Wellbeing, Creativity and Crafting

Image: Ryllandra's Tunisian BlanketI’m quite big on being creative, on having creative pursuits in ones’ life. It’s a truly important aspect that all too often gets left behind in the hurried stress of so many time poor lives. I decided to revolt and instead of being time poor, I choose to make time for the things that give me pleasure and in the process, also keep me relatively sane. While my creative pursuits are legion, there’s always something new to learn, something new to create. The process of developing time for yourself can take some effort, but the rewards really do pay off. Start with something smallish, don’t go overboard with a project you know you’re not going to finish, that’s just silly. Some months ago, I decided to learn a new crochet style, Tunisian Crochet, simply because I liked the appearance of it in a video. Of course I liked the finished product too. I also design many of my own patterns for items for my own use and this crochet style really appealed to me, so I went for it. I didn’t bother buying anything extra as I already had quite a stash of yarns of varying types that I’ve acquired over the years. While I’m not much of a knitter, unless I need a new scarf to go with a winter outfit, I have been quite a prolific crocheter over the years. My new romance with yarns started small, I learned the ways of Tunisian Crochet and became so enamoured of it I want to keep doing it. It’s very meditative and so very relaxing and satisfying seeing the stitches form so amazingly neatly into a viable fabric under my fingers!

I made quite a variety of little items and then ran out of things to do. It was then I remembered my stash of stored away yarns! So many colours and blends, things I would never use at this time of my life. I decided to make a blanket. It took a couple of weeks to exhaust the yarn supply to such an extent that those left could no longer fit into the patterning I’d finally settled on, and it was done. I’d crocheted the largest item I’ve ever done! Such an achievement combined with so many new things I’d learned and discovered.

Then I started thinking about what sorts of things I could use this stitch for, I’ve made fingerless mittens, washcloths, rugs, and mats, there had to be something else to use the small left over portions of yarn on. I finally decided to look for a coathanger cover pattern in Tunisian crochet, but could not find one. So I designed one, which I’ve decided to share.

Image: Multiple differently coloured tunisian simple stitch crocheted covered coathangers.Ryllandra’s Coat Hanger Cover Pattern in Tunisian Simple Stitch Crochet¬†Ryllandra’s Tunisian Coathanger Cover Pattern PDF

I used some yarn I had in my stash, it’s been there for years and this was a good way to gain practice and make some pretty coat hanger covers at the same time. You’ll get multiple covers out of one ball so it’s a good use for left over yarns.

Patons Bluebell 1 x 50gm ball (5 ply) or similar ply (you’ll get multiple covers from one ball)
Crochet Hook: 4.5mm size 7 Tunisian style Crochet hook. You won’t actually need the extra length of a Tunisian hook for this pattern as you can see, but if you do larger things you will. the peculiar looking grey and blue one with the bobble on the end is from the Denise Interchangeable set.
Bodkin: A thick blunt ended needle with a large eye for sewing the finished piece.
Finished Size: 39cm long x 6 cm wide
Gauge: 4 rows = 2cm
Start: Chain 14.
First Row: Beginning with 2nd chain from hook, pick up the loop at the back of each chain. (Stitch Diva Tutorial Base Row) You’ll have 13 loops on your hook. Work reverse pass of Tunisian Simple Stitch. This method leaves a lovely edge.
Rows 2 to 60: Continue working Tunisian Simple Stitch for 60 rows, or to the length of your coathanger. (Stitch Diva Tutorial Simple Stitch)
Last Row: Tunisian bind off, keeping a tail of thread 2.5 times the length of your work, to sew the fabric onto your coathanger. (Stitch Diva Tutorial Bind Off)

The finished piece showing length of tail used for sewing together.

The finished piece showing length of tail used for sewing together.

To Join: Fold the finished piece in half lengthwise, keeping the pretty side (your preferred side) on the outside. Using a bodkin threaded with the yarn from the binding off, neatly sew the short end together through each stitch on the outside of the work. Work from the corner back to the fold and down to the starting corner again, continue sewing the long side until you reach the other end. The lovely neat edges make it very easy to sew together.

With the opposite end still open, remove the hook from your coat hanger (if it’s on it) and carefully push the wooden piece through the fabric tube, setting the seam on the underside of the curve of the hanger. If the wood catches on your yarn, wrap it with a piece of scrap fabric that can stay inside the cover. When the work is sitting in the correct place, sew the second end together using the same care you did with the rest. Backstitch to secure the ends. Before cutting, thread the yarn inside the cover to hide the end.

Placing the Hook: Using your bodkin, find the hole in the wood where the metal hook goes, then screw the hook into place securely without winding it all the way through.

Four finished Tunisian Simple Stitch coat hangers.

Four finished Tunisian Simple Stitch coat hangers.

Embellishment: You can leave the hook bare, cover it with tubular plastic or wrap it with yarn. To wrap, cut about 1.5 to 2 metres of yarn, fold it in evenly half and then half again. Loop the yarn over the end of the hook like a blanket stitch. It’s neater to start this at the tip and work toward the base as the ends can be hidden more easily. Keep looping it over the hook, pulling each loop very tightly on the hook until it’s all covered and pushed tightly together. Tie the ends off at the base of the hook. I then used the left over yarn pieces folded together and tied into a bow, or tied into a tassel and attached to the hook. Make it sit straight and cut the ends neatly. You may want to use ribbon instead. Your Tunisian Crocheted Coat Hanger is now ready to use!

If you enjoy crafting and would like to learn more, there are numerous places on the web with free teaching videos.

(c) 2014 All Rights Reserved Ryllandra Rose
Front Image: (c) Ryllandra Rose  Craft Images: (c) Ryllandra Rose