Archive for the Crochet Category

Three techniques, one thread

Posted in Crochet, macramé, Needlework, puncetto lace with tags , , , , on June 18, 2013 by suetortoise

Last year, when I was writing my pages on The Trellis Stitch Family, I mentioned that the same knotted stitch was used for a needle lace from the Italian Alps called Puncetto Valsesiano. I have recently been trying to learn the technique. My work is not yet good enough to please me: the tension is still uneven, the joins show too much and I make far too many mistakes. I am still only practising. But I now understand the mechanics of it, thanks to some excellent links on the web. I particularly want to mention Avital Pinnick’s blog, This and That, Jeanine in Canada’s Italian Needlework and a Czech-language blog by Brona B, Šitá Krajka, which has clear diagrams of simple patterns – they need no words once you have picked up the basics.

samples of crochet, macramé and puncetto lace

Top right: macramé, centre: puncetto; lower left: crochet. All worked with the same size and type of thread.

As I was pinning out the sample on my work cushion to be photographed, I thought about the macramé pieces I made on this old blue cushion some years ago, including the pink and white sample at the top of the photo. This one was made with the same thread as the puncetto, Coats Opera  20 (no longer produced, but their Freccia 16 seems to be the same type of thread and the same thickness). This is a smooth, round 3-ply crochet thread. Macramé tends to bring to mind chunky string creations, but with fine threads, it can be surprisingly  delicate. I find this macramé sample more attractive than the puncetto, even allowing for beginner’s workmanship. To give another comparison, at the bottom left of the picture is some crochet – again with the same thread. It comes up slightly larger in scale than the puncetto, but lighter and softer. (I worked that sample today, just to show the scale against the other two techniques.)

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A Challenging Cushion

Posted in Crochet, everyday life with tags , , , , , , , on January 31, 2012 by suetortoise

CB Cushion on chair

I’ve been busy.

The new job is going well, I’m pleased to say. I am settling in there nicely. On the embroidery front, the Second Yellow Mat is making good progress – it’s not far from finished now. It might even have been finished already except that I got sidetracked by another project… As one does. This project was figuring out an old crochet pattern on the Antique Pattern Library website. There was no actual pattern or any instructions: nothing but a hand-drawn illustration (probably a woodcut). You can see the printout I was working from in the picture below.

I had fun trying to  figure out how to stitch this. I can crochet, but I either follow a pattern or make up my own. Trying to figure out the pattern from a picture (which turned out to have a few minor inaccuracies) was quite a challenge.

But I rather relish a challenge like that. So with a lot of counting, trying-out, undoing, retrying and occasionally cursing, I did eventually figure the pattern out to my own satisfaction and produced the finished cushion front. And then came the equally tricky task of trying to turn my rough scribbles and scruffy notes into instructions that (I hope) will make sense to someone else. 

The finished instructions now have their own page on Tortoise Loft – the Blog: Crochet: Old Cartier-Bresson Crochet Square.

With the 4-ply cotton yarn I used, it was a very good size for a cushion. In a finer thread, it would make a handsome square for a bedspread, or something of that sort. I hope some people will have a go at working it. I also hope people will let me know if they spot any mistakes in the instructions, so I can make corrections.

I don’t intend to work out any other of the crochet patterns from these little booklets – one was enough! But I am very pleased with how well this one turned out.