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Design

This Crochet Mug Rug Will Leave You Saying “OMG”

March 21, 2017




My OMG Mug Rug has been gaining some interest for a few weeks now. As I mentioned in my post post titled “Crochet Design: Let’s Talk Filet Crochet“, I wanted to learn this new technique, so I sat down with my graph paper and plotted the OMG Mug Rug. I’ve been using the finished sample for it’s intended purpose and as a photo prop ever since.

So what is a mug rug anyway?

mug rug is like a little placemat for your favorite mug, sized to include a little place for a snack to compliment your beverage of choice. Most mug rugs tend to fit in the 4×7 to 12×8 size range, but they can be as big or as little as you want.

What you’ll need:

  • A ball of “Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread” in the Classic 10 size or any lace weight yarn.
  • A steel crochet hook, size 7 (1.5mm) or whatever hook matches the gauge for the yarn you’re using
  • Scissors (to cut thread when you’re finished)

Gauge is not important here, however, you will want to crochet tight enough for the finished project to be at least 4 inches by 7 inches.

See links below to order supplies.

Crochet Techniques You’ll Use:

  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • sc – single crochet
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • tr – treble crochet

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner

You will need to be  able to follow a chart.

Make sure you read the instructions for each round before beginning each step. I detail how to do the corners after the main pattern of each round.




OMG Mug Rug
Instructions:

Body
Start by using filet crochet to complete the following chart:

OMG Mug Rug Chart (Opens a PDF file of chart)

NOTE: The chart is 28 squares wide and 20 squares tall. To begin, you will chain 88 stitches (85 to frame the bottom and 3 ch which counts as another dc). Since your first row on the chart is completely filled in, you will dc in the 4th ch from the hook and then dc all the way across and turn. 

Once you have completed the chart, you will have the base design!

Border
Now you will be working around the outside of the entire Body that you just completed from the chart.

Round 1: Ch 1 and sc around, working a [sc, ch 2, sc] in each corner. End with sl st to first stitch from beginning of the round.

Make sure you sc in every dc on the top and bottom and evenly spaced on the rows along the sides.  You should make sure that each side has a multiple of 7 stitches.

Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as a dc and ch 1 at beginning of round), sk st, *dc in next st, ch 1, sk st; repeat from * around, turning corners by completing a [dc, ch 2, dc] in each corner. End with sl st into 3rd ch at the beginning chains of the round.

Round 3: Ch 1 and sc around, working a [sc, ch 2, sc] in each corner. End with sl st to first stitch from beginning of the round.

Round 4: Ch 1, sk 1st sc, and sc in 2 sc, *ch 2, sk 1 sc, sc in next 6 secs; repeat from * to end, working a [sc, ch 2, sc] in the corner. End with sl st to first stitch from beginning of the round.

Round 5: Ch 2, *tr in next ch2 space, [ch 1, tr] 5 times in same ch 2 space; repeat from * in each ch 2 space to end, working a scallop in the corner space. Ch 2 at end of Round and sl st in end of the previous round.

Fasten off. Weave in ends. Lightly steam or iron to block.




Crochet Tip: Use This Technique When Crocheting in the Round

March 17, 2017




Not too long ago, we ALL were deep into holiday gift making, right? A couple years ago, I made a few crochet stockings, but noticed something rather annoying: the stitches from the beginning of the round didn’t start at the same spot every round. They were traveling and it bugged the heck out of me! I took to asking my friend who is an avid crocheter and she told me that it was a common thing for working in the round and that she hated it too. Neither of us knew how to fix it.

When you work in the round while knitting, this phenomenon doesn’t happen. The beginning of the round stays put. It doesn’t travel or jog, it stays put. We knitters use stitch markers to mark that beginning of the round on the knitting needles and it doesn’t change. Ever.

Fast forward to 2016 crochet stockings and I found a cute pattern that also worked in the round, but noticed one big difference: the beginning of the round stayed in one spot. What was the difference?

How to Prevent Beginning of the Round Travel in Crochet

I’m eagerly working on a filet crochet hat pattern and I definitely didn’t want the beginning of the round to move with each completion of the round, it would totally mess up the design. Rather than work it flat, I used this technique:

So, this is me, working the round as usual. The right side (outside) of the hat is facing me and I’m working in hdcs (half double-crochets) in the usual right to left. We’re good, right?

 

When I get to the end of the round, I do my little slip stitch to close the round. Nothing changes from the usual, EXCEPT…

 

BOOM! Turn the project and go back in the opposite direction. You’re now working on the wrong side (inside of the hat) and still working right to left, but from the inside. At the end of the round, slip stitch to complete the round.

 

Woohoo! Look at this! Every row is lined up nicely! That means my filet crochet lace at the bottom works out AND I don’t have that diagonal line up the side where the beginning of the round moves. *Happy Dance*

Alright, do your little happy dance and keep on crocheting! While I finish up the sample for this design, I’ll be using this technique to keep things pretty. It’s made with crochet thread, so there will be plenty of rows/rounds to demonstrate that this does work!

If you’re using one of my crochet patterns in the future, know that I’ll be writing this technique into my patterns, so you don’t have to change a thing. If you’re using another pattern, but want to try this tip, make sure you are working the wrong side rounds backwards since you’re “traveling” in the opposite direction while working on that side.

Make sure you contact me if you have any questions. Enjoy!




Crochet Design: Let’s Talk Filet Crochet

March 15, 2017

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my cute little OMG Mug Rug by now. While brainstorming ideas for my mother’s upcoming craft blog, she tasked me with looking at the possibility of creating a crocheted mug rug. Not only had I’d never heard of a mug rug, I also immediately got the idea that it had to be personalized for OMG Yarn. How the heck would I do that?!

Then I remembered, the decorative shawls a local crocheter friend of mine always whipped out. In fact, she had made eleven matching shawls for her daughter’s wedding using yarn I had dyed for her. I had always been intrigued by filet crochet and wanted to try it. Crochet had been the first fiber art I was introduced to, so I guess it was time to beef up my skills with OMG Yarn’s new website in mind. And, of course, since I’ll be releasing a couple of filet crochet patterns soon, I thought I’d cover it in advance.




So what is filet crochet?

Filet crochet is a crochet fabric technique involving images created by double crochets and chains. Think of it as creating your own crocheted graph paper, turning customizable images into wearable works of art.

As you know, I don’t reinvent the wheel, but like to showcase other people’s work and make my own take on a style. I am a BIG fan of filet crochet because it has a vintage look to it, but can be updated to something more personal and shabby chic looking.

Making your own filet crochet project is easy.

In order to design and make your own work of art, you’ll need:

  • Graph paper and a pencil
  • Crochet thread or another yarn of choice
  • A crochet hook that works with your thread or yarn of choice (duh!)
  • Scissors

Sketch out your image, words, or whatever you want and have at it.

Turning your drawing into reality.

Each square on your graph paper represents what will end up being a square on your design. Before you start your design, Craftsy recommends determining your gauge. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Start with making three chains for every square on your design (don’t forget to include the frame around your image/words as well, your work is rectangular or a square).
  2. Chain another 5 stitches to count as your double crochet and chain 2 for the next row.
  3. Dc into the 8th chain from the hook.
  4. *Ch 2, skip 2 chains, DC in next chain; repeat from * to end. Turn.
  5. For the next row: Ch 5, DC in next DC, *Ch 2, skip 2 chains, DC in next chain; repeat from * to end. Turn. (Repeat this step until you’re satisfied that you’ve figured out your mesh gauge.

Next, it’s important to remember that one square is framed by a double crochet stitch on each side and filled in with two double crochet stitches. So when you start working your design, fill in the squares by working a DC in each of the chains from the previous row. Use the large picture above as a reference or visit the Craftsy reference below.

If it’s still confusing, don’t worry, I’m working on getting some tutorials published quickly, so make sure you follow me to see me demonstrate these techniques soon.

I’ve created a Pinterest board with some fun designs and ideas for your next filet crochet project. Don’t forget to share them on my Facebook page! And stay tuned for the OMG Mug Rug pattern to be released soon.

References.

Gutierrez, L. (2014, May 4). Filet Crochet the Day Away. Retrieved from https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/05/how-to-filet-crochet/.

From Concept to Reality: 6 Tips to Writing Awesome Knit or Crochet Design Proposals

March 6, 2017

When I design for an OMG Yarn only publication, I can just execute a design when and how I want to. That’s kind of the point, right? Working for yourself, you can design the things you want. I picture something in my head, I pull out my stitch dictionaries, and I write a pattern. I am not confident with my sketching skills, so I leave the drawing pictures to when it is absolutely necessary.

One of the hardest things we have to do as a knit or crochet designers is take a concept and describe it well enough to get someone else excited about it. Occasionally, I come across design calls that inspire some unique things using a yarn I’ve been eyeing up (the nicest thing about designing for other companies is not the money, it’s the yarn). Although each design call is a little bit different and each company asks for different elements, the basic elements of a design proposal are pretty much universal.

 

Here’s a few things you can do to help your design proposal stand out from the bunch:

 

  1. Describe your general concept. Obviously, you need to let people know what your idea is. Don’t just show them with a sketch, share what your inspiration was. Tell the prospective company why the project is important to you. If you were inspired by something in nature, include a picture (if there’s room). If you were determined to re-create a classic design or a design from another type of craft, share that, put your own spin on it. My personal belief is that if a design does not make me say “OMG”, it’s not worth doing. I show the reader what makes me say “OMG” and try to get them on that level as well.
  2. Be creative with your proposal, but follow the instructions in the design call. Submitting to a design call is like turning an assignment in to your teacher and completing a job interview all in one. You’re demonstrating how well you can work with others AND how well you can follow directions.

    What does that mean for a design call? Well, if they ask you to keep your proposal to one page, keep it to one page. That should go without saying. Seriously.  As a former hiring manager, nothing bothered me more than someone who could not follow the application directions. If we asked for our applicants to provide a specific thing, to save time, I literally threw out all the resumes that didn’t include that thing. I mean, why work with that person if they cannot follow a simple instruction? I have read many a design call that have that specific line item in it (if you cannot follow directions, your proposal will not be considered). Instructions are not suggestions.All that said, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun with your design proposal. The picture above, I submitted with a design proposal for the Enderis Park Pullover for Holla Knits. I used my very limited Adobe Photoshop skills and showed the design in action (as per the instructions from the design call). It’s one of my favorite designs and I still wear the sample I knit.
  3. Keep it simple. Don’t overthink your design too much. Chances are, your first idea was the right idea, but make sure you can properly execute your design concept. Unless the call or the potential audience for your design demands complicated techniques, keep it simple. That does not mean you can’t try a different way of constructing your project, but you definitely do not need to make the knitter or crocheter stand on their head and work the project with their left toes only. Or do you?
  4. Know your potential audience. If your audience enjoys standing on their head and using their left toes only, THEN AND ONLY THEN should you write your pattern to call for it. Otherwise, ask yourself, Is this for beginners or is this project for more intermediate/advanced knitters/crocheters? If your design call is for Beginning Knitters Magazine (it doesn’t exist, but you know what I mean), you likely won’t be designing a complicated fair isle project with steeks, zippers, unique cast ons, or anything else requiring more advanced knitting techniques.You’ll also want to consider the basic style that the design company caters to. If they have a modern bohemian style, you want to stick with that. Also consider if the readers of that particular publication prefer a quicker project or if they will be more apt to enjoy a time consuming project (or maybe even a little of both).
  5. You do NOT always have to reinvent the wheel. This falls under a couple different categories, keeping it simple and following the instructions. Don’t think you can get away with redesigning templates or how the design company wants you to put together a design. Remember, you’re selling them on a design and you as a designer, you’re not there to tell them what to do, you’re working with their parameters on your design.

    One of the first OMG Yarn designs – Lettercarrier Mitts – I like fingerless mitts because I need to use my fingers for touch screens, but hate having cold, painful wrists.

  6. Don’t give up who you are as a designer. OMG Yarn designs is about a couple things. I have the “go big or go home” type designs and it’s also my unique style. I won’t just design something just to design it, it has to be something I feel I can wear or use all day, everyday. In some cases, I like to up-cycle or use unique materials. What is your niche? How can you prove you’re passionate about a design if it’s not something you would do (or wear)? I mean, one of the things I LOVE about StevenBe is that you know who he is just by what he’s wearing and his designs reflect that. So if you decide that all your designs have to have something orange in it. Own it. If all your designs are accessories for a specific purpose, offer that and don’t apologize for being you as a designer.

If you keep a lot of the above things in mind, you most certainly could have a successful design career ahead of you. I encourage you to be persistent as well. After all, you may hear “no” more often than you hear “yes” but that’s ok, it’s part of the process. When you finally get that “yes”, embrace it and use as an opportunity to grow.

 

Additional design tip: If you need a base to sketch on, use what is called a croqui. If you Google search a croqui, you can find a good sketch of a “live model” to put your design on. Just trace her outline.