Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Pineapple lace sampler

Well, back as promised with some pineapple crochet for you. Although not as modern looking as the vessels, I wanted to go back to grassroots, so to speak, to get a feel of what crochet is all about and what aspects of it I can take forward into my work, especially stitches, structures, building up a form - drawing freehand with the thread. So I started with some simple pineapple doilies, working from the centre out using clusters and the pineapple stitch.

The pattern used for this sample is Vintage Crochet Pineapple Doily from the archives of Coats and Clark (- its free!) I've done some crochet pattern following a long time ago so it's not totally new to me but I needed to re-familiarise myself with crochet speak:) I began to realise that there is a bit of presumption in these older patterns - they expect you to know a certain amount already and there are small omissions in the pattern that must have been obvious to the designer - but not immediately to me!! So, I waded in, winging it a bit and I learned a lot just from making this little sample.

On the good side, I learned my tension is even and I managed an ok balance between yarn thickness and needle size so it shows up all the details of the lace when blocked, but I also learned that sometimes the pattern is right, even if you don't think it makes sense:))) Hence, this has no edged border as I dumped, as I thought, the unnecessary 3chain loop at the beginning of each new row along the side edges of the pineapple. My logic was good as far as it went - just not far seeing enough to predict what was needed for the next section!! Those extra 3 chains were designed to hold the lovely edging detail, which I now can't add - unless I fancy ripping it all back and starting again  - which I do not! So, lesson learned:)

Still, it's lovely anyway, and although it's not maybe fashionable to like traditional doilies these days, there is something fascinating about their structure - how they morph from one form into another using clever increases and decreases, changes of stitch pattern and the all important use of negative space with those lacy holes -  and there is a certain feeling of technical achievement as your work progresses and the pattern emerges. Very addictive! The real sense of achievement came for me when I was stretching out the lace to block - a real TA DA moment! All of a sudden, the pattern pulls out and you see, for the first time, how the pattern fits together and forms the intricate design that was intended - well, if you have done it right. I may also say, this is the time when you notice any mistakes - blocking lace isn't very forgiving of mistakes! But in this little sample, I was okay  - whew!

So now I have the lace crochet bug big time and I have been crocheting away on ever more complex patterns to see what else I can learn. It is interesting how the lace looks on different coloured backgrounds - the deep pink is a high contrast to the white but the soft pink of the blocking mat gives a much softer, delicate feel. I used some of my undyed sock yarn for this sample and it's a little bit woolly for showing up the crispness of the lacy detail so I've been using crochet cotton for the next few experiments - but more on that tomorrow;))

Happy making! elaine x


  1. Hello Sis,
    Thank you for making me look past the granny doily associations and helping me to see the real beauty in the crochet stitches. They really are beautiful and when you start to think about the design possibilities.... could we have the emergence of a new trendy doily culture?? I'm intrigued to see where the exploration takes you...
    x x x x x

  2. thanks sis:)I do think this kind of crochet has so many possibilities in contemporary art and design. Now I'm looking, I keep seeing new ideas and applications everywhere online. I'll gather them together and post as I find them. xx

  3. This is very inspirational for metal too. My favourite technique is piercing - think these patterns will provide hours of fun! Plus with metal you get the opportunity to fold and bend which brings another set of possibilities .

    1. Ooh, that opens another avenue to explore!! I do like the idea of the stability metal brings as well as how easy it can be to manipulate. Lots of ideas.... thank you!


Hello and thanks for stopping by. Do stay a while and visit. Please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you and be inspired by all your blogs out there too:-) elaine xx


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