Sunday, January 15, 2012

Freeforming around the House

Sometimes, I get inspiration for the shapes or colors for my freeform scarves from things around the house. Lately, that inspiration has come from, of all places, my bathroom. Every time I sit, you can probably guess on what, in the bathroom, I admire the colors and flowing lines of the floor tiles. They mimic stone of some kind and have nice complementary yet contrasting shades of brown, cream, and tan. I wondered if I could create those swirls in freeform and how I might go about it.
I’ve used tile as an inspiration for crocheting before but not for freeform. Tile patterns can make good motifs for, say, afghans. In fact, I think it was Carol Alexander, executive editor of Crochet! magazine, who told me that she once designed an afghan after being inspired by tile in a restroom.
So, I dug into my yarn bins and went back and forth to the bathroom with balls of yarn, laying them on the floor and standing back until I got a nice collection of yarns to match the colors. I couldn’t match them exactly but tried to capture the flavor of the tiles.
Brown Flower scarf, bathroom tile,
and River Rock scarf
I made the River Rock scarf first by making a chain and then crocheted along both sides of it. The flowing lines were created using a technique that I think was in a book by Sylvia Cosh. You create a wave effect by crocheting a number of single crochet stitches, then half double crochet, then double crochet, then half double crochet, then back to single crochet. I did this until the scarf was the width I wanted and then added surface stitches using the same wavy lines. While crocheting around the outside edge of the scarf, I sometimes worked a single crochet several rows down, gathering the scarf a little at that spot.
I made the Brown Flower scarf next, using the same yarns, because I really like making flowers and I find it interesting to try making a totally different scarf using the same collection of yarn. I made each flower individually and sewed it to the next in a line. I then crocheted around the entire scarf with a nubby yarn that I’d gotten out to use with the yarns for the River Rock scarf but felt it was too fuzzy for the look I wanted. It worked perfectly, however, with the flowers.

Pink Granite scarf and Pink Granite Flowers scarf
with bathroom vanite countertop

Those two scarves were so much fun that I decided to play with capturing the look of the pink granite countertop of the bathroom vanity. With the first scarf, I again took a more literal approach and tried to mimic the look of the granite. I crocheted rows of single crochet with each row being a different color of yarn. I randomly worked some single crochet stitches into rows below, folded over the corner, skipped stitches or made lines of surface single crochet stitches.
Again, I used flowers for the second scarf. This time, the flowers were smaller and I attached them into two rows. I now have my eye on the inside of the bathroom door where a black and burgundy mirror hangs against tan wood. I like the color combination and want to play with it next. And then there's the area rug in the living room....


  1. Lovely work! I take pictures of tile floors with my phone camera for future reference!

  2. Thank you, Sheryl. Phone cameras are handy for capturing inspiration on the fly!