Friday, June 1, 2018

Crochet Edging for Handkerchiefs

*Continuing with re-platforming some of my older articles that were hosted on other websites, here is an idea for quick gifts or party favors.  Enjoy

Elegant Crochet on a Budget
Handkerchiefs aren't just for the elderly cold sufferer. While they may seem like a throwback to the Victorian era, handkerchiefs are an excellent item to decorate to create a last-minute gift or as an addition to your own linen collection.
Edging crocheted around a handkerchief can turn even inexpensive cotton fabric into something beautiful that can have wide-ranging craft uses. This is one of those projects that you'll want to keep materials on hand for as they are inexpensive and take up little space in your crafting bag.
My own work in a shell pattern, photo credit Trish Deneen.

Choose Your Hook and Thread
It's best to use a steel crochet hook for this project. Start with a US size 6 or 7 (metric 1.60 and 1.50). If you aren't used to working with steel hooks, these sizes aren't too small but are small enough to do a nice edging.
Size 10 cotton thread in the color of your choice works well with these size hooks, especially if you haven't done this type of project before. Choose smaller hooks and finer thread depending on if you want a lacier edging, though this will take a bit longer to finish.

Fabric Choices

While the old standby white linen fabric is still used, there are now more fabrics to choose from including 100% cotton and cotton-blend fabrics. They come in a variety of colors from pastels to southwestern and paisley printed bandannas.
Those that are spoke stitched (sometimes called hemstitch, see pic below), that is with pre-stiched holes around the edges, make it even easier to get your crochet hook through.
Hemsticthed linen, Photo credit Wikimedia Commons

The Technique and Free Pattern Resources

If your handkerchief isn't spoke stitched, you will have to carefully poke holes in the fabric along the edges. If the fabric is light enough, your crochet hook will work for this. Otherwise, you will need to use a tapestry needle to make the holes. Evenly space the holes about 1/8 inch apart from each other. Now you are set to begin.
·         Make the edging as simple or as elaborate as you like. If the piece is already spoke stitched, start in the corner with three single crochet. Then make single crochet stitches around the entire handkerchief with three stitches in each of the remaining corners to keep the piece from bunching up. Join the last and first stitches with a slip stitch.
·         Chain one and add another row of single crochet around all sides. Make sure to do the three stitches in each corner. Join the last and first stitches with a slip stitch.
·         On the next row is where you begin your favorite edging stitches and patterns.
Alternatively, you can do a blanket stitch around the whole piece and use that as your basis for crochet. You can find free edging patterns at Barb's Free Crochet Patterns and Crochet Pattern Central. Use this technique with several cotton bandannas with a basic shell pattern to have on hand to put in gift baskets.
These also make a decorative wrapping for party favors at baby or wedding showers. To do this, put your small gift in the center, gather up the edges and tie with decorative ribbon. Finer linen handkerchiefs with lacy edging make beautiful table centerpieces and can also be embroidered with initials for that special gift.

A Special Gift

This doesn't have to be limited to handkerchiefs. Napkins come in an assortment of sizes and fabric types and lend themselves well to this technique. With the choice in colors and textures of crochet thread, you will be sure to find the right match for the fabric you are using for your project.
This is also a perfect on-the-go craft to take with you anywhere. Crocheting edging around handkerchiefs and napkins is a fast and frugal way to create handmade gifts and heirlooms for you and your family.
(c) Patricia Deneen


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Declutter/Destash Series - Crocheted Shrug - German Shepherd Approved!

This is the first and so far only in a series of destash videos that I had planned. Life has gotten in the way a bit with me being back in school, but I do plan on making more. I share my process for making a simple crochet shrug. This one was for myself, but I also made one as a Christmas gift for my mom which she loved. It's a great project to use up yarn and have a warm garment for winter that can be quickly made. This isn't a tutorial as it's meant to inspire your own designs and destashing and decluttering efforts.  My dog gets in on the act in the end.  Enjoy.

Beaded, Crochet Granny Square Earrings Pattern

I'll be publishing some of my crafting articles previously published on HubPages starting with this fun, funky pattern for experienced crocheters.  Enjoy.

Orange Dream earrings, Photo credit Trish Deneen

Frugal and Beautiful Crochet Jewelry
Making crocheted jewelry is fun and frugal way to use up bits of thread to make beautiful gifts for holidays and birthdays. The classic granny square is easily adaptable to any style you want to make it from vintage to modern. This tutorial will give you the basic pattern and steps to use to make your own beaded crochet granny square earrings.
Supplies Needed
You will need the following supplies to complete this project.
·         Small amount of DMC size 12 thread or crochet cotton size 10, 20, or 30. The finer the thread, the daintier the final result.
·         Seed and other craft beads of your choice.
·         Beading thread and bead needle. Sewing thread can be substituted.
·         Fabric glue or stiffener.
·         Earring wires.
·         Round nose jewelry pliers.
·         Craft Styrofoam board.
·         Head pins.
·         Wax paper. Plastic wrap (cling film) may be substituted.

Granny Square Pattern
Crochet abbreviations:
·         ch = chain
·         dc = double crochet
·         sl st = slip stitch

Row 1: Begin with ch 6, sl st into first ch to create round.
Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as first double crochet on each row). Two dc in round. Ch 3, 3 dc in round three times. Ch 3 and sl st in beginning ch 3.
Row 3: Sl st to ch 3 space. Ch 3, two dc in same ch space. Ch 3, three dc in same ch space. *Ch 1, three dc in next ch space. Ch 3, three dc in same ch space. Repeat from * twice more. Ch 1, sl st in first ch 3.
Row 4: Sl st to ch 3 space. Ch 3, two dc in same ch space. Ch 3, three dc in same ch space. *Ch 1, three dc in next ch space. Ch 1, three dc in next ch space. Ch 3, three dc in same ch space. Repeat from * two times. Ch 1, three dc in next ch space. Ch 1, sl st in first ch 3. Finish off.

Stiffen Earrings

Water down fabric glue or stiffener to a 1:1 ratio of glue and water. Use more or less depending on how stiff you want the finished earrings. Block out earrings on Styrofoam board covered in wax paper and pin in place to dry.
I don't like to make these too stiff just enough so they don't look limp when you're wearing them. The finished earrings you see in these pictures are flexible enough to bend but they hold up well dangling from the ears without looking floppy.
This step is completely optional, but I think that because of the added beads this style really looks better stiffened a little bit rather than left as is. If you do stiffen them, try not to get them wet as this will lessen the stiffness.

Purple Leaves

The pair below has plastic beads, seed beads and purple leaf beads attached in the same fashion as mentioned above.

Purple Feather, Photo credit Trish Deneen

Adding Beads and Ear Wires

For this pattern, we'll be attaching the beads in one corner of the square so that the earrings appear to be diamond shaped. A longer piece of beading thread will make this easier to work with—at least 18 inches. String thread through a corner chain space of an earring and tie a double knot in the middle to secure. You now have two threads to work with of equal length to add the beads of your choice.
Place the beading needle on one of the threads and string on seed beads. To secure them, go over the first bead you strung on the thread and up through the rest of the beads and tie and cut off. You may want to do this as many times as the size of the holes in the beads allow to add security. Repeat with the other thread.
Add threads as desired (see Celebration earrings below). To get the look of the orange dream earrings above, place two larger beads on both threads before separating the threads to add seed beads.
Add the ear wires at the top of the earrings with the round nose jewelry pliers.


These can be beautifully adapted to Steampunk fashion, Victoriana, goth style, frilly or simplistic using any color thread and beads. Variegated thread can be used as in the purple leaves pair below and the orange dream pair. I've also used ecru colored thread with wood beads for more of an earthy look.

Celebration Crochet

I call the style pictured below celebration granny squares because they're so colorful even with plain white squares. This is a great way to use beads up from the multi-colored grab bags sold at craft stores or those you have in your own bead stash. I'm unsure but I believe I used cotton crochet thread size 20 or 30 for this pair.

Celebration Granny Squares, Photo credit Trish Deneen

Changing the Place of the Beads

It's easy to put the beads under the ear wires instead of at the bottom of the earrings. Just follow the same principles as in the tutorial. See the photo below for an example.

Rose Bead, Photo credit Trish Deneen

(c) Patricia Deneen (No, I know I don't own the copyright to the granny square, but please don't copy this article/pictures and claim yourself as the author.  Make and sell all the granny square jewelry that you want. Happy crocheting!)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Paracord for Puppy and Prepping

Long time, no craft writing!!  Glad to be back as I have so many projects going on, like most crafters probably.  I plan on posting themes over the next couple of weeks and this one is on paracord.  I'm a bit of a prepper and paracord is on my list of items to learn to use.  I haven't tested it in the woods yet, but I have made some bracelets and dog collars and love working with it.  I started without a jig, but I bought one recently and it's so helpful for larger projects like the dog collar pictured.   I made it from the excellent tutorial on YouTube from Sea Lemon, but I used a jig rather than how she did it.  I did try one and taping the cord to a table turned out to be frustrating for me.  The first pic is of a collar that was gifted to another dog.

The pic below is my German Shepherd's collar.  Sorry about the quality. ;)  I tried to show the reflective nature, but it was hard to get a good one trying to hold the camera in my hands and the flashlight in my mouth.  I just bought a photo studio kit to use for Etsy products which I'll be breaking out this weekend.  I find the reflective quality quite good outdoors, but I think a harness would be better seen by people in cars.  I'll still have her wear her orange reflective vest along with this collar for now if we're out in the dark.

These are a couple of bracelets I made for myself from a kit, which gave me tje bug to buy more paracord and start doing collars.  The top is made in a cobra weave and the two-tone is a fishtail weave.

This one was for my husband with paracord from Walmart in the outdoor section and a speciality clasp with a whistle and fire starter inside.

I don't know if I'll be making any paracord projects for Etsy as I'm working on crochet items right now, but I did want to share what I was up to.  There's so much you can do with paracord and finish a project quickly.  The weaves are reminiscent of macrame and I love the durability.  I used Scotch Guard on the collar for my GSD which helps keep it clean, but when I do need to clean it I use a hard bristle brush and minimal soap and water (without immersing it) and let it dry.

Related reading and products mentioned:
5 Common Misconceptions About Preppers
Reflective Nylon 550lb Paracord Rope 100 Feet - Rose Pink

Friday, May 10, 2013

Etsy Listing Digital Download Option for Patterns and Other Files

Apparently, Etsy announced their new digital download option in April but I missed it.  I'm so happy about this as I started designing filet crochet items last year and placing them in my Etsy shop for sale.  I'm considering doing some prim doll patterns too.  I can see how people who design collage sheets would find this helpful as well.

Through this system, your customers can download patterns that you previously only offered via email.  This will save so much time for the both sellers and customers.

Here is the forum thread at Etsy that covers the details of these types of listings.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Praying Hands Cameo

I haven't gotten around to making all the polymer clay cameos I mentioned in this post yet but I did make a lovely Christmas gift for my mom.  She loved it!  This cameo is of the praying hands motif.

Once the cameo was baked, I used a simple painting technique to decorate it.  First, I placed one coat of cream-colored acrylic paint on and let it dry.  I then used a sponge brush to put brown antiquing liquid over the piece and rubbed off quickly so the crevices held the darker color.  I glued the cameo in an antique style, copper colored bezel setting and used that as a centerpiece for the necklace.

I used a combination of vintage glass beads (green), wood (red, brown) and faux bone.

You can see the antiquing effect a little better below.

I like the antique style but I think this cameo would also look good with flesh tone hands or in a traditional cameo style with a dark background.  I ordered the bezels from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads—a bead lover's paradise if there ever was one.  I plan on using chains with future cameos as I think that would help make them every day type pieces.  Prayer necklaces from different spiritual traditions is also another idea I've got floating around.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Prim Dolls - Ozzie and Harriet

I've been admiring primitive dolls of  late and wanted to give them a try myself.  This is my first attempt at some cats as a gift for a friend.  Meet Ozzie and Harriet inspired by her own cats.

I created a simple two-piece pattern on notebook paper and grunged up some plain white muslin for the bodies using a tea stain and then acrylic paint.  After this, I rubbed cinnamon into the fabric.  I used pillow stuffing but you can use old fabric if you like.  These are smallish at about 6 inches tall.  I wanted her to be able to tuck them in a bowl or anywhere else for decorative effect.

The bodies were sewn together with a machine except for the bottom where I used embroidery floss.  The tails are completely sewn together and to the bodies with the floss by hand.  This added to the grunge factor.  Here's a closeup of the faces and fabric.  I recycled some buttons, scraps of fabric and embroidery floss.



I love the idea of prims—not being too fussy that is and the result still being adorable.  It's a great way to use up fabric scraps and recycle odds and ends like the buttons.  My friend was very happy with her gift and I even made a set for myself after my Merlin and Cally cats.  If you don't think you can be your own doll designer, prims are a good way to build up your confidence and start creating from your imagination.