Sunburst Bowl

How do I design my tapestry crochet pieces? Sometimes editors request specific projects. They choose the fiber and colors, suggest the shape and size, and often provide a picture for inspiration. This is what happened with my Sunburst Bowl pattern in the September/October issue of Crochet Today!

Inspiration for the Sunburst Basket
This coiled basket inspired my Sunburst Bowl.

As usual, I didn’t copy, but created a new piece based on the original inspiration. Copying is not only illegal, but also disrespectful to the original designer. The design usually changes anyway when translating from one medium to another.

I usually only carry one or two colors, but the (size 3) J&P Coats Royale Fashion Crochet Thread was too fine to produce a large tapestry crochet bowl using this method, so I decided to carry five threads to reproduce the coiled look of the original basket and to give it some structure. Carrying so many colors allowed me to play with color placement, too!

Sunburst Tapestry Crochet Basket before blocking
The Sunburst Bowl before ironing it with a steam iron.

After supplying the thread, the assistant editor asked me to write the instructions following Yarn Standards abbreviations and guidelines. The editor sent a contract that specified the date the project was due, the price, and the publication rights. I titled it “Mandala Basket,” but as editors often do, they changed it to “Sunburst Bowl.”

Sunburst Tapestry Crochet Basket
The blocked 10″ wide by 1.25″ high Sunburst Bowl.

This project is not for beginners – it’s definitely advanced tapestry crochet. A few intrepid tapestry crocheters have met the challenge, though! Lisa started the bowl below, but on Sept 13, she posted, “Okay, so the circle is done in the middle and I am carrying all 6 yarns at once. Now that I have done 8 rows, I am wondering how to keep all the yarn from turning into a nest. Everything was fine until I had to set it down!” I hope she picks it up again! I’ll post the photo with this thread if/when she does! (BTW, if you separate the balls of thread and allow the twist to happen next to the fabric when you change colors, the carried threads will not tangle so much.)

Lisa’s beginning
Lisa’s bowl.

Sheri’s tapestry crochet bowls
Here are Sheri Kelley’s bowls – before blocking – with fabulous color choices!

I’d love to hear from you and see your Sunburst Bowls!

18 Responses to “Sunburst Bowl”

  1. Anu says:

    Beautiful works, so inspiring.

  2. wow, this is really lovely. really creative. i truly love it

  3. Megan says:

    What a beautiful bowl Carol ! Such tight stitches and straight lines of the triangles and petals, Exquisite !!!

  4. Nicole says:

    I love the colors that Sheri used. These are beautiful. It is good to see what they look like before they are blocked. I wasn’t sure if I had done it right. Mine aren’t as wonderful as yours or Sheri’s but I am practicing. Thanks!

  5. Jen G P says:

    Hi Carol,

    I’m getting close to finishing the bowl (after a couple months of work, ha ha!) but I’m a bit worried about blocking, as I’ve never done it before. When you “block with a steam iron,” how exactly do you do it? Do you hold the iron over the bowl or actually iron it? Do you need to put the bowl over a form? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me. This project is a toughie for me but it will be the most satisfying thing I’ve ever crocheted when I’m done!

  6. I place the iron right on the project (making sure that it won’t melt – be careful with acrylic). If it’s delicate, then I place a towel between the project and the iron, but I press down pretty hard with the steam iron. Set the iron for the type of fiber, then steam iron it from both sides. I hope you’ll post a picture of your bowl!

  7. Jen G P says:

    Thank you so much for the advice! I think I got it right.

    If you’d like the see the results, here’s the post on my blog:

    http://jenmadestuff.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/crochet-challenge-1-sunburst-bowl/

  8. Jen’s bowl turned out fabulous!!! I hope you’ll take a look!

  9. Lee Ann says:

    Hi Carol,
    Wow, I remember when you posted your first pieces of tapestry crochet on you website a few years ago and they were wonderful pieces.

    But wow, your tapestry crochet keeps getting better and better! These sunburst bowls are outstanding! I love them! Keep up the good work! :)

    Lee Ann

  10. Lee says:

    I have been unable to find the pattern. I am doing it from the picture and I am stuck on the round after the black one. I am also left handed. I would love any help you can give me.

  11. I wish I could help you, but I no longer own the rights to this pattern, so I can’t send you the instructions. What I can say, though, is that you need to reverse the graph when working left handed, so copy the picture and reverse it, then try to figure it out. I have lots of patterns written for left handed crocheters – just look at the sidebar on the right of this blog – that would be less of a challenge.

  12. Lee says:

    Thank you Carol,
    After studing the picture and counting the stitches I think that I have it figured out. I actually enjoy a challenge. Lee Tanner

  13. YarnYokel says:

    I love the bright colors of your Sunburst design. It is beautiful.

  14. […] I tapestry crochet a 48″ diameter sunburst, kind of like a Gothic stained glass window and my Sunburst Basket, with colors inspired by the photo […]

  15. Micia says:

    Hi, a friend of mine gave me the pattern and I did this, but after ironing there’s a problem.. it’s totally flat. How can I gave it the shape of a bowl? Thank you!

  16. Cover a bowl with a towel, then dampen your crocheted bowl and re-iron it on the covered bowl, stretching your project into shape. Hopefully, that will work!

  17. Micia says:

    I’ll try, thank you! BTW, congratulations, your works are wonderful!

  18. […] awards show will air on March 30th. For more about this tapestry crocheted bowl, please look at my earlier blog post. And all of you out there in cyberland, thanks SO MUCH for voting for my […]

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