Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bangle Crochet- Will it Come Back as a Crochet Trend?

"Bangle Crochet" is a technique, that consists of crocheting large iridescent sequins/ spangles into the fabric as you work. They are different from traditional sequins, because they have a hole at the top instead of the middle.  This allows them to have some movement, even though they are secured. They are referred to a "paillettes" in modern day fashion terms.  This technique was very popular in the late 1950's and early 1960's, and used mainly in making hats and purses. The vintage Bangle Crochet pattern books I have found, were produced by Walco products, and can be found occasionally on ebay.

I think it may be a trend that will be popular again.  I was at the fabric and trims market in Kuwait last week, and saw many types of paillettes- more than I have ever seen before.  It has been my experience, that the things they sell there, are on trend.  I have recently seen paillettes used by designers such as Roberto Cavelli, Stella McCartney, Michael Kors, and Donna Karan.  I have also seen them on knitwear from chain stores, such as the Gap.  I would love to see, and design some modern "Bangle Crochet" pieces.  I think that paillettes made from other materials such as leather, would be fun to work with, and give an interesting new twist to the technique.

If you are wondering where to buy paillettes, here is a great online resource.  If you are wondering how to include them in your crochet work, here is a very clear tutorial.

Below, are some lovely examples of vintage Bangle Crochet as well as some current examples of paillettes used by today's designers.

Dress by Roberto Cavelli
Dress by Stella McCartney
Sweater and Skirt by the Gap

Sunday, November 20, 2011

French Crochet Style

Crochet style is an interesting thing to observe in other countries.  The differences between countries can be the items they crochet, the way the crochet is put together, or simply the way they are styled in photos. I love Japanese crochet, because it has a modern look that is simple and clever. I love Russian crochet, as it is amazingly ornate and has many freeform elements.  I love Turkish crochet, because it is amazingly delicate, and beads seem to be effortlessly incorporated into it.  I love French crochet, for its charming rustic elegance.

My very thoughtful brother-in-law was in Paris recently, and wanted to get me a gift that he knew I would like.  When he found something handmade, that included crochet, he knew he had found the perfect gift!  When I first saw it, I thought it was a little chest of drawers that I could keep my crochet hooks or sewing notions in. To my surprise, the "drawers" are actually photo albums. Then, the "Album de Naissance" written on it, made sense.  One day, I want to gather some of my daughter's best baby photos to put in them!

This type and color of distressed wood, combined with the linen background and cotton crochet, really shows French crochet style at its best.  French chocolate shops in Kuwait, also put little crocheted sweaters and booties on top of chocolates.  These are given to guests who attend receptions, to welcome new babies.  I always take them home to my daughter, with the hope that one of her dolls will be the right size to wear them!

Whenever I travel, I like to look for books and magazines from the countries I visit.  My mother bought Le Crochet by Natalie Spiteri, for me when we were in Paris, at Galignani bookshop.  They are the first English bookshop established in Europe, but they do have French books as well.  All of the projects in this book are made of thread, and you can see from the photos, they are styled with the wonderful rustic elegance that the French do so well.  French books, like Japanese books, have clear instructions and diagrams, so it is possible to work from them even if you don't know the language.  Most of the crochet books I have seen for sale here in Kuwait, are either French or Japanese.  I am still on a quest to find some Arabic crochet books!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Mini Doodle Scarf

I designed the Doodle Scarf to be a 1 skein project, and amazingly, you can even make half of the scarf and create a fun accessory!  It is fastened by pulling the tassel through the loop at the bottom of the pineapple at the other end. It is a mini scarf, that is easy to wear, and would liven up a simple sweater or coat.  I just love how the tassel falls over the shoulder.

If you buy one skein of Quince & Co. "Puffin" yarn, you should be able to get 2 mini scarves out of it.  One for you, and one for a gift!

Full View of Mini Scarf

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Crawford Crochet Necklace Pattern, Now in US Terms!

The Crawford Necklace was originally published in Issue 15 of the UK crochet magazine, Inside Crochet. I designed this necklace by combining simple stitches in a unique way, to create an ornate piece inspired by my collection of vintage jewelry.  The use of metallic yarn echos the richness of fine jewelry that could be worn everyday or for formal occasionsThe necklace could also be made in a variegated yarn, if you prefer not to change colors.  This works up quickly and requires very little yarn, so you can easily make one for yourself as well as one for a gift!

The necklace is entirely crocheted, so no need to buy a clasp!


Skill level: Intermediate 

Finished Length: 16 1/2”/ 42cm. 
Yarn:  King Cole Merino Blend DK, 
100% superwash wool, 50g/ 123yd/ 
112m. WPI=11. 
Color A: Asparagus, #785 (one 
Color B: Bronze Green, #43 (one 
Color C: Olive, #69 (one skein). 
Color D: Twilleys GoldīŦngering, 
20% metallized polyester, 80% 
viscose, 25g/ 100m/ 109 yd, White 
Gold #04 (two balls are to be used 
at the same time, and worked as 
one yarn). WPI=25 

Hook size: C/2 2.75mm 

Notions:  Tapestry needle, rust- proof pins. 

This pattern is available as a pdf download, in US crochet terms, for $2.99. BUY NOW

Photo copyright KAL Media

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