Friday, March 1, 2013

Crochet Designers Blog Tour, Day 1: A Fun Way to Add Color to Crochet!



First let me say, Happy National Crochet Month! I am so excited to be participating in the Crochet Designer's Blog Tour, organized by Amy Shelton and Donna Hulka of Crocheville. It is the first day of the tour, and the wonderful designer Jenny King and I are the hosts today! I

I decided that my special post to kick off National Crochet Month, should be about a new technique I have been experimenting with. Actually my daughter gave me the idea, when she asked if she could use some of my swatches for an art project. She said they weren't the right color, and she needed to paint them to match her color scheme. She used acrylic paint, so when the pieces were dry, they were rigid, but she was pleased with the results. I loved the idea of being able to place color exactly where I want it, after a piece has been crocheted. A neat alternative to changing colors in yarn, and having multiple ends to weave in!

To try out this technique, I crocheted a length of ornate trim in Cascade Ultra Pima cotton yarn.  I decided to use a set of 36 watercolors I purchased at Michaels. The color range and quality is excellent.  I thought that watercolors would give more subtle color and be easier to blend, and when dry, the crochet would have the same texture and feel as it did before painting. Next, I blocked the trim, so it would lay flat while painting. Then, it was time to paint! I approached the lace as if it was a blank coloring page. At first, I was worried that I would ruin the trim if I tried a color and then found it I didn't like it. I soon found out that if I pressed a paper towel on it right away, I could absorb most of the color. After that, I became more confident and really enjoyed the process! I found that I could layer the colors and get different effects, depending on how much water I used. Some helpful tips: crochet a small swatch so you can test the colors before painting them on the trim, keep a paper towel near you for blending colors or absorbing mistakes, and change your brush rinsing water often so your colors will stay true. Keep in mind that the colors look quite a bit lighter when dry, so don't be shy about the amount of color you use. You can also wait until after it dries to evaluate the level of color, and if you want more, paint the piece again. After trying this technique, I will never look at plain white cotton yarn  the same way again...oh the possibilities!

(Trim, before it was painted)

(Supplies needed: a watercolor paint set, paint brush, small bowl for water, and a paper towel)

(Adding a little more color after the paint had dried)

(Finished trim)

 Another fun thing you can do with painted crochet, is paint the piece generously and then make prints with it on paper. I am planning to make some of my own prints on greeting cards. I can see lots of uses for this technique in my future. My daughter enjoyed the painting as much as I did. If you happen to have some swatches crocheted in cotton, let your child try their hand at creating a painted crochet masterpiece!

(My daughter's painted crochet print)

The designers that are participating in the blog tour have selected a charity to promote and support this month, Project Night Night. This charity provides childhood essentials for homeless children from newborns to preteens. You can support this them by: donating money, crocheting blankets for them to give out to the children, or purchasing my patterns. I will donate 100% of the profit from all of the patterns sold in my Craftsy store, during the month of March, to the charity. I will also organize a Crochet Along (CAL) for the best selling pattern of the month, please check out my Ravelry group for details in April! I hope you will consider donating to this very worthy cause, whether you donate money or your crochet time, anything would be greatly appreciated!

The next hosts for the blog tour are the talented designers, Ellen Gormley and Nancy Nehring. Please visit their blogs tomorrow to see what they have in store for us!

I hope you all will become regular visitors to my blog. I post here about once a week, and at the end of March I will be giving away a fun prize package: a Russian crochet stitch dictionary and a digital row counter. Stay tuned for more details!



38 comments:

  1. How fascinating! I loved your thoughts on crochet with paint and then making a PRINT! Brilliant.

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  2. I like this idea. But will the color fade overtime and washings? If so is there any products that can make the color last?

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  3. Hi Melody,

    I haven't had the chance to experiment with setting the color. I was thinking of using the technique on things that wouldn't need to be washed. It would be nice to be able to paint garments, but it might not be practical. More experimentation is needed to be sure! If I find a paint that is permanent or a product to use to make it permanent. I will definitely let you all know!

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    1. I wonder how food coloring would work? It may not wash out as quick...

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  4. What a great technique to play with! I've never used fabric paints, but I wonder if you diluted them and painted with those if they wouldn't fade if washed? I agree that it probably wouldn't be practical to paint something that needed to be washed frequently, but maybe a tote bag? I'm thinking my logo on a crochet bag would be very cool for Chain Link this summer...:-)

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  5. What a fun and interesting idea! I like how you made the prints too - very clever! Thanks for sharing :)

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  6. Thank you for your nice comments Red Berry Crochet!

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  7. What a fun idea. I love your blog.

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  8. That looks like a party in the making. Wonderful idea and great execution. Thanks for being on the hop.

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  9. Very cool idea! I'm glad I decided to stop in and take the tour.

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  10. Thank you Jaybird Designs, Lois Anderson, Patricia Green, and analea!

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  11. What a fantastic idea. I had wondered now and then about using various paints on doilies or filet crochet. I am excited to see your examples and now I want to test it out. I am wondering how permanent your trim you painted with water colors is though?

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  12. Hi Amy, thank you for your comments! I tried washing the sample in Woolite after painting, and much of the color came out, but not all. Watercolors are not suitable for an item that would need to be washed. Pam Daley Designs suggested watering down fabric paints. I will try that next!

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  13. So glad I found your blog. Your designs are amazing and inspiring. Thanks!

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  14. Thank you captain hook! I hope you will be a regular visitor to my blog:-)

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  15. What an interesting technique! I have some liquid watercolors that I will try this with.

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  16. Thank you for stopping by, Rebecca. I hope you have fun trying out the technique:)

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  17. That a cool technique! This may be in my future for holiday cards! Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Thank you Marie, I think it would be great fun making holiday cards this way!

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  19. Shelby, this idea is so inspirational! I'm wondering about the possibilities of Copic markers and other types of markers used for scrapbooking. There are so many interesting applications for this.

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  20. This is really good! Thank you, I'll try it soon. ",)

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  21. Thank you Amy. I think it would be interesting to try Copic markers! Coloring crochet has many possibilities. I hope that if anyone tries coloring crochet with other mediums, they will share their experiences!

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  22. Where can I get the pattern for the trim? It's gorgeous!

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  23. Hello! Just saw this post and came over from Pinterest. I love the idea of painting crochet with watercolors! I have been experimenting with water color pencils of fabric which I love, But I hadn't thought about crochet yet! Also in reference to washing things without fading, I used a fabric medium I picked up at Joanns that when mixed enough with acrylic paints, thins it out so it will not harden or give it the chunky texture and is heat set and permanent. I heat set the fabric with and iron but maybe you could use a dryer or blow dryer for crochet? Just a thought!

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  24. Hi Anonymous, the trim pattern is one I improvised, but it is based on one from a vintage crochet trim book. I am so sorry I didn't write down the pattern, since my focus was on painting crochet, I didn't think about a pattern for the trim!

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  25. Hello Season Laurel, thank you for visiting! I would love to try using the paint you suggested! Thank you for the tip!

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  26. alright, thank you! :)

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  27. What a great idea. I saw a beautiful butterfly I wanted to crochet and frame. Now it will look beautiful if I can add color where I want it on the wings.

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  28. Anonymous, I love the idea of painting a butterfly to frame! It is the perfect technique for that!

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  29. What a great idea! The results are beautiful.

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  30. Thanks for sharing this nice info expect some more in near future.
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  31. Just found this = D and I love this idea. Got me thinking about a technique using color sharpies and alcohol. Gives a bleeding effect. Can't wait to try this!

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  32. I just found this article via a link at Pinterest and am fascinated. I've been wanting to find a way to add color to filet crochet without constantly changing thread colors… weaving those ends in without them showing is very difficult to say the least. I had never considered painting! But I'm thinking that I could experiment with one of the many types of fabric colors that can be set for fastness. Some are dyes, some paints.. most can be thinned. And as Season Laurel mentioned in a message above last year, there are "mediums" that can be used with the paints and dyes. And sharpies! now there's another idea to try.

    I must get busy with the experiments…

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