Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Choreography of Crochet Jacquard

In the last week or so I've been honoured to within an inch of my life. First I got a rave review in Lime&Violet! Crochetcompulsiv crept up behind me and wrote about me without telling me about it. She calls it "stealth admiration", so I'm warning all you crocheters that she is on the move and nobody is safe. Then I received an over-the-top compliment from Kathy Merrick, the brilliant designer of the Babette Blanket - not to mention all the totally over-the top compliments from many brilliant crocheters and knitters! Then I discovered a mention on another awesome site called Craft & Found. So here's me squee-ing all over the house and trying to decide how to return some of the goodness that's just been poured on me by the crochet community. The result is this tutorial, since I think a lot of crocheters are becoming interested in Jacquard technique. It's already published in Spanish along with the pattern for Bernat de Ventadorn on Tejemanejes. So this is the English version.

I used to get into the most horrendous tangles before I started working this way.

Added on March 1st:

OK, let's not write up any more laudatory reviews of Lara Croft, guys. It goes right to her head.

Look at this post. What was I thinking? Like, did I invent this technique? No. In the state of self-exaltation you guys left me in, I omitted to mention that I learned it from another blog. Whose blog? Why, whose do you think? Carol Ventura's blog, of course! To see where I learned this choreography, go to this page. My crocheting life is divided into a Before and After Carol's page on Tapestry Crochet in Finland!


1. Let's call red A and white B. Hold A in the normal manner, and B flat over the top of the work.

2. Insert hook in Back Loop of stitch. Pass hook under B and pick up A.

3. Draw through a loop.

4. Now change colours. Pass the hook behind A....

5. ...and pick up B.

6. and pull B through, completing the stitch.

7. Now insert hook in Back Loop of next stitch,
and pick up B from where it's lying over top of the work.

8. After drawing through a loop with B, change colours again:
pick up A....

9. And pull it through, completing the stitch.
Now you can start all over from the beginning!

I find that if I have to do a longer stretch (more than 3 sts) of colour B, it's more graceful to drop both strands and pick them up again with their positions reversed. The strand you hold in the normal manner is faster for most of us to work.

Doggy is optional but happy.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Veritas, Equitas FO!

All Done! Yesterday Mr. Croft and I went for a walk and he took great pictures for me, so I'm posting them all.

I'm so in love with these buttons I found! Actually, they're cufflinks. Miniature turk's-head knot cufflinks.
And now, I get to wear them!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

SEX (Stash Expeditions!)

SEX, as anyone knows, is the best known cure for the existential malaise that arises from excessive dealings with politicians. Being a victim of said malaise, I felt in need of a cure, and hey: I'm cured! Double-cured. Yarn and a swift!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Veritas, Equitas

That's the name of an exquisite 12th-century song I'm listening to, and also the name of this new FO. These are for submission to the CLF (Crochet Liberation Front) book, but I get to keep them! And I get to post pics to my blog! (Thank you Camanomade!)
Well, not really FO: they need to be laced up, trimmed and ends woven in.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Crochet for Guitarists

This gorgeous gal is the concertmistress of my orchestra. She made the mistake of admiring the hat I made for my niece: now she has to be seen in the one I made for her! Actually, she looks totally awesome in it I must say. It's a pleasure to make stuff for her, a privilege to conduct her and a delight to play with her. Maite is a grace to my blog and my life.

Now this wee mite is also a guitarist, but he doesn't know it yet. He's looking at his Dad. Every time he looks at his Dad he has a fit of giggles. Most of us have a similar reaction to his Dad, and we keep on playing guitar for the sheer pleasure of being his friends.
This happy kid was born at Christmastime, so I made him some warmies. I'm really excited about this technique I invented ( I least, I've never seen it done before). It's just the same old Crochet Jacquard, but instead of weaving in the super-bulky 100% wool, I left it in floats on the inside of the work, then felted it.They're very warm and woolly on the inside, to protect this future guitarist's wee hands.