Friday, February 10, 2012

Seamless Crochet: Join-As-You-Go Designs

When I was asked to join the Blog Tour for Kristin Omdahl's new book Seamless Crochet: Techniques and Motifs for Join-As-You-Go Designs, I was thrilled. I love crocheting motifs, especially Granny Squares. If you read my other blog:, you'll understand my fascination with Granny Squares and motifs. However, the one thing I can do without is weaving in all the ends. Sometimes, in fact, I make the ends part of the design – it is a "design decision", I often tell my students. However, now that I've read Kristin's book, I know a way to make one-color motifs, and join them as I make them all together as one motif. You read that right. Multiple one-color motifs, made as a single piece. Only 2 ends to weave in!
I got Kristin's book one day last week, and thought I would have time the next day to go through it. But it was calling me, telling me I needed to drop what I was working on and look through it RIGHT THEN! So I did. And I saw some amazing designs. I even saw a Granny Square motif! And as I was looking through the book, I noticed that Kristin had the stitch diagrams for the designs, with multiple motifs, in multiple rows. But, she also had stitch diagrams and directions for just the motifs so you could practice. I thought I would do some simple motifs first, and then, do the Granny Square motif. If I could.
I tried two simple motifs – first, the Radiance motif for the Sparkly Skinny Scarf (I'm into making scarves right now – for family and for the Chase the Chill – Greensboro project that I'm working on). This would be a great way to make a quick scarf. Here is what I did:

And here is the picture of the motif in the book:

Kristin also gives ideas about other ways to use this motif – depending on the yarn you chose, you could make a sash or a bracelet, in addition to the scarf.

I was feeling pretty good about this motif – so I went on to another motif – the one for the Blue Skies Chunky Cowl. Another pretty straight forward one that you could make into a scarf or into a cowl. Here's my picture:

And here is the picture of the motif in the book:

You may notice that I used self-striping yarn for these motifs. Yes – I decided to see what a yarn that changed colors would look like in these motifs. And I had a partial skein of Noro Kureyon (one of my favorites) handy.
Well, these two samples weren't too hard. They looked pretty good, I thought.
So I was feeling brave – time to try the Granny Square motif (Kristin calls it the Jamie motif and hat). The difference between this motif and the other two – this motif has multiple rounds, the first two had only one round in each motif. This would be interesting. But Kristen has stitch diagrams, directions, and motif-joining diagrams to help you as you work, so after a while, I figured it out and made this next swatch. Of course, I used the rest of the skein of Kureyon that I had, but it wasn't enough, so I used a remnant of another skein – another colorway – but that's what Granny Squares are known for – lots of colors. I didn't think it would matter.  And it doesn't. It gives the illusion of a multi-colored regular Granny Square.
Here's the picture of the motif I did:

And here's the picture of the motif in the book:

I'm almost ready to work on multiple motifs, not just in one row, but in multiple rows like the above motif. I do need to practice some more. But Kristin has made it easy to understand how to do it. In the back of the book, she gives a great, thorough explanation of how to figure it out – how to join a motif or partial motif to another motif or partial motif, so that you will have just TWO ENDS to weave in. The beginning and the end. And how to do this with your own motifs.
Kristin has included patterns for hats, scarves, shawls, afghans, pillow covers, trivets – but you can use the motifs she provides for other patterns. And you can use your own motifs once you understand the process.

This book also includes a DVD, so if you are a visual learner, you have it made.
In conclusion, this is the type of book that I like. It is a pattern book, but it is also a method book - a "how to" book. It shows you how to do some patterns, and tells you how to figure out others. This way, it opens up opportunities to unleash your creativity! It's my kind of book!

Read more about Kristin's blog tour, and find more of the blogs on the tour at:

1 comment:

Katelyn said...

Thanks for the review of the book! Your swatches look great. I can't wait to see this book because I love to do motifs but hate the weaving! I love the 3D baby blanket that she has!