Monday, June 17, 2019

Fractal

I’ve been on a roll with crochet recently. Two months ago, I was overly optimistic with my project plans for a five-day road trip. Being settled in at home didn’t stop me from wanting to finish each of those projects.

Almost a full view of an off-white Fractal doily on a dark background.

The last of my travel projects is Fractal by Essi Varis. It’s a modern twist — no pun intended — on the classic crocheted lace doily or table runner. I love the way the simple geometry of the crochet blends a contemporary look with a vintage feel.

Detail of Fractal Table Runner highlighting the center circle and the back vane.

The design is made up of two vanes building off of a center circle in an easy-to-follow pattern. I was able to crochet the greater part of the vanes from memory, which made it ideal for on-the-go. I suppose it still ended up being a travel project!

The pattern calls for a 2.0 mm crochet hook, but I opted for a B-hook (2.25 mm) in part because I tend to crochet tightly and in part because I don’t happen to own a 2.0 mm hook. I used Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Size 10 undyed thread, which surprised me with its silky feel. As expected with the change in hook size, my version of Fractal is a little larger than described in the pattern; it measures about 26.5 inches (67 cm) across at the tips of the vanes.

Detail of Fractal Table Topper highlighting the stitches on the center circle and part of one vane.

While the natural color adds to the old-fashioned spirit of the table topper, my attention span doesn’t do well when working with a single color — especially one as bland as light beige. This was likely made worse by the fact that my last few projects have been one-color pieces, or nearly so. Clearly, I need to branch out more when planning.

And the repetitive style of the design probably hurt my attention span as much as it helped me memorize the stitches. Even so, the table runner worked up relatively quickly at three weeks from start to finish.

Detail of Fractal Table Runner highlighting the front vane and the center circle.

I definitely want to make at least one more version of Fractal as a gift, but I need to “cleanse my palate” with something a little more colorful and intricate before I cast on again. Maybe I’ll set this pattern aside for our next road trip — and plan for a more attention-grabbing color!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Almost Fractal

Isn’t it fun when a project becomes more than you planned? Sometimes that can be something greater than you expected. In this case, I mean when the components of a piece lend themselves to their own smaller projects.

Angled View of the Center Circle in the Fractal Crochet Table Runner Pattern in Size 3 Ecru Thread

I’ve been eyeing Fractal by Essi Varis for a long time, but it’s not a free pattern — plus it’s in a different currency. Such silly excuses not to buy a unique pattern that costs very little!

I finally downloaded the pattern, and bought a ball of Size 10 crochet thread. But I had some Size 3 thread leftover from a different project and thought there might be enough to crochet this table topper. Why not make two version in different sizes?

I picked up my 2.75 mm C-hook and set to work with the Size 3 thread. The pattern is easy to follow and works up quickly. But partway through the first vane, I realized there was no way I would have enough thread to finish the entire table runner.

Top View of the Center Circle in the Fractal Crochet Table Runner Pattern in Size 3 Ecru Thread

No matter — the center circle has a pretty simplicity of its own. I ripped back to the end of the center circle and finished it off as a doily.

And then I started another. I definitely had enough thread to make another circle, so why not have a set of doilies? The second circle used up almost all of my Size 3 thread.

Top View of 2 Center Circles in the Fractal Crochet Table Runner Pattern in Size 3 Ecru Thread

I’ve moved on to crocheting the full pattern in Size 10 thread, and am still enjoying the process. But that’s a story for another day.

What projects have surprised you by becoming more than you first intended?