Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Going Around in Circles

What do you do when you want to relax, crochet, chill out, and play with yarn?
All at the same time. And you don't have a lot of the yarn you want to play with. But you want to make something. And not stress out about it. What do you do?

I know what I do. I crochet circles. Some of the circles I use as small table pads, to protect tables or other surfaces from things that may scratch them. My grandmother made doilies for this purpose – I make my version of doilies. Circles. Many of the circles, though, I turn in to baskets. All sizes, all shapes, all styles. It doesn't matter if I have enough of one yarn – I just use what I have, and if I want a larger basket, I add more yarn – maybe same colorway, maybe not. Sometimes, I even make totes – same guidelines as the baskets. In fact, I'm working on one now. More on that later.

I use all sorts of yarn Рwool, cotton, acrylic, parachute cord, torn up material, ribbon made from t-shirts and other cotton material, torn up cotton bandanas, nylon cord̩, recycled sari silk ribbon, shoelace yarn, string, mop cotton, rope, etc. If it can be wound around a crochet hook, I will try it!

So what do I do with all my baskets? Just look around my house and you'll find out. In my kitchen, I have a soft basket filled with my Keurig K-pods; a couple of felted baskets with pens and pencils in them; some smaller ones hold rubber bands and paper clips; others hold loose change; another one holds small note pads near the phone. Walk into my family room, you'll see more baskets. Big ones. These baskets, some felted, one crocheted with cut-up bandanas, another crocheted with what I call mop cotton, I use to hold yarn and yarn projects that I am working on. They're convenient, because I can just sit down at the couch, decide which project I want to work on, and all my materials are there – yarn, hooks, measuring tape, scissors – whatever I need, I just put in each basket. And if I want to move to another room with the project, I just carry the basket with me. Some smaller baskets I use to put a skein or ball of yarn in, so it won't roll around on the floor and get dirty when I'm crocheting with it.  You get the idea. One can never have enough baskets!
Here are some pictures of some of them:

What about the circles/doilies? I make circles when I don't have a lot of yarn to use. Or I want to try out a yarn. Or I want to take a project with me when I'm going someplace, but it has to be a small project. So I make all sizes of circles. Small ones are great coasters. I have some in the family room so I can put a drink on them when I'm crocheting. Some larger ones are in my kitchen, protecting the countertop from marks and scratches. I use felted wool ones for hot pads on the table, so the tables don't get scorched by hot dishes or pots And, pretty soon, I just might decorate my cabinets with some circles of all sizes. And colors. And materials.
Here are some of the circles:

 Here is one of my newest baskets that I also use as a tote:

Circles are the basis of most of my baskets. But they are also the basis of a lot of my totes and hats. And I keep thinking up new ways to make circles. So I make more and more. I thought of some new ones this week, and I'm going to work on them later. And right now, if you want to learn how to make circles – all sorts of circles – you have a couple of choices. You can take my class on circles – I call it Going Around in Circles – this July at the Crochet Guild of America's Chain Link Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire, July 23 – 27, 2014, http://www.knitandcrochetshow.com. I'll be teaching how to crochet circles every which way – from the center out, from the outside in, in pieces, parts of circles, joined rounds, unjoined rounds, etc. And how to turn those circles in to baskets or totes or hats. So if you're curious about my newest tote project that I mentioned above, I'll be bringing it to the class, and you can see it there. Resigtration opened today, so head over there to sign up before the classes are full. Going Around in Circles - I'm teaching it on Thursday  1:00 to 4:00. You can also order an ebook from Interweave Crochet – Step by Step Guide to Top Down Hat Construction -  http://www.interweavestore.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-top-down-hat-construction-with-6-staff-favorite-patterns-ebook. It includes an article written by me for Interweave Crochet, about how to crochet circles and turn them into hats. Either one would be a good choice. Both would be the best choice!
So have fun making circles with all those single skeins you've collected, and I hope to see you this July in Manchester!

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