Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thinking About Crochet

It begins with this. A crocheted dresser scarf that my aunt created sometime between 1945 and 1955. No pattern. She just whipped it out in an evening. I've kept it ever since I inherited it, because it's lovely. Dresser scarves haven't been used for decades, and I rarely find a place where I can display it; mostly it lives in a drawer.

My own crochet skills are limited to single and double crochet, primarily to make edges on knitted objects. I can look at the dresser scarf and recognize the regular crochet bits. But what about these little butterfly thingies? Okay, they're chains, but how do they get looped together?

And this edging? How the heck does one do that?

So, I'm already curious about crochet. And then I hear someone in a podcast promote the idea of crochet for the button band on knit sweaters; it provides a firmer surface and far superior buttonholes, they say. It just happens that I am knitting a vest that will require a button band. And the directions for the buttonholes look pretty flakey.

Is there anything on my bookshelf about crochet? And especially with information on crocheted button bands? Yes, indeedy. The 1979 edition of "The Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework," which I refer to frequently for instructions on knitting maneuvers that have been lost in the mists of time, has an entire section on crochet. Diagrams and illustrations show how to make buttonholes in both single and double crochet. The double-crochet version looks appealing—firm and well defined.

So now that I have a plan, I am flipping through the pages of the crochet section, looking at possibilities. Wow. There's a lot you can do with crochet. Entire garments. And look at this cool flower.

I'm thinking that my next knitting challenge may be crochet. Not just the button band for the clock vest, but an entire something. It would be fun to learn more technique and be able to wield a hook as well as I do my needles.


Knitted Gems said...

I can't help at all. The only bit of crocheting I know is single crochet to be used for edges on knitting. But I know a blogger who crochets (and crochets well!). Her name is Tracie ( I'm sure she could help you.

Delighted Hands said...

For most crocheters of doilies, it would be a cinch to help you-for ex, the butterfly like area are a series of just chain 10-12 ( I couldn't see too clearly in the Pic) and then on the fourth row of chains she single crocheted over all the rows to cinch them together then chained a few more sts and then continued the row-the edging is a simple grouping of chains with a picot (any book would fill you in) You can replicate this, I'm sure :) Thanks for sharing it-it is very pretty and a dying art!

Kath said...

Ahhh yes, the book of which we do not speak.
I vaguely remember it - does it miss me?

Diane H K, who found you via Kristin Nicholas' blog said...

I use dresser scarves. My mom does too at her bed & breakfast. But then, we live in New England where nothing really changes over time...