I must say that I have really enjoyed working on these samples. Initially I intended to combine crochet pieces with fabric by using appliqué and experimenting with both machine-stitched and hand-stitched methods of application. However once I started to play around with the materials, other possibilities presented themselves. As I am researching different ways of contorting fabric, loosely-worked crochet is ideal to experiment with as it can easily be pulled into different shapes and when the yarn used contains wool, it has elastic qualities. After stretching and stitching on to fabric, it springs back to close to it’s original size taking the fabric with it and forming ripples and puckers. It’s quite subtle, but it is most obvious on the white satin in the following photo. The more elastic the yarn, the more pronounced the effect would be.
During these experiments, I have been most intrigued by the potential created by attaching crochet to fabric using the zigzag-covered tucks I have been using on my bias-stitched samples. The crochet adds another dimension in terms of pattern and texture and a pleasing corded lace appearance is created when the crochet is left in areas without fabric underneath.
Another way I experimented with zigzag stitch and crochet was to use open-worked crochet as a support for fabric patches and threads to be machine-stitched on. The result was reminiscent of debris caught in a net, which is an idea I really like. Zigzag-stitched tucks along both the crochet and the fabric pieces were then added. Very interesting contrasts were formed between the zigzagged crochet and the unstitched areas, and I feel excited about the many ways this idea could be experimented with and developed further. Somehow, I also feel that this look is suggestive of insect wings too, dare I add yet another influence to this project?
For this final sample, I stitched strips of fabric to a long piece of crochet before adding some zigzag stitched tucks.
The pale blue organza had been melted with a heat gun, which created more texture and also affects the translucency of the fabric, although this is quite hard to show through a photo.
Now I would like to try incorporating some hand-stitching into combinations of crochet and fabric, probably by treating crochet pieces as patches to repair damaged fabric and using darning to further explore the idea of repair and symbolically that of healing. Until next week!