Crochet Inspiration Hits with Force!

A few days ago I was hit with such inspiration to crochet a fine white lace doilie! I’ve wanted to crochet this pattern for quite a while but never got round to it. I miss working with super fine cotton because it produces fine and delicate pieces that I love! I’ve been so busy crocheting items in thick DK wool and making big quick pieces, it’s really good to do something different.

I have an entire collection of crochet magazines and books that I generate inspiration from. Majority of them have been inherited from my mother – the Phildar books are at least 30 years old, if not more, and although the patterns are a little “old” for me there are quite a few gems. The little Anna Creatief and Diana Extra books are all from my travels overseas in Belgium and Italy. I love that Europe still produces monthly crochet magazines! And, I have one in Flemish/Dutch, one in French, and one in Italian! Luckily they all come with diagrams with universal symbols 🙂

 

Magazine Collection

I used a pattern from the Diana Extra book for a 6-pointed star and used white cotton #30 (super fine!) and a 0.75mm hook.

A doilie is traditionally a round piece of crochet created round by round using a variety of stitches. The finished size of the piece is dictated by the number of rounds and the pattern dependent on the placement of stitches in a particular area.

Some doilies look really frilly and over the top. I much rather prefer geometric patterns and no hearts or flowers or depictions of trees or whatever.

They can also be placemats and be any shape and in any material you want – very thick cotton or wool even!. They also do not need to be big – they can be as small as coasters or as big as tablecloths! The possibilities are endless, and you get to choose what you like most.

Magazine Cover

Magazine Pic of Doilie

I had bought thin cotton last year in Belgium in the Veritas store (www.veritas.be) which is part-haberdashery-part-accessories store. So of course I’m going to love it. I bought #20 and #30 cotton balls to try out, and I was in for a surprise!

 

Doilie Start

Since this cotton is so thin, the item made is much smaller than with #10 or #5 cotton, and decidedly more finicky to handle in the beginning. My fingers get quite sore try to hold and crochet the tiny stitches. But what’s so wonderful about it is that it produces very fine and delicate pieces that feel divine! Patterns also stand out wonderfully with the small stitches.

 

In progress 3 panel

The middle photo shows how far I’ve progressed, only 6 more rounds to go! Almost there!

At times it can get tedious doing round after round after round after round…it doesn’t seem to end! And the bigger the doilie, the longer each round takes.

But, after persevering this week I finished it!

 

Finished Doilie

It is beautiful to say the least! And the filet pattern inside the “star arms” makes me want to crochet more pieces with this #30 cotton, even if it’s a mission to work with at times.

It still needs to be washed and blocked – blocking refers to pinning it to a flat surface to even out the shape of the item and have it dry flat. While crocheting the stitches may not always lie exactly flat and washing helps with this. So my pins and the ironing board need to come out soon!

 Absolutely happy as a chappy with my crochet doilie!

 

 

Christmas Gifts and Crochet Snowflakes

Hello again!

Although the Christmas has come and gone and we’re in 2014 already, I’d like to share some of the projects I was busy with. I was crocheting up a storm! Absolutely wonderful when you decide to get into the festive spirit 4 days beforehand and still have to start/complete (?!) 2 projects, but I decided to crochet snowflakes as Christmas tree decorations!

I found a few patterns from library books, and they’re really easy to do in less than an hour each. Most stick to the same design – 5 or more arms with lots of loops and chain stitches.

I used my #10 cotton in white with a 1.5mm hook, and used leftover thin red wool to act as a hanger.

Christmas snowflakes3

I chose 4 simple snowflake patterns and completed them all in one sitting before washing and stretching (literally the afternoon before Christmas! Eeek!). Pity I don’t have a photo of the ironing board standing in the garden with 4 snowflakes stretched with pins, it looked weird :-P.

Christmas snowflakes5

Here they are all in a row. I love how the geometry of snowflakes is so appealing!

Christmas snowflakes4

Here you can see the red wool hanger clearly. I just chose a spot on one of the arms and made a Lark’s Head knot. My original plan was to use the red wool as a border for the snowflakes, but try crocheting that into 4 snowflakes with minimal time and too many chain spaces to fill!

 

Christmas snowflakes

As mentioned earlier, I was busy with other projects, also destined as gifts, one of which I’ll share with you.

I made an oval doilie/placemat in a beautiful burgundy colour. The burgundy cotton was destined to be part of a slingbag, but I decided it would work great with this new pattern! You can see I’ve just started crocheting, busy on the 3rd row. My work is resting on a pattern book in French. I had just been travelling overseas and managed to get my hands on a copy of the Diana crochet magazine in Belgium. I was itching to try out all the patterns inside and I couldn’t resist an oval doilie!

Oval Doily 1

I had previously made myself this doilie but had forgotten two rows and ended up with a bit of a strange design. Nonetheless, I liked the pattern so much (and so did the gift recipient when she saw it on my table) I decided to make another one. The one on the left is my original and the one on right is the new one in progress.

Oval Doily 2

Needless to say all my crochet gifts were well-received (Yay!). And my hands were relieved to have a break let me tell you! Verdict: well worth the effort!

I’ll keep posting about previous crochet items I’ve completed and the fascinating stories behind them, as well as the projects I’m busy with. Leave a comment or ask me a question if you’d like, I’ll happily indulge my love of crochet with you!

Until then, have a great week!