On my crochet hook

Lots of crochet patterns of late have featured chains and bobbles as components. I have been playing around with an idea combining both. Fabric could be shaped by varying the number of chains and double crochets creating bobbles, and with very thick yarn the fabric may appear nearly solid. This is my working graph. Ovals represent chain stitches, beginning at left chain is created, first bobble row is represented in red/orange; second bobble row is represented in green, crochet after work is turned over, and when the opposite side is reached, visually it will appear as though a single row of 5 bobbles has been completed. The numbers represent the number of triple crochets in each popcorn, the crosses are joining single crochets for anchoring chains to previous rows, and closing off popcorns. The graph was created in Excel.

The yarn in use here is a very soft acrylic, intended for someone who cannot wear wool.

a thicker wool, less open space

Nearly any crochet fabric has the potential to be incorporated into knit items of clothing and accessories.

Where are they now?

Many of us grey haired knitters may recall the art to wear movement and some of the that became familiar at the height of home machine knitting and seminar circuits. I am beginning a thread that makes an effort to discover them in present time, will add to this post as I find links. The order is purely random,  includes published teachers and some of the knitters/ fiber artists found in the book documenting the birth of the movement pictured below.

John Allen.  Nicky Hitz Edson.  Susanna Lewis. One of  thousands of entries that may be found via google for Norma Minkowitz. Jean Williams Cacicedo. Linda Mendelson 

Plarn

A new word discovery for me today, apparently not to many others out there. For ideas in crochet, on making it 1, and for the same method used to obtain continuous bias strips 2.

I made a plastic bag woven piece back in my student days, it was woven, rya knotted onto a wool warp, with jingle bells and pom poms as both a decorative and a sound element; in an instance of art school need to name I called the piece my “Ceremonial Costume for an Acid Rain Dance”. At the time colored plastic bags were hard to fine, friends mailed them to me from wherever they traveled.

Polymer tales.

Switching to the abbreviated cowls/collars I found I needed lighter weight large “buttons”. These are hard to find or often expensive enough that in production the added cost would affect pricing significantly. As and avid collector of craft and multi media supplies, I have a significant stash of polymer clay dating back from months to decades. In an ah ah! moment I made prototypes for what I thought might solve the button weight and supply problem. After the fact I began to do searches on care of polymer clay buttons and methods used in making them, which in turn led to a big oops! moment.

I recommend dry cleaning for most of my items unless they are felted ones, in which case hand washing or even a gentle washing machine cycle in cold water works just fine. Polymer clay it turns out does not like dry cleaning chemicals. If used on items cleaned that way it is recommended that the button be covered with plastic wrap and aluminum foil prior to exposure to cleaning agents. Hot water washes and driers also damage the clay, cool water hand /machine gentle washing appears to not be a problem.

Here are some online sources on this related topics: for a wealth of information on polymer buttons. Ready made molds and ideas may be found here. Button shanks are available if that method of securing the buttons is desired.

The option I am choosing to pursue is making the button removable when the item is cleaned, which led to a search for button covers. Local chains that carry sewing notions had not even heard of them. A local mom and pop craft store however, had an endless supply in their “back room” dating back to when they were “in vogue”. Have to love elderly owners that are the shop version of inventory software and can just “go to” things that have not been out on the selling floor in years.

For anyone not familiar with them, here is an image of the item, available in a few sizes depending on source.

The plan of the moment is to affix the baked clay to the flat metal surface with a glue such as E6000 and further test the idea. Having the removable cover also means clay could be painted and finishes could be varied in ways that would not be possible if item was to undergo dry cleaning. My sample first efforts which I will torture/test are below. If not buttons perhaps all that clay may mutate to use in shawl pins.