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From the Archives: Issue #1 “Inaugural Crochet Newsletter” 9/2/2010

New Crochet Talk

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.)

Abbrev’s: ch=chain, hdc=half double crochet, sc=single crochet, sl st=slip stitch.

*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.

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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 to subscribe, <– 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

What are your thoughts?