Friday, August 15, 2008

Rah! ... Promoting Crochet @ the Fair

I'm taking a breather.  After a marathon of late nights and early mornings since Monday, and an emergency field trip to my local yarn shop at the top of the 11th hour, I finished my project.

And, if I do say so myself, I am quite pleased with it.  It's a new vest for Dee Jr. using the Tunisian Knit Stitch (Tks).  Aside with how it looks, I really impressed myself with how I joined the pieces together.  The following may not make sense, but I wanted to write it down somewhere for future reference -- if you try it and like it, or better yet, it works for you too, please let me know!

1.  Bottom ribbing was done first, with Tks built up from there.  The back piece was finished first.  When the front piece was ready to be finished off, I kept the stitches "live" by going into each bar and pulling up 1" high loops.  Using a double headed hook (it helped!), I inserted the hook between the (f & b) bars of the back pannel piece, removing a loop from the other hook and pulling it through the work keeping these loops live, then repeated the process.  This brought all the loops from the front pannel over to the back pannel, residing on the back of the work.  Then borrowing a page from the knitters, I worked the loops off, interlocking them.  The last loop was worked off using the yarn feed and then secured.  The result?  A clean looking join that involved no sewing.

2. The side panels were easier to join.  First, I sewed the ribbing seams closed using the long tails from the beginning/start of the project.  (I like leaving long tails for such purposes so that there are less ends to bury later on.)  This left me with just the raw edges of the Tks work.  With garment inside out, I inserted my (regular) crochet hook into a loop on one piece, and "yarned over" by inserting the hook into a loop on the other piece, pulling it through.  I then went back to the other side, repeating the process back and forth, interlocking the loops one by one until I had just one loop left, which was then secured with a nearby tail from a past yarn join.  This technique is called "The Poor Man's Join" since it requires no additional yarn, and was popular to use during the Great Depression.

I hear what you're thinking, Dee, it would have been way easier to entirely sew the pieces together.  Yes, that is true.  But I would have had, in my humble opinion, an unsightly seam at the shoulders, and there would be no "interest" at the side seams.  ... and, I'm not a huge fan of sewing my work together; I'd much rather figure out a way to do it with a crochet hook!  LOL

I have no pictures, other than the one you see here today  that I took as I turned the project in to a local fair.  Will it win a ribbon?  That doesn't matter to me.  In my book, I've already won ~~  if the ladies accepting the work who were amazed that crochet can take on knitted properties are an indicator, then I know spectators viewing this piece might be as well!  I have always entered these types of competitions stating, "if my work can get people excited enough to talk about crochet, or excited enough to pick up a hook, then I've done my job!"  ((And if this piece doesn't do it, why then I've entered five other pieces! LOL))     :) 


Anonymous said...

Wow, the last time I saw this it was basically a short row of ribbing!
It looks fabulous.  
And I agree, getting others to look at crochet in a positive way, getting people talking about crochet, and inspiring others to pick up the hook and crochet something are the best reasons for entering the local fair.  I have one more week to think about what to enter and to fill out the entry form.
Good luck at the fair.  Jane

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!  This is beautiful!  Is this the "piece of your mind" piece you were showing us at the conference?  I hope you included a sign that says "Yes, this was really crocheted!" so that "regular" people viewing it will not think it was just mislabeled.  Good luck with the ribbons.  Did Mini-Dee submit anything this year?

Anonymous said...

Okay, so talk to us city-people about submitting works to fairs.  What is the process?  Is there a fee to enter?  How far in advance do you submit a work?  

Love the vest and I bet Dee Jr. looks handsome in it!


Anonymous said...

WooHoo, Dee!!!!  Nice job!  It looks great, and I'll bet it's no longer the same size as my "Margaret" sweater!!  ;D  Let the judges eat ....yarn!  lol