Painted Crochet (It’s Not What You May Think)

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 11 Comments

Oh my gosh! I just learned about a new type of crochet and I am dying to let you all know about it! It’s called “Painted Crochet” and it looks uniquely lovely. Although the finished pieces have the “look” of being painted with a brush, the effect is actually achieved by combining either three or four thin sewing threads in differing combinations. The subtle shifts in color come when those combinations are changed.

This is the back cover of the book called "Painted Mini Doilies"

This is the back cover of the book called Painted Mini Doilies edited by Carol Alexander and Lisa Forsnaugh

Is that not the coolest thing ever? I am really jazzed about this technique because it seems entirely original to me. I am not new to combining threads or yarns, but I’ve never seen this technique used on such a small scale, nor have I seen it done to such a dramatic effect.

This is the cover of Crochet Painted Doilies by Ferosa Harold

This is the cover of Crochet Painted Doilies by Ferosa Harold

I learned about this and other wonderful crochet techniques in the book Crochet Master Class by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss. The book was published in 2010 and is definitely worthy of your holiday gift wish list!

I don’t know about you, but I can not wait to try this technique. Since you know I love quick projects, I am sure my finished products will be really tiny! I bet that would work well for some really special crocheted earrings, though!

Have you ever seen this technique before? How cool is this? What else besides doilies could you see this technique used for? Please leave your comments and thoughts below!

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  1. Stitcher75 says:

    gorgeous! I’m going to have to find that book. it’s funny, i use that technique in cross stitch and embroidery and I’ve thought about combining fine yarns for knitting and crochet, but it never occurred to me to use sewing threads in my “yarn-work”. what size hook is used and how many threads are held together? is there a heavier crochet for a base?

  2. Gina Gabrielides says:

    How absolutely stunning! I want to try it now. Yet another project will have to be abandoned to try something new…

  3. Erin Lea says:

    I have never made a doily/worked with anything finer than sport/baby weight yarn. I don’t know if I would have the patience or the eyesight to do that. But it looks really cool! I have actually seen it done similarly on an afghan with combining yarns… if you are on ravelry (and even if you are not, I think you can still view this) does something similar with combining yarns for different hue effects.

  4. Rebecca Jones says:

    I make these using sewing thread and a size 12 hook. I’ve also used embroidery floss where I separate out the strands. this technique makes beautiful items and can be used on more than just doilies.

  5. Marsha Baker says:

    I just looked on Amazon and the book entitled Crochet Painted Daisies is available, but at a price I’m not willing to pay, even for a used one. Used starts at over $37.00 and new ones are starting at over $49.00.

    The one titled Painted Mini Doilies, it says there are none available and that it is out of print.

    These are really beautiful, however, I’ll probably try it on my own without the books.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Bec says:

    This has been around a while. A few years ago Annie’s Attic published Ferosa Harold’s Work on this subject.
    There is a free Ebook for Doilies, there are lots of blogs, people showing their beautiful “painted Thread” work.

    It really doesn’t take much research to ensure the right people get the credit they deserve

  7. katheryn says:

    I have the book, and also tested for Ferosa Harold. Love her designs. I made these using quilting thread because it has a finish on it that sewing thread doesn’t have. I also put a different color on a sewing bobbin, and then each bobbin in a baby food jar to keep the colors separated. Sure cost less to make a doily than buying a spool for each color.

  8. Anne says:

    I’ve got the book for Doilies, but not mini-doilies. And although I’ve crocheted lots of crochet thread doilies, I’ve never tried any pattern in this book. After this reminder, I may have to dig it out and make one! I loved the colors then and I still love them.

  9. Brenda says:

    I have the book and I love it. Making earrings is a wonderful idea!

  10. Rebeckah Walsh says:

    I use this technique with my knitting and it is just as stunning. I am working on a knitted scarf right now and will be changing 1 strand color every 5 inches.

  11. Myrna Alward says:

    I have the pattern book of this one, and I tried one of the patterns….It’s easy to do, but you must be careful not make mistakes….working with three threads at a time can get messy, but the results are stunning….Use the recommended thread sizes for the doilies to come out perfect….I’ve tried with other sizes and it can get a bit complicated…..Three strands are necessary to produce the shading effect and color transitions….Begin with the simplest pattern first then go from there…you won’t be disappointed….

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