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#27: Where the Wild Stitches Are
I need to keep this short because I’ve been in a strange crochet wonderland and want to get back to it! I have many failed swatches to make sense of. Some of the better ones are pictured here.

My oddly inspiring discovery this week is that thirty-seven :cough: years of crocheting leave me unprepared to truly understand what slip stitches do and why. I’m such a newbie. When I mix different kinds of slip stitches [sl sts], I lose track of which kind I did where. Sometimes I'm not sure of the last stitch of the row or how many rows I’ve done. I can’t design cool sl st stuff until I understand what my stitches are doing! I certainly wouldn’t teach it until I can read what a student’s stitches are doing!
 
Everything I originally learned about the sl st is turning out to be wrong. In regular crochet, we’re taught that it’s the simplest, most basic crochet stitch, and has limited usefulness. We learn one way to make sl sts.
 
As My Son Used to Say....IT'S OPPOSITE DAY!
 
The truth about the sl st seems to be exactly opposite of this common assumption in every way. For example:
 
- Change one little thing about a sl st and you get a dramatically different result. It helps my designing to think of the sl st as being a family of sl sts. 
 
- Sl sts seem simple in structure, but definitely aren’t in behavior. They’re magically dynamic, sort of like polymers or plastics: they stretch, bend, pour, meld, morph.
 
- Sl sts can create a potentially wide range of fabrics and projects, as taller crochet sts do. They can be lacy or solid, stiff or drapy, a large project or small, quick n’ easy or slow n’ complicated. It’s looking to me like sl st crochet will be making special contributions in the areas of jewelry, mens items, and certain classic fashion looks that are associated with knitting.

Weird, huh? Weird and exciting!

The last time I wrote about sl sts (issue #9, Jan. ’11 http://eepurl.com/caJIr), I was smitten with back loop sl st ribbing. (Still smitten. At left is an alpaca cuff.) This alone shows that the sl st is a neglected gem. That issue also has useful sl st links like this one at my site ( http://bit.ly/pZ5VXe, and issue #12 has a great diagram of the different ways to place a stitch. http://eepurl.com/cG8C2

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: http://eepurl.com/XwQk ) If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. Thanks! -Vashti
Slip Stitchin' for Fall
colorful sl sts
I think this is going to be a scarf.

sl st merino C
A stretchy swatch with interesting texture. Must try it in other fibers.


This one is stable and moderately stretchy.


Feels padded.

Links I Enjoyed This Week
Tammy Hildebrand is blogging! Fun posts: Hot Lava Crochet  http://bit.ly/nzw2rb

A floral group crochet blog: The Flower Bed http://theflowerbed-shr.blogspot.com/

I love what Agata Oleksiak said in the Wall Street Journal (a.k.a. Olek (crochet artist who crochet-bombed the Wall St. bull): "When I work, my energy is so high, it's like, don't even touch me, I'm just on fire." http://on.wsj.com/oCe1xQ

DesigningVashti News
Lunasa Bag with Switchable Lace is here! Pattern includes The Works (stitch diagram, photo tutorials, easy customizing formulas, optional refinements, etc.) It has a back-to-school look and feel to me. DV Site: http://bit.ly/ohujhV & Ravelryhttp://bit.ly/qiqSe3

So....I'm helping to produce the CGOA Fashion Show next week at the Chain Link conference! I need to find a good apprentice. If you're interested, will be attending, and expect to attend a future show, fabulous! Email me: vashtibraha@gmail.com 
Donna Hulka's photo from 2010 Fashion Show  http://bit.ly/nTyeJNCGOA Fashion Show
Like Crochet Inspirations Newsletter: #27 Stalking the Wild Slip Stitch on Facebook
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