Thursday, October 6, 2011

Coasters

The local crafter's group I'm part of is doing a swap, and the item this time around is a pair of coasters.  We're all partnered up and can  made coasters in whatever style we want, then get together to swap them out at a later date.

At first I was thinking of making coasters out of painted tile or little tile mosaics.  I still like the idea, but in the end I decided to make them using my double ended hook and a front post Tunisian stitch I came up with.  I've looked at different Tunisian and double ended hook stitches out there, but have not found anything quite like it.  It makes me wonder if I've come up with something new. 

I started off by making 4 inch squares in red and white.

Coaster


At this point, there's no front or back except for the colour difference.

Coaster


The pattern is similar to Tunisian Simple Stitch, except that it's worked around both vertical bars, front to back. 

Coaster


Working the next colour's front post Tunisian pushes the previous row to the back, making for a deep ridge and making the colours more one-sided.  The result is a very thick, dense fabric.  I've made a few simple squares in this stitch and have found they make great coasters and hot pads.  I've entertained the thought of making a bunch of squares and sewing them together to make a small floor mat or stadium seat cushion.  Because of how dense the fabric is, it becomes more difficult to work the larger it gets, so small squares are perfect.

Coaster


This stitch has a lot of stretch on the bias and vertically, but has almost no stretch horizontally.

Coaster


There's plenty of loops on the edges to work into for finishing.  In working the edging, I did single crochet worked into the middle loops of sides.

Coaster


I worked two rounds of single crochet for the edging, which also created a front and back on the coasters.  This made for a fairly solid coloured block on the front, so I slip stitched around in contrasting colours to break it up a bit.

Coaster


Then I slip stitched another round, working farther outside the edging than the first slip stitched round on the front, in matching colours.  I felt this made the back look less obviously "the back," and makes them more reversible.

Coaster


Even with the edging, there's still a lot of stretch on the bias.  There's still vertical stretch, too, but the edging cuts that down a fair bit.

Coaster


This gives a better view in between the raised edges, showing there the stitches were wrapped around the posts to create this effect.

I'm going to look around some more to see if this stitch is out there somewhere.  If not, I'll see about posting a tutorial on how to do it.  I really like this stitch and have a number of squares and rectangles done in it hanging about the house.  I've got one right next to me that I use as a coaster, and it works out so well, I figured it would be great for the swap.  They can take a lot of rough handling, too.  The cotton can handle a lot of heat, and they're easy care, too - just toss them in the regular wash.  They take a bit longer to dry, though.

I hope my swap partner likes them.



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