056:365 Interweave

056:365 interweave

Again playing with high contrast and weaving/plaid motifs. Interested in how the colors blend, and how they look next to one another. The final inspiration, to remove some color from part of the middle reminds me of the sun peeking through clouds, though the colors are off, so I’m not sure why it does.

That last inspiration, which blurs the threads somewhat and leaves a smoother section might be created by felting those sections. It wouldn’t look exactly the same, but it would create slight blending, and then also a radically different texture. I’m just not sure how well needle-felting would work in this sort of a case. Although it’s acrylic, when I finish the scarf-thing on my loom, I might try it. It will be interesting, if nothing else.

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Handmade Crocheted Scrap Basket

Today I finished a small video and craft project illustrating how to make a colorful basket out of salvaged cloth strips using RipStop Nylon from The Scrap Box, so I just did a small schematic-style sketch of the finished product so I could post my how-to video today:

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Here’s written instructions:

You will need:

A BIG Crochet Hook
And lots of scraps of fabric. Seen here: recycled Ripstop Nylon from The Scrapbox (scrapbox.org)

1) Tie the strips together with square knots, use a butterfly to wrap the strips and keep them neat. Because this particular version uses ripstop, which is extremely slippery and likely to come untied if you trim the ends, you will either try to tuck in the ends of knots connecting the strips as you go, or do them all at the end. They will create a soft fluff inside that cradles the candy or the egg you put into the basket. With non-slippery materials, you can cut the ends shorter or tuck them into the crochet work as you would with yarn.

2) Start crocheting: Cross the end of the strip over itself, reach through and pull the loop into a chain stitch

3) Use the crochet hook to create a chain of three loops

4) Join the ends of your chain

5) Then crochet into BOTH holes created by the chain-stitch loops the “wrong” side is out because it looks more like basket weave.

6) Once you have 9 stitches for the diameter of your spiral-circle, do a row of double crochet to expand the dish.

7) After the double-crochet row, do a row of single-crochet into EACH loop of the double crochet stitches.

8) Then single crochet into each loop until it gets to be the size you want. Since the irregular size of the yarn makes the gauge hard to determine, it could be anywhere from 6-12 rows before the basket is the right size. Keep checking.

9) When the basket is the size you want, switch crochet directions to put the chain part of the single crochet stitches on the outside. This will create a decorative border.

10) After the border-row is finished, make a chain of about 18 stitches and attach to the opposite side of the basket with two single-crochet stitches.

11) Single crochet back across so that the handle has a more solid shape.

12) Tie off decoratively. With ripstop, it’s slippery, so just make a pretty bow or other knot. With other fabrics, tuck in ends as you would with yarn.

Voila! It’s a basket

And Below, please check out the embedded video!

How to Make a Colorful Basket from Scrap Fabric from allida lily on Vimeo.

021:365 This Way & That

pen and ink drawing in purple, orange and blue squigglesThis drawing is inspired by a combination of things.

Over time my work has become process oriented, meaning that I draw in an order and with a direction to create something that can be viewed as a series of events as well as an end product. Many of the oil-pastel drawings from the last several years were used to create time-lapse or stop-motion animations of ebb and flow.

Some of that orientation to process comes from my passion for fiber and structures that connect and go together in a logical way. The latest big project that I’m working on (the rag rug) is an example of that tendency. Each ring is executed in its own way with transition to, or contrast with the next one. There are rules that each ring follows that create the overall harmony for the piece.

Stretch! #ragrug progress with #cat for scale #catagram #crochet #craft

Today, instead of using a radial pattern, the sketch uses a variety of directional squiggles to portray how one would use texture to create a visual rhythm.  Complementary colors are used intermittently with analogous colors to add to the tension and flow of the piece.  I’m thinking about using it for another rag-rug when I’m done with my current one.  It is based somewhat on 004:365 Quilt:

Quilt 004:365

020:365 Greek Key

Greek Key Squiggle 020:365

My rag-rug progresses and I’m so inspired by the process that I’m making sketches for the next one, or for details to go into this one.  I’m not really sure which.  The neat thing about these rugs is that not only are they colorful and textural, but they also have a long history.

As I told you my grandmother used to make braided rag-rugs, and apparently, it is a long tradition not only in America, but also in Scandinavia.  There’s even a Finnish-American Rag Rug Collection at MSU, for which my aunt and I saw a monograph awhile back.  These are woven, rather than crocheted, and as it was the second line of thought I had today, I’ll have to post more about it later.

This morning I got  pulled along the trail of  Shaker rug history.  The Shakers are known for their handicrafts and woodwork, and I’d seen some of these interesting designs before, in the form of  these contemporary items marketed as reproductions of traditional designs.

But in the American Folk Art Museum (New York City) I found these beautiful rugs that bear more relationship to my current projects than the woven Finnish-American rugs because of their radial form and because they are made without a loom.  I love their use of bold colors and the way they emphasize the roundness with triangles and squares.  

Lion Brand Yarn has a pattern using cotton yarn which is inspired by these knitted and crocheted Shaker rugs.  If you want to download the pattern, you might have to sign up for their website, but all the patterns are free.  Yarn is a little less durable and thick than rags, but still quite cozy.