Still quite inspired by the whole double strand crocheting topic.
It’s way too big for a measly newsletter issue! Double strand crocheting is a whole world of fun. It tames wild yarn textures. It welcomes glitzy bling threads. It speeds up big projects, recycles yarn scraps, and adds warmth to winter accessories. All this, plus it comes with its own specialized gadgets and filaments. You can get exotic reeling stands to manage multiple threads. Reflective filaments can turn a crocheted beanie into nighttime safety garb.
In the past 24 hours I created a new Pinterest board.
I’m so glad I did. It already has 55 pins! (I’m holding myself back from pinning everything I see.) Visit it here: “Double Strand Crochet.” Also, here are a few more images I found today in my hard drive. They would have been included in yesterday’s overflow gallery:
It’s really the perfect way to do lots of timely things:
Double stranding says, “I’m ready for the fall crochet season!” Hats and scarves are instantly thicker and warmer.
I’m thinking multi-strand slip stitch crochet could be pretty interesting.
My old yarn stash is too big. As mentioned in the newsletter, tinting and “upcycling” a plain yarn with a fancy one is a creative way to make old stash new again. Crocheting two or more strands of yarn together is a classic way to use up scrap yarns.
Double strand crocheting is perfect for winter holiday BLING! I can’t imagine an easier way to throw in all kinds sparkle. Some of the fanciest yarns are designed to be carry along threads. They may be unpleasant to crochet with by themselves, but dreamy to crochet along with another yarn.
It makes sense that double strand crocheting is lighting up my weekend, now that I think about it.
Note: I’m using “delta crochet” to refer to a category, not for a single kind of stitch pattern, and not for triangular items such as shawls. I meangeometrically a type of lace grid. In the four-sided lacy net category we have the filet type (square/rectangular spaces that stack up in columns), and the fishnet or diamond mesh type, which have diamond-shaped spaces that are offset/staggered. “Delta” is pretty well known to mean triangle, whereas a term like “isometric” might be less helpful. If you have a better term to suggest than “delta,” please leave a comment, thanks 🙂
The gist of the newsletter is: Crochet nets of three-sided triangular lacy holes (or “spaces”) have a fundamentally different kind of lace structure, or grid. You can create them with several different kinds of crochet stitches, and they all differ from nets with four-sided spaces in looks, stretch/drape properties, and the experience of crocheting them.
When I experimented with beading delta laces, interesting things happened. Adding beads to love knots is in some ways very similar to beading chain stitches. I haven’t even tried several more ways to add beads to the ones shown here. Adding beads to the classic tall-stitch delta type, though, is more limited. It would be super tricky* to add beads to a whole post of a tall stitch.
*By “super tricky” I mean unpleasant and perhaps impossible LOL.
Check back, I’m swimming in swatches and blogging them all – my goal is a short blog post most days per week. I love comments!
You’re reading the very first issue of a bi-weekly crochet newsletter because you subscribed to it sight unseen, and for that I feel honored. I don’t want to clog up anyone’s inbox. I do have a lot to share about the crochet that I make, think about, test, teach, and talk about with other designers. I’ll keep it to something brief here, put extended material on my blog, and article-length stuff can go on my website (or to magazine editors).
My crochet mojo doesn’t fit neatly into a pattern, and lends itself to being free of charge. I suspect that a newsletter is the best medium for these inspirations. A subscription-based newsletter is kind of intimate, like a club, more so than a blog or open forum. I’m hoping that together we’ll enjoy looking more closely at the crochet we love and which brightens our days.
I’m told that an email newsletter is for selling stuff, but if I used this newsletter for that, you and I would both grow bored. Of course I wish the best for the crochet patterns at my website–each one is like a child with its own destiny–and when there is news about them, I’ll report it in a news section of the newsletter.
I’ve fantasized about having a newsletter that tracks what’s happening in crochet everywhere. We’re members of an exciting global crochet community (thanks to the internet). So, the news section will also contain newsy hookalicious items that happen to come my way.
A Little Inspiration: Crocheted Buttons for Jewelry
This first newsletter issue is mostly a test to see that it works as it should and to let you know what I have in mind for future issues. I’ll wrap up this one with what has been inspiring me the past 3 days. (I can test how the images upload and appear while I’m at it.)
When crocheting jewelry, if I crochet the clasp instead of sewing on a button or snaps, or attaching traditional metal jewelry clasps, I enjoy it more, finish faster, and wear it immediately. Crocheted clasps also have the virtue of being metal-free for my friends who are allergic to some metals.
This week I worked out two “buttons” that I’m really happy about, partly because neither causes a crochet pattern’s skill level to suddenly go from Easy to Intermediate*, and partly because they have a distinctive look.
One is like a wavy donut. I like the look of the waves, and the texture adds to the clasp’s grip. This one’s in size #20 thread (see abbreviations below):
Wavy Donut Button
Ch 9, sl st in the 6th ch from the hook to make a ring, 12 sc in ring, sl st in top of 1st sc to join, [sl st, ch 1] 11 times into ring (you are crocheting around the sc completely), sl st once more, sl st in same 6th ch of the ch-9 as the first sl st, sl st in each of next 2 ch to firm up the button’s post.
The other looks sort of like a plump star. I worked it in sock yarn, so it might not seem super-starry in photos:
Plump Star Button
Ch 5, [hdc, ch 1] 6 times in 2nd ch from hook, turn, sc in each hdc (skipping each sl st), sl st side of first sc, sl st in ch at base of button, sl st in each remaining ch to firm up the button’s post.(Some of the stitches are tight, which helps a button hold up well over time.)
*For a long time I crocheted clones knots as buttons. When I started writing up the patterns, the tech editor instantly changed the skill level from “Easy” to “Intermediate” because of the clones knot. Also, I had to explain the unusual stitch from scratch each time.
Below was originally the righthand column of the newsletter:
Button Experiments for Jewelry (tiny patterns at left)
I hope you can make out here the zigzaggy surface of the Wavy Donut (green size #20 thread), and the star-like points that the hdc stitches make in the teal Plump Star button (sock yarn). (It’ll be available at the link below so that you can enlarge it.)
The two purple lumps in the photo are beaded puff stitches. I made these a few years ago. The advantage of adding beads to a clasp button is that they add extra friction, which helps the clasp stay clasped. Over time and with even just a little wear, however, the beads loosen and the button is less cute.
The teal button is part of an “Aran Rozsana Cuff” pattern that I’m writing now. You can see project photos here: http://ravel.me/vashtirama/nlfdi (this special link will work even if you’re not a Ravelry member.)
Newsy Items Go Here!
For example, I’m still daydreaming about a blog entry I read the other day about Tambour embroidery, an early form of crochet. This link takes you to exciting haute couture images, plus a photo tutorial of how it’s done.
::crossing fingers that these links are clickable for you::
That’s it for issue #1, first published September 2, 2010.
If you’d like tosubscribe, <– just click it to go to a simple subscribe form. To see this newsletter issue in its original 2-columned and tastefully tinted format, click this. If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me: vashtibraha AT gmail.com. Thanks! —Vashti