Monday, January 28, 2019

Tunisian crochet design by moi

I've learned several stitches now, purl, knit, simple stitch and a lace pattern, so I'm working all of them into this neck gaiter. It will be long enough to fit round my neck, and I'm planning Dorset buttons for the fastening. Hoping the yarn holds out.

 It's fun to have got to the point where I can design what I want in this type of crochet. The knit and purl stitches are not at all like the same names in knitting. And Tunisian is one sided, so your design has a right and a wrong side, unlike most crochet. I'm using two related shades of the same yarn, and there's a subtle color pattern as well as the stitch pattern. In use, the stitch pattern will run vertically.

Once this is done, I plan to embark on filet crochet. This seems to be the winter of crochet. Filet has always been a mystery to me  but doesn't seem as intimidating as I'd thought. I'll be using small hooks and finer threads.

I'm surprised at how far I've come in a few weeks. Learned to read and to a mild extent, write, patterns, learned granny squares, previously a mystery, several lace designs, then various parts of Tunisian crochet.  Developing a repertoire of crochet skills. A Good Thing.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Japan. Picturing Place

Current exhibit at Princeton University's Art Museum, this is three rooms of paintings, prints, screens, scrolls and photography. The theme is recording place, in terms of time, symbols, people, literature, even disasters. You don't need to know the background, though, just go and let it have an impact on you.

Some pieces dating back to the sixteenth century, the compositions are stunningly spare and modern. If you're local, worth going to. It's there for a couple more weeks.

This screen is enormous, room sized, remember to look at it right to left, Japanese style.

 This image was on the cover of the brochure, a  good humored portrait of the artist at work indoors, imagining the scenery

 Look at the spare lines of the work on the left

This, I was sure, was late 19th century, until I saw the date, centuries earlier, so modern in concept

Here's a New year work, with good omens for the year-- Mt Fuji, hawk feathers and eggplant.

 This is an anonymous work depicting people from many eras, existing in space together

There are several Hokusai prints, too, like visiting old friends.

And the exhibit comes with a beautiful brochure, from which I got these images. Not okay to snap pictures of the works themselves, exhibited in low light to protect them, so I limited myself to these.

So good to be near a great museum that's human in scale. I was a bit wobbly today what with the cold wind blowing me all over, and  a fair walk from the nearest parking, so my visit was short but still worth it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Clutch finished

Here's the Tunisian crochet simple stitch clutch, now finished with a double Dorset button fastening. A rubber band runs around the buttons, just slip off the top of the band to open.

I like making Dorset buttons. They're tiny artworks.

Monday, January 21, 2019


Finally got these off the needles. They look artisanal, like those ancient shoes retrieved from bogs by archaeologists.

Not surprising, since I made them exactly with the process of an old crone of yore. Processed the fleece by hand, spindle spun the yarn, dyed all but the dark green with natural dyes I collected locally. The light green is beet, with a washing soda mordant, the darker brown is black walnut, the lighter one I forget, possibly onionskins.

And though they look primitive, they'll smooth down and fit my feet with wear, and they are so warm and friendly to your feet they were worth the process.

This was my beginning spinning, uneven, but I've improved my yarn since then. I mainly used it for wallhangings, and only later tried knitting with it.

I smile at knitters declaring they will learn to spin their  own yarn, expecting right away to create uniform, machine-like,fine yarn, like the yarn they've been buying.  You don't hear much from them after a while.

It's great fun learning to spin, but a long process to do it well. I'm not there yet but live in hopes.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

New phone now has three outfits

In addition to the one you saw already, here are the two new ones, completing the wardrobe.

Left is a granny square, in variegated yarn, just to learn the process, which turned out to be a good fit for the phone, folded and crocheted all around, and a chain strap to hang it on me. On the right is that Tunisian lace I was learning, this one purpose made. It has a thread of sparkle running through it, which doesn't show. Seen here fitted on the phone so you can see the fit and the stitch against the dark background.

I like to use the experiments and it's surprising how often they're just the thing.  Sooner or later. And, much as I miss dear Marigold, the straps will not be chewed up as a kitty toy, the fate of many of their predecessors.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Phone purse incoming

In the course of having to switch phones, I found that not only were all the purses belonging to the old phone now useless, the new, much bigger, phone, needed its own wardrobe. This is not a frivolous enterprise, not that there's anything wrong with that, to quote Seinfeld, but a safety issue.

Being older and living alone in a three story townhouse, it's important to be able to get help if, say, I fall down. So the phone needs to be with me safely at all times. Not in another room I might not be able to get to.  Not in a pocket it can fall or fly out of, but a snug purse I hang on me like a pendant.

It's served me well through a few exciting incidents.

So I was in the process as usual of working on several things at once, and wondered if I had any snaps to use for the crocheted clutch I showed you, at least I think I did. Up to the studio to search, no snaps. But I found a batch of granny squares I made while I learned how. And two of them could be folded, stitched, and have a strap added, to make a fitted purse. Poifect!

Here's one

And there's another in spring colors, phones like to be seasonal. So I'm wearing the phone as I write -- you can see it gleaming inside its purse. And I can go on with what I was doing before.

This, to be exact, Dorset button for clutch. I still like the idea of a snap under it.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Purse underway for new cellphone

So now that I have a new phone, for the sad tale of the old one, see

So I need  a new purse to wear the new one. For safety I always have the phone literally on me. This has paid off more than once when I took a fall and needed a hand up. Living alone requires precautions like this.

So here's a Tunisian crochet lace pattern, from Creative Grandma, her stitch of the day, #93, if you'd like to track it down on YouTube.

Here's the little sample I made, 17 (4x4,+1) stitches, to learn from her tutorial, next to the the bigger version to fit the new phone.

The stitch is a multiple of four, plus one. So I made a chain of 25 (6 x4, +1) and went from there.  It's a one pattern line, one return line design, nice to work, and I'm learning to read my own crochet, always a Good Thing.

I like that Tunisian has a return line where you can breathe, then easily see if you still have the right number of stitches going. And if it will fit its purpose.  That's three more Good Things right there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Tunisian crochet clutch

Just finished a clutch in many yarns, and lined it with black satin.

Here, open, closed, and back view. Didn't use a pattern, just filled the hook with stitches and went from there.

Not quite done yet. I plan on a Dorset button in the same yarns to fasten it.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

What I did once let loose with a Tunisian crochet hook

This week has been punctuated with forays into Tunisian crochet, discovering you can do all kinds of stitches and patterns.

Quite a few attempts I did on a regular crochet hook, but I finally decided to take advantage of the real reason for the length of the hook, and I converted the earlier start on the mixed yarn crochet experiment over to Tunisian work.

 This way I can count on getting straight edges, unlike regular crochet where my edges tend to wander in and out, try I never so, as the little maidservant always says in the mystery stories. She usually adds that her stomach turned over and she came over all funny, but I didn't go that far.

So I pulled out the earlier piece and I'm happily reworking in it in Simple Stitch. This makes a really firm fabric, great for a pillow cover or maybe a purse. We'll see. It feels better.

And here's the hook loaded and unloaded. You hook across right to left in the pattern, then hook and slip back left to right. That makes a single row.

Here are the presentable results, top a potholder using shortrowing to make this circle, next top honeycomb stitch, next smocking stitch, then a stab at feather and fan, then the reworked stash buster. There are better images of the top two in earlier posts.

If you've never tried Tunisian, give it a try. It's fun.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Look, Ma, I'm shortrowing!

Discoveries galore today. Free Ravelry download, from Staci Perry, at 

Dishcloth with, gasp, provisional cast on, seen at left here in white yarn,  and shortrowing! Who knew Tunisian crochet did stuff like this? Tunisian Shaker Dishcloth. Just my speed for trying out new stitches and making something into the bargain. Staci's also on YouTube, and a very good teacher, take a look at her channel.

This is so fun and I couldn't wait to show you my humble first efforts. Humble, I'm full of vanity about this caper. I even rearranged the living room lights to get a decent light over my shoulder to work with, instead of squinting.

This series of segments becomes a circle. And it's finished with Kitchener. That happens once you finish the last segment which, if you've done it right,  will abut the first. I plan to try Kitchener, since Staci is the only person who has explained it clearly and without getting me into a blur.

Of course it's being done with the nearest sturdy yarn to hand, no planning went into this. And note the cool scissor fob? Tiny yarn ball with teeny needles, on a hanging loop. Gift of Meg, fearless leader of the knitting group, as a Christmas decoration. Since yesterday was Twelfth night, and the decorations went away, I thought it would be a shame to wrap this up for a year, so it became a scissor fob.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Tunisian smock stitch

 Tunisian crochet is a lot like knitting -- purl stitches, knit stitches and now yarnovers.
This is smock stitch. Tunisian is heavily into texture. And it's slower than the other crochet I've done. More labor intensive.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Friday, January 4, 2019

Art gets in there again

This was, as it turns out, the result of a smeary lens, but I thought at first my old tablet was failing. I polished the lens and it's back in action. But I seized the opportunity of a couple of lovely gauzy images first.

I was trying to get pix of the success of a couple of total beginners at the knitting group  with their first work. They promised to come back next week and let me try again.

Today's adventure, Tunisian crochet

At the knitting group today were new members needing to borrow needles and hooks to get started, Meg, our fearless leader, rummaging around in the supplies in search of right sizes commented that there were some great long hooks, no idea what for.

At which I yelped they're for me! Tunisian crochet hooks, been wanting to learn it for ages. So I borrowed a couple, and this evening started learning Tunisian crochet.

Seen here my first foray, into the Simple Stitch. I like this form because it simplifies one of my issues with crochet, namely knowing how many **%*%*% stitches I've got, or lost. You've got them all, count them, on the hook every second row. The other row you start with one stitch and collect them again as you go. It looks like knitting

Dif you know there's a purl stitch in this crochet? Me neither. Learning that next, so as  to work honeycomb. This is a different way of working aside from collecting stitches on the hook on alternate rows. You can't whip the hook around the way I'm used to, so I have to get the hang of it.

 I appear to be multiplying my WIP collection, but they're all proceeding. So this was today's celebration.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Projects in progress

Squares made from embroidery floss, possible future vest

Random stripes using up random yarn, future cheerful pillows. Unless they become bags first. No options closed off.