It will probably not surprise you to hear that I dote on stitch dictionaries. This goes back to when I was fifteen and finally comfortable with knitting after a two-month trip to stay with a friend in Denmark who also knit. I came back home, and knit clothes for my dolls, and yearned after the Harmony Guide to Stitches that was in a rather eclectic shop near our apartment (my usual purchases from them included stickers and jelly beans). I eventually was given the book as a present, fortunately, at which point I went through and marked each stitch I wanted to try. (Looking at those marks now, I can see how my taste has changed in some ways and not in others.)What does this have to do with Mon Tricot? Follow this link.
Several years ago, I was playing around with combining knitting and crochet, and I hit upon a way of doing so that made me really happy. I was going to write more about it “later”, but then my wrist stopped allowing me to do crochet, and “later” never came. (No, really, I tried a bunch of things. Please don’t offer me advice.)
Anyway, I recently came across some old swatch photos I took with a cell phone, and thought I’d write about it in hopes that it would spark someone’s interest. I’d love it if someone else were to play around with this!
Here’s links to a bunch of techniques and tutorials I’ve collected since the last time I posted one of these link lists. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did! I’ve included some crochet links even though I can’t use them myself, just because I thought they were interesting.
- Mosaic Knitting 101 – mosaic knitting is a way of knitting fancy colorwork patterns while only working with one color at a time.
- A Cheater’s Guide to Wraps Per Inch (wpi): the first method for figuring out what needle size to use with yarn is one I use all the time. I’m a tight knitter; you might need to learn to adjust based on whether you’re a tight or loose knitter.No More Estimating Tail Length for a Long Tail CO: this is how I do it for long cast-ons.
- How to hang a sweater without ruining it.
- How to knit a 2 color Italian cast-on (good for 2 color brioche)
- Seaming 2 color brioche with mattress stitch
- Instructions for lots of different shawl shapes
- Underline stitch: an interesting stitch pattern technique
I found this in my list of blog post drafts. I started writing it three years ago, when I could still do crochet and when I was playing with foundation base chains and a lot of knitting cast-ons. (Stupid wrists. No, please don’t make any suggestions.)
Anyway, I’m going to post it as an extra post this week for crocheters. I can’t stand to either leave it in my draft posts or to delete it, because I think it’s beautiful. Be warned: I have a sneaking feeling there’s something wrong, or at least highly cryptic, about the instructions, but I can’t crochet to double check. It might be enough to get a skilled crocheter started?
Notes that I wrote just before posting this are written in italic.
My friend Rebecca very kindly agreed to do an occasional swatch for the crochet stitch patterns I’d like to try. This month’s Patreon word is Beloved. I converted the letters to numbers and charted the numbers on a grid in a variety of ways.
This stitch pattern is available for personal use and published designs alike (with credit, please). Do let me know if you use it; it makes me happy.
I also made a very different lace pattern for knitters, which I put in a separate post. It has a very different character, and I’m fine with that – it’s a result of how the encoding works with different crafts. If I’m making lace designs for knitting, the marked spaces are turned into increases which have to be counterbalanced by decreases. The decreases take work to place in an aesthetically pleasing way, and the end result can look very different from the beginning chart with just marked squares on it. (If you look at the knitting version, the code is encompassed by just the squares with little circles in them.)
I am not going to get the opportunity to explore and swatch with the more delicate versions of crochet lace; that’s just how it is. (I’d love to see a crochet designer figure out how to turn the numbers from encoding letters into that kind of lace!) But I can make simpler charts that are a straight-up translation of my grids into simple crochet.
This is the grid I worked with, which can be used for a variety of crafts:
A few days ago, I saw a nifty bind-off linked on Pinterest*: a faux crochet loop edging.
Neat! I thought. Why didn’t I think of that?! Because I suddenly realized how I would do a crochet loop edging with only knitting needles. (Useful for those of us who can’t crochet for whatever reason.)
Then I clicked through, as is my habit with the niftiest of Pins, even when I think I know how it works.
It was then I discovered that it wasn’t what I thought at all! It’s a beautiful way of creating a superficially similar effect, but it isn’t the method I thought up in that split second. I’ll be saving it for later in case I need it, though.
Now, here’s how to do a crochet loop edging with only knitting needles. It is structurally identical to the traditional way of using crocheted loops to finish the edge of knitted lace in a delicate way, but not hard at all.
- Dealing with cable splay. (The way that cables worked above stockinette or garter will pucker the fabric.)
- Anna Zilboorg’s perfect buttonholes. Complicated but satisfying and beautiful. (Easier isn’t always better.)
- Working in pattern while shaping the fabric (increasing or decreasing).
- double chain cast-on, based on lucet cord, but done entirely on knitting needles.
- Tillybuddy’s very stretchy cast-on for ribbing. I’ve linked to the short version – if you like something more verbose, there’s a link to it there.
Miscellaneous fiber arts:
Justyna is primarily a toy designer – she has a lot of really cute crocheted amigurumis (and a few knit ones) and measuring tape covers, among other things. Her blog is full of delightful adventures – her crocheted “mini-me” took an international trip and she hosted a crochet mystery featuring the evil villain, Dr. Hookenstein.
To celebrate the Giftalong, I’m going to be blogging four interviews with other designers who have patterns in the sale. Because the sale is only a week long, I’ve decided to give you all a chance to get their discounted patterns – the interviews will all be published this week!
First up is Sarah Jane, a really creative crochet designer, whose work I’ve admired for quite a while now. If I could still crochet, I’d be making one of her patterns for the giftalong in a snap!
Lingonberry Tam, perhaps.
Or Frostberry Hat, though that’s not on sale.
Or… well, I’d have trouble making up my mind! Maybe some of her Steampunk collection?
Here’s a link to the bundle of patterns that are on sale for the Giftalong. (Coupon code giftalong2014, good through Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.)
1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Well I don’t really know what to say…I am a 47 year old mother of 8…..7 live at home ☺ I like to say that it’s organised chaos but truth is there is probably not so much of the organised about it.
Crochet was the first craft I ever learned and even though I’ve dabbled in lots of other crafts I always seemed to come back to crochet….with so many kids crochet is portable and leaves less mess than most other crafts (if you don’t count the stash and the UFO’s). Also it’s more difficult for babies to poke holes in themselves or others with hooks than it is with needles.
Aside from crochet I love to read and occasionally knit. Housework seems to have become an optional extra around here!
2. Somehow you manage to combine crochet stitch patterns in ways that are really fresh and different. Can you name any particular influences that inspired this, or is it the stitches themselves that catch your eye?
Thank you, I really appreciate you saying this. The stitches themselves always catch my eye, I love the textures and seeing how they work together. Colour and yarn is a big influence too…certain yarns and colours seem to call for different types of textures and stitches. I love certain styles, like steampunk and a romantic gothic type style and I think you can see this influence in some of my designs……reality is it doesn’t really take much to inspire me, it can be anything from the shape of a leaf to a combination of colours I notice somewhere.
3. What attracted you to joining in with the Giftalong?
I participated in the giftalong last year after noticing it mentioned on the Designers board and I had a ball. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and interact with both designers and crocheters/knitters. I didn’t expect it to become so big but this year it looks like it’s going to be even bigger. I have been really excited about it this year, for me it is all about the interaction. Here in Australia there aren’t too many opportunities to meet other designers so this is great fun.
4. What are a few patterns from the Giftalong that you’d really like to make?
Goodness there are so many…I wish I had unlimited time and cooler weather ☺…..I love a lot of Darleen Hopkins crochet patterns but I just adore her Patchwork baby kitty throw. If I could I would make anything by Julia Trice (Mind of Winter on Ravelry) especially Loden. I love this shawl Leventry and I think this Minimissimi coat is truly spectacular even though I’d never be able to wear it over here. I could go on and on…..
5. Is there anything about crochet that you wish more people knew?
That it’s easy…you can make anything if you work through it a stitch at a time and also that it doesn’t have to look like something from the 60’s or 70’s, crochet can be fashionable and modern as well as a bit different.
Here are some of the places you can find Sarah Jane online!
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SarahjaneDesignscrochet
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/sjack44/
Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/designers/sarah-jane
(All photographs used by permission.)