Humanity can be divided into two groups of people. Those who use sponges to wash their dishes and those who use dishcloths. My mother-in-law uses a sponge. My mother uses a dishcloth. The sponge vs. dishcloth debate has gone on for generations. There are arguments for and against both, but being my mother's daughter I come down on the side of the dishcloth. I enjoy making my own so I was happy to hear that Susan Lowman has released a new pattern booklet entitled Wiggly Crochet Dishcloths.
The booklet is published by Annie's and available here. It includes photos, instructions and charts for 6 beautiful wiggly crochet dishcloth projects. The patterns are well-written and easy-to-follow. I would expect nothing less from Susan, a talented designer, superb crochet technical editor, my mentor and my friend.
I decided to start with Susan's Four Square pattern. Like all of the dishcloths in the booklet, you begin this dishcloth by making a crochet grid (sort of like filet crochet). Once you finish your grid you fill in some of the squares with crochet stitches that stand up and look, well, wiggly!
The effect is amazing but it's really not hard to do. Once you get the hang of the technique you can design patterns of your own. For my second dishcloth I made a basic chevron pattern.
For these dishcloths I used Omega Sinfonia yarn, a light worsted weight cotton recommended by the pattern. It was easy to work with and the colors are lovely.
If you'd like a chance at winning a signed copy of Wiggly Crochet Dishcloths, just leave a comment on Susan's blog. Even if you don't think you're lucky enough to win the booklet, I recommend you check out Susan's blog anyway. It's filled with interesting posts and has a lot more information about this fun, pretty technique of wiggly crochet.
I challenge you sponge people to try making just one wiggly crochet dishcloth. I think it might convince you come over to our side.
I made this sweater for our friends Lisa and Jesse who are expecting a baby girl in a couple of weeks.
I bought the yarn and buttons at Purl Soho and used their baby girl fair isle cardigan pattern. While the sweater was blocking Mike got busy and designed a card. He printed out a bunch of different color combos to see which one matched the sweater the best.
We didn't have any wrapping paper but the roll of paper we've been using to cover the floors during construction was the perfect shade of pink. We used it to wrap the gift. (Jesse is a Red Sox fan so we made a little pink Boston "B" - for baby - to seal the tissue paper).
We also used the pink paper to fold up an envelope for the card. I sewed one of the extra buttons from the sweater onto the card to tie the whole thing together. I hope the sweet new baby enjoys wearing her sweater as much as I enjoyed making it.
Baby Ella is here!!!!! Her wonderful parents sent me this photo of the beautiful baby wearing her sweater. Could this baby be any cuter?
I'm writing crochet patterns at the moment and that doesn't lend itself to blogging, so I thought I'd blog about a folded paper project I made for the new apartment. This project is a replica of something I saw in one of my favorite out-of-print books, Paper Pleasures. An artist named David Lewis did the folding sequence. I've searched for Mr. Lewis on the Internet but can't find him. There were no directions about how to fold his piece but with some trial and error I figured it out. Mr. Lewis' work was 4 panels and big enough to hang on a gallery wall. I decided to make my version three panels and small enough to fit in an Ikea frame.
I started with three squares of 6" origami paper. I folded the first one like this.
It's not as difficult as you might imagine. Start by folding your paper into sixteenths in both directions. Then make 7 folds on 45% angles. I drew a diagram for you.
Once you've got your pre-creases done, fold up your paper like so (solid lines are valley folds, dotted lines are mountain folds).
If you thought that was hard, don't worry. The next step is easy. Pick up the second sheet of origami paper and crunch it into a ball.
Then use both of the skills you've just learned, folding and crunching, and make the third square of origami paper half crunched and half folded.
Smooth out the crunched up paper areas and you'll have a progression that looks something like this. Pretty cool Mr. Lewis!!!
Mr. Lewis could have stopped there but he didn't. He took an airbrush and gave his paper a gradient color from light to dark. I don't have an airbrush so I used a Rembrandt soft pastel instead.
Starting at the lower right corner of your paper, color like crazy with your soft pastel.
Use a tissue to gradually spread the color to the opposite corner. Work it around a bit until you get a nice gradation from light to dark. Workable fixative will help with this process. I stopped and sprayed my pieces a couple of times while coloring, and then again at the end to keep the color on the paper.
Now get your Erikslund frame from Ikea (I painted mine white a few years ago).