I bought a crochet book last year called “Continuous Crochet Motifs” from a Japanese seller on EBay. I paid $40.00 for this book, which is a lot to spend on a crochet book, but it is very much worth the money! It is a Japanese book with only Japanese writing inside, but it has crochet symbol charts throughout the book, which I can easily read. I quickly digested the book and learned this technique, in which motifs are made continuously, meaning there are less ends to weave in at the end (hooray!!!). You have to follow the symbol charts very carefully, but the book also includes a front section where there are both symbol charts and step-by-step photos of the motif being worked. It’s a great book and if you’re at all intrigued by this crochet technique/method, you might want to buy one of these books someday. Kristin Omdahl has a book with this technique called “Seamless Crochet”. I don’t have her book, yet, but I plan to get it soon. Here is what the Japanese Continuous Crochet Motifs book looks like on the front and back covers:
Keep in mind that when you’re using only one color, there are only 2 ends to weave in “total” because you work the motifs continuously, no matter how many motifs you make, and only fasten off at the end! That’s a huge improvement on weaving in 2 ends for every motif made!
A few weeks ago, I decided to use this technique to design something for the CGOA Design Contest, which will be held at the CGOA Conference next month in Manchester, NH. The deadline to enter something into the contest is June 6. I need to get it done within the next few weeks so there will be time for my entry to travel to the destination where it needs to be by June 6!
I can’t tell you what I’m designing, but I can tell you that I’m using some Red Heart Luster Sheen yarn to make it. I love this yarn! It is a size 2 (fine weight) yarn and is 100% acrylic. It provides beautiful drape and the colors are really nice. Here’s a photo of the yarn I’m using:
You can see that the bottom skein is different from the rest. That’s because Coats & Clark is repackaging this yarn into 3.5oz/100g skeins (they used to be 4oz/125g). There are 307 yards/281 meters in the new skeins, so it still goes a long way! The bottom color is from my stash and the top 3 colors are new. I’m using their cherry red, black, orange and vanilla colors. Since I’m using so many colors in this design, there will be plenty of ends to weave in. But I will only have 2 ends to weave in of the color that I’m using continuously around the other motifs to join them all together. That will almost CUT IN HALF the number of ends to weave in! Now that’s a big improvement in my book!!!
I used Luster Sheen yarn in my Two-Way Rose Pin design (you can see it on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/two-way-rose-pin). I also used Luster Sheen yarn when I crocheted a filet afghan to be photographed in the book “Afghans for All Reasons & All Seasons”, which Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss produced for Leisure Arts. Here’s a link to a photo of that afghan on Amazon (it’s on the front cover in the top right-hand corner): http://www.amazon.com/Afghans-Reasons-Seasons-Leisure-Arts/dp/160140672X#reader_160140672X.
I noticed last week that I made one of the motifs wrong for this project, so I had to rip out a whole row of work! Ugh!!! I had only worked the second round and left out the first round in each of the motifs (that’s what happens when I’m preoccupied and don’t look at the symbol chart I made!). Here’s how the motif looks (the left motif is missing round 1, but the right motif has both rounds worked):
I took a few minutes to decide if it was going to make a difference before ripping it out, though. I decided it would look better if I made the motifs the right way (the chain spaces are more pronounced in the correct motif on the right), so the extra time would make a difference in the look of the project. When I ripped it out, I decided to engineer the motif a little differently. Originally, I had designed it with 2 rounds and both rounds were joined at the end. However, I tried it with not joining the first round and only joining the second round. Here is a photo of the difference between the two joinings:
The motif on the left is joined at the end of both rounds. The motif on the right is joined at the end of the second round only. I see less bulk in the joining area, so that’s what I’m going to do for these motifs. The new motif goes straight from the last sc in the first round to the first sc in the second round without the usual “sl st” at the end of the round and “ch 1” before the first sc of the next round. What do you think? Do you like the newer motif better or do you not see any difference between them? I know, it’s very minimal, but if I had to rip them out anyway, I might as well make the change!
Let’s hope I stay on schedule and get this done in time for the contest (if I don’t get distracted with something else along the way)!