Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Machine Stitching Crochet!

I have found that I use crochet chains in so many ways in addition to kicking off a crochet project!  

Lately, I have been experimenting with machine stitching my finished crochet and weaving pieces. For example, in this pendant, I wanted to use this beautiful variegated embroidery thread and I wanted there to be different thicknesses and textures. I crocheted a chain and stitched down, then stitched down some un-crocheted thread on top. In some places I used a zig zag stitch, and in some places, a straight stitch, so as not to cover up the thread too much. Before stitching it into the pendant, I added some iridescent sequins to give it a little sparkle. 

The stitched piece evokes a feeling of celebration, which I love and I think it is a wonderful way to begin this new year of posts! I hope all is going well in 2018 for all of you dear readers! I am looking forward to all of the adventures in fiber this year!

See it Sparkle:

Sunday, December 31, 2017

My Year in Fiber Arts and Looking to 2018!

On this very last day of 2017, I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot of wonderful fiber filled memories!

I had the opportunity to organize fiber arts activities at our local community garden, attend the Black Sheep Gathering, learn some amazing natural dyeing, felting, and fiber painting techniques, design crochet patterns for Interweave Crochet, teach weaving classes using our Ultimate Fiber Arts Kit, teach "Fun with Textiles" childrens' workshops for the Sadu House, and add a new member to our eWoodStory line, a mini weaving loom that is just the right size for weaving on the go! We also had the opportunity to take over the apartment next door to us, which means I have a new studio space to set up! Finally, all of my supplies will be in one place, I really can't wait!

I keep adding more techiniques to my list of favorites, and in order to have time for all of them, I tend to combine them. You will be seeing lots more crochet/weaving pieces embellished with embroidery, using naturally dyed, and hopefully handspun art yarns (I see a spinning wheel in my 2018 future). I have also started doing macrame with my daughter as a fun weekend activity to learn new techniques together. So you may see some knotting incorporated into my work this year as well!  I am planning to develop and teach more weaving classes in Kuwait and the USA and you will be seeing some independently published crochet jewelry patterns from me as well. I am planning to attend the Black Sheep Gathering again, as well as the annual Chain Link Crochet Conference in Portland, Oregon. Are any of you planning to attend these events? I would love to see you!

May 2018 be healthy, happy, creative, and prosperous for all of you dear readers! Thank you for your support, and I look forward to sharing more fiber adventures with you in the coming months!

Natural dyeing with family and friends!

Needle felting class at the Black Sheep Gathering

The Cool Cat Cuff for Interweave Crochet Fall 2017

Far Out Ruana for Interweave Crochet Fall 2017

Teaching at the wonderful Cozy Yarn Shop in Eugene, Oregon

Teaching at the lovely Sadu House in Kuwait

My amazing students from the art weaving workshop!

We created Pom Pom bouquets in the Fun with Textiles Class

 Meet our new baby weaving loom

If you are on Instagram, I would love to see you there as well, you can find me on my crochet account: @stitchstorycrochet, or on my collaborative account @ewoodstory, featuring things that I make with our stitchables, and weaving and crochet kits.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

More Creating with Crochet Remnants!

I have been keeping all of the scraps and leftovers from current projects in a little pottery bin on my work table to make into pendants. This pendant was made from an extra cord and set of tassels for a purse I made.

By tying the cord into a semi-complex knot, I was able to create a 3D effect when stitched into the pendant. After I finished stitching the knot into the pendant, I realized that the tassels and the cord really need to be together, so I decided to include them as well. The addition of the tassels really changed the look, style, and dimension of the pendant! This opened up a whole new realm of pendant ideas for me to explore. So what started out as scraps, took me down an exciting new creative path!

In 2018, I will continue to save my leftovers for more creative challenges. I recently had an idea for embellishing yarn with yarn scraps, so I may never need to throw any scraps away again!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Calming Crochet Wallhanging

The new Winter 2018 issue of Interweave Crochet is now out! Check out the new beautiful new lookbook format to show all of the designs in the magazine.

When I first submitted this design to the magazine, it was an idea for a scarf. I had some beautiful grey variegated yarn and thought would be interesting to crochet a wave pattern that would really show off the changes in color.
Original Scarf Submission
When I heard back from the editor, she asked if I could make a modern wall hanging based on the design instead. I had been making woven wall hangings using our eWoodStory weaving looms, and so I was in the perfect mindset to do it!  They sent me this gorgeous Blue Sky Fibers Bulky alpaca and wool blend to work with, which couldn't have been a better choice for the project. I have since bought more of the Polar Bear color to dye with natural dyes. I will report back to you with my results once I have given it a try!

So here is what I came up with for the issue, the Calming Wallhanging:

Photo by Harper Point Photography

Photo by Harper Point Photography

Photo by Harper Point Photography

Calming to crochet, and to look at! A lovely project for those cold winter nights!

You can favorite projects from this issue on its Ravelry page. There are so many lovely projects to choose from in this issue from home decor to accessories to garments!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Remnants Challenge Part 2!

To continue with the recycling theme I began in my last post, I have been challenging myself to create new things using leftover scraps from previously completed projects.

Recently I was working on a woven project. I wove several ribbons that I wanted to weave into a pillow top. I wove them together, then stitched them with the sewing machine. I couldn't stop myself from stitching on the top, and discovered that I really liked the effect and stiffness of the new stitched fabric!

When I had finished stitching around the square, I cut off all of the excess ribbon ends. I had a wonderful pile of mini weavings that inspired me to make this pendant using the ends plus some yarn and felt scraps I have. Did you spot the crocheted chains?

This was such a satisfying project, especially since it came out of a successful technique experiment.

If you are on Instagram and you would like to participate in the challenge, post projects made with your remnants/ scraps with the hashtag #remnantschallenge.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Using Crochet Remnants

From most any design project, I have leftover pieces. I save these pieces hoping for just the right project to come along. I decided to challenge my self to make a pendant out of some of the pieces leftover from the free Mademoiselle Necklace Pattern I designed for Berroco.

By layering them and adding some surface embroidery, I was able to create a 3D background for one of our stitchable "Pod" pendants.

I like working with remnants and leftovers, because working with what you have exercises your creative problem solving and the results are always unexpected!

I plan to continue this challenge and will be sharing more remnant creations in coming posts. I challenge you all to make something out of your scraps and remnants! If you are on Instagram, use the hashtag #remnantschallenge.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Adventures in Combining Crochet and Weaving!

Even though I love working with many techniques, I always have crochet on my mind! I especially love to combine different technique to achieve interesting effects. For a while now I have been experimenting with and teaching modern weaving with our eWoodStory weaving kit. I love doing freeform work, and weaving can be so creative. You can really show the beauty of the yarns and fibers you are using.

I recently started experimenting with including crochet in my weaving. The first experiment I did was to crochet the weft for a weaving in an ivory color. I freely wove it into the piece along with some other yarns, and then painted the crochet to go with the yarns. I also crocheted the fringe. I felt it was really successful, and the wheels of creativity began spinning!  If you want to see the evolution of this weaving, here is a link to an earlier post I wrote when I was just beginning to weave this piece.

The next piece I worked on had some crocheted chains and bobbles added to the warp. I then wove around them to incorporate them into the piece without covering them up too much. I also did a little embroidery embellishment to finish it off.

The third piece had a completely crocheted warp. I crocheted a filet mesh that was tailored to fit the loom, and then I crocheted some chains to weave into the mesh. I alternated weaving the chains in, with some of the same yarn that hadn't been crocheted. I love the rich tapestry it created! I made this into a purse. By crocheting the warp, I was able to make the piece long enough to make a purse from the one panel.

After completing this piece, I decided that I wanted to try making the warp the focus of the piece, and I crocheted interesting wavy strips that I wove a little color into after crocheting. I alternated these with double chain bands in a contrasting color. Then the challenge was to find a warp that would hold it all together but not compete with it.

I have many more ideas for combining crochet and weaving. I am excited to keep on experimenting with this! I have decided to call these combo pieces "weavrochet". My daughter and I had a great time brainstorming words combining crochet and weaving, and this was our favorite!

If you would like to follow along  and see progress photos of my weavrochet adventures as they unfold, follow me on instagram, and you can also search by the Instagram hashtag #weavrochet.