Category Archives: International Diploma in Crochet

Roses in a concrete jungle

As my “work an octagon from the centre using some detail of interest” submission for IDC Part 2, I chose to do the rosebud motif I found on Dearest Debi’s website

I decided to use grey as the background rather than white, partly as I wanted to do a spot of stash busting, but also because I thought of a theme: greening up the cityscape. My suggested project is to turn this into a “Roses in a Concrete Jungle” bedspread, interspersing the rosebud motif with plain grey octagons..


Well, of course I’m going to think of something like that – I’m a gardener for a living and found my vocation through an interest in environmental conservation and wildlife. As a city girl, I realised we can do a lot for biodiversity in an urban context through gardening. Clink.. is that the sound of a penny dropping..?



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Hidden Possibilities

There are hidden possibilities that lurk within limitation, like woodlice under a pot. Consider the humble, nay boring, double crochet stitch. I’m not a fan generally , but one of the compulsory submissions for IDC Part 2 requires that we produce a textured crochet fabric using only dc related stitches. This means no chains other than turning chains, no sneaky double trebles against a background of dc to create bobbles etc. Just dc, extended dc, dc in the back loop only, and such like.

This limitation is interesting because it forces us not to rely on the taller stitches to supply texture, but to explore the boundaries of the dc stitch itself. Here is what I came up with:


Surprising, isn’t it? In addition to the basic dc, I used exdc, dc front loop only, and dc worked into the back loop of the previous row, as well as a kind of puff (with exdc substituting for the more usual treble).

Now I have to think what use I might put this fabric to…


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Challenges of P2

One of the challenges of Part 2 of the International Diploma in Crochet is the information we are required to include with each compulsory sample. (For those who don’t want to do pattern-writing, there is the option to do just the practical work.) It is requested we propose how the crochet submitted might be used in a project. This is beneficial as it encourages us to think creatively, even for stitches or techniques we may not enjoy or even downright loathe!

I’m finding it very easy to suggest ‘blanket’ for most submissions. But I’m sure Pauline (Turner, my tutor, and IDC founder) would not be impressed if I made the same suggestion for each submission! But as we should also include alternative ideas, this helps to ‘think outside the box’. I think it is a very useful process, so that we don’t churn out concepts or designs that are conventional and run-of-the-mill.

It’s not just the stitch that we must consider in our suggestions, but also the yarn which completed the stitch, and how together these might be utilised. Take this circle (okay, so it has hexagonal tendencies!) which was to be worked in double crochet using any dk yarn:


I chose SWTC’s Bamboo yarn. I’ve never used bamboo fibre before, but I have read that it has good drape. This lead me to ponder.. hm.. maybe this sample could be made into a tablecloth, with some kind of motifs worked in as edging or something. I wonder if dk thickness is too chunky for this purpose, but I’ll wait and see what Pauline thinks… 


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I didn’t tell you, did I, that I finally finished Part 1 of the International Diploma in Crochet? I received the certificate back in August, and am now signed up to Part 2 which focuses on design.IMG_1864

I’ve only sent in and received back a couple of samples so far. I’m too distracted by all the designs that have been gathering dust in my head during Part 1, and now they’re all clamouring for attention! I’ve been swatching like mad, and trying to make sense of numbers. I’ve no doubt my maths is going to let me down, especially when it comes to grading. As well as the valuable process of writing instructions/charts for samples and projects of IDC Part 2, I am very glad there is a free pattern testing group on Ravelry, which I intend to make use of. If anyone snaps up any of my designs to test, that is!

N0 doubt most of you have heard of the w.i.p. (work in progress) Well, here is sneak-peak at a couple of designs in progress (is there such thing as a d.i.p. in knitting and crochet parlance?) …

I’m not sure if other designers find this, but the process of design ain’t quick, even when it’s a simple design!




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… with fastenings

At last! I have completed my final practical project for Part 1 of the International Diploma in Crochet.

Having fulfilled all other criteria, I still needed to produce a garment with fastenings. I tried a couple of cardigans for me but got totally stuck: one pattern was badly written, and the other involved veeery tall stitches – I wanted to challenge myself and show off to the teacher that I could do tall stitches but alas, every single one of them turned out saggy, at which point I decided it was more trouble than it was worth. For the sake of speed, I opted for a child’s jacket which would work up quickly. The pattern was Hers was multi-coloured, but I decided on just two contrasting colours. When I was halfway through the item, I realised the colours were like my old school uniform! I’m planning to give it to a friend for her bub, so I hope she doesn’t mind that!


I must say, it feels like a long time getting here – I thought I’d be done with Part 1 in a couple of years absolute maximum, but it’s been three years. It’s a good thing there are no deadlines for the course. I’ve now only got a bit of paperwork to hand in and I’m on to Part 2. Yippee! I can’t wait!


Filed under International Diploma in Crochet, Makes

Just in Time for Summer!

Just in time for summer, I’ve finished a heavily textured pullover! After the lower than average temperatures of May, June has started to hot up and thick jumpers are unnecessary! It’s my penultimate project for Part One of IDC and fulfils the criteria: commercial pattern; sleeves; and shaping. The pattern was called Elbow Patches Pullover by Nichole Magnuson (Inside Crochet, issue 60) but I omitted the patches, which was acceptable as we are allowed to make one change to the commercial pattern.


Dare I admit it..? Even though I’ve been doing crochet for about six years, this was the first garment I’ve made – though not the first attempted! I was keen to do something tactile, as I’m more interested in texture than colour-work. I have the (perhaps incorrect) notion that colour dates a garment faster than texture, and as I’m not really into fast fashion (handmade items are slower to make and so surely have no proper place in fashion that gets replaced every season) texture appeals more. I really liked this jumper when I started making it, but by the time I’d finished it, I completely gone off it! It remains to be seen whether I wear it or not. Anyway, as an IDC project, it passed with ..ha.. flying colours!



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The Household Item

After much shilly-shallying, I managed to get another IDC project handed in. The criteria ticked off for this piece were: household item; tunisian crochet; and fashion yarn.

I’m not sure what I feel about woolly cushion covers – can’t decide whether I like them or not. But I chose to make one for the household project, as I didn’t want to make a garment with the fashion yarn I’d picked, as it was quite expensive and didn’t go very far. I used a different yarn for the back because it would’ve been too expensive to use Rowan’s Thick’n’Thin for the whole cushion. The front was done using tunisian simple stitch…

IMG_1177..and for the back I used the “up’n’down stitch”, which alternates treble crochet with double crochet in the same row. This was to avoid the curling of the button band which happens if you use a hook which is too small – tunisian crochet should be done on a larger hook than you would use for regular crochet to avoid this problem, and I didn’t have a hook large enough. I just wanted to get the project finished by this point, so couldn’t wait for anything as slow as the postman, and all the shops I’d looked in didn’t sell tunisian hooks larger than 5.5mm


I opted for silvery buttons to echo the lightness of the front of the cushion

The project got a “Very Good” which translates as 95 – 99%. A “Pass” in the IDC is 80%, so you can be sure that your work is of a high standard if you receive pass marks. I lost marks for this project as “the texture of the slubbed light bluey grey yarn …  will ‘bobble’ or ‘pill’ in use”. Well, I’ll take that and party on! Now I’ve just got to decide if I’ll actually use the project or give it away. A friend said she liked it… but I’m not sure she liked it enough to actually want it.


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