Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Native American Crochet

 This week I will focus on the second part of my Crochet Decorations for Home Series about Cushions.   This week I want to share my Native American Crochet Inspired Cushions.   I have always been fascinated by history and tribal societies and I love the artwork many of those societies have, especially Celtic and Native American art.  As I have browsed through various crochet patterns and stitches I often saw Native American patterns that I wanted to try and the cushions seemed the perfect time to do it.

I started with the Apache Tears pattern choosing purple as the edging colour I began by working out the starting chain needed for my cushions.   I had to make sure that it would be in multiples of 7 so the pattern would work and also long enough to cover the cushion properly.   Once I had figured it out I then worked a few rows of purple as a base before starting the Apache Tears stitch in rainbow colours starting at the end of the rainbow.   The pattern is actually not as complicated as it appears to be and is repetitive enough that once I had completed a few rows I didn't need to refer to the pattern again.  The pattern requires you to mostly work in the back loops although the long stitches work in the front hoops and as long as you figure that out the rest falls into place.

For my 16" cushion I ended up with a starting ch of 63 plus 1 to turn and 64 rows in single crochet (the long stitches go below the rows so don't count).   I made two pieces, one for the back and one for the front, although the front piece had an additional 8 single crochet rows at the top to provide the flap.  The cushion was put together in the same manor as last weeks cushions, using single crochet to join the pieces and create the flap.   The major difference between this cushion and last weeks is the tassels.   Since every row in this cushion is cut at the end and you start with a new piece (you cannot do this pattern working both sides) you are left with a lot of ends.   The easiest thing for me to do with the ends was to tie them together to create side tassels and then trim them.   I think it adds to the tasseled effect you see in Native American clothing.

The second cushion I made was the Navajo Diamond Pattern.  Again I used the rainbow colours but rather than having a different colour per row I changed colours every 9 rows to give a different effect.   The pattern is worked in a similar way to the Apache Tears, cutting the wool at the end of every row rather than working the back, and so I also made tassels for this cushion.   You can clearly see the diamonds in the Navajo Pillow compared to the arrow effect on the Apache Tears and it was just as repetitive and easy to work up using the back loops for the single crochet stitches and the front loops for the longer stitches.

I love the look from both these pillows, and although they use rainbow colours rather than the traditional Native American colours, I think they look great and tie in with the other cushions I have made.   I definitely would like to make both these patterns again using more traditional Native American colours, although perhaps something different to cushions.

I hope that you have enjoyed the concluding part to my Crochet Decorations for Home - Cushions and maybe I have inspired you to use the Native American Crochet Patterns for something yourself.

See you next week.

Vicky x

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