Tag Archives | crochet

Doily Premonition

Doily Premonition

On a Saturday in July, I went to my first Needles and Friends meeting in Comanche, Texas. For some reason, as I drove along the driveway, the macramé cord doily that goes on display with the Celebrate Doilies exhibit popped into my mind. It’s a big, eye-catching piece. “People just love big, flashy stuff like that,” I mused. Little did I know this was a premonition of what was to come.

My mom had given me some old macramé cord she bought years ago. I wasn’t sure how far the cord would go, so I searched for a design where it wouldn’t matter if I ran out of cord in the middle of a round.

Also, my mom had three different weights and colors of cord, so the design had to be forgiving enough to accommodate the different thicknesses.

I found the perfect pattern in one of my books of reprinted vintage thread crochet patterns. It was a luncheon set, with coasters, placemats, and a table centerpiece. They all had the same center, which was small enough for the coaster, and the other sizes were made by repeating a sort of spiderweb-type design round.

The pattern was originally published by American Spool Company, with no designer’s name mentioned. Its name is “Peacock Tails Doily Set #7444,” and you can find the pattern free at http://www.freevintagecrochet.com/doilies/7444-doily-pattern.html.

Doily Premonition

Back to the Needles and Friends group. We meet at Tomorrow’s Keepsakes, a coffee-lunch-antique-and-gift shop on the courthouse square in Comanche. One of our members showed her recent quilts and sewing projects, which we admired very much. (Starting in September 2018, we will meet the second Saturday of each month, at 2:00 p.m. Y’all come!)

When she finished, she sat down, and at that point I could see the lovely antique sofa behind her. Draped across its back was the small version of the Peacock Tails doily, crocheted in thread. Cue the theme song of The Twilight Zone…

This premonition thing has been happening to me a lot lately—something pops into my mind sort of randomly and I see it or hear it later in the day. Hmm…I wonder if it would work if I start randomly thinking about things on purpose, like old friends or a book I’ve been looking for. Must try to harness this!

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Expanding the Art and Community of Crochet

The Evening of Excellence at the Crochet Guild of America Chain Link conference in Portland, Oregon, last week was a celebration of the Design Competition winners, the graduates of the Master Crocheters program, and the winners of the Guild Challenge, which was to see how many sets of chemo caps each guild contributed. A set of caps included one each for a man, a woman, and a child. So cool!

After all the awards, everyone (except me) settled back for a presentation about how we might grow the crochet community by…wait for it…appealing to people who don’t crochet! I talked about how we can use family connections, art, and collaboration, to broaden the appeal and appreciation of crochet.

Now you can see the evening’s ceremonies and speech for yourself, because it was live-streamed on Facebook. I come in sometime after minute 58.

Enjoy!

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Celebrate Doilies Podcast

verypink.com podcast about Celebrate Doilies

Installing Celebrate Doilies in Austin last week was an adventure, which became even more exciting when Casey of www.kcknits.com came by the German Free School to interview me for Episode 95 of the www.verypink.com podcast.

In a testament to how well social media can work, Casey told about how she found me through Twitter. I had tweeted about a crochet sample book on loan to me from Gwen Blakley Kinsler, the Crochet Kween. Casey saw a retweet, read about Celebrate Doilies, and messaged me.

For the interview, we both wore clip-on microphones, even though her recorder had very cool directional microphones attached to it. I’ve learned a lot about recording voices in the last few months, and you definitely need a microphone close to the person who is speaking. Clip-ons are a pain, because their long cords tangle so easily and they limit your movement, but they are much less expensive than the fancier alternative.

We talked about how the idea of Celebrate Doilies came to me, back in 2015. Casey asked about some of the stories people have told me about their family heirloom doilies, and I was glad to tell them. After the interview, she photographed the exhibit, which we had just finished putting up.

You can listen to the podcast online at https://verypink.com/2018/05/02/podcast-episode-95-celebrate-doilies/ or wherever you get your podcasts.

Casey added some history about the German Free School in her own blog post about the podcast, which you can read at www.kcknits.com/blog/doilies.

kcknits.com blog post about Celebrate Doilies

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Crochet a Shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day

You still have a time before St. Patrick’s Day to crochet a shamrock table mat or ornament!

Crochet a shamrock with this pattern available at Ravelry

The pattern is part of my “Sweet Picot Heart” collection, available through Ravelry.

The Shamrock is one of the projects in my “Sweet Picot Heart Motif and More” pattern, which also includes

  • the Sweet Picot Heart motif
  • a heart table mat
  • written and charted instructions photos to help you visualize the
    instructions better
  • how to join heart motifs
  • how to do an invisible join at the end of the last round
  • the inspiration for the pattern
  • nice suggestions for using the heart motifs
  • permission to sell items you make with this pattern

For each “Sweet Picot Heart and More” sold, I will donate one dollar to the Comanche (TX) All Pets Alive group, which compassionately cares for stray pets until their owners are found or until new homes are found for them.

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Sweet Picot Heart

Sweet Picot Heart crochet patternUse any yarn to crochet the Sweet Picot Heart motif, from crochet cotton thread to bulky yarn. Use the hearts to tuck into a Valentine’s card, as mug rugs, and as embellishment for garments or accessories. I’ve got you covered on the instructions: they are both written and charted.

The crocheted Sweet Picot Heart motif pattern is for sale now on Ravelry.

The “Sweet Picot Heart Motif and More” pattern includes

  • the Sweet Picot Heart motif
  • a heart table mat
  • a shamrock table mat
  • written and charted instructions photos to help you visualize the
    instructions better
  • how to join heart motifs
  • how to do an invisible join at the end of the last round
  • the inspiration for the pattern
  • nice suggestions for using the heart motifs

Sweet Picot Heart crochet patternFor each “Sweet Picot Heart and More” sold, I will donate one dollar to the Comanche (TX) All Pets Alive group, which compassionately cares for stray pets until their owners are found or until new homes are found for them.

Sweet Picot Heart crochet pattern

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Finding Life Valance

Now that the Celebrate Doilies exhibit is up and running (details here), I’m taking a break to make other stuff. Yep, I can’t stop making.

We live in the country, and no one is close enough to peek into our windows. So since we moved into our house three and a half years ago, our windows have been bare. As much as I like the no-fuss nature of bare windows, they do look a little stark. And that is why I’ve been making valances.

recycled vintage doily valance

A lady from Germany lived in San Antonio and loved to sew. When she died, her children went to their former German language teacher, Mary El-Beheri, asking, “Do you know of someone who would use and value our mother’s sewing things?” My mother, also a German language teacher, was Mary’s friend. Mary asked her if I would like the German lady’s fabrics and books.

That is how I came to have the fabric and trim for our new red and white dining room valance. Thank you to those students, the children of the German lady, for so thoughtfully taking care of their mother’s possessions.

recycled vintage doily valance or curtain

I think these filet crochet triangles must have been sewn to a table runner or dresser scarf. The sewn edge was frayed, possibly when someone snipped out the stitching.

But that’s okay, because those frayed edges are hidden in the fabric top of the valance.

recycled vintage doily valance

I cut a square crocheted table mat in half and bound the cut edges inside the fabric top of these cute little curtains.

recycled vintage doily valance

Pineapple patterns are among the most popular and beloved of crochet motifs. The pretty pineapple triangles are part of a crocheted chair set—they were meant to cover the back of an upholstered armchair to protect it from hair oil.

You can find the vintage instructions for making the crocheted pineapple chair set at Today’s Treasure. They have lots of old patterns for sale.

More curtains to come—we have a lot of windows!

recycled vintage doily valance

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A Celebrate Doilies Interview at March On! Texas

I met writer and historian Kelly McMichael at a town hall meeting of our U.S. Representative last spring. It was a nice surprise to find out that Kelly is a textile artist, too!

Kelly offers a different spin on the Celebrate Doilies exhibition in this post at the March On! Texas blog.

press for Celebrate Doilies

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Crochet Bloggers Spread News of Celebrate Doilies!

Crochet Spot Celebrate Doilies blog post

I am very honored to have the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit featured in two well-known crochet blogs! Please follow the links and read new information and a behind-the-scenes look at Celebrate Doilies!

Rachel Choi hosts the popular Crochet Spot blog, where readers can find crochet patterns, news, and tutorials. “Taking a Chance on Doilies” is the name of the post about Celebrate Doilies! Chance comments and other coincidences figured strongly in the making of the exhibit.

* * * * *

Crochet Concupiscence Celebrate Doilies blog post

Kathryn Vercillo is the author of several books including Hook to Heal! (100 crochet exercises for health, growth, connection, inspiration and honoring your inner artist)–find a link to her book below. She studies and practices crochet and other crafts as therapy. Her blog is Crochet Concupiscence, where you’ll find Help Fiber Artist Suzann Thompson and Friends Celebrate Doilies.



Read lots more about the Celebrate Doilies! at my other blog, Curious and Crafty Readers.

Please contribute to the Celebrate Doilies Kickstarter campaign if you can.

Find exhibit dates, venues, and other details at www.textilefusion.com/exhibition-schedule.

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Free for Two Days Only! Crocheted Oak Leaf Pattern

Fiber artists Alyssa Arney and Liz Flynn (@thread.winners on Instagram) called for community donations of crocheted or knitted oak leaves for “Reveries,” an exhibit they are putting on this summer.

Well, I felt quite a connection there, since I’m also putting on an exhibit this summer (more here).

AND I had a few crocheted oak leaves in my stash of crocheted flowers and leaves. So I’m sending these. Most are “Gambel Oak” leaves from Crochet Garden.

crocheted oak leaves

Alyssa and Liz’s project motivated me to dust off a different oak leaf pattern and publish it. The red and green leaves below are now available in my shop on ravelry.com.

Click here to download my Oak Leaf pattern FREE only on May 9 and 10, 2017. After that, the price will be $1.00. (You can still click here to go to my pattern page on Ravelry).

crocheted oak leaf pattern

Alyssa and Liz are offering a free crocheted oak leaf pattern as well. Find the link at their Instagram account (@thread.winners).

I look forward to seeing their finished project!

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Consulting the Experts on Color

This is part 3 of my article about yellow that missed being published in 2006 when a magazine went out of business. The article has been updated.

It’s not something we generally think about much if at all, but most of us see the work of color experts every single day. Fashion, food, and craft magazines, advertisements, variegated yarns, and print fabrics are created for maximum appeal. Creators want you to buy them, so they make them beautiful.

For the price of old magazines and yarn or fabric already in our collections, we can consult their color expertise.

For my study of yellow, I gathered magazines that were destined for the recycling bin. When I saw attractive photos and ads with yellow in them, I tore them out.

Yellow, blue, turquoise collage

I ended up with a lot of pages that featured yellow, turquoise, and blue. That summery combination reminds me of swimming pools and sunny beaches with turquoise waters.

Maybe it wasn’t strictly necessary, but it was fun to make this collage…

…and these swatches.

Yellow, blue, turquoise swatches

Intarsia cables are kind of a pain, but they look so nice…

Intarsia knitted cables

As yarn lovers, we’re very familiar with variegated or multicolor yarns. Yarn manufacturers consult experts, predict fashions, and they pick the colors they think will appeal to the most consumers. The same goes for fabric manufacturers.

Go ahead—borrow their expertise!

yellow, pink, blue knitted swatch

Lion Brand’s Lion Ribbon (probably discontinued now) combines yellow with vibrant pink and blue. Small amounts of green, orange, and violet appear between the major colors. I tried to use similar proportions of solid colors in my knitted sample.

The pattern is Barbara Walker’s “String of Pearls,” most likely from her Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

Next time: “A Suffusion of Yellow” (Thank you, Douglas Adams.)

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