I am old enough to remember when schools required home economics, art and shop for all of its high school students. The result, has been, for many of us, that being creative, or completing a task, is limited by our imagination, not knowledge of a particular skill. In short, we can think outside the box because we knew how to make the box, decorate the box, and fill it with whatever the occasion requires. I mention this because this photo has sent me down another rabbit trail. The necklace the model is wearing is beautiful and goes wonderfully with the dress. The embroidered chiffon, light and airy, with a necklace that has a warm handmade look. The necklace isn’t clear enough to know exactly how it is made, but, it reminds me of a decorative “badge” or “medallion” we used to make. So today, we will, cross traditional craft boundaries, and make something that requires more patience than skill or ability.
But, when done, I think you will find many applications for given today’s fashion. Below are just a few I found that go far beyond the embroidery function on your sewing machine.
For purposes of this series, I turned my badge into jewelry, but you can applique it onto your clothes, turn it into a purse… The home spun, geometric look of these badges or medallions can create endless possibilities.
What you can do with the very simple single crochet stitch.
But wait…not only will you learn a quick and easy way to create a wonderful medallion to use wherever your fashion mind takes you, but, the single crochet stitch allows you to create outlines for flowers, dogs, skunks… or to block off an area, or just make links from one design to another.
How dense or how light that chain looks depends on the thickness of the thread and the size of the crochet hook. For instance, I used a size 4 crochet hook with bulky yarn. The result is a very tight chain. However, notice what happens when I use a slightly smaller crochet hook, 3.5 on upholstery thread. Now imagine this with a metallic thread doubled up with multi colored rayon. The combinations are endless and, blocking off areas with this size would give you a netting or lace effect, over your fabric.
Review last week’s blog on options to adhering the decorative chain onto your fabric. There is one other option. Depending on how thick your decorative chain, and the design, you may just want to sew it with clear nylon thread. I won’t lie, I have a love hate relationship with nylon thread, it’s great when the stars align...a nightmare when they don’t. But, it’s a good inexpensive solution.
So…how do you do this miracle working stitch?
I am a knitter, and have been for many moons. In fact, a learned in Scotland from my Aunt who, strange as it sounds, taught me the American style of knitting, not the European. And, like most knitters, I crochet only when required. So a will teach you the lazy knitter’s approach to crocheting.
1. Tie a knot at the end of your yarn.
2. With the crochet hook in your right hand (if you are right handed, so the reverse if left handed) stick the crochet needle into the knot with the hook up
3 Holding the tail with your right hand grab the thread with your left and pull it over the hook in between the hook and the loop.
4 Pull the hook through the loop. And, if everything is done correctly, you will also carry the yarn through the loop and…voila, you have created your first stitch. Keep going and before long you will have a chain. If you pull the yarn through the loop, and the stitch disappears, it’s because you didn’t hold the tail down and the knot unraveled. Fear not, just use the stitch created as your first, and keep on going.
5 You have created a continuous linked chain which will unravel if you start trying to cut it. At the end, cut the thread and pull it through the loop, this will stop the chain from unraveling. It is better, working with this chain, to create the exact length you need But, if you do cut, cut a stitch before so you have slack to pull the cut thread through the last loop.
Hopefully by now you are thinking…this is it?! Yes…this is it. Now, if you want to make a sweater, scarf…socks, talk to a crocheter…for something that large, you will need to learn how to hold the hook to prevent injury to your hand, and different stitches to get through the project faster. However, what you have learned today, will allow you to create everything discussed, boarders and…next week’s project.
You will need
2) Crochet hook (If you don’t have one size 5 might be a good universal size, not too big or too small)
3) Yarn, cotton (as we are going into summer you might want to use cotton) or, very thick thread
Thank you for joining me, practice with string, yarn, strips of cloth, you will be surprised at the wonderful trims and art you can create for your cloths.
Until next week, God Bless.