I have always loved antique Tiffany Lamps, and this "Fruit Cocktail" variegated Comfort Sock yarn from Berocco was just calling out for a stitch pattern that echoed Tiffany lamp style. I found a beautiful stitch pattern, but I wasn't sure what to make with it. I knew I wanted it to be a home decor piece, and something that would be functional. Once upon a time, I bought a handmade glass plate at a craft fair, and I have always admired its lovely modern open shape. I decided I would use it as the model for a crochet version.
First, I made the top two layers; one in the lace pattern and one in solid half double crochets, then crocheted them together. Next, I crocheted the base, inserted a wooden dowel in each end, and enclosed them by stitching crocheted discs on the ends. After all the pieces were crocheted, I had to figure out the best way to stiffen them. Mod Podge, a widely used stiffener, is not available in Kuwait, so I had to search for a more basic method. I thought of trying a mix of sugar and water, but I was worried about ants attacking it, so I switched to Elmer's Glue mixed with water. It was actually quite scary to see my hours of crochet all wet and gooey. I wondered if I had just ruined the project, but felt comforted by the fact that the glue was labeled "washable". I figured if it didn't look good, I could just keep rinsing it until all the glue came out. After it was saturated with the glue mixture, I put plastic wrap on my model glass plate, and laid the crochet on top of it to dry into shape. I also found a wooden block to put under the center of the base, to give it the right shape to dry on. This is important, as it needed to stand up and support the plate when it was dry. Finally, I held my breath until it all dried. Luckily, it came out looking better than I imagined it would! It does dull the yarn somewhat, but I think that is ok, because the yarn is cotton and the colors weren't too bright to begin with. It was a good exercise for me, because I had never stiffened any crochet. Now, I have more courage to dip my creations in glue!
|The base is attached to the plate with Velcro, so I can make interchangeable tops for it.|
|Closeup of stitch pattern before stiffening|