Hyponotising crochet hand movements

Speeding up my crochet technique

I’ve been crocheting for about 12 years now. Until recently, I had a really ham – fisted technique. I would hold the hook in my fist like a toothbrush, which led to a split second delay between stitches as I dragged the wool back over the hook.

It took about a week to implement the change, and hold the crochet hook pencil-style from now on. I was a lot slower during Learning Week™, as the new style was a motion I needed to consciously adopt. Starting out, I would automatically move the hook back into the original position all the time. It would take me awhile to notice, then need to switch back to the new style I was trying to learn….over and over! 

After a few days it became second nature. And I have noticeably sped up. To celebrate, I made a gif of how fast I have become!

It has taken years to admit that this style was slowing me down. I taught myself to crochet so I used the hand placement that felt natural, but that decision turned out to be counter-productive in the long run.

Because of the amount of crochet stitches I do making clothes, every quarter-second adds up! Once I had taken a more objective look at my hand placement and style, and roughly calculated how much extra time each piece takes, it was easier to admit I had been wrong, and want to change.

Thanks for reading! Appreciate it. Xx

Related;

Check out the Etsy shop for mushroom lighter holders, or contact me directly for commissioned pieces in custom colours!

I also chainmail jewellery occasionally!

Support independent fashion and stand in solidarity with sustainable clothes-making here.

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Dancewear on Depop

Crop tops, shag coats, jewellery

I’ve been on Depop with my wearable art and vintage pieces for awhile now. 5 stars so far, baby! I am more than happy to ship internationally if you need. I can also bundle things together in the same parcel to save on postage, please ask and I will see what I can do.

For a bit of background: in the past I have worked in the parcel delivery and logistics industry so every parcel I send comes with a tracking code that I share with the buyer. If you are a customer, I will try to help you locate your parcel if it is floating around a depo somewhere on the planet. I genuinely care about what I have made as well as the recipient, I want us to both be happy and have a good outcome. I always work with customers to ensure that the receiver gets what they ordered in the end.

On Depop you’ll find one-of-a-kind, vintage jewellery and unique pieces of wearable wool art. Everything I crochet and every jacket I shag is a once-off original piece that shall never be repeated. When you buy something from me, there is a good chance that you will have the only one of its kind on earth.

My work is functional, wearable art. A painting on a wall can only be shown to as many people as you can fit in your house. My crochet ‘paintings’ can be shown to everyone you meet and works with your body to elevate you to the status of a fierce, unapologetic and living work of art.

All the materials I use are responsibly sourced, made with sustainable and slow fashion practices in mind. I aim for total transparency in my making processes, so if you have any questions about my artistic practices please contact me for any information you need.

The shopfront is here. I am contactable through Depop, Instagram or email, whichever you prefer.

Contact me directly here if you have any further questions, requests for bespoke colours or custom crochet work!

Related;

I also have an Etsy shopfront if you would prefer to order through Etsy.

If you want to show solidarity with the slow fashion movement, here’s a small way to help support sustainable arts practices and spread the message of ethical fashion every day! You can kick me a few dollars for the time spent developing unique crochet patterns through PayPal, every cent helps an independent artist focus and lean into their practice more totally.

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Beautiful, professional photos of my crop tops and jewellery 💖

I got some of my works photographed!

I’ve recently travelled to Australia with some of my works and they have been photographed in a beautiful studio, modelled by a talented lady who knows what they are doing!

That bit of extra effort (a nice studio, editing) really shows off the stitchwork! I am impressed by how they have turned out. My biggest takeaway from this is that I should spend more time taking photos. But then, that takes away from the time I can spend making things? There’s only so many hours in the day, and I still need some of them for sleeping.

I wonder if the work-life-balance thoughts will be something that I ever achieve a state of equilibrium on.

Credits:

DINO is a photographer based in Mackay, Queensland. Contact them here.

Lauren is the model, you can reach them directly here.

You can find more of my work available for purchase here and here.

Croptops

Related:

More crochet for festivals, raves, parties, that PLUR lifestyle!

Contact me through this link if you have something a little more custom or bespoke in mind…

I have developed all the above patterns using crochet skills I have been teaching myself from books such as The Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. Teaching yourself a skill and being able to use in practically takes a lot of resources. Can you help support the creation of beautiful and functional things?

Posted in Collaboration, Crochet & Knitting, Festival Wear, Photography, Queensland, Textiles, Travelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A tiny hot pink shag coat

Microfashion is macrocuteness!

After creating the base, it’s time to add the shag in all the pinks! This part isn’t particularly hard, but a bit of a grind. It is what it is, something that needs to be worked on until it is done.

When I remember to do so, I find that taking photos really breaks up the monotony. I do need to remember to stretch more, and sit up straighter, otherwise I end up with a very sore neck from being hunched over so long…

Like the weaving in step, I am leaving all the trimming until the end. It is been filed under ‘finishing touches’.

Everyone in the house was disappointed to learn that I wasn’t leaving the fringing at this point as a castanet-dancer style of dress or coat. It was pretty cute but I was determined to see this though to the end. The child will look like an extremely fluffy pink duckling and it will be hilarious and cute!

So here’s the jacket complete (just need to weave in the ends, give everything a trim and make tassel cords to tie it closed in the middle)

As usual, I added more shag into the shoulders as I find they can look a bit holey (or thin) from being the point that stretches the most, and the place that the most weight pulls on.

And now for the fashion show!

Last finishing touches added…aaaaaaand we are done!

Oooooooohhhh it is so fluffy! I used a smaller net stitch and it has made a much denser shag over the whole piece.

Related;

2019 has been a great year to get shagged hey!?

Other ways to utilise shag techniques to make versatile (and sturdy) functional rug art!

You can support the creation of new patterns and designs here, and thank you so much! Every penny counts and goes straight back into the studio, gives me more time to dedicate on putting more beauty into the world and helps to keep the lights on.

Posted in Crafternoons, Crochet & Knitting, Festival Wear, How-to, Re-use, Rugging, Textiles, Works in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Up all night shagging

Wind the wool and cut the wool and knot the wool…

Finishing up an extremely dense coat for a special birthday, the big 3.0! Here’s a silent video of the technique in action…

All the wools used in this coat have been sustainably sourced and/or donated to me secondhand! Love me some socially and environmentally conscious fashion making.

While I have been endlessly knotting-and-repeating, I have also been stuffing around with my camera to break up the monotony of making the shag. This includes a couple of cheeky GIFs of the work, front and back!

Frontside:

Backside:

Thanks for reading! Just publishing a brief post today because I need to keep working, these jackets will not shag themselves! Pardon the puns, but I have to keep myself amused working alone long into the night…

Related;

So many shaggy coats created, so much colour, so much love!

Other festival-ly wearable art and found object crocheted jewellery.

Support the site and show some love for what I do here (only if you are able!)

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Microfashion versions of festival favourites

Crocheted clothing, but small

I have been commissioned to make a shag jacket, for a three year old! I am excited to be able to make something so quickly because the wearer will be so small. Maximum one week turnaround!

I have started by laying out the base;

After attaching the shoulder pieces, I have ended up making a vest. I will work the net stitch for the sleeves directly into the armholes of this.

I have made the sleeves approximately half-length, expecting that they will end up three-quarter. There are two reasons for this;

  1. As I add the shag the weight of the wool will lengthen the base naturally so the sleeves will stretch out a bit.
  2. I am taking into account that the wearer will be turning three soon. They are still learning how to feed themselves, wash their hands etc. The shorter the sleeves, the less they can be dragged through soup, slobbered on by dogs or covered in cobwebs. It is hard to plan for whatever bizarre adventures a three-year-old may take this coat on, but hopefully I have anticipated some of them!

After completing the base using some of my leftover white-and-pastel ombre wool, the netting needs a little bit of reinforcement for the weight of the wool that will to be added. Bearing in mind that the shag will be made with many shades of pink, I have chosen some complimentary purple and magenta wool to crochet a hem around the sleeves, front, bottom and neckline…

Please excuse the messy edges! I won’t be weaving anything in until I have finished making the shag. I believe this saves more time doing them all in one big push at the end, as opposed to doing them one-at-a-time, having to look for my sewing needle throughout.

Now with the base complete, I can start cutting the lengths of wool to make the shag! Even though this coat is quite small I expect I will use at least a dozen balls of wool from the stash. That is no issue, I love going to op shops and hunting down new(ish) wool for the stash…

Related;

I have been shagging coats and making unique and eye-catching jackets for awhile now, you can check out the archives here to see what other sizes, colours and styles I have been making!

Many years ago, (before I started leaning into wearables) I used this technique to make hard-wearing fairy-ring themed rugs from recycled fabrics, instead of wool.

If you liked this how-to and what I make, you can show your support for independent creators, unique pieces of wearable art and sustainable slow fashion here.

Posted in Crochet & Knitting, Festival Wear, How-to, Textiles, Works in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Illusive festival weekend

Summer season is wrapping up…

…but we still have one to go! Welcome to the Illusive festival gif dance! Thanks for bearing with me while I work through the extremely-busy-but-not-especially-crochet-creative summer festival season.

This shaggy vest was finished long ago, I made it for my nephew’s birthday! They are tall for their age but I expect they will need a few years to grow into this. It will start as something with a train and then as the kid lengthens, it will become some kind of wizards’ cloak, a long vest, finally a short vest, and will likely be nicked at some point by their fashion-forward little sister.

I expect they will both outgrow it before it falls apart, and in the event they both outgrow it, it’ll probably end up being framed, both because it is art and for the sweet baby memories. I will also leave room open in my heart for it to be worn into the ground by an army of nieces, nephews and cousins and then, at least a decade from now, a cat gives birth on it. We are not a fast fashion family.

It has been a wild ride through the last few months, but I won’t be taking time off. It is now winding up for the harvest season. Picking during the day, crocheting during the night! Yahooooooooooo.

I can still be contacted directly for custom crochet and bespoke wearables! I will get back to you fast as possible with timeframes and prices. Use the winter to jump the queue and get yourself and the squad set up with one of a kind, bizarre and bespoke woolly wonders!

Related;

You may have missed the Illusive festival this year around, but keep this link in handy for 2020…

More shaggy jackets than you can shake a stick at!

Check out the Depop shop for vintage treasures and wearable art.

I would also like to thank everyone for their solidarity and support over the last few months. Spiritual, physical and monetary, it has been wonderfully uplifting! If you believe in sustainable fashion made with love and accountability, you can further support the practice here.


Posted in Crafternoons, Crochet & Knitting, Festival Wear, Textiles, Works in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Electric Picnic

Electric Picnic-ing

Hello again! Another weekend, another festival, another scheduled gif of me dancing in the shed in my mostly-finished vest!

It will be autumn soon and I will be able to spend my evenings leaning back into my crocheted wearable art practice. Ecstatic to be here but excited to get more hours of my day back! Handmaking one-of-a-kind clothes to make special creatures happy, makes me happy!

See you soon after Electric Picnic! Xx

Related:

Shaggy shaggy shaggy outfits!

Stashware

Find me on Depop….

Posted in Crafternoons, Crochet & Knitting, Festival Wear, Textiles, Works in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Crochet cases

Crochet bags for tablets, headphones, sunnies…

After working on some bags to hold my parasols, I still have a lot of wool scraps available from larger past projects that I really need to run downBy wool scraps, I mean little lengths of wool. The lengths really vary, from tiny amounts that are under a metre in length to balls that are the size of a cricket ball and smaller.

The shortest amounts (approx 1-5m) I have are usually the last few metres of wool remaining from finishing a much larger project like a blanket or coat. I do something special with these. They automatically get added to a scrap ball as I finish each project. The ball ends up looking like this (please excuse the current project attached):

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As you can see, it is a real mixed bag of different colours, and these will vary all the way down into the ball. I do not ever throw wool out, so this scrap ball is an important part of my practice. It also doubles as a useable artefact of past crochet project memories!

The balls varies in size constantly. In the photo above, it is quite large, but that is because I have not made a scrap project of late. That current project is a sunglass case with a long strap so I can tie it to my backpack when I am travelling at night, or wear it as a shoulder bag. It is a little wobbly up the sides because I haven’t planned the wool weights correctly this time around, but have I have nary a care for this particular project. I need something to hold my glasses, not something that’ll be on display in the Tate!

After doing something more extensive like the project below (an iPad cover), I will usually have ran that ball down into something the size of a chicken or quail’s egg, if I haven’t used it up completely. Either way, the cycle will begin anew; big projects, scrap wool, scrap ball, small projects. Rinse and repeat.

The random lengths and colours of the wool are how I get the unique patterning. I use a bit of colour theory (colour context and colour harmony) when making the scrap ball. This step hopefully ensures that the colours all work well together in whatever finished piece I create, regardless of size (which can vary in length and height from jewellery bag, to A4 notebook). It is obviously a bit hit and miss, but overall, I finish up pleased with the result.

As I mentioned above, there’s also a bit of thought that needs to go into the thickness of the wool. They can’t vary wildly in terms of ply and weight if you would like your project to look totally even. Craft Yarn Council has a handy guide, but that is likely for North America only. I would recommend checking for your countries specifications in case there is a difference going from imperial to metric, and so on.

The main stitch I use for these projects is the amigurumi-style single stitch and a 3mm hook. I find this makes a dense stitch, perfect for this style of project. All of these bags and holders will be very heavily handled throughout their lives, so they need to be robust.

The project above is a bag to hold my headphones. I have also made a little pocket to be sewn to the front to hold my aeroplane plug attachment and charger.

I made the strap out of some of my longer balls of wool because I did not want any stray knots to be rubbing on my neck or pressing uncomfortably into my shoulder as I am walking along.

The tassels are from leftover shag jacket projects, I usually find I will have a fistful of strays at the end of a coat that just cannot be added onto the body! Waste not, want not, yeah?

Thanks for reading! Hopefully this post can give you some ideas with what to do with those last little bits of wool. Xx

Related;

I don’t consider these bags good enough to ask people to pay for, they are just practical little pieces that make my day easier. I do have a shop on Depop that I put all of my heart and over a decade of skill into. Check it out here.

Past scrappy projects! Crocodile-stitch bedsocks (or booties) with leather soles…

A Fair Isle hearts-and-stripes onesie-bumsie expansion piece

Support independent creators if you can! I compulsively fill my immediate vicinity with beautiful, comforting things made from materials I have sourced sustainably, but it can be a time consuming, lonely task… can you stand with me and help fight off the scourge of fast fashion?

Posted in Crafternoons, Crochet & Knitting, Experiments, How-to, Re-use, Textiles, Works in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Crocheted parasol holders

A house for a handmade umbrella

I have been parasol making again. A couple of years ago, I found a fairly unattractive brown floral print umbrella. While I did not admire the pattern of the canopy, it was obviously high-quality. The stretchers and ribs were well-oiled and still ran smoothly after a couple of years of use (and abuse), and while the umbrella is on the smaller side, the weight of the object gives you the feeling that it is good quality. It does not feel like a cheap, shitty umbrella. 

It is a keeper, and after the canopy developed a tear I thought it was worth repurposing, spending a bit of time to create something really special.

When I had finished the latest crocheted parasol made from a recycled brolly frame, I needed to make it a case. This was to have somewhere to store it in, with a strap to be able to hang it for when it is not in use. It could get damaged or dirty fairly quickly without one.

This is the second crocheted parasol cover that I have made, and I had neglected to make a case for the first one as well. Although I have made covers for precious treasures in the past, I had been avoiding this task.

It is time I stopped dragging my feet and made some covers!

I still have a bunch of pink wools from some previous projects, little scraps and small lengths. It’s easy enough to use them up on this small granny-square based project. I started by choosing my wools for the project.

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To make the bags, I used treble stitch in a granny square-style. This would also be a good pattern to make bags to hold yoga mats or poster tubes. They have drawstring tops and tassels on the bottom.

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I’ve directly attached the straps to the bags with crochet, no sewing. I crocheted them by chaining from the bottom to the top, turning the work and single stitching down the chain. Repeat until the strap is as wide as you want it. I’ve created a bit of an interesting pattern for some of the strap colours by putting the hook not directly into the previous stitches, but by biting the hook further down into the work and doing a longer style of single stitch…


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…I know this explanation is a bit convoluted. I wasn’t able to work out what this stitch is called to find a how-to to share! Apologies. If anyone reading this knows what I have done to the band, and what the stitch is, please let me know.

After crocheted the first one in pink, it was a fairly simple step to dig up some more wool scraps and make one for my first parasol.

It was great to get these projects ticked off the to-do list. They are a bit of preventative maintenance to ensure that I can get the most amount of life out of the parasols I have put so much work into. Also, it makes the parasols harder to lose at night when you can strap them onto your body, or sling them over your back. It beats the risk of putting them down to do something with both hands and just….walking away from them accidentally.

Related;

Previous granny square (and triangle!) pillowcase projects. Each project leading up to this has been building my expertise in granny squares and pattern making…

Support further pattern making projects here!

You can also support via the Etsy shop here.

 

 

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