Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Too Hot?

Phew!  We're having a bit of a heatwave here in the UK… is it too hot to crochet?  Too hot to tat?

Of course not!  Though I must say I tend to limit those activities to evening when the temperature has cooled a bit.

Here is the progress made on the new crochet blanket.  I'm making it even longer than the Granny Square one.

This is a project that really doesn't require much attention so is perfect for when watching a movie.  It's made of two-round strips that are joined together at the third round.  I have just five colours for this one and I was going for a random mix of the four colours surrounded by the darker blue.  Actually I'm now sorry I didn't use the same arrangement for each strip instead of the mix I have here.  Ah, live and learn!

I've hardly spent anything on this yarn though so I don't mind that it's not quite right.  It will be just one more cosy blanket to wrap around ourselves when autumn comes...

The next one will definitely have a more formal colour arrangement.

Best wishes,

Monday, 14 July 2014

Pattern Revisited and Progress on Stawasz Piece

I had not made my little leaf since coming up with the One-Stitch-Self-Closing-Mock-Ring (1SSCMR).  The 1SSCMR is great for making a pointy chain (as seen in my Snow Crystals pattern) - I now also use this technique for making my little pea pod.  So I decided to tat my leaf again and use the 1SSCMR for the point instead of the small R4 I had before.

I couldn't help myself and started playing with the stitch count as well while I was at it and seeing if I could improve the centre bit of it.

It's still a work in progress.  Can't decide if I prefer two small rings at the top on the inside or one single ring.

I will update the pattern when I've made up my mind!  :-)

And progress is slowly being made on the Jan Stawasz piece.

This has not been pressed at all and lives in my handbag
(ready to be taken out for a few stitches at every opportunity!)
so is slightly crumpled.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Mille-Fleurs Hairclip

Just a quick post.  I needed something to clip my hair back when I play squash.  Found an old hair clip in the girls' hair stuff box that had lost its decoration.  Had a short sample strip of Mille-Fleurs on hand…

Best wishes,

Friday, 4 July 2014

Tatting Bag & More Crochet

I had a lovely gift from Tatting Jeanie (the lady who makes the Magic Loops) - it's a bag to put all my tatting stuff in.  There are loads of pockets, and flaps and elastics to slip things in.  I like the fabric and look at that beautiful strip of roll tatting!

Roll tatting is a technique I need to work more on.
Last time I tried it, I was finding it difficult to
keep it all smooth and uniform.

It was quite hard to show all the pockets in one photo!
I will be putting it to good use when I'm travelling this summer.

Thank you Jeanie!

And to keep with that colour scheme, I was lacking some red for my wardrobe and made another crochet top in rich, bright red.  Perfect match to a pair of shoes I have.

This is another design by Doris Chan.

In her book, she uses these button closures which
I thought were very clever!

You just attach two shank buttons together
(here with beads on the thread)
and then you can slip the buttons in any hole
of your crochet top.

So you can change the look
and button at the top or middle,
or wherever you like.

Such a great idea.

And lastly, I started another "big" project.  I found some very inexpensive yarn and found myself inspired to tackle another blanket!  

I will be travelling this weekend though and will be taking my Jan Stawasz project with me so hopefully a bit of progress will be made there too.

I hope the sun is shining for you, wherever you are.

Best wishes,

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Cardigan Finished

Excuse the very poor photo set-up but here is my cardigan completed.  I like the shape of it very much, the three-quarter sleeves and the waist band.  I'm not completely happy with the yarn (but since I didn't invest much and it all came from stash, I can't complain too much) but I think I would eventually remake this in another yarn.  It only took me about 5 days (amongst all the other things I have to do of course) so I think that's pretty quick to complete a whole cardigan.

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Tatting Progress and Crochet Cardigan

Here’s where I’m at with the Jan Stawasz piece.  I have a couple of ends to sew in because I still forget to put a magic loop at the beginning of each motif!  I’ll get into the habit soon.

I’m enjoying it because there’s variety; you make some of the larger motifs then complete with the small diamonds/squares.  I’m thinking at the moment that I won’t be making it in the shape that Jan has in the book but I’m not completely decided yet.  I think I’ll keep growing this for a while longer.

*  *  *  *  *

For some time now, I’ve been thinking that I’d like to make a crochet garment.  My favourites are cardigans because I like that you can wear them buttoned up or open for different looks and warmth desired.  I’ve been looking at loads of patterns on internet trying to find one that appealed to me.  My other problem is that I’ve been finding crochet patterns (for garments) really hard to read!  I don’t know why but the instructions always seem very complicated to me.  I felt I needed to have a go and conquer this!

I found a pattern I really liked the shape of called Chloe Cardigan designed by Doris Chan for Interweave Crochet.

In our loft, I found some yarn I must have bought more than 25 years ago!  It’s a silk mix and I thought it might suit this project.  I had 7 balls.  Would that be enough?  

As you can see, it's not a smooth yarn but more "textured".  I decided to get started and see how far I’d get with one ball.  Now I think I might just make it to the end!  I bought one ball of a cotton bamboo yarn which was a very good colour match and made the band at the waist with it to save a bit of the silk.  I will finish the bottom of the cardigan with the silk (a few more rows to go) and see what I have left for the sleeves (one of them is 3/4 done already).  If I have to, I can complete the sleeve band and ruffle with the cotton bamboo.

Anyway, I’m enjoying this project very much.  The silk, though a bit fluffy in places is very soft and has a nice drape.  Reading the pattern required attention but wasn’t impossible.  Crochet does grow quickly.  I started this on Sunday and I think I’ll complete it in another day or two.

Best wishes,

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The End… and a Mandala

Yes, I can hardly believe it but I've come to the end of the Granny Square Blanket project.  I completed the edging this morning, weaved in the last few ends, washed it, and put it on the line to dry in the sunshine.  So this is the last you will see of the Granny Square Blanket (perhaps you're pleased with that!).

Funnily enough, I was nearly sad as I was completing the last round… does this mean I should start another blanket??

It ended up being a good size, once I'd added the border and measures about 1.5m x 1.2m which is plenty big enough to wrap yourself into.

I used up all the part balls I had left (which weren't that many!)
and made 5 rounds of squares all around the blanket.

I purchased one last ball of purple
wich was my very last row of squares.

I then made up the cream edging as I went along.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted to end with cream to tie in with the cream centres of all the squares.   I also wanted a "scallopy" thing but ended up trying about a dozen different versions before settling on the one above which I am pleased with.  It was done in three rounds.

And here it is on the washing line,
blowing gently in the breeze
and warmed by the wonderful June sun
we were enjoying today.

* * * * * * *

As this is a crochet post, I decided to add this other little bit of crochet I completed today.  I am sending it to Lucy at Attic24 so that I can take part in the big Yarndale 2014 Mandala Display.  I started off following a pattern but then improvised half-way around.  The colours would not be my favourite choice but I had a very limited amount of cotton on hand with which I could made this mandala so I used what I had.  That red is so bright it's quite hard to photograph.   Mmmm, unless I made it in wool, I have a few more colours available (ones that were not in my blanket)… will I send this one or will I make another?

I think it's fun to take part in a worldwide project like that.  I look forward to seeing what it will look like with all the mandalas put together.

Best wishes,