Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A little boutonniere for a little groom

I love designing my different characters for wall hangings and bookmarks.  I make them out of thread crochet using a size 1 (2.25mm) hook.  This is a larger hook then is usually used for thread but I need that size to get the gauge I need. ( I am also hoping it will encourage yarn users to try thread.)

One of the challenges as a designer is to make everything on a very minature scale.  Since it is already done in thread the character is very "minaturized" already.  When I had finished this particular character which was a groom, one of my pattern testers suggested that he needed a little color and wouldn't it be wonderful if he had a boutonniere.  I agreed.  Now the challenge was to design a really tiny flower.

The color, of course was based on the bride's colors.  The smallest flower I had on the bride was on her headband, so I started with that.
I tried that on the groom's lapel and it was still too large.  After trying several different ideas, I just couldn't come up with anything that tiny.  So I went to a smaller hook.  I don't like switching hooks in mid-pattern but that was the only way to get it small enough to fit the groom.  So I added a new hook size to the pattern for this particular part.

I love my thread crochet pattern tester.   We communicate by e-mail as she lives in a different state.  Her name is Carol Henderson and she does an excellent job of finding mistakes and helping me come up with ideas.  She is an accomplished thread artist and she wanted to make a rose bud.

She came up with a rose bud design without changing hook sizes that I loved and sent me this wonderful picture tutorial to add to the pattern.
 Thank you Carol.  The pattern includes written instructions that follow these steps.
The steps start with a magic circle so that there is no hole to deal with.  The magic circle is a wonderful technique.  It starts with a slip knot that is not tightened until the end.  In fact the work is done in the circle that will become the knot.  Here is how it is done.
The start of a slip knot starts like this.  Do not tighten but grab a loop from the long end and bring it in through the circle.
Make a single crochet and start making your stitches into this circle.

When all the stitches are completed, the short end is pulled tight and now there is no opening.

I love how her rose bud came out and it is now, with her kind permission, part of the pattern.
This is just one of the many, many challenges that come with designing any knit or crochet pattern.  I am really thankful for my wonderful pattern testers who help make my patterns great.  Here is a picture of the groom with my flower and smaller hook but the pattern gives you either option in making the boutonniere.

This just proves that two heads are definately better than one.  I love how he came out.  What do you think?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bride bookmark and Solomon's Knot tutorial

It has been a while but with vacations and some home repairs, I haven't been able to work on the computer much.  Luckily, it doesn't mean I haven't been designing.  I love knit or crochet because I can take with me.

I am currently designing a bride bookmark.  This is part of a commission wall hanging.  I love how she came out.
I decided to give her an overskirt on her dress of Solomon's knot or Love knot lace because of its fantastically lacey look.  So I thought I would do a picture tuturial of this particular stitch.
To start,  pull up a loop.  My pattern calls for a loop that is 1/4 inch long.  (Most patterns will tell you how long a loop is required for their pattern.)  
Yarn over and pull a loop through.
  Now comes the "tricky" part.  Sc in back strand of the long lp created by pulling a loop through above.
Below is a completed Solomon's knot or Love knot.

 Generally, a pattern has you make several on top of  each other as shown below. 
Future rows are generally worked in the sc stitch on top of the knot.  The stitch is not a hard one just a little confusing if you have not run into it before.
Here is a back view of the overskirt to show how neat this stitch works up.
I love how it came out. 
I think crochet and knitting are wonderful.  They are so mobile that they can be taken on 16 hour drives to see the children and the work isn't put on hold until we return.  What do you like about these arts?