This month's Inside Crochet (out today) features a design of mine called Lessons in Geometry. It was very much inspired in texture and geometry by Mexican and South American rugs and blankets that I have loved forever. These prints have been making a comeback in fashion and I wanted to play with the idea a bit - add in a fresh colour palette and make an item that combined some of the texture of these woven rugs, with the trendy geometrics and was bold and wearable for cool (or fffffridgid as the case may be) nights.
I had originally designed it as a birthday gift for my mother. However, I thought it could work well in a magazine and my original submission (above) was accepted by Inside Crochet in January, and having bought the wool already from magpielly, I started. The wool is Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport. The range has a bazillion colours and a really nice smooth handle for a 100% wool. It has become a firm favourite of mine and I have been slowly working through the Brown Sheep range via Elly's monthly preorders. In this design, the full wool content contrasts nicely with the strong geometry to give the piece an earthiness, while the colours available mean that you can take your pick and choose a palette to suit your fancy.
There was a lot of trial and error in designing the piece - getting the colours and geometrics balanced meant a fair bit of charting in Illustrator and it took a few tries to get the gauge how I wanted it. In tapestry crochet, you work around the carried colour. This means that when working in rows, it can show through on the "back" side, unless the gauge is very tight. I wanted some of this to show through, as it is reminiscent of the "weft" of woven fabrics, but I didn't want it too loose or else it would look sloppy. Also, tight crochet loses its drape so a lot of trial and error was needed to get it right.
There is no doubt that this is a big project - it measures 17" wide by 70" long. I had imagined it being used at a festival or being made on cold and wet days, with the bright colours proving an antidote to the rain. However, the pattern is easily memorised and you are only ever working with 2 colours at once, so it is a good in front of the TV or in the car project.
I really love the final project, but it will be heading off soon (with a bottle of single malt) to my mother for her MUCH belated birthday gift.
Inside Crochet is out today and filled to the brim with awesome projects.