Broomstick lace

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EDIT

Hello, did you come here via a google search for Broomstick lace? If so, thanks for coming, it’s lovely to meet you. I have a feeling you might be looking for a tutorial video, in which case, I used this one, and found it very good. I must confess, I’ve only watched part one, as it was all I needed to get going. Few other things that are useful to know:

• Its very easy and looks complicated
• I find less ‘fluffy’ yarns are best, to make the most of the pattern. (Better stitch definition)
• After every row of broomstick lace I do a row of double crochet – you don’t have to, but I quite like the stripes it creates. Also it gives it a bit more structure, which is good for an ‘every day’ scarf.
• I also crochet around the edges of the whole thing at the end, because it stops me worrying about the edges snagging on something when its worn. I usually add a picot every 4 or 5 stitches too, just to liven it up a bit.
• I used a very fat knitting needle as my ‘broomstick’, but I’ve seen other people use a ruler.

And that’s it really. The rest of this page has my original post, but I thought the above might help you get the information you wanted a bit quicker. Enjoy your crochet!

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So, I’ve been seeing odd pieces of broomstick lace cropping up for a while now. It’s not really lace as such, but crochet, made over a ‘broomstick’:

broomstick lace

I spotted a lovely scarf over on Ravelry (you’ll need to be logged in) recently, and thought I’d have a go. Can’t be impossible, right? Actually it’s not. It’s a bit fiddly, but easy to pick up – although I might take that back when I’ve finished it and it all turns out to be a disaster!

broomstick needle

Look! My first knitting needles! I had to get them yesterday, as I didn’t have anything else appropriate. From what I’ve seen, these scarves look better in a yarn with a slight sheen – you know, less wooly. Being pretty limited by the local shop, and the urge to start NOW I went with the best option I could find which is Sidar ‘Baby Bamboo’. It splits a bit, but it’s really soft actually. The softness of it makes it quite nice to work with.

loopy

At the end of each row, you slide all the loops off the broomstick. The you work double stitches over groups of 4, and it magically just all works out. It’s pretty clever, really. If you’d like to try, but don’t have a book to hand, there’s a bunch of tutorials on YouTube. I just went with the first one I could find, which is a… well, it’s a three parter, but I haven’t got past the beginning of the second one, as I don’t need to increase or decrease for this. If you *do*, I’d suggest watching the rest!

If I never mention this again, it’s because I’ve messed it up, or got bored! Hopefully neither though. We’ll see.

Edit: part 2  |  scarf 2

Tatting with rings

So, I get it now – not just how to do it, but why people love it! It’s kind of addictive… I had tried before, but I’ve realised a couple of things. First, I think I was only doing half the stitch each time – it took a wee while to work that one out. Second, I was using horrible thread, and the only plastic rings I could find really needed something thinner.

Tatted ring

So this is one of Jon Yusoff’s patterns, in size 80. I made two alterations – on the middle flower I had to leave a few stitches out to make it small enough to fit, and on the outer ring I used picots instead of Josephine knots as I didn’t have a spare shuttle to hand and I wanted to get started *right then*!

How big is the final thing? Well, it’s about this big:

Ring to scale

It’s about the size of a minifig lego Stormtrooper. I had a feeling that as soon as I called Death Star for help there’d be trouble. And there is. Despite being a little short for a Strormtrooper, he’s taken the tatting and is now holding it to ransom. SEND HELP.

ransom

Tatted Cluny links

This is a little bit for me, and a little bit for you. Some links on cluny’s that might be handy (in no particular order)
• a good photo tutorial
• a nice post on using a stitch marker to help close the cluny
• the video that helped me finally ‘get it’
• a cluny pattern that I *will* one day start with (when I stop practising)

I just posted this as I spotted the link to use a stitch marker this morning, and didn’t want to forget where I’d seen it. As i often see people searching for cluny info, thought it could be handy.

Let me know if you’ve found any other links that could be good, and I’ll add them to the list.

Stitchin’ and Bitchin’? Tatting & chatting.

I met up with some friends this week at the Royal Festival Hall, for a stitchy get together. There were two knitters, one embroiderer, a crocheter, and a trainee crocheter. I took my tatting, as I’ve recently finished the crochet elephant, and for some reason, taking crochet anywhere always requires too much planning… and to much pattern reading. I always end up missing an increase or decrease and confusing myself. With tatting, patterns are easier to memorise and so it’s a bit more sociable.

I’ve started the primrose path doily again. I made the middle section a few weeks back, and kept it as it was to give to someone. Since then I’ve been planning to remake it, but not quite had the chance. This time I thought I’d make life easy for myself, and make it in one colour.

Tatting and thread

This is a DMC thread, size 80, in ‘dark ecru’ and I really like it. It’s almost a muted gold colour. Looks nice.
doily

I must admit, I never thought I would be the doily making type, but I just fancied making something a bit bigger… A bit more involved, maybe. As it goes, this is quite an easy pattern – I made two of the middle sections with friends and the other two on the train, to and from work.

Tatted casualties

There were two casualties though. I did try again with the grey Venus thread – managed to make one section and realised I’d got my rings up the wrong way! I love the colour of this thread, but it’s just terrible to tat with. It breaks far too easily and makes it very difficult to close rings. The other one I forgot to join before I closed a ring, so just carried on anyway. I guess I’ll hide the ends and use them for… y’know. Something.

Finished elephant!

Ever get that feeling that you’re always rushing about but never seem to get anywhere? That’s me I think, at the moment. Just posting this now, as this wee lady will be with her new owner before the day is out.

Elephant profile

The photo’s aren’t great (I really hate taking photos), but I should really be wrapping her up and heading off, so they’re better than nothing! I was very pleased with the way she turned out actually, even if I do say so myself. I used a bigger hook (3mm) and the stitches are much more even than ones I’ve made before. Despite the rush she came together really well – even sewing on her head wasn’t *too* painful for either of us.

finished elephant

I really hope she’s well received… I read this great post the other day which mentions the fact that after making a gift for someone, you get so excited at the thought of giving it to them, you’re kind of unprepared for the massively underwhelmed response. I know that feeling. It’s very sad. So all you can do is make the very best thing you can, put all the love into it you can, and know that you’ve done your best job. There’s no accounting for other people sometimes…

Which actually sounds like I’m expecting total disaster – I’m not at all, but y’know. I am pleased with how nicely she’s come out though. Makes me want to make another one!

Have a great weekend.

UPDATE: she got the best response *ever*. In fact, I’m still smiling now 🙂

Elephant racing

Things are still pretty busy on the work front, and so I’ve been getting into work earlier. This means standing with your head in someone’s armpit on the overground and the underground as they’re packed in the mornings – and this in turn means it’s not the ideal tatting scenario. (I can tatt like this – but look what happened last time!) Also I’m itching to make a few new things – and that means I need room to read a pattern, which is tricky. So, I’ve been reading where possible, or studying the finer points of other people’s ear hair. You know how it is. (Or if you’re lucky, maybe you don’t.)

An elephant's head

Ages ago I promised someone I’d make them an elephant for their birthday. They’re birthday is *next weekend* and so today I thought I really should get a move on. There’s a lot going on this week and I’ll never have time to finish it in the evenings. Why didn’t I start it ages ago? Silly me.

Anyway, I’ve made a head, arms and legs. I actually started with the arms and legs first as they’re the least exciting bit and it’s good to get them done. Also, as I’m so bad at sewing, I like to do as much as I can as I go along, to tuck the ends inside. I made the ears before I started the head too, so I could sew them as I went.

Deflated elephant

Poor wee thing. I’ll start on her body next – I might just get this done – if not sewn up – tonight. I think I’m using a different hook to last time. I have a feeling last time I used a 2.5mm and this is a 3mm – its a bit odd, as the stitches look completely different. Anyway. It’s all neat and tidy, which is a good thing, as I really worry that I’ll give things to people and they’ll be really embarrassed about how rubbish it is.

I think if i make another one, I might modify the pattern ever so slightly. I think I made a mistake on the first one – which resulted in the trunk having the tiniest upturn at the end, and it looks really nice. It would be easy to do, just need to add in maybe one decrease a couple of rows in. Having said that, I need to finish this one first, which I shall go and do now…