Creating Texture in Crochet with Post Stitches

I am playing with post stitches at the moment. They are a great way to create ribbing and textural effects in crochet, but they can be real yarn gobblers, so make sure you have plenty!

Here I am making some boot cuffs in forward and back post stitches which will be trimmed with some horn buttons to add a touch of the individual to boot tops. I am using a flecky DK left over from some knitted socks, on a 4.5mm hook, worked in the round. The trick is to get your chain (even number of chains) flat on the first round so you can join a tube with a slip stitch, then after the foundation row of trebles you are away, working alternate stitches. The beauty of this technique is that the front and back is identical so great for turn down cuffs, or use it as a ribbing on mittens, a collar on a poncho (which I will be doing soon on a huge granny poncho I am working on). Image

You will want perfect rows for this, not spirals, so finish each row with two chains to bridge to the next round, like this:

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And look how thick and chunky it is! These will be super cosy!

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I am also experimenting with this lovely German sock yarn I got last weekend at the Knitting & Stitching Show, its quite fine and recommends a 2 to 3mm hook but I don’t want it to be too thick as it will be a men’s scarf, so after several goes with the hook sizes I am using a 4mm hook to get a close pattern but one which is quite flexible to be worn around the neck. Here I am using a basket weave pattern which alternates the front and back post stitches in rows of three, and I really like it! I found this great tutorial from Mikey (watched a few men doing crochet recently) which you need to translate from American terms – his double is our treble.  I love his ‘cheat’ on this first row – who says its all about being a perfectionist, if there is a way round a mistake, or a quick short cut, I am all for it! He also has an interesting technique which is very different to what I was taught, and teach, but super efficient! Great row end management too, with a neat result!

Here’s the first four pattern repeats, again, it’s identical front and back so perfect for a scarf:

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Wibbly wobbly felted crochet

I just finished this little bowl with one of the balls of Adriafil Crea I posted earlier – this is a specific felting yarn so you’d expect it to work and it didn’t shrink quite as much as the 100% wool hand wash onlys I have tried before. I finished the top edge with some loopy chains to give it a wibbly look, I think I will do separate chains for the next one to get a shaggy look to it, which I will curl when damp. That’s the fun of felting your work, you never quite know how its going to come out the machine!

I dried this one around a pretty little Pip Studio bowl to get the exact shape I wanted, but I have used baked bean cans, biscuit tins and all sorts of shapes before – why not have a play!

You can make one of these using the pattern on the tutorial I posted a couple of weeks ago!

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Yarn Adventures

I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show today and completely failed in my mission not to buy any yarn…. I did however resist the beautiful luxury alpaca, buffalo and artisan dyed yarns which were stunning, and what I did get were real bargs, plus some embroidery threads and sixteen fat quarters!

This week I finished the yarn eater cushion cover which now has a new pattern I tried out on the back, plus more Dorset buttons! I love them and look how perfectly they match the pattern!

More final shows later!

New Yarn! Wooo hoooo!!!!

I just got my latest order of yarn, then I really must stop… she says… this is wonderful Araucania artisan yarn and it had 60% off so was a real bargain! This one is wool, camel and silk blend, totally artisan spun and dyed in Chile. When I taught crochet last week I ended up swapping patterns with one of my intermediate students, so these skeins are for the scarf pattern she sent, plus I will be making handwarmers to match, which are brilliant to crochet and so useful – will put up a photo and a pattern soon. I have also got a massive ball of Aran for a basketweave boys scarf for winter dog walks. 

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Edged!

Just a quick post as I have a cakey and family weekend ahead, but wanted to sing the praises of edging after a very enjoyable workshop last night with people I have taken through the basics and are now flying with their crochet! Its really satisfying to see all the things they brought in, and were even wearing! Last night was all about finishing as we crocheted onto blanket stitching and tried a granny blanket edging with pretty shaped scallops on chains. Everyone finished a crisp white teatowel with coloured cotton lace edging – and daft me did not take any photos – they were very pretty indeed! Here’s one  I made earlier with a deeper edging and a simple shell trim overlaying it. I can feel some pillowcases coming on now!

Felt up!

I love felted crochet and I now have quite a stack of yarns to get felting with. When I was in Bridport at the weekend I called in my now favourite woolshop, Bridport Yarns, and picked myself up a couple of these out the bargain bucket. I normally buy 100% yarns which are hand wash only then abuse them in a hot wash with some trainers and towels, but these are felting yarns, Crea from the gorgeous Italian yarn people, AdriafilImage, and the colours are just gorgeous! Results coming up when I have finished my latest cushion cover! 

 

Yarn Eater!

I’ve been wanting to try out Sarah London’s yarn eater pattern for a while, so I am using it for my latest cushion cover. It’s a really interesting stitch, and one section involves drawing the loop through 10 loops on the hook – reminds me of tunisian crochet or even knitting! I also checked out Crochet Dad’s great tutorial on the wheel stitch, a similar technique. The Sarah London pattern uses Australian stitch references which is the same as we Brits, I had to translate Crochet Dad’s.

It’s called yarn eater and its true to its name! And the stuff I am using here, the same Rowan alpaca/cotton mix I used in the bobble textured cushion cover and a beautiful 100% wool from Bridport Yarn, is not cheap! I am off back there on Saturday for another ball, and the back of the piece will have to be in plain old doubles!

I have gone against all the rules and used two quite different yarns, which has given this a highly textural, lump bumpy finish which I rather like! Check out this work in progress pic which gives a good idea of the pattern.

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Feeling edgy!

I have spent some time today working up samples and writing up patterns for my next Intermediate Crochet workshop at Make & Do. I say intermediate, as two of the trims I have chosen are a lot easier than they look and anyone beyond picking up a hook for the first time could manage them! The very useful and pretty shell edging will feature, along with this gorgeous ‘Hardy Lace’ edging. I have applied it here to a vintage guest towel I got in a charity shop for 50p, and the same stitch is on the little granny lavender sachet, creating a quite different effect!

Also on offer will be granny edging which will be slightly more of a challenge, with half trebles in the mix. But so pretty, and such a lovely finishing touch for a granny blanket, it fits in perfectly with the treble clusters and turns corners beautifully.

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I now want to trim all my tea-towels! Then I will not want to use them at all!

There are still some places left on the workshop, you get all the materials you need, and a tea towel and hook to take away! The date is 4 October between 7 and 10! Check out Make & Do’s website for more details.