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Answers: The Electra Wrap Love Knot Pattern

Banner of Love Knot 'Flowers'

I’m seeing new questions in new places about my Electra Wrap love knot pattern.

Electra, a crochet design, continues to attract attention and I’m really happy about that. I’ve blogged questions and answers about Electra here so that people can find them easily when they Google the pattern.

Q: What is this design? I’m having trouble figuring it out!

A: Maybe you’re seeing only a photo with no source (such as in Pinterest or Tumblr). Probably it’s one of the photos below. This is the Electra Wrap love knot pattern. It was designed by Vashti Braha (me) in 2012, and published in Interweave Crochet Magazine in 2013. I released a newly updated version of the Electra pattern in September, 2014.

Maybe you mean that you’re having trouble figuring out how it was crocheted. Well, the Electra Wrap is all about visual illusions. It’s actually just a simple rectangular wrap. The stitch pattern is 100% crochet love knots. A big reason for the Electra effect is the triangular grid structure. It’s an uncommon look for love knots. A square mesh grid of love knots, on the other hand, is so common that it’s practically a cliché. My newsletter issue #62 contrasts these two basic types of crochet lace grids.

Q: Yes but it looks like more than just that! Why?

A: Three reasons:

  1. The flowery stars. A beautiful feature of triangular lace grids is how triangles tile into hexagonal six-spoked shapes.
  2. This starry flowery lace is love knots. You can crochet triangular lace grids with many different stitches. Love knots bring their own unique magic. They also show off special yarns…see #3.
  3. I used yarn that is so elegant it dazzles the eye. I’m serious! I’ve worn the Electra Wrap in conferences, guild meetings, yarn shops, and love knot classes. Even when a person is familiar with crocheting triangular lace grids – and the love knot stitch, and sees it up close in person, Electra is still a bit mysterious. The yarn’s a factor.

Q: How did you add all those tiny sequins?

A: I paid the yarn to do that! Tiny sequins were spun right into the yarn for me. (I’d personally never add the sequins by hand because this would interrupt how quick love knots are to crochet.)

Here’s the deal with the yarn. A mystery-enhancing effect of this Electra Wrap love knot pattern is it’s crocheted double-stranded. Each love knot shows off two yarn strands. Each strand plumps up and doubles the 3-D loft.

I held one strand of fine mohair yarn together with one sequined strand while I crocheted. Electra’s yarn specs:

  • Glossy sequined strand: S. Charles Collezione Crystal (85% polyester, 15% cotton; 144 yd {131 m} per .88 oz {25 g}; CYC “#0 Lace Weight”): color #11, 3 skeins.
  • Glittery mohair strand: S. Charles Collezione Luna (71% super kid mohair, 20% silk, 9% lurex; 232 yd {212.5 m} per .88 oz {25 g}; CYC “#0 Lace Weight”): color #25, 2 skeins.

Even the tiniest sequins can be hard to crochet with. They catch on yarn strands as you pull loops through loops. The solution is to buffer the sequins with fibers. Mohair is great for this.

Q: I need to use different yarn, though. Can I? Should I?

A: YES you can, absolutely. The proof is in all the different yarns people have used for their lovely Electras. See this Electra project gallery in Ravelry.

I can think of lots of reasons why one should use a different yarn, and why one should not.

Definitely use the yarns I used if:

  • …You want that ethereal, fairy godmother, fashion couture mystique. I can’t imagine a better yarn combination for this. The yarns I used are top of the line fashion yarns from a venerable Italian mill. They are pricy and yet they’re a bargain. Their high quality is clearly evident in the finished Electra Wrap. It’s part of the mystique. (Hint: it’s the ultimate gift.)
  • …You’re susceptible to swooning while you’re crocheting. I’m not exaggerating when I say that crocheting Electra kept taking my breath away. I finished two of them quickly. I didn’t want to set down my crochet hook! I fantasized about Electra when I was away from it! If you’ve ever “pined” for a crochet project you’ve fallen for, then you know what I mean. The rest of you might be laughing at me right now 🙂
  • …You want practical warmth as well as maximum magic and weightlessness. The mohair in this yarn combo gives other practical benefits, too. (I wrote a newsletter issue about this.)

Use different yarns if:

  • …You’re allergic to mohair. Mohair and love knots have a special affinity. Both add a weightless magical something. One way to get a mohair effect is with a brushed synthetic yarn. Other natural fibers can also add a halo. Angora is an obvious example. Halo is a lace-weight brushed baby alpaca yarn.
  • …You’ve stashed some skinny yarns and bling threads that are difficult to crochet with by themselves. Electra can be a great stashbuster project for these. See this blog post about fun with double stranding.
  • …You want more of a casual daytime layer. Use thicker yarns – two strands held together, or singly. Maybe you want more of a boho artsy look. Try artisan space-dyed torn silk ribbon yarns, or irregular hand spun textures.

Q: I’m confused about the Electra Wrap love knot pattern in the magazine. Can you help me with that?

A. If you have the 2013 magazine version of the pattern and need help with it:

  1. Contact the magazine. The company has pattern support staff for their patterns. They also have a forum called Crochet me.
  2. Ask a question any time in Vashti’s Crochet Lounge – lots of friendly, helpful crocheters there. It’s a Ravelry group. Chances are good that your question has already been answered there. Interweave Crochet magazine fans also have a Ravelry group.
  3. I urge you to buy & download my expanded 2014 edition of this Electra Wrap love knot pattern from the DesigningVashti shop, or my Ravelry shop. It has a stitch diagram, how-to photos, and other details that help students in my love knot classes.

A stitch diagram is essential for this design. Due to space limitations of printed magazines, the 2013 Electra pattern version is missing a stitch diagram and other helpful info. A stitch diagram reveals how simple the construction really is. It breaks the spell (those multiple visual illusions I’ve described above).

Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter where I announce discount codes for new patterns and yarns. Get your feet wet with my three-part series on Love Knot basics and tweaks. (Link goes to the third in the series, and links to the first two are at the top of the entry.)

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More on Double Strand Crocheting

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.

If you’re just coming in on this topic, be sure to also see the newsletter issue that launched it, “Fun With Double Stranding.” Then see the gallery of overflow images I blogged here yesterday.

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:

  1. Double stranding says, “I’m ready for the fall crochet season!” Hats and scarves are instantly thicker and warmer.
  2. I’m thinking multi-strand slip stitch crochet could be pretty interesting.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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Double Strand Crochet: Oh, The Overflow

I found too many double strand crochet images to show in issue #63 of my newsletter!

The topic is crocheting with two (or more) strands of yarn held together. Here’s a gallery of my double strand crochet projects and designs over the years:

Please leave a comment, I love comments! Especially as I tinker with new upgrades to this blog.

To scroll through more recent posts, click here: Quickposts.

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Lab Experiment: I’m Customizing a Tank Top with Crochet

Pink Tank Top in Progress, Close Up

This is my first attempt at customizing a tank top with crochet, so I’m using a $4 scoop-neck tank top from Walmart (White Stag brand).  Update: It’s coming along well! See this followup post.

It looks dowdy on me straight off the store shelf, so I’ve drastically cropped it and turned the neckline into a deep V.

The crochet you see adds length along the bottom hem. I’m using standard sport weight yarn and a US/F (3.75 mm) crochet hook. The steel hook shown in the photo above is the largest sharp-headed crochet hook I have. I wish I had one that’s slightly bigger for pulling through loops of sport weight yarn.

The Real Reason I’m Doing This

Fancy triple-treble stitch clusters in a zigzag pattern add drama to the picot hem of the peplum I added to a storebought tank top.
Crocheting the bottom hem.
Armholes & neckline next.

What is it like to crochet DesigningVashti Lotus yarn onto t-shirt fabric? Is sport weight yarn a good match? (If I have to use lace weight yarns, I might as well just crochet the whole darn thing.) What does the texture of this yarn look like with a plain cotton machine knit fabric? 

I have mill ends of this “Pink Sugar” color; the dyeing looks more tonal than solid (not in this photo though). Do I like it? What is it generally like to pair Lotus colors with my tee shirt colors?

Can I use a super sharp crochet hook when customizing a tank top with crochet? I want to be able to start crocheting right onto fabric and get a result I like. Would I enjoy doing it more than sewing along the cut edges first? (I sealed the cut edges with an invisible permanent washable no-fray liquid.)

Customing a tank top with crochet to give it a well defined v-neck and picot-trimmed armholes.

How will it all hold up to wearing, machine washing and drying, and the Florida sun? Will the no-fray liquid add enough strength to the edges?

How will I like wearing it? Will I find I have a preference for customizing a tank top with certain kinds of crochet stitches? What if the crochet adds too much weight to the top?

Lots of what-ifs. Will I want to do something similar with my cashmere sweaters? ::gasp::

I have a few pullovers that I want to convert into cardigans. Ideally, give them a roomier fit while I’m at it. Heck, add beads. Cashmere love is a many splendored thing.

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The Frostyflakes Crochet-Along Gallery of Winter Cheer!

Almost all of these projects were crocheted with fingering weight yarns; several of them were Madeline Tosh yarn. Hover over or click an image for the Raveler’s name and more information.

What’s a “Frosty Flake”? Why, Frostyflakes is a way to crochet groups of harmless-ol’ double crochets in a gently increasing manner to a triangular point; then, gently decrease the frosty flakes to create the other end of a shallow triangular wrap. It’s addictive and it’s flexible–as P2P (Point-to-Point construction) usually is—because you can use any kind of yarn, any amount of yarn, and end up with something that looks fabulous.

The Frostyflakes Crochet Along has been a warm cheerful spot during this year’s extended winter-into-spring season. (It’s been cold and dim in Florida too.) The great thing about hosting a CAL in a Ravelry forum is that anyone can start the same project at any time and refer to the discussion thread as if were taking place today. Discussion threads about projects contain a wealth of information and inspiration. Please visit and join Vashti’s Crochet Lounge to see all the lovely projects and meet new friends!