Know Your Motif


Motif. Whether you are brand new to crochet or an experienced crocheter, you have probably heard and likely used the term. As I was  watching Kristin Omdahl's workshop video Innovative Crochet: Motifs, I was struck by the versatility of this crochet design.

First I asked myself, "What is a motif?" Translated from a dictionary explanation to my own words, a motif is a repeated structure or recurring theme. Together, motifs create a striking structure that is larger than the sum of the motifs. 

Kristin Omdahl loves to design with motifs as you can see in the Forest Flower Pullover at left. In her video Kristin even walks you through the creation of one of these triangular motifs.


Motifs used as an edging are what turns the simple triangle shape of the Medallion Triangular Shawl into a stunning, eye-catching wrap.

You can even use motifs to create an entire garment, building with pieces like building blocks. Motifs can be joined as you go, minimizing the seaming I never have the patience for.


One of the most treasured uses for the motif has been in the creation of afghans. The structural design quality of a motif is highlighted in the simple shape of an afghan. One of the first afghans I created was a sampler of motifs.

The Chain Reaction Afghan—made up of 10 designer squares and 10 reader-designer squares—is a great showcase for the motif. The first 5 blocks for the Chain Reaction Afghan Project will be hitting the shelves with the Summer 2010 issue of Interweave Crochet about June 21st. Many of these squares are motifs. You can see Crochet Me member squares, submit your for possible publication, and find out more information by visiting the Chain Reaction Afghan Project contest page here.

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Now I am even more excited to share the versatility of the motif with my friends, both those of you who crochet and those who do not yet crochet. And I think I might watch Kristin Omdahl's workshop video again for more tips on creating fabulous motifs for my next project.


Best wishes,

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