Surface Embellishment: is an important component of freeform, it’s a great way of bringing your personality, your style & your skills to your work & putting your own stamp on your project. There are 1000’s of ways to embellish & I have covered but a few basics that I hope you find helpful & encourage you to experiment…
Rummage through your buttons & beads. Have another look at your embroidery threads & don’t forget those cords & braids that you’ve kept forever & haven’t had a use for; try to think outside of the box; if you’re anything like me & keep stuff simply because you love the colour, texture, sheen or whatever, you won’t have any trouble finding interesting ways to embellish your work. And, it doesn’t only apply to freeform. A drab pullover, scarf or beanie can sometimes be redeemed with a little extra bling…
So, to everyone who has contacted me asking how to add that extra something to their work, I hope I’ve answered at least some of your questions…
Because the techniques for holding your hook & yarn are exactly the same for left handed folk as for right handed (except of course that you will be holding the hook & yarn in opposite hands)… I haven’t repeated the text but I thought it might be helpful for you to see it in pictorial form – I hope it makes it a little easier for you getting started with crochet….
Some weeks ago a group of mums invited me to give their kiddies a crochet lesson. I have to say, I’m always a tad apprehensive when teaching children because you never know what to expect… some will pick it up super quickly while others struggle. Nevertheless, I’m always up for a challenge & this was not different.
I decided the best way to begin was with a pictorial tutorial so that the children had a starting point & something they could refer to when the mood struck to try a bit of crochet…. it proved to be a great success… the afternoon was busy, fun, lovely.
I came home exhausted but very pleased with myself that, in some small way, I’ve helped young people (including quite a few boys) & their mums get started or rekindle their interest in crochet. I’d like to think that, some time down the track, they remember that Saturday afternoon, pick up their hook & yarn & continue…
And then, it occurred to me that I’m often asked what is the correct way to hold the hook/yarn? So, I thought… it wouldn’t hurt for me to post the Getting Started Pictorial Tutorial for everyone struggling with the dilemma of how to hold the hook/yarn…. I hope this little tutorial helps… enjoy & happy crocheting….
The idea for this cheeky freestyle crochet vest/top has been mulling around in my head for months & I’m overjoyed to have finally finished it but now that it’s in front of me, I’m not entirely sure if it’s a vest, a top or perhaps a half jumper (sweater).
In any case, I was so happy with the result that I made another one just to prove to myself that it wasn’t a fluke.
Here’s what I did for No 1….
Gathered together a collection of complementary yarns (10 in all) & chose a large crochet hook [12mm] then, on my dressmakers dummy, I measured from the centre front to under the arm across the hip, approx 32 cm [12 1/2″] & made a chain.
From here on I worked in rows of dc [US sc] & tr [US dc] (not necessarily in that order), alternating yarns at random & increasing on one side only until it measured approx 79 cm [31″] across the top (shoulders)
~ I made 2 of these sort of triangles ~
From there it’s just a matter of sewing or crocheting the 2 pieces together across the top leaving a space for the neck opening & doing the same along the straight seam from the bottom up & leaving a space for the arm hole… done… well almost…. I just couldn’t leave well enough alone & decided to add some interesting tassels on each end of the sleeves.
For No 2… I worked in the same way but I used only one yarn, the beautiful Noro Silk Garden yarn & No 9 (M/N) hook, this one turned out a bit longer in length but that’s OK because I’m keeping it for myself…
So there you go… something new to try out for yourself… experiment with yarns, hook size & stitches… easy enough to do & lots of pleasure & creativity in the process.. have fun…
I thought it might be appropriate to begin the year with 2 new crochet patterns & trust they will be useful additions to your crochet repertoire – The crochet bag purse pattern is for sale & a basic foundation for embellishments – let your imagination go wild by adding your own ideas to make this your very own creation… The button pattern is a free download & a handy little item when that special button is required but is often so difficult to find – enjoy!
This basic crochet bag/purse pattern is worked on size not number of stitches & can be used as a foundation for embellishments by adding crochet/knit flowers/motifs ~ beading ~ lace overlays ~ freeform scrumples ~ or anything your imagination & heart desires ~ your choice of yarn & hook size will determine the look & feel of your purse/bag – experiment with yarns, hooks & width/depth of your bag/purse & have fun creating your own individual design
basic purse/bag pattern instructions
simple crochet button & button loop instructions
US & UK terminology
stitch diagrams (charts) & stitch drawings
clear colour photos
Requirements: to create the purse in the photo I used:
Yarn Bee (Down to Earth) 70% Bamboo, 30% Cotton – 150 grms ~ hook size 4.50 (US: G) ~ satin lining ~ shade cloth for bag base ~ simple crochet button
* Please note: flower embellishments are not included in this pattern
This simple button pattern will come in handy when nothing else suits or is available – experiment with yarns, threads & hook sizes – work pattern in back loops of stitch only – play with multi colours by changing colour on every round or use variegated yarn/thread – thread beads onto your yarn/thread & bring them into your work as desired – stuff with wadding for a firm button or cover old buttons Pattern includes: