|Lacy Seams Because This is Crochet!
Lots of news again. See lower right column.
The very essence of crochet amazes me. Crochet equips one to just "hook on" to anything, anywhere. It's crochet that makes attaching and connecting things into an art form. Isn't a seam the ultimate type of connection?
I'm one of those crocheters who avoids hand sewing and who makes a garment in one piece when I can. If I have to seam something, I almost always prefer a crocheted seam for about five practical reasons. When I can crochet a seam that also embellishes, I feel like, well, crochet won!
I thought this newsletter issue was going to be about a certain way to crochet shrugs because I have two new shrug patterns out now. (See Fish Lips over in the right column. Sister Act at left is in the summer issue of Interweave Crochet magazine.) These two patterns are actually very different experiences of crochet, even though both started out as scarves, and both end up shrugs via unique seams.
The blue seam above is a solution I sought in 2009 after I wore a slippery rayon stole (rectangular shawl) to two weddings in two days. Pictured at right, I'm dancing with the bride, with my "Penelope Lace" stole tied in the front; not its best look. It still slipped off of my shoulders so often that it's one of the things I think of when I remember the weddings. Ugh, not fair to the brides!
After the weddings, I mulled what I could do to make the stole something I'd use again. That's how I came up with the unusual seam in the topmost photo. In these next 2 photos it's seamed into a cocoon vest, and a tube shrug.
Four years passed. While crocheting the Sister Act
scarf, I tried a subtler version of the blue Penelope seam so that I could wear the wide scarf as a vest-like shrug, as pictured above. Here's
: I so wanted to wear the scarf draped sideways,
like the yoke of a top as a summer layer in the A/C (the yarn is alpaca, so it's quite warm even as a bold lace.)
Thanks to crochet, wishes come true
(without having to rip out a scarf and start over with wider rows). In the Fish Lips
photos in the far right column, you can see the dramatic crocheted seam that connects two shorter scarves into sleeves
Here are a few of my other decorative crocheted seams over the years.
I think the most well known is the lacy raglan seam I used for the Barcelona Jacket
in 2008. (Shown inside out in aqua.) The rows are worked vertically, and the stair-stepped row ends are filled in with the lacy seam. The seam blends in, like an optical illusion.
Another example is the 2008 Tunisian Marco Jacket
. These are panels of Tunisian Simple Stitch joined so that the crocheted seams look sort of like cables.
If you like this topic, also take a look at the gold-colored trim of the Baroque Tabard Tunic
: my goal was a corded or piped look to emphasize these real working seams. For Petals
below, the seam was originally supposed to be invisible. Nothing I tried worked, so I spotlighted
the seam with beads, and now I'm glad I did. (Clear beads are traveling from upper left corner to lower right in photo.)
The only hitch with some of these seams is that it's often tricky to explain in a written pattern, and not necessarily easier to diagram either. A video would be ideal.
That's it for #51! If you know someone who would enjoy this kind of newsletter, please forward this to them so that they can subscribe. (Click here to subscribe: ) If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. Thanks! --Vashti