I converted a Starwirbel (tube in spiraling rounds) into a flat rectangular wrap.How to get the same kind of lace as a flat rectangle? People have requested this for years and I’ve swatched it several times. I love this one! (Pictured above, in progress.) It retains for me the experience and special effects of making it.
More importantly in the long run, it means we can now use Starwirbel fabric to make anything.
Starwirbel Now has a Stitch Diagram
For those of us who like to use stitch diagrams, we’ll have time in class to go over Starwirbel’s. Star stitch diagrams can be a bit quirky to understand at first.
Looking for more of Vashti’s star stitch designs? See all of her self published star stitch designs here. See all of her unpublished star stitch projects here (log in to Ravelry first to see all of them). These are self-updating links.
Two years later a visitor to the DesigningVashti Facebook page requested the pattern. Again in deep crochet class prep mode, I had to put it off until after teaching and a series of seven crochet tutorials I’d agreed to do for the Cut Out & Keep site.
By then the US election had just taken place. I appreciated the sweet, loving patterns crochet and knit designers were spontaneously posting. I returned to the 2014 attempts to blend stars and love knots in one pattern. It was a pleasure to finally polish it up into a fun, versatile, balanced stitch pattern. I hoped the idea of harmonizing and unifying two popular stitches of very different traditions might lift others’ spirits.
The basic stitch pattern is available here. I used it to make a 6.5″ square block with DK weight yarn and a G7/4.5 mm hook. A border would probably turn it into a 7″ block.
The Lovelace Ring Scarf design happened next because I needed a self-edging version. It came to me during Thanksgiving. As I lay there contemplating the stitch pattern I’d sent off to Cut Out & Keep, I wondered about giving the basic stitch pattern a selvage (no need to edge it later).
The start and end of the love knot section always looked a bit stringy and unstable to me. I also wanted to vary the texture bands and widen it for a lush, romantic ring scarf.
This is how Lovelace came to be.
Is a Love-Knot-to-Star-Stitch Scarf…Challenging?
Both are Intermediate-level crochet stitches but that doesn’t mean they’re difficult. I include tips and visual aids in the pattern that have worked in my classes. Most of Lovelace is rows of easy, familiar stitches like single and half double crochets (sc and hdc, or as they say in the UK: dc and htr).
These easy stitches are a backdrop to the fancy stitches. Like peacekeeping diplomats they harmonize relations between the two iconic, culturally powerful, individualistic “diva” stitches.
My experience of crocheting star stitches (stars) and love knots (LK) in the same pattern is that I get some comfort zone rows of simple stitches, then a spicy row or two, then more comfort zone.
Dramatic Differences Between Stars & Love Knots
I researched both of these two unique stitches deeply. I don’t recall ever seeing them combined in one stitch pattern. If you have, please let me know in the comments.
Love knots are reversible, star stitches are not. It was an issue with my early swatches.
Love knots are more independent than the usual crochet stitch, and star stitches are the other extreme. This shows in lots of ways. Add Love Knots anywhere like a chain stitch because it’s a type of foundation stitch. Each LK is distinct, complete, and recognizable from a distance.
Star stitches require context. The stitch just before it, after it, and often above it determine how recognizable each star is!
Love knots likely originated as a southern lace, star stitches as a northern thermal fabric. LK were almost always crocheted in very fine cotton and silk threads for delicate and summery edgings, baby bonnets, and petite “opera bags”.
Stars have been used most often for making thick, dense coats and blankets in wool. Even when early stars looked like fine spidery lace, wool was the fiber of choice. (That’s why my unofficial name for the original swatch is “North and South stitch pattern“.)
Interesting Similarities Between Them
Both LK and stars are romantic, iconic, classic/old-fashioned, popular, and beloved.
Both originated in the early to mid-1800’s.
Both have long been favored for baby things. (Stars: baby blankets and coats; LK: sacques, bonnets, layette edgings.)
Both can be lacy. When star stitches are lacy, you’re looking at pulled loops, just like with LK.
…for the five classes I teach next month! This started months ago. It never stops, actually.
I have other new crochet ideas in progress for this year’s classes too. For Tunisian Eyelet Meshes I have a draping collapsible “Leanin’ Loopholes” wrap to finally start when the new Lotus colors arrive. Another project in motion for the Stitch Games class is an argyle (only a few rows done, no photos yet).
When CGOA puts out a call for class topic proposals in the fall, I send more than enough: all the topics that I’ve enjoyed teaching in the past, plus interesting variations on them, plus new ones. Designing new crochet examples starts the moment I find out which ones I’ll be teaching. (Not on purpose, it just happens.)
Meanwhile I stand ready (with camera) to receive a giant new lot of Lotus yarn. Can’t wait to get my hands on the new colors. Doris has her designing cones already so I know UPS will be here any day. Once the yarn arrives–on giant cones–I get some of it turned into Z-Bombes (1-pounders). A lot of it will be “pull cakes” ASAP.
I also stand ready to design with it. I’ll need some new crochet for the road trip up to the conference, right? Doris got started immediately with a new design in emerald green. This reminds me that I also need to lock in the new color names for the ball bands and snip cards.
I’m on Day 35 of my 50 blogging days of crochet conference prep and I’m feeling behind! I still need to get some crochet patterns reformatted into print versions (for some of my classes and for kits in the market booth).