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  • Preview: Aery Faery Lacy Tunisian Crochet Scarf


    I’m looking over the photos I’ve taken so far of my newest Tunisian crochet design. Lately, the weather here has created some moody lighting. Have a look at these!

    Aery Faery Lacy Tunisian Crochet Scarf End

    My first filet-like Tunisian crochet lace in opalescent mohair and silk.

    I’m calling it Aery-Faery because it is faerie-like and diaphanous, like fairy wings. I’ve crocheted most of it while watching the first season of Once Upon a Time. In fact, I’m pretty sure the idea for this design first came to me while watching the show.

    Aery Faery Lacy Tunisian Crochet Scarf/Stole

    Scarf shown draped like a stole. It’s very stretchy!

    The yarn is divine for a lacy Tunisian crochet scarf.

    It’s Artyarns Silk Mohair Glitter; a strand of Lurex is plied with the silk and mohair. It’s particularly fine and smooth. The dyeing is gorgeous. You can’t tell from some of the photos, but it’s the subtle colors of a milky opal. The colors shift like they do in an opal, too.

    The Aery-Faery pattern draft is done. I’m testing a variation tonight and have the final proofreading to do before sending it off for tech editing and testing.

     

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    • November 16th, 2014 by Vashti Braha

    Yarn Tests for a New Tunisian Crochet Filet Design


    This blog post is third in a short series about the development of a new Tunisian crochet pattern pdf.

    I did two kinds of yarn tests for my new Tunisian crochet filet scarf (first blogged here).

    1. I needed a good yarn for photo tutorial close ups. I’ve learned that I have the best luck with a single ply yarn. More than one ply could add a possibly distracting texture. I love the look and colors of the purple yarn in the first photo, but its plies worried me.

    A thicker yarn is better for close ups than a skinny one so that their individual fibers don’t show up too much! See the two close ups in the second row.

    A yarn’s colors also matter for Tunisian crochet filet close ups. Strong contrasting color shifts are distracting, but subtle color shifts can be a real plus.


    Soft tonal dyeing makes a stitch or row easier for someone to distinguish right away. It’s easier for my camera too. One solid light color is great for in-person classes, but not always for extreme close ups. Sometimes my camera thinks the stitches are just fuzzy blobs no matter what I do. (Maybe it’s user error, shhhh.)

    2. Wool. I fell in love with my first Tunisian crochet filet design in wool. That would be…Warm Aeroette! (Hence the “warm” part.) Until Aeroette I’d only had Tunisian crochet filet thoughts in bamboo (Ennis), silk (Aero), and cotton (dishcloth test in my Lotus yarn). Traditional filet lace has mostly been a cotton thread kind of crochet project. Maybe that’s why I didn’t reach for the wool.

    I needed to know if I loved Aeroette because the yarn I used is not a thick wooly wool. It’s a fingering weight fine-micron merino wool. Fine-micron merino has an almost silky drape. The thinner fingering weight (like a sock yarn) gives the stitches a fine-grained texture. In a thick wool like the Mochi Plus (blue photo above), the filet-style lacy eyelets could look clunky or lumpy as a scarf. Would be a lovely afghan border though.

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    • October 30th, 2014 by Vashti Braha

    New Tunisian Crochet Pattern PDF: What Takes So Long?


    This blog post is the second part of a short series about the birth of a new crochet pattern pdf. The third is here.

    Behind the scenes of a new Tunisian crochet pattern

    Pictured is draft #4 of Warm Aeroette Tunisian Crochet Scarf.

    I’m a slow, deliberate pattern publisher. I love crocheting and so I think I chronically underestimate how much work it really is! Not only does a step almost always take longer than I expect – I also don’t always know when I need to recharge. (Each of these is a “step”: a stitch diagram, a photo tutorial, pattern testing, sizing, tech editing, etc.)

    Pattern Draft #4: "Warm Aeroette Tunisian Crochet Scarf."

    Draft #4 of Warm Aeroette Tunisian Crochet Scarf.

    I don’t just call it “Aeroette” because this is a downloadable single pattern. The title needs to tell crocheters (and search engines) as much as possible in one line.

    Three things can slow down new Tunisian crochet patterns for me:

    1. Each design seems to bring unique issues! For Aeroette, starting the scarf in one corner is a biggie. It merits a nice step by step photo tutorial. It’s a rare construction method for Tunisian crochet. Also, the best pattern wording evolves slowly sometimes. For Aeroette I’ve revised the wording of how and where the beginning and ending picots go a few times for clarity. Tunisian crochet pattern language has its own conventions.

    2. Meanwhile, I’m always mulling design details. Doris is the same way and we laugh about this. Maybe I could optimize X, or add Y feature. What about this or that variation? I’d better swatch it in a very different yarn to make sure the design is not dependent on the yarn I’m using.

    3. A third publishing speed bump is how educational it is. Aeroette started out originally as a practice project for a class on the Aero Tunisian Filet Lace Wrap. My goal with Aeroette is that it serve as a new Tunisian crochet skill building experience.

    Sometimes I print a 2-to-a-page draft like you see here, to save paper. To save printer ink, the photos and captions are temporarily tiny. Most images are step-by-step tutorial photos that will all go on a back page. That will make printing them optional to save everyone’s printer ink.

    Update: Downloadable PDF for the new Tunisian crochet Warm Aeroette Scarf is officially in the shop.

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    • October 27th, 2014 by Vashti Braha

    Not Tunisian Crochet Stitches: a Converted Filet Swatch


    This is the first of 3 blog posts on the release of a new Tunisian crochet pattern. The 2nd is here and the third is here.

    I used no Tunisian crochet stitches for the swatch on the left only.

    Instead, I used single crochet, double crochets, and chains. (US abbreviations: sc, dc, and ch. Outside of the US: dc, tr, ch). The chs and dcs create lacy open spaces in the style of filet crochet. I alternated each filet row with a row of sc. Not traditional for filet crochet, but it does follow filet logic. (This is one reason I wanted to swatch it; see this newsletter issue about a similar experiment.)

    Not Tunisian crochet stitches vs Tunisian crochet (filet-style Aeroette Scarf)

    No Tunisian crochet stitches at left, converted from the Tunisian crochet Aeroette scarf at right.

    The sc rows give the spaces thicker top and bottom “walls” around the spaces. This matches the thicker side “walls” created by the dc pairs.

    This stitch pattern is converted from the Warm Aeroette Scarf on the right, which is 100% Tunisian crochet stitches. I was curious to see how much these two would differ in looks, surface texture, and drape.

    Single Crochets versus Tunisian Crochet Stitches

    The first thing I notice about the left swatch is the single crochets. Specifically, the backs of them. They’re raised, bumpy, and have a distinctive look. To me they emphasize a horizontal grain of the left swatch.

    Unlike the rows of Tunisian crochet stitches on the right, I turned after every row of the left swatch. We’re looking at the right side of a dc row alternated with a wrong side of a sc row. The bumpy sc backs also cause the dc rows to recede a bit. This adds to the effect of the sc rows standing out, almost ridge-like.

    This effect is mostly absent from the Tunisian swatch on the right. Its surface is uniformly flatter. Tunisian crochet stitches do have their own horizontal texture. They get it from the return passes – that second part of a complete Tunisian row when you crochet the loops off of the hook. In this pattern, the return pass textures are no more raised than the vertical stitch textures created during the forward passes.

    Differences I’m Not Seeing

    I expected to see a difference in how the yarn’s color changes look, but I don’t really. Maybe the swatch on the left needs to be much bigger. I also expected the Tunisian one to drape more. Perhaps it doesn’t because this is wool, and the hook size is smaller than I usually use for lacy Tunisian crochet stitches. I used a G-7 (4.5 mm) hook. For the non-Tunisian swatch I used a G-6 (4 mm) crochet hook.

    The Warm Aeroette Scarf on the right is the next pattern I’ll be adding to the shop. I’ll announce it in my newsletter. You can also track its project page in Ravelry.

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    • October 26th, 2014 by Vashti Braha

    Tunisian Crochet Lace Scarf Pattern Preview


    Fresh off the hook: Warm Aeroette Lace Scarf. I’m writing up the pattern now. Just uploaded these photos (click them to enlarge). My goal was to take the popular Aero Tunisian Wrap design, which is crocheted in fine silk, and make a warm wool version.

    Aeroette meets two more goals of mine. The second goal was to do a stepping-stone version of Aero. Originally, Aeroette was going to be a Tunisian crochet lace scarf pattern for a class.

    It’s a simpler combination of Tunisian crochet stitches that are put together like filet crochet lace, the same way as Aero. This makes it a great way to understand a more dramatic filet-like Tunisian crochet lace scarf pattern. Like, Aero. The Ennis Wrap, also.

    The third goal was to take the start-in-one-corner Aero, and make it a rectangle instead of a triangle. Both Aero and Ennis are “P2P” (crocheted point to point.) I love making P2P Tunisian crochet lace shawls! You increase steadily along one edge, then decrease steadily to end up at the far corner of the triangle.

    The rectangular Aeroette is a similar crocheting experience. You start at the first of four corners (instead of three). Steadily increase, and then decrease, like with Aero and Ennis. End up at the final fourth corner.

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    • October 15th, 2014 by Vashti Braha

    Free Slip Stitch Crochet Scarf Patterns and Answers


    It’s fall! That’s when my two free slip stitch crochet scarf patterns are downloaded a lot, and I get questions about them.

    I have nine slip stitch crochet scarf patterns published so far. These two are free downloads: Slip Slope Crochet Short Rows Scarf, and Eva’s Ribs Slip Stitch Scarf 101.

    Molly asked me, “I am wondering if you allow our finished items to be sold if you are given credit as the designer?” The answer is yes I do, and thanks for including designer credit. I’m honored when my design inspires a crocheter to make several items. As a crocheter I love it when I’m making something and I start thinking, “Ooo… I could see making one of these for everyone on my gift list this winter.” Or, like Molly: I can imagine so many other people wanting the scarf I crocheted.

    When I keep using the same pattern, I can try different yarns or color combinations. I find ways to perfect little things or increase my speed, like how I finish the edges or something. Another thing that happens is that I start naturally memorizing most or all of the pattern. That’s when I really pick up speed.

    For more questions and answers, see this list of Slip Stitch Crochet FAQs students ask me in my slip stitch crochet classes. Scroll down for a slip stitch short row photo tutorial.

    If you’re new to slip stitch crochet, try the free Eva’s Ribs scarf first. It makes for good TV crocheting, or while listening to an audiobook. The free Slip Slope scarf is the next step after Eva. It’s a lot like Eva with one new skill added (the short rows). A different next step after Eva is the Shamlian Weltie.

    After the Slip Slope scarf, a bunch of my other slip stitch crochet scarf patterns will make perfect sense! For example, Undaria, Notch, and Slip Tectonics.

     

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    • October 10th, 2014 by Vashti Braha

    Crochet Mobius Cowl Wearing Styles


    Simply add a mobius twist to an infinity scarf to multiply the ways it drapes.

    A crochet mobius cowl pattern adds an easy mobius twist to a crochet infinity scarf (a.k.a. long loop scarf). This instantly increases the stylish ways to wear it!

    Have a look at this image I created for the downloadable Starlooper Mobius Cowl crochet pattern. It’s a new design that I added to the shop yesterday. This montage of NINE images means I don’t have to pick just ONE wearing style to display.

    Starlooper Crochet Cowl Scarf: Directory of Styles (montage)

    If you had to pick only ONE of these nine images, which would it be?

    I love a good crochet mobius cowl pattern because it flatters the face and neck effortlessly, no matter how it settles on the shoulders. Plus, of course, they offer easy warmth. (Click here to see an early newsletter issue I wrote called “A Fever for Crocheting Cowls” LOL!)

    For Starlooper I used a special kind of crochet star stitch pattern. It’s naturally a bit offset, reversible, and has accordion-like pleats. It’s also fast, soft, and warm for fall. (Click here to see many more star stitches!)

    I’ve been learning ways to create draping montages like this image for years. Want to see earlier ones? Click here for Shakti Scarfythings and here for Undaria.

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    • September 27th, 2014 by Vashti Braha


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