Crochet, Crotat, Aran and Rainbows

Rainbow Valley comes to Rochester, Kent

Rainbow Valley Crochet
Rainbow Valley Crochet

The last weekend of June see’s us welcoming back Helen Free of Rainbow Valley Crochet. Helen designs unique crochet patterns under the name of Enfys, which I believe is Welsh for rainbow (I’m sure Helen will correct me later if I got it wrong).

Helen was taught to crochet by her Dad but she didn’t really take it very seriously until she reached her 20’s, round about the same time she bought her home and needed something to occupy her evenings. Helen says that she has always been good at “making things up as she goes along” and soon found that she was getting requests for her patterns and was encouraged to start writing them down and selling them online. Helen has never looked back and continues to design a wide array of crochet patterns, some of which have been featured in Inside Crochet magazine.

Four Seasons wall hangings
Four Seasons wall hangings

Helen found online fame through her amazing Four Seasons wall hangings and we were fortunate enough last summer to get a whole day learning Helen’s way of using tapestry crochet and short row crochet techniques that are used in the making of the wall hanging’s.

This year see’s the return of the one day workshop in crotat. This is a crochet/tatting technique that can be used to make jewellery items and applique motifs for use in other projects.

Crotat bridal wear
Crotat bridal wear
Aran cushions
Aran cushions

New to this year’s program will be one day workshops in aran and entrelac crochet techniques.The aran crochet technique creates raised stitches to form cables and twists within the work and produces what appears to be intricate patterns. Helen assures me that we will begin with simple stitches, but the aim of the day is to have a go at using ghost stitches giving us amazing effects.

Next up is a day of entrelac, I have never tried this before but I do like the effect that it gives. Entrelac is in fact a common knitting technique and looks just as great crocheted and even better with self striping yarn. Surprisingly enough it is all formed using a double crochet (dc), but worked in a different way to create a diamond looking effect. It is Helen’s hope that we will not only achieve the technique of entrelac but also to start creating our own unique mobius scarves (I believe the pattern is currently a work in progress).

Entrelac mobius scarf in the making
Entrelac mobius scarf in the making

A final word from Helen (quoted from her site) “It doesn’t matter whether you wear it or hang it on the wall.  It is about colour and creativity.  It is about pushing the accepted boundaries.”

All photographs remain the property of Rainbow Valley Crochet and have been used with Helen’s permission. Please do not use her photographs without contacting Helen first

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