No Need to Sew If You Join As You Go

Here’s a fun limerick I wrote awhile back in celebration of joining crochet motifs as you go:


Piles of projects have ends that are loose.

Their numbers, I’d like to reduce.

So I’ve learned to join as I go.

Although it is slow,

There’s no longer any excuse.

Once you learn how to do join-as-you-go crochet motifs, you’ll love how you won’t have to weave in zillions of loose ends when you’ve finished your projects. It’s definitely a technique worth learning.

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Crocheting Beautiful Beaded Baubles

I find beads completely fascinating, not to mention irresistible. Do you share this fascination too?


Crochet Heart Applique With Beads

I think beads are gorgeous all on their own — and I enjoy looking at them even when they are unused, sitting on a shelf, packaged in their humble little tubes and containers.


But when you combine them with crochet, and start using them to make beautiful beaded baubles — that’s even better. When you find a combination of beads and thread or yarn that work well together, the results can be spectacular.

This beaded heart applique is one example of a little crocheted trinket that is greatly enhanced by the presence of beads. I picked this particular project to highlight since Valentine’s Day is coming up soon — and it’s an ideal Valentine project. However, there are many beautiful examples of beaded crochet, and many lovely free patterns and tutorials on the Internet.

Tunisian Crochet Projects, Tips and Advice From Sharon Silverman

Have you tried Tunisian crochet yet? Would you either like to give it a try (if you haven’t yet), or improve your skills (if you have)?

Tunisian crochet is one of Sharon Silverman’s specialties. Sharon has written multiple books covering various aspects of this fascinating and useful crochet technique. If Tunisian crochet is of interest to you, I’m thinking you’ll probably be interested in learning more about Sharon’s latest projects.

The Tunisian Shawls Pattern Book by Sharon Silverman, Published by Leisure Arts.

The Tunisian Shawls Pattern Book by Sharon Silverman, Published by Leisure Arts.

When I got the news about a few of Sharon’s most recent Tunisian crochet books, I approached her to see if she’d be interested in collaborating on an interview for this website. She agreed, so I’m delighted to be able to share the interview we put together — which includes some pictures of her latest projects, plus some helpful tips and recommendations that I think will be of particular interest to people who are just getting started with Tunisian crochet.

Of course, no matter what your experience level with Tunisian crochet is, I’m guessing you’ll want to take a peek at this interview — because you’ll see some gorgeous project photos, and you’ll also find out which Tunisian crochet hooks Sharon recommends. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

Ideas for Crocheting With Fabric, Plus Free Fabric Crochet Patterns

Fabric Crochet Project Ideas

Fabric Crochet Project Ideas

I am a textile designer with a major weakness for fabric. Don’t get me wrong, I love yarn, thread, ribbons, beads, buttons, rubber stamps, paper punches and hot glue guns too — but I’m really, really, really nuts for pretty fabrics.

Not only that, I have an overabundance of fabric in my craft supply stash. I don’t have nearly the same issues with yarn or thread or buttons; somehow, when it comes to non-fabrics, I’m pretty adept at keeping my stash manageable, and I use up most of what I acquire in a reasonable sort of time frame.

It’s different with fabric. I have a hard time parting with anything made of fabric, especially pretty printed fabric — no matter how forlorn, stained, torn or beat up it gets; and I have this aggravating habit of buying interesting textiles and fabrics when I find them at garage sales, thrift stores or even at craft stores (on sale, of course.) And that’s to say nothing of all the fabric samples I have left over from the time period when I spent most of my days designing and re-coloring pretty prints.

When it comes to my fabric stash management, I think I finally managed to identify the major source of the bottleneck: I love fabric, but I don’t sew enough to really make much of a dent in the stash. I spend far more of my crafting time crocheting, knitting and scrapbooking. I’m good for sewing linings into my knitting and crochet pouches and bags, or an occasional hand-stitched embellishment or bauble. But the bottom line is, I’m not doing the amount of sewing or quilting it would really take to burn through all this fabric.

Light bulb moment: one day, it occurred to me that I should try crocheting with fabric. DUH! Of course that was the answer to my dilemma!

With all the fabric I have hanging around in my stash, I have no shortage of raw materials to draw from. So I’ve been steadily working on a list of interesting fabric crochet projects — and I’m posting them on the Internet so that you can try them too, if you would like to. I hope you’ll find these ideas useful. Whether you have some stained, abandoned sheets, or a sizeable fabric stash, I hope you’ll find plenty of projects (and free patterns!) that inspire you to dig in and use some of those materials up, too.

Fabric Crochet Project Ideas for You to Try:

Pictured in the Photo Collage Above:

Not Pictured, But Also Worth Trying:

Afghan Stitch Bracelet in Wire Crochet Free Crochet Pattern and Instructions

Afghan Stitch Bracelet in Wire Crochet

Afghan Stitch Bracelet in Wire Crochet


I enjoy messing around with different crochet techniques.


Tunisian crochet is one of my favorites. It’s fascinating to explore the infinite possibilities for working in this technique, which has been handed down to us from times past. My vintage crochet books include cryptic instructions for many different Tunisian crochet stitches, including the afghan stitch and others.


I also find wire crochet endlessly fascinating. I’ve completed quite a few projects in this technique. While I don’t find it relaxing to work in this technique, I do usually love the results.


Usually.

.

OK, maybe that’s not entirely accurate. Make that sometimes. Sometimes I love the results.


The thing is, wire crochet is not always the ideal technique for perfectionists. If you find it satisfying to crochet nice, neat, precise, evenly spaced stitches, you may find wire crochet a bit disappointing. While it’s technically possible to crochet evenly using wire, in practice it is pretty darned difficult to do.


This is one reason why I love the results sometimes, and sometimes not.


When working in yarn, I’ve practiced the afghan stitch to the point that I’m technically proficient at working it; I’m able to make a pretty tidy fabric using the stitch.


When I tried working the afghan stitch in wire, however, all of that went right out the window.

In the picture above, you can see my first attempt at working the afghan stitch using wire. I crocheted a small sample strip of the stitch using copper craft wire, which I then transformed into a beaded bracelet.


I think this design is pretty, and it has significant potential — although I’m not entirely happy with my first attempt. I’ve concluded that it would take more practice for me to produce a piece that’s up to my usual standards.


If you’d like to read more about my experiences with making this bracelet, and the techniques I’ve used to complete it, I invite you to take a look at the free bracelet pattern and instructions that I have shared.


If you’re new to the wire crochet technique, this is NOT a good starter project; I’d recommend trying this beaded wire crochet napkin ring, or this freshwater pearl necklace design first. Those projects are both easier than this one is.

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