June 2008: Just a bit shorter
In the pattern shop, you can now find a lovely shawl designed by my friend EclatDuSoleil, Céleste (see also the first photo in the left hand column). This is good pattern for anyone who wants to start crocheting lace, since it is lavishly illustrated with photos of how to make both the center stitch and the border.
I have a pattern in the summer issue of Interweave Crochet, the Shifting Panels Tunic (second photo in the left hand column). In the magazine, this garment is worn as a vest over a shirt. You might also want to consider it from a different angle, closer to my original idea: as a relatively loose-fitting tank top, designed to hide all your summer ice cream sins. The fit is intended to be casual, but the pattern still has waist shaping. You can wear it over capris or a skirt. And while we’re speaking of ice cream – can’t you imagine it in a yummy ice cream colour?
Just a bit shorter
In the (very) early days of my designing life, I designed and crocheted a jacket for myself. On holiday in Sweden, I had purchased a beautiful yarn in cotton and viscose/rayon. I proceeded to work the jacket in a dense stitch pattern with a relatively small hook.
It’s a wonderful jacket, and it fits me very well, except for one thing – the sleeves. I think they were a bit long to start with (miscalculation!), and the combination of a heavy yarn (both cotton and viscose/rayon are heavy fibers) and a dense fabric has only made them longer. I have to roll them up several times if I don’t want them dragging in food or dishwater or anything else I work with. This makes for a bulging, rolled-up, cuff which is not flattering at all – nor is it appropriate for this style of garment.
(It would be great if I modeled the jacket for you in a couple of pictures, I know. It’s a surprisingly warm jacket, though, and it is 35 degrees Centigrade/95 degrees Fahrenheit here today, so we will leave that for another time).
I have read about how to shorten a crocheted fabric but have never actually done it. Before tackling my jacket, scissors in hand, I needed to try out this procedure.
Here’s my little swatch. The safety pin marks the row that I want to be the first one. This means I will take away four rows from the bottom of the swatch.
With a tapestry needle, I have passed a strand of yarn through the bottom of the stitches of the row that I want to be the first one. For clarity, the yarn is in a different colour here – if you do this on a real project, you will of course use the same yarn as for the rest of the project, so it won’t show.
The strand of yarn runs through the bottom of the stitches, just above the row below. It will replace the row below as a « holder » for these stitches.
Here I am preparing to cut the last stitch in the row below the one I want to keep (right under the turning chain of the marked row). This, however, was not so well thought out, as you will see.
With the help of the tapestry needle, I have loosened small pieces of yarn, leftovers from the stitch I cut through. Now I can unravel the snipped row quite easily. The stitches in the marked row are safely strung onto my strand of yarn.
There is just one problem. Can you see the tail of yarn waving freely at the right edge of the marked row? Barely, since it’s so short. This is a tail of yarn that I will need to weave in, to secure the beginning of the marked row. It would have been much easier if I had cut the second-to-last, or even the third-to-last stitch in the row to be removed – thus getting a longer yarn end to weave in. Lesson learned!
Once the row was removed, I turned the piece upside down and worked a row of stitches (I used sc) around the strand of yarn, between the stitches in the marked row. I made two rows of single crochet, starting the first one on the wrong side of the fabric.
Not too bad for a first try. The stitches in the first row are a bit uneven, since I’m not used to working between stitches that are moving on a strand of yarn, instead of being secured in other stitches. I’m sure I will get better at this with some practice. (I also think sitting down to do this would yield a better result than doing it standing up, while preparing dinner.) However, the uneven stitches would be far less visible if they were worked with the same yarn as the project itself.
So now, I have learned enough to tackle the sleeves of my jacket. We’ll see how it turns out!
See you soon!