Saturday, June 04, 2011

Getting a Rounded Education

My focus with the crochet the last few days has been learning to work in the round. I need to make a big flat circle for the rainbow whatsit I'm making and I kept ending up with bowl shapes or ruffled edges. I learned that the principle is to increase the stitches in each row by the number of stitches in the innermost circle. And there is an algorithm--you add an extra stitch every nth stitch where n is the number of the row you are working on. Thus on row 2 you work two stitches in every other stitch of row 1 and in row 10 you work 2 stitches in every 10th stitch of row 9 and every stitch in between gets the usual 1 stitch.

When you want a bowl shape you don't increase and when you want it to ripple or ruffle you increase the increases.

I was so fascinated by a picture of interlocked circlets I had to figure out how to make them without a pattern and then once I had, I knew they must be incorporated into the rainbow whatsit. That is what is pictured, the bare beginning of something that will be part of the rainbow whatsit. But I've already imagined dozens of other uses for the concept and in all the colors and color combos known. Belts, headbands, bookmarks, bracelets, necklaces, earrings (much smaller circles) Xmas tree decor, party decor, pull cord, purse or tote handle.

I also had to 'invent' a new stitch for those circlets. I needed it to be taller than a double but the simple triple was too flimsy. After experimenting with several combinations I settled on what i call the 1-2-3 stitch. I wrap the thread twice around the hook before inserting hook in center space and pulling working thread through. This puts 4 loops on the hook. Then I yarn over and pull through 1 loop, YO and pull through 2 loops and finally YO and pull through all 3 of the remaining loops. 1,2,3. Those three loops on top give the stitch a stiff upper lip that stablizes the shape almost as much as the thread wrapped around the center chained loop.

The principle I've established is two stitches per chain in the center loop. But I've not made any other sizes yet. These ones have a center loop of 22 chains with 44 1-2-3 stitches. I have in mind to try an 11 chain loop with 22 half-double stitches around. Note that a smaller loop would likely need a shorter stitch than the larger loop.

I've also pictured these circlets interlocked in a grid to make rectangle objects: bags, book covers, scarves, placemats, chair back protectors, wall hanging.... Maybe even an afghan? Now that would be a lot of circlets!

Though I was mostly looking for help on the flat circle for the rainbow whatsit project I've spotted a lot of round crochet projects that have taken my fancy besides the cirlets. Snowflakes had already captured me a few weeks ago though I've yet only worked the one. But I've seen flowers, mandalas, wheels, ovals, coasters and yes, doilies! I did not expect to be into doilies since I am not a doily person when it comes to interior decor. First, I'm not fond of busy decor. But mostly because It was my job to dust as a child and I did not care for having to remove and replace the doilies under the vases and nicknack's. Plus I've never really been into lacy. But some of the doilies I've seen online this week are so lovely. Enchanting even. I expect it is the fact that they are in a sense, mandalas, which have had a role in every culture and religious tradition known and which Jung speculated had some relation to mental wellbeing.

What are the snowflakes if not mini-doilies? Or is it the other way around--what are doilies if not representations of the snowflake?

The one thing about working in the round though is all the counting involved. It is not compatible with working and watching a movie. It might even be iffy with listening to audio books while stitching. But remove those 'distractions' there is still my propensity to daydream.

In my attempts at working that navy blue circle I've lost count of the number of times I've had to pull out whole rows because I lost count of the stitches.

0 tell me a story:

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