Saturday, December 6, 2014

Covered ornaments for the holidays

Taking another step:  I am joining a local artisans co-op.  They loved my ornaments:

(Well, I really like them, too.) Some tricks to up the charm factor in covered ornaments:

1.  Use as small a thread as you can manage.  These are made with #50 crochet thread.  That's not always available, though.  Tatting thread is good, too, and even sewing thread can work well.  Sewing thread generally doesn't have such a tight twist, so it doesn't give as crisp-looking a fabric.  Small stitching almost always makes you look more clever.

2.  Add iridescent sewing thread (bought that at a sewing/quilt shop, but it might also be available with embroidery threads).  Holding the two threads together, I used a size 7-10 steel hook and stitched fairly firmly so the gauge isn't too sloppy loose.

3.  Add picots (it's from the French, so many folks pronounce it "pee-coe").  A picot is a little blip, shown here at the bottom corner of each net space in the pictured ornaments.  To make a picot, start after the single crochet that finishes a net stitch.  Chain 2 or 3 (doesn't really matter, but it's good to be consistent).  Refinish the single crochet just made.  By 'refinish' I mean:  make a slip stitch to join the chain stitches just made back to the top of the single crochet.  Insert the hook back into the single crochet as if you had not done the last bit (yarnover and pull through the 2 loops) to finish the stitch.  Then yarnover and pull through the 2 loops - to re-finish that single crochet - and through the loop on the hook to finish the slip stitch.  There, you just made a little blip, also called a picot.

Picots have been around long enough that there are different ways to make them.  This happens to be my favorite.

About the co-op: as I spend more time stitching, my inventory will include garments for smalls and dolls (18"), along with accessories like hats/scarves/wristers and little pouch purses.  But first, we have paperwork stuff to do, like sign a contract.  This may be fun.

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