Sunday, August 11, 2013

Crochet Flowers and Hearts Make Great Test Shapes!

Two Hearts, Two Stitches: Back-Loop Slsts & Front-Loop Slsts
Back-loop Slip Stitch Heart & Front Loop Slip Stitch Heart
I'm testing shaping methods for my upcoming Slip Stitch Crochet Shapes FX class. (Info on the date-place-time here.) A sweet surprise is that heart shapes, roses, and other flowers are especially useful ways to try out shaping methods!

Crochet slip stitches can give different effects to rose petals.
Different Slip Stitches in a Variety of Rose Petal Shapes
Not only are hearts and flowers distinctively shaped, they can also be: 

  • Scaled up or down to the swatch size I prefer,
  • A two-dimensional rendition, or as 3-D sculpted as I wish,
  • Recycled later into appliqu├ęs, jewelry, patch pockets, pincushions, coasters, etc.


I've also been curious about how the various slip stitches respond to the shaping methods. Here are hearts in four different slip stitch patterns:
Inverse and regular slip stitches in different loops, and different row directions.
Four Kinds of Slip Stitches, Crocheted Diagonally and Vertically


Some of them have a strong natural curl or textural grain. The heart in the lower left corner is the oddest-looking one, and retains a slight curl even after blocking. I'd need to tweak the starting row of this one also. 

This same inverse slip stitch type - which doesn't work so well for heart shapes - is perfect for the special kind of curling that a rose petal does! 

In this blog post I'm using newer photos taken after I sent out the most recent Crochet Inspirations Newsletter issue #53. The topic overlaps a bit with this blog post, so visit the archived issue for more photos. It includes a free crochet pattern for a simple slip-stitch-strip rose. See photo of wee cashmere roses below!
These rose petals have a natural curve, thanks to slip stitches.
These rose petals have a natural
curve, thanks to slip stitches.

Socks, hats, mittens, and bags as shapes for testing are certainly useful. They're also more time-consuming. So, I start with a heart or a flower swatch that shows promise, and then I try applying the shaping method to a sock heel, or toe, for example.
Miniature Cashmere Roses, just in time for the Fall floral fashion trend.
Miniature Cashmere Roses

Right now I'm looking for the best class projects and swatches for students to experience. After that, I'll be able to turn some of the new designs for socks, hats and mittens into crochet patterns for my site. Flowers designs too.