet,” The Needlecraft Shop Afghan Collector’s Series, Paradise 962290.

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The art part of my life took longer to develop. I wanted to make pictures, but hanging crochet or knitting on the wall causes it to stretch. Not good.

Through trial and error, purposeful research, and accidental discoveries, I figured out that quilting stabilizes knitted or crocheted fabric. You can hang quilted knitting or crochet on the wall and it won’t stretch. That’s how my signature style came to be. It is called TextileFusion, because it incorporates knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, and embellishment together in a project.

I definitely went through a learning curve, both in technique and artistry, and here are a couple of my latest pieces.

Mama Lion, a TextileFusion creation by Suzann Thompson

Mama Lion was made in honor of Lion Brand Yarn Company, which sponsored exhibits of my work at the International Quilt Festival. The lioness in the picture was at the Fort Worth (TX) Zoo, watching over her three babies in the grass below the ledge she rested on. Read more about the making of Mama Lion at the Lion Brand blog, and here.

Firewheel Meadow, a TextileFusion creation by Suzann Thompson

Firewheel Meadow, finished in 2014, features about 65 crocheted flowers with button centers as well as crocheted leaves and more buttons. It was a lot of applique! Pacing myself helps a lot, so I made a plan to attach four flowers or leaves each day until it was done. And one fine day, it was. Read about the making of Firewheel Meadow here.

The rest of my TextileFusion wall hangings are at www.textilefusion.com/gallery.

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Life in our family goes on around all this yarny activity. Charles and I raised two daughters, Eva, now 20, and Ella, who is in seventh grade this year. We moved across the Atlantic twice. We built an earthen house.

We were out shopping as a family in 2006, when we noticed fashion garments embellished with crocheted flowers.

“That is so cool!” we agreed. But the more garments we saw, the more we noticed how similar the flowers were. That little voice in my mind spoke up: “I can do better than that!” The seed of an idea was planted that day. It eventually grew into two books: Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers (Lark, 2008), and Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights (Lark, 2012). (I’m giving away a copy of my latest book, Cute Crochet World, below.)

Crochet Bouquet by Suzann Thompson

Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, by Suzann Thompson

Crochet Charm Lace cape

Suddenly I had many crocheted flowers and not enough garments to embellish. Hmmm. Could I make collars with my yarn flowers like I made the collar from the Irish Crochet Book? Why, yes I could! And not just collars, but table mats, scarves, and even a poncho.

Crochet Charm Lace trillium scarf

I call the technique “Crochet Charm Lace.” Crocheted motifs are arranged on a fabric template, pinned in place, and sewn together where they touch. When the sewing is done and the fabric removed, you have an interesting, lacy piece. Read lots more about Crochet Charm Lace here.

Crochet Charm Lace pineapple runner

You probably noticed how my book and magazine designs come around to embellish my artwork. In the search for art inspiration, I run across new ideas for book and magazine designs. Things I learned or did a long time ago, crop up to inform what I’m doing now. Sometimes, I can trace a current project to an inspiration from many years ago.

Crochet Charm Lace TelevisionStars scarf

Time flies, but I think it flies in a kind of spiral pattern. Like crocheting a beautiful doily, time comes around and goes around. It lets us build on the past. Gradually, through time, we create the pattern of our lives.

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

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Crocheted Twirly Rose Scarf in Love of Crochet magazine

So as 2016 flies by,

  • Watch for my designs in Love of Crochet magazine. The Spring 2016 issue is on newsstands right now, featuring my Twirly Rose Scarf and lots of other cute patterns. The Summer 2016 issue will have more fun designs. (Photo of Twirly Rose Scarf is used with permission. Copyright 2016, Love of Crochet.)
  • Visit the wonderful International Quilt Festival, Chicago 2016, and see me and fourteen of my TextileFusion artworks. The Festival is at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, April 7-9. I’ll be with my exhibit or in the Open Studios. I would love to meet you!
  • Check out my other blog, Suzann’s TextileFusion, which is an online journal of my crafty life. It’s where I post about making wall hangings.
  • If you tweet or post on Instagram, please follow me. I post pretty pictures, mostly of crochet and knitting projects. Take a moment to reply to one of my posts, and I’ll follow you back. I’m @textilefusion on Twitter and @suzannthompson on Instagram.
  • I’m scheduling workshops and exhibits for 2017, so come back often for updates!
  • And finally,

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF
Cute Crochet World, by Suzann Thompson

CUTE CROCHET WORLD
A Little Dictionary of Crocheted Critters, Folks, Food & More

To enter, make a comment at the end of this post, no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 28, 2016 (U.S. Central Time). Come back to this post on Tuesday, March 29, to see who won the book. Good luck!

We have a winner. Congratulations, Stephanie! And thank you, everyone, for leaving such nice comments.

Thank you for visiting Curious and Crafty Readers.
Come back soon!

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

Happy Pi Day!

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Crocheted Homemade Cherry Pie from Cute Crochet World

Mmmmm….cherry pie with a lattice-top crust! It’s a wonderful, no-calorie treat to make for March 14, 2016, 3.14 16, Pi day! The pattern for “Homemade Pie” is in Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Critters, Folks, Food & More, pages 48-50.

Notice how nicely the crust goes around the circumference—it’s a very tidy pi-d. Ba hahaha. I always laugh at my own jokes, just in case no other geometry geeks with a good sense of humor are around. Around!? Ba hahahahaaaa!

Okay, I’m done with jokes now. Here are some hints to help you crochet “Homemade Pie.”

The pie filling is crocheted in round, using the yarn flavor of your choice. In contrast, the lattice top is worked back and forth. The woven-looking texture is created by alternating Back Post and Front Post double crochet sts (BPdc and FPdc).

Here’s my system for remembering how to make back/front post crochet stitches:

To start a BACK Post dc: the hook starts at the BACK of your work (as you are looking at it right now) and comes around the post of the stitch below, and you yarn over in BACK.

By the same token, for a FRONT Post dc, the hook starts in FRONT, goes around the post of the stitch below, and you yarn over in FRONT.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

The photo above shows the finished lattice top. Count around the edge to find 14 spaces, which you’ll work into to join the top to the filling.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

Place the finished lattice top on top of the finished pie filling, both with right sides up. The pattern says to insert the hook in the first space, and also into a stitch of the filling, draw up a loop, finish a sc, and ch 2. Work two more stitches into the same space, but place each into the next stitch of the filling.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

In this photo, the first space of the lattice is joined to the filling, and you can see how the stitches are evenly spaced, because they’re placed into three successive stitches of the filling. Leave a long end for sewing when you finish the crust.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

To sew the finished pie tin to the crust, skim your needle under the “v” shape created by the single crochet sts on the wrong side of the crust, and sew into the next st of the pie tin, moving one stitch over with each stitch.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

When you’re finished sewing and stuffing the pie, thread the long end of the pie crust into a tapestry needle. As described in the instructions, bring the needle out at the top middle of the pie, then take the needle through the pie and out the bottom. As discretely as you can, catch the bottom of the pie with a stitch, as you bring the needle back up to the top (as in the photo above), tack, and weave in the end. This preserves the flat shape.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

My piecrust looked a little underdone, so I brushed it with a little brown eyebrow shaping powder. I thought I still had some golden brown eye shadow, but no.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

Crocheted Homemade Cherry Pie from Cute Crochet World

Hints for Making “Wiener Dog” from Cute Crochet World

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Complete written instructions for the Wiener Dog are on pages 40-41 of Cute Crochet World. These photos and hints will help you have a successful doxie crochet experience.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Strange as it may seem at first glance, the Wiener Dog is crocheted in three rounds. The first round makes the shoulder and chest of the dog, while the second begins the head and body. The second round also makes the front leg. The nose, tail, and back leg are finished in Round 3.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Here, Rnd 1 is finished and the head and ear are started. The notes and arrows in the photos should help you with stitch placement as you follow the instructions in the book.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

The body starts as a long chain. Work back along the chain and then attach to Rnd 1.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

This is the end of Rnd 2, with the front leg complete. The arrows show where to begin Rnd 3.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

The nose starts as a chain. Work back along the chain and attach to Rnd 2, as shown.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

To start “Ear and back of neck” in the pattern: fold or move the ear out of the way to the back, sc in next stitch of head, which is beyond the ear.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Keeping your hook and yarn out of the way, fold the ear down to the right side. Insert the hook in the marked stitch, insert the hook into the next st of the head, yo and draw through all loops on hook.

The pattern notes “(sc2tog made),” but this is wrong! Please delete that phrase. To make myself feel better about this, I checked my original manuscript—it wasn’t there! Yay! But I obviously missed it when proofreading. Aw man!

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Now we’re at “Back and tail.” The dots show where to place the stitches along the back. They are worked into the free loops of the foundation chain. Be sure you start in the correct loop (it will have a htr in it already from Rnd 2 (htr instructions here LINK).

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

“Back and tail” are done. The reason the tail curves, is because you work 2 sl sts into one of the chains.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

This doggy’s hind leg is shaped in one row. You chain, make a picot, decrease to make the foot. The photo shows the next decrease, which forms the ankle.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

When the hind leg is finished, you skip one st of the body and sl st in the next st. The photo should help clear any confusion about which stitch is which.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

The best way to end a motif like this is with a needle-join. When the chest is finished, cut the yarn and pull the hook straight up from the final stitch. The end of the yarn will come out at the top of the last st.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Thread the yarn end into a needle, take the needle around the stitch at the base of the front leg and back down into the final stitch of Rnd 3. At the back, catch another loop, like this:

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Adjust the new loop to look its best, weave in the end, block, and you’re done!

Need a bone for your new Wiener Dog? Pattern in the next post.

Hints for Making “Mamas and Papas,” Part 3 of 3–Arms and Hands

Friday, February 19th, 2016

The Mamas and Papas’ arms and hands are pretty simple to crochet, once you decide exactly what you want. The sidebar “Arms” on page 141 of Cute Crochet World gives some general hints. Specific instructions for Mama’s arms begin on page 139, and Papa’s arms are on page 141.

Where you place the arm on each sleeve changes the gesture of the person. An arm high on the sleeve is waving, while an arm low on the sleeve is at rest at the person’s side.

The other decision to make is whether the arm is “hand first” or “thumb first.” When you make any arm, you make a chain. As you work back along the chain to finish the arm, “hand first” means you will crochet the hand first; and “thumb first” means the thumb will be completed first. Let’s look at a few examples.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

I crocheted Lio’s left arm at the side of the sleeve, so he looks like he’s welcoming someone or about to pat someone on the back. This arm is “hand first,” because after making the initial chain, the hand is the first thing you make, and then the thumb. This arm is slightly bent, because of one decrease at the elbow—this option is given in the instructions.

Lio’s right arm hangs straight and relaxed at his side, crocheted onto the bottom of the sleeve. This arm is also “hand first.”

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Irene’s left arm, crocheted into the side of her sleeve, is waving and “hand first.” Her right arm is by her side, “thumb first,” and bent.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Nils’s left arm hangs straight by his side, “hand first.” His right arm is waving, attached to the top of his sleeve, “thumb first.”

Can you figure out which comes first–the hand or the thumb—for Rog and Pam? (Answer below the photos.)

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

ANSWER: Rog and Pam’s left arms: “hand first;” and their right arms: “thumb first.”

You can plan this all before you start, or you can test different arms to get a better idea of how they will look. Just crochet a couple of thumb-first and hand-first arms, bent and straight. Instead of drawing up a loop in the sleeve, just begin with a slip knot on your hook.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Now you can test different arm positions before you commit. The arms are made with so few stitches, it won’t take long to take this option.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

For the new Mama and Papa, I wanted to arrange their arms so her right hand could hold his left hand. She would wave with her left arm, and his right arm would be relaxed at his side.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

Mama’s left arm is bent with “hand first” and her right arm is “thumb first.” Papa’s left arm is “thumb first” and his right is “hand first.” And here they are!

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial

* * * * * *

One more thing. Rog and Pam have travelled with me several places for photography. They weren’t strong enough to stand on important tourist landmarks, so I stabilized them with felt. You may consider doing this, if you’re thinking of making Mamas and Papas for toys.

Crocheted Mamas and Papas Tutorial