crochet and weaving

Technique of the month

New month, new things to try out.  And I do love to try out new crochet techniques.

Ever heard of crochet and weaving ?  If not, keep reading!  This will get interesting!

Some years ago I bought this book :

Crochet Master Class
from Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

If you don’t already have it in your crochet book collection, I can totally recommend it.  It’s kind of a compendium of all crochet techniques out there.  Well… maybe not all, but definitely a lot.

Thanks to “Crochet Master Class” I discovered that there’s something called interlocking crochet.  Interlocking crochet is a technique that uses crochet and weaving.  You work with two different fabrics and weave them into another whilst crocheting.   I wanted to know more about it and bought the book “Interlocking crochet” from Tanis Galik.

Make no mistake.  Interlocking crochet is not surface crochet.  It’s a whole new technique.

I already made two blankets that use crochet and weaving.

The first one uses a crochet grid.  After you’ve finished the grid you make A LOT of chains to weave through the grid.  It’s a lovely technique and you can create beautiful tartan motives like this.  This specific pattern came from the book “Crochet Master Class”.

This one is still a work-in-progress.  It’s a pattern from the book “Interlocking crochet”.  In this technique you make two grids at the same time, but whilst crocheting you weave these two grids into each other.  The fabric that it creates is fantastic!  I really love the feel of it.  It has such a squishy and cuddly feel that you want to keep squeezing it.

Another fun fact is that you can create two different fabric for the front and the back of the blanket. How cool is that!

The third one is the most simple technique.  You just make a lot of chains or crochet bands and weave them into one another afterwards.

I’ve started a new baby blanket in this technique.  I’m using Schachenmayr bravo Big and a 15 mm crochet hook.  It’s a very soft yarn, a bit like fleece.  And might already guessed that it’s a very thick yarn.  It’s suitable for a 10mm crochet hook, but I’m using a 15mm hook to give it more drape.  Remember we’re gonna weave all the strengs into each other afterwards and we do not want our blanket to be sturdy, but soft and squishy.

My chains are 60 stitches long, that’s about 1 meter.  Perfect for a baby blanket.

How about you ?  Have you ever used one of these techniques ?  Tell me about it and show me your projects.

crafty greetings,
Wendy

FFOM (favorit finishes object of the month)

Time to wrap up this month.   And it has been a lovely journey through crochet world this month!

Do you want to know which was my favorite design or crochet item this month ?

It’s these two cute little dolls that I’ve designed!

design from Little Wendy crochet

 This one looks a bit like me. 🙂  It’s my basic Little Wendy doll.  Don’t you love her!  I didn’t gave her any clothing, because I want to inspire the buyers to create these.

design from Little Wendy crochet

This little cutie is Lola.  She’s a creature that lives in Lolaland.  That’s why she has such lovely colorful hair and such beautiful sparkling blue eyes.

So, those were my favorite crochets of this month.

What else did I make this month…

…I learned some new techniques

not-knitted CAL

…had lots of fun in making beautiful crochet items from different designers

Calida cabled bag from Viktoria Gogolak, Elephant from Chisachi Kushima,
Dale the mosquito from Freshstitches, M.Richard the whale from Stacey Trock

…made some new designs

felted tomat & aubergine, kittykatty,
mister Panda, Freddy the Frog prince (not a new design)

…bought 2 beautiful skeins at a medieval festival

Olly the elephant and some other fun Amigurumi’s

I’m all into Amigurumi at the moment.

Last week I experimented with Amigurumi’s and felting.  And I had so much fun!

Look at those cuties!  Both the elephant and the whale are free patterns I found on the internet.

This cute elephant is a design from Chisachi Kushima.  The original pattern is in Japanese, but there are links to translated versions on the pattern page.

This cutie is a design from Stacey Trock called M.Richard the whale.  It’s already the second one I made.  I really love this pattern.  It’s such a cute whale.  This one I felted and the result is even more cuddly and cute.

How to felt your crochets ?

Here’s how I did it.

Choose a project with not too much color and a project that’s not too complex.  You have to consider that your project will shrink about 30% if you felt it.

The yarn I used.

I used Drops Nepal.  Its a blend of wool and alpaca, has a lovely light and soft (squishy) texture and also very useful for cuddly felting projects.

The patterns

Choose wisely.  Your yarn will become somewhat fluffy after felting.  So I wouldn’t recommend using lots of different colors.  In stead of that, choose a project that doesn’t have too many complex shaping.

The whale and the elephant are perfect projects for felting.  But also vegetables are cute to make.

Stuff, stuff stuff!

I stuff my animal the same way as I would when I’m not felting.  This is necessary to keep shape.  If you under-stuff it, your animal would loose shape.  And blocking a felted softie is not an option.  So make sure your animal is stuffed accordingly. 
Also, if you stuff it firmly, it will stretch your fabric.  So this means less shrinkage!  The stuffing actually serves as blocking-aid. 

the felting

Okay.  You’re done crocheting and stuffed them firmly.  So now it’s time to felt them.   
Rule number 1 : don’t be afraid of your washing machine!  The more friction your project gets, the more beautiful your felting result will be.
I washed my projects on heavy duty and 50°C, together with some towels.   A while ago I made some crochet/felted tomatoes and washed them on 60°C (also heavy duty) and the felting was even more beautiful. 
So I would recommend washing on 50 or 60°C together with some towels.  Don’t over-stuff your washing machine though!  You need to keep some movement for the felting process.

DONE!

Yay!  You’ve successfully made an uber cute felted softie! 
Happy crocheting!
crafty greetings,
Wendy

Work in progress Wednesday

I confess!  I’m a day too late.   No excuse!

Yesterday it was Work in progress Wednesday.   As you know, my sophie’s universe blanket is finished.  So, that means that I have to come up with something else to show you every wednesday.

What am I working on at the moment ?

Well, a while ago I bought a pattern for the Calida cabled bag from Victoria Gogolak.  This is one of the designs that won the design wars chalenge.

At first I wasn’t sure which yarn I wanted to use to make this project.  It had to be chunky, because I wanted a big bag.  But I also like my yarn to be 100% natural fibres.  It doesn’t has to be ecological (though that would be an extra plus), but it does have to be cotton, wool, bamboo, …

For a project like this I prefer cotton.  I had to look around a bit to find a chunky cotton, that was strong enough to be used as a bag, but still lightweight enough.  (I didn’t want a bag that weight more than the things I want to put in it.)

And I found!  And you won’t believe me, but the perfect yarn for my project is from a brand called “Wendy”.  Haha!  How funny is that.

I used :

  • 3,5 skeins Wendy supreme luxury cotton chunky in cobalt blue
  • a tiny bit more than 2 skeins in soft grey.
I’m still working on the handles.  For the handles I choose to work with Wendy supreme luxury cotton DK in the color poppy red.  The band is also made in this color.
For both the band and the handles I’m using the Tunisian Simple Stitch.   This gives just that little bit more strenght to the material.
Anyway. I am in love with the result.  The designer did a great job.  It’s a lovely design.  And I love my new bag.
crafty greetings,
Wendy

pattern give-away

And the winners are….

uh… ow….  It seems that an error slipped into the E-mail I mentioned in my blogpost. :-/

But no worries.  I promised you all a free pattern and I’m planning to keep it.

Hang on to your chairs, because it gets even better.

As from now until Wednesday  12 o’clock (at noon,  GMT Brussels, Belgium) this pattern will be free to download for everybody!

So be fast or you’ll mis it.

And I’d love to see all your creations of this dragon.  If you send me a picture of the finished object, I might put it on my facebook page.

Have fun!

crafty greetings,
Wendy