Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Crochetnit




Double hook needles or double end crochet hooks – are long afghan crochet hooks with the same size hook on each end designed to produce a firm, double faced fabric usually in 2 different colours. Cro-hooking, cro-knitting, double hook crochet, crochet on the double are all names given to this technique. You will notice that if worked in 2 colours one side will be predominately colour A and the other side will be predominately colour B.

 Maria Olma was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1920 and learned to crochet at a very young age. She immigrated to the US in 1943 and became Mary Middleton. In 1970 a friend showed her a baby afghan she had made with a double hook needle. Mary was intrigued and realised the technique was similar to the afghan stitch she learnt as a girl. She showed a number of others; who wanted to learn the technique. A craft shop asked her to give lessons and booked the classes – one lady cancelled because she didn’t want to buy a hook and pay for a lesson to learn just one stitch. This prompted Mary to develop more stitches and start a company called Crochenit. This is now the popular term for work done on a double hook needle.

 This block is worked in basic Crochenit stitch. You will notice that the technique is very similar to Tunisian Crochet.
Start with a foundation chain using colour A.
The first row will be a pick up row – still using colour A.
Turn your work and slide along to end – join new colour (you will now have yarn on both ends of your work)
The second row will be a cast off row – using colour B
The third row will be a pick up row – using colour B
Turn your work and cast off with colour A.

 You will need:
2 balls of yarn in different colours –colour A and colour B
1 double hook needle in a size to suit your yarn (Note- you will need a bigger size hook than knitting needle to produce a soft fabric)

Start with a crochet foundation chain of 20 + 1 – 21 chain using colour A

Row 1:
Cast on row: Insert hook into the second chain from the hook, *wrap the yarn (from back to front) over the hook and pull through leaving the new loop on the hook; insert the hook into the next chain* repeat from *to* to end
Turn work and slide to end of needle, using colour B make a slip knot and place on needle
Cast off row: pull the slip knot through the first loop on the hook;* wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook* repeat from *to* until there is only one loop left on the hook.

Row 2:
Cast on row: Insert the hook into the second vertical bar of the previous row, *wrap the yarn over the hook and pull the loop through leaving the new loop on the hook; insert the hook into the next vertical bar* repeat from *to* to end
Turn work and slide to the end of needle; take up colour A
Cast off row: wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first loop on the hook;* wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook* repeat from *to* until there is only one loop left on the hook.

Row 3:
Cast on row: Insert the hook into the second vertical bar of the previous row, *wrap the yarn over the hook and pull the loop through leaving the new loop on the hook; insert the hook into the next vertical bar* repeat from *to* to end
Turn work and slide to the end of needle; take up colour B
Cast off row: wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first loop on the hook;* wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook* repeat from *to* until there is only one loop left on the hook.

 Repeating Rows 2 and 3; work 16 more rows then work a row of single crochet and end off.

 

 
Darn in ends.

 

There is nothing stopping you from using only one colour or a different colour at every turn or even for each cast on and each cast off row – use your imagination and have fun!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A New Year :)

It's such a long time since I last posted. Last year went by in a blur and I feel like I was really only functioning on the surface. It was a rollercoaster year with very happy and very sad times and so I have decided that 2014, although it's already a run off my feet busy year, is going to be  a calmer, quieter, even keeled, happy year.

As I sit here, I can hardly hear myself think. Yesterday while I was out, a water pipe burst in my studio. If you don't know my studio, it is divided into a top section with one step down into the bottom section. My sink is in the bottom section and it is there that the pipe burst. Thank goodness Anna was there so we could start sorting the problem immediately or I would have had a much bigger disaster! Having said that it still took us about 30 - 40 minutes to get the water turned off. I couldn't get through to the plumber on the phone, Chris was out of town... I called our insurance broker for a number for an emergency plumber (knowing that was a long shot since we live so far out of the city)eventually I managed to get 2 very kind men from the factory to go turn the mains off and seal the pipe. By then the whole bottom section was filled with and inch + of water. Anna, bless her, even in the panic had thought to lift everything electrical off the floor and when I got home was scooping water out with a bucket.  The plumbers arrived and fixed the pipe and we moved all the furniture, carpets, spinning wheels, bags of wool etc out onto the lawn. I thought I was going to be soaking up water all night when the phone rang, it was our insurance broker who had organised a company called Dryforce to come and help. At just after 4:00 in the afternoon they left Jo'burg in peak hour traffic to come all the way out to Heidelberg! In no time they had vacuumed up the remaining water - a lot! - and have left 3 machines here that are removing all the remaining moisture and that is why I can't hear myself think!.. but, let's face it, it couldn't have ended better :) I've already put everything except the couches back.

One of the machines removing the moisture

I started this year busy. Usually the summer months are very quiet on the yarn front but I have steadily kept going, even receiving an order on Christmas day! There are 6 exhibitions in the 1st half of this year to make work for, 2 that I'll be curating,  and 6 issues of Stitches to be completed by the end of the year. I will also be teaching at Quilt in Clarens again this year but decided that that will be the only teaching and that I'm going to attend workshops instead.

The first workshop for this year is already done. I spent last weekend in Klerksdorp at a wonderful felting workshop presented by Charity vd Meer. I'll tell more about that in another post. If you ever come across Charity, I encourage you to attend one of her workshops. The next one I'm looking forward to is a Wild Knitting workshop in my studio with Linda Tacke.

One of the exhibitions at IQCA this year is Sculptural Fibre Art. I've been working on my part of a collaborative  piece since December. It's working out beautifully but I have exhausted the supply of stuffing locally so it will have to wait to be completed. Look out for more about this in the weeks and months to come. I'm not telling what it is until after the exhibition opens in the last week of July but here's a little peek ;)



I had decided to make a flamingo for my other piece because I thought it would be different and all of a sudden, in the last few days, I'm seeing them everywhere so I've changed my mind about that one.

The work for the other exhibitions is all still in the planning stage but I do already know what I'm doing for each one (unless I change my mind ;) ) and I've started getting the materials for each one together.

Look out for more in the days. weeks and months to come.. and have a wonderful 2014!