Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day Four

I am finished and you can see the etsy listing at

I worked late last night and finished this morning. The total investment is 6 balls of thredt (900 yards) and 29 hours of work.  I will price this item at $105.  This means I work for about $4 an hour.  I don't think that is unreasonable but I do have women tell me that my work is priced too high!!! Oh well, for everyone of those, 10 people tell me I do beautiful work and that my prices are very reasonable.  I make these to sell so I can make more and get some groceries in the bargain.

 I lightly block my garments because a little moisture relaxes the thread and the stitches and enhances the appearance of the work. What do you think?

My preference is slightly fitted at the waist with an A line flared skirt.  I find this style particularly flattering in any size.  I have made these tunics up to XL sizes and find that they do flatter any body type.  One of these days I am going to make one for myself.  You know how it is, the cobbler's children have no shoes.

You should try your own impromptu project.  Search your crochet books, search the net, look at other crochet garments and get some ideas going.  Before I had a dressmakers form (mannequin)  I actually took white wrapping paper and cut out the shapes of the garments I wanted to create and pinned my motifs to them.  It is a bit harder to work with and the darn pins will get you if you are not careful.  You will need lots of pins, the longer the better.  I usually use a size F (5) 3 3/4mm hook but you can find your own comfort hook.  As I have stated, I prefer Aunt Lydias size 3 cotton crochet thread.  The bamboo does not work as well because the thread is looser and snags.

Admittedly the tunic is time consuming and takes practice to connect the pieces uniformly.  My first tunic required about 50 hours of work.  The cardigans I make are easier because instead of motifs it is various stitches done in rows.  If you decide to start with one of these you will only need to be familiar with standard sizing and shaping.  I generally make them in one piece and divide for the fronts and back.  I will blog about that next time I do a cardigan.  Here is a site with standard sizing  They have lots of useful info on crochet terms, abbreviations, sizing, etc.  I plan to start making cardigans with both piecework and motifs over the winter and perhaps I can even create a pattern once I perfect my technique.

Here is a link to one of my Impromptu Cardigans

As always, if you have any questions or need some help,you can contact me though my facebook page!/loyesthread.

Never be afraid to change a pattern or stitch because you will be rewarded with experience and every now and then a brilliant idea.  If you create your own impromptu item I would be very interested in seeing your finished project.  Good luck and god bless.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 3

Good morning.  If you are interested in my Impromptu Crochet, visit my etsy shop and see several of my completed projects

well I worked on this another 10 hours yesterday but I decided at the end of the day to rip out about 2 hours of work because I just wasn't happy with it.  This morning I began with this
I had finished the front and back and added shoulder straps (although the are not finished) and prepared one side for joining at the underarms.

Another 2 hours of joining and starting the mid torso and I am here ( front view)

It is not as fitted as it appears in this photo.  I have about 18 hours in this piece now.  From here I will finish the neckline, the arm openings, the shoulder straps and then begin the skirt of this piece.  It goes much faster from here.  The motif part of the upper body takes a long time, lots to weaving in of ends and produces heaps of small pieces of thread.  Some days I wonder why I love doing this so much because the weaving in of loose ends is sooooo tedious.

I like using many of the same motifs from garment to garment.  The medallion is a favorite  that I use frequently.  The greatest variation is in how the motifs are placed and joined.  Often I use more flowers but this  one evloved without them.  The joining of front to back is never the same becuase the motif placement is never the same.  Certainly this type of project eliminates repetative bordom that I often suffer from.  I am often asked to make a tunic in custom sizes, which I will do but I have to explain that I just can't seem to make then exactly alike.  Close maybe.

This is the back, which as I explained earlier I like to make different from the front

I think this will turn out lovely.  I am almost ready to begin the skirt section and I must confess I have no idea what pattern it will be.  I guess we will find out.  Sometimes I start and then tear out a few patterns until I am sure it is just right.  Lately I have been doing shells.  I like a shell skirt but I think this needs something different.  Hummmm.

At this point I have used 3 balls of thread.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day Two

I am a crochet-a-holic!  I have chronic health issues so my life has compressed quite a lot.  To keep me happy and mentally healthy I crochet.  I love to work with cotton, bamboo, soy, silk and other natural fibers.  To flex my creative muscles, I started "Impromptu Crochet".

To briefly explain Impromptu Crochet, I start with a single motif for a tunic or hem border for a cardigan.  For a cardigan, I then begin to crochet bands of different stitches.  I have 3 or 4 on my etsy site,  More complex and time consuming are the tunics.  I begin pinning pieces to my dressmakers form.  Yesterday I made the chest motif and a couple of small pieces.  Today I made more pieces and began to shape them

Sometimes I use a piece of cardboard to hold the  pieces while I stitch them together.  Generally I use chains of 2 - 5,  The dressmakers form allows me to shape a piece to a specific size.  At the point in the picture I have about 6 hours in the piece.  Today I will finish the front and back of the upper body.

 The back is always different than the front because I like it that way but you could make them similar.  I have made a dozen tunics this year and I use Aunt Lydia's size 3 cotton crochet thread because it is lovely to work with and has a great drape in a finished garment.  Also I purchase a lot of thread when I can find it on sale and/or get free shipping to keep the costs down.  Usually a sleeveless tunic requires 6 or 7 balls of threat at 150 yards each.  This color is warm blue and is a client fav.  I have made a couple with 1/2 sleeves as custom orders but personally I like the sleeveless.

Okay, time for a glass of iced tea and back to work.  Please feel free to contact me through my facebook page!/loyesthread if you have comments or questions.  Check back for tomorrow's update and more pictures.  I will post every day until I post the finished tunic in my etsy shop.