Our studio team made this wreath almost a decade ago. While it never found its way into production, I always loved the textural quality and combination of yarn and cotton jersey fabric. I purchased it at one of our many long-ago sample sales after finding it in the bottom of a box of other holiday goodies. Now, every holiday season, the wreath takes a proud place on my front door. (This year I hung it together with a larger fresh pine wreath.)
You will notice in the detail below that the wreath is made from our cut cotton jersey fabric in combination with crocheted elements (or appliqués). These decorative crochet elements were also part of a long-ago collection of garments combining fabric and yarn.
Since we’ve been discovering how well fabric and yarn work together, I thought we could share another way to incorporate the two beautifully. After a bit of head scratching, we were able to re-create patterns for the hand-crocheted elements (as closely as possible).
The wreath is approximately 13” in diameter and 40” in circumference and consists of several different parts: two approximately 50” braided cotton jersey ropes, two 6” DIY Rag Boas approximately 50” long, assorted crochet elements, assorted beads, a beautiful grosgrain ribbon, and a cotton jersey pull for hanging.
Keep in mind that this project can be made with ANYTHING you have available in your home. Substitute cotton cord or twine for our cotton jersey pulls. Substitute any appliques or trinkets you have for our hand-crocheted decorations. Add beads, and bows made from our Mokuba Grosgrain Ribbon; take away the beads or add three additional bows. You may also choose to use a base for your wreath as we did in the DIY Organic Wrapped Wreath and lash your Rag Boa and Braided Ropes to that base.
Do what makes you feel good.
Crocheting was one of my first creative outlets, once I felt the distinct urge to make. When I had a crochet hook in hand, making hats, scarves, bags, whatever I might need, the process came to me like second nature. Often, I couldn’t find patterns to fit what I needed so I ended up making them myself, using trial and error. When Natalie asked me to review the book, So Pretty! Crochet!, I was hesitant; I felt like I had already seen them all. For me, crochet books rarely used the right kind of yarn, they were at times overly wordy, the photos weren’t always helpful, the patterns were sometimes hard to read, etc. As you can tell, I’m a harsh critic when it comes to this type of book.
However, as I scanned through the pages of So Pretty! Crochet, I felt inspired. We adapted a pattern from this book to make the nesting bowls found on page 115. Instead of using the cotton yarn they suggest, we made our own yarn out of ½ inch strips of the organic cotton jersey fabric that we use to make our yarn balls. The bowls seemed a unique use for our scrap materials. The instructions in the book are easy to follow and exact, when using yarn. Our sizing is slightly different because we used cotton jersey rope rather than cotton yarn, but it doesn’t cause much of a problem. I used the size crochet hook they suggested, but you may want to experiment to see which size hook works best for you.
While we are a manufacturer of high-end women’s and men’s clothing, our office works less like a production facility and more like a studio. Because we custom-cut and paint each piece in our collections, it is important that we pay especially close attention to detail.
What seems like a small mistake – like choosing the wrong thread color – can result in an entire order being mismatched.
The garments that we make are often sent to different artisans for completion. So, if we inadvertently give one artisan the wrong thread color, we would end up with a single item that looks completely different from the rest of the order. This is the reason that, many years ago, I wrote this saying from Thoreau on a small blackboard in our cutting room: “Life is in the details.”
There are so many computer and electronic device covers on the market today that are perfectly serviceable and will take you lots of places. I have avoided writing about these functional items for years; however, our babysitter made a version of the one shown above for her reading device and I was inspired to create our own Alabama Chanin version. I love the juxtaposition of materials that functionally protect the device and the hand-sewn detailing that make the piece personal.
Follow the instructions below to make your own cover:
My Gram Perkins loved to crochet (aside from making bread, canning, gardening, raising kids, and sewing). On those rare days growing up when I was sick and got to skip school, I would stay with my Gram Perkins. Curled up on her couch underneath one of her beautiful hand-made afghans, I would lay there with my fingers twirling her fine crochet stitches. As I would twirl and dream, she would bring a constant supply of freshly peeled oranges from Florida, cut-up peaches from Alabama or any other fruit she had on hand. To this day, those moments on her couch hold some of my fondest memories – being sick, underneath an afghan, eating oranges and in the nurture of my grandmother.
When I opened Norah Gaughan’s Comfort Knitting & Crochet: Afghans, I felt transported to my Gran Perkins’ world. Continue reading