Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Custom Crochet for Nativity Scene Snow

I had a cheap looking fake snow base for my heirloom nativity scene. I wanted something homemade and special to complete the ceramic figurines made by my mother. I used the methods for custom crochet to double crochet a base in exactly the shape and size of the corner couch sectional where I display the nativity scene each year. It was an odd shape that I can only describe as an upside down candy corn shape. I used a template and laid the crocheted work out frequently as I crocheted to ensure it fit correctly.

Once I had the double crocheted custom shape finished, I used the loop stitch to create the bumpy snow. The loop stitch is simply a chain of 5 single crocheted to the post of every other double crochet in each row. I began by chaining and single crocheting a loop to the post of every double crochet stitch, but this was too bulky. To help the ceramics rest flatly, I used a disappearing pen for sewing to outline the position of each character in the nativity scene, including the barn. As I made the loop stitch "snow," I intentionally skipped the outlined areas. The result was nativity scene snow with a flat area for each ceramic figuring to rest safely.

Crocheting Bathroom Accessories

I've spent so much time crocheting over the Christmas holiday, that I've barely written anything. I have acquired several photos of what I've been working on and have a lot of information to share on decorating a bathroom. I used the double crochet stitch to create rugs in custom sizes and shapes. I also used the double crochet stitch to make wash rags that double as doilies and decor to add character and homemade charm to the bathroom.

The only thing I can possible think of to crochet in this bathroom is a shower curtain or window curtain. But, I am happy with the overall look. I plan to move on and do more crochet to decorate my own bathroom. The first project in my bathroom with be a toilet seat cover using the "loop stitch" to make a cushy soft cover. In the photographed projects, I have been honing my skills in creating custom crochet work in a specific size and shape. I have perfected my use of the wave pattern. I also experimented with various thicknesses of the double crochet (combining 2 layers of single crochet or double crocheting with 2 yarns as if it were one) If you are doing a small project, such as a wash cloth, two layers of crochet work well when combined with an outer border. (See wash cloth photo to the right)The double layer actually minimizes the holes in the work, which I do not like when using homemade wash clothes. Using two yarns as one yarn creates weight to the project and works well for rugs and heavy projects. (See rug below) I tried combining two layers of single panel crochet for a rug and it didn't work well.

The loop stitch I found in some old crochet books that I have. It is simply double crochet. After each double crocheted row, go back across the row by chaining 5 and single crocheting to attach the chain to the post of the next crochet stitch. After you have finished the loop stitch across the row, turn the work and double crochet a new row. The original instructions I found called for a chain of 7, single crocheted to every double crochet post in the row. I found that to be to bulky. I reduced it to 5 and skipped to attach the chain to every other post in the row. Making the finished project lighter and less "loopy" in the photo below. I mention this stitch because it is perfect for a toilet seat cover. Which will be my next crochet project.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dishcloth Patterns

You can crochet this wavy pattern into a dishcloth, towel, blanket, or any other piece of work you wish to decorate with a unique wave. The wavy pattern is used making a variation of the double crochet stitch. For complete instruction on making the wavy pattern visit:

How to Crochet a Wave Pattern

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oval Rug: Double Crocheted and Seamless

Last night, I finally finished the oval rug I've been working on. You might recognize the center oval in the photo from a previous post on "How to Crochet an Oval." The center oval is 100% cotton. The outer 2 rings are washable merino wool.

In retrospect, I wish I had used cotton for the entire project. The cotton is a heavier weight and it is inexpensive. I used the merino wool because I happened to have that yarn in the colors I wanted, but merino wool is expensive! It is also very soft, lighter weight than cotton and very warm. I would have preferred to use it to make something I could wear.

Regardless of whether I am wearing it, or making it for my home, I always use natural fibers. I dislike synthetic fibers which produce static. Natural fibers do not produce static and they allow your skin to breath. I always choose yarns made of cotton, wool, etc. I never use polyester.

The oval rug turned out a tad bit smaller than I wanted, but I ran out of blue merino wool yarn. I will probably add a few rows to the outer edge after I order more yarn from knit picks.

Here are the instructions for Making an Oval Rug Without a Seam.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crochet a Scarf

With winter approaching it seems appropriate to point out that you can crochet a scarf quickly and easily as a beginner. I have personally crocheted many scarfs using a simple double crochet stitch. You can crochet through only one loop of the previous row to add a textured ridge to the scarf. You can double crochet the scarf length-wise to add a long length of the scarf ridge, or you can crochet the scarf from side-to-side to produce a stripe across the width of the scarf as seen in the photo.

How to Crochet a Scarf: Free Pattern

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crochet a Wash Cloth or Lots of Wash Cloths!

Wash clothes are one of my favorite things to crochet. Perhaps because I can mindlessly crochet a square while watching the evening news. It takes about an hour to crochet a wash cloth. Here is the pattern: "How to Crochet a Wash Cloth"

You can use inexpensive cotton yarn from peaches n cream. It comes in some very pretty color varieties. My favorite is "shaded denim" seen in the photos.

I usually make the wash clothes with a double crochet stitch, but a single crochet stitch would make cloth that was more solid. Whether you use a single or a double crochet, go around the outer edge with a single crochet when done to give it a finished look. I use my wash clothes to decorate my bathroom as well.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pattern to Crochet an Oval Rug

My favorite way to crochet a rug or oval doilie is to continue the row of double stitching around the work without turning. This enables you to crochet a rug with no seam. How to Crochet an Oval shows you how to crochet without turning the work and creating a seam. For crocheting an oval rug use 2 or 3 strands of yarn at once to give weight to the rug.