Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Projects

I've been doing a lot of crocheting. I was doing a lot of spinning and some sewing, too. But mostly I've been interested in crochet as a creative outlet.

I've given in to my love for bags completely. Why do other things, when bags are what I really love? I'm not just making them though, I'm creating them.

I've just finished crocheting a purse from a purple Alpaca/Peruvian wool blend and an orange Mohair/wool blend. I love tapestry crochet and so when I saw some German embroidery patterns, I knew they would work well for this bag. I sketched them out on graph paper and went for it.

I definitely need to sew in a lining. Not only to add pockets for functionality, but to add structure. The fabric stretches a lot.

I used the mohair to give a textural contrast to the smoother alpaca, but it took a lot of patience to work with. If you've ever knitted or crocheted with mohair you know that a looser stitch is better and that you don't want to make a mistake because it's really difficult to rip out if you do. Well imagine what it's like to try and make a snug stitch with mohair. However, I'm glad I did it. It turned out as well as I had hoped and adds dimension to the design.

I made a strap that is adjustable. Since I knew it would stretch, I didn't want to end up with a strap that was too short or too long. So I did an strap that is only attached at one end. On the other side of the top of the purse is a loop that I ran the end of the strap through and tied it once. As the strap has stretched, I've shortened it a bit.

I've just started a back pack. It's also tapestry crochet, but from a nice silky cotton. Who wants to wear a wool back pack in summer?

When I did the initial idea sketch in my notebook I could see, in my mind's eye, a lizard running across the bottom. So I found some photos of lizards for reference, sketched it out on top of a graph (left in the photo) and converted it to the grid. I then transferred it to Carol Ventura's right leaning crochet graph and added some crosses for a more dynamic composition. The cross idea came from some Zimbabwe throw pillows I had seen a few weeks ago.

I'll post more as I get it done.

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