Posts Tagged ‘Crochet’

The Search for a New Planet Continues

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

In the last installment of our #cutecrochetworld story, Rog and Pam were looking for new planet, where they could settle down. Finding the perfect planet was more difficult than they thought.

The perfect planet for crocheted life as we know it must not be too close to the sun (too hot), nor too far away (too cold). This sun is way too close! The planet’s distance from the sun has to be just right.

“Our new home planet can’t be too large, because the gravity would be crushing,” said Rog. “Nor too small, or we might come completely unravelled in the low gravity,” added Pam. Together they said, “What we need is a Goldilocks planet.” “Here I am!” said this beautiful metallic fish. No, dear fish, not Goldi-LOX!

“Hi Pam and Rog. My name is Goldilocks. I’m not a planet, but I’m an interplanetary real estate agent. I can help you find the perfect new home. I can manage your relocation, from selling your present home, to hiring movers, to making sure your new home is in good working order when you move in.” Pam and Rog said, “Alright!! Please, Goldilocks, plan it!”

Goldilocks previewed dozens of planets before reporting back to Pam and Rog. “I think I’ve found the right planet for you!” she said. “Its size, its distance from the sun, and the size of the sun are all just right! Not only that, it has abundant wool and other fibers, upon which all crochet life depends.”

“Also,” interplanetary real estate agent Goldilocks told Rog and Pam,”this planet is protected from collisions with asteroids and comets, by a larger planet nearby. It is called Cute Spoon Doll World.” Rog and Pam met some folks from Cute Spoon Doll World. They were really nice!

“What’s the name of this Goldilocks planet?” asked Rog and Pam. Their interplanetary real estate agent said, “Cute Crochet World.”

Find instructions for making all these motifs and more in Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crochet Critters, Folks, Food and More. Follow Rog and Pam on Instagram @cutecrochetworld for more frequent updates.

Many thanks to the book Earth Matters, ed. David de Rothschild, for teaching me about Goldilocks planets, among other things. Earth is a Goldilocks planet, too.

Step-by-Step Baby Carriage

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Crocheted Baby Carriage from Cute Crochet World

Louanne is going to crochet a Baby Carriage for a baby shower gift. Great idea! She needed help visualizing how the pattern worked, so here are some photos. Find written instructions for crocheting the Baby Carriage on pages 106-107 of Cute Crochet World.

Step-by-step photos for crocheted baby carriage

Even though you begin the Baby Carriage with a chain loop, work the pattern in rows. At the end of Row 1, the piece looks like this. The shaping is accomplished with stitches of different heights. Once you have finished the stitches of the row, ch 4 and turn.

Step-by-step photos for crocheted baby carriage

The first treble stitch of Row 2 goes into the first stitch of the previous row, because we are increasing on this row. So essentially, the first stitch has two stitches in it—the turning ch, which counts as the first tr and another tr. The pink dots show each stitch that you will work into. Some have two sts in them, some only have one.

Find help making treble sts on YouTube. Go to Crochet Spot for instructions on making the htr (half treble).

Step-by-step photos for crocheted baby carriage

When you’re finished with Row 2, the piece looks like this. The hood and bed are curved, because you increased in those areas. The bottom of the carriage is flat, because you used short stitches and you didn’t increase.

Step-by-step photos for crocheted baby carriage

Once again, after you ch 3 and turn, work the first dc into the first stitch as instructed in the pattern and shown in this photo. Then work around as noted in the pattern.

Step-by-step photos for crocheted baby carriage

When Row 3 is done, you have the shape of the baby carriage.

Step-by-step photos for crocheted baby carriage

Row 4 adds the handle. To make lovely edges, you will be slip stitching along the top of the bed and the edge of the hood, as shown in the picture. To finish this piece beautifully, stop your slip stitches at the 2nd st of the turning ch-3 at the beginning of Row 3. Cut the yarn and pull the end of the yarn out of the last sl st.

Step-by-step photos for crocheted baby carriage

Skip the 3rd st of the turning ch of Row 3, bring needle under the chain of the next stitch as shown in the photo.

Step-by-step photos for crocheted baby carriage

Insert the needle into the top of the last sl st, bringing it out toward the back of the piece. Adjust the stitch you just made to be the same size as the rest of the sl sts.

Step-by-step photos for crocheted baby carriage

Weave the yarn end in at the back of the work. Add wheels and you’re done!

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.

Rog and Pam Search for a Place to Settle Down

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Cute crochet Martians, Rog and Pam Regnar, want to retire from leading top-secret intergalactic missions. If only they could find the perfect planet to settle down on…

With lots of solar systems to choose from, Rog and Pam are looking for one whose star is not too large. Large stars tend to burn out too fast for life to develop on their planets.

Rog and Pam’s new solar system mustn’t have too small of a star, either. Small stars are too stormy and they often scorch the planets nearby.

The size of Rog and Pam’s new star has to be just right!

Find instructions for all these motifs in Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crochet Critters, Folks, Food and More. Follow Rog and Pam on Instagram @cutecrochetworld for more frequent updates.

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.

Five Point Tutorial

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

A friend on Ravelry has been experimenting with Five Point, a flower design in Crochet Bouquet. She inspired me to re-crochet this cute flower and take some step-by-step photos. I hope this will encourage you to give “Five Point” a try.

The entire flower is worked in the round from the front only. Some of the photos show what the back looks like, but again, all rounds are worked from the front.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

Rnd 1 is pairs of dc separated by ch-spaces.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

Rnd 2 is worked in the ch-spaces of Rnd 1. The stitches are really packed in to make a densely packed petal.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

Rnd 3 is worked into the original ch-ring, but behind the petals of Rnd 2. Fold the petal toward you. Insert hook into the original ring from the front as you normally would. The instructions tell you exactly how to begin the round with a tr into the ring.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

This is how Rnd 3 looks as you progress around the flower, creating tr sts separated by ch-spaces.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

When Rnd 3 is finished, it looks like this from the front and from the back. Because of the way Rnd 3 is positioned, the points of Rnd 2 should be more-or-less between the arches of Rnd 4.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

The stitches of Rnd 4 are worked into the ch-spaces of Rnd 3. Again, a lot of stitches are packed into those ch-spaces. The points of Rnd 2 should be between the arches of Rnd 4. The yellow arrow shows where to insert your hook in Rnd 5, after you fold forward the petals of Rnd 4.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

Fold the petals of Rnd 4 toward you, insert hook between the petals of Rnd 2 (see the yellow arrow in the photo above). This round locks the petals into their correct alignment.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

This is how Rnd 5 looks from the back—sl sts between the petals of Rnd 2, separated by ch-spaces.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

Rnd 6 is worked into the ch-spaces of Rnd 5. Here are a couple of petals of Rnd 6, as viewed from the back side.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

Rnd 6 is finished, and we’re ready for one more round.

Crocheted Five Point flower tutorial

The Five Point is finished! The colors remind me of Valentine’s Day. It will be here before we know it!

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

Crochet Charm Lace Along—Blocking Motifs

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Blocking crocheted Trillium

Ask any good craftsperson about finishing, and you will hear the same thing: finishing takes longer than you think it should, but finishing must be done, and must be done well. It doesn’t matter whether you’re sewing a dress, crocheting a sweater, or building a house.

That brings us to blocking, an essential part of finishing your work. Blocking is best practice. All the pros block their work. A reader, writing about crocheted flowers, said “no worries, you can block it into shape!” But no, blocking is not a way to alter the shape of your crochet or to force it into a shape it wasn’t meant to be.

Blocking allows your stitches to assume their intended shape; it relaxes and sets the yarn so the stitches will retain their intended shape.

Unblocked crocheted Perspective Daisy

The stitches of crochet and knitting tend to pull in one direction or another, so they often cause your work to curl. My little Perspective Daisies (from Crochet Garden) are so curly they look like nine-legged spiders. In the process of making Crochet Charm Lace, the flowers will be pinned to a fabric template. Unless I want to place a pin in each petal to hold it flat as I try to arrange the motifs and fit them together (nightmare!), the flowers need to be blocked.

Here’s how to block small pieces, like flowers:

You will need

  • A place to lay out your work to dry and maybe to pin
  • Water, either from the tap or in a spray mister
  • Pins (possibly)
  • Steam iron
  • Clean press cloth (optional)
  1. Moisten crocheted piece. You can spray the piece with a mister, or hold a handful of flowers under the tap, then squeeze out excess water.
  2. Unfurl and stretch out all the bits that are meant to be flat. I did this for each and every daisy petal. That took some time.
  3. Pinned crocheted Perspective Daisy

  4. If a piece still curls stubbornly, pin it flat.
  5. You may stop here and simply let the items dry, especially if your yarn will not take well to steam.
  6. If you are going to steam your pieces, consider turning them face-down. This protects the public side of your piece in case the unthinkable happens (you know, scorching).
  7. You may wish to use a press cloth to protect your pieces. Moisten and wring out a clean tea towel or cloth diaper. Lay it over the crocheted piece.
  8. Using a washrag for a press cloth

  9. Bearing the weight of the steam iron in your hand, hold the iron over the pieces and let the steam penetrate the stitches. (The iron will release steam from the press cloth, too.)
  10. Let the pieces dry, remove pins if necessary.

For a thorough discussion of blocking and its various uses, read Lily Chin’s Couture Crochet Workshop.

Blocked crocheted Perspective Daisies

Crochet Charm Lace Along—Arranging Motifs

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Crochet Charm Lace—Daisies with Leaves

If you like jigsaw puzzles, you will love the next step in Crochet Charm Lace: arranging the motifs.

In the previous post, we talked about how to estimate the number of motifs you will need by crocheting enough motifs for one quarter of the project and arranging them. This turns out to be a great test run.

I arranged my Perspective Daisies and Ladder Leaves (from Crochet Garden) every which way. All the arrangements looked awkward to me, I think because of how difficult it was to point the leaves in random directions. Or they disrupted the roundness of the daisies too much.

Some of you will look at the photo above, the one with daisies and leaves, and say, “That looks good to me.” If you were making this particular project, I would say, “Go for it!” We all have different tastes, and we have to trust our gut feelings about what we like.

Crochet Charm Lace—daisies with green dots

The leaves had to go, so what next?

All my Crochet Charm Lace projects so far have had small round motifs or in the case of the Rose Cape, small plain flowers. I crocheted a few one-round motifs of sc, and a few of hdc. The next photo shows how they look with the daisies. Better, I thought.

The green dots were a great improvement over the leaves, but I couldn’t resist experimenting a little further. The orange and green were bright and kind of acid-looking. I tried toning the brightness with some magenta-color dots, which were single rounds of sc and hdc like the green.

Crochet Charm Lace—daisies with green and magenta dots

That was even better! Though oddly, it looks better in real life than it does in the photos. Weird. Oh, and also, these photos show the flowers facing up, because I could visualize the finished piece better that way. When I pin them to the template, they will be face-down.

By making only enough leaves for a quarter of the piece, I didn’t invest too much time in making leaves. One quarter is enough to test your main idea, and then you can go on to finish crocheting all the motifs!

I’m still working on the flowers, but they’re almost done. So next time, I’ll post the whole template covered with flowers and green and magenta dots, pinned in place.

Crochet Garden Giveaway! December 5th is Deadline

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Crochet Garden Giveaway

Lark Crafts is giving away four crochet books, including Crochet Garden! Enter to win by leaving a comment on their blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 5. Here’s the link:

http://www.larkcrafts.com/needlearts/a-crochet-giveaway/