Stitch marker (crochet)
In crochet, a stitch marker is a mnemonic device used to distinguish important locations on a work in progress. Crochet patterns have a mathematical basis, so stitch markers serve as a visual reference that takes the place of continuous stitch counting and reduces a crocheter's error rate. Common uses for stitch markers include noting the first stitch on a crochet round, marking increase or decrease points, or identifying key locations in a complex repetitive stitch pattern. Beginning crocheters may use stitch markers to identify a turning chain. Stitch markers can designate attachment points for components of a multi-part project, such as a sleeve on a sweater. Crochet employs complex lacy patterns where stitch markers are helpful. Crochet has less inherent stretch than knitting, so crocheted garments require greater contour adjustments at the pattern and construction level. Unlike knitting stitch markers, which are closed bands, crochet markers have open slots so that they can be removed and rehung on new rows as a craft item grows.
In order to distinguish from other types of stitch markers, the markers designed for crochet use are known as split stitch markers. Specific advice from crochet expert Edie Eckman includes: Avoid the round markers meant only for knitting. Among the differences between crochet and knitting is that crocheters work with more than one stitch at a time, while knitters carry dozens of stitches on their knitting needles. For these reasons these two textile arts require different kinds of stitch markers. Debbie Stoller, Stitch'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker New York: Workman Publishing, 2006. Edie Eckman, The Crochet Answer Book, North Adams, Massachesetts: Storey Publishing, 2005
A bilum is a string bag made by hand in Papua New Guinea. The bag can be made by crocheting. Traditionally, the string used was handmade from plant materials. Now, many people who can afford to do so make their bilums from store bought yarn and string. Bilums are used to carry a wide range of items, from shopping goods in large bilums to personal items in purse-sized varieties. Mothers carry their babies in bilums. Whilst the traditional method of making bilums using woven plant reeds is still spread across Papua New Guinea, many villagers are now finding it easier to use wool-based yarns to make their bags; this allows a greater diversity of color schemes to be incorporated into the making of the bilums, as a result they are more sought after, due to their visible and different patterns and color combinations. Local men prefer to use long handle styles so they can be worn over the shoulder, freeing their arms for more important issues, like carrying important bush knives or to grab onto things while hiking mountains.
Women prefer the short handled versions that they can sling across their foreheads to carry greater loads, such as babies and/or large quantities of foodstuff Either way, there is now a definite swing to the more vivid color/patterning styles that afford the bearer to be more distinctive in making his/her fashion statement. The concept of bilums are marketable overseas, a French company has registered Bilum as a trademark, which it uses for its lines of bags made from recycled building fronts giant advertising sheets, car seatbelts and airbags, other plastic materials, they come in each pattern resembling certain tribe or clan. More complex and specific patterns are made for carrying during public appearances or displayed during the ceremonial events; the special ceremonial events include yam festivals, tambuan dances, bride price payment, dead compensation and barter system between the river people and the inland wosera people. The complex patterns are of inheritance and only few ladies in a village possess those inherited talents.
The Wosera people are the only tribe that maintains the originalities of the bilum patterns and treasures the complexity of their inherited patterns and it is the only significance of that area. The bilum concept has spread quite down to the coast and up to the Highlands in the last decade when women in noncircular business identified bilum making as a source of regular income. In the highland region they have extended the bilum concept to make bilumwares bilum dresses and skirts; the bilumware is now becoming common during school graduation dressings. Bilumware is now marketable to Papua New Guinea citizens living overseas
Filet crochet is a type of crocheted fabric. This type of crocheted lace is gridlike because it uses only two crochet stitches: the chain stitch and the double crochet stitch. Old filet patterns used a treble or triple stitch vertically but chained two between the vertical stitches; this was to prevent distortion of some patterns. Chain stitches use less yarn than double crochet stitches, which results in a visual difference in appearance between the two kinds of stitch. Filet crochet forms patterns by filling in parts of a chain stitch mesh with double crochet stitches. Filet crochet is constructed from monotone crochet thread made of Mercerised cotton in white or ecru, worked in rows. Filet crochet is used for decorative applications such as window curtains and place settings such as coasters and placemats. Filet crochet is most worked from a graph or a symbol diagram. Patterns are created by combining solid and open meshes working the design in solid meshes and the background in open meshes.
The size of the space is determined by the number of chain stitches between each double stitch. Filet crochet may be worked by alternating chain stitches with another type of crochet stitch such as half double or triple crochet, may be worked from yarn instead of thread. List of crochet stitches Edie Eckman, The Crochet Answer Book, North Adams, Massachusetts: Storey Publishing, 2005. Kara Heun, Crochet Stitches: How to Filet Crochet, Prime Publishing LLC, 2017. Http://www.allfreecrochet.com/Tutorials/Crochet-Stitches-How-to-Filet-Crochet
Irish lace has always been an important part of the Irish needlework tradition. Both needlepoint and Bobbin-laces were made in Ireland before the middle of the eighteenth century, but never on a commercial scale, it was promoted by Irish aristocrats such as Lady Arabella Denny, the famous philanthropist, who used social and political connections to support the new industry and promote the sale of Irish lace abroad. Lady Denny, working in connection with the Dublin Society, introduced lace-making into the Dublin workhouses among the children there, it is thought that it was an early form of Crochet, imitating the appearance of Venetian Gros Point lace. The lace making skill soon spread beyond Dublin to the poorest parts of the country, proved a popular means for young women to help support their families. Lace-making required little equipment beyond bobbins and fine cotton or linen thread, a great deal of patience, so was suitable for remote parts of the country that had little industry and few employment options.
The lace, worn by the wealthiest women across Europe was made by some of the poorest women in Ireland. Lace was a luxury commodity, used to decorate elaborate wedding dresses, christening robes, church vestments, but it played a vital part in saving many families from starvation and destitution. Irish lace reflects the political changes that took place between 1700 and the present. Several lace-making schools were established throughout Ireland, with some regions acquiring reputations for high-quality products. Different parts of the country produced distinctive types of lace, discerning customers would soon learn to ask for Carrickmacross lace or Kenmare lace, Youghal lace among others, depending upon their favoured style. Limerick lace became well known from the 1830s onwards; when times were hard, women had to find ways of supporting their family. This was true during and after the great potato famine of the 1840s. During that time period, most women could do needlework, so it was only a short step to lace-making.
Irish Crochet and Tatting travelled well as equipment needed was simple, a ball of cotton and a shuttle for Tatting and simple crochet hook and cotton for Irish Crochet lace. "Kenmare lace" is a needlepoint Irish lace based on the detached buttonhole stitch. Linen thread was used by nuns to make needlepoint lace. Suitable linen thread is no longer available, so today cotton thread is used. Kenmare needlepoint lace begins with two pieces of cloth. Over this is layered a pattern and a matt contact. Thread is laid over the top in the outline of the design and secured with a fine detached buttonhole stitch in a process called "couching"; the pattern is filled in by working in from the outline. The tension makes the pattern. How the stitches are pulled determines whether the pattern's stitches are open or tight; when the work is finished, the thread holding down the outline is cut, thus releasing the lace from the cloth backing. Carrickmacross lace was introduced into Ireland in about 1820 by Mrs Grey Porter of Donaghmoyne, who taught it to local women so that they could earn some extra money.
The scheme was of limited success, it was only after the 1846 potato famine, when a lace school was set up by the managers of the Bath and Shirley estates at Carrickmacross as a means of helping their starving tenants, that the lace became known and found sales. Youghal lace was a top quality commercial product. Lace Making was taught in Youghal from 1845 by the Presentation Sisters. Mother Mary Ann Smith reverse-engineered some Italian lace to understand, she taught the technique to local women and thus the school of lace began. Limerick lace became well known from the 1830s onwards. Following the establishment of a lace-making factory in the city by an English businessman, Charles Walker, a native of Oxfordshire. In 1829, he brought over 24 girls to teach lacemaking in Limerick, drawn to the area by the availability of cheap, skilled female labour, his business thrived: within a few short years his lace factories employed 2,000 women and girls. Irish crochet lace was developed in mid-nineteenth century Ireland as a method of imitating expensive Venetian point laces.
It was taught convents throughout the country and used as part of Famine Relief Schemes. Charity groups sought to revive the economy by teaching crochet lace technique at no charge to anyone willing to learn; this type of lace is characterized by separately crocheted motifs, which were assembled into a mesh background. Decorative Arts and History Museum, Dublin Sheelin Lace Museum, Co. Fermanagh Mountmellick Museum, Co Laois Carrickmacross Lace Gallery, Co Monaghan Kenmare Lace Museum, Co. Kerry Limerick Museum, Co Limerick Media related to Irish lace at Wikimedia Commons
Blocking (textile arts)
In knitting and other textile arts, blocking is a final stage of handmade textile production that adjusts the shape of the finished piece. Not all pieces need blocking. Through heat and moisture, blocking sets the stitches and standardizes the final dimensions, may enhance the drape. Hand manufacture places natural stresses on fabrics that may result in deviations from its intended shape and size. Blocking is only effective on natural fibres but a technique called "killing" may be used on synthetic fibres to achieve an effect similar to blocking; the degree of malleability is determined by the type of yarn used, with wool providing the most flexibility. For projects that are produced in sections, blocking is done prior to final assembly. Blocking can be done in several different ways. Depending on the method, the crafter may use rustproof pins, blocking wires, a steamer, or a steam iron. A stable flat surface and towels are standard. Fibres that tolerate water well may be wet blocked, shaping moist fabric into the desired shape and allowing it to air dry.
Cold blocking uses no heat and less water to achieve the same result by spraying water upon the material instead of immersing the fabric. Steam blocking uses a steam iron, but without applying direct pressure to the item. Wet blocking is done by allowing it to dry; some items are stretched while wet with the use of pins and/or blocking wires, while others may be shaped without stretching. Steam blocking is done by hovering a steaming iron over the fabric. Hovering the iron about 1 or 2 inches above the fabric flattens the stitch, makes it thinner, allows it to hold its shape better; this is the only method. Spritz blocking involves spraying the garment with water; this relaxes the fibres more than steam blocking but less than wet blocking. Most a spray bottle is used, it is possible to "set" synthetic fibres through a process known as "killing", wherein the item is pinned in place and steamed to achieve a slight controlled melt of the fibres. "Killed" fabrics can not be returned to their original form through washing.
Patchwork Blocking information for different Fabrics on Knitty.com
A granny square is a piece of square fabric produced in crochet by working in rounds from the center outward. Granny squares are traditionally handmade, they resemble coarse lace. Although there is no theoretical limit to the maximum size of a granny square, crocheters create multiple small squares and assemble the pieces to make clothing, Afghan blankets, other household textiles. Granny square apparel is a cyclical fashion; as Stitch'n Bitch series author Debbie Stoller describes: If you grew up in the seventies, as I did, you might fear the granny square--if only because, for a while, clothing was made of nothing else. Granny square vests, granny square shorts, granny square hats. Heck, I bet there was some kid out there, forced to go to school wearing granny square underwear. Although particular color and pattern schemes for granny squares change with time, this class of motif is a staple among crocheters. Multicolor granny squares are an effective way to use up small amounts of yarn left over from other projects and basic granny square motifs do not require advanced skills to execute.
According to Edie Eckman in The Crochet Answer Book, Any granny square begins with a small loop of chain stitches. Basic granny squares alternate sets of double stitches and chain stitches. Variant patterns produce other geometric shapes such as hexagons. In order to achieve a distinct angle at the corners the designer uses extra chain stitches. Subsequent rounds are added by wrapping multiple stitches around the existing chain stitches. Hundreds of variant motifs are in use and entire books have been devoted to granny square designs. Cottrell, Susan; the New Granny Square, Utah: Lark/Chapelle, 2006. ISBN 978-1-57990-980-2 Media related to Granny squares at Wikimedia Commons Granny square tutorial
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, crocheting, weaving, embroidery, or ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or other lubricants to withstand the stresses involved in sewing. Embroidery threads are yarns designed for needlework; the word yarn comes from Middle English, from the Old English gearn, akin to Old High German's garn yarn, Greek's chordē string, Sanskrit's hira band. Yarn can be made from a number of synthetic fibers. Many types of yarn are made differently though. There are two main types of yarn: spun and filament; the most common plant fiber is cotton, spun into fine yarn for mechanical weaving or knitting into cloth. Cotton and polyester are the most spun fibers in the world. Cotton is grown throughout the world. After harvesting it is prepared for yarn spinning. Polyester is extruded from polymers derived from natural oil. Synthetic fibers are extruded in continuous strands of gel-state materials.
These strands are drawn and cured to obtain properties desirable for processing. Synthetic fibers come in three basic forms: staple and filament. Staple is cut fibers sold in lengths up to 120mm. Tow is a continuous "rope" of fibers consisting of many filaments loosely joined side-to-side. Filament is a continuous strand consisting of anything from 1 filament to many. Synthetic fiber is most measured in a weight per linear measurement basis, along with cut length. Denier and Dtex are the most common weight to length measures. Cut-length only applies to staple fiber. Filament extrusion is sometimes referred to as "spinning" but most people equate spinning with spun yarn production; the most spun animal fiber is wool harvested from sheep. For hand knitting and hobby knitting, thick and acrylic yarns are used. Other animal fibers used include alpaca, mohair, llama and silk. More yarn may be spun from camel, possum, musk ox, dog, rabbit, or buffalo hair, turkey or ostrich feathers. Natural fibers such as these have the advantage of being elastic and breathable, while trapping a great deal of air, making for a warm fabric.
Other natural fibers that can be used for yarn include cotton. These tend to be much less elastic, retain less warmth than the animal-hair yarns, though they can be stronger in some cases; the finished product will look rather different from the woolen yarns. Other plant fibers which can be spun include bamboo, corn and soy fiber. T-shirt yarn is a yarn made directly from t-shirts, the fiber composition is determined by the material the t-shirt is made from. In general, natural fibers tend to require more careful handling than synthetics because they can shrink, stain, fade, wrinkle, or be eaten by moths more unless special treatments such as mercerization or superwashing are performed to strengthen, fix color, or otherwise enhance the fiber's own properties. Protein yarns may be irritating to some people, causing contact dermatitis, wheezing, or other reactions. Plant fibers tend to be better tolerated by people with sensitivities to the protein yarns, allergists may suggest using them or synthetics instead to prevent symptoms.
Some people find that they can tolerate organically grown and processed versions of protein fibers because organic processing standards preclude the use of chemicals that may irritate the skin. When natural hair-type fibers are burned, they tend to have a smell of burnt hair. Cotton and viscose yarns burn as a wick. Synthetic yarns tend to melt though some synthetics are inherently flame-retardant. Noting how an unidentified fiber strand burns and smells can assist in determining if it is natural or synthetic, what the fiber content is. Both synthetic and natural yarns can pill. Pilling is a function of fiber content, spinning method, contiguous staple length, fabric construction. Single ply yarns or using fibers like merino wool are known to pill more due to the fact that in the former, the single ply is not tight enough to securely retain all the fibers under abrasion, the merino wool's short staple length allows the ends of the fibers to pop out of the twist more easily. Yarns combining synthetic and natural fibers inherit the properties of each parent, according to the proportional composition.
Synthetics are added to lower cost, increase durability, add unusual color or visual effects, provide machine washability and stain resistance, reduce heat retention or lighten garment weight. Spun yarn is made by twisting staple fibres together to make a cohesive thread, or "single." Twisting fibres into yarn in the process called spinning can be dated back to the Upper Paleolithic, yarn spinning was one of the first processes to be industrialized. Spun yarns may be a blend of various types. Combining synthetic fibres with natural fibres is common; the most used blends are cotton-polyester and wool-acrylic fibre blends. Blends of different natural fibres are common too with more expensive fibres such as alpaca and cashmere. Yarn is selected for different textiles based on the characteristics of the yarn fibres, such as warmth, light weight, durability (nylo