Monday, February 21, 2011

Thread Crochet Work in Progress

I love to make fiber jewelry using fine cotton threads and sometimes beads too. Each piece is one of a kind for the simple reason that writing out the pattern would be much too time consuming. Even more importantly, these works take shape as I crochet and having to stop to write down what I'm doing frequently would interrupt the creative process and the flow of my work.

Since this blog's reason for being is to take you on a trip inside the mind of a knitwear designer, I though it might be interesting to show a work in progress along with a picture of what inspired the piece.

This view from my window was taken this morning. We've had an awful lot of snow this winter, but I had a suspicion it wasn't over yet. I really hate the way it collects on the sidewalks and turns black and icy or mushy, but when the snow is fresh, and especially when it's on tree branches, I just love it. To me it looks like lace.

I'd been thinking about making a necklace to show this and had even started it. Today I began to put the snow on the branches that were previously crocheted. You'll notice that there are lots of threads hanging. These all need to be finished off and hidden securely. That's one of the reasons it takes so long to make thread crocheted jewelry. It's also the reason the snow is on both sides of the brances -- I couldn't deal with the profusion of thread ends if I only crocheted the snow on one side as it is in reality.

I'll post the finished necklace -- maybe in a few days or maybe longer depending on what other work intervenes. 

© KnittingGuru, 2011. All rights reserved. All images and finished designs, including the name and description, are the intellectual property of KnittingGuru.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ask the Guru Q & A

On my website - - I have a section called "Ask the Guru". People send me knitting/crochet questions and I answer try to help clarify things for them. I received an interesting question today and thought it might be interesting to show it and my answer.

Ask the Guru - Question
I have this pattern for a knitted flower for a hat. The instructions are a little confusing
Co 79sts
1st row; Purl
2nd row; K2, *k1, slip this st back onto left needle, lift the next 8 sts on left needle over this st and off the needle, (yfwd) twice,
Then knit the first stitch again, k2. rep from * to end.
    ( This is where I am confused, I did the lift the next 8 sts on the left needle over this st and off the needle. I understand the yfwd twice, but the knit the first stitch again?? I wasn't sure what that meant. then k2.rep from * to end.?? I don't usually have a problem with patterns ,but for some reason, I can't get this. Can you help me?)
3rd row; K1,*P2tog (k1,k1 tbl) into the 2 yfwd sts, p1. Rep from * to last st, k1. 30 sts.d
4th row; Knit
5th row; (purl 2 tog) 15 times.
Break wool and thread through remaining 15sts. Fasten off.
Thanks so much. Joanne
Ask the Guru - Answer
Hi Joann -
I'm assuming that you're sending this in response to my "Ask the Guru" column on my website - - and I'll be happy to help.
I can understand your confusion. Knitting directions are often terribly unclear and mysterious. When I make my own patterns, I write out the directions without abbreviations and include charts for just that reason. We read and speak English, not "Knittish"!
Anyway, if you look at the stars that indicate a repeat of the pattern on Row 2, the answer becomes clear. After the first star it says k1, slip this st back onto left needle, lift the next 8 sts on left needle over this st and off the needle, (yfwd) twice, then knit the first stitch again, k2, rep from * to end.
The stitch that is referred to as the first stitch has to mean the knit 1 stitch that you put back on the left needle - the stitch you lifted 8 stitches over. That stitch is still on the left needle so it's now the first stitch after the star. Any pattern repeat is knit from * to *. So after you knit that stitch again you do 2 yarn overs or as this pattern calls it "(yfwd) twice". Then you k2 - knit 2 stitches and repeat from the star.
To repeat this a different way,
Row 2 -- Knit 2 stitches * knit 1 stitch and put it back on left needle, lift 8 stitches on the left needle over this stitch and drop them off the needle, yarn over twice, knit 2* Repeat from * to *.
Some of the confusion comes because the writer left out the second star which sets the repeat apart, making it hard to know which stitch is the "first stitch".
I don't have the time right now due to work I must finish for my knitting business or I'd knit this to double check, but I'm pretty sure that the instructions call for you to knit that stitch again to firm up the area with all the stitches passed over. If you didn't knit it again, you'd have to slip it to the right needle and it would be quite stretched out.
I understand that Row 2 is probably where you stopped. However, I want to caution you about Row 3. The directions call for you to knit 3 stitches into each of the yarn over stitches. This will be a little tricky, especially if your needles don't have narrow pointed ends. Be careful that the second yarn over doesn't slip off while you're knitting those 3 stitches into the first yarn over! Also note the repeat from * to *. After you have done all the repeats, you should have one stitch left which you will knit.
I hope that this helps and that all is now clear to you. Good luck with the flower! I'd love to see a picture when you finish it!
Warm Wishes and Happy Knitting!
Veena (aka the KnittingGuru) (please join me there if you're on Facebook)
I'm also on Ravelry as TheKnittingGuru.
My patterns are available at Etsy, Artfire and Ravelry.
With all of this activity, I haven't yet updated my website and put the pattern on there - part of my goals for 2011!
If I can carve out a few minutes today, I'll try to knit this flower and see how it looks. I'll post a picture if there's anything worth seeing here. Right now it looks like more trouble than it's worth, but who knows? It might be lovely.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

The holiday season was a really busy time for me and seemed to extend from Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day. I'm looking forward to a brief respite and to working on Late Winter/Early Spring clothing and accessories. I've been spending a lot of time on Facebook and hope my readers will follow me there at and at my Profile page which is Fiberart.

In the meantime, here's a little Romance for you --