A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

To Be Better

My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but, to be better than I used to be.  Here I’m referring to my fiber passion.  But, how?  I like to be specific about the things I could do to improve myself.  I need a refresher and adjust my attitude.

Last week, my prayer was answered.   A friend from Team Jazz Hands recruited me to join Nerd Wars (not the TV show or movie) on Ravelry.  Every project that I do, I try to tie it in to a Broadway or movie musical.  It’s been great fun so far planning projects to fulfill nerdy challenges.

For my first dissertation in my first Nerd Wars, I have chosen crochet freeform as my New Frontier challenge with concentration on Irish Crochet (lace) study.

When Kate Middleton walked down the aisle at her wedding to Britain’s Prince William, the lace that adorned her gown was immediately copied in fashion centers around the world.

For centuries lace has been a fashion favorite, where in the late 19th century it decorated the wardrobes and homes of only the wealthiest members of society.  1930s fashion was an era of feminine and romantic style as influenced by America’s captivation with silver screen stars who wore sensual silks, luxurious lace and backless gowns.

1950s style marks an era of feminine glamour… ’50s clothing inspired women to embrace their figures with hourglass silhouettes and hip-hugging cuts a la the pencil skirt and wiggle dress…and not without the elegant embellishment of lace.

Another sample for a crochet class

I’ve had the passion for making lace since I was in my teen. Next three months of studying a new form of crocheting is thrilling to me.  I love accessing the creative side of my brain.

The constraints of the tournament will motivate me to move this study along in a good pace.  As each motif is small and portable, I can consistently crochet at least one or two a day. This project will take 3 months as it involves a lot of trials and errors, ripping, and re-doing. Mid-way would be having individual scrumbles all done up and have their placements against my tunic template. I will concentrate on picking a mesh design (or a few) to use for making up the background and joining the scrumbles, then, writing up an essay to support my thesis and what I’ve learned specifically and without wandering.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Paisley (light fingering Wool/Nylon, Red/Pink): 1.5” x 3.5”
Ridged Leaf (light fingering Wool/Nylon Yellow/Orange): 3” x 3.5”
and Curly-edge Leaf (Bulky Alpaca Wool, Maroon): 2.5” x 7.5”
Hook 4mm (G)]
Small Leaf (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2” x 4”

Project Summary:  Freeform/Irish Crochet study. The latter is totally foreign to me. Through the process, I like to make a freeform tunic with the help of my freeform knitting knowledge/skill already in my tool box.  I don’t quite get the presentable way to crochet/join the pieces together in a garment yet.  Instead, I did a knitted mock-up for a visual guide while I progress in the study.  People sketch with pencil and paper.  Me?  With yarn and needles.

Pattern:  Freeform crochet, by some definitions, is a combination of stitches and colors, worked in a multi-directional way. Style of freeform typically doesn’t follow a pattern. It involves a combination of small pieces of knitting and crochet into patches (scrumbles,) that later be joined together to make a larger piece of unique and extremely tactile fabric. It means not only that I don’t follow a pattern, I don’t necessarily follow the standard “rules” of crochet. I add stitches anywhere I see fit. I start blocks of fabric and then end ‘em and start anew. It is a form of painting with yarn and a hook instead of canvas and a brush. The yarns, hooks, stitch type and direction are constantly changing. It gives the scrumble its appealing variety. Sometimes a new yarn is joined in and the work carries on; other times, it’s necessary to break off the yarn and begin again with new yarn in another place on the scrumble. These are decisions made as I go along.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Irish Leaf with center ridge (light fingering Wool/Nylon Red/Yellow): 1.5” x 3”
Hook 4mm (G)
Starflower (Aran Acrylic Ref/Purple): 2” x 2” and
1/2 flower (Aran Acrylic Red/Purple): 2.5” x 4”

Yarn:  Red hues in Merino, Bamboo, Linen, Silk, Blend, Acrylic, Alpaca, BFL, cotton thread, cobweb singles, lace, light fingering, DK, Worsted, Aran, Bulky, Super Bulky…use everything I have in my stash including handspun.

Swatch:  Gauge doesn’t really matter for this project, but, I got a general gauge that I liked on 1.25mm, 2.75mm, and 4.00 mm.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Red Rose (Sport weight/Acrylic): 1.75” diameter

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Spiderweb Square (light fingering Wool/Nylon ): 4.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Fan/Shell (Silk Haze lace weight): 2” x 4”
Circle (Silk Haze lace weight): 1.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Celtic Leaf (Sport weight/Acrylic Red): 4.5” (tip to tip between two leaves)

Hook 4mm (G)
Large Leaf (Aran Acrylic, Red/Purple): 5” x 10”

Hook 1.25mm
Padded ring (Cotton thread, Red) 1/2” diameter and
Ruffled Flower/ring (Cotton thread, Red) 3/4” diameter

Team tie-in:  The red colorways of the scrumbles in my tunic can be linked to the playful swing dress Tracy Turnblad had on in You can’t Stop the Beat, in Hairspray.  Mine will also ‘keep spinnin ‘round and round’ as in the line You Can’t Stop the Beat.  ‘The motion of the ocean. Or the rain from above. You can try to stop the paradise…,’ but, you can’t stop my making of this New Frontier.

Writing up the mini-thesis proposal took me back to college days where I sweated for days as I went into its writing totally clueless…then the wait for grade was even harder; it made me nervous.

I did it.  It took me two days of researching and preparation.  I submitted the proposal last night and received approval to proceed with the study earlier today.  I’m thankful for the supportive teammates who encouraged and walked me through all the steps.  Let the game begins.

Are you on Nerd Wars?  If not, what are you doing to challenge yourself to be better than you were?

Hook 4mm (G)
Bullion Stitch Scroll (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2.5” x 5”

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)


Comments on: "To Be Better" (2)

  1. Way to go Sarah, always an explosion of challenge and introspection, keeping yourself and all those around you (even virtually) continually in amazement ! 🙂 xx

  2. Elizabeth Souza said:

    I love seeing all your swatches…they are very pretty and inspiring!

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